Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Gilt-y

Earlier this year I was introduced to Gilt, which was simulatenously the best and worst thing anyone has ever recommended to me. Best, because its so awesome; worst, because I really don't need more avenues to shop. If you're unfamiliar with Gilt, its a member's-only site that features "sample sales" by well known designers. The stuff they offer is extremely high quality and extremely discounted (compared to retail), and includes designers like Alexander McQueen, Furla, Donna Karan, Judith Ripka, just to name a few. Here's the best part; not only do they offer clothing, jewelry and accessories for women, but they also feature a full selection of items for men, children, and home. They also do vacations, but I'm frankly unfamiliar with how those work. If you would like to join and you're looking for a membership referral, email me with your email address, and I will send you an invite (its really not that exclusive, you could probably just sign up yourself, but I'm happy to invite you if it will be easier. Full disclosure: if you buy something, I will get a $25 credit, so there's something in it for me too : ))

Here's the pros and cons:
Pro: One-of-a-kind designer merchandise
Pro: deep discounts
Pro: they  have an app so you can log on wherever you are
Pro: high quality stuff
Pro: you will look absolutely fabulous in anything you buy
Pro: excellent customer service
Pro: free returns (please check return policy on individual items)

Con: shipping charges. There is no free shipping
Con: stuff sells out quickly. And I mean REALLY quickly. The sales usually begin at noon, and if its a hot designer, they could be sold out by 12:30. SO, either stay at your desk at noon, or use your iPhone/iPod Touch app.
Con: if you're looking for overnight delivery, its not going to happen. Each sale has a different time horizon, and they're really good about letting you know approximate delivery dates. But, if you're looking for somewhat instant gratification, you should probably use another website.

N and I are in home-decorating mode and were lucky to fine this awesome candelabra ($44) and cocktail shaker ($26).

Oooh, I can't wait to have an extra-dirty martinis with extra olives by candelight!

A Twitter Experiment

So, I'm trying something new on Twitter. Everyday, I'm going to tweet about something I love; it's going to be called thingsilurvetoday. So, please follow me on Twitter @cleshopaholic and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Saw it on TV!

You're up late one night/early on a weekend, and you turn on the TV. Next thing you know, you've been hypnotized and lost a half hour of your life. You know its happened to you- YOU've been sucked in by the As Seen on TV commercials!!!

Its pretty incredible if you think about it; seriously, how many commercials can you think of that can inspire a whole range of reactions?
Laughter: Shake Weight, anyone?
Disgust: Ped Egg. Seriously. Foot shavings are gross. No one wants to see that.
Amazement: Jack LaLanne's juicer. How old is that guy? How can he do so many push-ups? Is that a magic juicer?

Also, why does it seem like the host is yelling at you, and why can't you stop watching?!

I've been known to fall under the spell of As Seen on TV; last year I asked for and received The Slanket. I also own the Topsy Turvy and the Magic Bullet, and I'm currently obsessed with the Sham Wow, the Salad Blaster, and the Perfect Brownie Maker! So what's your As-Seen-On-TV guilty pleasure?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cycle Chic Cleveland?!

Around this time last year, I bought a bike. Not a vroom vroom bike, a good old-fashioned bicycle (mine has gears, I'm not that old fashioned. However, I don't know how to use said gears. Must remedy that situation shortly). Anyway, I haven't ridden it yet. I also haven't ridden a bike since I was 10, and let's just say, that was a long time ago. So, no experience with gears + long absensce from bike riding + natural klutziness = need for bike helmet. I've spent the last few hours looking for a bike helmet, reading bike helmet reviews, and learning how to choose said bike helmet, and here's what I've come up with: The Giro Skyla Helmet in black with gold flowers. Yes, I'm girly, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

So why the sudden zeal to ride a bike? See, the ideal version of me is the kind of person who rides a bike around Cleveland looking fabulously chic, like the men and women on one of my favorite blogs Cycle Chic. Well, this past Saturday, while N and I were moving house, we missed a ridiculously awesome event: The Fantastic Cleveland Tweed Ride!! I sooooooo want to do this the next time. AJP and butnoteveryday attended and here is the evidence!!

(Thank you Russell Lee for taking this fantastic picture!)

They're even wearing hats!! love. LOVE. LOVE!!!! So, I have to get this bike riding down, so the next time the Fantastic Cleveland Tweed Ride comes around, I can be prepared to ride it without the bike helmet. Stay fabulous Cleveland!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gardening for Dummies

Hello Blogosphere! I've missed you!! N and I are slowly getting settled into our new home. I made our first homemade dinner on Saturday night, and hosted my first dinner party last night!! clefoodgoddess and fiance (and Lexi) came over for a fun evening of the CAVS, dinner, prosecco, and brownies + ice cream.

I took the day off from work today to clean up and organize more boxes, and deal with inconveniences like the lack of Internet access (which has been restored! Thank you AT&T for your excellent customer service). Unfortunately, its a blah rainy day in Cleveland, but fortunately, it gives me time to get started on a project that I've been talking about for over a year--- GARDENING!! Yes my friends, my black thumb and I are going to attempt to start a veggie/herb garden.

I have no idea how this gardening experiment is going to turn out; I have, after all, killed not one, but TWO bamboo in the past. Although, that was all pre-Otto. I think that having to take care of a pet has made me more mindful of my plants. Hopefully.

The cleshopaholic garden (still in its preliminary stages) will boast tomatoes, cilantro, oregano, parsley, and chives. My tools are as follows:

1. Tomato starter kit: $1 Target.

2. The Topsy Turvy planter: It was a gift, but I believe they're $9.99 at Target.

3. The growflavor windowsill herb garden: $9.99 at Home Depot

These kits make it ridiculously easy to get started; they come with the soil, seeds and containers. Literally all you need is water and a fork, and your garden is on its way. All I have to do now is wait for the little seedlings to sprout and transplant them to their final locations. How hard can this be?! Wish me luck!!!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I was so excited today!! Why, you ask? NIGELLA LAWSON HAS AN iPHONE APP ($7.99) !! I luuuurve her; she's my favorite celebrity chef/ food personality. And for the record, I liked her way before she was on the Food Network; my lurve goes back to her early days on E! and The Style Network. Post-Great Fire of 2009, I went out and bought two of her books : Nigella Express and Forever Summer.

Recipes from these books are in heavy rotation in the CLEshopaholic household. What's so great about Nigella, you ask?
1. I don't know how she does it, but she makes her food look soooooo sensual! And not just in the pictures, it looks fantastic in real life!
2. Her recipes stand up really well to modifications (sidebar: I can't follow a recipe exactly; its why I'm a terrible baker and had a complete meltdown the night before a cookie exchange last year. Seriously, I messed up scoop and bake cookies)
3. Every recipe is FULL of flavor (you should try my adaptation below)
4. She has a British accent. Enough said.

So, here's my adaptation of Nigella's Spinach and Bacon Salad (I wish I could give you the real version, but N has packed up the study and now I don't know where he put the book).

1 cup chopped cooked chicken (if you don't have leftovers, you could use rotisserie chicken)
1 bag baby spinach
6 slices bacon, chopped (I think Nigella used 1 lb in her original recipe; put in as much as you want)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I strongly recommend getting a good one; it make a HUGE difference)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional : goat cheese (as much as you want)
Optional : Crutons (you can make your own or use store bought; you could also use a chopped up baguette)

Put bag of spinach in a salad bowl. Put cooled cooked chicken in same salad bowl.
In a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and fry up bacon.
Fish out crispy bacon with a slotted spoon: DO NOT drain bacon grease. Turn off burner
Quickly pour the red wine vinegar into the skillet; the red wine-bacon grease mixture will bubble.
Once the bubbling dies down, quickly pour over salad mixture. Add bacon, goat cheese, and crutons.
Mix up and serve immediately.

The spinach may wilt slightly, but that's to be expected. So obviously, this recipe is not the healthiest, but it is super quick and easy and ridiculously yummy. ENJOY!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to pack with CLEshopaholic (with step by step instructions)

N and I are moving to our new home in 3.5 days. We (mainly me) are a little behind on packing (blah). So, I decided that today would be the day where I did my part for this move.

Step 1. Gather your materials

Step 2: Find a Sharpie

Step 3: Pick and open bottle of wine

Step 4: Pour yourself a healthy glass. Hydration is very important.

Step 5: Put stuff in boxes
Step 6: Seal with tape
Step 7: Find Sharpie that you have invariably misplaced by this point.
Repeat Steps 5-7 until stomach starts to make wierd sounds
Step 8: Find nourishment (note the giant glob of butter on the pierogies)

Repeat Step 4.
Find Sharpie (AGAIN!) Stupid Sharpie.
Repeat Steps 5-7 until blood sugar drops.
Step 9: More nourishment

Repeat Step 4.

Step 10: Call it a night. There's always tomorrow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chocoholics Anonymous I spent the day driving to Detroit and back, and it may sound wierd, but driving is sometimes way more exhausting that sitting in front of my computer all day. I may or may not have come home and immediately helped myself to a spoonful of this:

If you're allergic to nuts, this is probably not for you. If you don't like chocolate, this is not for you either. But if you like chocolate, and can deal with nuts, and you haven't tried nutella, you are missing out on some serious goodness. I like nutella with granny smith apples, pretzels, crepes, but most of all, by the spoon, right out of the jar. I may or may not have a small but controllable chocolate problem.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Recap

I've had such a great weekend; I'm really bummed that it's going to be over so soon! Friday night N and I met up with Jess and DBB at Momocho: I always forget how much I luuuuuurve their margaritas until I get there. The goat cheese guacamole is to.die.for!! (Little tip: if you want to visit Momocho, you should try and make a reservation, or at the very least call ahead and check on the wait)

After a yummy dinner, we headed over to Dragonfly Lounge for some drinks. It was my first time there and I was pleasantly surprised to find out they serve old fashioned cocktails made with fresh juices. The Moscow Mule was pretty good, although it pales in comparison to those served at Velvet Tango Room (the copper cups and bits of ginger make a HUGE difference!). I thinks it's interesting (and very cool) that a 2 mile radius in Tremont/Ohio City has not one but THREE amazing bars that serve classic cocktails made the old fashioned way (the third one is Speakeasy) ! Sure, they're more expensive than the traditional mixed drink, but on a night where you want to sip your drinks and have great conversation, they're worth every penny!

Saturday we enjoyed watching the CAVS kick some BULLS a** at Panini's where we made new friends (hello Tony and Colleen). The beer and yummy pizza resulted in a nap, which unfortunately led to an alarm malfunction, which in turn resulted in us missing The Roots concert! BOOOOOOO! But there's always a silver lining; we stopped by Anatolia Cafe for a late dinner with Ry and El and who should be sitting two tables away but Anderson Varejao AND Anthony Parker!!!! We ended the night at B Side where Questlove spun a three hour set of some amazing music including some awesome old-school hip hop!

This morning, I had a hair appointment at Beachwood Place; I like to schedule my appointments before the mall officially opens. Parking is much easier, and there's just generally fewer people. Anyway, a calendar malfunction (this has not been a good weekend for technology) resulted in me being one hour early! And then, I encountered the strangest thing: Mallwalkers!!! There were at least 50 of them, including at least 2 people with strollers! Whaaaaaaaaaat?! How do they even get in there so early?!?! Will someone please explain the appeal of walking around a mall in endless circles? Personally, if I have to work out indoors, I would much rather use a treadmill.

After my hair appointment, I made some stops at a few stores to look for a gift. After all, what would a shopping blog be without a little shopping? One of my favorite gifts for someone who likes/wants to travel is a passport case. If you prefer to shop in-store, Nordstrom, J. Crew, and Jule carry passport cases at various prices, and if you're more of the online type, and are good options.

Depending on your budget and the occasion, you could also round out your gift with a travel guide (I personally like Rick Steves) and a travel pillow. Bon voyage!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Kickdrums

So, this week I re-discovered some great music--- The Kickdrums! I say "re-discovered" because I've known about them for a long time (N has been friends with Matt since they were little) but I had kinda forgotten about them over the past year or so...

And then, thanks to facebook, I was reminded of how much I love them with these awesome mixes they created for Coachella!

Reasons I luuurve these guys:
1. They're from CLEVELAND!! (see the feature on them in Scene magazine here)
2. You know how when you're listening to an album, you start to skip through the songs because after a while the style and sound gets monotonus? There is NO danger of that happening with The Kickdrums! Every song is different!
3. The Indio Sessions for Coachella (link above) is FREE!!!
4. Their album Just a Game (available on iTunes) features their very own music; its such a great combination of sounds, that I can't even describe it.

So, if you're in the mood for something different, you should give them a listen!

Friday, April 16, 2010

You Can Leave Your Hat On

Come May 1st, clefoodgoddess, AJP and butnoteveryday will be at the Kentucky Derby. AJP and butnoteveryday are old hats (ha!) at the whole Derby headwear thing, but since this is clefoodgoddess' first trip down, we spent sometime on eBay looking for fun Derby hats.

Which got me to thinking, why don't more people wear hats in real life, not counting baseball hats and winter hats? Especially when there are so many cute options around, like the soon-to-be-launched (April 18) Eugenia Kim line for Target! Men, you have options too; Urban Outfitters and zappos carry a wide range of styles.

I think I just found the next addition to my wardrobe!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crazy for Concerts

One of my favorite things about the Spring and Summer are the abundance of concerts in Cleveland. with so many great venues like Blossom, the Q, Wolstein Arena, and Tower City Ampitheatres (and those are just the large arenas), its hard to go wrong. Over the past couple of years, I've tried to make it to at least 3 concerts a year.

Last year I went to:
Flight of the Conchords with N and butnoteveryday: This concert was soooooooooooo much fun! If you don't know who they are, you should check out the DVD's of their HBO show

No Doubt: This was girls night with Jess and clefoodgoddess. GWEN IS SO FRICKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! I would definitely go to this one again

Jimmy Buffet: In Pittsburgh, for the second year in a row, with N and Jon

This year, my concert schedule is filling up very quickly:

This Saturday, N and I are going to see The Roots at Playhouse Square. You can go ahead and diss them for being Jimmy Fallon's house band, but I don't care- I still LOVE them! And, they were the first concert that N and I ever went to, way back when he lived in NYC (Sidebar: that was also the first time I ever had Gatorade. I know, I grew up in a different country. We didn't have Gatorade). Anyway, after the concert, The Roots drummer Questlove, will be spinning at B-Side in Coventry; You should come join us!

In July, AJP and I are going to see Lady Gaga!! OMG, I can't wait for GAGA!! I was supposed to see her in January in Connecticut, but that was around the time of her whole dehydration situation, so she cancelled. I was really bummed, but the fact that she's going to be in Cleveland more than makes up for any prior disappointment!

Then, shortly after the second anniversary of my 29th birthday, a whole group of friends (including clefoodgoddess and fiance) are going to see Kings of Leon. And of course, N and I are making are annual pilgrimage to the Land of Margharitas and Parrots. There are a few more concerts that I would LOVE to go to (Jack Johnson, She&Him, John Mayer (only if I have free tickets)), but I have to cut myself of somewhere!

Looks like its going to be a busy summer, musically speaking. Now, if only Black Eyed Peas would come to Cleveland...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Try a little Greek

I'm luuurve breakfast! I love everything about breakfast. Eggs, toast, breakfast pastry, cereal, hash browns, pancakes, crepes.....EVERYTHING!! Unfortunately, I can never get it together enough in the morning to make a real breakfast, so I have to either make do with cereal or take something into the office. I have a tendency to go through "breakfast phases" where I pretty much eat the same thing for a month straight.

My new obsession is Greek yogurt. In an attempt to lower my intake of added sugar (including artificial) I've been sticking with the plain yogurt (with a teaspoon of honey and pecans) and the Oikos vanilla (only 4 g of added sugar). And then, I found this fabulous recipe:

6 oz plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage non-fat)
1 teaspoon lemon curd (you could make your own, but I'm not motivated enough; its a little sweet, tangy, lemony, and overall YUMMY)
Optional: nuts (I like slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, and pecans)
Optional: lemon zest

Mix it all together and enjoy.

Here's the part I luuuuurve most:
Nutrition Facts (not including the nuts)
Calories: 150
Sugar: 13 g (of which 9 are natural sugars in the yogurt)
Protein: 15 g
Fat: 1 g

So, what's your "breakfast of champions"?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

If I was a Rich Girl (na na na na na na na)

In the ideal version of my life (where money is irrelevant) I would be a yoga instructor. This may lead you to believe I'm a regular yogini, but sadly, this is not the case. Until last summer, I was really good about going to Studio 11 a couple of times per week to get some yoga in. Then the Great Fire of 2009 burned my yoga mat into a sticky mess, we were busy getting reorganized, N left for his semester in Florence, and the excuses continue.

Anyway, right around New Year's Eve, I discovered, the online yoga classes (and podcast, which come with pose guides). I really like the concept of a 20-minute yoga session (particularly since Dr. Oz says it's really good for you). So, as one is wont to do around New Year's, I made a two-part resolution:

(a) STOP hitting snooze every morning and
(b) Use the extra time every morning to fit in a 20 minute yoga routine

3 guesses at what's happened since then... I NEVER got around to doing (a), so (b) hasn't really happened either! Shame on me!! Still, its only April, and I have time to redeem myself. So, I've some up with a "Tax Time" resolution; from now until May 15th, I'm going to do yoga 4 times a week. And you're going to hold me accountable. As added incentive, should I complete this challenge successfully, I will reward myself with a super cute yoga outfit.

So I'm curious... what would you do if money were no object?

PS I got the Gwen Stefani Rich Girl stuck in your head, didn't I? ; )

(Nike+ sportband update: Otto and I went to Edgewater Park today, and supposedly we walked 2.1 miles. I have to figure out if that was right. I have a feeling that my sportband is overstating my speed, and therefore my mileage)

Monday, April 12, 2010

How far did we go?

I love Spring! One of my favorite things to do is walk the metroparks with Otto.

The trails run all over Cleveland, so there's always some new place to walk and new sights to see. The deer in these woods are pretty cool too: they're used to humans, so they're perfectly comfortable crossing the street right in front of you! I usually walk with clefoodgoddess (and Lexi) and although we usually walk for at least a hour, I never know how far we've gone! So, I got myself the Nike+ sportband (in pink! so cute!)

Available at multiple locations including your local running store, Dick's Sporting Goods, and online at and, among others.

I also plan to use it to track my runs when I finally get my act together and start running again. Someday. Maybe this week. Maybe not.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Couch! Chaise!

Last year, N and I inadvertently ended up having to buy a whole lot of furniture following the Great Fire of 2009. (I will tell you the story another time, but the short version is; our apartment burned down last year and we had to replace almost 90% of our stuff, good thing we had renter's insurance). It was We spent a ridiculous number of weekends driving around Cleveland looking for furniture that we both liked and was within our budget!

In any case, our new home needs more stuff than we currently own. We decided to stop in at Design Union; wow, furniture shopping was a completely different experience from last year. I really wish I'd known about it then! If you're in the market for furniture, and your style tends towards Crate & Barrel -esq, you definitely need to check out Design Union. WARNING: It is going out of business, and will be closing its doors forever in June/July 2010, so you have limited time. The upside is, there are some ridiculous deals to be had! N and I picked out 5 pieces in under 45 minutes! I can't wait for delivery day!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


So, last night N and I took JV on her first ever ArtWalk. Somehow, we managed to pack a lot into one night! We started out with pizza and beer at Edison's (which is also one of our favorite Tremont dog-friendly places), followed by a visit to Cleveland Auction Company, where JV found this fabulous vintage beauty:

N then decided to stop by Flying Monkey for a drink, while JV and I continued on our tour of the stores on Starkweather. First stop, Lilly's for some sweet treats. I love this store. Its so pink and yummy smelling!!!! We did a tasting of the ninja bark (white chocolate, wasabi peas, Hawaiian black lava sea salt) paired with a cucumer-prosecco cocktail. Sounds a little wierd, but OMG it was sooooo good. It was salty, sweet, spicy, creamy all at once! I ended up getting some pistachio almond bark too, which goes really really well with whisky. Even N (who doesn't like sweets) approved!

This was followed by a quick stop at Geode, and Wine and Design. JV and I then took a little break to join N at Flying Monkey for some cocktails. We saved my favorite store for last: Banyan Tree. I LOVE THIS STORE! Look at the super fun stuff I found!!!

3 bangles, and a great magnetic board and hooks that I'm going to use to hang my necklaces in our new closet. And, my favorite piece of the night; a magnetic map that we're going to use to plan future vacations!!

After a quick stop at bistro on lincoln park for reverse happy hour, we ended the night at Hotz with AJP and @butnoteveryday. Good times were had by all!

Help, I need opinions

Lately, I've been seeing denim leggings. I do enjoy my leggings, especially in the spring and fall, but I don't know if I love denim leggings. So, I've decided to turn to you for help. I found these at piperlime and I can't decide if (a) they're cute, and (b) if they're worth the $139?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bad Romance

Every relationship has its ups and downs. My shoe-relationship is no exception. Blisters. The scourge of every shoe relationship. Left unchecked, it can wreak havoc and destroy a beautiful romance. The solution?

Use the Friction Block ($5.29 at Target) at the first sign of blisters. I usually have one in my purse for emergencies. If you're carrying a purse that's too small for such practicalities, and its too late, use the Blister Band-Aid ($3.69, also at Target. There's also a generic version, but I figured I would try the brand first). The Blister Fingers and Toes promises instant relief (this part is true) and faster healing (its my first try, so I don't know what "faster" is yet). Your feet will thank me later!

Tremont Art Walk

Starting at 6 pm tonight, Tremont will be filled with artsy people, people who love artsy people, and people who just love art. Why, you ask? Its Tremont Art Walk night! If you live in Cleveland, and you've never been, you should really consider going. It really is a lot of fun; my game plan usually involves stopping in at a few stores/galleries, followed by drinks either at Flying Monkey or The Treehouse followed by reverse happy hour at Lolita.

Stores I lurve to visit: Banyan Tree (my favorite store in Cleveland!), Cleveland Auction Company (my favorite new discovery that is the authorized reseller for Alessi! LOVE!) Geode Gallery, and for something sweet and delightfully sinful, either Lilly Handmade Chocolates (I love the bark!), or A Cookie and a Cupcake.

If you can't make it out tonight, don't worry: The Tremont Art Walk is held the second Friday of every month.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I love eBay

I'm a firm believer that if a woman wants jewelry, she should just go ahead and buy it herself. There is really no reason to wait for someone else to buy it for you. In the past, I've bought myself some pretty fabulous shinies with some careful budgeting. Lately though, I've been buying jewelry on eBay. One of my favorite purchases is this pair of earrings (I'm pretty sure they're faux pearls, but I lurve them anyway). I've worn them over a dozen times now, and since they were under $10, they've more than paid for themselves!
Versatile and affordable, what could be better?!

Shoes Shoes Shoes

I've never met a woman that doesn't like shoes. NEVER. (Do they even exist?) After a college phase that involved NUMEROUS pairs of black shoes, I've used the past few years to branch out across the rainbow. Since N and I are moving to our new home soon (yay! homeownership!), I've been sorting through my shoe collection in an effort to trim it down. See, N and I are going from separate closets, to sharing a walk-in, which while being well designed, is a little small. So far, I've brought myself to donate 3 pairs; pretty good, I thought. And then, I "accidentally" found these beauties...

Nine West Karoo, available at

Reasons I luuurve these:

1. They're RED!!!!! Bright, candy apply red!!!!

2. Platform under the footbed= heels that feel like flats

3. Ridiculously comfortable

Although, I will warn you, if you're going to be walking on slippery tile, you should probably have a non-skid sole added.

I guess we're just going to have to buy more shoe racks....