Friday, December 31, 2010

A story to take you into the New Year

If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I keep things very light and fun here. Today, I'm going to deviate a little, but its for a really good cause. I'm going to tell you the story of a lost, sick puppy, and the city that came together to save him.

 This is what Rudy looked like when he was found

Rudy was found in a snowstorm in early December on a sorta-freeway. He had a chain around his neck, and it looked like his little nose had been frozen off. He was skinny and seemed like he had been wandering alone for a long, long time. With the help of some good samaritans, his rescuer Angie managed to lure him into her car. From there he was taken to the Cleveland APL for a quick check-up and then transferred to Secondhand Mutts. The volunteers at Secondhand Mutts took him to the vet, where he was diagnosed with an ear infection, lupus, and heartworm. The shelter made an appeal on facebook, and in the local news, and then an amazing thing happened:

Donations came pouring in from all over the city. People stopped by with food, blankets, and toys. And most of all, they came to spend time with Rudy, to help him heal and surround him with love.

Rudy with his guardian angel Angie

Less than 10 days after Rudy was found, a wonderful family stepped up to foster him, just in time for the holidays. And so, the poor lost dog ended up spending Christmas warm and safe in a loving home. Rudy still has a long way to go in his treatment, but the generosity that Cleveland has shown will ensure that he receives the best care available.

And this is why I love this city so much: We may be declared the "most miserable city" by some media outlets, but the truth is we're not. Sure, we may have crappy winter weather, and mediocre sports teams, and unemployment, and falling home prices, but when push comes to shove, we band together as a community, and find a way to help each other out. We're no strangers to adversity, but the beauty of Clevelanders is that it doesn't scare us. We tackle it head on, and don't stop fighting until we find a way out. So, if you had a bad 2010, keep your chin up. 2011 is another year, and things will be better. You're a Clevelander! Happy New Year!!!

If you'd like to know more about Rudy's story visit his page on Secondhand Mutts.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Hello everyone!! Hope you had a fabulous holiday!! I had a great time hanging out with N's parents and brother and the puppies in Chardon, Ohio. They had almost 2 feet of snow, so the puppies were so excited to play!!

I received some great gifts, my favorite of which was this:

What girl doesn't love a little blue box?!?!

What was your favorite present that you received this year? This is a great opportunity for a CONTEST!!! Here are the rules:
1. You must be a US resident
2. You must "like" cleshopaholic on facebook
3. Leave a comment on the cleshopaholic facebook page letting me know about your favorite gift (This gets you one entry). A picture gets you a bonus entry.
Post a link to the contest in your facebook status (this gets you 5 entries). Add cleshopaholic to your google reader for 5 additional entries. Adding cleshopaholic to your blogroll gets you yet another 5 entries. Please leave a comment either on facebook or in the comments below letting me know if you did any of the optional entries!

The winner will receive a $25 gift card to Starbucks!!! Get those holiday lattes while they last!! The winner will be picked on January 9th!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Forest City Portage: great gifts for men and women

Until a few years ago, I had no idea that Cleveland had such a vibrant art scene. Since that discovery, I've been fortunate to meet some incredibly talented Clevelanders. One of those people is Michael Hudecek, the enterpreneur and artist behind Forest City Portage.

If you live/work/drive around downtown/Ohio City/Tremont/Lakewood (I'm sure there's similar spots on the east side too), you may have noticed an increase in the amount of bicycles around town. Forest City Portage has a number of bags specially suited to bike riders, but they work for pretty much anyone looking for a cool, unique bag.

The products above are available at Forest City Portage's etsy site.

In addition to the work featured on his new site (still in soft-launch), Michael does custom work, so feel free to contact him if you're looking to give someone a super special, personalized gift!

You know you want one!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Channeling Blair Waldorf

So lately I've been especially enamored by headbands. I think I'm trying to channel my inner Blair Waldorf, but without the crazy. I saw some beautiful pieces at Bazaar Bizzare this past weekend, and while I didn't buy any (yet), I think I'm more than mildly obsessed.

Here are two of my favorite headband vendors that I visited with this weekend:

Both these fabulous ladies have etsy stores (that I've linked to above the pictures of the respective works), and BONUS! They're both Cleveland-based, so you'd be supporting local art and artists with your purchase! These would make great gifts for a woman who has a taste for the dramatic (or a gossip-girl fan!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meat and Cheese

Have you "liked" cleshopaholic on Facebook yet? Scroll over to your right to become a fan for Facebook-only content and contests. Thanks!!

My biggest gift challenge usually involves buying stuff for men. There's the usual golf stuff, or clothing, or sports-related gifts, but beyond that, I tend to have a harder time with men's gifts, and its partly due to a lack of options. I feel like women (a) have more shopping choices, and (b) generally like more stuff, so its almost a lot easier to buy women's gifts (for me, anyway).  When I'm thinking outside the box for men's gifts, I frequently turn to food (there's no reason you can't use this for women too!)...

This year, I combined one recepient's love for meat into a a gift that combined 3 lbs of bacon from the West Side Market (regular, pepper, and applewood smoked) with this fabulous book by Cleveland's own Michael Ruhlman, which teaches you to smoke your own meats at home (and has some great recipes that use smoked meats as ingredients). If you're not in Cleveland, or don't have a farmers market nearby, you can also buy bacon online here.

If your recipient is vegetarian, you could easily replace meat with cheese, using this book and cheese from the West Side Market, or a selection of European cheeses from Dean and Deluca.

Doesn't that look delicious?!?!?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

...Let them eat cake

I was at Bazaar Bizzare this weekend, and had an opportunity to meet the fabulous Valerie Mayen (who was on a little show called Project Runway), who is absolutely adorable and a complete sweetheart in person! I thought she did a wonderful job representing Cleveland on PR, and she's just as friendly and gracious in person.

If you'd like to meet her in person, or check out her collection in person, she will be debuting her pop-up shop at Beachwood Place this upcoming weekend. On the 17th, Beachwood Place is hosting a special cocktail party, where you will have get a sneak peek at her collection, meet Valerie in person and sample delectable delights from A Cookie and a Cupcake and Lilly Handmade Chocolates (if you read this blog, you know I'm a huge fan of both).

On the 18th, her collection will be available for purchase. Her collection is also availble on etsy, and any of these pieces will make a really great gift for the fashionista/PR fanatic on your shopping list. Here are some of my favorite pieces, and I have to say, these pictures do not do them justice. They are so cute and fun and well constructed!!

Did you watch PR this season? What did you think of Valerie's performance? How do you feel about who won? (I would've loved to see Valerie win, but Mondo really presented some amazing stuff that got better as the season progressed!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Shopping should make you smile...

... and this one makes me giggle

Men's Superman boxers $9.99, Target

I was going to get N these as a stocking stuffer, but these are so silly, I just couldn't wait. They also come in Batman, Star Wars, Stewie from Family Guy, and a few others.... 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Plush tights: available locally

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been gone a while, but last week I developed a nasty cold, and pretty much my schedule turned to: work, sleep. The good news is that I kicked the cold, and I'm back!! If you're in Northeast Ohio, you've definitely gotten at least an inch or so of snow already, which makes this post timely, especially if you're a woman. I love wearing skirts and dresses with tights and boots in the winter, but around this time is when  I start to avoid tights, mainly because its miserably cold, and tights tend to be a little thin. Except for these ones:

Plush fleece-lined tights. Between $30-$35.
Available online and locally at B Lux Boutique and Evie Lou.

I can't even describe how much I luuuuuuuurrrrvveeee these tights. They're super cozy with the fleece lining, with the added benefit they are much more tear-resistant than other pairs. Extremely comfortable!! They come in the footed and footless versions, and I recommend you buy multiples. I bought mine in black and gray, and I'm certain I will snap up any more colors that become available. Since its the holiday season, I highly recommend picking up a pair for the women in your life, especially if they enjoy wearing skirts and dresses. It will be a much loved gift for sure!!!