Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Listening Now: Paradise Circus

I'm obsessed. With a TV show. Luther. I can't get enough. Made it through Season 1 in one day, and had to actually restrain myself from staying up entirely too late to finish Season 2. This is the theme song.

Like I said… OBSESSED.

Anyone else similarly obsessed with this show?!?!?!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Diary of a 3 Day Juice Cleanse

So, last week, the awesome people at Garden of Flavor sent me 3 days worth of their juice cleanse to test out. Now, I've done a 3-day juice cleanse before, so I kinda knew what I was getting myself into, but decided to post a 3 day diary so you can experience a 3-day cleanse too!

Day 1: Something is wrong with Otto. Its been happening for the past two days, and its getting worse. He's having a hard time standing up and walking up and down stairs. I haven't seen him this lethargic at any time other than (a) recovery from surgery or (b) the day after daycare at The Mutt Hutt. Yesterday I stress-ate a bag of hot Cheetos and a whole bar of cookies and creme chocolate. Whoops. Today I'm kinda glad I'm on this juice cleanse because at least I won't stress-eat!!!

Juice 1: 8 am. Goji Pineapple. Whoa ginger! This has a really nice kick to it!! Ginger is widely used in India for colds…hmmm, maybe these sniffles will go away?
Juice 2: 12 pm. Cucumber Fresh. Tastes like cucumber soup without the pulp. Hmmmm, maybe I should try and make this in my new Vitamix as a smoothie once this cleanse is done? Juice 2 is almost 2 hours later than it should be because I was at the vet (Otto likely has a strained muscle and/or arthritis- all fixable). But because its late, I'm STARVING!! I keep fantasizing about cheese….mmmmm a good, sharp cheddar…. Pro tip: make sure the lid is securely on the bottle before you shake. Not that I know from experience or anything…
Juice 3: 2 pm. Mean Green. Maybe my tastebuds are still active from the prior juice but I taste nothing. This is the mildest green juice I have ever tasted. Mostly I taste parsley? I am still hungry though…people keep posting pictures of spaghetti and meatballs… I have never wanted spaghetti and meatballs so bad in my life!!! I'm hoping this fills me up some more so I can stop fantasizing about food.
3:30 pm. 30 minutes until my next juice and I am OBSESSING about cheese. What?! Why is this happening?!
Juice 4: 4:30 pm. Twisted Roots.  I was dreading this juice. I hate beets. I really do. I've tried them baked, roasted, in a salad, in juice… they taste like mud. I was pleasantly surprised by this one! It is a beet, carrot and lemon juice, and honestly I tasted mostly carrot. It was actually quite good!
Juice 5: 7:00 pm. White Knight. This is the one I was most looking forward to- the cashew mylk. I LUUURVE cashew mylk and this one is good, although I wish it had more cinnamon in it. I put in some generous sprinkles of pumpkin spice, and it was delicious. And very, very filling. I'm so full I don't think I'm going to get to the 6th juice tonight. Which is totally fine, because then I will just have an extra for tomorrow!!!
Sidebar: I did have a bite of Nick's awesome Spaniard sub from Crust. It was delicious. And I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. 

Day 2: Stepped on the scale this morning. 150.8 lbs. Down 2 lbs since Monday!! WHOA!! Although, I have done these cleanses before and the last time, I lost 5 lbs, but put 2 of them back on as soon as I started eating solid food, so I'm cautiously optimistic
Juice 1: 8:30 am. Very distracted by work today, which is good. Maybe I will finally stop thinking about cheese?
9:00 am: someone brought in donuts. WHY? WHY? WHY? I'm just going to stay in my cube all day.
Juice 2: 10:00 am. Heading into a meeting with my juice. I feel a little weird toting these around, but I am not about to go into hangry mode!!
Juice 3: (subbed in the Lemon Pepp leftover from last night)1:00 pm. Uh-oh. I have the beginnings of a headache because I waited too long for Juice 3!
Juice 4: 4:00 pm. Work is consuming all my thoughts today. Plus side: I have not had any time to check instagram at lunch, so I'm not craving yumminess.  Down side: I really shouldn't wait 3 hours between drinks!!!
Juice 5 and 6: 7:00 pm. STARVING. RAGING HEADACHE. Chugged the Twisted Roots. Added cinnamon and cardamom to the White Knight and sipped it while Nick ate dinner. I cooked dinner for him tonight btw-- cajun chicken alfredo… it smelled really good.

Day 2 is always the hardest. Its when I start to question what the hell I was thinking when I signed up for 3 days of this. I haven't worked out in 3 days. And while I hate not having worked out, I'm kinda ok with it since I'm cleansing. At least I'm not putting junk food into my body!

Day 3: Weight 150.2 lbs. Not bad really.
Juice 1: 8:30 am. I'm really going to miss this juice. I'm feeling good. Exhausted (not cleanse related), but good.

Juice 2: 10:30 am. Drank this while I was at a meeting, so I don't really remember what it tasted like. I saw Arianna Huffington speak last night, and she was talking about being in the moment and focussing on what you are doing (rather than multi-tasking) and it totally applies here. I really need to stop eating lunch and dinner while I'm doing other things!

11:30 am. I really miss chewing. Really. Miss. It.

Juice 3: noon.  There are multiple boxes of pizza in the cube behind me and the delicious smell of melty cheesiness continues to waft ever so gently into my cube. CHEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSEE. FML.

3:00 pm. Green tea

4:00 pm: Juice 4 Am now fantasizing about pizza. And thanksgiving dinner. And pretty much food in general.

6:00 pm: Am on the phone with Nick and he suggests cheese pizza for dinner. Cleanse over. I only have SO much self control.

Overall, I really liked this cleanse, even though I quit early. I enjoyed the juices, even the beet juice, although I do wish the cashew milk had more cinnamon in it. Would I do it again? Sure!! But probably only for 2 days. In fact, I'm probably going to do it in January! Any one want to join me?

Disclosure: Garden of Flavor sent me 3 days worth of juice for me to try out. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. You can buy Garden of Flavor juices at these locations

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shopping Events Happening This Weekend

Happy Hump Day all!! If you're anything like me, you will have already started planning your weekend. And as with most weekends, there are some super fun events happening in Cleveland, although I'm going to focus on the ones that have to do with shopping!

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, The Cleveland Flea is hosting a series of events at the Slovenian National Home at 6417 St. Clair Ave. The Sneak Peek & Meet the Makers Party (where you get to shop pre-sale) is happening Friday. This is a ticketed event, and you can buy tickets here. Saturday and Sunday is your opportunity to buy gifts and yummy food stuff from 10:00 am- 6:00 pm! I've been to a number of Cleveland Flea events and they are SO MUCH FUN! The food is always delicious, so go hungry! And you can be sure that you will find some really unique stuff.

Also this Friday from 5-9 pm and Saturday from 11-5 pm, Beachcliff Market Square is hosting a pop-up shop for Stash Style, a super cute vintage traveling store! Owner Shannon always has adorable, unique stuff for sale, as you can see from her instagram pic below!

And last but certainly not least, Beachwood Place plays host to the 5th Annual Compassion from Fashion Event to benefit The Gathering Place and UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. Tickets are $25 presale and $30 at the door, and you can buy tickets and see more information here. Essentially, your ticket buys you a special bracelet which gets you exclusive discounts. I have been to this event a number of times, and you really do get your money's worth AND you're supporting two great causes! Some of the discounts include
- 40% off sweaters at Banana Republic
- 10% off at Brigade
- 25% off at Coach
- 15% off at Kate Spade New York
- 25% of Madewell with a purchase of $25 or more
- 20% off at Moochie & Co, just to name a few…

The last time I attended this event, I got most of my Christmas shopping done well in advance of Black Friday! It was GREAT!!

I hope you plan to be out and about this weekend, and maybe I will run into you (obviously not literally. That would be uncomfortable).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Listening Now: New by Lilly Allen

Today's tune is brand new from Lilly Allen, who is FINALLY releasing new music after a long hiatus!! Lilly is know for a little potty-mouth in her lyrics, and this brand new song is no exception-- a little bit cheeky, and lotta bit catchy! ENJOY!!!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekly Weigh In and a SUPER fun weekend

Moment of Truth:
11/11/13: 153 lbs
11/18/13: 152.8 lbs

I know, this is not very exciting, but considering HOW MANY times I ate out last week, I am VERY excited by this. This was my eating out schedule: Tuesday lunch, Tuesday dinner, Wednesday lunch, Thursday dinner, Friday lunch, Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, Sunday lunch. And while I made somewhat smart choices, I'm convinced that there is so much salt in restaurant food than the amount I put in my own cooking. How do I know this? My fingers would swell up like fat sausages!!! Hey, a loss is a loss, and while I strive for more, this week, I'll take it.

Friday night, Nick and I went to see Capital Cities and Fitz & The Tantrums at the House of Blues. What an awesome show. Fitz & The Tantrums were absolutely electric-- they had the crowd on their feet dancing and singing!!

In fact, the crowd was so into the show that it was really difficult to get any pictures-- this was the only one I managed to get- the rare quiet moment (ballad) in the show!

Saturday, Nick and I decided to head over to University Circle, and started off our afternoon with a stop at the Cleveland Museum of Art for some lunch. I have to be honest: I absolutely LURVE sitting in that atrium grabbing a bite to eat. It reminds me so much of being in Europe that its honestly a little escape from reality.

Beautiful even on a grey day. Nick staring into the mouth of a dragon. 

After lunch, we headed over to the Museum of Contemporary Art to check out ARTScape

I had originally planned to just buy Christmas presents, and while I did that, I also found a piece for me.  You'll have that :)

Saturday night was dinner at the newly opened outpost of Red, The Steakhouse in downtown Cleveland. The space was really nice: dark wood and red lacquered walls, an the food was INCREDIBLE!!

I ordered the tuna steak (top right), simply seared; it was SO SO SO good. Nick ordered the ribeye, and then we finished up with a gigantic creme brûlée (the crust was slightly thicker than normal, and really gave it a nice crunch and caramelized taste).

And now, you have a glimpse of why I only lost 0.2 lbs this week. LOL.

Either way, it was a great week. This week should be better; I'm only scheduled to eat out Monday dinner and Tuesday lunch…. for now.

Happy week all!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Tunes: Some throwback sounds

I have been battling some winter badness (cold, sore throat, etc), so I've pretty much spent the past two days sleeping! However, I have had an opportunity to listen to some brand new music with throwback sounds, that I absolutely LURVE LURVE LURVE. Seriously I have been blaring these two sounds on repeat all week!

Bastille: Of the Night

And Rizzle Kicks: Skip to the Good Bit

Seriously, how catchy are these songs?!?!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekly Weigh In and I'm Blending Like Crazy

Weight on 11/4/2013: 153 lbs
Weight on 11/11/2013: 153 lbs
Weight loss: 0!!!

UGH! I am really mad that I didn't lose ANY weight this week, but I can pinpoint the exact combination of things I did wrong:
1. I ate WAY too much artificial sugar, mainly in the form of dessert left over from the Divali party we hosted last weekend. This problem has since been fixed: I threw all the dessert in the trash. (If you're curious Divali/Diwali/Deepavali are all the same thing)
2. I didn't work out enough. I normally work out 5x a week, and this week I only did 4 workouts. Zumba, Strength Training, Barre, and a workout DVD. While not bad, I didn't work out at ALL this weekend, which certainly didn't help with..
3. Alcohol. This is my downfall. This Friday we were are at a going-away party, which ended up with late night Taco Bell (I know, I know…) and Saturday, we were at Matt's #GiveMe30 Birthday party. Champers and pudding shots. Tabitha is a pudding shot genius, and unfortunately, I had too many.

So, lessons learned.

On the plus side, I made a life-changing new purchase: a reconditioned Vitamix!! If you're not familiar with the Vitamix, where have you been? Its the absolute gold standard for blenders, and is seriously amazing. It blends everything so so smooth, and can even make soup!! Tonight I made a broccoli-cheddar soup for dinner, but adapted the recipe to make it lower calorie!

1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup 1% organic milk
1/2 cup sharp cheddar
1 head broccoli (from Fresh Fork)
1/4 leftover cauliflower
salt + pepper to taste
And ALL I had to do was blend it!! It made 3 huge cups of soup, so I have lunch for tomorrow too!! I also made a beet and apple smoothie this week, but I loathe beets (they taste like mud) so I just sucked it up and chugged it for the nutrients.

Anyway,  I am committed to doing better as far as food + exercise go this week. I need to lose these 3 lbs ASAP! I am missing out on some really awesome sales!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The name's Bond...James Bond (The Jump Back Ball 23 Kickoff Party)

Let's take a moment to admire these handsome men. Now, lets take a moment to think of February in Cleveland. What do these things have in common? The 23rd Annual Jump Back Ball!!! Ever since my first Jump Back Ball (the 20th), I have been completely obsessed with this event!! 21 and 22 did not disappoint either, and since I absolutely LUUUURVVEE the theme for 23, I'm sure it will exceed all expectations. If you haven't figured it out by now, the theme for the 23rd Jump Back Ball on February 22, 2014 is Shaken Not Stirred, an homage to the 23 Bond films that exist to date!!

So, if you want tickets to this incredible event, I highly suggest you make your way over to The Jump Back Ball Kickoff Party this Thursday! You may be going "oh, February is so far away! I can wait!", and I am here to tell you that you really shouldn't because
(a) last year the event sold out less than 30 days after the kickoff party, and
(b) the kickoff party offers the LOWEST prices for these highly coveted tickets. The tickets are $150 each, $115 if you are a Playhouse Square Partner. VIP tickets are $200, and the exclusive VIP tickets get you into the party early and also get you some fabulous food catered by Dante!

The details for the Kickoff event:
When: Thursday, November 7th, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Where: Cibero Privado (the private room at Cibero, at 1438 Euclid Avenue)

Hope I see you there!! Now, in the mean time, I'm going to check out some iconic Bond girls and figure out which one of them is going to inspire my outfit for Jump Back Ball 23!!

Disclosure: I am receiving one ticket to attend this event due to a partnership to promote this event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Listening Now: Panama

First thing first; I was supposed to check in with a weigh-in Friday, and then I decided that I wanted Monday to be my weigh-in days, partly so that I keep my weekend indulgences in check. Sadly, out internet went down last night, so blogging was not to be.

Either way, as of Monday morning (11/4/2014), I weighed 153 lbs; down 2 lbs, only 3 lbs to go before I can get a new outfit!!

Anyway, for the past week, I've been listening to music by this band named Panama, out of Australia.  Panama released a full-length album in 2012, but I discovered them because I heard their song Always on the radio, and instantly fell in LURVE!

Here is an interview that tells you a little bit more about them, and the Always EP is available for purchase on iTunes now!!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wardrobe Malfunction

Yesterday, was a normal day at work. I was in a Halloween-y outfit: black skinny pants, black top, orange sweater. Everything was good with the world. And then. It happened. I SPLIT MY PANTS!!! From the crotch, all the way down to the middle of my thighs. BOTH THIGHS!!!! DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!! I pulled my sweater down and took quick but short steps (lest I flash someone some inner thigh) to my desk, put on my knee-length jacket, stuck my laptop in my bag, and got the hell out of there to work the rest of the afternoon from home (with un-split pants).

As funny/disastrous as this was, it has served as a wake up call. Truth is, I have put on some weight. Actually, that's a lie. In the almost 10-years that N and I have been married, I've put on 30 lbs.
30 lbs!!!!!!!! And moved up many dress sizes. And to be honest, I am not comfortable. I love fashion, and while I've learned to camouflage, fashion is not as cute or fun when you're not the weight that you're supposed to be. So, this unpleasant pant-splitting incident has gotten me motivated: motivated to eat right and workout, and set a real goal, and put it out there in the world for you to see. So here's my goal: I want to be 130 lbs by our 10-year anniversary in July. That's a 25 lb loss. Totally achievable.

A few years ago, I saw a dietician when I was in India, and she put me on this great eating plan where I lost 10 lbs. But then I stopped being vigilant, and they creeped back on. So its time to go back on this plan. There's really nothing radical about the plan, its mainly portion control. I will tell you more about it as the weeks progress, but needless to say, I will be checking in with you every Friday to let you know how I'm doing, starting with this Friday.

You will probably see a lot of tweets relating to my workout activities, so if you ever want to join me, just let me know!! Oh and one more thing. I'm not allowing myself to buy any more clothes. Each 5 lb loss gets me a new outfit until I reach my goal, and that's pretty much all the clothes shopping I'm allowing myself.

So, for the sake of my love of fashion, this 130 lb goal weight is an absolute necessity!

Let's do this!!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Listening Now: October Playlist

Whoa, has it been a month since my last post? Where did all the time go? I will catch you up on some of the very fun things I've done in my time off, but for now, here is the October playlist:
1. Better Off- Haim (new album)
2. Heart Out- The 1975 (new album)
3. Hold Me- Tom Odell (he hasn't hit it quite big here yet, but his album is great)
4. All I Know- Matrix & Futurebound (great workout track)
5. Oceans - Coasts
6. Free- Graffiti6
7. Beneath Your Beautiful - Labrinth feat. Emilie Sande
8. Afterglow- Wilkinson (brand new album released yesterday!)
9. High Low Middle- My Brightest Diamond (a good reminder for life in general)
10. Glowing- Nikki Williams
11. Lost & Not Found - Chase & Status (LOVE them, new album)
12. Always - Panama (I am OBSESSED with this song)
13. Count on Me (feat Moko) - Chase & Status (this is a another great workout song)
14. Elevate - St. Lucia (they were an openers for Two Door Cinema Club earlier this month, so good)
15. Do What U Want - Lady Gaga (she's BACK in all her pop glory!)
16. Endless Summer - The Jezabels

And there you have it! 16 tracks that I'm listening to on repeat!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Baller Day (is this how the other side lives?)

Last Friday, Nick and I each took the day off work and got on an airplane to Chicago, to attend the wedding of our friends, Chris & Abby. We had a 7:30 am flight, and we landed in Chicago bright and early and took the L downtown to our hotel. While on the L, I was busy texting with friends, making plans for weekend brunch. Halfway through our ride, the following conversation occurred:

Nick: What time is the wedding tomorrow?
Me: Hang on let me check... I open up wedding website on my iPhone. CUE COLD SWEAT!!!!

Why, you might ask? Because we were in Chicago on the WRONG weekend!! *FACEPALM*

So there we were in Chicago; no hotel; no wedding. Thanks to some extremely efficient customer service from United, Nick and I were booked on the 5:30 pm flight back to Cleveland. But we had so much time to kill! So what did we do? We shopped, ate, and drank, and totally lived the baller lifestyle for the day!!

Lunch at Publican Quality Meats. The delicious Bloody Mary's come with a chaser of beer. The food was so so good! Reminded me a little of Market at Flying Fig

Drinks on the rooftop patio at Little Goat with the future newlyweds! 

Finishing up with the champagne of beers, because, why not?

Overall, a very unexpected day in Chicago, and all because of a silly mistake I made. Although to be honest, we had so much fun, that we may intentionally take a day-trip to a nearby city using our United miles next year! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Morning at the Western Reserve Historical Society

By the magic of twitter, this past weekend, Lisa and I found ourselves on a tour of The Western Reserve Historical Society(WRHS)! I am ashamed to admit that in almost 10 years of living in Cleveland, this was my first visit. I CANNOT BELIEVE ALL THE AWESOMENESS I HAVE BEEN MISSING!!

From the minute we walked in, my head was literally spinning trying to catch a glimpse of everything on display!

In the lobby of WRHS; GO TRIBE!!! 

Back in the days before I discovered the joys of jewelry, I used to LUUURVE cars. In fact, I was a little bit of a tomboy (shocking, I know!). WRHS has quite the extensive collection of vintage automobiles, and honestly, I wanted to climb inside very one!

Vintage cars are so much bigger than cars today, and yet they seem to be able to fit fewer people! Regardless, the details are breathtaking, and I almost wish that cars were designed with the same attention to detail and less plastic today! 

On the other end of the spectrum, WRHS also has an incredible collection of vintage dollhouses, and miniature displays that give you a sense of what it was like to live in the 1700s and 1800s! 

Can you imagine wearing white wigs and bonnets?

Of course the gardens are beautiful and a perfect location for a wedding, but if you decide to take your kids (or nieces or nephews), there's plenty for them to do too! There's an entire section called the KidZibits Family Education Center that allows kids to dress up and play with all sorts of toys. Even I got into the act, stirring up some fun!!

Lisa and I were primarily there to visit the Dior and More exhibit, and it certainly lived up to my expectations. WRHS has an extensive collection of designed apparel, originally worn by the high society women of Northeast Ohio, and this exhibit only scratches the surface of WRHS' entire collection.

Oh, what I wouldn't give to play dress up in WRHS' archives!! Look at all these fabulous outfits that represent so many decades!! My favorite looks came from the 20s and 60s. 

Did you know that the WRHS actually has two historical homes on its property? 

The Bingham Hanna house above has beautifully ornate ceilings and a MASSIVE fireplace (look at how little Lisa is compared to it!) 

The Hay-McKinney House below has beautifully ornate living rooms, dining rooms and a fully stocked kitchen! It totally reminded me of Downton Abbey! I could totally picture the Dowager Countess having afternoon tea with Cora while Mrs. Patmore and Daisy whip up some goodies down in the kitchen!

Did you also know that you can rent out all of the spaces shown in the two pictures above! I would LURVE to be invited to a fabulous cocktail party or dinner!!

So, if all of this WRHS talk has you wanting to visit, there are two FABULOUS fashion events that should consider attending. On October 4th and 5th, WRHS plays host to Dr. Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

Her talk on October 4th, titled Fetish: Fashion, Sex & Power explores how choices about fashion relate to sex and power. The talk will be followed by cocktails. I will be attending this event, and I absolutely CANNOT wait!! Tickets for this event are available here

On October 5th, Valerie will be changing gears a little to discuss Chanel and Her Rivals. While I am sadly missing this event, tickets are available here.

What an incredible event, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at such a gem of a location!! I cannot wait to go back!!!

Disclosure: I was offered 1 ticket to October 4th event in exchange for helping spread the word about these fabulous events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Seriously, you MUST go visit the Western Reserve Historical Society! I regret all the exhibits I've missed in my 9+ years of ignorance!!! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Clambake for a Cause

As you know, from time to time, I use my blog to advocate for an organization that is very near and dear to my heart, Secondhand Mutts. I have been a Board Member for Secondhand Mutts since 2011, but have been involved with the rescue as a volunteer essentially since we brought Otto home in 2008. Since that time, Secondhand Mutts has grown tremendously! What I am most proud of as Board Member is that Secondhand Mutts has never shied away from the difficult cases, the overlooked and unwanted dogs.  Ruby was one such story.

Ruby came to Secondhand Mutts blind from diabetes. Through our incredible foster network, we were able to find her a foster home while we assessed her medical issues. Once we found out that her vision-loss was reversible, we decided that we were absolutely going to do everything in our power to restore it! A few weeks ago, Ruby underwent eye surgery, and has now successfully regained vision. In even better news, her foster mom fell so in love that she decided to formally adopt Ruby. That said, Ruby must remain on a daily regimen of insulin and eye drops for the rest of her life. All told, Ruby's rescue cost over $3,500 and she is worth every. singly. penny. I mean, look at this face!

In any case, to defray some of the cost of Ruby's care, and to honor her restored eyesight, Secondhand Mutts is hosting a clambake on October 5th. A single ticket is $45 and includes a clam and chicken dinner, and unlimited beer, wine and soda. Couples can enjoy two tickets for $80! If you're not into clams and just want to drink, you can buy drink-only tickets for $20. To see all the ticket options, and to buy tickets, please go HERE. There will be no tickets sold on site, so these are presale only!

While this is not a dog-friendly event, Ruby will be making a guest appearance to say hello and give thank-you kisses. The clambake is being held at the Pavilion of the West Side Irish American Club which is a covered outdoor facility. So, dress appropriately!!

As a side note, one of my favorite things about clambakes is the opportunity to tap into my outdoor fall wardrobe: skinny jeans, boots, cozy sweater, maybe a puffy vest....

I hope you will attend. Nick and I will definitely be there to support the cause, and I would love to see you in person!! XO

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who will be moving at The Movement Factory?

DING DING DING DING!!! It is time for me to announce the winner for The Movement Factory giveaway! The giveaway is a 30-day unlimited pass worth $69.




#25, Brittany Jones!!! Congratulations Brittany!!! Please email me at cleshopaholic@gmail.com by Monday September 23rd and I will let you know how you can get your pass!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Listening Now: Matrix & Futurebound

I'm not entirely sure when I first discovered Matrix & Futurebound, but the first song I ever heard from them was Magnetic Eyes; a song that you will have listened to a lot if you've ever attended Jen's class at psycle.

Since then, I've also fallen in LURVE with two more singles


These are quickly becoming my go-to songs for my workouts!! What's your favorite workout song right now?

Monday, September 16, 2013

CLEshopaholic Eats: Stonetown and TownHall

What a beautiful weekend this was!! The weather was absolutely perfect, and Nick and I were lucky enough to spend a lot of it outdoors.

Clockwise from top left: The awesome sculpture garden at Edgewater, the awesome view of the city from Cove Ave, my relaxing afternoon, Otto exhausted after a vigorous game of soccer.

Saturday night, Nick and I decided to try out Stonetown in the 668 building. We are HUGE fans of their sister restaurant Jezebels Bayou (I recommend the blackened alligator and seafood etouffe), so we were very excited to see what Stonetown had to offer.  

The menu and my blackened catfish with caperberry sauce.

The good news: our food was delicious. The bad news: the service was SOOOOO slow. While the service was very pleasant and polite, I do wish that there was a little sense of urgency in getting us beverages.

Contrast that with TownHall, where we met up with the Harper's for some brunch, day drinking, and of course the Browns.  We took Otto and Clair up for brunch (yay for dog friendly locations!!), and were seated on the patio. As the game started, the manager noticed the boys straining to catch the score on TV, and promptly asked us if we wanted to move to the front patio where we could be outside with the dogs and still watch the game-- my idea of proactive customer service!! As much as I had initial misgivings about TownHall, I have to say that I really really enjoy it! Its probably not my scene on a Friday or Saturday night, but they have a really solid bar food menu, lots of beers on tap, yummy adult limeade, and great customer service!!

Puppy kisses on the patio

Nick and Wes watching the game. This was in the first half. They looked infinitely more annoyed as the game progressed.

Last but not least, I wanted to show you this awesome scarf that Nick got me as a "just because" gift from R/S Cleveland. It is possibly my most favorite scarf ever: perfect length, super super soft, and has a really fun city scene print!! Absolutely perfect for fall!! 

What's your favorite dog friendly eatery in Cleveland?

The 30-day unlimited pass to The Movement Factory giveaway ends tomorrow, so enter here

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Weekender

REMINDER: If you haven't entered the GIVEAWAY for The Movement Factory, you should definitely do so here!

I've been on a lot of short trips lately, both for work and pleasure. And while a roll-y bag is all well and good, I sometimes want something I can just throw over my shoulder. I recently purchased The Weekender Bag at Saturday, and I have to say, this is probably THE best designed weekend bag EVER!!

Why do I LURVE this bag?
1. It has a separate section on the bottom that fits 2-3 pairs of shoes! No more having to wrap your shoes separately
2. An outside pocket to stick your boarding pass/phone while you're in the airport
3. A removable interior pocket (I use it to store my mini flat iron)
4. Two interior drawstring pockets.
5. Shoulder strap in addition to handles
6. You can also design your very own Weekender if you're looking for a more unique look!!

The standard size bag (not the small one) fits a pair of pajamas, a set of gym clothes, a dress, a suit, toiletries, and there's still room to spare! I could comfortably fit in another outfit if I wanted to!

What do you use when you travel for a weekend trip? Do you have a bag you LURVE?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Movement Factory and a GIVEAWAY!!

If you've noticed my foursquare check-in's lately, you may have noticed that I've been doing a lot of Zumba lately. I tried Zumba over a year ago, and didn't like it. Turned out, it wasn't actually the workout that I didn't like, it was the instructor!! As with so many music-based workout, the instructor is really everything, and now that I've found the right one, I'm all aboard the booty-shaking train!!

So where have I been Zumba-ing? The Movement Factory! Based in Lakewood, I originally discovered The Movement Factory via a groupon that allowed me try out a number of classes for 30 days. My very first Zumba class with Bill, and I was hooked!! Now, if you're worried about your lack of coordination or rhythm, don't be!! While Zumba has some dance elements, it is more of an aerobic dance type workout. You may be a little lost in your first class, but you will definitely pick it up, and if you focus, you may even pick it up by the end of the first class!

Bill is in the red shorts in the top panel. His energy is absolutely contagious!! 

Besides Zumba, I also tried LaBlast, which is based on Dancing With The Stars. Its a slower pace than Zumba, so if you're intimated by trying a Zumba class, LaBlast may be a great place to start.

Since professing my LUUUURVVEEE for The Movement Factory, owner Alyssa was kind enough to sponsor a giveaway for my readers!! She is offering ONE LUCKY READER a 30-day unlimited class, valued at $69, which will give you access to all the following classes for 30 days!
- Co-Ed Yoga Stretch
- Pilates Mat
- Vinyasa Yoga
- LaBlast
- Masala Bhangra
- Ladies Booty Camp
- Dance Classes

In addition, The Movement Factory also offers Pilates Springboard and Barre classes, available for an additional fee. In more awesome news, The Movement Factory is expanding its space in October, and will have even MORE class offerings starting next month!!

So here's how you enter (you can do any or ALL of these):
1. Leave a comment letting me know which class you would like to try (1 entry)
2. Follow @TheMvmtFactory on twitter and leave me a comment letting me know you did so (1 entry)
3. Follow The Movement Factory on Facebook and leave me a comment letting me know you did so (1 entry)
4. Tweet "I want to win an unlimited pass to @TheMvmtFactory via @cleshopaholic http://goo.gl/kz39VI" and leave me a comment saying you did so (1 entry for each tweet, you can tweet this once a day!)
5. Update your Facebook Status with "I want to win an unlimited pass to The Movement Factory via cleshopaholic" and leave me a comment saying you did so (1 entry for each update, you can do this once a day). Please make sure you tag The Movement Factory in your update

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. 

Good luck!!

Disclosure: I received a 10% discount on my 10-class pass to The Movement Factory as a thank-you for spreading the word about this great gym. Needless to say, I am happy to do it, discount or not, because I LURVE the classes so much!! The Movement Factory has also provided the 30-day unlimited pass valued at $69 for this giveaway. 

Listening Now: The September Issue err Playlist

I cannot believe we're into September already!! WHERE DID THIS YEAR GO?!  The good news is that I've been busy and having a lot of fun, so I guess I really can't complain about time flying by...

In any case, here is the playlist for September!
1. Right Here (feat. Foxes) - Rudimental (This is a really enjoyable album by Rudimental. No Lie)
2. She Wants to Know - Half Moon Run
3. Fragile (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - Tech N9ne (Tech N9ne will be at the Agora 10/18)
4. Wasting My Young Years - London Grammar
5. Hearts Like Ours - The Naked and Famous
6. The Wire - Haim
7. Applause - Lady Gaga
8. Glowing - Nikki Williams
9. Daddy (feat. Naughty Boy) - Emeli Sande
10. No Way - The Naked and Famous
11. We Own The Night - The Wanted
12. Remain Nameless - Florence & the Machine
13. Tennis Court - Lorde
14. All I Know - Fenech Soler
15. Learn to Love Again - Lawson


Monday, September 9, 2013

Since I Last Saw You

... I've had a mixed weekend. Some really fun stuff, some relaxation, all good!

Friday, N and I made our way over to the Goodtime III for the Third Annual Roar Along The Shore. We've gone each year since its inception, and each year, it just gets bigger and bigger! The line up of bands was absolutely the best so far, and everyone seemed to be having a really fun time; a testament to Danielle's abilities as a kick-ass party planner!!

Saturday was really low key: Otto had surgery to remove a small tumor on his back. While he's going to be just fine, I was feeling exceptionally maternal so besides a morning walk with Clair, we stayed home and mostly cuddled the pups.

My favorite spot at Edgewater Park! 

Sunday, believe it or not, I did not partake in anything Cleveland Browns. And I can't say I was unhappy about it because I used the time to get ready for this week. 

This evening, Nick and I made the impromptu decision to take Otto and Clair to Puppypalooza. The Cleveland Indians started this summertime tradition a few years ago, and I absolutely LUUUURRVVEEE this event! It raises money for a great cause, and really, what can be better than catching a baseball game with your best friend right by your side?! It was like a mini boxer-party tonight; there were seriously boxers EVERYWHERE! Clair is probably going to end up on local TV because she walked right up to a camera man and stuck her muzzle RIGHT into this camera! 

A great start to the week so far, and its only going to get better!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

And All Good Things Come To An End

When it comes to jewelry, I have a few motto's:
Bigger is Better
More is More

That said, I can always appreciate the beauty of a delicate piece: of course there is the option to stack them, but sometimes a single piece of delicate jewelry can convey endless elegance.

The Atlas Pierced Bar Pendant in rose gold
P.S. Orchids don't smell like anything. I did not know that until I actually tried to sniff them.

Sipping on a margarita at Luxe while wearing Atlas Bar Bracelets in sterling silver and rose gold. 

A closer look at those Bar Bracelets. The rose gold version even has tiny diamonds in it!

And with that, as with all good things, my time with my Tiffany & Co. treasures has come to an end. 

A huge thank you to Tiffany & Co. and their PR representatives for allowing my this truly amazing opportunity. Also, a great big thank you to N and my dear friend Melissa for being my photographers. And last, but certainly not least, thank you to YOU, my readers, for joining me on this adventure. I had an absolute BLAST doing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it!

We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week!! 

Disclosure: Tiffany & Co. lent me a number of pieces from their 2013 Atlas Collection and asked me to blog about how I would incorporate these pieces in my daily wardrobe. I have received no other compensation other than the ability to wear these pieces for the allocated time period. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Celebrate EVERY Day with Tiffany & Co

I used to be the kind of person that used to save all my "treasures" for special occasions. Then earlier this year, I read a quote (and I wish I remembered who said it) that essentially advocated (and I'm paraphrasing here): Stop saving your beautiful things for special occasions because LIFE is a special occasion.

In the spirit of this very wise saying, here's me wearing my most FAVORITE Tiffany piece!! It is the Atlas Hinged Bangle in rose gold, and lets just say that if I owned this, I would wear it ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE!!

My dress is the Gemma wrap dress from Banana Republic, shoes from Nine West (discontinued but similar to this). And in keeping with high-lo, the chunky resin necklace is from Francesca's 

As you can see above, I stacked the Atlas bangle with a cuff bracelet from my personal collection. I'm also mixing metals with some rose, gold and silver!! 
Here's a closer look at my new obsession. Isn't she gorgeous?!

So what do you think of my new motto to Celebrate Every Day? Are you inspired to wear some of your "treasures" more frequently?

Disclosure: Tiffany & Co. lent me a number of pieces from their 2013 Atlas Collection and asked me to blog about how I would incorporate these pieces in my daily wardrobe. I have received no other compensation other than the ability to wear these pieces for the allocated time period. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tiffany & Co. at Work

While I work in a generally conservative field, I am lucky enough that my dress code is business casual on days that I'm not visiting clients. For me, business casual takes a few different forms: a dress + cardi/blazer, a skirt + knit top/blouse, or my new favorite, skinny pants + blouse/cardi. Between the J.Crew Minnie and the Gap Ultra Skinny, I have amassed quite the collection of black skinnies. 

When I'm looking to make my work wardrobe more "fun" I usually turn to the big 3: shoes, bags, jewelry. I think of them as a way to inject some personality into what might be an otherwise boring look. 

Gap Ultra Skinny Pants, Gap black tank, polka dot sweater from Marshalls, red Nine West peep-toes from years ago, but similar to these.

On days like this one, where my outfit may be veering a little toward casual, I like to dress things up with more sophisticated jewelry: diamonds or pearls are guaranteed to glamorize any outfit!!

Here I'm wearing the Tiffany Atlas Open Pendant with diamonds (note that this piece is bigger than the one I have linked to) and Atlas hoop earrings (note that the earrings I'm wearing are smaller than those in the link)

Here's a closer look at those earrings.... oooooh SHINY!!! 

While diamonds may not be realistic for every budget, I firmly believe that it is important to invest in a few classic, quality pieces. You can never go wrong with a pair of elegant pearl studs or a simple, understated necklace! What are your go-to pieces when you're trying to make an outfit more elegant or glamorous?

Disclosure: Tiffany & Co. lent me a number of pieces from their 2013 Atlas Collection and asked me to blog about how I would incorporate these pieces in my daily wardrobe. I have received no other compensation other than the ability to wear these pieces for the allocated time period. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wearing Tiffany To A County Fair

Each Labor Day Weekend, the Geauga County Fairgrounds host The Great Geauga County Fair. While a county fair is not typically my thing, we have a 3-year old nephew who really wanted to see barnyard animals, so off we went. I had two major concerns for the day: (1) What is the appropriate attire for a county fair, and (2) What sort of fried cheese would I want?

Knowing that it was going to be ridiculously hot and humid, and barnyard animals = barnyard animal poop, I decided to keep in casual and comfortable with shorts, a tee, ankle height boots, and of course, jewelry. While a county fair may not be the first place one might expect to see Tiffany jewelry, the beauty of the Tiffany silver jewelry pieces are that they are absolutely casual enough to wear anywhere, including The Great Geauga County Fair!!

The Tiffany Atlas bangle in medium and narrow

The bangles again, with the Atlas lariat in sterling silver

Tiffany would be perfect on a Harley too. 

A closer look at the bangles while I play tug with Clair

As far as the second question of the day: Fried swiss cheese on a stick was definitely the way to go!!

Disclosure: Tiffany & Co. lent me a number of pieces from their 2013 Atlas Collection and asked me to blog about how I would incorporate these pieces in my daily wardrobe. I have received no other compensation other than the ability to wear these pieces for the allocated time period. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Pinnacle of My Blogging Career


It is no secret that I'm a lover of sparkly things, particularly jewelry. So, you can only imagine my absolute JOY when I was contacted by representatives from Tiffany & Co. about a collaboration to celebrate the opening of their new store on Chagrin Boulevard

The collaboration is this: Tiffany has lent me pieces from their 2013 Atlas Collection to incorporate into my daily wardrobe. If you haven't seen it before, the Atlas Collection features classic Roman numerals, as shown below- 

So for this entire week, you will see posts of me wearing these incredible pieces of jewelry along with my normal wardrobe! CUE THE SQUEALING!!

Disclosure: Tiffany & Co. lent me a number of pieces from their 2013 Atlas Collection and asked me to blog about how I would incorporate these pieces in my daily wardrobe. I have received no other compensation other than the ability to wear these pieces for the allocated time period. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Labor Day Weekend

HAPPY FRIDAY!! And HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!! I am SO looking forward to this 3-day weekend, and although it marks the end of summer fun, I'm not too sad because there's tons of pre-fall and fall fun to be had in the weeks up ahead!!

That said, I am starting off my weekend with a dose of "Om".

Starting at 7 pm, The Rock Hall plays host to a Cleveland celebration in the form of a yoga party. The party is the brain-child of my favorite west side yoga studio Inner Bliss and Eton-Chagrin lululemon store. Best of all, the event is FREE! Additional details on the event are available here

Tonight the Rock Hall is going to be a sea of spandex and luon, and I for one, can't wait!!!