Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CLE Shops: Happy Hour Collection

Do you like Happy Hour? That was a rhetorical question-- of course you do!! Located in the 5th Street Arcades, Happy Hour Collection is focussed on the modern bar so you can make your Happy Hours even happier. The store itself is adorable-- it has this great art deco vibe, and a mix of vintage and modern bar appointments to make your bar area (perhaps its a bar cart?) oh-so-Instagram-worthy. Ever wonder where you can get those gorgeous glasses with hints of gold? Or in desperate need (want) of a gold champagne chiller? You can find them at Happy Hour Collection.

The store carries a great selection of bitters and mixes, which would be great additions to your personal bar, and also make great gifts for the drink-lover (which, lets face it, is basically everyone I know.) They offer a few pre-made gift selections, but I always enjoy walking around and creating my own personalized gift selections for the people I love.

Happy Hour Collection will be hosting events in the very near future, so make sure you're following them on social media to stay up to date. I believe there's a bourbon tasting coming up in the fall!

Made-in-Ohio decanter and glasses

 I really wanted to buy these, but Nick *might* kill me if I bring more glasses into the house, so I had to show restraint and walk away. 

I bought a set of these mixers-- I will talk more about them in an upcoming post- stay tuned!

An example of a gift package. 

More merchandise. I mean, just LOOK at that gold cocktail shaker and flash. SO chic and insta-worthy. 

Unique cocktail shaker with matching glasses-- the prices on these vintage items are really reasonable!

Another glimpse at what the store has on offer. 

Go stop by and explore-- not only is the store adorable and fun, but your bar and happy hour guests will LUUUUURVE you for it! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Reads and Podcasts

Summer TV sucks. This is the time of year when Nick and I get sucked into Netflix marathons. This year I've been trying to read more and following my obsession with Serial earlier this year, I've also been trying to listen to more podcasts.

I just finished two books this week, one fun and one a little educational.

First up, Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht. Aliza is the voice behind DKNY PR GIRL-- an incredibly popular twitter account, with over 500,000 followers. Aliza's book is an advice book, told through her own experiences and what she's learned through them. The book is split into four parts-- the first two discuss career and the last two are focussed on personal branding. The book is a quick read, and while its interesting to learn how she got to where she is, the advice itself is probably best suited for someone who either hasn't started their career or is in their early stages. If you're in your 30s like I am, and/or have hit your stride in your career, you may or may not get a whole lot out of this.
In the VERY fun category, The Andy Cohen Diaries is a good old-fashioned diary chronicling a year in Andy Cohen's life. But Andy Cohen being Andy Cohen, its a really interesting life. Andy is BFF's with Sara Jessica Parker and Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa (among many others). He's also the boss of all the Real Housewives, and between the anecdotes from the set of Watch What Happens Live, and his adoption of his adorable pup Wacha, I'm convinced that he and I are destined to be best friends too. I really enjoyed this book-- it definitely lends itself to lazy days on a beach.

And finally, in the podcast category, I recently discovered Tom and Lorenzo's Pop Style Opinionfest. This is such a fun, gossipy podcast that really feels like you're just hanging out with friends. You might even laugh out loud. Lots of pop culture and judging. And as Andy Cohen says, when is watching (or in this case listening) and judging not fun?

So, if you're looking for some light reading or listening this summer, I hope I've given you some options you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


This past weekend, I stopped into COTTON in Lakewood to pick up a Father's Day gift. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I got my father-in-law and my dad the same gift, but since I haven't seen either of them yet, they haven't seen their gift, so I can't share it with you. That minor hiccup aside, what I CAN share with you is that COTTON is a really great store for gifts at all prices. They carry an assortment of gifts that range from under $20, well into the multiple hundreds.

The store itself is really nicely curated and styled-- I had a lovely time walking around, taking pictures, and picking up must-haves!

I'm not gonna lie, going to the store made me want to get on a boat, travel to an island for a lobster-bake and bonfire while curling up in a beautiful blanket. Doesn't that just sound like a lovely day?!

Monday, June 22, 2015

CLE Events: A Wonderful Solstice 2015

This past Saturday, I gathered with 6,000 of my closest friends to celebrate the Summer Solstice at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I really enjoyed the music this year, and candidly, this year was a tremendous improvement from last year. There were interesting art pieces to look at, there were plenty of bars (so minimal lines), and the people-watching was incredible as always.

My white dress (surprise surprise) is vintage from Whiskey Grade, which I talked about here

Aren't Dave & Jess so adorably coordinated?

See? I'm not the only one in the all-white-everything phase-- Tabitha wore all white, and Allison had on white and black. 

Another fabulous Solstice in the books! I'm looking forward to the next big CLE party, and of course, I will make sure I give you a heads up!

Friday, June 19, 2015

CLE Eats: The Agrarian Collective

I want to introduce you to my newest food obsessions: The Agrarian Collective strawberry jam and granola. I picked some up at the Cleveland Flea this past weekend, and to be honest, I've spent all week trying to find more vehicles to get more jam and granola in my belly.

Sheer perfection, any way you eat it.

If you missed the Flea this past weekend, don't worry. Come to the Sunday Market at Hingetown this Sunday, 6/21 to experience some yummy goodies and hunt for vintage treasures!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Solstice 2015: What to Wear?

This weekend marks Summer Solstice, and along with various yoga studios that celebrate with extraordinary amounts of sun salutations (108 to be exact), there are of course, solstice parties. This year, as in every year since I've been blogging,  I will be attending the sold-out Summer Solstice at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

This year, unlike other years, I do not have a "what to wear" dilemma. As I've mentioned, I'm in my "All White Everything" phase, and so surprise surprise, I will be wearing white. I have a few different options: one is a long white and cream vintage dress, the other is a lace mini, and the third is a printed white and blue and gold with a full skirt. With either of these outfits, I'm keeping the same accessories-- gold sandals, gold jewelry, and a pop of color with my bag.

My inspiration board:

Solstice inspiration

If you're looking for more Solstice inspiration, look here, here, or here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

CLE Events: Balance & Brews

A couple of weeks ago, I attended my very first Balance & Brews event as part of Engage! Cleveland's YP Week. Founded by Melissa Klimo-Major, Balance & Brews combines an hour-long, all-levels yoga class with beer! The events take place in local breweries, and include a brewery tour (if you are so inclined). The classes themselves are really fun-- the unusual location paired with Melissa's humor and playlist make for a fun, low-key experience.

Photo credit: Thanks to Balance and Brews' Facebook page for the two pictures on the top.

Balance & Brews is hosting its first ever yoga weekend retreat in Ohio later this month. I'm not quite ready to commit to a whole weekend yet, but its definitely something I would like to try in the near future. They also have a practice and a pint option, which is exactly what it sounds like. And on July 11th, they are hosting a Balance & Brews practice at Great Lakes Brewing Company, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Secondhand Mutts. If you recall, I used to serve on the Board of Directors for Secondhand Mutts, and they continue to hold a very special place in my heart, so naturally, I'm signed up to attend!

I love that fun, active events like these are becoming more common-place in Cleveland. I LUUUUURVE a good detox-retox experience! I'm still looking for an event that pairs yoga with a wine/champagne tasting--- maybe someone will create one soon? Or maybe I should partner with someone to create one?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Scenes from my Weekend

Whoever decided that weekends  should only last two days demonstrated a serious lack of sound judgement in coming up with this decision. Because weekends and awesome, and they should be longer, damn it! This weekend I managed to fit in a lot of relaxation (read: naps) with a lot of fun, so I feel ready to tackle the week ahead.

Friday, Nick and I attended a super fun event on the GOODTIME III-- it was a white party for AIA,  which fit in perfectly with my "All White Everything" theme this summer. My white seersucker dress (in the middle) is from the Gap, and BONUS, its on sale. Amazing views, perfect temps, and great friends made for a really fun evening. Post, cruise, Nick and I stopped in at Luxe for dinner. If you haven't been lately, its worth a visit-- they have a revamped menu, and the wings are AMAZING.

Saturday was a really nice detox ride at Harness, followed by some meandering and lunch at The Cleveland Flea with Allison. Post nap, Nick and I went to Humble Wine Bar for dinner-- seriously, this place has never failed me-- some rose, some pizza--- a lot of perfect summer evening. I also reached a decision this weekend-- I'm not a fuchsia nail kinda person (even though that's what color my nails are painted right now).

Sunday was a tough day-- it would have been Otto's 7th Birthday. We hung out with Clair and Webster and spoiled them silly with a special breakfast, trip to the pet store, and fun and the dog park. It was a good way to remember Otto and celebrate his life. And then I bought myself some peonies and rose. Because I deserve both. As I type this, I'm a nervous wreck watching the Cavs in Game 5--- by the end of this week, there will be a new NBA Champion, and I really hope its us!

This week is going to be packed with activities--- Cavs games, NKOTB + Nelly + TLC, an Indians game, all leading up to the sold-out Solstice Party at Cleveland Museum of Art! Stay tuned!!

PS: If you're impatient like me, follow along on Instagram for live updates of my week!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Primer Wars: Laura Mercier vs. Julep

I've fallen in love with primers. They act like a base, helping your makeup last longer, and usually also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to minimize pores. I've recently been testing two-- one that makes my skin dewy, and the other mattifying in an effort to determine which one I like better, and frankly, I'm torn.

This weekend I tested them both out, leaving the rest of my makeup unchanged, so you can see the difference.

On the left, is Julep's Blank Canvas Mattifying Face Primer. Sulphate and paraben-free, this primer goes on matte, as advertised. It left my face feeling very silky- my makeup went on smooth, and stayed on all night. (I also slept in it-- bad beauty habits (ack!!!)-- and it was still there in the morning.)

On the right, is Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer. I can't tell if this is sulphate-free, but the ingredients list proplyparaben and methylparaben, so its safe to say, it definitely includes parabens. While this one is also very silky, it definitely goes on looking a little dewy. In fact, it almost looks like its not completely absorbed, even though it is. As you can see, it leaves your skin with a glow-- my coworkers even commented on how my skin looked luminous.

Neither Julep nor Laura Mercier test their products on animals, nor do they contract third-parties to test on animals.

Overall, this is a tough call, simply because I like both the matte and dewy looks, depending on the day. I guess it depends not only on which look you prefer, and how much you care about parabens in your skin products. I'm not sure how I feel about parabens-- on one hand, I'm not sure if it is harmful, and on the other, I question if its worth the risk, especially if its easy to find products that exclude them. In the mean time, I will continue to use both, and try and look for a paraben-free dewy alternative!

Do you use primers, and if so, which ones are your favorites?

Monday, June 8, 2015

CLE Eats: Merwin's Wharf

Nick and I LUUUUURVE brunch, and we're always looking for new brunch spots to try. And this Sunday, we took our inaugural brunch visit to Merwin's Wharf. Owned by the Cleveland Metroparks, Merwin's Wharf is located right on the water in the west bank of the Flats. The restaurant's walls are garage doors, so on a beautiful sunny day, you feel like you're outside even when you're not.

Nick ordered the southwest bloody mary-- piled high with meats and cheese on a stick, this was a really good bloody mary. Not too fancy, but the right mix of salt and spice. I ordered a moscow mule--- I know, not a traditional choice, but I wanted something citrusy. For brunch, I ordered the standard breakfast--- I always judge brunch spots by how well they can execute eggs, and my over easy eggs were perfectly cooked. Nick ordered the biscuits and gravy, and they were absolutely delicious!

After brunch, we walked around with our drinks outside, taking in the view. I could see myself spending the whole day there-- you can even play outdoor jenga or corn hole if you feel like it, or lounge on patio furniture and watch the boats go by. Oh, did I mention that Merwin's Wharf is dog friendly on the patio?

Overall, a great experience, and one that I'm looking forward to experiencing again. Good food, great views, super friendly service-- what more can you possibly need on a Sunday Funday?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CLE Eats: BOMBA Tacos & Rum

In honor of Taco Tuesday (we ate homemade tacos), I think its only fitting that I review my experience at BOMBA Tacos & Rum. Since it opened earlier this year, I've heard a lot about BOMBA--- mainly how much people enjoyed their experience and that it was practically impossible to get a table on the weekend. So, this past weekend, Sara and I decided to explore it for ourselves.

BOMBA is located in what is effectively a strip mall in Rocky River, a fact that made me approach this experience with some degree of ambivalence. Being married to an architect will make you strip-mall averse. Ambivalence aside, I vowed to approach BOMBA with an open mind.

As expected, the wait for a table was over an hour. Lucky for us, Sara ran into someone she knew, who let us table-share and avoid the wait. We started off with a round of mango-cilantro margaritas-- absolutely delicious. Next up was queso fundido-- another solid choice. And for my taco course, I ordered the crispy avocado and charred kale and corn. While both tacos were fine, I have to say, they just do not compare to Barrio's tacos. Sara and I were both in the mood for one final course, and we decided to split the chocolate flan. Not gonna lie, this dessert was a DISASTER. It absolutely un-flan-like, and had the consistency of Play-Doh.

Overall, I would score BOMBA as average. Go for the margaritas, definitely avoid dessert.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Explore CLE: Taste Cleveland Food Tours

For Christmas last year, our dear friends Dave and Jessika gifted us a Cleveland Food Tour. Since we had been waiting for nice weather, they joined us a few weeks ago as we actually took the tour. Taste Cleveland Food Tours offer three standard tours: The West Side Market, Little Italy, and Tremont, however they offer custom tours as well. Each tour pairs local restaurants with a look at the history and architecture of the neighborhood.

I had heard about these tours in the past, but since we had never tried one before, we decided to stick with a standard tour of Tremont. Nick and I used to live in Tremont, and being an architect, Nick knew a lot about the history and architecture of Tremont, so we weren't exactly expecting to learn anything new, but in fact, WE DID! Our tour guide was very knowledgable and led us around parts of Tremont for 3.5 hours.

If I were to summarize the experience, its like a walking tour meets progressive dinner. We met the group at 4 pm in Lincoln Park, and from there, we stopped at 4 restaurants: Prosperity Social Club, Parallax, Ty Fun, and Lilly Handmade Chocolates, although the stops are subject to change with each tour. In between eating delicious food, we learned about how Tremont came to be, and some fun facts about the neighborhood as well as the restauranteurs. Alcohol was not included in the standard tour but was available for purchase, although you can do a custom tour that includes alcohol as well.

Overall, a very fun experience, and one that I highly recommend. This would also be a great gift for Father's Day, or in general a fun gift for someone who has everything. You can make your tour reservations here.

As I mentioned previously, it is a walking tour, so comfortable shoes are key. Unfortunately, I have plantar fasciitis, so walking for 3.5 hours in flats will absolutely destroy my feet. Lucky for me, I found this pair of flats that are not only cute, but offer the kind of arch support I need.
At $99 they are a little expensive for flats, but they are worth it considering I will wear them all summer with zero pain!

So there you have it-- a lot of food and a little fashion to get your week started off just right!
~ Shibani