Thursday, October 28, 2010

Of the month

So have you noticed, suddenly these "...of the month" clubs seem to have gotten popular again. Except this time, instead of CDs, its stuff like shoes and (gasp!) jewelry!!

I think there's a few different shoe clubs, but the one I've heard about most frequently is ShoeDazzle, endorsed by none other than Kim Kardashian (is there anything she doesn't endorse?) You take a style quiz, and then each month, you get sent a selection of 5 shoes/handbags/jewelry, and you pick one. Your credit card is then charged $39.95, and if you don't like it, you just return. Here's the caveat: if you choose NOT to buy something that particular month, you must "skip" the month before the 5th day of that month to ensure that you card isn't charged.

On the jewelry end, the one I learned about most recently is jewelmint, created by the team of Kate Bosworth and her stylist Cher. Like ShoeDazzle, you take a quiz and receive a pre-sorted selection, although the monthly subscription is a little less expensive at $29.99.

To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about these shopping clubs. For me, part of the fun of shopping is the hunt itself, and given that these are pre-selected for you, I think it takes away from that experience. That said, if you're too busy to shop, or if you just don't like shopping, these would probably be good alternatives for you. Now, on the other hand, if it were a wine of the month club, or a cheese of the month club (both being great gifts for winos and foodies), it would be a different story.

What do you think? Would you join or gift an "of the month" subscription (particularly if it wasn't food related)?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What a Crock!

I can honestly say that I NEVER thought I'd say this, but I absolutely LUUURRRVVEEE my crockpot. I don't use it nearly as much as I should, but I'm wierd about leaving things like that unattended (its irrational, I know, but I had a fire. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it). So, the only time I end up using it is on the weekend, typically on Sunday home games. Now, I know that this is not a cooking blog, but I made some BBQ pulled pork with coleslaw on Sunday, and I LUUUURRVVVEED it so much (as did N), that I have to share the recipes with you. Also, the Browns won, and so I'm thinking that it was the lucky meal that resulted in the win. Also, I don't have pictures, but it was yummy; just take my word for it.

Pulled Pork
2 lbs pork butt/ pork shoulder
1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce (16-18 oz; I like mine saucy. Use 12oz if you prefer yours less saucy)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 tablespoons dried thyme
2-3 gloves garlic (just smoosh these with the flat end of a knife)
4-5 small onions (just peel and cut in half)
ground black pepper
salt to taste (I actually didn't use any b/c since there was some in the BBQ sauce)
1 tablespoon oil

How to:
Turn crockpot to high. Put 1 tablespoon oil in bottom of the pot. Put in your pork. Toss in all the ingredients (except the salt; I recommend you add to taste when there's about an hour left). Cook on high for 5 hours.

At hour 4, I removed and discarded the onions, and tasted for salt. After 5 hours, I "pulled" the pork using two forks, and left it in the sauce with the crockpot turned to warm, until it was time to eat. I served these with toasted onion buns, cheddar cheese, and spicy slaw, recipe below.

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw
This recipe is taking from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. The man is a genius. If you can only buy one cookbook, this is it. Its like an encyclopedia of cooking, and covers all kinds of foods and cuisines, and also has a whole bunch of vegetarian recipes too. He also gives you lots of variations on the same basic recipe, which I lurve! This is my go-to book, and would be a great gift for a recent grad, someone who is new to cooking, a new homeowner who likes to get the idea.... There's also an iPhone app, if you'd rather go that route, but to be honest, the book is waaay easier to search than the app.

Anyway, a few disclaimers:
(i)  I halved the recipe, so what I'm giving you below is a half-recipe
(ii) I took a short-cut and used grocery store slaw mix (the shredded cabbage and carrot mix), but feel free to shred your own Napa or Savoy cabbage instead. Bittman also adds 1 large red/yellow pepper and fresh parsley, which I omited.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced (I used a pinch of garlic powder instead).
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh chili pepper(I used finger hot, but feel free to use jalapeno or serrano)
1/4 cup chopped scallion
3 cups shredded cabbage
fresh ground black pepper and salt, to taste

Make dressing by whisking together mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and chili pepper. I put mine in a clean pasta jar and shook it vigorously. Combine the cabbage with scallion, and toss with dressing.

I will be making this again for N's birthday, which coincidentally happens to be the same day as the Browns-Jets game. I can't wait!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Exploring Cleveland: Evie Lou

So this past weekend, I stopped by Tremont to visit a new store that I noticed a couple of weeks ago: Evie Lou. Located a couple of door down from A Cookie and A Cupcake (try the pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting; DELISH), Evie Lou just opened a couple of weeks ago.  Owner Kim Crow (name sounds familiar? She writes a column for the Plain Dealer) has picked a color palette heavy on the neutrals, which is perfectly on-trend for fall.

The offerings are mainly knits, and include a great selection of made-in-the-USA clothing (which has correspondingly higher prices), as well as some imports. I really LURVED the selection; lots of very comfy but very very cute hoodies, tunics, tops and jackets, at a variety of prices to suit many budgets. Here's some pictures:

So here's something I was not expecting: Evie Lou also carries plus sizes, and in the next month or so, will also start carrying a small selection of men's clothing. The men's collection will be mainly casual, and include hoodies and thermals. Kim is trying to get a sense of what Cleveland men are looking for, so if you're a man who's been complaining about the limited selection of men's casual clothing in Cleveland, please PLEASE visit the store, check out the selection, and offer some feeback.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This past Friday, N and I attended the Fifth Annual Muttsquerade, hosted by Secondhand Mutts. I know I've talked about them a few times on this blog, but I have a massive soft spot for homeless puppies, what can I say?

Secondhand Mutts was founded by Becca Riker, who is also the owner/founder of The Mutt Hutt (which just named one of Cleveland's Best by Cleveland Magazine), where Otto and Clair go play every week. Secondhand Mutts is operated out of The Mutt Hutt, and as a result, all the pups that are placed through the organization are temparement tested to get along with other dogs. They've placed hundreds of dogs since their inception, but sadly, the flow of dogs needing homes never stops.

Friday night's Muttsquerade is one of the fundraising events for Secondhand Mutts, and gives Mutt Hutt parents an opportunity to check out the facility, meet the staff, and see where and how the puppies play. It was a super crazy but crazy fun time!! We had a chance to meet some of the adoptable puppies, and they are the sweetest things (I spent some time with Lloyd, Hambone, and Philbert: super cute, super friendly and snuggly! I got lots of kisses). If you're in the market for a puppy, I hope you will consider adopting from Secondhand Mutts.

As one might expect, there were lots of dogs in costume, one of my favorites being the "medival knight". Obviously, I have video:

Hope you have a great week!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Now you all know by now that I LUUURRVEE shiny things. I especially love sequins. I found these, but so far, I'm really on the fence about them. I don't know, I can't tell if they're a bit much, even for me?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things are changing....

Look up. No, not up there. I mean up at the top of the webpage. Notice anything different? I have a new header!! And look right! That's a new logo. Although if you follow me on Twitter (@cleshopaholic), then you've seen it already. I also now have a page on Facebook, so please follow me there too.

After six months of blogging, I've realized that this is something I really really like to do (and I hope you like reading as much as I enjoy writing it), and so, in an attempt to make it official, my friend, fellow blogger, entrepreneur and founder of Pastore Studio, the talented Maria Pastore designed a logo for the blog. Maria then went one step further and designed the header too, and I have to say, I absolutely luuuuuuurrrrvveee both!!

Maria's doing a lot of design work with invitations and business cards, so if you're in the market for either, you should definitely give her a call. She's going to have an online store set up sometime soon (hopefully in time for the Holidays (no pressure, Maria)) so keep an eye out for that too! In the mean time, I hope you'll continue reading my blog. I have some fun things planned over the next few months, and of course, there will be loads of shopping tips just in time for the holidays!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I am certainly not the first person to try this, but I am so FRICKING excited about this, I just haaaaaaaavvveeee to tell you about it. I first read about Shellac manicures at All Laquered Up and decided that I just absolutely had to try it myself. So two weeks ago, clefoodgoddess decided to test it out at Revelations Salon and Spa in Lakewood.

Seriously, it lasted two whole weeks without chipping, and besides the fact that my actual nail has grown, you can't tell it was done two weeks ago. It doesn't damage your actual nail, and is super easy to remove!! The only negative is that there's not a whole lot of colors to choose from, but the ladies doing our manicure told us that Revelations will soon be receiving a competing nail system that will have over 50 colors! Of course, at $37, the shellac manicures are almost double the price of a regular manicure, but given that it lasts two weeks, I'd say its worth every penny!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Puppies in Costume

So this past Saturday, I took Otto and Clair to the Spooky Pooch Parade in Lakewood. N  absolutely REFUSES to let me put the puppies in costume, so we just watched the event, although Clair tried to get herself in the parade a few times! However, Otto and Clair's new friend Sadie was in costume, looking absolutely adorable (if not a little apprehensive)

If you would like to get Sadie's jockey costume for your pooch, you can find it here.

The puppies were so ridiculously cute, I just have to share video with you:

Are you dressing your pet up for Halloween? What is he/she going to be?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Best of" Friday night

If you read the plum's blog then you know that I was one of the lucky winners of her "Best of Cleveland" giveaway. The party was Friday night at the Rock Hall, and it was such a ridiculously fun night!! A big congratulations to the plum for winning best blog (two years in a ROW!!) and thank you for hosting the contest.  Here's some pictures from Friday night:

Allison, me and lzone. I was asked to stand in the middle on account of my bright dress.

AJP, me, the plum, lzone, allison

If you like my bright one-shoulder dress, you can get it here. I haven't shopped there in a loooong time, but I was more than happy to find my dress there!!!

N somehow convinced the car dealer to let him sit in the spyder

Good times!!!! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gone to lunch

In an attempt to be healthy, I usually take lunch to work. Sometimes I get really lazy about it, and can't get my act together enough to pack it either the night before, or even in the morning. Those are the days where I end up splurging on something unhealthy, that isn't even worth the calories.

Over the past two weeks though, I've been really good about taking my lunch to work. And I think it may have something to do with the fact that coincidentally enough, someone gifted me this:

$25 (regular price, although some pattersn are on sale) mini cooler, vera bradley

So here's what I like about this bag:
1. Seriously, how cute is this?! While I would probably never buy a printed handbag, a printed lunch bag is just PERFECT!
2. Its wide enough to hold gladware containers straight up. So no tipping over.
3. It can hold a bunch of cans of soda. Or beer. For when you're picnicing. Or whenever.
4. It has a little pouch in the front for utensils
5. Its insulated and washable (just wipe down) so you don't end up with stinky bags!
bonus: Environmentally friendly!!!! In that you don't have to use disposable bags.

So what do you typically do for lunch: go out? Grab stuff to-go? Brown bag?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday night bags

Every now and then, a fun Saturday night calls for a fun Saturday night bag! And sometimes sequins fit the bill. Now you could go the Kate Spade route ($275 at amazon)

But for something this trendy, I prefer to go a less expensive route.

Sequin clutch $27.93 (on sale!) at Express

Prezzo hobo $57, amazon

And here's the one I picked up this weekend:

Random sparkly hobo $12.99, Marshalls (the one in Fairview Park. There was one gold one left when I found mine on Saturday)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making it through the workday

My least favorite part of the weekend is Sunday night. After a fun weekend, its usually not as much fun to look forward to the workweek. Except if you have something to really look forward to on Monday. Sometimes Monday is fun because I've bought a new pair shoes or a new outfit, or a fun piece of jewelry over the weekend. But lately, I've actually been looking forward to the workweek; and I owe it all to an iPhone app.

I listen to music ALL DAY. And since I'm not allowed to stream it on my computer at work, I stream on my iPhone. Yes, I'm one of those "superusers" who are the reason that AT&T went to limited data access (good thing I still benefit from the old plan). One of my favorite new apps is iRadioUK ($0.99) which is basically a compilation of UK radio stations. I luuuuuurrrrveee British accents. Its the reason I watch Hugh Grant movies even though he's largely a crap actor. Anyway, one of my favorite stations is 95.8 Capital One Radio, which is basically Top 40 (essentially the same stuff as on our radio stations with some other stuff in there) with a British accent. SWOON!!!! So, if you like pop music (I'm not even ashamed to admit I like it) and British accents, you should definitely give it a listen. If it makes your workweek better, its definitely worth the $0.99.

So what gets you out of bed on a Monday morning (your alarm and dogs don't count : ))

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Exploring the neighborhood: Cosmic Collectibles

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to explore the vintage stores on Detroit Ave. One of those was Cosmic Collectibles. This store is so ridiculously cute, there are no words to accurately describe it. So, I have pictures.

It mainly sells home decor, but does carry a few pieces of jewelry. At least, it does right now. Their inventory turns really quickly, so you never really know what the store will have in stock. Look what I found there:

Its a little turntable and headphones!!! Its 100% brass, so hopefully it will patina over time. I wore this for the first time last week, and I absolutely LUUUUURRVVEEE it!! Its such a fantastic length, and would look great with so many outfits!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Flowers for me, Flowers for you

I love fresh flowers. They remind me of my grandparents. My grandfather used to always buy my grandma flowers (and I mean all the time. There was never a time without fresh flowers in the house), and so everytime I see fresh flowers in someone's home, it reminds me of my grandparents.

Thursday evening, I made a trip to Costco, mainly to pick up their giant tubs of hummus and their fabulous ravioli's. You know how they give out samples? Well, I don't know what it is, but everytime I take one, I feel the need to listen to their whole marketing pitch. Its almost like I feel rude just walking away. Is that wierd? Does anyone else do that?

In any case, while I was at Costco, I picked up these:

Aren't they pretty? Do you ever pick up flowers for yourself? What are your favorite kind?