Monday, June 27, 2011

The Fashions of Summer Solstice 2011

As you almost certainly know by now, Saturday was one of my FAVORITE parties of the year: The Summer Solstice Party at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I could do a recap, but really, just one word sums it up: FABULOUS!!! So instead, I've decided to show you some of the fashions of Solstice. Of course this isn't a comprehensive guide, just some of the people and outfits I saw and lurrrrved.

N rocking a Dortmunder and his new Dredgers Union tie.

I fell in love with this couple. They were so cute!! I can only hope that N and I look this fabulous when we reach that age!

N and DBB being "Thunder" and "Lightning"

Wes and Danielle (who is also wearing one of my favorite Dredgers dresses!)

Val in her FABULOUS and oh so sexy tights!

I loved the coral and stripes combo!

AJP is a vision in white with a supercute baby blue purse!

 Hallie and fiance!! I LOVE that dress and that hat!!

I know this picture is blurry, but I really like it, and the outfits too!

Sara in vintage

JV in print!! LOVE!!

So there you have it: a little taste of the fabulousness that was Solstice! If you missed it this year, you should definitely put it on your calendar for next year. BE FABULOUS!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Product Testing: Brazilian Blowout!

A couple of months ago, I bought a Groupon for a Brazilian Blowout at Studio 247 in Chagrin Falls. I had it done about two weeks ago, and OHMYGOD, why in the world did I wait so long?!?!?

The Brazilian Blowout is different from the Brazilian Keratin treatment (which I have not had, but I've done some research) in a few ways:
1. The Blowout only takes about 90 minutes from start to finish, vs. a reported 2.5-3 hours for the Keratin
2. With the Blowout, you can wash your hair as soon as 12 hours later, although they recommend that you wait as long as possible. The Keratin treatment requires 4 days of no hair-washing, no clips, no hair ties, etc.
3. The Blowout typically starts at $200-$250, while the Keratin has a higher starting price point of $300-$350. For both treatments, most salons will require that you receive a consultation before you get the treatment, which is when they give you your estimated cost.

Now, both products are designed to smooth your hair and decrease frizz, but if you have curly hair, it has the added benefit of making it easier to straighten. Since I have wavy hair, the Brazilian blowout made mine pretty darn straight, although I've been told (by people who've tried it), that the Keratin works better as a straightener than the Blowout if you have curly hair. Both fade out in about 3-4 months, and both require that you use sulphate-free shampoo and conditioners. Both treatments will last longer the less you wash your hair; so if you're an every-day-shampooer, it will not last as long as someone who shampoos only 2-3x a week.

Overall, my hair looks much healthier (even though I'm WAAAYYY overdue for a haircut), is much straighter (and therefore looks longer), has a much shorter drying and styling time, and best of all, its unaffected by humidity!!! I will ABSOLUTELY get this treatment again, and highly recommend it for all of you who have naturally curly/wavy hair, and fight it to straight submission every day!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Crazy for Prints (AND a giveaway)

Lately, I've found myself drawn to prints, especially when it comes to dresses and skirts. In the past month, I've purchased two print dresses and one print skirt, which is quite unusual for me considering I tend to stick to solids. Prints can be such a fun addition to one's wardrobe, although, if like me, you typically stick to solids, accessories are a great way to get started!

It just so happens that on June 23rd, Beachwood Place is celebrating the grand opening of Northeast Ohio's first Vera Bradley store, a place KNOWN for its fun and girlie prints. If you're not familiar with Vera Bradley, the company was founded by two friends in 1982. The Cleveland store will be one of only 43 Vera Bradley stores in the U.S. (yay! for Cleveland!! Another retail "get") and will carry the full line of Vera Bradley accessories, handbags and gift items.  Two of my favorite prints in the line are the Deco Daisy and Baroque, shown in the handbag and duffel below!

 Deco Daisy (the daisies are on the inside of the bag)

As with any of its grand openings, Beachwood and Vera Bradley are offering some opening specials. If you're so inclined, you can be one of the first people to visit the store from 5pm-8pm on the 23rd. For the grand opening on June 24th, shoppers will receive $20 off a future purchase when they spend over $75 or more through July 3rd! AND, in honor of the grand opening, Beachwood Place has been kind enough to host a giveaway on this blog!!!

Contest Rules:
1. You must be able to claim the $50 gift card (YAY!!) at Beachwood Place Guest Services by July 1st (you must show photo ID to redeem the gift card). 
2. You may follow @BeachwoodPlace and @cleshopaholic on Twitter for 1 entry (please leave a comment saying have done so).
3. Tweet the following message" only @cleshopaholic: I entered to win a $50 gift card to the Vera Bradley store opening @BeachwoodPlace 6/23 " You may tweet up to 3 times a day, and each tweet counts as an entry!
4. Visit Vera Bradley online and leave me a comment with your must-have item and must-have print for one additional entry.
5. Don't forget to leave me your contact info if I don't have it already

The contest will end at noon on Friday June 24th, so good luck!!! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shopping Local: Dredgers Union (its FINALLY HERE!!!)

If you follow me on twitter, then you know that I was SUPER EXCITED for the opening of Dredgers Union, which had its soft opening at 11:00 am this past Friday. Obviously, I was there by noon. WOW! What an incredibly beautiful space!! Sean and Danielle have done a fabulous job with the store: I WANTED EVERYTHING IN THERE!!! The store carries a little bit of everything: women's apparel, men's apparel (a nice sized selection), jewelry, accessories, home goods, girlie stuff like candles and soaps and diffusers, kitchen items, and even stuff for kids!!  Dredgers carries over 100 different labels, including their very own Dredgers Union label! Prices are set to meet every budget, ranging from $20-ish up to over $250. Seriously, I wish I describe this store in words, but I honestly wouldn't be able to do it justice, so I will just give you pictures!

Walking up to Dredgers (its on East 4th, sorta across the street from La Strada and Greenhouse Tavern)


A little bit of everything: something for the garden enthusiast is your life

Pretty little things: I fell in love with the smoky topaz rings on this table...

I fell in love with these little pendants too

Dredgers very own label: I lurve the style of this dress

Men's apparel (there's more in the back)

Men's accessories. Great gift items!!!

I luuuuurrrrvveee this couch!!! so so much!!!

More pretty little things. The hand lotions are really really moisturizing without being greasy!

I bought this!!! I thought it was a dress, but turns out its more like a tunic! I wore it Friday itself (no sense in waiting, really), styled with cuffed boyfriend-esque jeans (boyfriend with more structure), red heels, and a black belt. It would also make a fantastic swim suit cover-up!

More gift options for the domestic goddess and travel enthusiast. I just LUUURRVEEE how pink this table is!

A fantastic option for you Solstice attendees who haven't picked a dress yet!!!

So, if you can't tell, I LUUURRVEEE LUURRVEEEE LUUURRRRRRVVEE this store!! You really should visit, as soon as possible, but at the very least for the grand opening party on July 8th. Congratulations to Sean and Danielle! I hope its the start of a retail reneaissance in downtown Cleveland, and I'm so happy it starts with such a FABULOUS store!!! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Swap it out!

A couple of weeks ago, my fabulous friend Sara invited me to a clothing swap with some of our mutual friends. The premise was this: we were each to bring gently used items of clothing, jewelry, handbags, shoes, etc (stuff you could wear in the spring/summer) that we were no longer wearing for whatever reason, and then we would swap clothes with each other. Whatever remained would then be donated to a local women's shelter.

While I eagerly accepted the invite, I was skeptical about what I had to contribute: turns out I had quite a bit of stuff!! Blazers, handbags, shoes that were a size too big that I never wore and never returned, jeans, jewelry... the list went on and on. I hauled my stuff over to Sara's, where she had some incredible lavender lemonade, yummy munchies, and of course wine. After some socializing and catching up, the swap began.

Honestly, I can't remember the last time I had SO much fun shopping: it was great company, and I found some really really fun pieces: a pair of boyfriend jeans, a silk top, a bright orange top, a few belts, a really fun turquoise blue chain link necklace, and a couple of skirts! Over the past two weeks, I've managed to wear everything except one of the skirts: and the best part about it? All that shopping cost me ZERO DOLLARS!!!!

If you have fabulously stylish friends, or friends whose style you admire, I highly recommend you organize a swap party. It was so fun to shop someone else's closet: I ended up with new stuff (new to me anyway) that I may not have picked out myself, and even if I wear it only this season, it doesn't matter, because it was FREE!!! So thanks so much for inviting me, Sara, and I can't wait to do it again for fall/winter!!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Product Testing: Dust It

Back when I made my trip to Chi-town, my dear friend T introduced to me to a fabulous dry shampoo: dust it. Now I've used dry shampoo in the past, but its mainly been in the form of the foam, which takes out the shine and greasiness, but doesn't even come close to dry shampoo. Not only does dust it mattify and take away shine, but it also gives you incredible volume and hold when you dust it onto your roots. I usually dust some onto my bangs so that they don't get greasy, and then also when I work out at lunch.

All this may seem really mundane, but I really do have a point here: I've been talking about the Summer Solstice Party lately (can you tell I'm really excited about it?). I really want to try a fun, dramatic hairstyle that I wouldn't normally do: I'm thinking bouffant, just like they had on the runways this Spring, and I'm planning to use dust it to get the volume I need. I'm thinking something like this:

 What do you think? Too much???

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Art and Puppies: The Crocker Bark Festival

This weekend, I will be out at Crocker Park, supporting a cause very near to my heart: shelter dog adoption! Specifically, N and I will be chaperoning a pup each for Secondhand Mutts at the Crocker Bark Rescue and Adoption Event!

This is quite the unique event, pairing Art and Dog Rescue, and will feature over 130 artists and over 10 animal rescues!! The Art will feature jewelry, ceramics, photography, painting, leather and more, and the rescues will include G.R.I.N, Love a Stray, Fido's Companion, Rowdy to the Rescue, North Coast Greyhound Connection, Wiggle Butts Bully Rescue, Erie Shores, Cleveland APL, Friendship APL and of course, Secondhand Mutts!!!

The Secondhand Mutts booth will be located right in front of the Apple Store/DSW, so you always say hello to some pups, maybe even fall in LLLUUURRRVVEEE with one of them, buy some shoes, maybe an iPad... you know....  Anyway, the event runs from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday; N and I will be chaperoning our pups from 10:00am- noon on Saturday!! Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

G-Star: Now in CLE!!!

A couple of weeks ago, N and I were invited to the official launch of the VERY FIRST G-Star Q-Store concept in one of our very own FABULOUS, locally owned boutiques: Brigade. If you're familiar with Brigade, then you know that they've carried pieces from the G-Star line for many years now, but the Q-Store is something very different, and quite the unique opportunity for us CLE shoppers: its a dedicated store within a store, dedicated solely to G-Star, with fresh merchandise rolling in EVERY.DAY!!!!

 Now, I hadn't been to Brigade since its recent move to Beachwood Place, and WOW! I was not at all prepared for the new look- its ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!

Mingling... did I mention it was packed??? Needless to say, I didn't get any real shopping in, but don't worry, I'll be back very very soon!


OMG I LUUUUURRRVVVEEEE J Brand Jeans. Love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love. Have I mentioned I love them?

Fun shoe wall

And finally, the whole reason we were there: G Star!!!!

Even the check-out space is beautiful. Makes you feel better about handing over that credit card. I'm seriously in love with this light fixture...if only our house had high ceilings!!!!

So there you have it: another coup for our very own local entrepreneurs and CLE shoppers!!! I hope you will go check out Brigade and the G-Star Q-Store very very soon!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Playing hookie aka an afternoon well spent

Last Thursday, I took the afternoon off to go to the zoo and check out the elephant exhibit with my 1-year old nephew who was visiting for the week. N and I LUUUURRRVVVEEEE the zoo, and we end up visiting at least once a year, but it was definitely a different experience seeing it through the eyes of a curious, animal loving 1-year old!!

The elephant exhibit!!!

"A" really really REALLY wanted to get close to the animals, so.....

...Grandma took him on a camel ride!!! "A" really did love it, although you can't tell from this picture. Trust me, there was a lot of smiling and happy babbling. 

His gift from his shopaholic aunt!!! He picked it out all by himself!!

I highly recommend picking out a sunny weekday afternoon to play hookie from work to go visit the zoo. Even if you don't have a child, or niece or nephew, its so nice to get out of the office and go do something fun in the middle of the day for a change!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A weekend recap

OMG you guys, I am SO behind on blogging. Although I only have myself to blame: I've been having way too much fun in this amazing city!!!! I'm going to recap the last couple of weeks sorta piecemeal over the next few blog posts, but I'm going to start with a recap of this past weekend.

Friday night, AJP and I had a fun little date at the Indians Game! A few weeks ago, I'd applied for a spot at the Cleveland Indians Social Suite, and Friday happened to be my lucky day to be at the game. AJP and I started off the evening with a quick beer and some gossip catching up at Flannery's, and then headed up to the suite to watch the game. The game itself was a disappointment, BUT I did find a vendor that sells, among other things, fried cookie dough, funnel cake, and funnel cake fries. In case you're wondering, its sorta across the way from the Cleats. After much debate between the funnel cake and funnel cake fries, I panicked and just went with regular fries instead. DARN IT!!! Should've got funnel cake! Anyway, at the end of the game, AJP, my fellow Social Suite attendees and I were escorted DOWN TO THE FIELD to watch the fireworks from the visitors dugout.

My foot hovering over the field. I may/may not have touched it. 

AJP gets lucky

AJP somehow ended up with a ball from the game, and we enjoyed some fabulous fireworks, set to the music of today's very own tween stars. Sorry Biebs, I'm just not that into you (and cue the hate mail).

After a very busy Saturday morning which included some much needed shopping, Jess and I headed out to Chinato for some pre-concert dinner. Seriously, if you haven't been to this restaurant yet, I don't know what you're waiting for! The seafood misto appetizer and lemon polenta cake are TO.DIE.FOR! Post-dinner, we headed over to the House of Blues to see watch Grace Potter and the Nocturnals perform live.

She is so so so so SOOOOOOO good live! Incidentally, she has a new album coming out on June 8th, so you should definitely give it a listen. I LUUUUUURRRVVVEEEE HER!!

Sunday began with a yoga class, followed by watching N play softball, lots of napping, cuddle time with the pups, and my continued introduction to the fabulous world of Mad Men (we're on episode 4, season 1). All in all, a WONDERFUL CLE WEEKEND!!! And, I'm already gearing up for the next one!!!