Sunday, December 9, 2012

Exploring the city: MOCA Cleveland

On Friday night, I finally made it to MOCA's new home with N, Danielle and Wes. I have to say, I'm very impressed with the space- the museum finally has a contemporary home, in keeping with its name!!

 The MOCA store; even the bathroom is cool

In general, I LURVE contemporary art museums, and most of all, I LUUURRRVVVEEEE contemporary art museum stores, and MOCA Cleveland's store is no exception. So if you're having a hard time finding a gift for that difficult-to-buy-for person in your life, I highly recommend visiting the museum store. N and I picked up and awesome set of candlesticks for our home, and I can't wait to get the right tapers for their inaugural use Christmas Day!!

Of course, we took some time to visit the art, here are pics of my two favorites!

Don't forget, a membership to MOCA is always a GREAT gift for the design enthusiast in your life too!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Holiday Spirit (or lack thereof)

If you're having a hard time getting it together to decorate this Christmas, might I suggest you visit Flower Child on Clifton Blvd? If you've never been, Flower Child is a vintage store, carrying an eclectic mix of clothing, home goods, jewelry and accessories from decades past. Tina and I stopped over this past weekend, and we had an absolute blast walking around. A word of warning- this is vintage retail, not vintage thrift, so you should expect an appropriately different price tag too!

I absolutely LLLUUUURRVVEEE how over-the-top Christmas this store is right now!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Listening Now: Timeflies

Earlier this week (yesterday), I tweeted about a new group (duo, technically) I discovered, called Timeflies. Now, this duo has been around for a while, playing on the college scene, but sadly, I haven't been in the college scene, for ummm, quite some time...
Things I've learned about this duo over the past day
1. The are originally from Boston.
2. They do something called Timeflies Tuesdays, where they release a remix every Tuesday on YouTube.
3. They are really cute.
4. They have a recently released EP that is really worth downloading.

They remind me a little of LFO (of Summer Girls fame)-- totally pop, and totally enjoyable!! Here is one of my favorites from the new album- One Night. ENJOY!!!!


This weekend, my dear friend Tina came in to town for a visit. Tina has been to Cleveland a few times before, so we didn't do the typical West Side Market tour. Instead our weekend consisted of this:

FRIDAY: T didn't get in until after 9, so we hung out, opened a bottle of wine, snacked on cheese and caught up on each others lives.

SATURDAY: After a quick walk with the dogs, we headed out to Li-Wah for dim sum. I've talked about this many times but you definitely have to try dim sum at Li-Wah one weekend.  So long as you eat pork and shrimp and have a sense of culinary adventure, you will be just fine. They also have an a la carte menu for dim sum (rather than just the carts) and the baked BBQ pork buns are soooooo good. Next we headed out for a little shopping: we started with the Bazaar at The Tower Press Builing and then headed over to Tremont for a little gallery hopping, including of course the Hot Toddy Party at Banyan Tree!! I got some Christmas shopping done and even got to keep a super cute souvenir mug!!!

Shopping was followed by a little relaxation at home, including some bubbles. Dinner was at Black Pig (the bahn mi is TDF!!) followed by a stop at Old Angle for the Big 12 football game. This is where the real fun began. We were joined by Allison and then headed over to Market Garden where we were joined by even more friends: Ahmed, Joe G, Seanski and Matt, Lisa and Suzanne!!

SUNDAY: We were moving pretty slow Sunday on account of our Christmas Ale induced hangover, but we rallied for brunch at Luxe. I LUUUUUURRRVVEEE Luxe brunch- half price Bloody's and Mimosas until 1pm, and super yummy brunch offerings, many of which currently feature pork belly. Mmm mmmm mmmm!!! T had to leave early afternoon and then it was time for my usual boring Sunday chores.

Big thanks to all my CLE friends for showing T how fun and fabulous our city truly is! I'm hoping she is considering making Cleveland a permanent home!! (Fingers crossed!!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Listening Now: ZZ Ward

As much as I would LURVE to keep the Thanksgiving theme going with this post, I don't believe there is such a thing as a Thanksgiving song. That said, if there is one, please let me know...

A few weeks ago I downloaded an album by a fabulous new artist named ZZ Ward. I really knew nothing about her when I sampled a few of her songs, but it literally took just two samples for me to buy the whole album. ZZ's sound is a little bluesy like Amy Winehouse, and her voice sounds a little like Shakira. I am so bummed that I missed the opportunity to see her live- she was at the Cambridge Room at the House of Blues earlier this month, but sadly, I had too much going on at work to make it out. Although, I'm pretty sure that she will be back, and it will be at a larger venue, and I'm definitely not missing her the second time around!!!!

So without much further ado- Put the Gun Down. Enjoy!!


Monday, November 19, 2012

A little touch of the Holidays

I know its a little early for Christmas decorations, but over the weekend I was greeted by an absolutely intoxicating smell as I walked into Heinen's, and I was powerless to resist...

Winterberries + cinnamon scented pine cones for under $20 total. Yup. They're up. And I'm not even ashamed. Because my kitchen smells AMAZING!!!! Also, I've been told the winter berries will last all season, so really, if you think about it, its less expensive than fresh flowers!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Thanksgiving Cocktail

I LLLUUUURRRVVEEEE Thanksgiving. Its my most favorite holiday of the year!! We always do Thanksgiving with N's family, and about a year or so after we were married, we started a new tradition of always bringing mac n cheese to Thanksgiving dinner. We've tried many different recipes over the years, including carbonara, but this year, we're going back to basics with The Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese recipe.

Over the summer I pinned a recipe for an Autumn Sangria and on Saturday, I decided to take it to our neighborhood party.

However, I'm practically incapable of following a recipe exactly, so I modified it as follows:
1 bottle red wine (I used a tempranillo)
3 cups cider
3 apples cut in small pieces
1/4 c craisins
1/8th tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (which is what I did) or ideally overnight.

And here's what my final product looked like:

It was DELICIOUS!! Lets just say it didn't last very long, and there was definitely none left over!! I am definitely taking this over to N's parents on Thanksgiving day for pre-turkey cocktail hour(s)!!!

Do you make a special Thanksgiving cocktail? Please share recipes!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Its time to get your tickets and Jump Back!

For long time readers of this blog, its no secret that I absolutely LUUUUURRVVEE Jump Back Ball. I honestly think it is THE best event in Cleveland. For newer readers, you can find out more about my JBB thoughts here, here, here and here, just to name a few.  2013 will mark the third consecutive year of attendance for N and I, and I CANNOT WAIT! Ever since the board game theme of "Jump Back 2 Spaces" was leaked on twitter earlier this year, I've been thinking outfits!!

I can't wait to see outfits inspired by some of these themes!

Well, TODAY marks the official kick-off for Jump Back Ball 22, with a happy hour at Market Garden from 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm. Its also your FIRST opportunity to score tickets to the event, AT A DISCOUNT! For tonight ONLY, tickets will be $135 ($110 for Playhouse Square Partners). Tomorrow, the ticket prices jump by $20 plus handling fees. I can tell you that this event has sold out for at least the past two years, so if you would like to go, please make sure you get your tickets EARLY!

If you're looking for more information, visit the Playhouse Square website.

And with that, Ladies & Gentlemen, I'M BACK to blogging since my post-Labor Day hiatus!!!! I've missed you!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Recap AND Tuesday Tunes!

Don't you just LUUUURRVEEE three-day weekends??? I hope you had a lovely weekend- I most certainly did!

Friday night, N and I decided to check out Barrio in Tremont for a low-key evening. We unexpectedly ran in to Wes and Danielle which made the evening just that much better. Lively conversation, margarita pitchers and tacos followed... A couple of comments about Barrio- it still looks a lot like 806, and I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that. I ordered two tacos, and the first one was really good. The second one wasn't that appetizing, but that was totally my fault for putting together a bad combination. Like Happy Dog, I think they should offer some suggestions for those that are either stuck or just apt to go overboard with choices : )

Saturday, N and I took the pups to the beach- they had an absolute blast!!! Its so odd- they can swim, but they haven't figured out that they can! Clair tried to drink most of Lake Erie, and Otto was happy as a clam chasing his squeaky ball in the surf. After that, it was time for some pampering- JV and I have started this little tradition where we meet up about once a month for manis/pedis and catch-up convos-- I absolutely LURVE our little dates!!

Saturday night was time for Danielle's bachelorette party! We started off in the back room at Market Avenue Wine Bar where Beth turned the lovely space into one that was absolutely delightful!!

The back room-- flowers and candles everywhere. I can't wait to go here in the winter-- snow falling outside, a lovely glass of red... perfection!!

You might have been fooled into thinking it was all classy...umm not entirely....

The bachelorette!!!!

Sunday (post recovery) was time for our annual neighborhood Labor Day party. I'm so grateful that I live in a neighborhood where there are a LOT of really skilled home cooks! We feasted on authentic jerk chicken, cuban pork, black beans and rice, red beans.... mmm mmm mmm!!

Monday was time to burn off all the calories I consumed on Sunday, and what better way to do that than a double header at psycle and inner bliss? That was followed by some house cleaning to prepare for dinner with Wes and Danielle (we saw a lot of them this weekend ; ) ) -- I followed an amazing Nigella recipe for sliced steak, served with sundried tomato and goat cheese mac-n-cheese, caesar salad,  sautéed mushrooms, and garlic parmesan wax beans! If you're every looking to dazzle at a dinner party, Nigella's recipes are THE.WAY.TO.GO!!

I woke up extra happy today because the new album by Two Door Cinema Club (Beacon) was released today!!!! Two songs in, and I was pretty sure I was going to LUUUURVVEEE the whole album, and I most certainly wasn't wrong. If you're looking for some new music, I highly recommend giving this album a listen!!!

Whew, that was a lot to catch up on after my absence last week. I may be a little sporadic with my posts for the rest of this month- lots of travel for work!

Monday, August 20, 2012

And the winner of the Madewell contest is...

Unfortunately I have a busted modem and am sans Internet at home. Boooooo!!

From the number of entries, it appears that you are as excited about Madewell as I am!! Thank you all so much for entering!!
That said, the winner of a $100 gift certificate as chosen by is.....


Alicia please email me at and I will send you instructions on how to get your gift card!!  Happy shopping!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Listening Now: Paloma Faith

If you haven't entered the $100 Madewell contest, you should definitely do that here. Remember that you can tweet and post on facebook every day for additional entries. Don't forget to leave your email so I can get a hold of you!! 

If you flipped through the August issue of any of the major fashion magazines, chances are you saw her looking back at you

Who is she, you might ask... Well, she is Paloma Faith, British singer-songwriter who was compared to Adele in one of these magazines. I think the Adele comparison is taking it a bit too far- I don't think she has quite the voice of Adele or Florence Welch or Amy Winehouse but she is very enjoyable nonetheless: I would compare her more to Duffy (remember her of 'Mercy' fame?).

Her album is due in the U.S. sometime later this year, but it is available as an import via amazon. One of my FAVORITE songs off her new album is called Picking Up the Pieces, and is also available for download.  ENJOY!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Madewell and an AWESOME giveaway!!!

If you're a fan of J. Crew, then perhaps you've heard of its sister brand, Madewell. Madewell has a more casual look than J. Crew, and while it does many things well, it is probably best know for its denim. Lucky for  us Clevelanders, the Madewell stores opened at Beachwood Place on August 1st, and I stopped by a few days after the grand opening in the name of, umm, research (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

The store is on the second floor, sorta close to J. Crew. I can't remember what store used to be there, but I think it used to be Metropark.

I walked in the store and immediately spotted at least 10 things that I wanted. Top on the list are the black boots pictured in the window above. They retail for about $300 and are the most sumptuous leather I have ever felt in a boot. They're made it Italy, naturally...

I also fell totally in love with a couple of necklaces, a few adorable scarves, and a silver sparkly cardi.

I walked through the store taking mental notes of all the things I was going to add to my Amazon wishlist (which, btw, you can use for things not sold on Amazon as well- highly recommend you use it and keep it updated for anyone looking to gift you something LOL), and yet resisted buying anything (I was trying to be disciplined). This worked pretty well, until I brushed my hand across a pair of jeans. One touch of the blue, soft, rail-straight fabric and my resolve FELL TO PIECES!!! I'm only human, and those jeans were just waaaaayyyy to much temptation. AND, with a price point of $98.50, they were just too good a deal to pass up!!!

Madewell:1; My resolve: 0

Here comes my favorite part of this post-- Not wanting to leave my readers out of the experience of these jeans (which I have worn almost every day over the past week), thanks to Madewell, I'm giving away a $100 giftcard to Madewell, to use on whatever you like at the store!!!!

Here's how you enter (each gets you 1 entry):
1. Leave me a comment letting me know of your one must-have item for fall
2. Tweet about the contest and link back to this post (please make sure you mention me @cleshopaholic in the post)-- you can do this once a day for more entries
3. Post a link to this post on your facebook page (and please leave me a comment saying you did so)-- you can do this once a day for more entries as well

Contest ends at 9:00 pm on Sunday August 19th, with a random winner picked and announced August 20th.

Madewell is also hosting an in-store event on Thursday August 16th, featuring a Madewell stylist to help you pick your outfit!! AND, if you bring in a pair of gently worn jeans for donation, you will receive 20% off a new pair of jeans!!!! But wait, there's more: starting at 6 pm, if you're one of the first 100 guests to stop by guest services at Beachwood Place, you will receive a $10 giftcard to Madewell.

You know where I'll be (donating my old jeans) on the 16th, I hope I see you there too!!! Good luck to all who enter!!!

Disclosure: Madewell is providing the $100 gift card for the giveaway. All other opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own!! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Listening Now: The August playlist

No need to send out a search party!! I'm still here; just been busy with both work and my social life, neither of which are reasons to complain! I will post about some of what I've been up to over the next week, but I wanted to share my August playlist with you today! I have been listening to this playlist multiple times a day over the past week, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!
(As usual, its song name- artist)

1. The King and All of His Men- Wolfgang. I fell in love with this song the very first time I listened to it.

2. Satellite- The Wanted. My love for the Wanted is well documented.

3. Runaways- The Killers. This is new by the Killers, and makes me very excited for their new album. I've seen them twice in concert; Brandon Flowers was very shy with the audience both times.

4. Settle Down- No Doubt. Can't wait for this album!!! Gwen is AMAZING and they are SO FUN live!!!!

5. Promises- Nero.  Had this in my library for a long time; not sure why I waited so long to put it into a playlist!

6. What Girls Are Made Of- Garbage. LOVE LOVE LOVE Shirley Manson. This is from their new album.

7. Sleep Alone- Two Door Cinema Club. I've said this many many times, and I will say it again- if you have an opportunity to see them live, DON'T MISS IT!! This is from their upcoming album, due September!

8. Back to Back- Wolfgang (again).

9. Warrior- Kimbra.  I like this song, with its slight 80s vibe

10. All About Tonight- Pixie Lott. Ok, I love that her name is Pixie. File this under my shameless love for Brit-pop

11. Like a Prayer- Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. Allison and I are going to see her live in December (House of Blues CLE), and I CANNOT WAIT. She was so so SO good last year!!!

12. Sunday Drive- Ladyhawke. I really enjoy this band. Their album was available for $5 on Amazon a few weeks ago, so you may want to check to see if the deal is still available.

13. Sexual Healing- Maxamillion. So, I first heard this version of the song over 10 years ago- I was visiting my grandparents in London, and this was used in a car commercial. As you can tell, I absolutely fell in love with it!!

14. Call my name- Cheryl Cole. This is the Cheryl Cole who had a brief (blink and you missed it) appearance on the US X Factor. She was using that series as a launching pad for her US debut, but that isn't happening any time soon. Its a shame-- more shameless Brit-pop love.

15. Let the Sun Shine- Labrinth. I searched high and low for this album and had to order it used on Amazon. I first heard this song in the middle of winter 2010/2011, and it made me happy on those VERY grey days.

16. Spectrum (Say my name) - Florence + the Machine, feat Calvin Harris. OMG. I cannot even begin to tell you how AWESOME she was live at Nautica. This mix with Calvin Harris is just.too.much.

As you can see, a long playlist, but well worth the downloads!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eating in Cle: A review of Charkha

Congratulations Fizzgig, you have won a pair of tickets to CLE Wine Fest this weekend!! Please email me at, with your full name, date of birth, email address, and preferred date of attendance (July 27th or 28th). Don't forget to take ID to the event!!

I was craving Indian food yesterday, so N and I headed over to Charkha on W 9th to give it a shot. Now, I will preface this post by saying that I have VERY high standards when it comes to Indian food. Having grown up eating Indian food at some of the finest Indian restaurants in Mumbai, its completely natural. Most Indian restaurants in Cleveland do not meet these standards, so its all a relative scale.

So far, my top 3 Indian restaurants (and please keep in mind this is personal preference) in Cleveland are:
1. India Garden (Love their Chicken Biryani and naan and their ambiance)
2. India Delight (Chicken Biryani is a close 2nd to India Garden, and their tikka's are pretty good too, but the ambiance is umm, very basic)
3. Cafe Tandoor (I've only been to the East Side location, and while the food is fine, I think the other two are better)

I have NOT yet tried Jaipur Junction, and I've heard that its supposed to be very very good. That's next on my list of places to try.

Anyway, the point of visiting Charkha was to see if it would change the top 3 as it stands right now.  N and I checked out menu and were very excited by two things in particular- the house recommended thali, and the dinner for two. Thali literally means plate, and in an Indian restaurant, a thali includes a sampling of the best dishes of the restaurant, a sorta tasting menu, but all on one, very large plate. The samplings come in individual little bowls, and you typically end up trying somewhere between 6-10 different items.

Unfortunately, the Thali and Charkha didn't include as many items as we wanted to try, so we decided on the Non-vegetarian Dinner for Two.

But first, beverages---

Indian beer

Mango Lassi

The dinner for two came with appetizers: chicken tikka, tandoori chicken and seekh kebabs. The tandoori chicken was not the best I've had, and the presentation was a little odd; typically, kebabs are served with thinly sliced red onions (sometimes these are small pickled bulbs) and limes. This was served with sliced white onions and green peppers.  The portion size was appropriate, but I wish they had brought out the naan with this course instead of with the entree course.

So this was our entree. I REALLY like the presentation in the copper containers. As you can see, it was quite a bit of food; a lamb curry, chicken makhani (translation= butter chicken) and paneer with peas.

I really really liked the lamb curry (middle). The chicken makhani was a little too strong on the tomato flavor (its usually less tomato-y in Mumbai) and the paneer was average.

There was also a dessert course, but N and I were so full that we skipped it completely.

Here was the odd part- typically when you eat at an Indian restaurant, at the end of the meal you are presented with a bowl filled with warm water and lemon, and maybe even rose petals. You're supposed to rinse your fingers in the water and rub the lemon to get any grease and curry smells off your fingers. I don't know if they were thrown off because we didn't do the dessert, but there was no bowl!

Overall, I guess I would rate the experience a B-. As I mentioned before, I have very high standards when it comes to Indian restaurants; the mis-steps in presentation and some taste issues (again, personal preference) combined with a just-ok ambience made sure my top 3 remained intact.

Is it worth checking out? Sure. I would probably go back to try the lunch buffet and give it another shot. Interestingly, there's another Indian restaurant opening across from the casino in a few months... I'm very pleased to see more diverse cuisine downtown, and you can be sure I will be putting the new restaurant to the test as well!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday Tune: Let the Sun Shine

If you haven't entered to win a pair of tickets to the Cleveland Wine Festival this weekend, please do so here

I'm on my way out to celebrate my 29th birthday (ahem), but not before I leave you with this...

to celebrate this sunshine filled day!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Food & Wine AND a Giveaway (for wine lovers!)

This contest has ended. The winner, as decided by, is #1, Fizzgig!  Congratulations Fizzgig! Please email me at, with your full name, date of birth, email address, and preferred date of attendance (July 27th or 28th). Don't forget to take ID to the event!!

A few months ago, I was contacted by Chateau Ste. Michelle gauging my interest in reviewing a cookbook written by John Sarich, Culinary Director of  Chateau Ste. Michelle. I luuuurve Chateau St. Michelle wines and I enjoy cooking, so I figured, why not?

The book is set up sorta like a winery tour of the Pacific Northwest and California, featuring 10 wine estates in tool. Each estate is represented by a chapter giving some background, visitor details, and menus prepared the executive chefs at each of these estates, including wine pairings, obviously. You know the white meat = white wine rule? Well, the book helped bust that myth for me. Turns out that besides lamb, game, and beef, there's pretty much at least one white and one red that can be paired with your food!

Overall, I would say that the book seems suited to special occasion dinners, and by that I mean celebrations, date night, etc, not necessarily everyday food. I really like that each recipe gives you wine pairings (and not each recipe includes wine as an ingredient), so you could plan a TOTALLY FABULOUS dinner party with wine pairings for each course and DAZZLE your guests. Given that the book is west-cost based, there's a good number of seafood receipts for you seafood lovers.

I sampled a couple of recipes: the Oven "Fried" Chicken and the Avocado and Orange Salad, which I paired with the Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay. While I would probably adapt the recipes if I were not serving it with wine, as presented they paired REALLY REALLY well with the wine.  You can see the results of my handiwork here (please excuse the lack of "prettiness", this is why I'm not a food blogger).

Overall, a winning combination! I'm looking forward to trying some more recipes in the upcoming weeks!!

Now, for the SUPER FUN part--- A GIVEAWAY!! This giveaway includes TWO TICKETS to the Cleveland Wine Festival on July 27th or 28th, where you will get to same Chateau Ste. Michelle for yourself (among other wines of course).

Here's what you need to do to enter:
1. Leave me a comment letting me know of your favorite wine (and leave me your contact info if I don't know how to reach you), or
2.  Follow @SteMichelle on Twitter and let me know that you did so in the comments, or
3. Tweet: I entered @cleshopaholic contest to win tickets to @CleWineFest via @SteMichelle

(You get 3 entries if you do all 3 things)

Rules: You must be 21 to enter, and should you win, you must provide your full name, date of birth, email address, and preferred date of attendance (July 27th or 28th).

The contest ends at 7:00 pm on Wednesday July 25th, with the winner announced later Wednesday night. Good luck, and Cheers!!

Disclosure: Chateau Ste. Michelle provided me with the cookbook in exchange for my review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.  They also provided the two tickets to the Cleveland Wine Festival for the Giveaway. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cleshopaholic travels.... to the wilderness

This past weekend, N and I joined is family for a little getaway in Hocking Hills, Ohio.  If you've never been, Hocking Hills is close to Athens, Ohio, about 3 hours from Cleveland. Its known for its camping and outdoors activity; if you know me in real life, then you know that camping is DEFINITELY not my thing. I like modern comforts. Also, some of Mother Nature's creations (mosquitos and other bugs that bite humans) and I don't really get along. So, with that in mind, we decided to go the cabin route instead. Our home for the long weekend was Pine Hills Lodge, a lovely log cabin with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, and, most importantly, a hot tub.

The house was really quite lovely; there was plenty of room for everyone, and we could have easily fit in more than 6 adults and 1 child. Unlike a lot of vacation rentals, you didn't have to take bed linens or towels, and the house even had a washer-dryer in the event you needed it.

We had originally planned to go canoeing/kayaking, but the lack of rain has caused the water level is the river to drop quite a bit, which means we would have had to carry the boats in many instances, and so we decided to avoid that excursion. There's also ATV-ing, and zip-lining (which N and I just did in October in Costa Rica) and of course hiking.

We took a day to go hiking, and I actually have proof!!!

No trip is complete without a souvenir, and Hocking Hills has loads and loads of flea markets and antique malls, where we picked up this copper container. We're using it to hold our throws in our living room.

Overall, it was a fun and relaxing trip. I got quite a bit of reading done, which is good news for my next Reading Room post!!

Have you been camping? How about glamping (luxury camping- I could get into this)?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Listening Now: The July playlist

As I mentioned previously, about once a month, I will post a playlist of songs I'm listening to/working out to... this month's playlist is (song- artist)

1. Shooting the Moon- Mona
2. Little Talks- Of Monsters and Men (I LUUURRVVEE this album)
3. Post Physical-  Pictureplane
4. Passenger- OneRepublic
5. Keepsake- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (I blogged about her new album recently. If you haven't listened to it yet, you are seriously missing out)
6. DJ, Ease my Mind- Niki & the Dove (the last time I had this as a Tuesday Tune, it wasn't out on iTunes yet, but happy to report it is now!)
7. How We Do (Party)- Rita Ora  (high potential for summer anthem)
8. Hands - Alpine
9. Underdog- You Me At Six
10. Feel the Love- Rudimental (this is another one with high summer-anthem potential)
11. Roulette- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (clearly, I luuuuurve this album)
12. Hanging On- Ellie Goulding (Allison and I LUUUURVE her; this song is available on her website (thanks Ms. Peltz for the heads up))

Hope you enjoy this month's mix! And you can be sure that some of these songs will be playing at psycle in either Jenn, Hallie, or Emily's classes!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reading Room: Awkward Situations for Men

I love reading. Always have. I also read very fast, must to the frustration of a lot of people. I'm ALSO the type of person who (for a mystery book) will flip right to the end and read the last chapter. So sue me.

Now that I've started riding the bus to work, I've been reading a lot more, and am always on the lookout for a good book. My main criteria is this- IT MUST BE WELL WRITTEN. Otherwise, you will just hear me complain non-stop about the awful writing, and no one wants that. On occasion, I will read biographies and mysteries, but my favorite genre is chick-lit (I'm not embarrassed about this- I like to vegetate when I read). Now when I say chick-lit I don't mean boy-meets-girl-sweeps-her-off-her-feet-random-problem-breakup-get-back-together-live-happily-ever-after. No, I'm looking for a smart, sassy female, with a sense of humor, and some funny life situations. That is my ideal sort of book. Since I'm always looking for a good read, I will be blogging about books I'm reading with the hope that you will share some of your favorite books with me too!!

I recently finished Awkward Situations for Men, written by Danny Wallace (who is a very funny host on a British radio show). As the name suggests, Danny finds himself in these awkward situations, which he believes happen mostly to men. Danny lives in London, so the book is set there, and has some British humor, but overall, you don't have to "get" British humor to find this book funny. It is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Literally. I would burst out laughing on the bus ALL THE TIME. Which may be an awkward situation of its own, but that's another story...

PS. If you're in Cleveland this weekend, check out the 7th Annual Luau on the Lake on Saturday at Whiskey Island. I've never been to this event, but I've heard its a blast, and it benefits Shoes and Clothes for Kids so you could be having a great time supporting a great cause!! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Solstice 2012

So, I had every intention of doing a Best Dressed of Solstice 2012, like I did last year, but then Chardonnay happened, and what you've got is a bunch of pictures of my friends, who were wearing SUPER cute outfits, but unlike last year, I made absolutely NO effort to approach strangers. Apologies...

There was however, one stand-out trend-- Green was THE COLOR of the night!

 With Danielle 

 Danielle & Wes

 The architects: Brian, N, Wes

 Alexa & Deery- gorgeous in green!

 Charity and I own the same Dolce Vita for Target wedges-- v. high but comfortable!

 Eamon, Suzanne, Charity, and Ben
 Michelle & Frank

 Jen, Danielle, Charity and me

 With N, a few days before our 8 year anniversary!!

 with Reshae

 Michelle and Allison (rawr)

 Sassy Courtney and Charlene- work it ladies!

My one disappointment with the event was that unlike past years, there was no element of surprise- prior years have included fireworks or performance art- I hope the Museum considers bringing it back next year.

So around 1 am, Charity and Ben suggested we join them (and Suzanne and Eamon) at Tick-Tock Tavern, which is very close to home.  Then this happened...

Cheesy fries....

Let's just say the next day required a lot of hydration. Overall, another excellent night in Cleveland! Were you at Solstice? What did you love/wish were different?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bubbles & Sparkles- A Stella & Dot Party

Its been a crazy couple of weeks, so I apologize for not being in touch on the blog. BUT, it is summer in Cleveland, so can you really blame me? : )

A few weeks ago, I hosted a Stella & Dot party with the theme "Bubbles & Sparkles," which was, as the name suggests, an excellent excuse to consume bubbles and ooh and aah over shiny things. Our stylist for the evening was Jennifer, and she brought over some lovely pieces from the summer collection; honestly, I probably tried on everything!!!

Here are some pictures from the evening...

 The drinks.... we went through 8 bottles...

 The spread... it was very hot, so I stuck to cold nibbles...

Danielle and Courtney trying on goodies... 

 The sparkles...

 Lisa, Courtney and Janet giving the pieces a try...

 Beautiful ladies on the patio... Alexa, Allison J, Lisa, Tiffany, Sara, Janet and Danielle... there was a lot of very loud chatter and laughter that evening-- LOVE LOVE LOVE evenings with the girls!

And last, but certainly not least, my purchases.... I absolutely ADORE the packaging!!

So, I placed my order on a Thursday, and even though they say its 5-7 business days for delivery, I had my pieces in my hand the following Thursday! Unfortunately, my earrings broke in transit, but a quick email to my stylist Jennifer, and a return authorization was issued immediately! As with exchanges with most companies, they requested that I send back the defective pair before they would send out the new one- I sent them out first thing Tuesday, and I had my new earrings on Thursday!! Talk about fast!! Although I was a little disappointed that I couldn't wear the earrings on day 1, I was very very impressed by level of customer service!

Stella and Dot just released its fall collection this past week, and here are some of my favorites: So what are you coveting this fall?

So what sparkles are you coveting this fall?