currently loving in CLE…EARLY April!

How is it possible that it is already April 1st? I mean March totally flew by. Last month I spent the evenings (the few weeks leading up to my time at Alt Summit) working on my workshop talk, sewing a mod-inspired dress and strategically packing my outfits for the conference. Then I was away for a whole week attending my 4th Alt Summit spending time with other creative entrepreneurs, visionaries and influencers. This past weekend we basically spent quality family time playing in the snow, lots of laundry and a bunch of weekly food prep..no more vacation treats for me! Anyhow, long story short …where did March go?

I am going to kick off April with a few things I am LOVING…hope you enjoy!

With the exception of Saturday night, for the most part, the snow and ice have melted and at our house, we can see the tiny tulip shoots just starting to peak above ground. I am totally starting to daydream about our outside spring plantings; including figuring out what old, overgrown shrubs I can take out and what will go in its place. If anyone has an uber-green thumb or knows any landscapers who might be interested in a collaboration…send them my way! I just want to make sure I am not literally pulling out a hydrangea that currently looks like dead weeds. Besides plants, I am also dreaming up ways to make out outdoor patio furniture POP this spring. Can you say…spray paint and new upholstery? Bring on the warmer temps…bring on the Rustoleum!

With all the dreaming of summer, It’s becoming pretty obvious, we still have a few more weeks of cooler temps and winter coats. It’s okay though, today I am going to tell you about some great INDOOR spring fun you can take advantage off while the weather is still a bit chilly.

Have kids that are dying to run around and get out of the house? I have two fun ideas for you!

First, you’ve GOT to check out the newest exhibit at the Great Lakes Science Center called Zoom! We took our little Ninja there one evening and were pleasantly surprised by how fun it was for both kids and us; the parents. The exhibit highlights the various aspects of cars and everything to do with driving, engines, and aerodynamics. Everything from how gasses produce energy (to move cars) to how to build & race your own cars, to faux-working on cars (our little guy somehow instinctively knew how to slide under the hood and install a muffler, What?) and even teaching the idea of streamlined aerodynamics to toddlers…the exhibit is awesome! I believe it runs until the end of the summer so go now while it is still a bit chilly or put it on your rainy day, play destination list. It’s really fun for everyone, promise.

Secondly, it’s been a while since we’ve been to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium but we went last Saturday and it was super fun for us and our 4-year-old. Mr. C and I visited the Aquarium way back when it first opened but this trip was different, A) because we now have a 4 yr old who relishes in any museum-like opportunity but B) because everything seems to have grown up and settled into their own fish-tank-home. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is a super fun place to visit on those gray days between now and CLE Spring when you want to feel like you are at the Lake or at the coral reef (you choose!) its truly a “refreshing” destination. We especially enjoyed the live presentation of the scuba divers and the stingrays that you were able to touch as they swam on by.

What else am I loving right now? I am always excited about the annual Cleveland International Film Festival! You might even see me in some of this year’s festival creative… thanks to the team over at Type 27 for including my mug in the signage and trailer to the festival! Besides being part of the creative assets of this year’s festival, I am already planning out my viewing schedule, with cocktail breaks in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton (Turn!) penciled in! The Cleveland International Film Festival brings the BEST on new indie/artistic films to Cleveland for us to enjoy. Make sure to get your tickets today!

Speaking about cocktails…and springtime events…have you bought your tickets to this years Down and Derby party, hosted by Boys Hope, Girls Hope yet? Mr. C and I attended last year and as someone who gets to attend many not for profit happenings in town, this event was hands-down one of the best. I am super excited about it being hosted at Tenk; I’ve been wanting to see this space.

Last but for sure not least…GO, TRIBE! Looking forward to the sun coming ut and warming up our city for an afternoon, baseball home opener. To everyone going downtown for the game, dress warm and have so much fun!

So this is basically my March favorite picks and such…since I was so busy last month. I promise to check back in with a few more awesome things happening in and around the CLE this April. Cheers!

  3 tips for a great Alt Summit experience!

Hey Cleveland, happy Tuesday! A few of you have reached out to let me know that you too are attending Alt Summit; a creative conference for influencers, entrepreneurs and anyone who loves a good creative winter escape. I am so excited to have so many Clevelanders represented in Palm Springs, California. If you are attending, shoot me a note on Instagram, I’d love to meet up.

As someone who has attended this conference before, I thought it would be fun to put together 3 tips for first-time attendees. I hope they are helpful, enjoy!

Tip #1 : Fashion forward!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve pulled out my suitcase and am already planning my approach for packing. From the moment you hop off the plane in Palm Springs you will be smothered in bold hues and sunny skies, it truly is magical. Soak in every terra-cotta tone and Regency-styled pattern and plan to stretch your wild fashion styles in every best possible way. If you are a person who loves to wear dark colors, get uncomfortable and throw in a few bold scarfs or wraps for the nighttime; remember that once the sun sets behind the mountains the temp drops drastically.

The conference comes with many opportunities to stretch your body, mind and social skills. After reviewing the agenda I plan to try my best to hit up the daily yoga classes hosted by Alaska Airlines at The Parker. Nows the time to bust out all my wild patterned workout clothes that I typically would hesitate to wear to my local Y! Then it’s time to change for a day of talks, roundtables, and networking, think comfortable but fun. Dress in layers to stay warm in the AC conference rooms but remember there will be plenty of time to go outside and get your dose of vitamin D. I love a bright color romper or maxi sundress paired with a bedazzled cardigan for the daytime…so good. For the evening parties and events, it’s time to pull out your best vintage, bold and bright numbers.

If it is something you love but have never had the guts to wear at home, trust me, this is the place to bust out your caftans, muumuu’s, sequins and anything with bubbly sleeves and sparkly shine. If you have an inner fashionista just waiting to shine, now is her time, The brighter and bolder the better reigns true at Alt!

Tip #2 : Prep to mix & mingle
With over 2,000 attendees expected at this year’s conference, be prepared to meet some of the most creative, energized women of your life. Try not to be overwhelmed and intimidated when meeting the mega-influencers and keep your cool if you happen to run into Joanna Gaines or Joy Cho in the restroom…that was basically a reminder for me, ha! Honestly though, while at Alt everyone is there to have a good time, learn, make connections and even make a new friend or two.

Remember to bring plenty of contact cards, a few back up computer and phone chargers, a notebook and even a few snacks. While the conference provides many opportunities for dining and snacks, I always love to have some of my at-home staples (almonds, granola bars, etc) on hand. Remember this conference spans almost an entire week and if you are like me, you actually might get tired of eating out for every meal…hence the snacks.

When I attend a conference like this I honestly try to connect with 2 people each day. I mean really connect. Find out about them, what they do, what they are trying to do, etc. I realize that might sound like a lot of work, but give yourself a little pack on the back and know that it IS weird to walk up to a stranger and connect, but everyone is there to meet people, I promise. At the end of the week, if I have had meaningful connections with 8-10 new people, that makes me feel like the conference has really brought me a larger sense of joy. While I love all of the technical and inspirational learning I plan to get form the week, though the power of social media, these connections will last for years to come…and this is really cool.

Tip #3 : Make time to soak it in.
There will be programming literally offered from 6 am to midnight on most days. Make sure to set aside time for yourself to take a break and let your brain rest. I know we want to attend ALL the parties but perhaps set one night aside to stay in, add a good face mask and reflect on the days’ events. I like to journal, answer emails from back home and indulge in room service at least once during a conference of this length. Recharge! Go to bed at a decent hour…note I didn’t say early. Enjoy the quiet after a day of go, go go! I promise if you do this, you will start the new day rested and ready for the fun that lies ahead.

Until next week! Hope to see you in Palm Springs!
Let me know if you have any other questions and I am happy to help.

  currently loving…in CLE • february

Hello from the skies above Montana! How cool is it to be able to write and stay connected while flying across the country on our way back home? I spent the first part of the flight getting myself and little Ninja all settled into our seats with snacks, games, movies and more. Then I decided to be “brave” and check out what the wifi was like and honestly, it’s pretty seamless here on Alaska Airlines.

As some of you may know, one of my goals is to check in every month with a few things I am currently loving and share them here with you guys. I hope you enjoy my February selections.

#1 : Good Company CLE : A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of a special girls night out at the new Good Company CLE. It was a Thursday night and the place was hopping with all ages looking to explore this new CLE hot spot. Created by the team behind the darling Plum in Ohio City, this new location is their equivalent but with a sports bar twist. That evening we were welcomed by their friendly team and sat at a good table in the back. We shared a tray of local french fries and chicken sandwiches along with hand-crafted, specialty cocktails. To say it was delicious was an understatement. If you are looking for a stylish place to catch your next Cavs game on the telly, plan to meet up with your pals at Good Company, nestled within Battery Park.

#2 : Perfectly Imperfect Produce : Have you seen all the not so perfect, but totally edible produce popping up in your local Instagram feed? OMG! I am in love with the new(ish) company Perfectly Imperfect Produce. Founded in 2016 by Ashley Weingart, a  fourth generation wholesale produce expert, this visionary set her sites to reduce food waste and improve healthy food access for all. What’s not to love about that? It works something like this…you go on their website and order a box of perfectly great produce that for one reason or another wasn’t purchased by area grocery stores. Once your box is prepped it will be delivered directly to your home, ready for you to use in recipes or to just to enjoy raw. The group just launched their organic boxes and soon they will be offering a juicing box with supplies every juice enthusiasts needs. If you find yourself buying lots of produce from week to week, this service is a great way to support your community while also getting a great deal on produce; boxes range in costs from $12 for a mini box all the way to $30 for a large box. Not sure you want to sign up for a repeat box membership? Give them a try with a one-time trial box for $20…I promise it is totally worth it! Happy produce, happy Cleveland! Congrats on your business success Ashley, what an incredible idea.

@perfectlyimperfectproduce#3 : Brite Winter Fest  : Last but certainly not least is this weekends upcoming annual Brite Winter Fest from 3pm-1am. Where else do people get bundled up and stand around outside in the middle of winter to celebrate music and art, then in Cleveland? While their might be extra snow this year the concert lineup is sure to keep you dancing and warm all afternoon into the evening. The afternoon is a great time to get the family involved with the various kid-friendly activities while getting a babysitter for the evening and prepare to rock out with the best from around town. I can’t wait!

#4 : The Oscars! : Real fast, while it isn’t necessarily taking place IN Cleveland, I’m sure there will be many of us tuned into the tube on Sunday night to watch this years Academy Awards Ceremony. I am SO looking forward to seeing all the silver screen stars dressed to impress. I’m having some gal pals over to watch the festivities and currently in full party prep mode…Happy Oscars everybody!

Hope you enjoyed my February “loving it” post. Chat more next month!

  Neue’s Winter Auction; sneak peek! (sponsored)

(Bridget and I talking all things art! I am in love with some of these pieces for my home and excited that some of them are affordable and attainable for even my budget)

Hello & happy Monday to you! I hope most of you have the President’s Day off and are able to spend extra time with family and friends.

Last week I had the privilege of visiting the rather new-ish auction house in town; Neue Auctions. The team behind this fierce auction house and gallery has been at the forefront of the Cleveland art world for decades, but for the first time are collaborating together as one team. The powerhouse behind this new auction destination includes Cynthia Colling Maciejewski of Aspire Auctions, Ron Greenwald and Ricardo Bernabe of Greenwald Antiques and Bridget McWilliams of WOLFS.

(At the next auction, Neue has a large collection of Cleveland Athletic Club sterling silver trophies going to the highest bidder. I’d love one to use as a vase for tulips or as an ice bucket for champagne. Let the bidding begin!)

I love buying unique pieces of art at auction for our home. Each piece comes with its own unique history which I love…so much better than buying artwork at any big box store.   Currently, I am collecting mid-century portraits and color studies that I hang throughout our home.

(At Neue they also have an extensive collection of estate jewelry. I tried on a strand of jade beads that were so pretty and the clasp was super intricate…I can’t stop thinking about them)

The four experts have assembled their next auction filled with fine art and antiques and we can begin previewing it online on  Saturday, February 23rd with the actual LIVE ONLINE auction going down one month later on March 23rd, at 11am on neueauctions.com. Get yourself registered and plan your bids now!

(Interested in African Art? This collection comes from a private collector from Northeast Ohio and has some highly collectible pieces that are expected to excite many collectors.)

Neue is proud of their new approach to antique collecting and wants to better reach women and our younger generations through hands-on educational events, visual storytelling and the use of social media. Through making the world of vintage and antiques more accessible, Neue hopes to make the passion of collecting more accessible to everyone not only in Cleveland but around the globe.

What goes around, comes around…it is the perfect saying when talking about auctions, estate sales, and flea markets. For those who are curious about collecting items of artistic and historical significance but aren’t sure if it is for them or where to start, this free evening is for you. Wednesday, February 27 from 6:30-8 pm, Neue Gallery Presents: Collecting 101 where co-founder Cynthia Maciejewski will talk about what people like to collect and why, the most popular art and history items that people are collecting now, and she’ll share great items for first-time collectors to look for to integrate into more their own home design and style. Wine, nibbles, antiques, and design…sounds like a perfect night out to me, who will I see there?

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Neue Auction for inviting me to explore their new business and check out what is up for auction next. Cleveland, thanks for supporting this new business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Cleveland is for Lovers!

Hello friends and happy hearts week to you! I’m loving all of the pinks and reds in my Instagram this week and can’t wait for even more in the upcoming days.

My London sister-Rebecca is hosting a fashion challenge called #shadesoflove2019…basically dress in red, pink or purple for the next week, hashtag your pics and be entered to win a prize! I’ve been playing along and amazed by all the clothes I own that actually are these girly, lovely hues. I hope to see a bunch of Clevelanders playing along this week!

A few days ago I got together with a few friends to celebrate the new-ish holiday we’ve all come to know as “Galentines.” We sipped champagne at the new Flight Cleveland Wine Bar and enjoyed a small charcuterie platter paired with cupcakes and macarons by Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes. The afternoon highlight was having our Tarot cards read by the lovely Shibahni of Bombay Taxi Boutique, complete with surprise gifts of bling-bling and makeup treats from Kimberley of Smitten in Cleveland! It’s so fun to have gal pals like these two who are always ready for a quick afternoon party. I just read a stat (or was it a Pinterest post? ha!) that said women live longer when they spend quality time with their girlfriends two times a week. Cheers to spending more time with your girlfriends in 2019!

What is everyone doing for Valentines Day this week? Me and Mr. C have a long-standing tradition of going to lunch on the holiday to avoid the night time extravaganzas. We meet up; typically in Tremont and have a nice lunch date to celebrate the holiday and then spend the evening at home and relaxing with our little family, super casual and sometimes over take out.

This year, along with our day date,  we are doing something special with another couple, not actually on the actual Valentines Day but the 15th; Friday. Last year, before the holidays we bought tickets to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad; Dinner on the Train with Spice. Dinner will be served on their newly acquired California Zephyr silver Solarium and Silver LariatVista Dome train cars. I am really looking forward to being on the train for the evening, spending time with our good friends over great food and cocktails. Spice does not disappoint so I am sure this will be no different. Winter-spring dinner on the train tickets are currently sold out, but look for the summer tickets going up for sale soon!

So in case, you didn’t get it from my posts above, I really HEART Valentines’ day, I love girly evenings out with friends, I love special lunches with my main squeeze and spending time at home is great too. Have a wonderful Valentines Day week everyone. I LOVE you!