Love is in the air!

Max(Couldn’t help but post this little pic of Baby Ninja trying to get into my desk when I wasn’t looking. He is my best Valentine this year for sure…well of course him and Mr. C.)

Here at iheartcleveland it’s the week for celebrating LOVE! Love of our city, love of our friends, love of our lake, love of all the amazing foodie hot spots around town, love of all the awesome arts & culture destinations. Today I wanted to put together a few fun things I am loving and happenings that are going on around town in the celebration of this weeks Valentine’s holiday.

EATING OUT : I know we all love to go out to dinner from time to time, and while I am not a big fan of actually heading out to dinner on February 14th, I’m not opposed to celebrating at anytime from now till early net week. Here are a few holiday hot spots I may try and hit up.
Urban Farmer, has a great brunch and incredible morning cocktails, this Sunday make your reservation as they are hosting a Valentine’s Buffet brunch complete with a toast bar (chocolate chip banana bread!) omelet stations and locally cured morning meats, yummy!
Punch Bowl Social : Where can you go for bowling, a dash of ping pong and an awesome romantic dinner for you and your bestie? Punch Bowl Social CLE!!! Make a reservation and start planning your visit to include the “Loves Me; Loves Me Not” adult punch (bourbon, lemon juice & maraschino cherries) a few bacon wrapped dates, steak & gruyere potato pancakes and mini tiramisu shots. Sign me up! (if you already have hearts day plans, “kids bowl free” on President’s Day, so you could always go on Monday?)
Sarita in Lakewood : Have you checked out the new Sarita’s in Lakewood (Old Players on Madison)? Chef Tony Romano and his team have a very special dinner planned for all you love birds out there…complete with chocolate dipped strawberries. Visit their new site for the complete menu and make sure to call for your reservation, it will for sure book up fast.

Happenings : There are so many great things happening around town to woo your honey’s heart with. Here is a short list of a few exciting weekend happenings.
• “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
David Bowie Memorial Show at the Beachland Ballroom this Friday night! Bring your main squeeze for some Bowie tunes performed by many of the areas best musicians.
• Yoga & Chocolate : At Krysia Energy Yoga on Center Ridge Road in Westlake. Gather your fellow yoga loving friends and enjoy some sweet time on your mat. After your practice indulge in a few handmade chocolates from Tremont’s Lilly Chocolates!
Face Value by Bob Dylan : I know we think of Bob Dylan as a musician but did you know he painted portraits of people while on tour? Or that he loved to weld artistic gates? This international exhibit of Dylan’s work has been curated by the National Portrait Gallery and has recently found a home at Kent State University. Wouldn’t an afternoon in an art gallery be a magical Valentine’s Day date? Bring your sweetie to see the show which runs now through March 5th.
Galentines Party at ReDress – Grab your girly friends and head over to hang with Rachel and her team at ReDress in Lakewood. While you are browsing the fashions and awesome jewels get your hair braided (braid crowns!!!) your makeup done, a mini massage and lots of sweet treats and cocktails while you enjoy tunes by DJ Genna Petrolla!
Art with your family : Sunday is family fun day at the Cleveland Museum of Art. That means free art projects with your littlest Valentines’. Activities begin at 11, its a wonderful place to bring your pack for some good hands-on art fun, promise.

Whatever you do with your friends and family during this season for celebrating love, have fun & stay warm Cleveland. Happy Valentines Day to you!

  All About the Bag!!!

1603Another exciting fundraiser coming up and this is for sure one you won’t want to miss. The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland is set to host their third annual All About the Bag Fashion Benefit on Thursday, February 25, 2016. After a wildly successful first two years of the event (In 2015 the raised $75,000) they have set their goals high this year and are in line to break it…the VIP tickets are already sold out!

Did you know that the event name “All about the Bag” actually refers to those bags of food that support the Hunger Network community? So clever and such a perfect name for an event that supports keeping Clevelander’s full of nutrition to support their lifestyles.

Spend the evening in style as you watch Cleveland celebrities (i.e. Josh Cribbs!) walk the runway in fashions from the retailers of Beachwood Mall. Indulge in pretty cocktails and nibbles as you spend the evening with your best friends all in the name of a good cause. Explore the silent auction full of totes, clutches, cross body bags and more…you can’t win if you don’t play…or in this case you can’t go home with an amazing new purse all while making a donation to this amazing organization! Bid lots and bid your best offer.

I can’t wait to go to this upcoming event…now I just need to decide what bag I’ll be bringing! General admission tickets are still available on their site, get yours today! It feels good to give back, so get your tickets and then plan to play along in the silent purse auction while enjoying the spring fashion show. I hope to see you there!

I was invited to attend the All About the Bag fundraiser as part of their social engagements efforts. Thanks for supporting this organization in the CLE that allows me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  A visit to Banter Cleveland

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Hello Cleveland, hope you are having a wonderful week! So much awesome sunshine and the groundhog did NOT see his shadow which is a for sure sign that spring is on it’s way…keeping positive over here!

With that said, if winter does rear it’s little cold head and you are looking for a new CLE hot spot to meet up with your friends I have just the recommendation. Last weekend me and Baby Ninja (should I start calling him Toddler Ninja now?) met up with my friend and her two boys to explore this poutine dining destination, Banter Cleveland.

From the moment our crew arrived we were welcomed and shown to an awesome table in the second dining room. The restaurant is broken up into three main sections, the bar, the main dining room/wine shop and the third room is wall to wall coolers full of the most interesting and unique assortment of beers and ciders.

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While I was interested in the poutine I opted for ordering fried cheese curds, a corn dog and french fries for me and my little guy to share. The rest of our table enjoyed all sorts of the poutine creations of french fries, gravy and various toppings. Everything was delicious and their attention to detail was really incredible. You should have seen our corn dog, ketchup and mustard maters piece, I wish I had a picture to share.

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IMG_0180The decor of the space is bright and clean with a touch of the original vintage building elements such as peeling wallpaper on old plaster and schoolhouse-house inspired light fixtures. But can we really take a moment and admire the floors? These floors were taken from an old Elyria High School (what they believe was the women’s gym) cut up into individual rectangular blocks and then reinstalled as a graphic, indestructable work of art.

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Someone LOVED his french fries but also coveted the individual little cups of ketchup. He seriously had a blast. *Note to other parents, they did have a high chair and one of the owners; Matt told me they welcome guests of all ages…even in the evening. Thanks Banter, it’s great to know that being a parent doesn’t eliminate us from your great new place.

IMG_0187While the little guy was really good, he probably lasted about :45 in the high chair and then needed get down. I think he has my busy-body gene, always needing to be on the go. Since we were one of the only diners in that side room I let him out of the high chair to run back and forth something I don’t typically do out in public. Needless to say he ran right into the room with the coolers full of beer and tried his best to open every cooler door, thank goodness he didn’t figure it out. My life fast forwarded by like 20 years when I pictured him as  twenty-something helping himself to a brew or two. They say time flies.

Back to Banter, it seriously is the awesome new kid on the Gordon Square Detroit Rd block for a great meal with friends. The service and staff was so friendly, the food completley tasty, the retail beer and wine store was stocked with many adult goodies that you could take home for later. Go check it out, invite your pals, bring a kid or two, (or not!) and don’t forget to check out the floors, they are truly amazing!

Banter Cleveland • 7320 Detroit Rd. Cleveland OH 44102 • bantercleveland.com

 

  Our kitchen & The Great Big Home + Garden Show

Hi friends. Hope your weekends were all great, I mean this weather is out of control amazing don’t you think? Mr. C & his snowboard gang aren’t super jazzed about the warmer temps and while I too would like a little more snowbunny time I have to say, no socks in January with cute suede flats are pretty terrific as well.

Now…onto today’s talk. So one of my personal goals this year is to give our kitchen a bit of a tlc update. We have a very small galley kitchen and with just a few small adjustments; a couple of base cabinets for storage, a pantry cabinet for food, a range hood with a more powerful exhaust, new countertops that can over to allow for a few barstool seats to push underneath…we can make a huge difference in the functionality of the space.

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You see when I say base cabinets I need to clarify that our kitchen doesn’t have the best storage, in fact it truly has very little…like almost none. We use a kitchen prep table as our one and only space for storing our most used pots and pans (underneath) for prepping food and then with a quick wipedown we also snuggle around the table for casual weeknight dining.

IMG_0125(note : check out my toddler proofing dowel rod solution!)

With regards to a food pantry, I mean a piece of cabinetry that can house all of our lunch things, snacks, baking items, etc. Currently we have a large built-in-unit that was behind two sliding doors (we removed the doors) that contains a series of tiny, not truly functional drawers and some shelving where I include baskets full of this and that…a large catch-all to be exact. What’s worse is that with each day that Baby Ninja grows older he is onto the fact that the shelf is full of his “emergency” snacks and is trying to self serve puffs, crackers, etc. whenever he wants. It would be wonderful to have everything inside a cabinet; out of site, out of mind.

Adding a new range hood could also very much improve our cooking options. We currently have and older fan system that not only is super loud but also doesn’t really work that well. Again, a very functional upgrade.

So with all this said I am starting to pull together reference and pricing and next steps…I need to find a reasonable contractor who can help push my little project forward. Enter the Annual Great Big Home + Garden Show kicking off at the IX Center this week, and running from February 5th to the 14th.

unnamedThis is show is one I actually very much look forward too. I love to exploring the inspiration homes, talking to new home product vendors, dreaming for spring and planting flowers and walk around inside on what is typically a freezing cold winter day.

Some of this year’s show features include:

  • A variety of custom built homes.
  • A series of “she sheds” aka backyard shed’s dressed to the nines!
  • Lots of gardening inspiration.
  • Celebrity shows including my favorite the Beekman Boys!
  • And much much more.

The exciting news is that I have a pair of tickets to give to one lucky reader.

Tickets are range from $12-$5 (Children under 6 free, when purchased online.)  Tickets are now on sale online.

If you want your tickets guaranteed I also have a coupon/promo code for $1 OFF your tickets, enter “HEARTCLE16″ for your discount!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment here letting me know you’d like the tickets.
or
2. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted: “@iheartclev I’d love a pair of tickets to explore this years @GreatBigShow! at the @ixcenter

Winner to be drawn by Wednesday, February 3rd. Good luck.

So I look forward to seeing you at the show. I will be the person wandering around looking at cabinets and the like. I’ll keep you updated with any construction progress I have over the next few months. Again, if you have anyone you recommend as far as contractors who are nice to deal with, reasonable cost wise and show up consistently I’d be happy for the referral! Happy remodeling to you.

Have a great week!

  My visit to Sacred Hour Spa

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Hello friends. How was your weekend? Sorta quiet over here, which is totally fine with me. I feel like I am still coming down from the busy holiday season, it’s nice for a weekend here and there to be slightly uneventful.

Today I want to share with you about a new spa destination, nestled on the west end of Lakewood off Detroit Rd. –  Sacred Hour Spa! 

You see before the holidays me & Mr. C were still sleeping on a relatively antique mattress and every morning I would wake up sore from such horrible sleep support. Good thing Santa brought us a new extra pillow top mattress.

SH_2Anyhow, back to before the new mattress…so I has having shoulder and hip icky’s and I wanted to get a massage to take away some of the sore away. While I was always familiar with the Rocky River location of Sacred Hour I wasn’t aware of their new spa in Lakewood and it was just down the street from my studio.

SH_5I made a massage appointment and I’m telling you, it was so blissful. I mean, not only was the actual massage amazing, THE SPACE was incredible. The owner purchased an older Lakewood home and then completely renovated  the space to me a serene spa destination. The entire place is a study in grays, charcoals and natural materials including wood, stone and other organic pieces sprinkled throughout the design.

The pedicure room keeps guest warm and cozy with a modern built in fireplace. The sauna room is the perfect place to warm up on these Ohio winter days, followed by a shower in their rainshower room. Then cuddle up in their lounge, sip some great herbal teas and indulge in every new magazine; they have an incredible selection.

SH_1The new Sacred Hour Spa in Lakewood is not only gorgeous but offers everything from manicures and pedicures to deep tissue massage and their special indian head massages.. this new location is quite the winter escape treat. Oh and did I mention you can schedule your appointments online? LOVE that feature.

So, go ahead, make an appointment and treat yourself.  You’ve got to see this new spa, it’s SO GORGEOUS!!!

I was invited to experience Sacred Hour Spa as part of their social engagements efforts. In exchange for this post I was a provided a service altho their spa! Thanks for supporting this business in the CLE that allows me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!