Author Archives: charity

  my holiday gift guide…a few suggestions!

Hello & Happy holidays friends! Can you even believe it? Time for turkey and pumpkin pie, visits to Santa and cookie swaps. It’s time for making your own lists and checking them twice making sure to be less naughty and to be way more nice.

For the past six or seven years, I have approached fellow small business owners for a gift donation to my yearly “twelve days of giveaways”…and while it was fun to feature some of my favorite businesses, this year I thought I would start by encouraging you to shop local with some of the best in town! Don’t worry…there will be a giveaway too..but just one…and closer to Christmas…stay tuned for more on that.

But for today and in the spirit of a small, local gift guide here are a few things I would recommend as the perfect gifts for your CLE friends around town. Let me know if I missed anything.

For your mom, sisters, best friends or gal pals around town.
• I found the best knit sweaters, hats and blanket-throws last week at Whiskey Grade. While I typically wouldn’t think of them as a destination for women’s apparel and housewares, this store has so many awesome girly gifts, I promise you will check someone off your list there.

• Have you been by the new GrooveRyde studio downtown or the original Woodmere location? A gift certificate to this new hot spot would be welcomed by any one of your fitness-loving friends. I love their spinning studio but I’ve really been wanting to try my hand (ha ha!) at their fitness boxing classes. Get your gal pal a few gift cards and the two of you can keep each other accountable to fitness during the holiday season.

• It’s cold outside and during these winter months it is really important to give our skin extra attention. With that said, I LOVE the facials that Leia at Flower Power Skin Studio in Lakewood offers. Not only is her studio super retro-chic, all of her products are organic and good for you! Don’t think you need a facial, then swing by on her special retail days to shop her moisturizers, soaps, fragrance and makeup lines that are too good to be true. For hours and information visit her instagram account…it’s so good!

• I do love a good candle at home during these chilly months. For some reason when there is a candle glowing in the kitchen it makes everything better, warmer, feels more like home. I would say, hands down the women of Sweet Dish & Darling Candles are my absolute favorite candle makers in town. My favorite scent? I LOVE Sunday Brunch but keep wanting to try the Pumpkin & Coconut.

• An incredible manicure! Every lady loves a good fancy-mani for the holidays, am I right? A bit of gold glitter, something more traditional like a clean red polish, perhaps each nail illustrated as Santa and his reindeer? Whatever your fancy, the ladies at Stella & Shay have been killing it with my monthly manicures as of late. I’ve received so many compliments and inquiries that I have my appointments scheduled out a few months in advance. Looking for a gift certificate for one of the best manicures in town, look no further than Stella & Shay!

For your better half, your man friend or your little brother.
• I recently discovered an incredible line of cocktail mixes made in Columbus, OH called Root 23 cocktail mixes. You can find them at a handful of boutiques around town including Natures Oasis in Lakewood and Happy Hour Collection in downtown CLE. I love their Vanilla Ginger with a shot of Maker’s…makes the perfect Manhattan.

• What man-friend doesn’t love a piping hot bowl of fresh ramen noodles? Have you had the chance to get out to the new Noodlecat at Crocker Park yet? I went last week with a group of work friends and it was seriously so good. I had something totally spicy and then a fried shrimp steamed bun and I honestly can’t wait to go back with my honey to try out a few other dishes. A gift certificate would be an awesome gift to use as an excuse for a great date night night out!

• The talented duo over at Room Service had a few things that I would TOTALLY pick up for my Mr. including a new crazy-cool line of military-inspired watches (above) as well as some gorgeous, custom-made backpacks and leather goods. (below)

For your little ones!
• Have you been to the new Children’s Museum of Cleveland? Wouldn’t that be an incredible gift to anyone with small Cleveland kiddos? I know at our house it’s more about experiences than things, so I would welcome this fun gift! $80 for a family membership sounds pretty reasonable for the entire year for 3 people. I think this would be close to the top of any family wish list this year. Get your new memberships here.

• I think that gifting a camp experience is a wonderful gift for any CLE kid. Become a member of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and you can register for camp early before the open registration rush that happens in early January. I am so excited that our little one will be old enough for a camp experience this upcoming summer and so is he. Give the gift of nature camp…your kids will never forget it!

• Cookies! What little person doesn’t love a good cookie? From Blackbird Baking Company’s chocolate chip cookies to the gorgeous details of Luna Bakery sugar cookies, our city is bursting with talented bakers. They are the “go-to’s” for when you want to give a box of cookies to any kid (or adult) with a sweet tooth. Cookies make everyone happy. :)

• Baseball anyone? Have you been up to the Kids Clubhouse at Progressive Field during an Indian’s game? If you haven’t, gift a few tickets to a game next summer to see this space & the game…of course. It has great seating with awesome views, lots of toys, interactive exhibits and slides for the kiddos, phone charging stations for the parents and the cutest mini restrooms the whole gang will enjoy. While individual tickets aren’t on sale yet, you can pick up a gift card or give your little fan an IOU for summer tickets and a chance to visit the Kids Clubhouse with the Indians! Get your 2018 Indians tickets here.

• Books, Books & more Books! Every kid loves a good book. Whether they are like my 3-yr old toddler who flips through a handful of books at lightning speed or perhaps a more mature kid who can sit and enjoy a chapter book over the holidays…everyone loves a book. I recently took the time to visit Horizontal Books on West 25th in Ohio City. This independent book store has some really useful sections including an entire area devoted to kids books. They have some really unique and different books that you might not find at the bog box stores. Grab a latte and then head over to Horizontal to pick out a few good books for your little ones.

So those are just a handful of  a few holiday gift ideas for you and your loved ones. I hope I was able to inspire you and give you a few creative ideas to make our holiday shopping enjoyable! Remember, stay tuned for a good giveaway as we get closer to the holiday! Happy shopping everyone.

 

 

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  Fall flavors & tours at Mitchell’s

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Hello friends! Well, it’s officially fall. Halloween is long behind us, daylight savings is still lurking around our house and Thanksgiving planning is alive and well. I read the other day we had six Monday’s until Christmas…now THAT seems CRAZY!

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In anticipation of the excitement of the upcoming holidays I recently had the opportunity to spend an afternoon at my favorite ice cream, go-to store…Mitchell’s Ice Cream. You might be thinking…why ice cream in the fall and winter? Well, did you know this is time of year is thought of as “quarts & pints season?” Yep, we all love to pick up a pint (or two) to bring to a friends house for a holiday peace offering or to make our favorite pies officially “a la mode.” We might buy a pint to take home and enjoy as we snuggle on the couch binge watching a winter Netflix series. We might not feel like bundling the family up after dinner in the cold temps to head out for ice cream..but everyone loves an at-home ice cream party…or at least my crew does. So yes, friends it is officially pints & quarts season and I plan on am fully embracing the fun.

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Have you been to Mitchell’s Ohio City flagship location? Not only is it so beautiful, it is also where all of their ice creams are made and sent out to regional restaurants, grocery stores, not to mention their other seven ice cream shops. Currently the ice cream-elves have been busy mixing and creating the fall/holiday flavor collection including Autumn Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Spice, Porter Chocolate Chunk (Ohio City only) and my absolute new favorite Amaretto Cookie…soooo good! 

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Ever wondered how they make their ice creams? Choose the ingredients? Or the logistics on what goes into each hand-scooped pint? Mitchell’s now offers some incredible behind-the-scenes tasting tours for you and your fellow ice cream enthusiasts. The tour includes a behind the scenes experience and tour throughout the manufacturing process from start to finish…plus at the end you will get a scoop of your choice…perfect for trying out some of those new flavors. I believe they just posted a handful of December tour dates, so go check them out and grab your holiday tour tickets today.

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During my visit I also learned of their ice cream pies and cakes. How have I not known about these before? They offer them in some of their best selling flavors in both including Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies & Cream and Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk. Also, as part of their seasonal holiday specials they are offering a Pumpkin Pie Spice ice cream pie for your turkey day celebrations but you must call and order yours today! Give them a ring.

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During my scooping lesson I did a pretty good job scooping out cups and cones. I would say that it is harder than the scoopers make it look. It took me a few times to get the feel of the perfect scoop which has a round dome and then a cloud-like bottom, super pretty and iconic. I bet you can really get some good biceps if you did that job every day. 

Thanks to Mitchells for having me and allowing me to be part of your fun ice cream shop for an afternoon. Thanks for not only one, but TWO cups of ice cream, (amaretto cookie & pumpkin spice!) which ended up being my dinner for the evening. We are super lucky to have such a sweet community partner in Northeast Ohio. We heart you Mitchell’s! Happy Friday everyone…go order those pies & cakes and pick up your pints & quarts for next week!

  Wine & Design at VNTG Home : 11.15 from 3-7pm

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Hi friends. How is everyone doing with this week with the whole time change thing? It was funny, I picked up #ninjamax216 from childdcare on Monday night and he accused me of picking him up too late because it was dark. HA! Poor kid, how do you teach toddlers about Daylight Savings Time? I mean, I barely understand why we still have it myself…farming? Energy savings? I digress.

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Have you guys been able to visit my friends over at VNTG Home yet? I mean I seriously can’t get enough of that place. Each time I stop by the vintage marketplace (located in Tyler Village at 36th & Superior) there are rows and rows of new items for me to explore and day dream about. I actually have a few spaces around our house that still need furniture and decor accessories, so I really enjoy just browsing and thinking about how I could move pieces around and make the rooms change and evolve both in functionality and style.

VNTG_Wine_7Can you even believe these mid century dining room chairs ? They would be perfect for any Thanksgiving family dinner table…no doubt. I also really loved the orange and brown 1970’s chevron, crushed velvet occasional chair. (see above!)

If you are interested in these pieces, one of the best things about VNTG Home is that they have a very comprehensive website where you can look at the treasures as they come in. Go check it out, but be warned if you are like me…be prepared to get lost in the vintage furniture “aisles,” so much great stuff.

Go visit their online store and sign up for the VNTG HOME Society! By signing up, you will receive early access to promotions and special invites to Society events. INCLUDING their Wine & Design event next Wednesday evening, November 15th from 3-7pm!

VNTG_WineVNTG_Wine_9Whatever you like best…red or white…grab a bunch of girlfriends, get your vino on and shop/design for all of those people on your gift list. From vintage artwork, glassware and small decor items to personalized pillows and custom upholstery…get your one of a kind design projects ordered next week to ensure delivery by the holidays.

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So go visit their site, sign up for the VNTG Home Society than meet me NEXT Wednesday the 15th for a special Wine and Design event where we can shop & drink our gift list away!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to VNTG Home who invited me to share my experience as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this local businesses, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  (sponsored) Winter prep at home with Wayfair

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Hi friends. It’s here…SNOW!!! First snow of the season last night and lots of excitement in our home. We LOVE winter sports; everything from sledding and snowshoeing to skiing and snowboarding…we have a closet of gear just waiting to be pulled out for the season.

It’s the time of year when I pull my boots out on a daily basis and pack my heels and flats for work. There is nothing worse than damp suede shoes all day, yuck!

IMG_9926I have also been making a few changes around our house to prepare for old man winter. I pulled out a few velvet pillows, we put away our outdoor furniture and I added a few utility-like (but very fashionable) rugs to our entryways. No soggy socks for this household. HA!

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I really love this rug I found on Wayfair by Elle Decor Collection. It is chic but very utilitarian and super affordable. It’s these little things that we bring inside during the winter months that not only visually keep our homes dry but adding a rug like this to your entry is pretty stylish as well. Happy fall/winter decor updates everyone, have a great weekend.

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Wayfair who invited me to share my “Beautiful Utility” story as part of their social outreach. I received a gift certificate to their store in exchange for my review of their products. Thanks for supporting this businesses, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  A casual girls night out on the rooftop of Punch Bowl Social

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Happy Friday you guys. Looks like it’s gonna be a nice weekend, with a chance of rain on Sunday. I kinda feel that now that Halloween is over, the holiday events and celebrations are coming one after the other. I LOVE planning evening’s out to celebrate friends and connect with those who I maybe don’t get to see a lot. How about you? Love those holiday parties? The months of November and December I also kinda feel like it is totally okay to wear sequins all the time, which I LOVE. As you know I love to thrift shop and can’t pass by the opportunity to pick up sequins whenever I’m presented with those tiny drops of metallic goodness. Sequins pants, skirts, tops and dresses…come on Holidays…I’m coming for ya! I digress…

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A couple of days ago I had the total pleasure to kick off holiday fun with the coolest group of friends at the newly designed and installed Punch Bowl Social rooftop bar. We all met up after work, had some great “punchy” cocktails, took in the view of downtown, had some yummy tacos (because it WAS a Tuesday!) and we may or may not have enjoyed a bit of karaoke too.

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I kinda felt like the rooftop patio was the perfect place for all of us to get together a bit off the beaten path and celebrate Cleveland and friends both new and old. We talked about work, about kids, about what was exciting our creativity (that might have been the punch talking!) we laughed a lot and even left at a responsible time to make it home for This Is Us!

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PunchBowl_7I loved the way they served their goat cheese spread in small mason jars…I’m totally going to try this at Thanksgiving for sure. I also thought their tacos were pretty good, but I am kinda a fan of ALL tacos, so I am biased.

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Thanks Punch Bowl for the incredible Girls Night Out! We loved hanging out with you and your team and your new rooftop is super awesome. I foresee many parties their in the future…bring on next summer. CLE if you are looking for a great place to throw a shower, a special work party, if you are in charge of planning a cool conference in town and need a large space for showing off the city, this rooftop has it all.

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Happy Friday you guys. Cheers to rooftops, tacos, punch, awesome CLE friends who always play along when I call for a Tuesday night out AND to almost sequin season!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Punch Bowl Social who invited me to experience the rooftop with a group of gal pals and share my experience as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this businesses, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!