Author Archives: charity

  The “Party of the Year” with CPT…PANDEMONIUM!

Pandemonium 2016: The Fire Within from Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) on Vimeo.

Ever since I have moved to Cleveland I have been a HUGE fan of the creative team over at Cleveland Public Theatre. While I love their unique theatre/drama/musical performances, I LOVE the history and uniqueness of each of the individual buildings on the CPT campus. From the moment you walk into one of their spaces you just KNOW you are in for the best visual treat ever. I gotta say I am NEVER disappointed with anything this bunch does. So this is why I am SO SO SO PSYCHED that I am going to be attending this years 15th annual theatrical Pandemonium spectacular and all-inclusive, incomparable, choose-your-own-adventure benefit, next Saturday, September 9th.

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All guests enjoy pulling up to the party with complimentary valet, drinks and delicious food from some of Cleveland’s top chefs, alongside breathtaking entertainment in every corner of CPT’s campus. Named “Fundraiser Event of the Year” (Connectors Choice Award 2013 & 2014), Pandemonium is a uniquely immersive “choose-your-own-adventure” style event, featuring nearly 300 Northeast Ohio artists premiering over 50 original works and musical acts on 20 different stages and in unexpected places. The Pandemonium 2017 lineup includes bands, DJs, contemporary dance, short plays, comedy, cabaret performances and more.

This year’s theme is “UNLEASH” and I can’t wait to let my hair down (totally more in the sense of the words than actually wearing my hair down because you guys know…I am more of a side bun girl!) and party with some of the most creative people Cleveland has to offer, SO EXCITED!!!

The good news is that there are still a handful of tickets available online at www.cptonline.org or by calling (216) 631-2727 ext. 501. Proceeds support CPT’s groundbreaking artistic work and education programs. I hope you all can make it but if not you can always make a donation to this incredible organization, just give them a call.

I am already looking forward to trying my hand at LIVE instal-storying that evening and if nothing else just sharing with you and insiders look at this incredibly creative event of the year! See you next Saturday!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Cleveland Public Theatre who invited me to experience Pandemonium as part of their social outreach. I received tickets in exchange for my social reach. Thanks for supporting this local arts organization, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Taste of the Brown!

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I am SOOOO excited to share with you about this years Greater Cleveland Foodbank, Taste of the Browns event coming up on Monday, September 18th! I mean, these pre-season Browns games have really been getting our household in the fall-football-spirit and what could be better than meeting a few players all for a good cause? It’s been a few years since I have attended the fundraiser celebration and I can’t wait to see how the party has grown and evolved.

The two best parts of the event is the ability to mix and mingle with actual Cleveland Browns players as well as alumni AND sampling dishes from some of Cleveland’s best restaurants and chefs. At this years #TasteoftheBrowns on Monday, September 18th, 2017, join Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Alumnus Josh Cribbs and event chef Rocco Whalen as they help in the fight against hunger here in Northeast Ohio.

Not only will there be great food & cocktails as well as real live FOOTBALL Players at the party…they always have an awesome silent auction as well. If you are like me, you kinda love the idea of getting a deal at a silent auction all while supporting a great non-profit. Let the bidding begin!

So I hope to see everyone at this exciting fall fundraiser for a great cause. It’s gonna be great…GO BROWNS! GO #TasteoftheBrowns! Now go grab your tickets here before they are all gone!

  Dinner from Fresh Meals

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A few weeks ago I had the privilege of trying one of Cleveland’s newest meal delivery services called Fresh Meals by Café Avalaun. The team at Fresh Meals prepares healthy, farm-to-table, 100% gluten free food customized to meet your dietary needs.

I try my best to make good, healthy choices when it comes to meal planning and eating out…sometimes better than others. When the chefs at Café Avalaun approached me to give their weekly subscription a try, I jumped at the opportunity. With each subscription you get three meals for two people made up of a locally sourced protein and a few yummy sides each week. The menus change monthly featuring in-season produce and seasonal pairings…pumpkin spice anyone?

freshMealsWe ordered a few incredible salads which were so helpful when the “after work lazys” crept in and I would have otherwise made (or ordered) something probably much less healthy. We also had toddler-approved chicken fingers and sautéed zucchini strips, so much healthy flavor for an easy weeknight family meal. With back-to-school on the horizon this easy and healthy dinner solution would be a great service to try out in the next few weeks!

Wanna give these guys a try? Use the promo code found on their site “GetFresh” for $25 off your first weeks order! Check out this month’s menu and get more details on their awesome service here!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Café Avalaun who invited me to try their food for a week as part of their social outreach. I received three meals in exchange for my opinions in this post. Thanks for supporting this local business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  An overnight at Vineyard Woods + Wine tasting in Geneva!

Wine_05Hello friends, happy almost Monday. Hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend in the CLE! I can’t even believe it is August already, our end-of-summer countdown is officially on. Have you been Wade Oval Wednesday? Have you had a picnic at Edgewater Park? Have you rode coasters at Cedar Point, cheered in the Indians or hosted a backyard barbecue? So many summer days left, make sure you wake up each day and make the most out of our Ohio summer days…they truly are the best.

Perhaps I am late to this tid bit of info…but have you been out to our Northeast Ohio wine country in Geneva over the last few years? It is AH. MAZE. ING!!! I had visited probably over ten years ago but since then it has totally grown up and become quite a destination, so today I’m going to tell you all about a recent trip….here we go.

One of the most fun parts of writing this blog is the incredible people, creative dreamers, entrepreneurs and civic minded individuals I have the opportunity of meeting and getting to know. A few months ago, in the dead of our Ohio winter I received an email from Scott about his project that he was working on called Vineyard Woods. You see Scott, a former finance executive had left his corporate life behind to follow his and his families passion of development, hospitality and their love of wine. Scott had grown up in the Geneva area and had the vision to build a new type of luxury lodging in our Northeast Ohio wine country making it a destination somewhat like a Hocking Hills. Flash forward a few months and Scott’s new lodge and cottage resort; Vineyard Woods is the first lodging destination like this in the region.

Wine_2I had the opportunity to stay overnight in the two bedroom suite and it was a real treat. Our place was so bright, fresh and new, I can’t say enough great things about the accommodations. From the drive in where we were welcomed by Scott’s parents (while they were watering the new resort landscaping) to the incredible lodging details (in-room fireplaces, locally crafted artisinal chocolate with sea salt and locally roasted coffee) Vineyard Woods is totally a dreamy destination for overnight lodging in the Geneva wine country area.

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So dreamy that our host Scott put together an hour-by-hour winery itinerary for us to explore the local vineyards while we were visiting. We started our afternoon visit with wine, cheese and charcuterie at the new(ish) Laurentia Winery.  This gorgeous wine-making destination is a perfect place to spend the afternoon catching up with a good friend over a great bottle of Chardonnay…Go check it out.

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From there we headed over to M Cellars to explore their tasting bar. We tried a handful of different varietals but ended up purchasing glasses of chardonay, rosé and malbec…all so good and yummy.

Wine_07As we were leaving we realized there was an adorable distillery across the road in an old barn and so we had to check it out; Red Eagle Distillery. The barn was incredible, built in the 1800’s this distillery has been restored to a historical bourbon and rye distilling destination. A taste of their smokey, full-bodied bourbon was a nice change of pace from all the vino we had tried…kinda like dessert. We each purchased a bottle of the spirits for our men back home and then off we went to explore the last winery of the day.

Wine_04Our final wine stop was at the South River Winery. Once an old church this building has also been restored to a work of winery art, complete with an incredible patio overlooking their acres of vineyards. We saw many families enjoying wine and homemade picnics, kids running through he grounds and lots of friends enjoying the view for the afternoon, this space was truly gorgeous.

After the winery and vineyard tours, we detoured up to Lake Erie in Geneva by the Lake for dinner near the beach at The Lakehouse Inn. Sunset was exceptionally stunning, my Lake Erie Perch sandwich hit the spot and of course one more bottle of chardonnay to wrap up our winery adventure day.

Wine_06After all the fun, we headed back to Vineyard Woods for an incredible nights sleep. Our suite had two large queen beds so we each had our own room complete with the best sheets and pillows. I’m not sure if it was all the wine or if it was seriously one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. While we didn’t spend much time outdoors, our lodge also had a great outdoor fire pit that anyone in the lodge could use, complete with a stacks of firewood. Next time we visit I am totally going to bring smores supplies for a late night treat.

Thank your Scott and his family for hosting us for the evening. I think your new accommodations are so unique and well done that everyone should book a night or two to come and stay with you and explore wine country…Ohio style. I was also thinking about the resort and how the place would make a wonderful family overnight getaway, an incredible girls weekend away or small-business work-retreat destination, I can’t wait to come back.

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Vineyard Woods who invited me spend the night at their resort as part of their social outreach. I received an overnight stay at the resort in exchange for my opinions in this post. Thanks for supporting this local business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Picnic in Public Square with Heinens

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Good morning! Today I am excited to share with you some wonderful images from our “Picnic in Public Square”  from last week. I invited a handful of friends to meet up after work downtown in the new(ish) Public Square for an after work happy hour picnic. I brought cheese and crackers, some incredible apricots, watermelon & clementines, summer ales, homemade sandwiches, a few cookies and some layered blueberry & lemon parfaits, it was delicious.

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Public Square was the perfect setting for our urban meet up. There was plenty of parking after the work crowd rolled out of downtown and the park was rather quiet. It was an incredible setting to be enjoying nature in the middle of skyscrapers and historical buildings, I think we all had one of those “I can’t believe this is Cleveland!” kind of “ah ha moments” while we all enjoyed our evening together.

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Heinen’s had reached out and offered me a $100 gift card to put together a picnic with everything from their store. I love their produce department so buying fruits and veggies was super easy. They also have a great wine and beer department so finding just the right six pack for our outing was very fun…not how cute is this can? I found some great little baguettes and ended up making each of us basil, arugula, prosciutto, tomatoe and fresh mozzarella sandwiches…including a touch of Lemon Herb Aioli from Stonewall Kitchen; also sourced from Heinen’s.

75897For dessert I had to do something with ball jars and so I filled them with blueberries and then whipped up some lemon pudding which was dolloped on top. I also bought small orange shortbread cookies which were quote the treat.  The wrapped sandwiches and ball jar parfaits were made the night before and we keep in a cooler while I was at work awaiting our picnic fun.

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So, the moral of this story is that as we enter August there is still PLENTY of summer left to plan your picnic outing with your friends. Pick a fun location, plan an easy menu and spend the time outdoors with your friends!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Heinen’s who invited me to host a summer picnic as part of their social outreach. I received a $100 gift card to Heinen’s in exchange for my post. Thanks for supporting this local business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!