Author Archives: charity

  (sponsored) Dreaming of my Indian Pina Colada cocktail!

Hello friends, happy spring! Recently I have been reflecting about our trip to India. While I loved so many aspects of the adventure, one of the things I discovered that I thought I would share was the bright yellow, Indian Pina Coladas!

We were out at the pool and feeling very festive and tropical when the server came by our patio chairs to see if we wanted a drink. From across the pool, I spotted a bright,  yellow drink all dressed up with multiple, cocktail umbrellas…I knew I had to try one. The server assured me it was a Pina Colada and while I was hesitant at first (I normally don’t love these coconut, suntan lotion-type drinks) I was feeling vacationy and went for it.

When it arrived I was totally BLOWN AWAY by how delicious the drink was. Not thick, not perfumy, just pure pineapple, coconut, and rum! I knew when I got home I was going to try and create it for summer nights by the pool. So I thought I would give my recipe version a shot.

INGREDIENTS (makes two drinks)
1) 1 cup ice
2) 1 cup diced pineapple, fresh
3) 2 ounces coconut water
4) 2 ounces white rum
5) Pineapple slices & mint for garnish

Place all ingredients in your blender and voila! You have a “healthy” Indian-inspired Pina Colada! I’m telling you, it is so light but with a subtle coconut flavor but a fresh, bright pineapple taste. Pour it into a playful glass, add some mint, a pineapple slice and enjoy!

Once you try this light version of the traditional cocktail you will never want anything else. Promise! So cheers to discovering new cocktails while away and the teaching yourself how to make them once you get home…it is a perfect memory that keeps on giving!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Wayfair for including my story about my Indian Pina Colada as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

 

 

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  KP Photo Show & Sale

Hello, friends and happy Easter & Passover week to all who celebrate! Today was a gorgeous sunny day, don’t you think? I had busted out some springtime style and was super inspired by all of the Easter candy and baskets currently found everywhere. With that said…it looks as if it might rain for the rest of the week so I am totally working on my fashion plan of attack, complete with raincoats, wellies, and cute umbrellas. It’s almost April and what do they say? April showers bring May flowers…I don’t think anyone will complain about a plethora of flowers as we roll into a Cleveland summer…so we continue to wait for more sunshine and warm weather.

Today I am here to give you a fun PSA on one of my favorite, biennial arts events, the KP Photo 2018 Fine Art Show. The weekend of April 27th-28th, join the entire team of artists at KP, for the 7th biennial Fine Arts Show. For these two nights see KP’s studio turn into a chic, city gallery exhibition that will feature more than 400 fine art creations for sale, including photography, paintings, illustrations, and installations. Plus, a portion of the sale will be donated to Flashes of Hope so you for sure want to attend and purchase!

If you have never been to “KP” let me tell you a bit about this very cool and super talented group of individuals. KP is predominantly a commercial photography studio, who also excels in CGI (computer-generated imagery,) retouching, and video production serving clients locally and across the country. My role as a creative director and designer first brought me to KP for a client photography project and the rest was history, I’ve loved them ever since. The photography team is so helpful in bringing our designer/client ideas to life, their support staff ensures the project goes smoothly from beginning to end and the team doing the post-production work makes my job of actually using the photos so dreamy.

So now that you know a bit about them…one thing you might not know is while I am bragging about their role as a design partner, these creative individuals also have additional artistic interests outside of their daily work routine. Not only are they photographers but they are also printmakers, painters, sculptures, collage artists and more.

For exact event details and images of the 2016 show, visit their site. I really can’t wait to attend. I promise it is such a good time…and for those of you not really into gallery openings, I have three words for you…Unlimited. Photo. Booth! Hope to see everyone there. Happy art opening KP friends, we wouldn’t miss it for the world.

 

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  The remodeled Ritz Carlton Cleveland

It isn’t every day when us Moms & Dads have the opportunity to slip away for even one night and experience luxury accommodations, fine dining and all of the fun amenities so close to home. So when The Ritz Carlton dropped me a note to come and experience their newly renovated hotel we could not pass up the night away.

Mr. C and I met downtown after work to a very warm welcome from the valet, the hostess, and the front desk staff. Their warm and genuine hospitality seemed like we were their old friends who we hadn’t seen one another in years. The newly remodeled lobby has more of an open concept design than the previous, more compartmentalized floorplan, giving it a more cool and fresh vibe. When you exit the elevators to the lobby you are immediately immersed into a very special atmosphere including a hopping lobby bar, their new fine dining restaurant called TURN, the concierge/check-in area and last but not least many little chic conversation seating areas. I especially love how the new bar is surrounded on three sides with plenty of space to meet friends and enjoy their creative craft cocktail menu selections; we will come back to that later!

Our room was on the club floor which included access to the club lounge. The longe is seriously the perfect place to hang out without actually have to go out. I can envision staying on this floor in the future for the perfect girls night away or perhaps for an overnight during the upcoming film festival. Their lounge was stocked with really great snacks and drinks and in the morning we even were able to have breakfast before we headed home. The staff was so pleasant and took the time to tell us all about their local offerings including beef jerky from the West Side Market, fresh local cheeses, chocolates and other local maker treats. They taught me how to use the help-yourself wine dispenser (dangerous, HA!) and how I could sample a few varietals or enjoy a full glass depending on the button I selected; it was super cool. The new club lounge is filled with some vibrant pieces of contemporary artwork and overstuffed; but with great lines, new upholstered pieces made specifically for relaxing.

After a glass of wine and some snacks, we went back to our room to get ready for dinner at Turn. The newly remodeled rooms feature marble-laden bathrooms including a no-fog mirror in the shower (perfect for shaving!) and some killer travel bath supplies by Asprey. I love the new bedding and furniture and applaud whatever designer chose the nightstands complete with charging stations built into the sides, next to the beds. I also loved their small directional reading lights tucked into the headboards for when you feel like doing a bit of night reading… when you can’t sleep. Speaking of sleeping..we haven’t slept so well in almost 3 years and I attest it to the fluffy Beautyrest For the Ritz Carlton Mattress which Mr. C stripped away the sheets to find the brand of the mattress for when it’s time for us to get a new one …it was that good.

We got dressed and headed downstairs where Monic and Jim walked us through the actual new TURN menu. We started dinner with fresh, micro green salads…I swear I’ve been craving more and am considering stopping down for lunch next time I am downtown to enjoy this salad. For dinner, I had the scallops paired with fresh Ohio City Pasta ravioli and Mr. C had the glazed short ribs, both really great dishes. We also had the brussels sprouts to share and I would highly recommend them if you love them as much as we do. Instead of dessert, we enjoyed their signature “Smoking Man Manhattan” which is infused with cedar-chips smoked tableside. and topped with some Luxardo cherries…a bit of sweet and a touch of smoky…SO GOOD!

As we were wrapping up our dinner experience the lobby was transforming before our eyes featuring a younger, more stylish crowd to groove the night away with the live DJ who was in the house. We hung out with some friends for a final nightcap and then headed up to our room to sneak in a bit of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” from the comfort of our bed.

All in all, I would highly recommend the newly remodeled Ritz Carlton as the perfect Cleveland staycation away from your daily routine. I think they did a wonderful job at the renovations and while I am a bit of an old lady at heart, I appreciate all of the updates and improvements…especially all of the new contemporary art hung throughout the hotel. Thank you to the Ritz for inviting us to experience all of the awesome changes you have undergone. You really did a wonderful job and didn’t miss a detail. We can’t wait to return and enjoy that club lounge a bit longer next time!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to The Ritz Carlton Cleveland for inviting me to explore their remodeled hotel and share my experience as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

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  Our morning at Play grounds

Hello & happy Friday! Hope everyone has some incredible weekend plans…always so many fun happenings going on around town. This weekend I have to focus and get serious about packing for our India adventure…we leave next week! I am apologizing ahead of time because I know I am going to be posting a lot on Instagram, to stay connected with my family…I welcome you to follow along on our trip too!

Everyone keeps asking what I am packing and my answer is “what am I NOT packing?” We are headed abroad for a wedding and this entails three days of various events and celebrations all with many wardrobe changes. The colors, the jewelry, the shoes…let’s just say I have plenty of patterns for everyone.

One of the questions I’ve been getting about our trip is “What about your little “ninja” …is he coming with you?” The answer is a firm “no.” My parents have so graciously agreed to come to Cleveland for the time we are out of town and stay with their grandson. We have a handful of fun things planned for them to check out around town including a morning visit to the new Play Grounds Cafe in Lakewood…have you been?

Founded by husband and wife duo Heather and David Mariano, Play Grounds is the most magical space for both children and parents alike. Nestled on Madison Ave (near where Hilliard intersects) this family-focused coffee shop destination has incredible coffee drinks and healthy bakery options at their coffee bar. My little guy and I stopped by the other morning before work/childcare to check it out, grab a latte and do a bit of playing. The back of the coffee shop is entirely devoted to the importance of little people play and named “the Fort;” because who doesn’t love a good fort? We stayed for just shy of an hour and we both had a blast. I was able to flip through a book uninterrupted (HUGE win!) while he explored all of their cool, different toys. It is truly amazing watching him learn to play on his own and with other kids…it brings me such joy to see him growing into his own social being. Play Grounds has designed a space that is great for parents to socialize while their kids are close, but with a little bit of freedom to grow and play.

Thank you to Heather for inviting us to come by and explore the new space. Congrats to you and your family for following your entrepreneurship dreams and making this vision of coffee and kids come together…parents of Northeast Ohio thank you too!

To stay up on “reading time” and special events, follow Heather and the Play Grounds crew here on Instagram.

(Photography by Heather and Suzanna West Photography)

  family-fajita night out at Abuelo’s

Typically you won’t find me ordering a strawberry margarita on a Tuesday night, I’m typically more of a wine drinker..but this dinner out was extra sweet and special. You see, a few weeks ago Abuelo’s reached out to invite me and my family to stop in and try their “Fajitas for Two” Valentine’s Day special, that also included margaritas and dessert. We try to eat at home during the week but it was funny, I was literally just daydreaming about Mexican food when the email came through and I took it as a sign that we had to say “yes!

Our experience at this Warrensville Heights restaurant (near Eaton Corp)  for sure did not disappoint. From the moment we walked in we felt super welcomed by the hostess who greeted us. Once seated we had an incredible server who explained the menu and the cocktails in detail.

We started our meal with strawberry margaritas, chips, salsas, and QUESO; so good! Then our server brought out their “Firecracker Shrimp” which had the perfect amount of spice for all of us. Next up was the sizzling platter of chicken, steak, and shrimp fajitas with grilled veggies. Our little guy was in awe of how the plate was sizzling and crackling when it arrived but then how quickly we were making and eating our own tacos. Honestly, we didn’t make that much of a dent in the portion (chips do that to me every time!) but not to worry, our rockstar server packed it up for us to-go…including our dessert..to enjoy another time at home.

Thank you to Abuelo’s for connecting and inviting us to dinner. It was super fun to have a night off cooking at home PLUS your food, drink (s – I had 2!) and staff were really impressive. Mr C. was also pleasantly surprised that he found you them on “Door Dash” and is now schemeing to have the queso delivered late night!

If you are looking for a fun place to bring your sweetie on Valentine’s Day or anytime for that matter, visit Abuelo’s. One thing that our son thought was really cool was the sky-like ceiling in their dining room…I think he was fascinated that it looked like we were outside but nice and warm inside; super fun!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Abuelo’s for inviting me to explore their restaurant with my family and share my experience as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

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