Category Archives: retail therapy

  Thredup : 2nd hand first & discount code

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Hey CLE fashionistas! Have you heard about the online thrift shop, THRED UP? I am kinda in love with it. I used to be a huge thrift and vintage shopper but nowadays (with our 2.5 yr old toddler and a growing small business) I don’t have the time to commit to the adventure of the search. Enter this online destination for buying (& selling) the best in second-hand fashions.

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It started when I went to their site and requested one of their free “clean-out bags.” I received it in the mail and just like that I was a closet-cleaning-crazy-lady. Personally I like to hang onto everything, I even still have my high school graduation dress…no joke, but this idea of sending my things off to be consigned on the web sounded both super easy and fun. Plus, once you mail your things in, (in the pre-paid bag they provide) if they don’t accept your item to sell, they will recycle it responsibly, simple as that. Making consigning and donating your old things so simple it’s hard not to do it.

ALSO, since I was learning about this new company I did find myself online “browsing” into the wee hours of the nights, when the babes was asleep and all my work was done of course. I ended up grabbing a few really incredible deals for spring/summer including two pairs of brand new summer slides and gold, chunky-heel sandals, both from JCrew! A new little black dress with tags still on and a sparkly shrug for when I’m feeling fancy. Everything was such an incredible deal, I couldn’t pass it up.

So today, I have great offer for all of you who might have looked at their site, but haven’t actually signed up to consign, donate and shop. The team over at THREDUP have provided me a promo code for all first-time users.  JCREW50 = 50% off first-time orders with a discount up to $50. Seriously, it’s an amazing way to clear out the old things that might not fit and make space for new finds. Thanks THREDUP for the fun collaboration!

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SPONSORED POST : Thank you to the team at THREDUP who invited me to try their site as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this exciting new fashion business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Baked with Love! (sponsored)

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Happy almost the weekend everyone! Are you prepping for all the Valentines Day love and fun the next few days? I’m prepping to host a “Galentines Brunch” this weekend and trying out a bunch of new recipes. Thought I would share one of my favorite creations today…A Chocolate Zucchini Heart Cakes.
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I discovered this recipe on a Clotilde Dusoulier’s French cooking and lifestyle blog way back somewhere in 2004. I’ve made it in various shapes, from the standard bread loaf to fancy little tarts, for everyday indulgences to entertaining friends, this recipe is one you will want to come back to time and time again….plus it is perfect to make when you have too many zucchini and don’t know what to do with it all!
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup : unsalted butter (at room temp or 1/2 cup olive oil for a savory taste, plus butter for the pan)
  • 2 cups : all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup : unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp : baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp : baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup : packed, light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp: pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp: instant coffee granules
  • 3 : large eggs
  • 2 cups : unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 6 oz/half a bag : good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips
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Directions!
• Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch round springform pan or a 8 1/2-inch square pan or in this case I used a mini heart shaped silicone pans. (You can find a fun selection of heart bakeware on the Wayfair site…I had to pick up a few pieces myself!)

• In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand in a large mixing bowl), beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla, coffee, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.

• In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, chocolate chips, and about a third of the flour mixture, making sure the zucchini strands are well coated and not clumping too much.

• Add the rest of the flour mixture into the egg batter. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.

• Fold the zucchini mixture into the batter, and blend with a spatula without overmixing. Pour into the prepared cake pan, and level the surface.

• Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer onto a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or a chocolate glaze if desired.

I really enjoyed making these little cakes. Ninja Toddler & I wrapped each one up in cellophane, tied a bit of bakers twine on them and brought them to school as an early Hearts Day gift for teachers and friends. It is a great recipe, promise!

SPONSORED POST : I was invited to share a Valentines Day baking recipe in exchange for some baking swag as part of Wayfairs social outreach. Thanks for supporting this online resource while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Valentines Gifts + GIVEAWAY!

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Hello CLE friends! How is your week been? I can’t believe it is February already! Don’t you just love the start of a new month? I love how it gives us a clean calendar, a sense of a fresh start, the ability to set new goals and start again. When February rolls around, it is a good time to check back in on the goals we set in January. Are you working towards those new goals? Have you already forgotten about them? Come back, revisit, start again….and if all else fails there is always Valentines Day candy!!!

I LOVE, heart, ADORE February. I love celebrating those I love, my man, our toddler, my sisters, gal pals, design team and more, Valentines Day is always one I love to make special. We don’t have exact plans for the holiday yet, but I am sure there will be pretty flowers and some yummy chocolate involved. We typically don’t go to dinner on cupids holiday, opting instead for a movie and cocktails or something like that instead…what are your plans for the “lovely” holiday?

If you are looking for a gift for someone you care about I have assembled a few recommendations from local Cleveland businesses. (Plus read though this post because there is a killer giveaway below!)

A new spa in Gordon Square; REVIVE SPA is an intimate, skin-wellness destination. Located within the arcade (behind Honeycomb Salon), this new spa offers various massages, the best facials…and even couple massages! I love the owner Chrissy, and I swear she is one of the best in town. Give her a shout, let her know we sent you and she will take 10% off on your gift certificates for your honey…mention promo code iheartcle.

For all your stylish friends, BOMBAY TAXI has an incredible selection of unique earnings and many other indian-inspired accessories that would make awesome Valentines Day gifts. I love these graphic, gold square earnings…they go with everything making them a go-to for an everyday luxury fix. For these and other pieces make sure to shop the site and place your orders by February 7th.

Does your bestie have a sweet tooth like mine? If so, a Valentines Day cookie bundle from KELSEY ELIZABETH CAKES would be a “sweet” holiday gift! Kelsey and her team have a special holiday sweet treat menu available on their website, go take a look and place your orders today! trust me, you can’t go wrong with a gift from one of Cleveland’s best bakeries around. PLUS they now have a Rocky River location, it seriously is adorable. Go swing by, say hi, grab a cookie and wish them “Happy hearts Day” from me.

If your lady friend has incredible style and outstanding taste, a hand crafted, leather bag from local designer BLAIR RITCHEY would be an amazing surprise. I have a few “Blair bags” and I can honestly say, they are seriously my favorite. The leather is so soft, their silhouettes striking and her sense of color is just perfect for these drab Ohio days. Isn’t this Pak Mini in the two-tone snake skin killer? It would go really well with a hot pink dress I have…perfect for a night out on the town with my girlfriends…I might just have to buy it.

Lastly, when all the holiday indulging is over and you want to revisit your resolutions, pick up this bright, happy Swell water bottle from LOVELY PAPERIE & GIFTS. You can’t go wrong with a new water bottle and a gift certificate for a long walk, holding hands with your love to make Valentines Day the perfect way to rekindle good health in this new year. Also, if you are looking for the perfect Valentines Day card for your honey, friend, sister, teacher, etc Lovely has an incredible selection of the most chic paper goods designers around. They have the perfect card for any need you may have, plus this month buy two cards and get a free third card…to celebrate them turning 3 yrs old. Happy birthday Lovely, we love you.

So now that I have shared these fantastic gift destinations…have I got the best gift for one lucky winner. Each of the generous small business owners above have offered to give one lucky winner a gift, in the spirit of love. This “I Heart CLE Valentines Day prize package consists of an hour massage from Revive Spa (valued at $80), A pair of gold earrings from Bombay Taxi (valued at $15), six sugar cookies from Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes (valued at $20), a $125 gift certificate to any bag on BlairRitchey.com and last but not least, a hot pink Swell water bottle from Lovely Paper & Gifts (valued at $45.) To enter follow the rafflecopter below! Good luck & thanks to all the vendors who provided fun swag to all of my readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  NEW running shoes from Second Sole

IMG_1466Hey friends! Hope you are having a great weekend. These gray skies are sorta getting to me, how bout you? I am so ready for the white powder stuff…bring it! I have a killer new set of snowshoes from “Santa” that I am dying to take out for a spin…or a hike!

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The good thing of having no snow is that I have been hitting the pavement for a run here and there which is sorta a treat in the middle of January.

IMG_1477So the other day I was thinking about my running kicks…they are an awesome pair of New Balance but I’ve had them for over four years…too long. I had picked up a more recent pair at one of the fitness big box stores, but honestly I never liked how they felt when I was running, they even sometimes put my toes to sleep. So with that, I had to go check out the new(ish) Second Sole.

IMG_1469Have you been to the new Second Sole in Lakewood yet? It’s incredible! From the latest in apparel, to all sorts of shoes options, to the bars and the gu’s…if you like to run this is your new hot spot.

IMG_1474IMG_1476I started with New Balances, ran around the store in Mizuno’s, did a few (baby) sprints in Brooks and even explored Saucony’s. The staff at Second Sole was super helpful, only recommend shoes to support my stride and even humored me when I wouln’t even try on a pair because the looked lime “Nemo” shoes. Long story short…I ended up with a raspberry, mint, lime pair of Brooks! They are pretty snazzy and I am convinced I am going to run faster and farther. ha ha!

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(so much fun running-shoe-shopping! New shoes not shown above.)

So next time you are in the market for some new sneaks and are looking for some great recommendations and shoe fitting knowledge, go visit the team at Second Sole. I promise you will find something for any walking and running fitness abilities and goals!

 

  My new weight loss “bestie!”

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. —
Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!

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 (I love all the end-of-the-day treats, this one is a little lemon cake!)

So okay, it’s the beginning of a fresh new year and I’ve set some great goals for myself. (See previous post) We all know the standard “I need to loose a few pounds” types of goals but this is some serious “I need to seriously loose some weight for the sake of my health and for the sake of taking care of my family.” PLUS I LOVE CLOTHES and I have a closet full of fun vintage finds, bold pattern dresses and colorful numbers that I chat with each morning about when we are gonna hang out together…”real soon” I keep telling them.

Before I had our darling toddler, I was able to get to the gym, yoga studio or run outdoors most days. I also spent hours lamenting over healthy meal planning and new recipes which made eating-healthy exciting. Nowadays the evenings are full with negotiating toddler life and all those fun things that go along with it…and let’s face it, my time is now not only MY time. SO, long story short, when I was thinking about how to attack the weight loss battle I knew I needed something super easy, something that I hadn’t tried before, something that could keep my interest and honestly something for someone with little time to invest in meal prep, etc. Enter Jenny Craig…my new personal in-home chef and bestie!

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(breakfast scramble & a chocolate protein shake; a great way to start the day!)

So far, so good! This program has been designed to provide a plan to people like me who don’t want to spend hours thinking about a menu but still add interest into my day to day “diet” choices. I have also been checking in with a consultant to approach my potential hurdles, she’s been great, just like a gal pal talking about food, fitness and family life. The program takes a holistic approach to weight loss/management, focusing on food, body and mind. I am actually really enjoying how simple it’s been so far. PLUS the food selections have been right on point, they have over 100 things on their menus created by 40 different chefs to choose from, it’s pretty yummy. Loving the morning chocolate protein shakes, anything Tex-Mex is great, the open-faced sandwiches cure my grilled cheese cravings and evening treats have been a decadent way to end the day…everything has been pretty tasty thus far. I actually am also loving the daily reminders to eat fruits, salads and even my own greek yogurt in addition to the Jenny Craig selections.

Currently I am following their weekly meal plan but in a few weeks I hope to take their thinking and begin adding in my own meals because I actually DO love to cook…and my family enjoys it too.

I’m looking forward to reporting back in the next month or two on this weight loss goals. Exciting! So, to all of you who might be looking for a very simple, follow-the-leader type of weight loss approach…I am happy to share the details, just drop me a note! (Plus I have a coupon for $25 off, so just ask!)
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Results not typical. Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. I received promotional consideration.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.