Category Archives: retail therapy

  Summer Celebrations : Lawn Games Sponsored by Wayfair

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Hello friends! With last weekends 80 degree temps, it’s truly feeling like summertime is quickly approaching. We have started doing a few yard projects around our new home, pulled out the patio and pool furniture and even planted a handful of flowering spring perennials to add a few pops of color to the yard. What about you? Have you felt the urge to style and prep your yard for all of your summer, outdoor entertaining events?

When I was younger my sisters and I were always tasked with the job of picking up sticks around the yard as part of spring cleaning. Needless to say we didn’t love working in the yard as teenagers but somehow the knowing we would get our allowance always kept us coming back. Flash forward almost thirty years later  a day of working in the yard, mowing the grass, trimming the trees and picking up sticks sounds luxurious to me.

As kids when we were finished with the yard work we used to totally love playing outside. Do you remember pogo balls? We could spend hours on them. We also loved jumping rope, a touch of hopscotch as well as a proper game of croquet. My parents had a vintage game set and a large front yard so it was the perfect place to spend hours on this retro lawn game…just me, my sisters and the clicking of the wooden balls as we tried to steer them with our wooden mallets. I also always had to be green (sometimes yellow) like the color even mattered…we were all still pretty bad. As I have grown up, anytime I see a croquet set I truly enjoy giving the ball a little whack and remembering all the fun we had outside on the lawn. Ahh..the old days.

Wayfair_CroqA few years ago while scouring a flea market I happened to pick my own croquet set…so how about we plan an evening of lemonade (or sangria!) on the lawn, we can all wear our vintage summer dresses, big sunglasses and straw hats and enjoy the best summer lawn game…croquet. Let me know who’s in!

Thanks to Wayfair for encouraging and sponsoring this post which had me actually sit down and put “pen to paper” of some of my favorite summer fun memories. I just happened to be on their site and they have so many fun things that would make for a perfect croquet party…here are just a few ideas, but you should go explore for yourself!

Croquet Set / Chaise Lounge Chair / Outdoor Umbrella / Plant Arbor / Plant Stand

Happy spring…almost summer everyone. My wish for you is the gift of time…make some time for you and your friends to connect and create those special summer memories. It truly is worth it to step away from technology every now and then and get outside to play. Happy croquet everyone!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Wayfair who invited me to walk you down memory lane as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Feeling like summer with Chill Pops!

IMG_8262Hey Cleveland, how has your week been? I’ve had a busy one but super productive and filled with lots of fun possibilities for the Cleveland-summer horizon. Between new design projects at studio Chartreuse and a handful of spring home projects it’s been an exciting few weeks around here. Spring is for sure in the air, the trees are blooming, the skies are blue…if you have allergies you are probably feeling them by now and if you are a popsicle lover you are probably jonesing to fill your freezer with all sorts of summer flavors…enter local foodie makers, Chill Pops!

IMG_8298If you haven’t tried these real fruit popsicles you should run to any one of their retailers for the most perfect, sweet, spring treat. “Toddler Ninja” loved the Watermelon Lime flavor while I was more partial to the Lemon Ricotta…a bit sweet & sour! Lately we keep a few varieties in our freezer so when we are craving something sweet and sorta “bad” we always have “Chill” on hand…and to be honest, they aren’t that “bad!”

IMG_8354Each popsicle is “Made with Meaning” so make sure to share them with the people you care about and love. Not only will you enjoy the taste of each frozen treat but you will feel really good about supporting these local entrepreneurs who are making our city more sweet, more fun and for sure…more Chill!

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“So yummy! Mom can we eat these for dinner?”

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FUN POST, NOT SPONSORED : We love Chill Pops! We bought these three boxes at Whole Foods for a special weekend treat. Thanks for supporting this local business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  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