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  Services, tips & tricks of 2019

Well hello, hello! It’s been WAY too long my friends. I think my last post was in October and then the end-of-the year push happened at our design studio and with a busy holiday season at the studio, hosting a large Thanksgiving feast and all the festivities the holidays (& my December birthday,) something had to give.

I do know that many of us stay connected through instagram and for that I am thankful. I so enjoyed all the encouraging comments during December with regards to my self-imposed month of a #ShimmerandShineChallenge. It is a total passion project for myself and fuels my fashion creativity to a shiny new level. Thanks for those of you who played along, you guys are the best.

As I have been reflecting over 2019 and things that worked and things that maybe could be improved on, I kept coming back to these little tricks, products and services that I have discovered over last year and I thought you might like to know them as well. Nothing grandeous, but as a working parent who owns a business and would rather squeeze in a glass of wine with her friend then hit the grocery store on the way home, any little thing to make life sweeter is worth sharing. This is not a sponsored post but an honest sharing of things I know and love…check them out.

Okay, first up Instacart. I just had my 1 year anniversary with this service and I never want to grocery shop without “her” ever again. Did you know that Instacart offers personal shoppers at more than Heinen’s and Aldi’s? Along with Costco (you DON’T even have to be a member!) they recently added Target to their lineup so between those four stores I am totally covered. Using instacart has allowed me time to sit down with cookbooks and recipes to plan out the week. I easily select ingredients as I check my cabinets for things we already have and stuff we need; eliminates the “why do we have 3 jars of peanut butter?” issue. I know some of you are skeptical on having someone else pick out your produce and other items and yes, I still LOVE to go to the farmers market for my weekly fix of hydroponic grown lettuces, but in my experience the shoppers of Instacart are about 95% accurate and for that I am thankful. I love that I don’t have to go to the grocery store and negotiate with our son what special snack or cereal he can or can not get, makes shopping simple and fun. Sometimes I will let him pick one thing out on the app, so we can shop together from our pj’s on the couch. Now I do admit, I have ordered a few wrong sizes of things here and there and like anything else with practice the entire ordering process gets way easier. Also, if you do make a mistake or if the shopper substitutes for something you don’t want, the customer service is SO GOOD that they make me want to shop from there time and time again. I have heard a few of you say you don’t want to shop from there because of the single-use plastic bag usage…well I have great news, all of the vendors I have shopped from recently have all changed over to paper bags making this company even more love-able than before. If you don’t use this service, give it a shot…It helped give me a few extra hours a week in 2019 and for that I am thankful.

I know I may be late to the party, but last year I started to slowly transition to more organic household products. I found a company called Grove Collaborative that offers many safe household and bath+body products that I seriously love. Each month they send me a notice to see if I am running low on any products (detergent, glass spray, hand soap, etc.) a quick scan around my kitchen and I can reorder my organic products at a discounted rate and with free shipping. Plus, they have a few private label products that are not only effective but nicely designed, enter the laundry detergent. The laundry detergent arrives in a recycle-able refill bag which you pour into their frosted glass pitcher that is not only looks beautiful on our counter-top but also measures out how much of the concentrated cleaner should go into each load, beauty and function…LOVE. Plus as I do a bunch of laundry I feel so great that I am not recycling those big Tide plastic jugs that I had been doing for many, many years. Convenient, great design AND doing something good for our world!!! I am sold and you should check them out.

When it comes to solid tricks to making our household work smoothly, it all comes down to Sunday prep days. I literally set aside most of Sunday afternoon to prep all sorts of meals and munchies for our week ahead. Packing our lunches have never been easier and with a few soups and freezer meals prepped, weeknights are way easier than they used to be. Recently we do about a dozen hard boiled eggs for breakfasts, we make chia seed puddings with leftover nuts, berries and apples form the previous week, I try to make a new soup and a freezer chicken and veggies type meal for the crock pot and I do my best to clean and prep all of our produce to resist any lazy mid-week thoughts of why we shouldn’t cut up the cauliflower. Anyone want to come over and prep some Sunday? I swear it is a bunch of fun and you feel so prepared going into the work week, it truly is Sunday FUNday!

I’m sure I am late to the party on this one, but in 2019 I really started diving into Audible.com. whether for my drive to work or just the daily household chores, I could use that time to listen to the latest self help or fiction darling. Currently I am loving listening to some of the popular bios because they actually read them…LOVED Becoming by Michelle Obama and This Will Only hurt a Little bu Busy Phillips. Do you have any good tricks to getting all the “reading” done? This has allowed me to keep up while not falling asleep and re-reading a chapter over and over again when I finally go to bed. Thanks audible for bringing me back to loving books.

So those are just a few services I love, habits we created and fun ways that I created joy for myself and my family last year. Hope you might have found them helpful…can’t wait to see what 2020 holds for us! Cheers Cleveland friends, lots of love!

  Fall decor finds over at Wayfair

It’s feeling like fall and I am itching to do a few more decorating projects before the holidays. Nothing huge, switching out some small furniture pieces, updating some kitchen things, perhaps a new house plant or four!

I have plans to hit up a few vintage stores over the next few weekens, and one of my designer friends is going to swing by to give me here thougths on a few of my decor ideas. I’t fun to brainstorm with fellow creative friends on furniture picks and more.

For some other pieces I found some things over at Wayfair. Here are just a few of my fall picks below; check them out!

  currently loving…in CLE

Hi & happy “there is finally SNOW!” I know you all know how much I love a good snowfall…so let’s just take a moment to do a little happy dance, bust out your snow clothes and plan to head outside for a bit of winter fun.

This year here on I Heart Cleveland I want to use this place to share some of the fun things that I find, that get emailed to me or that friends recommend…that I LOVE! I’m going to try and post once a month about two or three things that I enjoy and hope you will too.

 

#1 : Modern CLE : Have you checked out the newest, digital magazine sweetheart; Modern CLE? Not only is it well designed and has great photographs but best of all it features some amazing women from right here in Northeast Ohio. Each week the team at Modern CLE will share with us a story about a woman who is marching to the beat of her own drum. Last week they featured my friend and fellow entrepreneur; Reena Goodwin of Fracteur PR, make sure you go check it out. Also, they just updated their site, so make sure you sign up for their newsletter to get the weekly GO GIRL stories! Modern CLE you are killing it! Keep up the great job.

 

#2 :  Georgia O’Keeffe at the CMA : As a once art student and now a professional graphic designer, I am a huge art enthusiast. Mr. C and I are members of the Art Museum and we try our best to see most of the feature exhibits that come to town. Currently, I am loving on the Georgia O’Keeffe show which was originally organized by the Brooklyn Museum and runs through March 3rd. Not only do I appreciate Ms. O’Keeffe’s paintings of florals, abstracts, and imagery from the desert, but this exhibit really is so much more than that. This show covers who the artist actually was as a person, what she liked to do when she wasn’t creating art and my personal favorite..what she liked to wear! It isn’t a huge show, but I think everyne should for sure go check it out. It’s totally kid and family friendly too, in case that had crossed your mind.   ;)

 

#3 : Brewellas : This Lakewood destination for delicious coffee and crepes has me tickled pink. From the hand-painted wall mural to the opposite wall of curated, vintage mirrors for sale and let’s not even talk about the custom neon…this new spot is a must see. You’ve probably seen pics of this adorable, Lakewood crepe shop popping up in your insta feed but you really should go see it for yourself. Looking for a great Brewellas lunch? I typically order a plain crepe with egg, bacon and a touch of Gruyere plus an almond milk latter…perfect for a Friday treat! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

So hooray for my first “currently loving” January post! I hope you guys get out and enjoy some of these fun finds!

If you have any ideas for the February post…I am always open to sharing, shoot me an email to editor@iheartcleveland.com

  The first annual Gathering for Good!

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Today I am so proud to share with you guys the story about the first annual Gathering for Good; raising funds for children’s pediatric cancer research at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

A few months ago my dear friend Meg Nowlin invited me and my other friend Kim Crane for coffee. I showed up a few minutes late and in my gym clothes and was welcomed by a table full of executives from the Cleveland Clinic…I was in shock. Had I somehow missed that this meeting was a business affair on the text invite? Nope. Meg actually forgot to let Kim and I know we were meeting to brainstorm a new type of fundraising for “Children’s” all together. After the initial shock of yoga pants in professional mode (Kim showed up casual too!) we all jumped at the opportunity to get on board and help in whatever manner Meg and the development team needed us for.

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My friend Meg and her family have been so impacted by the work at the clinic, we all knew it was so important. The oldest of the Nowlin family, seven-year-old Maisie is exceptionally inquisitive, bubbly and caring. As the oldest of five children, she is the center of the Nowlin family. Shortly after Maisie’s sixth birthday, her world was turned upside down. Maisie received the diagnosis of a rare bone marrow failure disease called Very Severe Aplastic Anemia (VSAA).

VSAA is a life threatening illness affecting the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells and requires serious medical intervention and treatments. In September 2015, it was determined that none of Maisie’s four siblings were a bone marrow match, so in October of 2015 Maisie had to undergo immunosuppressive therapy treatment. Unfortunately, the treatment was ultimately deemed a failure, so the next hope for Maisie was to find a bone marrow donor. In early 2016, Maisie received what her family calls a “miracle”– a match had been found. Maisie underwent a bone marrow transplant, but experienced rare complications that left her requiring more platelet and blood transfusions, and in a hospital bed for weeks to months on end.

We are thrilled to report that today, because of research and experimental opportunities Maisie is attending school and loves hanging out with her friends and family just like any other healthy kid.

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I’ve known Meg and Kim for over 12 years and I am honored and humbled to have co-chaired this years Gathering for Good event along with them. It took us about five months from an idea to one of the best summer soirée events I have ever attended. Oh, and did I mention we raised around 40K  for pediatric cancer research initiatives? To say we were proud is an understatement.

11782The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky or even a touch of wind. We had the most beautiful clear tent, stunning vintage furnishings and delicious food and drinks. A steel drum, music man welcomed everyone to the party and then another talented musician took over half way for a variety of party tunes. There was a silent auction filled with unique CLE experiences of everything from a birthday party at Mitchell’s to a Flats East Bank, rooftop cocktail party for 40 guests.

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There are so many people to thank for helping us make the event a huge success but I will give it a shot. Thanks to Meg for coming to Kim and I to help with her vision. Kim & Ryan thank you for hosting the event at your lovely home. Thank you to my creative team at studio Chartreuse for developing such playful and fun creative to support the event. Thanks to Laura for all the behind the scenes work, we know those cookie bags were no joke! Thanks to Ruth and Ann for their party planning expertise, we don’t know what we would have done without you. And for all the attendees who believed in us and the cause, we couldn’t have pulled off such a successful fundraiser without you. Thank you for showing up and bidding on the evenings auction items.

Gfg_4125127Gfg_511986If you weren’t able to attend this annual fundraiser but would still like to make a donation to our cause, please donate here. We are hopeful we will do this event next year so keep an eye out next summer!

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Last but not least, to Mother Nature for providing us the most gorgeous evening to celebrate raising funds to support new opportunities for pediatric cancer research at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. (Thank you for the gorgeous photography K. Ardner!)

  Holiday discount : 2 Men & A vacuum!

Hello CLE! Hope you had a fantastic weekend prepping for the holiday week ahead. I was doing a bit of shopping and it was a madhouse everywhere we went. I mean I know a lot of you do Christmas on Thanksgiving…but it was seriously wild everywhere we went. Not to mention stores were extra full for Black Friday sale fun.

Speaking of holidays today I have a fun discount code to share with all of you from the team at Two Men and a Vacuum, 10% off all of their cleaning services through the holidays using the special code “IHEARTCLEVELAND” (first time bookings please, expires 1/1/17)

img_9672Established in 2012, Two Men & A Vacuum has become the go-to cleaning service in Ohio for residential and commercial cleaning. They are committed to raising the bar in the cleaning industry by employing cutting edge technology, using eco-friendly products and hiring team members in an industry that often relies on cheap labor and cheaper toxic cleaning products. Started in Columbus, Ohio…the Cleveland branch has now officially launched!

img_9671A few weeks ago the team at “Two Men” came out to our house to give it some extra love in the cleaning department. Things have been hectic since we moved in with an emphasis on unpacking and starting to work on decorating…rather than keeping up on daily household chores. The duo did an incredible job making our home sparkle from top to bottom and we will for sure have them back again soon!

Get your holiday cleaning’s scheduled soon, as those appointments are filling up fast. Also…looking for a gift for the person who has it all? They also offer gift certificates, I would love that gift…hint, hint mom! So, while I might not have a regular cleaning person…this service makes the perfect helper during this busy holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving, safe travels and happy shopping to everyone! May you have clean homes, fully belly’s and even lots of love with friends and family!

SPONSORED POST : I was invited to post about the new Cleveland businesses, Two Men & A Vacuum in exchange for a little house love as part of their social community outreach. Thanks for supporting this local business while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!