Tag Archives: @NinjaCityCLE

  Exploring the east side!!!

IMG_6043

Hello “IHEARTCLE” friends! So happy to be back, on my laptop, trying to settle down and plan for the upcoming week. The last few days have been a whirlwind around here and so  I took a bit of a blogging break as something had to give while my family was making the big move from one side of town to the other. I am happy to tell the tale that we have officially crossed the river and are ready to start exploring the east side! (Photo of my car all packed up with some necessities!)

I have had so many of you ask me “WHY?” “Why did you swap sides of town?” Well, Mr C. and I started lookimg for a new home last fall. While we love our west side mid-century it was time for change. With the addition of “toddler ninja,”  visiting Nanna’s & Pappa’s, lots of big (plastic!) toys and various new hobbies and interests we were outgrowing our home bit by bit and we knew it was a matter of time before we would move.

We looked at a handful of homes in our familiar west side suburbs, even put out an offer or two, but in the end nothing stuck. We actually had seen our new home on google last fall. It was one of those that when we saw it online we thought, “wow, that house is so different, wouldn’t it be cool?” But is was on the east side…we hadn’t even considered changing sides of town. Mr C. grew up in Avon Lake and I was a Lakewood-ite through and through, how could we even consider moving east?

It was the dead of winter; I think it was in February and we were having brunch with some of our favorite CLE friends and Mr C. twisted my arm to go to the open house…he promised toddler ninja would nap on the drive back and I was sold. From the moment we took off our shoes and stepped inside the house I was in love. It was just what we had been looking for….open floor plan, a bit vintage although with modern possibilities and more space than we currently had. Only thing was, it was on the east side and how could we make the change to the other side?

We thought long and hard…months in fact. We would literally go sit outside the home’s multiple open houses to watch as other families went inside of “our home.” Every time, we felt more and more compelled to make an offer and see how things went from there. As we mapped our commutes, explored schooling possibilities, taste-tested foodie hot spots (OMG, Ninja City delivers!!!) we came to the decision that since we loved living in Cleveland, we should at least see what the other side of our amazing city has to offer and the rest is history.

So last week we packed up and headed east. We have been unpacking and organizing, and purging and exploring and honestly it has been scary and exciting and confusing (I have no idea how to really get around over here!) but the moment we pulled into the driveway as official east-siders and there was the coolest “welcome to the east side”  package from some friends I knew we had found our new place to call “home.”

I apologize if I have missed your notes, emails or calls. Last week was just about trying my best to focus on our family and all the changes. Toddler ninja was pretty thrown off and confused and let’s not even talk about bedtimes or the daily thunderstorms and lack of power which made the first few nights in our house kinda spooky. Over the next few weeks I have a few, very fun posts planned for you guys. We will finish off the summer strong and relish in these high temps and long summer nights.

Thanks for always being along for the fun. I look forward to exploring this side of town with you. If you have any must-see’s, eat’s or do’s on the east side please let me know. I am always up for new places to explore and post about! Hooray! Cheers for new adventures.

p.s. Congrats to Katie Jo Kisow () as she was the winner of the new Vitamix!!!

p.s.s. We took home a ton of fresh peaches over the weekend from the Shaker Square Farmers Market. It’s the perfect time to revisit my Ohio Peach Mule cocktail recipe that featured Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer. So good!

  a CLE summer guide!

It’s always fun to make those summer to-do lists and challenge ourselves to check things off one at a time. Between hanging out at the beach, afternoons at the pool, if you have a friend who has a boat that is a plus and then there are cookouts, late night ice cream adventures and summer fun 5k runs you can always find exciting happenings around Cleveland, especially in the summer!

I tried my best to compile a few of my recent go-to’s for dinner, drinks and summer fun below. Take a look, check them out, let me know what I am missing on this Cleveland summer guide. Enjoy & happy summer everyone!

• TO DINE & DRINK •

PLum_6

The Plum Kitchen & Bar : This new watering dining (& drinking!) destination is so pretty that from the moment you walk into the space you feel like you have traveled around the globe and discovered a hidden gem…right here in our backyard. The creative cocktails and family style meals will have you wanting to go back time and time again, so grab your friends and check out the plum. Try and get a seat on the pink bench or the patio, both my favorite spots.

Ninja City : I love this east-side, hot spot for asian-fusion carry out and a swanky cocktail while I wait for my order to be ready! I always order a sampling of their steamed buns and a fun mojito-like summer cocktail. If you like a fresh green-papaya salad, chili garlic wings or Bahn Mi Sandwich, give the team at Ninja City a visit.

Pier W : If you are looking for an incredible, fine dining experience and perhaps the best view of Cleveland and Lake Erie grab an adirondack chair on the deck of Pier W. During happy hour you can sit in the sun while enjoying a summer cocktail (Moscow Mule anyone?) and a few fresh oysters.

IMG_0187-e1454298536548

Banter Cleveland  : If you love a good french fry, have you tried poutine yet? The perfect combination of fries, gravy and a touch of sweet. I admire the simple chic interiors of this hot spot and even better I love that they have a little store inside where you can bring home a bottle of Rosé or beer for your porch parties. I also enjoy sitting at their bar and indulging in a summer drink after a day at Edgewater Beach…I especially love a good dark ‘n stormy! Banter makes theirs with Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer and I love when I order a drink and it is not all watered down with ginger ale. Crabbie’s comes to the CLE from Edinburgh, Scotland. They steep real ginger for over 6 weeks before blending it with the other 4 secret ingredients in order for us to enjoy the first “hard soda” on the market. Give it a try next time you are at Banter!

Spice Kitchen & Bar : Chef Bebenroth and his team of farm to table experts make visiting Spice a memorable experience. The recently just expanded behind the restaurant to include a wonderful patio and bar area for your summer celebrations. Clusters of outdoor couches, a great hardwood bar and lots of herbs and potted plants has this outdoor space one of my go-to places for meeting up with friends this summer. Plus, their bartenders mix an incredible drink…ask them for something with ginger beer or whiskey in it and they will produce a unique flavor that will have you wanting to return to Spice to see what they will come up with next!

Pub Frato : in the mood for a day trip to the Mentor Headlands or Fairport Harbor? While you are there, go check out this authentic gastrobub for awesome cocktails, great cold beers and don’t miss their truffle fries!!! (They are also participating in Crabbie’s Week so ask for their special RNC Red Cocktail…more at the end of this post)

• THINGS TO DO •

41 Degrees North : In the summertime I love to get outdoors and enjoy our incredible weather and water. No boat? No problems. You can visit the crew at 41 Degrees North (at the Yack Shack) nested in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation for all sorts of Kayak and stand up paddle board rental needs. The team will get you outfitted for a morning on the river or the lake depending on your confidence level and I’m telling you, it is one of the best summer experiences around. Truly makes living close to such a Great Lake accessible and is a wonderful activity for a group of friends or family to enjoy summertime outdoors together.

IMG_4822

Kendell Ledges in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park : If you are looking to escape the city and get outdoors for a morning, head south to my ultimate favorite outdoor hiking spot around town, the Kendell Ledges. These massive rock formations were created millions of years ago and span over 2 miles long and about 30 feet high. Covered in a vibrant green moss, these rock walls make you feel like you have stepped onto a set of Jurassic Park, they are just incredible. This shaded park would make for a wonderful weekend destination for a picnic with your pals. If you’ve lived here all your life or just visiting for the weekend, seriously, go explore Kendell Ledges, I promise you are in for a treat.

DSC_8654-7

The Westside Market : This market has been featured all over the place, but it truly is one of Cleveland’s most cherished community hot spots, food shopping mecca’s and an architectural gem. If you are visiting this summer make sure to stop at Cleveland’s public oldest market home to 100 vendors offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices and nuts….plus while you are there grab a crepe or a polish sausage sandwich, you won’t leave hungry!

The Cleveland Museum of Art : Celebrating their 100th year, this global art institution is one of my ultimate favorite places to take my family and out of town guests to visit time and time again. The museum is FREE and open to the public and the most recent renovations have guests still stopping to stare…you can’t miss the incredible new atrium. While you are enjoying art, you can also stop for a snack…or a cocktail at their restaurant Provenance. Take a moment and enjoy the Contemporary Art Collection the museum has, I can’t get enough of the big Marilyn Monroe, Warhol piece.

Tremont : This little pocket of Cleveland has incredible shopping and boutiques like Banyan Tree and Evie Lou. Plus it is home to incredible bars and restaurants. If you are visiting Cleveland, make sure to include a few hours to explore this neighborhood and the many churches and interesting architectural masterpieces. I love walking around here on a friday night before we decide on what the weekend has in store for us…especially on the second Friday of the month where they host, Walk About Tremont…check it out!

The Cleveland Flea : This monthly flea martket of over 100 vendors is a must-do during the summer in Cleveland. Filled with many makers and vintage enthusiasts, this show is seriously and incredible vshopping destination in our city. Don’t miss the next “FLEA” Saturday, August 13th. See you there!

__________

Thank you to Crabbie’s the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer for sponsoring this post. This week is the official Crabbie’s Week here in Cleveland. While the RNC is in town they have partnered up with a few local watering holes to celebrate good cocktails and politics and are serving up “The “RED DRINK” Cocktail. This drink is simple and sounds super yummy…1 1/4oz vanilla vodka, 3/4 oz lemon juice, shake and pour with ice, Fill the rest with Crabbies Raspberry! If you don’t feel like making your own at home, you can visit Shinto (in Strongsville) to have their bartenders mix one up! Want to pick up a 4-pack of Crabbie’s visit Zagara’s (In Cleveland Heights,) Cap & Corks (in Lakewood) and many of the Giant Eagle Locations around town.

SPONSORED POST : This post has been sponsored by Crabbie’s the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer. All of my thoughts are my own.

  A visit to Ninja City

NC_3

The other day we went on a “Craig’s List Adventure” to buy a bunch of fireplace wood for the winter weather ahead. On our way home from Collinwood…we decided to stop into Ninja City in University Circle for some fancy Saturday evening take out.

Ninja_City

I think the interiors were wild and oh so fun; made me smile. I had baby ninja with us in one of those front carriers, we ordered at the bar and then hung out together as our to-go tastes were prepped. The staff were so kind, making us feel welcome and right at home.  MORE! →

  Loving LORDE

lorde0(Photo courtesy of Universal Music NZ LTD)

Hey friends. Hope your week is rolling right along swimmingly. For those of you who attended the Cleveland Food Banks Taste of the Browns, I hope you had as much fun as I did. What a wonderful, very organized, fundraiser. Guess who won her silent auction bid of margaritas, chips, salsa and guac for twelve peeps at El Carnicero? Yep… this girl! I am so thrilled to be able to give to such a worthwhile cause while having the opportunity to plan a fiesta with friends. Looking forward to it!

Have you heard? There are still a few tickets available to next weeks Lorde concert at Jacobs Pavillion at Nautica, Wednesday, Sept. 24th. I am so excited to experience this artist’s show I can barely wait.  Made big by Royals, this mysterious beauty is like no other. Her electronica, pop-rock style can somehow be described as a mash up between Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks mixed with a dash of Prince and some Kanye beats…let’s just say she’s one of a kind.

aq_resizer(Photographed by Tom Munro for Vogue, March 2014)

Once you’ve secured your tickets, it’s time to get in the Lorde spirit…just a couple of things that might get you psyched up for the show or maybe even a Lorde sighting around the 216….a girl can dream can’t she?

> This 17 yr old fashionista loves to rock vintage fashion. If I were going to hit up a few vintage stores in hopes to catch a glimpse of the beauty or to find something special to wear to the show I might swing by Suite Lorain, Deering Vintage or Flower Child for some unique concert threads.

> According to this two time Grammy winner’s Instagram feed she loves a good bowl of ramen. Perhaps a visit to Noodlecat or the new Ninja City would be a yummy place for a pre-show, slurpy dinner?

> The girl has the best long, curly hair and funky manicures I’ve ever seen. Looking to get dolled up “Lorde-style” pre-show? A visit to Zen Metro Spa or Honeycomb Salon will do the trick. I hope she rocks one of those funky braid wreaths in her hair…perhaps that’s how I will fix my mop for the show too…hmmm?

aq_resizer-1(Photographed by Kevin Tachman)

> Last but not least, one thing I always look to Lorde for is her signature dark lipstick. I’m not sure it would look good on me (I’m more of a bright salmon lip kinda girl) but if I was looking for more of the goth-styled lipstick, tights or boots, I would head directly to the Mission Boutique in Lakewood. Lots of dark lip stains and more to choose from.

Whatever your style is you’ve got to see Lorde perform live. It’s going to be a visually gorgeous show, her style is not to be missed and her music is magical. To get your tickets to this almost sold out show visit Live Nation’s site and grab your seats NOW!

*I was invited to attend next week’s show as a guest of Live Nations. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting this organization that not only brings great artists to Northeast Ohio but that also allows me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!