CLE food

CLE Events: Chef's Fantasy

One of the things I LOVE most about Cleveland is that its really easy to give back. We really have a large amount of non-profits per capita, an its generally fairly easy to get involved, either by donating time or money, or even by attending fabulous fundraiser events.

Nick and I usually attend Jump Back Ball in the winter, and the Cleveland Orchestra's Gala in the fall, but this year, I also attended The Hunger Network's All About The Bag. So when I was approached about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Chef's Fantasy, I said yes because (a) it features some of my favorite chefs, and (b) I don't know a whole lot about cystic fibrosis other than Frankie from the Real World had it and they talked about it on the show. 

So on Saturday, April 30th, I will attend the 18th Annual Chef's Fantasy Dinner & Auction with my dear friend Alexa at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Cleveland. It's going to be a packed evening, starting with cocktails at 6 (VIP starts at 5:30), and ending with an after party at 10pm! The Chef line-up includes some of my absolute favorites: Britt-Marie Culey from Coquette Patisserie, Eric Williams from Momocho/El Carnicero/Happy Dog, and some that are new to me- Richard Arnoldi from the Ritz and Anthony Romano from Sarita. Oh, did I mention each course has a wine pairing?!?!!!!!!!!

It promises to be a fun an fabulous evening, one I cannot wait to experience for the first time. 

Now for some important details:

Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016

Location: Ritz Carlton, Downtown Cleveland

Dress code: Cocktail Party

Buy tickets: Click here

Disclosure: I was provided with two tickets in exchange for helping spread the word about the event. Please also note that all images used in this post are courtesy the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Northeast Ohio. As always, all opinions are 100% my own, and I thank you for continuing to support this blog so I can continue to spread the word about location institutions and events!! XO

Scenes From my Weekend: The July 4th edition


How is it July already? While I'm very happy that summer is firmly here, this year is going a little too fast. Did you have a good 4th weekend? Nick and I both had the day off Friday, so we really enjoyed our long weekend!

Thursday marked 11 years since Nick and I got married. Yes, we were very young, but I think we were both very mature for our age, and very clear on our expectations of each other, which is why I think we've worked so well! I don't necessarily advocate marrying young, but I do advocate being realistic about who you are, and who your partner is, and not expecting either to change. If you're in a relationship where you argue a lot while you're dating, odds are you're going to do the same when you're married. The act of marriage doesn't change a relationship-- I think its important to remember that before you take the leap.


And with that, I'm done with my Dr. Phil moment. This is one of my favorite pictures of Nick and I from a photo shoot we did a couple of years ago. Thursday evening, we headed over to Alexa & Chris' housewarming party, where I ate myself silly, enjoyed a lot of prosecco, and obsessed over Megan's necklace (below). 


After sleeping in Friday morning, Nick and I took the pups to Nano Brew for some patio time and lunch. The patio was recently re-opened after a major renovation and it looks great! Clair and Webster were on their best behavior, and got lots of petting and love from our server and tables nearby, and they even got a few treats.


Friday evening, we headed off to Charity & Ben's to celebrate baby Max's first birthday.  I didn't get any pictures of the birthday boy (shockingly I had my phone put away most of the evening), but I did manage to snag this pic of Nick holding Penny (he doesn't hold a lot of babies-- this was a momentous occasion.)


Saturday, it was time to work off Max's delicious birthday cake with a challenging 45 minute ride at Harness Cycle. Chill Pop Shop was on hand giving away delicious popsicles-- who am I to say no to such yumminess?


Nick brought the pups up to Hingetown to meet me for coffee and breakfast at Rising Star


Sweaty cuddles and selfies later, we were off to the dog park for some playtime. Clair is terrified of fireworks, and our whole goal for the day was to get her as tired as possible so that combined with anti-anxiety meds, she would just sleep through all the noise.




Post dog-park, it was porch-time in the neighborhood. My drink of choice a lovely dry rose--- perfect for a summer day!



I had the most AMAZING July 4th meal of crawfish etouffee, ribs, and mac-n-cheese.


We didn't exactly go see fireworks per se, but we could see plenty of them from our neighbor's front porch. And best of all, Clair and Webster did mostly sleep through them all!

Sunday was recover day = lots of lazing around, watching The Spoils of Babylon (such a weird, ridiculous show), and napping on the couch. Sunday evening Nick and I finally got around to celebrating our anniversary with some crab legs at Salmon Dave's


Overall,  a lovely 3-day weekend, the started and ended with us celebrating 11 years of marriage!

CLE Events: Balance & Brews

A couple of weeks ago, I attended my very first Balance & Brews event as part of Engage! Cleveland's YP Week. Founded by Melissa Klimo-Major, Balance & Brews combines an hour-long, all-levels yoga class with beer! The events take place in local breweries, and include a brewery tour (if you are so inclined). The classes themselves are really fun-- the unusual location paired with Melissa's humor and playlist make for a fun, low-key experience.


Photo credit: Thanks to Balance and Brews' Facebook page for the two pictures on the top.

Balance & Brews is hosting its first ever yoga weekend retreat in Ohio later this month. I'm not quite ready to commit to a whole weekend yet, but its definitely something I would like to try in the near future. They also have a practice and a pint option, which is exactly what it sounds like. And on July 11th, they are hosting a Balance & Brews practice at Great Lakes Brewing Company, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Secondhand Mutts. If you recall, I used to serve on the Board of Directors for Secondhand Mutts, and they continue to hold a very special place in my heart, so naturally, I'm signed up to attend!

I love that fun, active events like these are becoming more common-place in Cleveland. I LUUUUURVE a good detox-retox experience! I'm still looking for an event that pairs yoga with a wine/champagne tasting--- maybe someone will create one soon? Or maybe I should partner with someone to create one?


Scenes from my Weekend

Whoever decided that weekends  should only last two days demonstrated a serious lack of sound judgement in coming up with this decision. Because weekends and awesome, and they should be longer, damn it! This weekend I managed to fit in a lot of relaxation (read: naps) with a lot of fun, so I feel ready to tackle the week ahead.


Friday, Nick and I attended a super fun event on the GOODTIME III-- it was a white party for AIA,  which fit in perfectly with my "All White Everything" theme this summer. My white seersucker dress (in the middle) is from the Gap, and BONUS, its on sale. Amazing views, perfect temps, and great friends made for a really fun evening. Post, cruise, Nick and I stopped in at Luxe for dinner. If you haven't been lately, its worth a visit-- they have a revamped menu, and the wings are AMAZING.

Saturday was a really nice detox ride at Harness, followed by some meandering and lunch at The Cleveland Flea with Allison. Post nap, Nick and I went to Humble Wine Bar for dinner-- seriously, this place has never failed me-- some rose, some pizza--- a lot of perfect summer evening. I also reached a decision this weekend-- I'm not a fuchsia nail kinda person (even though that's what color my nails are painted right now).

Sunday was a tough day-- it would have been Otto's 7th Birthday. We hung out with Clair and Webster and spoiled them silly with a special breakfast, trip to the pet store, and fun and the dog park. It was a good way to remember Otto and celebrate his life. And then I bought myself some peonies and rose. Because I deserve both. As I type this, I'm a nervous wreck watching the Cavs in Game 5--- by the end of this week, there will be a new NBA Champion, and I really hope its us!

This week is going to be packed with activities--- Cavs games, NKOTB + Nelly + TLC, an Indians game, all leading up to the sold-out Solstice Party at Cleveland Museum of Art! Stay tuned!!

PS: If you're impatient like me, follow along on Instagram for live updates of my week!