a good cause

Food & Wine & What I Wore

A few weeks ago, I blogged about Chef's Fantasy, and this past weekend, Alexa and I put on our party clothes and headed over to the Ritz Carlton for our first ever Chef's Fantasy. This annual event raises funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and while I personally don't know anyone fighting this disease, I had the opportunity to listen to some really passionate supporters talk about the impact of this disease, and more importantly the impact of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in extending not only life expectancy but also quality of life for people diagnosed with this disease. I learned that while there is a rigorous disease management regimen, there have been significant advances in treatments for this disease, and each year, researchers find more ways to manage it. Overall, a very hopeful message, and one that made me wish I had followed one of fleeting childhood dreams of being a medical researcher (I was reading a lot of Robin Cook at the time.)

I wore Monique Lhuillier paired with Banana Republic pumps & a Bombay Taxi clutch, because I am nothing if not a good brand ambassador for my own boutique! 

I wore Monique Lhuillier paired with Banana Republic pumps & a Bombay Taxi clutch, because I am nothing if not a good brand ambassador for my own boutique! 

Close up of the Bombay Taxi Boutique bag, available  here  

Close up of the Bombay Taxi Boutique bag, available here 

The worthy cause aside, the event itself was a delightful mouth party! There was a VIP Happy Hour with hors d'oeuvres, more passed hors d'oeuvres at the regular Happy Hour, followed by a five course plated meal paired with wine. Truly, a Chef's Fantasy.

Croque Madame (Britt-Marie Culey from Coquette Patisserie) + Zenato Pinot Grigio. That was a REAL GOLDEN EGG!!!

Croque Madame (Britt-Marie Culey from Coquette Patisserie) + Zenato Pinot Grigio. That was a REAL GOLDEN EGG!!!

Pan-seared scallops (Anthony Romano of Sarita) + 2014 Robert Monday Napa Fume Blanc

Pan-seared scallops (Anthony Romano of Sarita) + 2014 Robert Monday Napa Fume Blanc

Mortadella Brado (Melissa Khoury & Penny Barend - Saucisson) + 2013 Light Horse Pinot Noir

Mortadella Brado (Melissa Khoury & Penny Barend - Saucisson) + 2013 Light Horse Pinot Noir

Smoked Mushroom Tortellini (Andy Dombrowski - Zack Buell Restaurants) + 2011 Chateau D'Argadens Rouge

Smoked Mushroom Tortellini (Andy Dombrowski - Zack Buell Restaurants) + 2011 Chateau D'Argadens Rouge

Pechuga con Pollo (Eric Wiliams - Momocho/Happy Dog/El Carnicero) + 2012 Broquel Malbec. Chef Eric came over to say hello to our table since Alexa knows him! Helps to be friends with an OG Cleveland blogger like Alexa!

Pechuga con Pollo (Eric Wiliams - Momocho/Happy Dog/El Carnicero) + 2012 Broquel Malbec. Chef Eric came over to say hello to our table since Alexa knows him! Helps to be friends with an OG Cleveland blogger like Alexa!

So there was an extensive dessert course by Richard Arnoldi of the Ritz, paired with Mionetto Prosecco Brut NV, and by this time I was very full and mostly focused on the bubbles, which is why I have no more pictures! There was even an after-party, but Alexa and I headed over to Touch Supper Club for hip hop night and to meet up with Nick and a whole host of friends!

Overall, a lovely time at a truly fantastic fundraiser- an experience I would highly recommend, particularly if you know anyone with cystic fibrosis. The research that is funded by events like these is truly making a difference is so many lives!

Disclosure: I was provided with two tickets to Chef's Fantasy in exchange for helping spread the word about this event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting this blog so I can continue to create special content to support worthwhile charities around Cleveland!

Event Recap: 3rd Annual All About The Bag

It seems like it was so long ago when I first posted about All About The Bag! The big night was tonight, and if I had to summarize it in two words, I would say SO FUN!! If you recall, Bombay Taxi donated a one-of-a-kind handmade bag and provided goodies for the gift bag, but as a lifestyle/fashion blogger, I was also invited to be a part of the event. 

The event started off at 6 pm, with an open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres (sliders and asian rice noodle box), which got everyone ready to have a good time (and donate generously) at the charity raffle. They had two categories of tickets: one for items valued at about $350 and under, and the other truly luxury items like a Louis Vuitton bag, and you just dropped your raffle tickets into the basket for the item you wanted. The catch was that you had to be present to claim your item if you won. In any case, the Bombay Taxi bag above was in great company with a hide bag from Haven Style and a beautiful FOUNT tote, in addition to some of the more well-known national retailers like Kate Spade and Michael Kors. There were other options as well: wine, pampering sessions, gym and studio memberships, lululemon - a nice variety for almost every fashion interest.

Yours truly with Sivan, Priya, and Charity (Iheartcleveland.com). Photo credit: Ben Crawford

Yours truly with Sivan, Priya, and Charity (Iheartcleveland.com). Photo credit: Ben Crawford

There was a lot of activity around the raffle items until 8:00 pm, when it was time for the fashion show. The show kicked off with a presentation by Brigade and proceeded to a fun awards presentation for 5 finalists from Virginia Marti College who did a Project Runway type challenge. The winner (my fave) was a fabulous young woman, Devi Crump, who designed a dress from Arizona Iced Tea packaging!

To be honest, the fashion show was the least interesting part of the night: the clothes were a little too casual-- they sent SO many people down the runway in denim- I would have liked to see some variety. (Note to any organizers reading: I volunteer to help curate next year's fashion show-- drop me a line!) Still, it was fun to cheer on our CLEbrities as they walked down the runway. 

With Charity (L) and Jessika (R)

With Charity (L) and Jessika (R)

The raffle winners were announced right after the show, and while I didn't win anything, I did get to see the winner of the Bombay Taxi Bag, who was absolutely delightful, and so excited to win!

Overall, this was a really well executed, fun event that raised some much needed funds to fight hunger in our community! It was an absolute pleasure working with the Committee that put this together, and I'm already looking forward to next year's event! 

 

Disclosure: I was provided with two tickets to attend the event in exchange for promotional help. In addition, Bombay Taxi was a donor (as described in the post). As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

Listening Now: 90's Throwback Playlist

This past weekend, Nick and I met up with Wes and Danielle  at The Flying Monkey for some drinks. Flying Monkey has a TouchTunes jukebox, and I have the TouchTunes app-- the perfect combo for a 90s throwback night.

The playlist (and we were kinda monopolizing the jukebox here-- sorry) included the following:
1. Kiss - Prince
2. The Sign - Ace of Base
3. Tennessee - Arrested Development
4. Boombastic - Shaggy
5. It's Tricky - Run DMC
6. I Got 5 On It - Luniz
7. Too Close - Next
8. Return of the Mack - Mark Morrisson
9. Pony - Ginuwine
10. This is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
11. Whoomp! (There It Is) - Tag Team
12. Regulate - Warren G
13. Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - P.M. Dawn
14. Push It - Salt-N-Pepa
15. Ditty - Paperboy
16. Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio

Yeah, we were there a while…..

Anyway, if 90's music is your thing, on May 3, 2014, MOCA is hosting a 90/90s Gay Games Dance Party to celebrate the 90 day countdown to the 2014 Gay Games! More information including a link to purchase tickets available here! I will definitely be there with my dancing shoes on!!

What are some of your favorite jukebox tunes? Please share!! 

Rock the CATWALK (And a Giveaway)

One of the things I love MOST about Cleveland is how easy it is to get involved in the community- from volunteering for various organizations or joining a board, or being a part of a community development group-- the opportunities exist for anyone who wants to give back and get involved. If you don't have the time available to commit to something on a regular schedule, there is always the option to give back merely by attending a FABULOUS, FUN event. Rock the CATWALK is exactly one such event.

Hosted by The Women's Leadership Council of United Way of Greater Cleveland, this event is a fashion show, showcasing next season's hottest fashions from local boutiques and designers. Not only that, but the event also includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and a silent auction with the opportunity to bid on items such as a Vitamix (and we all know how much I LURVE mine), A Gibson guitar, 12x$100 gift cards to Cleveland area restaurants, vacation packages to warmer climes, and the list continues…. And just in case this wasn't enough, it is being held at one of my most FAVORITE spots in Cleveland- the Atrium at Cleveland Museum of Art. If you're interested in being a part of this event, here are the details:

When: Thursday May 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Where: Cleveland Museum of Art
How: Tickets available here 

If you would like to take a look at some pictures from last year's event attended by over 450 people, you can do so here.

Now for the REALLY fun part. You could win TWO general admission tickets to the event by tweeting the following:
"I want to win tickets to Rock the CATWALK @UnitedWayCLE via @cleshopaholic http://goo.gl/LBt011 #UnitedForFashion" 

You may tweet once a day for additional entries!

Follow @UnitedWayCLE and leave me a comment saying you did so for one additional entry. Please make sure you leave your contact info (email/twitter handle etc) so I can reach you in the event you are picked as the winner.


Seriously, what could be more fun than giving back with fashion?! Good luck to all who enter!!! Contest ends at midnight March 30th, 2014, with the winner announced March 31st, 2014. 

Disclosure: I am receiving a pair of tickets to attend Rock the CATWALK and blog about the event. I have also received a pair of tickets to giveaway to a reader. As always, all opinions are 100% my own! 

Shopping Events Happening This Weekend

Happy Hump Day all!! If you're anything like me, you will have already started planning your weekend. And as with most weekends, there are some super fun events happening in Cleveland, although I'm going to focus on the ones that have to do with shopping!

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, The Cleveland Flea is hosting a series of events at the Slovenian National Home at 6417 St. Clair Ave. The Sneak Peek & Meet the Makers Party (where you get to shop pre-sale) is happening Friday. This is a ticketed event, and you can buy tickets here. Saturday and Sunday is your opportunity to buy gifts and yummy food stuff from 10:00 am- 6:00 pm! I've been to a number of Cleveland Flea events and they are SO MUCH FUN! The food is always delicious, so go hungry! And you can be sure that you will find some really unique stuff.

Also this Friday from 5-9 pm and Saturday from 11-5 pm, Beachcliff Market Square is hosting a pop-up shop for Stash Style, a super cute vintage traveling store! Owner Shannon always has adorable, unique stuff for sale, as you can see from her instagram pic below!


And last but certainly not least, Beachwood Place plays host to the 5th Annual Compassion from Fashion Event to benefit The Gathering Place and UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. Tickets are $25 presale and $30 at the door, and you can buy tickets and see more information here. Essentially, your ticket buys you a special bracelet which gets you exclusive discounts. I have been to this event a number of times, and you really do get your money's worth AND you're supporting two great causes! Some of the discounts include
- 40% off sweaters at Banana Republic
- 10% off at Brigade
- 25% off at Coach
- 15% off at Kate Spade New York
- 25% of Madewell with a purchase of $25 or more
- 20% off at Moochie & Co, just to name a few…

The last time I attended this event, I got most of my Christmas shopping done well in advance of Black Friday! It was GREAT!!


I hope you plan to be out and about this weekend, and maybe I will run into you (obviously not literally. That would be uncomfortable).