Home Improvement and a GIVEAWAY

N and I have lived in our house for about 3 years. In those 3 years, we have taken up ZERO home improvement projects. I suppose that's a good thing, and a testament to the fact that our home needed no work, but to be honest, I'm getting a little restless. I want to change some things around. Nothing overly complicated -- mainly cosmetic things. Change out some light fixtures, new paint, that sorta stuff.

I would love to have our attic guest room look like this:

I would also love to find an armoire and repurpose it like this for our bathroom:

Lucky for me, my home redecorating impulse is perfectly timed with The Great Big Home + Garden Show, which is being held at the Cleveland I-X Center from Feb 2 running through Feb 10th

I've never been to the show before, but I'm told that this year's event hosts over 650 exhibitors showcasing a variety of home activities like cooking, gardening, and home improvement. There are going to be a number of celebrity guests including Cleveland's very own Matt Fish, of Melt Bar and Grilled, Peter Walsh from TLC's Clean Sweep, and Matt Fox from HGTV's Room by Room, among other guests. 

There are a number of other cool features like the Idea Home and Dream basement-- all things to give you ideas on perhaps changing things around in your own homes. There's also the Product Runway show on Feb 2nd (that I've blogged about before here) and the Q104 Four-Legged Fashion Show on Feb 9th (Otto and Clair are very upset that they have not been invited to participate).

So, if all of this sounds interesting to you, you can save $4 buy purchasing tickets online here, and using the code SHOPCLE.  

In addition, you can also enter to win TWO TICKETS right here by simply tweeting about this giveaway and linking back to this post. For example: I want to win @cleshopaholic's giveaway to the Home and Garden Show

Please make sure you leave a comment letting me know you tweeted and also leave your email address in the comments. You can also enter by linking back to this post on your Facebook page.

The contest will end at 5:00 pm on Sunday, January 27th, 2013 with the winner announced on January 28th.  

Good luck!!!

Disclosure: I was provided with two tickets to attend the event and two tickets to give away on my blog. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

An Evening with Diane

First off, I'd like to the announce the winner for the Bridal Bazaar event, taking place at the 78th Street Studios this weekend. *drumroll, please* As chosen by, the winner is comment #5, Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland. Crystal, please email me at so I may send you instructions on receiving your ticket!! 

This past Thursday, I had the privilege of attending a talk at the Cleveland Clinic, featuring the one and only, the legendary Diane Von Furstenberg. Most famous for the iconic wrap dress, DVF has been designing women's clothing since 1970.

When I first received the invite to the event, I expected DVF to mainly talk about her career, and how she made her way through the world of fashion.

Boy was I wrong.  What I came away with was a new appreciation for this incredible woman, who is so much more than just a fashion designer. A champion of the arts, DVF is also an advocate for women's empowerment. She is also incredibly warm, and charming, and so so funny!!

Some of my favorite quotes from the nights:

Do not be afraid of your own strength. Fear is not an option.

I wanted to be the woman I became. I wanted to empower myself. And now I want to empower other women. You can be the woman you want to be. 

The most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself.

I think part of her appeal for me is her focus on independence. It reminds me of advice that my mother always gave me growing up: always be able to stand on your own two feet. I left the event feeling incredibly inspired- While I may not be about to conquer the world of fashion, I'm ready to take on my personal and professional challenges, hopefully with poise, grace, and of course, STYLE!!

2013 Wedding Bells?

Happy 2013 all!! This year is getting off to a roaring start already! Hope you are keeping up with your resolutions/intentions/goals for the year... I'm sorta 50/50 on mine. Mostly good, but my 15 minutes of yoga every day goal is just not working out.  I did 3 sessions last week, and felt great after, so I just need to remind myself of that when I want to hit snooze for an extra 15 minutes!!

N and I had a great staycation break-- we did lots of things around the city that we always want to do, but never seem to find the time for-- I'll get into our activities over the next few weeks, but rest assured, we had lots of fun playing in the snow with these two...

Surprisingly for us, this holiday season involved absolutely zero engagement announcements via our Facebook friends. This is probably the first time since 2003 that this has happened, and I'm a little taken aback to be honest! That said, there is a wonderful event coming up in Cleveland for the bride-to-be in your life!

On January 20th, Something White, A Bridal Boutique is hosting their second annual Boutique Bridal Bazaar at smARTspace at 78th st. studios. You can find out more about the event here, and the wonderful ladies at Something White are generously giving away two passes to the event to one lucky winner right here on this blog!!!

You will have three opportunities to enter:
1. Leave me a comment with your favorite fictional wedding (from a movie, TV show, etc), or tell me your favorite flavor of wedding cake (one entry)
2. Follow me (@cleshopaholic) and Something White Bridal (@SomethingWhiteB) on Twitter and leave me a comment saying you did so (one entry)
3. "Like" the Something White Bridal page on Facebook and leave me a comment saying you did so (one entry)

The winner will be announced on Monday, January 14th, so please please make sure I have your contact information!

So, if you were engaged this holiday season or anytime in 2012 (Congratulations, btw!), or know someone who was, you should definitely enter this contest-- such a fun surprise for the bride-to-be!!!

Food & Wine AND a Giveaway (for wine lovers!)

This contest has ended. The winner, as decided by, is #1, Fizzgig!  Congratulations Fizzgig! Please email me at, with your full name, date of birth, email address, and preferred date of attendance (July 27th or 28th). Don't forget to take ID to the event!!

A few months ago, I was contacted by Chateau Ste. Michelle gauging my interest in reviewing a cookbook written by John Sarich, Culinary Director of  Chateau Ste. Michelle. I luuuurve Chateau St. Michelle wines and I enjoy cooking, so I figured, why not?

The book is set up sorta like a winery tour of the Pacific Northwest and California, featuring 10 wine estates in tool. Each estate is represented by a chapter giving some background, visitor details, and menus prepared the executive chefs at each of these estates, including wine pairings, obviously. You know the white meat = white wine rule? Well, the book helped bust that myth for me. Turns out that besides lamb, game, and beef, there's pretty much at least one white and one red that can be paired with your food!

Overall, I would say that the book seems suited to special occasion dinners, and by that I mean celebrations, date night, etc, not necessarily everyday food. I really like that each recipe gives you wine pairings (and not each recipe includes wine as an ingredient), so you could plan a TOTALLY FABULOUS dinner party with wine pairings for each course and DAZZLE your guests. Given that the book is west-cost based, there's a good number of seafood receipts for you seafood lovers.

I sampled a couple of recipes: the Oven "Fried" Chicken and the Avocado and Orange Salad, which I paired with the Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay. While I would probably adapt the recipes if I were not serving it with wine, as presented they paired REALLY REALLY well with the wine.  You can see the results of my handiwork here (please excuse the lack of "prettiness", this is why I'm not a food blogger).

Overall, a winning combination! I'm looking forward to trying some more recipes in the upcoming weeks!!

Now, for the SUPER FUN part--- A GIVEAWAY!! This giveaway includes TWO TICKETS to the Cleveland Wine Festival on July 27th or 28th, where you will get to same Chateau Ste. Michelle for yourself (among other wines of course).

Here's what you need to do to enter:
1. Leave me a comment letting me know of your favorite wine (and leave me your contact info if I don't know how to reach you), or
2.  Follow @SteMichelle on Twitter and let me know that you did so in the comments, or
3. Tweet: I entered @cleshopaholic contest to win tickets to @CleWineFest via @SteMichelle

(You get 3 entries if you do all 3 things)

Rules: You must be 21 to enter, and should you win, you must provide your full name, date of birth, email address, and preferred date of attendance (July 27th or 28th).

The contest ends at 7:00 pm on Wednesday July 25th, with the winner announced later Wednesday night. Good luck, and Cheers!!

Disclosure: Chateau Ste. Michelle provided me with the cookbook in exchange for my review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.  They also provided the two tickets to the Cleveland Wine Festival for the Giveaway. 

What better cure for Monday than a contest?

UPDATE: The winner of this contest, as chosen by, is #2 Sarah @Cooker Girl. Sarah, please email me with your full name at, and your gift certificate will be available to pick up at Guest Services at Beachwood Place tomorrow!! Remember to take your ID! 

Hello all! Hope you had a lovely weekend! Mine was quite enjoyable and relaxing- highlights included giggling like a bunch of teen girls at Barre Cleveland with Alana, Suzanne, Michelle, Tabitha, and Jessa, followed by breakfast at Stone Oven and a spot of shopping at Lululemon.  N and I attended the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at the Q Saturday night- what a great show. Its hard to believe they're all close to 50- they're in incredible shape!!!

I'm always so disappointed when the weekend ends, but lucky for you, I have something to make this Monday a little bit better-- GIVEAWAY TIME!! For the second year in a row, Beachwood Place is hosting the Form to Fashion Event. I love this event because (a) it sorta reminds me of Project Runway, but without the crazy materials and insane deadlines, and (b) its a great event for student fashion designers to get some exposure. Its really pretty amazing when you think about the talent we have here in Northeast Ohio- I personally know of two recent graduates from Kent State University's fashion design program who have moved to New York City and have been hired by some pretty FABULOUS, internationally recognized designers!

In any case, this year's Form to Fashion Event gives these young designers an opportunity to design an outfit for Lorelei Shellist to wear as she hosts the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival this summer. The top 10 designs have been picked and are on display at Beachwood Place and also online.

So here are the details- if you would like to enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Beachwood Place, all you need to do is go vote for your favorite design HERE and then leave me a comment letting me know who you voted for!

The contest ends at noon on Thursday June 7th, with the winner announced Thursday evening. The gift card will be held for pickup at Beachwood Place Guest Services- you will need a valid ID to pick up your gift certificate if you are the lucky winner!!

Good luck!!

Disclosure: Beachwood Place is generously providing the $50 gift card for this contest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own!