date night

Five Date Ideas for Valentine's Day in Cleveland

Valentine's Day will be upon us in three short weeks, and while you may be thinking "Oh, I have plenty of time," procrastinating would be a mistake. For one, it gets harder to make reservations anywhere as we get closer to the date, and second, it just sounds impressive to be able to say to your loved one "Babe, I've made special plans for us for Valentine's Day." Sure, you could make reservations at a restaurant, and that would be fine, but I've come up with a list of 5 interesting date ideas, with input from Nick. 

1. Cheese Tasting at L'Albatros Brasserie: This is one of my Top 3 restaurants in Cleveland. Not only is it a little taste of France, but the restaurant has a reputation for carrying some of the BEST cheeses in Cleveland. Grab yourself a glass (or bottle) of wine from their extensive selection, and ask the fromagier (that's a cheese expert) for his/her recommendations! Its fun to pick out cheeses with your date, and the presentation is really impressive. Did I mention the cheese will BLOW. YOUR. MIND!? 

Photo credit: Cleveland Magazine

Photo credit: Cleveland Magazine

2. Parisian Desserts at Coquette Patisserie: This small yet charming spot specializes in wine, oysters and the most decedent, delicious french pastries and desserts that are almost too pretty to eat! Live dangerously and get dessert for dinner!

Photo credit Suzuran Photography

Photo credit Suzuran Photography

3. Spend some time outside at the Tobaggan Chutes: Now this only works when the temperature isn't below zero, but what better way to get some adrenaline pumping that flying down a hillside at over 50 miles/hour!! If you want to get really fancy, you could even do a private rental

Photo credit: yelp

Photo credit: yelp

4. Play some games at Superelectric Pinball, 16-Bit Bar, or TableTop: Whether you prefer pinball, arcade games or board games, these three venues have you covered. A little friendly competition always makes for a fun evening, although if you or your date are super competitive, I would perhaps reschedule this for another time.

Photo credit: yelp

Photo credit: yelp

5. Get tickets to a show: There are a number of theatre options in Cleveland from Playhouse Square (presenting If/Then) to smaller venues like Near West Theater (presenting Godspell.) A full list of performing arts venues is available here

There you have it: 5 fun and interesting date ideas for Valentine's Day, or date night for almost any time of year! Do you have any favorite date spots in Northeast Ohio?





 

 

Product Testing: Clip in Hair Extensions

So around this time last year, I experimented with hair extensions. The extensions I used at that time were the Jessica Simpson wavy clip in extensions, and although they looked really pretty, there's pretty much NO WAY I could get them in unassisted. And, as much as I know N loves me, I also know with 100% certainty that there is NO WAY he's going to help me with this. In an effort to get more length, and the sort of luscious volume Hollywood promises (via extensions of course), I decided to take the plunge and go for the "real" thing. I did some research on bonded hair extensions- the kind that get glued to your hair- and quickly decided against it. For one, it really bothers me that there would be something stuck to my hair, and second, I've heard that the weight really damages your own hair. I've also been told they're a bit of a pain to take care of, in that you have to be very very careful when washing and styling your hair. All of this just sounded like too much hassle, and so I decided to investigate the next best thing- clip ins!

Now, you can go ahead and buy your own clip-in human hair extensions, but if you go this route, I recommend you have your stylist do your extensions for you. My fabulous stylist Michelle at J. Romer Salon created a set of 4 pieces just for me- they're even dyed to match my hair color. The pieces include one wide piece that is fastened with tiny clips in line with my ears, a second wide piece that goes under my real hair right around my crown, and then two thinner side pieces for volume. The first time I had them put in was Jump Back Ball, and Michelle put them in and styled my hair, which you can see here:


I absolutely loved the look, but the real test would be if I could put them in on my own at home. I gave it another try this past Friday, and although I don't have any pictures, I'm happy to say it was really easy to get them in!! Here are the tips that Michelle gave me that were really helpful:
1. Make sure your own hair is a little dirty (at least a day post-washing), and if not, make sure you use some mousse to help give it texture.
2. Make sure you tease your own hair right where your extensions need to go- it helps them stay secure
3. Take good care of your extensions. Since they're real human hair, you can style them just as you do your own, but be careful when washing (light gentle shampoo and conditioner) and let them air dry. I know its a little gross to have bits of hair hanging in your bathroom, but the hairdryer may cause flyways.

There you have it- an easy, no-commitment, relatively inexpensive (compared to the bonded extensions) way to change your hair up and give it some serious oomph factor!  And really, who doesn't love a little extra OOMPH!!!

I'm a peacock, you've gotta let me fly

So Friday night, N and I decided to do something we haven't done in a long time; dinner and a movie. For a change, we decided to go to Crocker Park. We decided to try Blake's Seafood since we were still in the beach/seafood mode following Jimmy Buffet the night before...

So, in a nutshell, food= good, service= meh. Honestly, the food was really good, I would grade it an A for taste and price. N ordered the Surf and Turf with Lobster Tail while I ordered the All Surf, and both were an excellent deal at $19.99 each. The service was really C- at best. We sat at the bar, which almost always guarantees good service, but this time, the server was more concerned with her prep stuff than taking care of the 8 people at the bar. Not gonna lie, it kinda ruined the experience. That said, N and I had some very amusing people-watching; there were a lot of people that looked like they'd stepped out of The Jersey Shore for the 60+ crowd,  which made for a very entertaining dining experience.

After dinner, we walked over to Regal Cinema to watch The Other Guys. This is the new Will Ferrel-Mark Wahlberg-cop movie, and it was HILARIOUS!! I laughed out so loud so many times... its definitely one I'm going to buy when its released for DVD. If you're looking for a laugh, you should definitely go watch it! Maybe even go watch it tonight; it will definitely make Monday more enjoyable!!!