party time

Food & Friends

I have amazing neighbors. We genuinely like each other, and spend a lot of time hanging out with each other in the spring, summer and fall. A lot of it is outdoors, so once the winter rolls around, we have to make a more concerted effort to get together. And so, every month in the winter, we have soup night. Each family takes turns hosting, and its a super casual evening that features soup, wine and signature cocktails, dessert, and lots of laughter.

The source of laughter is usually the cult adult party game, Cards Against Humanity. Now, we have the original series, as well as two expansion packs, but since we've played so many times, I was on the hunt for something new. And then I found it-- the third party, unaffiliated, and even more politically incorrect (in every single way) expansion set: Crabs Adjust Humidity. Now the set VERY  CLEARLY states that you must have the original game for this to make any sense, so make sure you start with the original set. But these cards are really really outrageous. Take everything you love about Cards, and take it up 5x and you have Crabs. Here's an example of some of the more, umm, "normal" cards in the set. 

I'm so excited to play this weekend when Nick and I host soup night (despite the 50F temperatures expected, which isn't exactly soup weather) and really experience the whole set.

Before I leave you for the weekend, I want to share links to three kick-ass recipes that I made this week: two are crockpot recipes, and one is a super quick and easy oven/stovetop version. They were all really really good, but I've ranked these from my most favorite down.

1.  Thai chicken meatballs with peanut sauce

2. Crockpot Bolognese

3. Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I've been pinning a whole lot of recipes and inspiration boards lately, so follow me on Pinterest to see what's catching my eye!

See you Monday! 

The name's Bond...James Bond (The Jump Back Ball 23 Kickoff Party)

Let's take a moment to admire these handsome men. Now, lets take a moment to think of February in Cleveland. What do these things have in common? The 23rd Annual Jump Back Ball!!! Ever since my first Jump Back Ball (the 20th), I have been completely obsessed with this event!! 21 and 22 did not disappoint either, and since I absolutely LUUUURVVEE the theme for 23, I'm sure it will exceed all expectations. If you haven't figured it out by now, the theme for the 23rd Jump Back Ball on February 22, 2014 is Shaken Not Stirred, an homage to the 23 Bond films that exist to date!!

So, if you want tickets to this incredible event, I highly suggest you make your way over to The Jump Back Ball Kickoff Party this Thursday! You may be going "oh, February is so far away! I can wait!", and I am here to tell you that you really shouldn't because
(a) last year the event sold out less than 30 days after the kickoff party, and
(b) the kickoff party offers the LOWEST prices for these highly coveted tickets. The tickets are $150 each, $115 if you are a Playhouse Square Partner. VIP tickets are $200, and the exclusive VIP tickets get you into the party early and also get you some fabulous food catered by Dante!

The details for the Kickoff event:
When: Thursday, November 7th, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Where: Cibero Privado (the private room at Cibero, at 1438 Euclid Avenue)

Hope I see you there!! Now, in the mean time, I'm going to check out some iconic Bond girls and figure out which one of them is going to inspire my outfit for Jump Back Ball 23!!

Disclosure: I am receiving one ticket to attend this event due to a partnership to promote this event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

We Jumped Back Two Spaces (The JBB 2013 recap)

This year was my third consecutive year in attendance of Jump Back Ball at PlayhouseSquare. Each year, Jump Back Ball teaches me important lessons.
In 2011 I learned: Don't drink gin all night. Nothing good will come of it.
In 2012 I learned: Don't wear heels higher than 3 inches. Platforms are great.
In 2013 I learned: NEVER wear a dress with a train.

With that, let's get to the bit that everyone is waiting for, the pictures....

This series was taken on stage, which was decorated in the theme of Candyland. I HATE using flash, so these pictures were taken in the natural light of the theatre...

The stage....

With Jessika, Michelle, and Allison

Sean and Matt (possibly the best dressed couple of the night), Jessika and Dave, your truly with N (I LOVE that he rocked a polka dot shirt)

Jen and Michelle 

L to R: (sorry, I don't know who this is!), Lisa, Tabitha, and Michelle

With Ginenne and Alexa 

Jessika, Lindsay, Joe G, Sean and Matt 

At some point N decided to try on Sean's glasses. I think he looks very dapper!!

For those who are curious, I wore an ABS dress, acquired on My little clutch came  from India, and I'm wearing the earrings I wore when N and I got married. My bracelet is Prabal Gurung for Target, and even though you can barely see it, I'm wearing the Rebecca Minkoff pave ring that I first blogged about here.

Overall, it was yet another FABULOUS night at Playhouse Square. Major dress trends were sequins (LOTS AND LOTS OF SPARKLES!!), black and red. There were a few people in costume, but I would say that of the 3 years I've attended, this year probably had the fewest people who dressed the theme. Makeup wise, there were some great bold lips, and of course, no shortage of false eyelashes (myself included).

And at the end of the night, with a good buzz, and tired feet, N and I cabbed it home to this....

Can't wait to do this all over again next year!!!!!

Disclosure: As a blogger for Jump Back Ball I received one complimentary ticket to attend the event, and purchased a second one for N. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Its time to get your tickets and Jump Back!

For long time readers of this blog, its no secret that I absolutely LUUUUURRVVEE Jump Back Ball. I honestly think it is THE best event in Cleveland. For newer readers, you can find out more about my JBB thoughts here, here, here and here, just to name a few.  2013 will mark the third consecutive year of attendance for N and I, and I CANNOT WAIT! Ever since the board game theme of "Jump Back 2 Spaces" was leaked on twitter earlier this year, I've been thinking outfits!!

I can't wait to see outfits inspired by some of these themes!

Well, TODAY marks the official kick-off for Jump Back Ball 22, with a happy hour at Market Garden from 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm. Its also your FIRST opportunity to score tickets to the event, AT A DISCOUNT! For tonight ONLY, tickets will be $135 ($110 for Playhouse Square Partners). Tomorrow, the ticket prices jump by $20 plus handling fees. I can tell you that this event has sold out for at least the past two years, so if you would like to go, please make sure you get your tickets EARLY!

If you're looking for more information, visit the Playhouse Square website.

And with that, Ladies & Gentlemen, I'M BACK to blogging since my post-Labor Day hiatus!!!! I've missed you!!!!

Summer Solstice 2012

So, I had every intention of doing a Best Dressed of Solstice 2012, like I did last year, but then Chardonnay happened, and what you've got is a bunch of pictures of my friends, who were wearing SUPER cute outfits, but unlike last year, I made absolutely NO effort to approach strangers. Apologies...

There was however, one stand-out trend-- Green was THE COLOR of the night!

 With Danielle 

 Danielle & Wes

 The architects: Brian, N, Wes

 Alexa & Deery- gorgeous in green!

 Charity and I own the same Dolce Vita for Target wedges-- v. high but comfortable!

 Eamon, Suzanne, Charity, and Ben
 Michelle & Frank

 Jen, Danielle, Charity and me

 With N, a few days before our 8 year anniversary!!

 with Reshae

 Michelle and Allison (rawr)

 Sassy Courtney and Charlene- work it ladies!

My one disappointment with the event was that unlike past years, there was no element of surprise- prior years have included fireworks or performance art- I hope the Museum considers bringing it back next year.

So around 1 am, Charity and Ben suggested we join them (and Suzanne and Eamon) at Tick-Tock Tavern, which is very close to home.  Then this happened...

Cheesy fries....

Let's just say the next day required a lot of hydration. Overall, another excellent night in Cleveland! Were you at Solstice? What did you love/wish were different?