win tickets to the CSU vikings vs valpo game this thursday!

Monday, January 31, 2011

let's be honest here, our cleveland cavaliers have seen better days.

so how a
bout we all watch a winning basketball team in the cleveland state university vikings instead?

thursday at 7pm the men's basketball team is taking on valpraiso at the wolstein center, and because it's a weekday game if you attend you can take advantage of "hoopy hour" which means $2 beers and concessions!

what a steal, yo.

thursday's game is going to be exciting not only
because the vikings are going to beat valpo but because there's also going to be an impromptu social media night in the newly added suite located directly under one of the baskets.

i've gathered some of cleveland's best bloggers to go root on the CSU vikings this thursday and i want to give my fabulous readers a chance to hangout with us too!

simply leave a comment on this post to enter for your chance to party with the bloggers at the viking vs valpo game this thursday. if you win you'll receive two tickets to the game plus some complimentary beer and food!

i'll announce the winner wednesday morning and don't forget to leave your contact information in the comment if i don't have it already.

go vikings!!

fireside chat: volume one

Thursday, January 27, 2011

i didn't want to come home and type anything last night.

so why type when you can vlog?!?!?!

sometimes i wonder what the heck seanski and i are thinking...

happy thursday, kids!

me talk pretty one day

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

i need new words.

$5 words.

words that when they come out of my mouth sound like butter.

i want a vocabulary that competes with a harvard scholar, a fortune 500 CEO, or that of a harlequin romance novelist.

i want to be eloquent.

hell, i want to know how to spell eloquent without needing spell check.

i feel like i use the same adjectives, verbs, and nouns over and over and over again.

perhaps i need a thesaurus embedded in my tongue - is there an app for that?

to back this whole quest for word upgrades up, it started while attempting to write a post for my company's blog chat::ter - "be smart" i repeated in my head, "don't use the word 'awesome' for the hundredth time", "think like the marketing genius that you are, alexa", "don't forget to capitalize, silly", were my mantras.

to the thesaurus i went, looking for new words to pepper into my post, but could i use these aforementioned words without losing my voice?

we'll see.

i think i brought the "professional alexa" out, which i've come to realize isn't a whole lot different than the "social alexa"... perhaps that's part of my charm.

regardless, i'm going to try to make an effort to quench my insatiable thirst for an eloquent vocabulary - (see what i did there?)

any recommendations?

no alcohol was consumed in order to make this post happen

Monday, January 24, 2011

this is so not going to be your traditional plum weekend recap post today for a couple of reasons:
- i didn't step foot in a bar, restaurant or any other type of typical social environment for me
- my camera never even came out of my purse
- my saturday night sleepover involved my mother and not a hot man

friday night i headed to canton to spend some quality time with my mom, stepho. she made me dinner, we watched the series finale of medium (and cried), and headed to sleep in my childhood bed.

saturday morning i was up and at 'um for an 8am cut and color at GSV Design Group where thanks to my very smart stylist abby i decided to go without bangs.

sorry to disappoint those of you who were so pro bang but as my family and friends reminded me, i "hated" my bangs, and for every 2 cute bang pics there were 200 ugly ones.

so no bangs, just a few inches chopped off.

post hair appointment i met back up with stepho for shopping all over northeast ohio. we hit canton, akron and cleveland looking for fabric for my new kitchen curtains and an accent chair for my living room.

it was a successful day because we agreed on a fabric that my mom already had and picked out an adorable chair at pier 1.

another reason it was a successful day was that stepho came up to cleveland with me when we were done shopping to help me organize and clean up my spare bedroom (which was just full of crap), and decorate some odds and ends that needed taken care of at my place - that being said i think i'm at the point where i can officially post a "tour" of my townhouse...

coming soon, yo.

when dinnertime came around we ordered delivery from frank falafel house - gyros, chicken shawarma and fatoush made us greek ladies happy.

stepho even unexpectedly ended up spending the night at my place, which i couldn't help but laugh at while i gave her PJs to wear - if any of you know my mother personally you know why this is just hilarious.

sunday brought scrambled eggs and laundry and then a venture to the eastside for a b. lux boutique party at allison's. it was super fun because i got to hangout with some new friends and essentially go shopping at b. lux, which is actually located in hudson, from allison's living room where a new dress was acquired.

post party there was more shopping, SHOCKER, and quality time at home - as i type this (sunday night) CK is drinking a beer on my couch watching football and seanski is coming over to see my shopping haul from the weekend. nice lil sunday if i do say so myself.

here's to a busy week - happy monday, kids.

to bang or not to bang, that is the question

Thursday, January 20, 2011

i'm getting my hair cut and colored this weekend and i'm beginning to get antsy with my current do.

it's safe, it never goes out of style, it's extremely close to my natural hair color but with some low lights - i mean, i have long dark brown hair...

doesn't get much more traditional than that.

about 4 years ago though i maintained my long brown hair, but cut bangs - they started out straight and shorter and then i eventually grew them out to a long side swept bang.

i liked the theory of bangs but vividly remember not liking the maintenance of bangs, or i liked them for the first three hours after i took a shower but by the end of the day they were a greasy mess.

i don't have the thickest hair, so by the end of the day i found myself always pinning the bangs back because they weren't laying right anymore.

buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut in looking at some old pics of me with bangs i'm contemplating wanting to cut some long ones again just for a change....

a picture of me taken a couple of weeks ago sans bangs - ya know, to give you something to compare to be fair.

i'm in the middle rockin' shorter bangs in a photobooth shot taken at harbor inn with jess and biscuit

this is me and georgia peach at the harp on st patrick's day '07

this is drew and i at my 27th birthday party in '07, the bangs were obviously starting to grow out longer to the side

so, what do you think?

should i cut some bangs on saturday or should i force myself to remember that i didn't always love them on a day to day basis?

decisions. decisions.

happy thursday, kids.

this past weekend made in happy in CLE

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

this past weekend two of my favorite people from UD came to cleveland to visit from st louis...


this past weekend my one and only poo poo
also came to cleveland to visit, but she came in from chicago.

it was like a midwest meet up.

to celebrate the nations arrival in CLE i decided to throw a little party friday night at the plum palace.

the menu:
- meat and cheese plate
- pork tenderloin sliders with spicy dijon mustard and mayo
- the pioneer woman's perfect potatoes au gratin
- curry chicken lettuce wraps with a chutney cream sauce and toasted coconut
- mandarin orange, red onion, sugared almonds, champagne vinaigrette and red lettuce salad

i just had to show a pic of the curry chicken lettuce wraps i made because they are so darn cute with the chive tie holding them together!

we couldn't have had a better group - me, CK, muffin, MOB, beaver, the nations, holler, doyle, l and mverdova, bo, babs, seanksi, and nugget.

we ate, we drank and we may or may not have turned my bonus room into the smoking room for the evening..... it's ok though, i have house beer.

mistiburr (aka one 1/2 of the nations) and holler being awesome

dave, the other 1/2 of the nations, bo and mverdova also being awesome

MOB, seanski and beaver throwing up some kind of weird gang sign perhaps?

what's wrong with this picture? nothing! muffin just likes to drink wine, that's all.

a little before 1am we decided that more beer was necessary, so seanski and i made a run to the deli on franklin blvd where upon seeing this bottle of boones farm i needed to purchase this $2.99 delicacy immediately - lverdova should probs be a boones farm model.

saturday morning brought brunch with essentially the same group at lucky's cafe. shockingly, this was my first visit to the famous tremont establishment.

i was curious to see if the food was going to live up to the hype and it sure did. i had the bruleed steel cut oatmeal with winter fruit compote and eggs en croute - WOW. the real winner was the pecan crusted bacon though - holy shit, it was like a mouth orgasm. i'm actually going to try to see if i can recreate the tasty treat when i host my family for brunch in a few weeks, wish me luck.

the tour of delicious cleveland restaurants wasn't over by a long shot because saturday night it was time to celebrate poo poo's birthday with dinner at the greenhouse tavern with yet another fun cast of characters - me, poo poo, the nations, beaver, patti-o, anthony, holler, doyle, jilly, and rory.

we mauled the famous wings and gravy frites, as well as devils on horseback (omg the chocolate addition was sick good), and pork chop saltimbocca just to name a few. one thing did disappoint us though - the size of the savory mushroom bear claw - we were lead to believe it was a heartier appetizer and we actually laughed out loud when we saw the presentation and it was literally one-bite sized. i'm told it was delicious though, ha.

after our wonderful meal at the greenhouse tavern we made our way to battery park wine bar for moscow mules and to help celebrate allison's birthday! i loved getting to visit with allison and her wonderful BF, tim, but i wish i took a picture to document, boo.

i did get one of the other ladies though - holler, beaver, patti-o, poo poo and mistiburr at BPWB

after BPWB we tried to go to parkview nite club to celebrate yet another birthday in muffin's BF jesse, but it was so packed one literally couldn't move so we headed to ABC the tavern where the designer beards and tshirts were rockin' - i.e. we stayed in a back table having fun with ourselves.

the group got together one final time before the nations headed back to STL and poo poo to chicago for sunday brunch at sweet melissa's in rocky river. i ate the total opposite of brunch in fried green tomatoes and blackened grouper tacos but i was so satisfied, everything was gloriously delicious - i need to remember to go there more often.

one would think i would have been exhausted by then but my weekend wasn't over yet.

sunday afternoon CK and i went watch shopping at beachwood place (for him not me) and dined at luchita's for mexican food sunday.

did i need to eat enchiladas? NO.

but were they delicious? YES.

can you guys figure out now why it took me till tuesday afternoon to get this recap posted now?

i love being happy in CLE.

this sunday night blogging is too hard to complete, fyi

Sunday, January 16, 2011

i've decided that instead of spending my sunday night recapping my amazing weekend be-bopping all around the city of cleveland, i'm going spend my sunday night relaxing and watching the golden globes, aka the best award show of the year.

i've earned that right.

so plan on reading about my weekend come tuesday morning.

i hope the anticipation doesn't kill you...


i didn't sign up for this

Thursday, January 13, 2011

thanks to everyone who gave me cooking inspiration on my last post, you guys rock!

i had two new homeowner fails/experiences last night.

one was in the torture that was shoveling snow in my driveway.

confession: i've never shoveled snow in my life.

i'm pretty sure that as you're reading this my back is aching and sore from the manual labor that is snow shoveling.

i wonder if buying a snow blower for my tiny driveway that's only long enough to fit one car in it is over the top?


fail #2 came in my thinking that i could actually install new pendants lights over the island in my kitchen all on my own.

who was i kidding?

putting furniture together is one thing, cutting wire and messing with electricity is another.

i am NOT an electrician.

hopefully i can bribe one of my more craftier friends to install the lights for me before end of day friday - fingers crossed.

being a homeowner gets easier right?

feel free to lie to me.

show me the recipes!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

i've hit a wall.

a recipe wall that is.

i'm having people over this friday to celebrate my friends, the nations, coming to visit the CLE from the STL and i'm stuck as what to make - think hearty appetizers for this party.

i follow more food bloggers than the average 30 year old, all of the posts starred in my google reader are of recipes and i have a stack of cookbooks currently staring at me from my bookshelf, yet i can't seem to find anything i want to make.

so i'm looking for help from you, my internet savvy readers, to direct me to some good recipe or food blogger sites.

i need inspiration people!

my friends' stomachs thank you in advance.

the ten things i still need to do to consider myself a true clevelander list

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

For over three years I've been blogging about my life in Cleveland here on the plum, but what some of you newer readers may not know is that I'm not actually from Cleveland.

I'm from Canton, Ohio which is a little under an hour south of the CLE.

And while I've grown up watching WKYC, rooting for the Browns/Cavs/Indians and spent more nights than I can count in the seats of PlayhouseSquare I didn't actually grow up in Cleveland.

Which means there's a lot of things I haven't done in this awesome city that I've called home for 4 years and 50 weeks of my life.

Sometimes I think of myself as the Milli Vanilli of Cleveland "experts" because while I've done more in my time living in Cleveland than many lifers there's soooooooooo much that I haven't checked off my Cleveland bucket list - some of which I'm actually embarrassed of never doing.

But with the new year it's time for me to make a list, a list that i need to complete by 2012...


1. Eat a pierogi at Sokolowskis
2. Visit the Great Lakes Science Center
3. See a show at the Beachland Ballroom
4. Visit the Cleveland Museum of Art
5. Go to A Christmas Story House
6. Visit the Cleveland Natural History Museum
7. Eat a cone from East Coast Custard
8. Dine at a restaurant in Little Italy, any restaurant
9. Purchase a weeks worth of groceries from The West Side Market
10. Eat a slice of pizza from Mama Santa's

anyone want to join me in and or help me cross these ten things off my list? should be fun, kids.

sidenote: if you are reading this list and think i'm missing something don't worry, i've probably already done it.

ending the weekend off right

Sunday, January 9, 2011

i'm not one to brag, but i just made the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich with miracle whip, tomato, extra sharp cheddar and baby swiss cheeses with a hot and hearty bowl of creamy tomato soup with croutons for CK and i for sunday night dinner.

not to mention right now chocolate chip cookies are baking in the oven and a glass of cold milk is waiting for me in the fridge.


this weekend was a mix of relaxing and partying, with friday night being spent sleeping on my couch due to thursday night's holiday party festivities, whoops.

saturday stepho came up to see my new kitchen (pics coming soon) and go pendant light shopping with me, and although we came home sans lights i'm hoping to get some up in time for this upcoming weekend's festivities.

saturday night was party hopping time and the night started in lakewood at the west end tavern where all the UD girls got together because my friends addison montgomery and mike were in town from denver.

addison montgomery and me being awesome in lakewood

funny story, CK (on the left) and mike (addison montomery's husband and on the right), they graduated from chaminade boys prep school in STL together - small world, yo.

later in we headed to flying monkey in tremont for JV birthday saturday!

me, birthday girl JV and AJP continuing the awesome, naturally.

saturday night ended at steak and shake and i'm not proud of this fact, but damn was that chocolate malt glorious at 2am.

sunday was a whole lot of relaxing and then delicious dinner making (see beginning of this very post). but on that note, the relaxing needs to continue - i'm going back to the couch.

sundays rule.

mondays drool.

have a good week, kids.

bowling is the new holiday party

Friday, January 7, 2011

thanks to a latte and some fruit and maple oatmeal from the mcdonalds drive-through this morning i'm starting to feel like a normal human being again.

earlier this morning though it was touch and go thanks to my post-holiday thunder::tech holiday work party at the winking lizard in lakewood last night.

the wings were delicious as was the lethal combination of the black raspberry (guinness and framboise),
aspall cyder, grand marnier and finally some van gogh double espresso vodka.

strong stomach? perhaps.

all i know is that this gem of a picture successfully sums up the evening.

yep, that's about right.... me, my boss jason and my new work bestie andrea

i bowled a 63, for the record.

buuuuuuuuuuuut i danced a perfect 10 at the lakewood village tavern after party.

we even had an after after party in my new kitchen with CK, seanski and nugget - i love that they live across the street.

tonight, i plan on having a wild and crazy night alone on my couch - watch out cleveland.

have a good weekend, yo!

hot, hotter, hottest

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

caveman, baby food, raw, dukan, cookie, master cleanse, twinkie.

what do all those words/phrases have in common?

they are all crazy diets.

well, at least according to the primetime ABC "celebrity weight loss - what really happens"*** tv show i'm currently watching they are.

not so ironically, i'm watching this show as i'm laying on the couch next to a bowl of frozen grapes that i ate instead of a proper dinner.

a pinnacle of health i am.

now with the whole celebrity spin on this diet show i can only WISH someone paid me to stay in shape.

imagine the motivation you would have that if you ate too much ice cream you were punished by your employer by not getting paid for losing your figure.

not being able to pay my mortgage would sure force me to put down the spoon.

hmm, i wonder if i could talk my boss into a new compensation plan structure...

if only.

so here's to new years resolutions, and if it isn't obvious from this post, this year mine is to get hotter.

not "hot", because obviously i already am, i want to get hot(ter).

now if you'll excuse me, i need to get to bed, i have the gym in the morning.

***i'll tell you what really happens, they don't effing eat.

lots and lots of new years festivities!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

what. an. awesome. weekend.

and as i'm sitting in my comfy red chair in my dayton hoodie sunday (and now monday) night i don't want it to end, at all.

i have much to recap, i.e. lots of pictures to post, so i'm just gonna get at it.

things started off right this past thursday at
reddstone for lzone and my new years eve eve holla days festival of awesomeness party - thanks to everyone who came out!

quite possibly the cheesiest picture of all time. lzone and i posing with our mascot for the new years eve eve holla days party - a cardigan draped bag of plums, naturally.

me, AJP, babs, beaver and MOB enjoying our new years eve eve

lzone and the (in)famous chef ellis

some of my favorite fellow cleveland bloggers - shibani (cleshopaholic), alana (the dawg's dish) and her boyfriend dean, heather (mile 26 and more) and suzanne (life on mars)

with the success of the new years eve eve party i was primed and prepped for the real new years eve.

friday night brought an evening dreamed up over vino at
battery park wine bar... a progressive dinner party through the detroit shoreway neighborhood.

friends were contacted, interest was garnered and next thing we knew we had a party planned.

stop #1: my townhouse
food: goat cheese and mascarpone stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto, tiropitas, sauteed shrimp, hot artichoke dip and bruschetta
drink: white pomegranate/blueberry cocktails, beer and 1990 vintage dom perignon of course

a shot of some of the group (including a sassy AJP) at stop #1

me about to pop some bubbles... some very classy bubbles in fact.

stop #2: seanski and nugget's condo
food: stuffed and bacon wrapped pork loin with winter fruits/port, pomme frites and green beans w/ almonds
drink: lots and lots and lots of red wine

seanski and nugget getting ready to serve the piping hot pork loin entree

no this is not a restaurant, it's seanski and nuggets condo - quite the spread!

stop #3: hartzell's townhouse in battery park
food: assorted chocolate dipped deliciousness - strawberries, pineapple, kiwis, starfruit, pretzels, etc
drink: moscow mules and dark and stormys

nugget, seakski, and me (grabbing AJP's bum)

stop #4: battery park wine bar

food: cheeeeeeeeeeeeese!
drink: champagne and whatever the heck we wanted

we watched the ball drop at BPWB where the fabulous staff took perfect care of us per usual - they are the BEST, go there!

happy 2011! AJP, hartbeck and hartzell in their party gear courtesy of cara

not only did BPWB give us lots of champagne but they also had a super fun DJ spinning the hits and showering us with confetti - dance party anyone? the kyle sisters sure thought so.

post BPWB there may have been a quick stop at reddstone before heading back to hartzell's for late night and the last waltz watching.

for a girl who traditionally isn't super hyped about all things NYE i had one of the best nights ever - so much fun!

the progressive dinner party was super smooth and i can't wait to host another one in the summer - hope my fellow hosts are up for it too.

sidenote: in all the new years mayhem and my lack of posting for a couple days i missed my blogs 3rd year anniversary. three flippin' years and 720 post later i'm still plugging away at this little site of mine - lord help me.

it's beyond weird to look over in the archives and see the years 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 with posts next to them.

a lot sure has changed in my life since 2008, i wonder what's next?

happy new year!