Hip hip hooray for the Holler/Doyle wedding!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Have you entered to win a pair of Gap Jeans yet? Comment on this post for your chance to win - I'll be announcing a winner on Wednesday so enter while you can! ___________________________________________________________________

This post is coming to you live from Las Vegas where after literally hours of trying to get the internet set up in my room I finally have a connection and can share the fabulousness that was my weekend with the interwebs.

Last weekend I had the honor of participating in the wedding celebrations of Holler and Doyle and man was it fabulous.

With Holler being one of my good girlfriends from college the lot of us Cleveland UD girls were lucky enough to entertain our friends visiting from out of town for the Friday night pre-wedding party.

A big group of us headed to Deagan's in Lakewood where we could make a reservation in the side room right in front of the big screen and we could take in game 7 of the World Series. Our friends visiting on Friday all had a tie to STL in either still living there or grew up there so having a prime spot was very important.

As usual Deagan's was spot on with food and service and was kind enough to let us be rowdy and take over the room by closing time.

Friends at Deagan's: Tigger, Mistiburr and Foxxy - Tigger, Foxxy and Cusa - Ladies, all the UD ladies together - Dave, Mistiburr and Tigger celebrating the Cards win, they're from the Lou and they're proud, you guys.

I told you Deagan's let us get R-O-W-D-I-E! Beaver, Misitburr, MOB, Tigger and Foxxy give three cheers for the Cardinals.

Saturday brought the wedding extravaganza. The ceremony was held at St. Francis of Assisi in Gates Mills on the eastside and the reception was held at the Club at Hillbrook in Chagrin Falls. Having never been to Hillbrook I kinda sort fell in love with it. The stone, the wood, the outdoor area, the food - everything. It was beautiful.

Another highlight for me were the speeches, Mr. Holler, the best man and maid of honor Kristen did such a good job that my table was switching between tears and laughs - aka the sign of a successful speech.

Announcing Mr and Mrs Christopher Doyle! Pardon the iPhone photos (I REALLY need to get a new battery for my camera) and just look at the hottness of the former Miss Holler. Doyle, you don't look too bad either.

All the UD girls in attendance (minus me) with the bride and groom - the adorable etched initial centerpieces - the church program that kicked it all off.

Some dancing/hangout shots - MOB and Beaver being, well, MOB and Beaver - Dave, Tigger, Nik and Poo Poo at the beginnings of the Tebow - The United Nations - Poo Poo being scary with a mask that may or may not have given me nightmares.

After the ceremony myself, MOB, Beaver, Poo Poo, Muffin/Jesse, The United Nations, and the Karlsson's headed to the Inn of Chagrin, our home for the evening. I don't think they liked how loud we were when we got there - whoops.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend celebration with great friends. I wish nothing but happiness to my love Holler and her new hubby - congrats to the Doyle's!

And thus concludes my 2011 wedding run and to think I only have three lined up for 2012 - hurry up, someone get engaged!

Uggcitrin: The Ugg Boot Vaccine

Friday, October 28, 2011

Stay in style with our magazines.

Have you entered to win a free pair of Gap Jeans yet? Click through and comment on this post to do so. Also, don't forget you can tweet/comment daily for additional entries!

I pride myself on the fact that I've never owned a pair of Uggs.

Well, actually that's a lie, I owned a pair for a brief time when I received them as a Christmas present from my Yiayia. Confession: sorry Yiayia, I returned them for a beautiful NYE dress.

I just hate them, you guys... Uggs, make me go Ugh.

So when the following video came across the internets to me yesterday via Katelin I had to share it with you you all in hope someone out there agrees with me.

Even if you don't and you love your boots to look like elephant feet I think you'll appreciate the humor of it all.


Happy Friday, kids!

Who wants a free pair of Gap Jeans?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My history with the GAP is very long in that I worked there for 5 years when I was in high school/college and I've been a member of the Gap Brand Ambassador program for the last couple of year thanks to this here blog. Which in laymen terms means, I love the Gap.

Being part of the Gap Ambassador program in it's most literal sense means I've gotten to receive a lot of free Gap SWAG over the years like a 40 pairs of
1969 jeans for me and my friends, new pairs of sleek black slacks from their premium pant collection, jean jackets and more.

In one of my most recent goodie packages (seen above) I received two pairs of jeans that Gap and Vogue picked out as their favorites for fall, the Ponte Legging Jean and the Pintuck Trouser Jean.

Now let me tell you this: if you wear tall boots with jeans or leggings all winter the Ponte Legging Jean is a MUST BUY for you. I'm currently wearing them now and they are literally the most comfortable "jean" I've ever worn.

The Pintuck Trouser need some hemming for me to be able to rock with attitude but I promise you that's on my to-do list - right after I go get another pair of the Ponte Legging variety that is.

I'd like you to be able to get a pair of new jeans too though, and so does the Gap, because I have certificate for a FREE PAIR OF JEANS (women or men's with a retail price up to $90) to give to one of my readers courtesy of the Gap.

You have a few options to be entered to win:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me which pair of Gap jeans you're most interested in trying (
women's and men's)
2. Tweet the following about the contest "I want to win a pair of @Gap Jeans from @clevelandsaplum and you can too http://bit.ly/sdeiqo #GapAmbassador" and leave a comment on this post telling me you did so - you can tweet this daily for multiple entries
3. Share a link (http://bit.ly/sdeiqo) to this contest on facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so

You have until 11:59pm on Tuesday 11/1 to enter and don't forget to leave me your contact information in the comment if I don't already have a way to get a hold of you.

I'll be announcing the winner a week from today on Wednesday, November 2nd so happy entering and good luck!

Disclosure: I was provided Gap jeans and Gap jean certificates for this giveaway by the Gap and Brand About Town

who said you couldn't go to two weddings in one weekend?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My biggest party foul of this past weekend was probably forgetting my proper camera's battery charger at home.

Thank goodness for the iPhone though because I was still able to capture my double wedding weekend in all it's glory, albeit a slightly blurry glory.

My long weekend began with a dark and rainy drive to Pittsburgh for me and CK after work on Thursday where we checked into the Hyatt Place - Northshore for our two night stay to kick off the wedding festivities of Diva and Mike.

Diva is one of my oldest and best college girlfriends as we met on move in day at University of Dayton when we both lived on 6 Adele in Stuart Hall. I don't really like to think about how long we've been friend though because then realize how old we are getting. What's 31 minus 18? Yikes! :)

On that note, let's move on to the pictures.

The gorgeous Diva was married at the beautiful cathedral of St. Bernard's where on the left we see her proud father walking her down the aisle and her new husband Mike and her once they became man and wife!

After the ceremony we all headed to the East Club Lounge at Heinz Field for the reception - the venue/service/food/drinks were all really spectacular but as a Browns fan I had to revolt a little bit, right?

That would be Jen thumbs downing the entrance and Kirt's Browns lighter trying to jokingly torch the place.

Now this is my friend Lindsay, she's awesome, also a friend from college - she takes photos for a living so I decided to make her the subject for the evening. When I said she takes photos for a living what that really means is that she's a VERY talented wedding and children's photographer based in Denver, if you're in the area check her out: Lindsay B Photography.

Friends galore in this one! That would be Bridget, Adam and Lindsay - Jen, Diva and Me - Lindsay, Teen and Bridget.

More friends! My love Teen (the matron of honor), Diva and Amie - Teen getting real close to CK - and a standard action shot.

Such a fun wedding for all involved and I wish Diva and Mike nothing but continued happiness - xoxo.

Saturday morning we put our slight hangovers aside and CK and I drove from Pittsburgh to Canton for wedding #2 of the weekend for my very good (essentially) family friend Sarah. For this wedding my Sissy flew in from Boston and I was super excited to see her face.

This wedding was the epitome of a big fat Greek wedding with 400 people in attendance and more than enough people dressed in black.

Sarah and Dave's wedding was at my home church of St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church and in the above pictures you can see Sarah's being walked down the aisle by her father Dr. Pete, the crowning ceremony, the happy couple existing the church and finally the dove release. Yes, I said DOVE RELEASE.

In between the ceremony and reception a group of us headed to Bricco in Akron for apps and cocktails. Above you'll see Katie, Sissy, my cousin Marissa and I being adorable and then a shot of me, my Yiayia Lambo (Grandmother) and Sissy.

The wedding reception was at University of Akron's Quaker Station and as you all know it's not a Greek wedding until there's money on the floor and the family is Greek dancing - oh and when Sarah is throwing the bouquet (don't worry you guys, I didn't catch it).

There was also a photo booth and as you can see we took advantage of it with myself, Erin, Marissa, Leah and Sissy as well as my Thea Susie, Carolyn (Mother of the bride) and my Mom striking a pose.

Oh my beautiful family! My sissy, Katie, Leah (sister of the bride and maid of honor) and Marissa then the same crew with the happy bride Sarah.

This wedding was SO FUN - so many friends and family all in one place and I couldn't be happier for my "little Sarah" and her husband Dave, but OMG like little Sarah has a husband!!!! I love it.

One would like after both these wedding extravaganzas Sunday would have been spent on my couch but that's what Monday was for (as I'm typing this Monday night I have literally been watching TV for the last 14 hours). Sunday I headed to Mapleside Farms with CK and his little one for the stereotypical fall festivities of hay rides, pumpkins, apples and amazing people watching. Good times had by all.

But if you'll excuse me I still have approximately two more hours of TV to fit in before bed.

Happy Tuesday, kids!

Downtown Cleveland: Is It For You?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I love everything about the following video, EVERYTHING.

Having lived in Downtown Cleveland for four years and currently working in Downtown Cleveland for over six years this video speaks to me.

It speaks to my ideals, my hopes/dreams for the city I call home and to everything I know Cleveland is.

Seeing so many of my friends, colleagues and stomping grounds featured in this video puts a huge smile on my face - it's beautiful.

Cleveland is for me.

So who's coming to visit? Better yet, who's moving to Cleveland?!?

Cleveland Beer Week, Viaduct Lounge, Der Braumeister and Sunday Dinner

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This past weekend was pretty damn awesome and I'm thinking this post isn't going to do it justice, but I'll try...

Friday started out with a KAM(silentG) lunch at Noodlecat. It was my first visit to the restaurant and it definitely won't be my last - next time I want to do dinner and cocktails - but man, those rice balls, yum-o!

Friday evening CK and I kicked off Cleveland Beer Week right with the opening event, Grains vs Grapes. We were guests of my employer, thunder::tech, and we had such a wonderful time eating and drinking with my colleagues and clients.

That's a lot of tasting glasses...

Our food courses prepared by the Michael Symon Restaurant Group were paired with "grains" chosen by Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver and "grapes" chosen by Marianne Frantz of the American Wine School. Aside from Garrett Oliver not knowing when to put the mic down and the audience getting "yelled at" for talking too much everything was fabulous!

After the event the whole crew headed to the friends and family soft opening of the Viaduct Lounge to meet up with the rest of the cool kids where we got to check out Cleveland's newest hot spot. The Viaduct Lounge has taken over the old Ponte Vecchio restaurant space overlooking the flats and with the same owners/managers as my favorite bars ABC the Tavern and XYZ the Tavern (which we headed to for the "after-party") so how could I not love this place?

Saturday CK and I got a surprise visit from Beaver and MOB when they came over for breakfast which reminded me of college - the only difference being that, as MOB stated, I have a very "adult" kitchen now, aka I have spices in my pantry and put out cream and sugar.

But what can I say? Why wouldn't they want to come over for breakfast? No one can resist my egg-in-a-hole. #twss

Saturday night CK and I had a date night with our good friends Moe and Mark at Der Braumeister.

What's Der Braumeister you may ask? Well it's a German Bier Haus, Restaurant and Market on W130th and Lorain and it's a place that after having driven by countless times was beyond excited to check out and we were not disappointed with our experience.

I found my new favorite beer of the week, Kasteel Rouge which despite having an 8% abv I drank a bazillion of them like water - they were that tasty you guys. While I'm admittedly not a huge beer drinker it's safe to say I kicked off Cleveland Beer Week with a bang.

Lots of fun at Der Braumeister: CK enjoying his beer, Mark and Moe being adorable and a comical vampire/german themed signed behind the bar.

The task: everyone at the table take a "selfie" with my iphone. The above is the result... Mark + Moe + Me + CK = Prost!

Sunday was spent relaxing, shopping, running errands, cooking a kick ass Sunday dinner for me and CK and being "forced" to watch the Cardinals.

This week's dinner was a lasagne bolognese with spinach - I've never made a lasagne, nor a bolognese sauce from scratch and I must say it was the bomb. There was an amazing ricotta cheese, egg and milk layer that was bechamel-esque and TDF. I will definitely be making this dinner again and I think you should add it to your arsenal of recipes too.

My newly famous (deemed by me) eggs-in-a-hole and my newly found lasagne bolognese with spinach obsession - I think I can cook, you guys.

So yeah, that's a good weekend according to me.

How was yours?

Happy Tuesday, kids!

so it's like a hot pad?

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Crock-Pot.

It's an iconic kitchen tool, yet it's oh so trendy right now - there's the crock pot girls and whole boards on Pinterest dedicated to the crock pot setting and forgetting it.

Miss Manning tells me that all the cool kids call it "slow cooking" aka "the slow cooker, not your grandmother's crock pot!" - um, if it walks like a duck....

But see here's the issue with me and crock-pots, my Yiayias didn't have them - my understanding was that only "white people" had crock-pots and they made bland mushy food in them, Greeks did NOT use crock-pots.

That's what the oven/dutch over and stove top was for.

I didn't grow up with them, no one in my family had them (still don't to this day) but these slow-cookers are popping up everywhere and for the first time in my life I'm actually thinking about buying one - this Cuisinart one in fact.

But what will happen if I do?

Will I lose all my cooking cred? Will I suddenly use processed cheese, canned cream of mushroom soup and make things with dumplings and canned peas in them?

[Sidenote: the above items are ingredients I can't help but recall on when I think of "white people" - aka non-Mediterranean style cooking - don't be offended, I can't help it!]

So, should I put all my stereotypes aside and take the slow cooker plunge?

I really do love me some chili spiced braised beef...

how often do you switch your towels?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In continuing with my polling style theme posts like: morning shower or evening shower, movies you will always turn on when you find them on TV, or life registry, I have another preference based question for you all.

How often do you switch your shower/bath towels?

Do you use a new set of towels after each shower? Do you use the same towels for a handful of days and then switch them? Do you use the same towel for months on end?

Personally, I use two towels per shower - one for my hair and one for my body - and I use the same two towels for about a week.

Is that gross?

The way I think of it is that my body is the cleanest it's going to be when I'm done showering so I dry off and hang the towels on a hook to dry for the next day.

Totally normal, right?

Or so I thought, till I got in a conversation recently and was basically looked at like I had two heads because of my towel changing habit.

So I'm taking it to the blog...

Tell me, how often do you change your shower/bath towels?

Dips for all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is it Friday yet?


Only Tuesday, crap.

Perhaps talking about last weekend will bring this weekend here faster. It's worth a shot.

As I mentioned on Friday I hosted a dip themed party for some of my girlfriends on Saturday because who doesn't love a good dip!?!?! I dare you to come forward if you don't.

Let's talk about the dips I made for a hot second though:
- Reuben Dip (recipe)
- Bacon and Blue Cheese Dip (a handwritten dip recipe from Little Louie)
- Buffalo Chicken Dip (a gchat dip recipe from my Sissy)
- Traditional Chips and Dip (um, Dairymans Chip Dip because IT'S THE BEST)
- Veggies and Dill Dip (Store bought but I forget the brand)
- Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread (recipe)
- Skinny Taco Dip (recipe)
- 7-layer Greek Dip (recipe)
- My "award-winning" Carmel Apple Cheesecake bars (recipe)
- My love Babs brought a Sausage Queso Dip
- My other love Erin brought this sweet pumpkin mousse dip

On top of lots of vino and bubbles I offered a signature cocktail of ginger ale, apple cider and makers mark which I found through Pinterest and I may or may not be in love with.

We ate, we drank, we danced, we broke glasses and we enjoyed arguably one of the most awesome weather evenings that October in Cleveland has ever seen.

All in all there were 20ish people in attendance including my Mommy and Nouna and I have some great girlfriends (and Seanski) this is a fact.

Jilly, Jen, Erin, Mrs Verdova and Rachel Zoe Muffin up top and Seanski, Sarabot, AJP, JV and C-Rossi down low.

I did a half-assed job documenting my fancy dips but here's a snap or three from the iPhone.

Ginenne doing "leg-ups" off the pergola in my backyard, Me, AJP and C-Rossi rockin' our broccoli microphones/hair pieces and some random dude dominating karaoke at Tina's which we ambushed late night.

Sunday I met my lovelies for brunch on the patio at Luxe Kitchen and Lounge where we enjoyed 2 for 1 bubble cocktails which were the last things I needed for the record. Hair of the dog? Probs.

My mimosa and menu, JV's doing something with AJP's "parking", Lulu and Sarabot doing something called a "scarecrow" and my french toast of the day which was essentially a dessert.

As soon as brunch was over I napped and then realized my house was still trashed and I needed to clean before CK came over for Sunday night chillaxing which involved Angelo's Pizza, Cardinals baseball and me falling asleep on the couch. Sexy.

I was tired just like I am now thinking about it.

Happy Tuesday, kids.

I put my hand upon your hip

Friday, October 7, 2011

You will stay informed with news magazines.

On Saturday I'm having some of my girlfriends over because I feel like it's been ages since I have seen all of their faces.

I decided to make the party a dip theme due to the fact that everyone loves dips and they are traditionally pretty easy to make in large quantities.

And the DIP PARTY was born.

In preparation for my party planning CK was so kind to share the following video on my facebook wall this morning and upon watching its 90's awesomeness I knew it needed to be shared.

Da Dip by Freak Nasty (yes, FREAK NASTY... what the hell kind of group name is that though?)

This video actually hurts my eyes at some points - those outfits, that random viewfinder, the colors and those horrible (horribly awesome though) graphics.

I'm contemplating playing on this repeat throughout the whole party although that would probably be a cruel cruel joke to my guests.

Now if you excuse me I have to put my hand upon my hip...

... and make some dips!

Happy Friday, kids.

my experience at the nescafe dolce gusto foodie feed up event in cleveland

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to attend a Foodie Feed Up event courtesy of Nescafe Dolce Gusto at The Greenhouse Tavern.

The event allowed a fabulous group of friends/Cleveland bloggers to enjoy a food demonstration of GHT's famous steak tartare from Chef Jonathan Sawyer himself while sipping wine, stuffing our faces with pomme frites and of course enjoying coffee with our dessert.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto
is a stylish single serve coffee maker that makes everything from your traditional cup 'o joe, cappuccinos, lattes and even iced coffee and tea. The machines are adorable and thanks to Nescafe Dolce Gusto the feed up attendees were able to take the Piccolo version home with us. Well, actually it was shipped home to us, tomato tomahto.

We also got to take home the following handy dandy party primer which I wish I had time to share the whole book with you because it's a gorgeous piece of design work filled with tips/tricks and recipes from all the Foodie Feed Up chefs around the country.


Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine demonstration, the famous GHT beef tartare and my caramel macchiato and buttered popcorn pot de creme - glorious.

My piccolo machine is currently happily residing in the kitchen in my office due partially to the fact that I need a latte fix around 3pm while I'm working annnnnnnnnnnnnnd because I like to bribe my team with tasty coffee treats. It's a win win situation, you guys, especially when they have so many flavor options.

My personal favorite? The chai latte with a shot of caffe lungo for an extra kick, it's TDF.

For more information on all Nescafe Dolce Gusto products feel free to check out their website, twitter and facebook page for more information.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Foodie Feed-Up event to learn more about Nescafe Dolce Gusto. While there, we were treated to food and a cooking demo from The Greenhouse Tavern and coffee tastings from Dolce Gusto. Additionally, every blogger was surprised with their own Dolce Gusto machine. All opinions about the coffee, event and food are 100% my own.

happy hours, charity events and a proper sunday dinner

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It seems like ages since I actually spent a full weekend in Cleveland and this past weekend was just what the doctor ordered, sans the Browns loss of course.

Friday started out with at happy hour at Reddstone thanks to my friend Ahmed - it was the perfect kick off to the weekend with a side of vodka waters. From the happiest of hours CK and I headed to the Hunger Network's Rolling on the River at Windows on the, what else, River in the flats.

Rolling on the River was seemingly a great event - we only stayed for about an hour - and I think if we participated in the gambling like the rest of the folks we would have gotten into it a bit more. Although, it's just as possible that we would have spent more money, which is a lesson I've learned before.

CK and I headed back to Reddstone for more cocktails and friendly conversation before we peaced out for home instead of a Tina's karaoke break, you'll have that.

The only picture I took on Friday night which includes the boys either perplexedly looking at me or having no clue I'm doing anything. Go Reddstone.

Saturday evening CK and I attended an event that we both had zero expectations walking in to, the 11th annual FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

CK's employer was competing in the finals so we got some comp tickets and headed to the hall not sure what to expect and boy were we pleasantly surprised - we had A BLAST.

These corporate bands headed to Cleveland from all over the country for this event and in my humble opinion, rocked Cleveland's socks off.

There was a regional competition for the bands earlier in the year and this weekend was the competition for all the marbles.
We aren't talking a simple guitar, bass, lead singer and drums here... we're talking horns, keyboards, back-up singers - the whole shebang.

The badge for all the cool kids, a shot of the stage while E&Y were performing and celebrity judge former Billy Joel drummer Liberty Devitto and yours truly. Say cheeeeeeeeeeese!

The corporations in the finals were: ConAgra Foods, Ernst & Young, Starbucks, Progressive Insurance, Mattel, Proctor and Gamble, GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Resource Interactive. The Ernst & Young band, American Pi, took home the grand prize and a much deserved win.

We made a final stop at XYZ on our way home to wrap up a surprisingly fun evening - no complaints here, you guys.

Sunday I opted to watch the Browns from home instead of attending the game even though I had tickets and I'm glad I did with that performance.

I essentially nested like whoa all day Sunday - I cleaned, I cooked, I did laundry, I worked, I, I, I.... and the list goes on.

Finally purchased some Punkin Ale and made some oatmeal raisin cookies from scratch - because I can.

Some shots of the meal during preparation and a shot of CK doing the dishes. I'll keep cooking if he keeps cleaning, that's for sure.

The final product! The pioneer woman's braised short ribs with creamy goat cheese polenta and a side of brussel sprouts. It was horrible! jk jk jk, it was beyond fabulous.

I do believe that's what you call a proper Sunday dinner - who's coming over next week?

Happy Tuesday, you guys.