bring on the holiday vacation

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Check out these Italian wines for your holiday shopping.

The plum is officially on vacation, you guys.

For the first time since summer of '08 (when I went to Aruba) I have an entire week off of work in a row and I couldn't be more excited.

It's not that I haven't taken my fair share of vacation over the last couple of years it's that I've simply been the queen of the long weekend - well not anymore, as I don't have to head back to the office until January 3rd!

Now what to do, what to do, what to do with my days off...

Obviously there's Christmas and New Years but the rest of the time I plan on drinking bubbles, seeing at least 9 movies, spending time with my friends and family and sleeping.

It's going to be awesome, so on that note I'm stepping away from the computer and getting ready for my Cleveland staycation - bring it.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah!

MOB's engaged + STL with CK

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Even after a holiday season filled weekend I'm still in denial that Christmas is on Sunday - where did the time go?

If time is my issue then this past weekend was the perfect holiday primer as I traveled to St. Louis for a weekend with CK and his wonderful family...

... but more on that later because something HUGE, MASSIVE, AMAZING, WONDERFUL happen Friday afternoon before I boarded a plane to STL.


Foxxy, MOB, me and Beaver are all super excited!!! I promise Pete is too, but maybe not so much in this picture. It may or may not have been all my screaming with joy that scared him :)

MOB is one of, if not "my best friend" (right Beaver?) and to say that I was excited after patiently waiting for Pete to pop the question would be the understatement of the year. I'm so genuinely happy for my friend I'm not sure I can put it in words.

So just like I did when I walked into the Public House before heading to the airport on Friday for a celebratory shot + cocktails I'll just scream, cry and jump up and down for 5 minutes.

As a slightly buzzed up passenger post PH I made my way to CLE to board my flight to STL for, as I previously mentioned, for a fun filled holiday celebration with CK and his family. We ate + drank + caroled + visited + danced + open presents and generally had a good time. And I can't thank CK's family enough for their hospitality and general awesomeness.

CK's sister + brother-in-law Maggie and Chuck and CK's other sister Caroline and her boyfriend Parker caroling the night away.

CK demonstrating one of his iPhone capable Christmas presents and Parker, CK and Jessica taking a break from a rousing game of front yard soccer with a child sized glitter soccer ball - it was magical.

At the end of the weekend I left STL feeling happy and loved which is all that you can ask for after spending a weekend with your boyfriend's* family, right?

Say it with me now, "Awwwwwwwwwwww".

Happy Tuesday, kids!

*Disclosure: I'm 100% positive this is the first time in 1.5+ years of dating that I officially referred to CK as my boyfriend on this blog.

Bash on the Bridge

Friday, December 16, 2011

Congratulations go out to KaKaty for winning the $25 Key Possibilities MasterCard courtesy of KeyBank rewards week - there's still time to take advantage of rewards today and through the weekend so be sure to check out for updates.

Anyone who reads this blog knows my love of all things ABC and XYZ the Taverns, and the Bash on the Bridge at Viaduct Lounge is exactly why.

It's pretty self explanatory, right?

So head on over to ABC, XYZ, Viaduct Lounge or any Erie Island Coffee locations to pick up your invitation.

Hope to see you next Wednesday for some holiday cheer!

Kids don't want books for Christmas

Thursday, December 15, 2011

So last night I finally got around to watching the Jimmy Kimmel video that has been making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook the last couple of days and holy crap is it hilarious.

The premise is Jimmy Kimmel asked viewers to intentionally give their children terrible Christmas presents and video tape their reactions and it's pure comedy gold I tell ya.

If you haven't watched it yet, do yourself a favor and do so...

Fabulous, right?

Anyways, after watching this for the first time I couldn't help but recall Christmas of 1990, when I was a wee 10-year-old. That year I asked my family for many normal 10-year-old girl presents one of which was the very general category of, "books".

Adults LOVE to give books, but this wasn't a piece of information I was privy too in 1990.

I'm blessed with a big family, with lots of wonderful people giving me gifts, and after the first few books being received from my Dad's side of the family on Christmas Eve I was OK. Upon the second stop on Christmas Eve to my Mom's side of the family when the books continued to pile up I was getting annoyed, but not too much, because the next day was Christmas and "Santa" wouldn't let me down.

Christmas morning I got a lot more books (shocking) and I was sad, but grateful, and not a breaking point... yet.

That is until got to my Tiajo's house for Christmas dinner and present exchange and all my hopes and dreams of fun toys were flushed down the toilet as I unwrapped, you guessed it, MORE BOOKS.

I'm pretty sure one of them was a Children's Bible and around that point I completely lost it.

I had a full out 3-year-old-esque temper tantrum crying and screaming (like the chubby little boy around the 3:40 mark of the video) because all she got for Christmas was "stupid books".

I essentially was gifted enough reading material that not only could I have stocked my own library but I potentially could still be reading through all of them 20+ years later.

My family still laughs about this. Rightly so.

So what was your worst/awful/terrible/awkward holiday present you've ever received?

An almost wordless wednesday weekend recap

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Have you entered to win a $25 Key Possibilities MasterCard yet? Comment on this post to do so!

Happy 30th Birthday Salami Rose!! - at Buckeye Beer Engine with Michael

Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland 2011 - at 78th St Studios

The awesomeness that is a tree and wolf themed salt and pepper shaker holder - at Brobel's Boner Jamz

Jon and Lulu dominating the ugly Christmas sweaters - at Brobel's Boner Jamz

Lots more happened this weekend including Lava Lounge, XYZ the Tavern, shopping on the eastside like a crazy person and (gasp!) eating at a chain restaurant but I'll just let you guys imagine that.

Happy Wednesday, kids.

Key Rewards Week Day One: FREE STARBUCKS, and a giveaway

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Monday in Cleveland, it's the busy holiday season, end of 2011 and everyone needs/deserves a free Starbucks coffee.

Yes, you read that right - FREE STARBUCKS, FOR EVERYONE.

If you're in Cleveland today, Monday December 12th, head to any (or all) of the following Starbucks to receive free coffee/lattes/espresso/frappucino, etc.

W 6th St - 1374 W 6th St, Cleveland, OH
Hanna Building - 1400 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Clinic - 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH
Cedar & Fairmount - 12405 Cedar Rd, Cleveland, OH
Chagrin & Green - 22841 Chagrin Blvd, Beachwood, OH
Rocky River - 19555 Detroit Rd, Rocky River, OH
Westgate Mall - 20646 Center Ridge Rd, Fairview, OH

So exactly why are you able to get free Starbucks today?

It's courtesy of Cleveland's own KeyBank who today is kicking off Key Rewards Week, a.k.a. a week chock full of daily giveaways - today being Starbucks for all!

You can check daily to see what KeyBank is offering up and all I can say is I promise you it's going to be a good week.

Key even gave my little blog a fun holiday present to share... a $25 Key Possibilities MasterCard Gift Card - so who wants it?

Anyone can enter to win a $25 Key Possibilities MasterCard Gift Card by doing one or all of the following:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what you want for Christmas/Hanukkah/etc

2. Tweet the following, leaving me a comment on this post telling me you did so - "It's #KeyRewardsWeek and I want to win a $25 Key Possibilities MasterCard from @clevelandsaplum"
3. Facebook share this giveaway leaving me a comment on this post telling me you did so

Don't forget to leave me your email/twitter handle so I can get a hold of you if I don't already know how to. You have until 11:59pm this Thursday, December 15th to enter and I'll announce the randomly chosen winner in a post Friday, December 16th.

Good luck to all who enter and don't forget to head out to the aforementioned Cleveland area Starbucks today and get your coffee on courtesy of #KeyRewardsWeek.

Happy Monday, kids!

{Disclosure: I was provided with a $25 Key Possibilities MasterCard of my own in return for this post but as a very happy KeyBank customer since I was 18 years old my opinions are my own plus, hello, free Starbucks offers need to be shared with the masses...}

bazaar bizarre cleveland 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lot's of fun holiday stuff going on this upcoming weekend, including one spectacular craft and gift show right in my neighborhood!

The 8th annual Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland is Northeast Ohio's favorite and largest indie craft/gift fair with over 100 local vendors selling their wares and it's happening THIS WEEKEND.

Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland
78th Street Studios - map here
Saturday December 10th from 10am to 9pm
Sunday December 11th from 10am to 6pm

And while you're there be sure to check out my lady friends from Chartreuse's new line of brightly hued greeting cards!

I hope you get a chance to stop by this weekend and shop local.

Happy Friday, kids.

cleveland wins again!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The fabulous Bridget Callahan brought the following video to my attention on Facebook yesterday.

The story goes that Yahoo Music created a list called, The Most Epically Awful Videos of 2011: Even Worse Than Rebecca Black - well this list apparently has a Cleveland connection in that the #1 epically awful music video goes to Cleveland based metal band Alternate Reality.

This video, titled "The King that Never Was" was filmed at Squire's Castle and would actually be the best video on the planet if it was created as a spoof but alas, these musicians really do live in an alternate reality.

It has the makings of acting and costumes like you'd find in a soft porn late night on Cinemax, Dungeons & Dragons super fans, every cliche metal stereotype and then it's all tied together with horrendous sounding "music".

All that being said, it's awesome and around the 2 min mark, when they actually start the music I laughed out loud and snorted.


So watch it, you must.

cleveland bloggers love vitamix

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to a little blogger get together on behalf of
Vitamix, the Cleveland based high performance blender company, at their new factory outlet store in North Olmsted.

Personally I don't own a blender (yet), but as an avid home "chef", I would now consider doing very inappropriate things to get a Vitamix of my own after watching the chef/recipe demos.
I seriously don't think there's anything a Vitamix can't do (mixing and blending wise) in the kitchen.

Chef Rocco Whalen of Tremont's Fahrenheit and Vitamix Chef/Author Bev Shaffer doing their blender demo thang.

Chef Rocco dominated a couple Asian themed dressings/vinaigrettes to pair with greens and seared tuna and Chef Bev blew my mind with a berry kiss sorbet and chocolate fondue made right in the Vitamix - no heat required and it was ridiculously good.

In fact, I'm still thinking about that chocolate fondue.

If only I had a Vitamix of my own....

I did have a chance to win my very own reconditioned 5200 machine at the demo, but alas, luck strikes Alana again (brat) and she won the grand prize. It's ok though, all the other jealous Cleveland bloggers still love her.

Allison, Heather, me, Alana and Shannon with our Vitamix goodies and then Alana gloating with her prize - no, I'm not bitter at all, why would you ask? :)

If you're looking to purchase a Vitamix of your own or for a gift be sure to stop by the factory outlet store this holiday season to order new machines, purchase reconditioned ones and see lots of product demonstrations.

The store is open 7 days a week and is located at 4720 Great Northern Blvd, North Olmsted, OH 44070, right around the corner from hhgregg.

If you're not local be sure to check out the
Vitamix website for product and ordering information.

The get together was educational, super fun, very tasty and I can't thank Vitamix enough for inviting me.

{I was invited to this event by Vitamix and was given lots of tasty treats and a fabulous goodie-bag. The opinions stated in this post are mine all mine}

It's a holiday celebraish

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I know I feel like I say it all the time, but I had a great weekend, you guys!

Especially once my leaky windows/hardie board siding was fixed....

The black mess? It's moisture rotting and where all the water was getting stuck and going into my house.... sexy right? Thankfully after two days of work everything is fixed up and pretty all over again. I have to wait for the spring to fix the back windows but I consider this a small victory.

Friday was spent triple dating it up in the newly opened Market Garden Brewery basement with me/CK, Moe/Mark and Janet/Adam, plus a special guest appearance by MOB/Pete. We ate, drank bubbles and enjoyed the new room which was totally nice, open spaced, beautiful walls with a cozy fireplace - I approve.

I told you the walls were cool. Additionally, you'll see the top picture where I was catching Mark and Moe deep in conversation and the bottom picture when they realized that I was photographing them - they are great actors.

After MGB a few of us walked over to ABC the Tavern to meet up with lots more friends enjoy some cocktails and catch up with frowns and vince the polack. ABC is the bomb, I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Saturday morning CK and I headed over to the other side of the alphabet,
XYZ the Tavern, for breakfast. We got to catch up with owners Randy and Linda and grub on delicious veggie omelets and wraps. If you haven't made it out to Saturday and Sunday breakfast/brunch at XYZ you're missing out - go!

Saturday afternoon was spent making a version of jalapeno poppers (they are delish) with cream cheese, bacon and a crescent roll to take over to the 5th Annual Seidenwand Holiday Celebraish in Lakewood.

The Seidenwand's, Cubby and Martha respectively, sure know how to throw a party - food, drinks, hospitality, fun and lest not forget the highlight of it all.... the white elephant gift exchange. Lots of fun was had around the gift exchange this year and I may or may not have snorted laughing more times than I could keep track of.

Let's just get to the pictures, shall we?

Some of my favorite ladies: Martha, Babs, Court, the Klutz and Muffin + a couple of crowd shots pre-gift exchange.

Biondi and Tony really liked playing Santa for the exchange making people sit on their laps for present time - totally normal... just ask Ahmed, Amy and AJP.

This is the type of excitement one gets when opening an at home Blizzard maker from DQ - I'm not sure who was more excited, Hartzell or Biondi.

Muffin couldn't have picked a more perfect gift, a cat in a denim pocket t-shirt, brilliant... Babs, that mustache looks good on you... Martha, does that calculator need batteries?... Tara knows that everyone loves an *NSYNC Barbie.

KJ and timmybennett are quite the pimp and ho... AJP really REALLY cherishes her photo of Fitchko... Hatchel, um, um... Cubby loves Playboy, omg is that the Kardashian issue?

After the party MOB and I made it to the Public House in West Park for a drink and to hangout with friends because there isn't much better then a PH last call.

Sunday was a funday with CK and his little one at Crocker Park with lunch at Aladdin's, a "train-ride", a viewing of Arthur Christmas (so cute) and Menchie's. Couldn't get more wholesome than that.

The evening was pretty wholesome as well in that I circled back to 1988 and playing Super Mario Bros 3 for days on end - thanks to my trusty wii I was able to download it and pretend I was in the 4th/5th grade all over again.

Yup, I still know where the secret worlds are.

And thus concludes a another weekend in the CLE.

Happy Tuesday, kids!

Windows schmindos

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's happening, you guys.

Someone has agreed to fix my poorly installed windows that have been leaking since spring.

No more sitting at my office when it's raining stressing about how I know water is pouring into my kitchen, no more 9x13 pyrex pans sitting on the window sills waiting to catch water, no more cracks.


It took 4 separate contractors to come out and blow me off, but finally, FINALLY I have a start date.

That being said, I probably shouldn't hold my breathe, it's not Friday.... yet.

You all should probably cross your fingers for me that the project moves seamlessly and we can somehow figure out how to get to my second level back windows without having to tear down a fence.

You all should probs cross your toes while you're at it too.

Ah, the miracle of home ownership....

I need a drink.