Taste of the Browns 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's almost time for Browns football in Cleveland, guys!

Which means it's also almost time for literally my favorite foodie event of the year, the 14th annual Taste of the Browns benefiting the Cleveland Foodbank.

This year's event takes place on Monday, September 10th in the Cleveland Browns Stadium AT&T City View Club Lounge from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

The funds raised for Cleveland Foodbank at Taste of the Browns provide more than half a million meals to those in need throughout Northeast Ohio over the course of the year. What better reason than that to support the cause by purchasing a ticket or participating in the silent auction.

The people watching is always stellar, as is spying for Browns players, who enjoy tasting food from around the region and sippin' on some adult beverages just like the rest of us.

Tickets are $150 each, partially tax delectable and can be purchased online here - with all proceeds benefiting the Cleveland Foodbank..

OR... wait for it....

You can win a pair of general admission tickets here on the plum!

There's multiple ways to enter:
  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me which of the 25 participating restaurants you're most excited to try if you win.
  2. Leave a comment on this post telling me what you think the Cleveland Browns record will be this season.
  3. Share the following update on twitter: " Check out @clevelandsaplum's Taste of the Browns ticket giveaway and help @CleveFoodbank knock out hunger http://bit.ly/RpxEHI " and leave a comment telling me you did so. You can tweet daily, leaving a comment each time, for additional entries.
  4. Share this giveaway on Facebook - http://bit.ly/RpxEHI - and leave a comment telling me you did so.
Enter one way, all four, or even tweet daily - but you must leave separate comments for additional entries and don't forget to leave your contact information if I don't already have it.

You have until next Thursday, September 6th, at 5pm to enter and I'll announce the winner the following morning.

Good luck to all who enter!

Happy Thursday, kids.

{I was provided a pair of tickets to attend the event as well as a pair of tickets for this giveaway in exchange for this post, as always, my opinions are my own}

#cleabc + Market + 2012 Cleveland White Party

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The whirlwind weekend that was I could technically say started last Wednesday when I got to hang out with some old friends and former coworkers while they knocked off the letter 'G'.

G? Yes, G. 

You may be asking yourself right now what that means, so I'm hear to tell you that a fun new Cleveland blog has been born called the Cleveland Alphabetical Bar Crawl. It's a pretty self explanatory concept but it's sure as heck a fun one, especially when you get to have a 'G' themed evening out in Cleveland. Check it out our escapades, because it "It Ain't Nothing But a G Thang, baby (at Greenhouse Tavern)".

Thursday brought a night in with CK if only to save energy for Friday and Saturday night, planning ahead people - this isn't my first rodeo. 

Friday a great group of friends headed to Market in Rocky River for catching up with friends, meeting new friends (Hi, Danielle!), and playing with adorable babies and watching the Browns lose. Public House in West Park for me, CK, MOB and Pete naturally followed - a nice little Friday if I do say so myself.

Pete and MOB (who are getting married in less than a month!) + Holler and Doyle + Rory Jr and Jill + me and CK + Ginenne and Clark

Saturday morning my ass got handed to me at Fitness Edge in Lakewood (like it does there three times a week) in the best way possible. It needed to be done though because Saturday night was the 4th (5th?) annual Cleveland White Party.

My good friends Seanski and Nugget have hosted this annual party at their home in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood (conveniently located a 1/2 a block away from me) for years and it only gets better and better. This year's theme was heaven and hell - obviously white was to be worn, but the accent color was appropriately deemed to be red. Naturally, I wore a red dress because white and I just don't get along.

The 2012 White Party went off without a hitch. We danced our butts off, courtesy of DJ Evan Evolution, mingled with great friends, met some new ones, laughed till we cried, had a squat contest, talked politics like civil people and only were mildly freaked out by #aprongate.

I'd call that a win, now, to the pictures!

My additions to the White Party: My favorite bubbles, Veuve Clicquot + my favorite bouron, Maker's Mark + Paleo Coconut Macaroons with a non-paleo white chocolate drizzle (oops)

The two level's of Seanski and Nuggets condo were decorated to reflect this year's theme of heaven and hell. White puffy clouds vs scary red lighted mannequins, ha. Obvy there had to be a social media cheat sheet too.
PJ and Shane, or tweedle dee and tweedle dum + Larger and a single serving of boxed wine (!) + Lzone, Justin and Mama Seanski + the party bar area, I love that 'no' sign

You can tell a lot of people at this party were social media nerds, hence Janet, Suzanne and Shibani all heads down and Nick actually paying attention. + Katrina, Lzone, Heatha and Alana being adorable in white and red.

The top image shows the ongoing bromance/fight between Mark and Driggs over CK - it's kinda cute. + Moe and me being happy friends + me, Kyle and Suzanne up to no good.

Me, Mo and Kyle who is successfully grabbing both of our breasteses + #aprongate, aka the man that no on knew at the party who on the dance floor suddenly took off all his clothes down to this underwear and put on this apron - I COULD NOT MAKE THIS CRAP UP, hilarious. + DJ Evan Evolution on the 1's and 2's + Dance party USA

Hands down my favorite picture of the night, our famed ever amazing hosts Seanski and Nugget towards the end of the night, with a side of Lzone for good measure in the background

There are many things that can be said about me and my friends, but one thing is for certain, we sure know how to have a good time.

Here's to the 2012 Cleveland White Party! On to the next one!

Happy Tuesday, kids.

Just a Greek family in Canton, Ohio getting ready to eat some lamb...

Friday, August 24, 2012

I was lucky to receive many amazing gifts for my 32nd birthday this past July, but one gift continues to shine, a rare family photograph.

My Thea (Aunt) Paulette found this photo while going through my Yiayia Katina's (Grandma, her Mom) things.

This below photo was taken the summer of 1960 in Canton, Ohio where all of my non Greek immigrant family is from.

The Marinos' and the Berbelis' + other Greek cousins and family in 1960 Canton, Ohio

This may just look like a regular 'ol retro photograph of a family enjoying a day in the park but there's so many family layers here for me.

For example:
- The boy squatting down on the left? That's my father, Anthony.
- The girl with the broken leg making the funny face on the right? That's my mother, Stephanie, who as a 2nd grader broke her leg roller skating.

Yes, my parents knew each other when they were kids - growing up Greek in Canton, Ohio that wasn't absurd - I've just never seen a picture of them together this young, which is awesome. But there's more...

The man holding the giant spit of lamb? (So Greek, I know). My Papou (Grandfather) James on my Dad's side, who I sadly never met. The man lovingly looking at my mom on the crutches? My Papou Nick, who I also sadly never met. The white haired gentlman looking on? My Great Grandfather Yianni, crazy right?

My Thea Eros (Dad's sister) is the taller girl right behind my Dad, and my Thea Paulette (who gave me the picture) is behind my Mom in the sweet glasses. My awesome cousins Annie and Janet are by my Papou James as well as some other random cousins from my Dad's side that don't acknowledge I'm their cousin, ha.

It's all pretty cool and special for me to see not only my parents at such a young age together in a photograph but also both of my Papou's together in a photograph.

This is family people!

And thanks to my Thea Paulette I now have this photo prominently and beautifully framed in my living room to glance at everyday. I love it.

Happy Friday, kids.

Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group + Wholesome Fun For All

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's amazing how a weekend filled with one whole adult beverage, yard work, crafts, movies and playgrounds can allow you to feel amazing on a Sunday night when normally you're too tired from all your partying activities to blog.

It's brilliant!

I'm typing this while homemade marinara sauce, onions, garlic, fresh basil and chicken thighs are simmering in a dutch oven low and slow at 300 degrees and I'm drinking a skinny girl margarita. I'm pretty sure I'm cooking like it's fall but drinking like it's summer - kinda like how it's been outside all weekend, between seasons.

But let's get back to that weekend...

I'll say it started on Thursday when I was invited to Cleveland Browns Stadium with all of the club level season ticket holders to sample some of the new (and way improved) dining options courtesy of the Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group. The recently launched group was designed to transform the premium dining experience at Cleveland Browns Stadium, not only on Sunday's, but for all sorts of special events.

New offerings include Chef Michael Symon (B Spot), Chef Jonathon Sawyer (new Sawyer's Street Frites concept) and Chef Rocco Whalen (Rosie & Rocco's) - having tried almost everything on Thursday I can say that scoring club level seats just got even more important to me. From burgers, to doughnuts, to SO many varieties of frites and meatballs, glorious meatballs, I approve of this new chef and Browns partnership.

Sawyer sharing his Street Frites + Rocco sharing his meatballs with all + The Rosie & Rocco sign + Danko's Donuts from Sawyer's Street Frites, I mean I personally love donuts on a Sunday morning
Bring on the C-Town Eats + Charity in quite possibly the best Cleveland Browns outfit ever, only she channel Doris Day career woman with hardcore Browns fan and pull it off + Brown & Oranges, Brown & Oranges, Brown & Oranges

After the I was thoroughly and happily stuffed from the Cleveland Browns Hospitality tasting I headed to Ohio City's newest restaurant, The Black Pig, with CK for some cocktails. While we didn't eat, the menu looked great and I can't wait to go back and try their offerings while sitting on the rooftop deck staring at the city skyline. 

Friday night it was a party of one for me as I grocery shopped and cleaned - it was getting crazy at plum's palace as I watched Gold Rush in my underwear while eating a pineapple popsicle. Truth. 

Saturday was spent with CK and his little one where we crafted like maniacs in my backyard and I gave her a pedicure while she relaxed and read a book - this kid has got the life!

Saturday evening we headed east to help our friend Colleen celebrate the opening of their third Buffalo Wild Wings in Northeast Ohio, this time in Warrensville Heights. The Franklin family also holds BW3 franchises in Medina and Strongsville - their newest location is primed for success with it's location and it's a beautiful building. 

The opening bash featured tons of their signature wings and featured menu items as well as a photo booth from ShutterBooth and CK's little one dominating the claw game - she won two prizes in a row which is literally unheard of. I can't even begin to tell you how much money I've wasted on claw games trying to get stuffed animals and this ringer nails two in a row. Good times, good times.

Colleen and Jerry Franklin BW3 proprietors extraordinaire. + one heck of a media wall... LOOK AT ALL THOSE TVS!

If you work or live in the Warrensville Heights area be sure to stop by the new Buffalo Wild Wings and support my friend by eating tons and tons of wings and beer - you'll be glad you did :)

Sunday brought brunch cooking, church at Our Lady Mt. Carmel, neighborhood exploring at the new Michael J Zone recreation center and movie watching. All circling back to the beginning of this post and Sunday cooking which always has a cook start when diced onions are involved.

With a busy work week ahead of me with an upcoming jam packed weekend to match I'm glad I'm kicking Monday off ahead of schedule with my blog posting.

It's amazing what a wholesome weekend does to me.

Happy Monday, kids!

[Disclosure: I was invited by Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group to participate in this tasting event at no cost, and more full disclosure, my firm was hired by the CBHG to help promote this new dining rollout, but I do not work on the account. As always the opinions are my own.]

all of the diamonds

Friday, August 17, 2012

Congrats to Adam (aka fishface) for winning the pair of tickets to next weekends Roar Along the Shore - sad you didn't win? Head on over to Room Service in the OHC to get your own!

What is it about pay day that automatically drives me to browse all over the internet on my lunch break for baubles and jewels to add to my collection?

It's probably the beautiful lump sum of cash sitting there in your checking account staring at you screaming SPEND ME, BUY SOMETHING WITH SPARKLES, I'M HERE FOR YOUR PLEASURE! 

Too bad I quickly snap back to reality (oh, there goes gravity) and realize that beautiful lump sum of cash dwindles very quickly once you have to pay your mortgage, car, utilities, etc. But for that slim moment, before I have to pay the ever growing pile of bills and the dollar amount is high I spend the money in my head on these things... 

Roberto Coin Diamond Necklace from Bergdorf Goodman, naturally in an 'A' - $1,200

Roberto Coin Diamond Letter Medallion Necklace from Neiman Marcus, naturally in an 'A', but for half the cost of the first bauble - $620

Erica Weiner Diamond Horseshoe Ring - $500

Erica Weiner Diamond Bow Ring - $2,225

Ok, I'll stop now. Because if I don't, I'll start getting into "other" kinds of diamonds real quick and CK might break up with me out of pure fear.

But sometimes I can't help it - as they say - diamonds are a girl's best friend!

Happy Friday, kids. xo.

Birthdays, weddings and concerts, oh my!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The weekend in words and pictures, a plum standard.

Friday Moe, Mark, Seanski, Nugget, CK and I headed to new(ish) Tremont taco hot spot, Barrio (in the old 806 Wine Bar) for dinner with friends with a side of birthday celebrations for my man CK. Barrio is an affordable make-your-own-taco combination joint - think Happy Dog but with tacos - that has taken off in recent months due to its pure deliciousness. I had a great meal and drinks and would definitely like to go back.

After dinner CK and I headed to Market Garden Brewery to meet up with our friends starting the wedding celebration of my former roommate, the Klutz (Steph), and good friend from college, the Jerk (Jesse). With it being the night before the big day we "took it easy" and headed home at the reasonable before midnight (?) hour.

Saturday was a big day not only for the bride and groom but also for my main squeeze CK as it was his 35th birthday! Good thing I wasn't dragging him to a crap wedding where he knew no one on his birthday and we were heading to an awesome party celebrating good friends with good friends.

The beautiful ceremony was held at St. Patrick's in Ohio City, the reception was held at Quail Hollow Country Club and we all stayed at Quail Hollow Resort - all great! All fun! But how about I show ya....

The Alexanders' are officially married! + The very cool ceremony program design
After the wedding we hung out in the lounge of the hotel before stuffing 20 people into the shuttle van taking us to the reception - Brennan was really having a good time + Cubby and Martha getting cozy + AJP and Martha looking pretty but please notice Martha's outfit change - she's so fancy!

The bride and groom were quite surprised to find Jesse's buddies Star Wars saluting them upon their entrance into the reception - it was pure awesomeness.
Friends! AJP and Court + Muffin and Brennan + Cackle Club united Babs and CK + light sabers became centerpieces for timmybennett and Hartzell

This is only HALF of the cookie table, HALF. It was glorious. + Muffin and Babs + Hatchel, DBLB and JesseG
There's a decades old tradition in Jesse's family where at some point during the reception the groom is essentially tackled and a 40 pound pelican named Pete is literally chained to his leg and he has to drag it around (much like his new wife, ha) until the elders undo the pad lock - it's kinda hilarious.
Court, me, Muffin and AJP chillin' by the fire + DBLB, CK and JesseG looking handsome + timmybennett drinking from some sort of PIMP cup, ha
Captain, Clark, Ahmed and Jesse + dance party USA + Muffin and the beautiful bride + Ahmed in his full wedding outfit, casually relaxing by the fire, oh so naturally.
If Ahmed's hat was a woman we'd probably call her a slut because it sure as hell got around on the dance floor... Ginenne + Steph + Carla + Keri + CK + Clark
Sunday brought my not so little anymore cousin Graceyn's 10th birthday party in Canton where the little one played pin the lollipop + adult musical chairs + Slightly Stoopid and 311 at Nautica Pavilion + me and CK at the concert 
By Sunday night, at the concert, CK and I were SPENT from the fun weekend and after seeing the first two acts, we listened to one whole 311 song before we peaced out for home and bed.

It's exhausting having this much fun, you guys, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

So happy birthday to Graceyn and my love CK, and major congratulations to the newlyweds Stephanie and Jesse - I'm so happy for the both of you and wish you nothing but happiness!

Happy Wednesday, kids.

Don't forget, you have until this Thursday night to enter to win a pair of tickets to Roar Along the Shore by commenting/tweeting/sharing this post.

Cleveland Rocks

Monday, August 13, 2012

While I'm recuperating from the fabulous birthday, wedding, and concert filled weekend that was, take a minute and enjoy a video all about the city that I love, Cleveland.

You are going to see lots of familiar faces in the video as well as, spoiler alert, ME!

I'm at 1:05 and 2:08 to be specific.

It's a great video, showcasing some of Cleveland's best locations and activities. Plus, it was pretty cool to be asked to be a part of it.

I really love Cleveland, guys.

Happy Monday!

What blogger forgets to pay their internet bill? This plum.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I had all intentions of writing a fabulous and witty blog post last night when I got home from work.

Instead, when I logged onto my computer, I had a random unable to connect wireless message.


And it wasn't because I didn't have the $43 a month to pay it, but because I'm an ass who for the last three months completely forgot to pay it.

It didn't help that I don't get email reminders to pay this bill or that 80% of my bills are automatic withdraw - I suppose I thought this one was too?

OR maybe if I ever went through my mail on a regular basis I wouldn't have this problem....

I mean, I originally posted this image in January - you'd think I'd learn.


Not likely, but WHAT IF?

Ok, I'm done yelling.

Thankfully the kind folks at AT&T this morning allowed me to pay my balance, reactivate my wireless internet, set me up on automatic payments AND reduced my rate. Hey, not paying for three months ended up saving me $180 over the next 12 months.

Everything happens for a reason, kids.

Happy Friday!

Roar Along the Shore

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

There are a few things in Cleveland that are so legendary and filled with lore and novelty like the Cuyahoga River, and a big 'ol boat that floats on it, the Goodtime III.

Add some of Cleveland's coolest kids, 8 local bands, libations and a two hour cruise to end the summer and you have one hell of a floating party called Roar Along the Shore.

The second annual Roar Along the Shore is brought to you by my dear friend Danielle DeBoe and her Downtown Cleveland retail shop The Dredgers Union, and while I couldn't attend the first annual event I simply can't wait for this year.

the details:

when: Friday, August 24th at 8pm (must board the ship by 8:30pm, cruise from 9 to 11pm)

where: East 9th Street Pier (behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

why: Fun, drinks, 800 cool kids, the lake, beautiful views of Cleveland and music!

The Bands

Cobra Verde
The Stereo Workers Union
The Jack Fords
Glass Cities
LT: Mixtape Casanova
Free Medicine

how: Tickets are $30 a pop and can be purchased online here, at The Dredgers Union on East 4th Street, at Room Service on W25th, or by winning a pair of tickets here on the plum!

I love giveaways.

To enter, complete one or all of the following:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite song to boat to, perhaps it's a yacht rock song?
2. Tweet the following: " I want to win a pair of tickets to the @dredgersunion #RoarAlongTheShore from @clevelandsaplum http://bit.ly/NnF4u8 ", leaving a comment on this post telling me you did so - you can tweet daily for extra entries, commenting every time
3. Post a link to this giveaway on Facebook - http://bit.ly/NnF4u8 - leaving a comment telling me you did so

You have until next Thursday, 8/16 at 5pm to enter to win. I'll announce the winner (chosen at random) in a post on Friday, 8/17.

Good luck to all who enter and don't forget to leave your contact information if I don't already know how to get a hold of you.

From here on out, all trade-winds point to a fabulous floating party and I hope to "sea" you at Roar Along The Shore on the 24th!

Krusty's Summer Sauce Camp 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This past weekend CK's mom and aunt were visiting Cleveland to help celebrate his little ones 5th birthday. There was dinner at Lolita in Tremont on Thursday, dinner and lots of presents at CK's on Friday and a kids birthday party fit for a 5-year-old at The Jump Yard with playtime galore.

Even though I'm not sharing pictures of all the festivities at this time, I promise it was enjoyable and the little one was spoiled rotten in the best way possible. PRESENTS! CAKE! FUN!

Saturday though I broke from family fun time to attend the famed Krusty's Summer Sauce Camp on Whiskey Island.

A pre-gaming bubbles and brunch began at XYZ the Tavern with Shibani, Seanski, Nugget, Lzone, Allison, Nadine and Amber. Because everyone knows you need a good base of bubble and brunch to start Krusty's off right.

This year's event was standard fun in that it was hot, there was music, lots of beer, amazing people watching and the beautiful lake - and it was all being done for the good cause that is St. Malachi House.

One new activity occurred this year though that just didn't sit well with me... a bikini contest....with a $1,000 prize, at a charity event that helps provide hospice care. This isn't Rover Fest people, let's tone it down a bit. Now, I don't know this for a fact, but I would bet good money that the winner of the bikini contest didn't give her winnings back to the charity...

Having been going to Krusty's for the last six years I know that I can expect debauchery, but I just can't get behind a 1K prize bikini contest. It just seemed, trashy.

End rant.

Now, back to the fun times at Krusty's and proof of it all... the pics!

Kelly, Amber and Lzone (in descending height order) + Nadie and Allison on the water + a VERY angled Lake Erie shot

AJP, Shiabani, Lulu and Seanski + Krusty's swag + my cocktail of choice for the day, Makers Mark in a Perfect Pour Flask

When we were done with Krusty's, Seanski, Lzone and I headed over to Whiskey Island Marina to play on Alana and Deano's friends boat before we headed to Sunset Grille for late night dancing. Let it be known though that "late night" to us was 11pm, haha. We had been partying for twelve hours at this point.

Deano and Seanksi + Alana and Jay + Lzone playing cowbell with the band at Sunset Grille + Alana and Seanski rocking some sweet moves on the dance floor

And with that, another fabulously fun Krusty's Summer Sauce Camp is in the books.

Happy Tuesday, kids!

Krusty's Summer Sauce Camp + Neighborhood Family Practice, Welcome to the Neighborhood

Thursday, August 2, 2012

There's a couple of upcoming events in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood that I call home that you should check out.... and here's why:

Krusty's Summer Sauce Camp - THIS SATURDAY, August 4th at 12pm on Whiskey Island/Wendy Park
(This event may not technically be happening in the D-Sho but it's close enough if I'm biking there, work with me here.)

My love of Krusty's is VERY well documented here on the plum - 2009, 2010, 2011 - so of course I've been looking forward to this weekend for awhile now.

If you haven't been to Krusty's what are you waiting for? IT'S ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF THE SUMMER! And it's all for a great cause (The Malachi House), so grab your sunscreen, purchase your tickets, and I'll see you on the lake!


Neighborhood Family Practice, "Welcome to the Neighborhood" Event - Saturday, August 11th from 6:30 to 10:30pm at NFP's newest (and third location) in the Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood - 6412 Franklin Blvd.

Neighborhood Family Practice has been serving Cleveland's Near West Side with primary healthcare for the last 32 years and this fundraising event will be a celebration of the new neighborhood they are a part of with art, culture, music from Crooked River Blues Band, food from Sow Food and adult libations.

You can purchase tickets online here, but whether you can join in the fun or not, be sure to welcome Neighborhood Family Practice to their new home in Detroit Shoreway!