Halloween at Harbor Inn + Browns Win + 2013 Ford Escape

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Last week brought a sweet treat for me when the fine folks at Ford let me drive around one of their 2013 Ford Escapes for the week. Currently, I drive an '08 Volvo s40 and I'm starting to get the new car itch badly so spending week with a bright and shiny new car definitely peaked my interest.

I had a great time cruisin' around Cleveland in the Escape with the new design and all the fancy SYNC bells and whistles I could get used to this hands-free life. I mean this SUV has a touchscreen, it's like I was in a Jetson mobile, ha. Plus, while a considerably larger car than the one I'm used to driving I didn't feel overwhelmed by the size, it was perfect.

If you're in the market for a new crossover SUV I'd recommend checking out the Ford Escape - here's a great video of it in action, fancy.

I really enjoyed all of the technology in the Ford Escape, touchscreen, SYNC, Sirius Radio, etc.  - good times.

After turning in my Ford Escape for the week on Friday there was much prep to be done as it was time for timmybennett's 12th annual Halloween Party at Harbor Inn. With a pre-party at Seanski and Nugget's with our hosts, CK, Lzone, Suzanne and Kelly we were officially Halloween ready to make our Harbor Inn entrance.

I mean, this is how Lzone prepared for the party... with her best Honey Boo Boo stage performance and costume - SO SPOT ON.


The Harbor Inn Halloween Party is always a good time and the costumes are always stellar - this year did not disappoint. Personally, I'm not a big fan of dressing up but this year I enjoyed channeling my inner blonde fashionista.

And now, the pictures......

From iconic paintings, Hollie Strano, Mary Poppins and Bert and "Party in my pants" I must say that Colleen as #imnotimpressed McKayla was my favorite of the night, she nailed that costume like McKayla almost nails the balance beam, ha.

Wet Bandits! Presents and elves! Cheerleaders! Captain America and a Beer Nerd dancing with Han Solo! Honey Boo Boo in an Instagram! MJ, Jaba the Hutt and Naked Cowboy!

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox! Scooby's Gang! Naked Cowboy! A Ceiling Fan! Me as a blonde!

It's a 50 shades of grey party in my pants! Batman and Punky! Han Solo, still frozen! Honey Boo Boo(s)! A blonde me and Thriller MJ! A present getting it on with a cowboy!

Post party we may or may not have headed to the casino, where I lost $20, ate late night pizza at Rosie & Rocco's and fell outside in the rain cracking my brand new iPhone 5 - waaaaaaaaaah.

Saturday was a max relaxin' day with DVR catching up before heading to Copley for a costumed fall festival party with CK and his little one. Family fun time for all!

Sunday the rain and wind didn't scare me, CK, JoeG and Alana away from the Cleveland Browns game - it may have helped that we have Club Level seats but still we DID brave the seats for a bit. Well I braved them for like 5 minutes and they braved them for like 20... semantics.

There was plenty of Makers Mark, Sawyers Street Frites, warmth and a BROWNS WIN inside, so that's where we stayed. Good times. With Maproom and Bob Golic's before the game and Panini's after the game the victory needed to be celebrated. Go Browns.

CK, me, random wrestling coach photo bomb, Alana and JoeG in the Club at Cleveland Browns Stadium

See, we did make it outside to watch the game, proof + fun during timeouts = awesome Sunday Funday

Now THAT ladies and gentlemen is a great weekend in Cleveland. Let's do it all again sometime soon.

Happy Tuesday, kids.

[Disclosure: I was provided the 2013 Ford Escape at no charge for the week, no additional compensation was given and the opinions, as always, are mine] 

Halloween Party in Canton and the Zoo in Cleveland

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So much family fun was had this past weekend, Cardinals (losing) watching, Halloween partying at my Aunt and Uncle's in Canton, Cleveland Zoo exploring and Melt eating.

Yeah, I'm good with all of it. 

The crew at Tiajo and Uncle David's who dressed up for family Halloween fun. Not pictured the 10+ folks who didn't...

Miss America and Puss in Boots + Nerds! + pass the pumpkin + No, this is MY Halloween costume + A very confused bunny/nerd/witch/butterfly + Kick me!

Sunday funday for me meant quality time at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which I haven't visited in ages with CK and the little one. I really really enjoyed the visit, such a great asset to Cleveland!

Elephants! Mini-horses! Giraffes! Bears!

Happy Thursday, kids.

Cleveland is a plum... because of you guys.

Monday, October 22, 2012

When I made the first entry option for my 1,000th post contest to leave a comment telling me why you think Cleveland is a plum, I had no idea how much I would enjoy reading all of your responses.

Here are a handful of my favorites:

Krissie Means Business:
Cleveland's a Plum because of: Loganberry Books, Tina's Nite Club, the numerous places to drink a good cup of coffee, my neighborhood, Joy Machines Bike Shop, the Market, the bike culture, the ability to create & carry out your vision, best thrift stores ever!, the Metroparks, riding the Rapid, the view from the Detroit-Superior bridge, the nicest people you will ever meet, University Circle, Lucky's Cafe Mac-n-Cheese, the theaters... Essentially, we have all the amenities of a large city without the pricetag. I heart Cleveland.

Raven:
Cleveland is a plum because it is ever changing. We are never seen as a trend-setter, however, there is always something new to try. At the same time, there are long-standing loyalties and traditions. Cleveland was the city I couldn't wait to leave when I grew up, but once I did, I realized how amazing it actually is and couldn't wait to return.

Dizzle729:
Cleveland is a plum because it has all the opportunities of a large, urban center but still retains the charm & traits of a smaller town. Restaurants, museums, Broadway shows, sports, and urban colleges while keeping the ability to maneuver the area quickly. In addition, the lake and added green space are treasures that cant be matched. 


Suzanne Price:
Cleveland is a Plum because of all of the opportunities for young professionals to truly carve out a niche for themselves. There is so much community support, vivaciousness, and positivity! 

Eileen:
Cleveland is a plum because it has all the amenities of a big city without all of the hassle! We have nationally-recognized chefs, amazingly friendly locals, and wonderful districts that celebrate so many cultural events and landmarks. I love Cleveland!

Cleveland really is a plum, thanks to all of you.

Thanks again to everyone who entered (over 2,100 times!) and helped spread the word about my 1,000th post giveaway extravaganza and many thanks again to the fabulous Cleveland restaurants who donated their goods to continue spreading the CLE love - Greenhouse Tavern, Noodlecat, Fahrenheit, XYZ the Tavern, Spice of Life Catering / Spice Kitchen & Bar, Hodge's, 87 West and Washington Place Bistro - Thank you!

And now, what you've all been waiting for... THE WINNERS!

Congrats to runner ups Tabitha Kunsman (who won on entry 1,315 when she tweeted) and Nicole Cannato (who won on entry 615 for commenting), each won a $50 gift certificate to XYZ the Tavern.

HUGE congrats to our grand prize Cleveland food and drink winner, Ryan: @CLECraftBeerRun (who won on entry 484 when he followed Noodle Cat on twitter), who won everything else - LUCKY MAN!

The winners were chosen via the rafflecopter widget and I'll be mailing out the prizes to the winners.

Happy Monday, kids, have a great week! 

Accent Cleveland + Jeff Coffin + Clambakin'

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Have you entered my 1,000th post giveaway extravaganza?!? It's $1,250 worth of food, glorious food, from some of the most amazing Cleveland restaurants - there's tons of ways to enter so what are you waiting for? Good luck, kids.
_______________________________________________________________________________

One of Cleveland's newest urban redevelopment projects is the Uptown district, an area filled with newly constructed apartments, restaurants, retail and the newly opened Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

Trust me when I tell you the entire neighborhood is completely fabulous and an awesome addition to the area. It's funny because I'm so used to my pocket of Cleveland in the near west side that sometimes I feel like I'm in a completely different city by crossing the river. It's a good thing.

Another thing that's good is the new restaurants poppin' up in the Uptown district, specifically Accent, a unique Pan-Asian / Robata grill style cooking. Last Thursday I was invited to a media preview of Accent and it did NOT disappoint. The style of cooking is unlike anything I've ever tried, completely unique to Cleveland and completely delicious. 

Accent's swanky signage and interior, such a rad space + me and CK + Rick and Katrina

LOOK AT THIS FOOD! We were seriously spoiled - beef and onion + red snapper + Sasa fries + the party platter filled with the best salmon sashimi I've ever had + cucumber deliciousness + OMG THE TURKEY WINGS!! (best ever) + Robata grilled meat and veggies + s'mores Accent style

Accent Cleveland is opening to the public on October 29th and my mouth is already drooling thinking about eating those turkey "wings" and chimichurri sauce all over again.

Post Accent preview CK and I headed to Nighttown (our first time visiting) to take in Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet for some jazz baby, jazz. It was great checking out the show, chatting with Jeff after it and with Jeff (we're on a first name basis, duh) being a member of the Dave Matthews Band I may have fainted a little bit. Meeting Jeff was the first step in my DMB meet and greet in the making, I will meet Dave, I WILL.

Jeff Coffin double sax playing it up + CK and Jeff (first name basis at this point, natch)
Friday night was spent home with CK where I made dinner and he watched the Cardinals while I slept, ha. Saturday was spent making this awesome jalapeno popper dip to take over to Bo and Babs' for their annual clambake fun party in Tremont. I really like my friends, guys. Always a good time.
My favorite kitchen accessory at the O'Neill's, always makes me laugh + Lobsters before + Lobsters after, sorry guys, but you're so delicious! + Bo serving up the goods, I really ate well this past weekend
No that vest isn't made for Steph, it's made for a ONE-YEAR-OLD - and it fits her! hilarious. + these two weeks apart little ones really love each other - kisses!
Sunday there was a Browns win funday with Seanski and Mo in the d-sho and Ohio City with trips to XYZ the Tavern, Market Garden Brewery and Nano Brew - going to bed by 9pm is always a requirement for proper Monday working productivity. Trust.
Seriously, look at Seanski's arms in this picture.... muscles.

 Happy Thursday, kids. Let's do this weekend again sometime soon.

Cleveland's a Plum 1,000th Post Giveaway Extravaganza!

Monday, October 15, 2012

This is my 1,000th post! 

Can you believe it?!?! I personally didn't think I'd make it to 10 posts let alone 1,000 and I made it this far because of you guys, so thanks, truly.

I can very easily go on and on about how much starting this blog in January of 2008 has changed my life. I've made amazing friends, enriched my career, got to attend fun events, helped raise awareness for some great causes, but most importantly shared my life in Cleveland with you all.

So as a thank you to my readers, on my 1,000th post, I've partnered with some of my favorite Cleveland restaurants to put together one heck of a giveaway - I hope you guys like it!

The goods:
- $100 gift certificate to Fahrenheit 
- $100 gift certificate to XYZ the Tavern
- $100 gift certificate to Hodge's 
- $100 gift certificate to Washington Place Bistro
- $50 gift certificate to 87 West in Crocker Park
- Two tickets to Spice of Life Catering / Spice Kitchen & Bar famous plated landscape dinners, a $300 value
- Five course food and sake pairings dinner for four people at Noodlecat, a $250 value
- Four course food and wine pairings dinner for four people at The Greenhouse Tavern chef's table, a $250 value

That's $1,250 in food and drinks - yowsa!

I'm going to choose one grand prize winner and two runner up winners but I know don't what I'm giving the runner ups yet - so stay tuned. 

To enter to win I'm trying out the Rafflecopter widget below. You can enter through your contact email address or Facebook and there's lots of entry options including following:

- Mandatory comment answering why you think Cleveland's a Plum
- Tweet the following about the contest: " It's @clevelandsaplum's 1,000th post and I want to win all the food in Cleveland. http://bit.ly/WoENhi #plum1k " - you can do this DAILY.
- Follow me and all of the fabulous restaurants involved in the contest on twitter
- Share the contest on Facebook: http://bit.ly/WoENhi 
- Blog about the contest

Once you do all or some of the above just say you did through the entry form widget.

You have until midnight on Sunday 10/21 to enter, and I'll announce the winners on Monday 10/22. Good luck to all who enter and thank so much for reading the plum!

Also, if I'm friends with the winner I should totally get invited to at least one dinner :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Georgia on my mind with the Kramers

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This past weekend I traveled to Atlanta for a get together weekend with CK, his siblings and their little ones. 

When I landed Friday night in ATL I quickly skedaddled over to Avis to pick up my rental and head straight to Turner Field to meet up with the Kramer clan and catch the last four innings of the Braves vs Cardinals Wildcard Playoff game. 

For those of you who weren't privy of the epic infield fly rule controversy that occurred during the game let's just say I got beer in my hair, thought I was at a Browns game with all the beer throwing and was happy with the outcome.

Turner Field was a beautiful ballpark but when the beer cans started getting thrown I was like, "I did not expect this from these Southerners, y'all."

Saturday was family fun day with BBQ eating, Fall Farm Festival attending, face painting, hay riding, game playing with the little ones, home cookin' and an adult Mario Kart tournament. Yes, a Mario Kart tournament.

CK's sisters Caroline and Maggie with Maggie's husband Chuck and daughter (who live in GA) and Caroline's boyfriend Parker on the picnic table + Parker and Caroline being silly + CK's sister-in-law Katherine, brother Paul, Maggie and Chuck + Parker still being silly
Family fun memory game + the hopefully annual Mario Kart tournament bracket, congrats to Katherine for whipping everyone's butts + All the Kramer siblings together, awesome photo-op!

Even though I may not technically be a part of CK's family they sure made me feel like I was this past weekend. It was pretty darn great spending time with everyone and I can't wait to do it again soon.

Happy Tuesday, kids!

p.s. This is my 999th post here on the plum! Stay tuned in the next couple of days for my 1,000th post extravaganza giveaway - it's going to be AWESOME.

Karaoke at the CAT!

Friday, October 5, 2012

When my friend Amelia first emailed me asking me if I'd be interested in hosting karaoke at Noodlecat I literally laughed out loud at my desk.

I think I responded back to her like, "this could be hilarious, but you know I don't have any experience hosting karaoke, right?"

To which she responded back to me like, "um, you'll be fine."

And so it was decided upon over lunch at Noodlecat a few weeks later that we were going to throw one hell of a karaoke party at the 'cat.

AND YOU'RE ALL INVITED!

Friday, November 9th // Noodlecat // 9pm // Karaoke // DO IT



Things that I can guarantee will happen at Karaoke at the CAT:

1. Me having way too much fun with a microphone
2. A lot of white girl dancing
3. Jello shots 
4. Lzone rappin' and Seanski droppin' low
5. Me playing the wrong song at least once or twice 
6. One lucky karaoke singer winning a $50 Noodlecat gift card
7. Fun, lots and lots of fun

So mark your calendars, call off work, save the effin' date and get ready for Karaoke at the CAT!

Happy Friday, kids.

This is my life in Cleveland

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The weekend...

Cleveland Browns watching with CK, Jen and Stephen at Lion on Lorain on Thursday.

Dinner with some of my nearest and dearest friends at Black Dog Kitchen & Bar downtown + musical interlude with a street musician/hustler (see video) + Horseshoe Cleveland Casino money losing on Friday.

Bonbon Pastry & Cafe brunching in Ohio City with CK + tea drinking and music shopping at LOOP in Tremont + celebrating my firm, Dix & Eaton, on our 60th anniversary on Saturday.

However you want to spell it out, it was a great weekend in Cleveland surrounded by friends, colleagues and laughs - lots and lots of laughs.

The pictures...

Without planning it, the husband and wife team of Moe and Mark wore similar outfits which naturally caused us to have a mock engagement picture shoot at Black Dog.

Moe and Mark's engagement shots brought my other friend's to strike a pose, ahem, the Jerk and  Driggs + CK and Driggs + CK, street performer dude (see video), the Jerk, Driggs and Mark + the bromance continues + mine and the Jerks payout from the casino - winners!

This video, just typing about it makes me laugh out loud, because it is so random.

I was standing in the alley outside of Black Dog waiting to film the boys walking around the corner for some Reservoir Dogs opening credits type shot when someone approached them and started singing. Thankfully I also started recording.


This is white boy dancing, singing and harmonizing with a street performer/hustler at its finest. Am I right? Or am I right? So ridiculously random.

A view of Ohio City and Key Tower via Bonbon Pastry + LOOP in Tremont and their amazing music selection

Happy 60th Birthday Dix & Eaton! Chaikin Bake style. + The newest and most tenured Dix & Eaton staff members blowing out the candles our birthday cake.

More Chaikin Bake fun with Lzone, Jessica, Ann and Adam + Lrose, Amy and Lzone + Meghan and Kevin  + Shart pinning the tail on the donkey + Lzone and her kaleidoscope boobie prize.  

Good times had by all y'all. Let's do it again this weekend, okay? 

Happy Wednesday, kids.

MIX at CMA

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fun new monthly event alert!

Save the date, ladies and gents, for the inaugural MIX at CMA First Friday Happy Hour, this Friday, October 5th from 5 to 9pm at The Cleveland Museum of Art, where you'll enjoy a mix of art, music and cocktails.

This new monthly CMA initiative promises to be an awesome programming addition as well as FREE to all CMA and Column & Stripe members. For all non-members admission is only $12 (a steal) and can be purchased online here.

This month's MIX has a contemporary theme and your attendance will let you meet and mingle with the artists whose work is featured in the new CMA exhibition DIY: Photographers & Books.

You'll also be able to literally wade through a sea of balloons in the glass box gallery where the brand new acquisition, Work No. 965: Half of the air in the given space by Martin Creed will be installed.

It's bound to be a good time and a lovely new monthly addition to the always hoppin' Cleveland art scene.

Happy Tuesday, kids.