The All About the Bag Chanel Handbag Raffle (to benefit the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland)

Attention all fashionistas and non-profit good doers: The 2017 ALL ABOUT THE BAG event — a fashionable evening full of fancy frocks, fun and fundraising to benefit the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland — is next week!

All About The Bag 2017 image

The 4th Annual ALL ABOUT THE BAG Fashion Benefit presented by the Wesley Family Foundation features the finest looks Beachwood Place Mall has to offer and unbeatable raffles & auctions that Cleveland fashion fans can only dream of! It all will take place this Wednesday, February 22, from 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM at Executive Caterers’ Landerhaven facility in Mayfield Heights.

A huge highlight of the event will be the Chanel Handbag Raffle

Chanel All About The Bag 2017

Generously donated by the Wesley Family Foundation.

You have the chance to win this beautiful, brand new Large Boy Bag made of black and white lambskin leather and accented with black metal hardware. The bag features the classic Boy style with a full front flap with the Boy signature CC push lock closure and a trendy black metal chain link and white leather shoulder/crossbody strap.

It retails at $5,940 [includes tax], but you can purchase one raffle ticket for $20, two for $40 or 3 for $50. The winning ticket will be pulled at the event on February 22. Winner does NOT need to be present to win. You also don’t have to be present to purchase as you can buy your raffle tickets online in advance of the event!

Purchase Chanel Handbag raffle tickets at

Funds raised from at ALL ABOUT THE BAG and the Chanel Raffle will enable the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to continue providing food and linkages to vital services for the 60,000 hungry Greater Clevelanders who enter its emergency hunger relief locations every month—41% or 25,000 of those served are children.

Keep up with the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland by visiting the non-profit’s website, and following it on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Mark yourself as Interested or Going on the Facebook event page here!

Disclosure: I was asked by the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote the 2017 All About The Bag Chanel Handbag raffle. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Image c/o Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.

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An Interview with Gerald Steichen from The King & I (a guest post at Playhouse Square’s Behind the Curtain blog)

As I shared in the Fall, I’m excited to again be serving as Playhouse Square‘s Community Engagement and Education’s blogger for the KeyBank Broadway Series. Join me as I to take you behind the scenes to interview a member of the featured show’s cast, crew or creative team. The fourth show in the 2016-2017 series is a classic musical I have somehow never seen (!!!), The King and I.

Visit the Playhouse Square’s Behind the Curtain blog to read my interview with Gerald Steichen, the music conductor of the touring production.


The King and I runs February 7 – 26, 2017 in the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the Playhouse Square website. 

Want to read my previous Broadway Buzz interviews? Check out my interviews at my new At The Theater page here on the blog.

Want to learn more about Into The Woods before seeing the production? Arrive early to hear Joe Garry’s Broadway Buzz Pre-Show Talks, one hour before curtain in the Idea Center at Playhouse Square (1375 Euclid Ave.). More info on the Playhouse Square website here. (p.s. I edit the pre-show talk program, so make sure to grab one if you go!)

Learn more about Playhouse Square: follow Playhouse Square on Facebook, on Twitter at @playhousesquare & on Instagram at @playhousesquare. As before and always, many thanks yous to the Playhouse Square team for the opportunity to serve as a blog contributor & program editor for the Broadway Buzz program.

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my weekend out & about in #CLE (Groundswell Collective’s #CLEismyOM edition)

Good news: Three months in and I finally feel like Hans and I are getting into the swing of this parenting thing! But a part of my “old normal” that I’ve been craving is time to myself — to specifically fill with movement based activities. While I’ve dabbled with spinning and practicing yoga at home, there’s nothing quite like your grand return to a group setting. When it came to my yoga practice, that first class back had to be taught by one person — my good friend, Ylonda of Awake To My Soul. So when Groundswell Collective announced their second CLE is my OM event at 78th Street Studios, I signed up immediately.

CLE is my OM 78th Street Studios

By 3pm that Sunday, I realized my nervous tic of licking my top lip had taken its toll on my now chapped lips. Why was so I nervous? I had asked a few friends to join me, knew other friendly faces would be there and that there was a high chance that I’d have one hell of a time — so what was my issue?

cle is my om photo by Tim Kelly

Photo by Tim Kelly via his Instagram feed

As we settled in and Ylonda started the practice, I realized why the nerves appeared. I knew it was going to be HARD WORK. Yes, in the physical sense — ’cause when Ylonda tells you that she’s going to throw some “yin” in there, you know it’s going to be after several rounds of horse squats, ha! But what I was nervous — terrified about, apparently — was the mental and emotional work. As a long time student of Yo’s, she has a knack for guiding her students into their un-comfort zones and asking them to stare down their fears. And boy, how she took us there.

ylonda singing bowls gong

Interestingly enough, Yo asked us to use the prayer “I choose me” for the practice. Breathe in “I choose”, breath out “me”. She would nudge us from time to time with the reminder to return back to the prayer to ground ourselves in the importance of what that meant for us. And to end the practice, she bathed us in the glorious sounds of her singing bowls and gong to seal in the practice… or bring the building down (as it started to make these wild settling sounds during the sound bath!!)  By its end, I felt taken care of. Cared for. Embraced in that feeling you get when eat a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick. All was well within me in that moment. It felt good to feel that way again!

Already physically blissed out from the yoga practice, Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr from Rock Your Bliss took over the reigns to get us grounded in a space of love. In our “bliss tank” at 78th Street, Mary Beth and Jacki teased their Seven Weeks To Bliss program, which includes seven modules to guide you through crafting your bliss filled life. What is unique about Groundswell’s edition is that it will include local ambassadors hosting sweat + social meet-ups during the seven weeks. What a fun way to take the online process offline with like-minded Clevelanders! To learn more or register, visit Groundswell’s website.

In last night’s “bliss tank”, the ladies of RYB asked us to reframe a thought associated with what was holding us back. As shared on Instagram this morning, I came to the realization that I was so used to asking “what’s next”. The planner in me couldn’t give us the enjoyment of having long term goals and taking steps towards achieving them. But if parenting has taught me anything it’s to learn to how to be more in the moment. To not worry so much about the next hour, the next day, the next month. To just STOP and BREATHE and LOOK and ENJOY. So my “what’s next” became “I am here.” Jacki suggested the addition of the word “now” to my phrase to add some urgency and emphasis, which I full supported.

As the formal part of the event ended, I snagged a cup of brew from Cleveland Tea Revival from Sweet Water Caravan‘s station and two half wraps from Cleveland Vegan: the first a spicy Buffalo Tofu, the second a Chickpea Salad. With its combo of chickpeas, carrot, celery, onion, pepper, coconut bacon, greens, tomato and cajun seasons, I’ll be recreating that one at home soon. As I chewed on dinner and chatted with my gal pals, I had my new mantra — and my new prayer, c/o of Ylonda — in my head. I AM HERE NOW. The old, pre-mom me would have never stayed there for long. But this new, #momlife me? She’s enjoying the scenery… and the new member of my support system. Because I choosing me, I’m choosing her. I’m choosing us. I’m choosing RIGHT NOW.

brenna bear February 2017

This is really just an excuse to include a photo of our Brenna Bear.

Many thanks to the ladies at Rock Your Bliss for finding your way to Cleveland again and providing such inspiration and, dare I say, bliss! Follow RYB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be in the know for their programs and offerings.

Follow Groundswell on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out their current event schedule. And if you do ANYTHING after reading this blog post, go take Ylonda’s class at Hedge Gallery, a part of Groundswell’s programming. It starts at 6pm Wednesday, every week.

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