Category Archives: Cleveland

event recap: Cleveland Magazine’s 2014 Best of Cleveland Party

After quite the exciting, emotional and memorable week, it was time to celebrate on a Friday night (instead of heading home to watch Shark Tank). Hans and I headed downtown to Cleveland Public Auditorium for one of Northeastern Ohio’s best events: Cleveland Magazine‘s 2014 Best of Cleveland Party presented by The Collection Auto Group on October 10th.

With a change of layout from the previous year, VIP guests entered via a separate entrance right into the VIP Lounge. I loved the change of keeping the VIP space on the same level as the main floor, and highly enjoyed the very special offerings.


I could have stayed there all night. From Lola, to Trentina, to Pier W to Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen, my belly was already content in the first twenty minutes of being at the event.  But we knew we had more to see in the main hall of the auditorium.

After first checking in with the Harness Cycle table which includes some other local yoga studios (always great catching up with my girl Ylonda — @rosenty76 on Instagram — and the ladies from 3 Sisters Yoga in Avon), we started wandering around the wide array of vendors:

BOC 2014 main hall

Our favorites from the night included:

  • The various offerings from GV Art & Design (I’m overdue for a visit to their Lakewood shop)
  • Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar‘s taco offering (if only it came with a side of their guac…)
  • WFF Pickles — the most delicious of all the pickles that night, IMO, and can be bought at the Kamm’s Corners market.
  • A wheelbarrow of juice from Garden of Flavor. (I might have tweeted this after realizing they were giving away full bottle samples of their White Knight flavor.)
  • Pope’s Kitchen’s bloody mary mix (plus chatting with Clark is always a fun time!)
  • Adega in The 9‘s risotto ball of goodness. YUM.
  • …and getting to catch up with my old college buddy and giveaway winner, @jvalentiGreat to see you and your wife, Joe!

Also, it didn’t hurt to end the round with some vegan chocolate ice cream from Mitchell’s. And  a second round of pumpkin spice for good measure.

Back to the SpaWest VIP Lounge, we found ourselves drawn to the spa services, first hitting up a couple’s chair massage, then a couple’s manicure.


Too bad we spent the next day priming our bedroom for a painting the following day. That manicure looked great at yoga that Saturday morning at least! Speaking of successes at the yoga studio, a final treat was in the VIP bags: a CLE Clothing Co. tshirt, plus other goodies including our own copies of the October Cleveland Magazine issue featuring all the evening vendors.

Since I had an early morning wake up call, it was time to call it a night.  Even in a shorter-than-usual event stay, we had a great time celebrating the best of what Cleveland had to offer in 2014. Many thanks to the entire team at Great Lakes Publishing for having us and making such a fun night possible. Congrats on another successful Cleveland Magazine Best of Cleveland Party — can’t wait to celebrate all that 2015 will have to offer!

Disclosure: I was asked by the publication to help promote this event via a ticket giveaway here on the blog. In return, I received two tickets to attend this event. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Interview with Jarran Muse from Motown the Musical (a guest post at PlayhouseSquare’s Behind the Curtain blog)

If you’re a long time blog reader around these parts, you already know how much I adore PlayhouseSquare. To be able to partner with the organization on a fun project this year is nothing but an honor for me.

During the 2014-2015 KeyBank Broadway Series, I will serve as a blogger for PlayhouseSquare‘s Community Engagement and Education department. Since the first show of the year is up, it’s time to dive right in!

Visit the PlayhouseSquare’s Behind the Curtain blog to read my interview with Jarran Muse from Motown the Musical.

PlayhouseSquare Motown the Musical

Motown the Musical comes to Cleveland October 3 – 19 as part of the KeyBank Broadway Series at PlayhouseSquare. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the PlayhouseSquare website.

Many thanks to the wonderful team at PlayhouseSquare for inviting me to be a PlayhouseSquare blog contributor for the Broadway Buzz program KeyBank Broadway Series. Next up is Disney’s Newsies — already crafting my questions, all inspired by one of my favorite movie musicals of all time!

Just want to know more about PlayhouseSquare? Stay up-to-date with all of their social media happenings: follow PlayhouseSquare on Facebook, on Twitter at @playhousesquare, or on Instagram at @playhousesquare.

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event recap: FabFest2014 Cleveland (to benefit Bright Pink)

Congrats to Joe V. – @jvalenti on Twitter — you won two general admission tickets to Cleveland Magazine‘s Best of Cleveland Party on October 10th! You’re not Joe, you say? You can still purchase tickets at


Waking up early on Sundays isn’t too far out of my usual routine. Hopping in my car and heading downtown before 9AM is. But for a good cause and a festive event — filled with plenty of healthy living — that adjustment to my normal Sunday could be easily made.

Heading into the day, I knew Bright Pink‘s FabFest had a full schedule, jam-packed with fitness classes for everyone: yoga, barre, tabata, Zumba and more.

bright pink 2014 Cleveland schedule

 (photo source: Bright Pink’s FabFest event details page)

As I arrived at the Marriott Downtown Cleveland at Key Tower, it was neat to see how the organization used the ballroom spaces: part group activities room, the other half transformed into a Beauty and Wellness Area, with the foyer spaces around those included snacks, lunch, vendors and a photo booth. And all of it was covered in pink and ready for a fun day to celebrate the 250 people who fundraised for the non-profit’s mission “to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age.”


I’m a sucker for a photo booth, what can I say?

As Nadine, Allison and I chatted, we enjoyed snacks and conversation with vendors including Cleveland Vegan (whatever gluten free baked good they served was seriously on-point for a GF treat), Vitamix (a fruit smoothie pairs with a workout so well!) and NOOMA (love to hang out with the Smith brothers whenever I can!)

I really wanted to sit down at the Paul Mitchell “braid bar”, but was having too much fun chatting it up before heading over for Jen Yuhas’ vinyasa yoga session.

Out of all those fitness activities, I only did the two yoga sessions. (#shocker, right?) As my knee slowly starts to heal itself and as I take care of it by not over-doing it, I knew Tami’s and Jen’s sessions would be the perfect way for me to partake in the exercise components day. I’ve taken both of their classes before at their respective studios, so it’s always great to have the opportunity to see familiar faces again — especially out supporting the community.

It was also great to finally meet Lori Standen (@loristanden on IG) from Pure Barre Westlake and Rocky River. What a lovely lady (with some seriously killer eyelashes!) – I can’t wait to head out West to go take her class soon.  She had her group working hard (but all with smiles on their faces) during her session when I popped in to check out her barre offering to the FabFest crowd.

Before heading out for the day, I did sneak in a chair massage from Dawn from Sacred Hour in Rocky River — it was the perfect treat to have their company there providing massages, facials, manicures and more. The participants left looking refreshed and incredibly blissed out. What better way to start a Sunday Funday?!

LONG STORY SHORT: Bright Pink‘s first Cleveland FabFest seemed to be a huge success from the POV of this event attendee. Many thanks to the organization for allowing me to join in on the fun! But non-profits like this depend on the dollars raised in the spirit of this function to really reach their goals. Consider supporting the cause — and especially now during Breast Cancer Awareness Month — by visiting the Cleveland FabFest page before October 21st.

Stay-in-the-know: Like Bright Pink on Facebook, and/or follow the organization at @BeBrightPink on Twitter and Instagram.

Disclosure:  In sharing information before the event, I received a media pass to attend the 2014 Cleveland Bright Pink FabFest and a swag bag of items to share with a reader. I also received a swag bag at the event. As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

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