Category Archives: Seasonal

Springtime Sights from the Great Big Home + Garden Show

Great Big Home and Garden Show

I keep repeating to myself “Spring will be here soon. You’ve seen worse winters.” as if it will warm my chilly bones and make the bumpy commute to work better. However, there are moments where my patience for this year’s winter has worn thin and I need a better reminder that I’ll soon be enjoying summer days at Cedar Point.

Attending the Great Big Home and Garden Show last weekend was the boost I needed. Everywhere we turned we saw the vibrant green of Spring.

We saw many plants and flowers…

Great Big Home and Garden Show - Flowers

Got home improvement and landscaping ideas from the experts…

Great Big Home and Garden Show - Ahmed Hassan

And even played some pinball at The Pinball Shoppe‘s booth!

Great Big Home and Garden Show - Pinball

I will have you one day, Space Station pinball machine!

Out of everything we saw, The Ohio Valley Group‘s Beer Garden was the best. They partnered with Great Lakes Brewing Company for a garden dedicated to GLBC and other Ohio beer.

There was the beer bottle chandelier, the topiary wall cut into the shape of all of the Great Lakes, and various fountains and light fixtures made from brewing and bottling materials.

The highlight, though, was the beer tap waterfall.

Great Big Home and Garden Show - The Ohio Valley Group Beer Garden

Although my all-time favorite garden is from the year they were Classic TV-themed, Ohio Valley Group’s beer garden reminded me of all my favorite parts of warm weather: Hanging out at one of Cleveland’s awesome patios. Sipping wine while overlooking Geneva’s vineyards. Enjoying a game of lawn bowling in our backyard.

Although I’m definitely ready for Spring, if it’s going to take its time getting here, I’ll be ok.

Great Big Home and Garden Show - The Ohio Valley Group Beer Garden

You still have a few more days to visit the Great Big Home and Garden Show, which runs through February 16. You can read about the show’s other features and programming in my Great Big Home and Garden Show preview.

Buy your tickets online and save. Online tickets cost only $11, plus take another $1 off by using promo code CIC when you check out online.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the show with a guest in exchange for hosting a giveaway and sharing my opinion after the show. The opinions here are 100% my own.

New Year’s Eve in Downtown CLE: 3 Parties to Check Out

NYE in CLE

It’s time to bust out the noisemakers and confetti. 2013 is days away from taking its final bow. How are you planning on celebrating New Year’s Eve?

If you don’t have plans yet, try one of these three parties in downtown Cleveland:

Society Lounge’s New Year’s Eve

Scott and I recently made our first trip to Society Lounge on E4th, and as we learned at their Repeal Day party, they know how to throw one classy celebration. Fine cocktails, music, a beautifully nostalgic setting. If you want to reminisce about the past while celebrating the future, join them on December 31. Lounge singer Phil Turk will be performing from 10:30pm to 1:30am, accompanied by a champagne toast at midnight. General tickets are no longer available; however, you can pick up $75 VIP tickets which include your own private table and a bottle of champagne for every two tickets purchased. See the flyer below for more information and call 216-781-9050 for tickets.

Society Lounge

New Year’s Eve at Pura Vida

Dinner reservations are available at Public Square’s Pura Vida from 4 til 10pm. After 10, a house party takes over. Party with Pura Vida and enjoy appetizers, an open bar, a DJ, champagne toast at midnight and breakfast buffet at 1am. Tickets are $100 if you have a dinner reservation earlier in the evening ($125 if you aren’t dining before the party). VIP lounges with bottle service and a personal host are also available. Reservations are required; email Katie@puravidabybrandt.com and see their flyer below for more information.

PuraVidaproof

Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve on Public Square

Of course, the biggest party in downtown Cleveland will be Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve on Public Square. With special guest Drew Carey, Ohio Homecoming will bring more than 15 food trucks, local DJs, and electronic dance music group Krewella to Public Square for this outdoor NYE festival. The event will also feature live ice sculpting, a beer garden, fireworks and a countdown at midnight. This free celebration starts at 6 p.m. on December 31 and leads up to midnight. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to Ohio Homecoming’s Village Project. Learn more at www.ohiohomecoming.com (click on ‘Events’).

If you can’t make it downtown for NYE, there are parties going on throughout the Cleveland area. Check out WhyCLE and Anchored in CLE for more New Year’s Eve ideas.

Disclosure: Ohio Homecoming emailed me about blogging about Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve after I had already decided to write this post. The choice to blog about these three events is 100% my own.

My #HomeinCLE Holiday Wish for You

Whether you’re #homeinCLE for the holidays…

Gingerbread House at Cleveland Botanical Garden's Glow 2012

…Or headed out of town

Virginia is for Lovers

Celebrating with family…

The DiGiandomenico and Hicken Families

…And friends…

TWChristmas 2013

…Or savoring the peace and quiet of your house…

Christmas tree

I hope that it’s a holiday season full of laughter, contemplation,
wonder, and love!

Holiday Hijinks and Haberdashery at Prosperity Social Club’s Smokin’ Fez Monkeys Show

One of my favorite Cleveland bands and Cleveland bars come together to sing in the holidays

“What in the name of sanity have you got on your head?”
“It’s a fez. I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool.”
– Doctor Who

Fezzes are cool, and the Smokin’ Fez Monkeys know what’s up with a nod to this humble haberdashery in their name.

When Scott and I first saw the Smokin’ Fez Monkeys at the 2011 Avon Duct Tape Festival, it was love at first listen.

Their mission is “to do to music what the Wienermobile did to the auto, what M.C. Escher did to the third dimension, what Bugs Bunny did to Elmer Fudd.” And they make good on that promise with plenty of wit, tomfoolery, and jazzy-ragtime-jug band music.

Smoky vocals mix with the sounds of the bass, fiddle, banjo, and Jinglestick — resulting in a show that’s a bit like the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Now, combine the musical hijinks of the Smokin’ Fez Monkeys with the Tremont treasure that is Prosperity Social Club, and you have the makings of a Christmas miracle.

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Holly Jolly Holiday Shopping: 10 Shop Local Events in CLE

MOCA Cleveland's holiday shopping event ArtScape

MOCA Cleveland’s holiday shopping event ArtScape

Scott and I spent last Friday at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art for their annual holiday shopping event ArtScape. The last time we visited MOCA was for a Tri-C JazzFest concert. This time, their versatile lobby was transforrmed into a pop up shop of jewelry and design gifts.

It was a great place to start our holiday shopping with local artisans like Jason Radcliffe’s Forty Four Steel, Brandon Holschuh, Michelle Pajak-Reynolds, and LAM Design Studios.

We also had a chance to look at the museum’s current exhibits, Simon Evans’ Only Words Eaten by Experience and Michelle Grabner’s I Work From Home. We particularly liked Evans’ work, which consisted of small pieces of paper, tape, and white-out compiled into diagrams, maps, flowcharts and diary entries cataloging his day-to-day life.

A section of Simon Evans' Shitty Heaven, Scott's and my favorite piece of the entire exhibit because of things like 'Anton Chekhov Who Owns a Steakhouse in Heaven(tm)'

A section of Simon Evans’ much larger “Shitty Heaven.” This was Scott’s and my favorite piece of the entire exhibit because of notes like ‘Anton Chekhov Who Owns a Steakhouse in Heaven(tm)’

MOCA features many other events throughout December to enjoy the museum’s space and the current exhibits, including Free First Saturdays (Dec. 7), One Hour One Work (Dec. 11), and a concert with Daniel Lippel co-presented by the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society (Dec. 12).

If you missed your chance to start your holiday shopping at ArtScape, though, don’t worry. I have 10 events to help you shop local in November and December.

Check them out and if you have any suggestions of other holiday shopping events, leave a comment below. 

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Seeing Put-in-Bay by Bike

1 Put in Bay

Miller Ferry offers a smooth boat ride and excellent customer service on your way to Put-in-Bay (photo from boat on right)

After we got back from our vacation last week, Scott and I still had a few days off before going back to work. So we decided it was the perfect opportunity to take a trip a little closer to home.

On Thursday we made the short drive over the Edison Bridge to Catawba and caught the Miller Boat Line to Put-in-Bay.

Last fall we visited the island for the Put-in-Bay Wine Festival. Although we packed a lot into that daytrip, we still had a long list of things we wanted to do. After being invited back to stay over for the night, this was the perfect opportunity to cross some things off that list.

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Vacation Recap: Our Farewell Summer Tour

Showing our love for my homestate of Virginia

Showing our love for my homestate of Virginia

Before Scott and I could welcome in fall with last weekend’s clambake, we needed to say so long to summer. At the very end of August we packed our CRV and headed on the road for a bit of family, a bit of comics, and two weeks of vacation fun.

Things started off similar to our last vacation in May – with stops in Virginia to see my sister and parents. Although we’ve spent the last few Augusts in Culpeper where my sister lives, we still seem to discover new things every time we visit.

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Giveaway: A Night of Wine, Food and Chocolate at Locavore

NMSS Ohio Buckeye Chapter's Locavore - September 27

NMSS Ohio Buckeye Chapter’s Locavore – September 27

I think it’s safe to say most (if not all) of us love eating local. There’s something about a meal prepared with fresh, local, high-quality ingredients that just tastes better.

For all of you local culinary lovers who missed last week’s Taste of the Browns giveaway, today’s giveaway features another great food event raising money for an excellent cause.

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The Clue-Down: 12 Upcoming Cleveland Events

Reminder: You have til Monday 8/19 at 11:59pm to enter the Taste of the Browns Giveaway. You can tweet once a day for extra entries (just leave a separate comment on the post for each tweet).
Cleveland Upcoming Events: This is the last weekend for Literary Lots in Cleveland / artwork by Julia Kuo

This is the last weekend for Literary Lots / artwork by Julia Kuo

There’s much more going in Cleveland than I’m able to blog about.  And while this post still doesn’t capture everything that’s happening, here’s my ‘clue-down’ of upcoming Cleveland events that caught my eye.

THIS WEEKEND

Last Weekend of Literary Lots:  If you haven’t been able to check out Literary Lots this summer, this is the last weekend.  This month Literary Lots turned a vacant lot at Novak Park (Lorain on W. 38th) into a world of creativity for the community. In addition to revitalizing the public space, they’ve offered programming throughout the month that runs til August 18. Today, Friday and Saturday, there will be storytelling, poetry slams, printmaking and other workshops throughout the day. And on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm, all ages are invited to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the lot.  You can see all of their events at literarylots.org/events.

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Guest Post: When “Weird Al” Rocked My World

Before we get down to business, some blog-keeping:
1) Did you miss your chance to buy Zoovies tickets before it sold out? You’re in luck! I’m giving away 2 tickets and you have until Aug. 12 at 11:59pm to enter.
2) Speaking of giveaways, my Taste of the Browns giveaway starts next Tuesday so remember to stop back for that.
3) Today’s post is from Scott. He is an always-patient partner in crime so when I was invited to blog about a summer Live Nation concert, I immediately knew I wanted us to see “Weird Al.” Read on and you’ll understand why.
The crowd fills in for "Weird Al" Yankovic at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights

The crowd fills in for “Weird Al” Yankovic at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights

There are three things every concert needs, and these three things will make the difference between a disappointing event and an amazing evening.

One, of course, is an audience. A concert without an audience is just a sad musician with a microphone. And an audience is something that no one has any control over. So it is the remaining two items that I will dedicate the majority of this post to.

First I want to touch on venue. Location can make or break an event. Whether you are stepping into the basement concert space of Mahall’s Twenty Lanes or the classical wonder that is Severance Hall, the venue creates a tone before any instrument does.

The Evans Amphitheater in Cleveland Heights’ Cain Park is a wonderful space. I find this to be because of the eclectic atmosphere.

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