Category Archives: OH Blogging Association

This Thursday: Blogging Webinar Featuring Cleveland Bloggers @PoiseinParma & @MoninaW

Blogging Webinar 640x480

Join CLE bloggers @PoiseinParma and @MoninaW for this webinar I’m moderating on 4/2

Whether it’s been on Twitter  and Facebook or in real life at Ohio Blogging meetups, I’ve always counted myself lucky that blogging’s introduced me to so many fantastic and smart people.

I’ve shared some great experiences, developed dear friendships, and learned a lot.

That’s why, when it came to finding guests for a webinar on blogging, I didn’t have to look very far.

This Thursday, April 2, join me for a conversation about blogging with Poise in Parma and Ohio Blogging Association’s Alicia Hansen and Monina Wagner, community manager with the Content Marketing Institute and blogger at 37º and Sunny.

Going the Distance: How to Find Your Blog’s Focus & Avoid Blogger Burn Out will cover:

  • Tips and tools for structuring your blogging and maintaining momentum
  • How to consistently create fresh content and avoid running out of ideas
  • The importance of revisiting, refining, and refocusing your blog efforts

I’m excited to hear what Alicia and Monina have to say on the topic! 

The webinar will take place between 1 and 2 pm ET on April 2 and is completely free to attend. You can register at http://bit.ly/1Mug8PL. And when you tune in on Thursday, live tweet with us using #blogtips.

You can also catch up on a couple of my other posts on the subject here:

Clue Into Cleveland Blogs: Ohio Blogging at The Oak Barrel

Photo tweeted by @sos_jr at last night's Ohio Blogging Meetup

Photo tweeted by @sos_jr at last night’s Ohio Blogging Meetup

There were only a few things that would make me venture out of the house into yesterday’s snow storm. Dinner at The Oak Barrel was one of those things, especially for Ohio Blogging’s latest meetup.

When I looked out my office window halfway through the day and saw the snow pelting downtown, I was second-guessing this decision. However, Scott and I actually lucked out after leaving around 5:30. It had stopped snowing and the roads were clear.

We were rewarded for this decision by a delicious dinner and good company.

At the recommendation of pretty much everyone at our table, I ordered Chef Demetrios’ Dr. Pepper Braised Pork Shank. I was *this close* to ordering my usual go-to of mac and cheese or steak, especially because the bacon-wrapped tenderloin with bleu cheese whipped potatoes and duck confit mac and cheese sounded so good.

Dr. Pepper Braised Pork Shank from The Oak Barrel

Dr. Pepper Braised Pork Shank from The Oak Barrel

However, I’m glad I went with the ultra-tender pork shank. Sitting atop garlic mashed potatoes, the juices from the meat and the sweet-and-spicy soy chile jam saturated the potatoes. A hearty serving of succulence, it was well-worth the under-$20 price. Even better on my wallet, we took advantage of The Oak Barrel’s Wine Wednesdays with a half-priced bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

Because of the weather, our meetup group was smaller than usual. However, this allowed for more indepth conversations with people I don’t always get to see like Stuart and Julie Smith from sosAssociates.com and Valerie from Motherhood in Progress.

Before I get to my round-up of last night’s bloggers, I want to share 52 Weeks of Cleveland’s remembrance of Sean Kilbane, co-owner of Happy Dog. Over the weekend, Cleveland lost someone who was not just doing great work within the local restaurant, bar and music community, but had made an impact on individuals and groups like Secondhand Mutts with his constant generosity and friendliness. Hot Dogs, Frostie’s, and Pinball is a beautiful reflection.

What I learned from the bloggers at Ohio Blogging’s Oak Barrel Roundtable

1) Last month, the Cleveland Public Library opened up their new TechCentral MakerSplace. Anyone with a library card can now access laser engraving, 3D printing, photography, videography and graphic design technology. sosAssociates.com was at the TechCentral MakerSpace’s grand opening and has more information about this great addition.

2) Although Scott and I love our two full-of-personality cats, I do occasionally worry about how we’ll need to prepare Chloe and Cupcake when Scott and I adopt children. Fortunately, Motherhood in Progress shares some very good tips about how to get your cat ready before and after a baby’s arrival from her own recent experiences.

3) East and West sides met last Saturday for Believe in CLE’s yoga event at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Nearly 800 yogis took over the museum’s beautiful atrium, and Poise in Parma was invited to assist the class. Read her recap on the mat: #believeinCLE at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

4) The Cleveland Institute of Music and Severance Hall have joined forces to showcase the young talent of the CIM Orchestra in one of Cleveland’s most stunning spaces. WhyCLE? is hosting a CIM@Severance giveaway. Enter to win two tickets to their concert on February 12.

Stay up-to-speed on the next Ohio Blogging meetup at facebook.com/ohblogging.

Clue Into Cleveland Blogs, Ohio Blogging Edition

Tremont Farmers' Market

Tremont Farmers’ Market

Last night, a handful of Cleveland bloggers headed to Tremont for July’s Ohio Blogging Meetup.

Before converging on the Lincoln Park Pub for Taco Tuesday and a chat about blogging, we browsed the Tremont Farmers’ Market.

I grabbed a peach and cherry pie from Gray House Pies and chicken paprikash pierogi from Pride of Cleveland Pierogies; however, my favorite treat of the night was a cucumber and mint popsicle from Popsmith.

Continue reading

Ohio Blogging at Whole Foods University Heights

Ohio Blogger Meetup at Whole Foods Cleveland

Valentine’s Day is only a couple days away. If you go out to celebrate, WhyCLE has Cleveland Valentine’s events for every sense and Bite Buff has some delicious dining options for you.

Me? Scott and I keep it quiet on Valentine’s Day because we celebrate our anniversary the following week.

This year, we’ll be checking out the new Die Hard movie and then picking up a dinner for home. After last week’s Ohio Blogging Meetup at Whole Foods Cedar Center, we have some inspiration.

Audree Sinnett and Ines Rehner speak at Ohio Blogging Whole Foods Meetup

Whole Foods Market Wine Buyer Audree Sinnett and Sweet Designs’ Ines Rehner

This was Ohio Blogging’s 3rd annual trip to Whole Foods. And as last year demonstrated with a pizza making contest, they always have something delicious up their sleeve.

This time around the theme was “Chocolate Three-Way” featuring a selection of chocolate-infused tastings.

Continue reading

Events Around Cleveland: Jump Back Two Spaces Edition

Bummed that Jump Back Ball is still over a month away? Unable to go this year?

Fortunately, there are a few things going on in Cleveland between now and February 23 to wet your Jump Back whistle.

Get a Clue! Trivia Night

Jump Back Ball is hosted each year by PlayhouseSquare Partners, the theatre’s young professionals group.

However, Partners doesn’t stop there.  From our annual OSU tailgate to theatre outings, dine-arounds and putt-putt in the Palace, we’re busy year-round with events for Cleveland’s under-40 and young-at-heart crowd.

Our next event is Thursday, Jan. 17: the first annual Get a Clue! Trivia Night at Black Dog Kitchen & Bar in downtown Cleveland.

Continue reading

Ohio Blogging Cookie Swap: Recap and Recipe

Bit o’ Blogkeeping: You have until 11:59pm on Monday, Dec. 24 to enter my Damn Right I’m From Cleveland giveaway. I’ll announce the winner on Christmas Day!

Cookie Monster Heaven

As I’ve blogged before, my lack of cooking skills is a bit notorious. In fact the last (and only) time I ever baked something was a few years ago.

And even then, I wouldn’t really call it baking. I made cookies from those Pillsbury cookie dough rolls and still managed to burn them to a crisp.

However, last week I donned an apron once again when I got roped into decided to make cookies for the 3rd annual Ohio Blogging Cookie Swap.

I was told baking is more fun in the company of friends so when WhyCLE offered up her kitchen, I figured this was as good a time as any to learn how to actually make cookies from scratch.

Continue reading

5 Recommendations for Wintertime Fun in Cleveland

Today is the Ohio Blogging Association‘s All State Blog Swap where bloggers from all around the state are swapping posts.

This guest post is by Danielle from Find Time for Fun. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Danielle wanted to share her love of the area with her two young children but  struggled to find information about family friendly activities. Visit FindTimeforFun.com to learn about events, attractions and ideas for fun at home.

Then visit Poise in Parma to read the rest of today’s All State Blog Swap posts and check out my post Clue Into Cleveland’s Top 5 for Out-of-Town Guests.

***

Winter is right around the corner, which means the snow will be here before we know it!  While winter certainly isn’t my favorite season, I do try to make the best of it.

Thankfully, Cleveland offers many fun wintertime activities; some will have you playing outside while others will help get you into the Holiday spirit.  Below are my five recommendations for winter fun in Cleveland.

The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation (photo from www.clemetparks.com)

Tobogganing at the Chalet in the Mill Stream Run Reservation – Remember how much fun it was to go sled riding when you were young?  Channel your inner child this winter and go Tobogganing in the Cleveland Metroparks.  The Chalet has two 1,000-foot refrigerated ice chutes that can operate with or without snow and are open from the end of November to the middle of March.

Snowshoeing at Penitentiary Glen Reservation – Lake Metroparks offers nearly 7 miles of snowshoeing trails for guests to explore.  Beginners can start with the Peppermint Trail, a short quarter-mile loop.  Snowshoes can be rented by the hour or by the day, and rental is available daily from the middle of November through early March.

Rink at Wade Oval in University Circle

Outdoor Ice Skating at the Rink at Wade Oval – There is something about ice skating outdoors that makes it even more enjoyable.  This winter, get the full ice skating experience at the outdoor Rink at Wade Oval.  Admission is FREE and Skate Rental (if needed) is only $3 per person.  The Rink is open from the end of November through the middle of February.

Lolly the Trolley Holiday Tours – Riding through Cleveland on Lolly the Trolley is a great way to see the city.  Add Christmas lights and decorations to the mix and you have a truly unique and memorable experience.  During the month of December, there are a number of Special Holiday Tours including: A Christmas Story House Tours, Silver Bells Plus Tours and Family Fun Night Tours.

2012 Glow at the Garden (photo from www.cbgarden.org)

Glow at the Garden – While visiting The Cleveland Botanical Gardens is always a great option, it is especially enjoyable during the holiday season.  From late November through the end of December guests can view the decorated trees and gingerbread houses while listening to Christmas music, ride on the garden express train, decorate their own gingerbread houses, and do some holiday shopping at the gift shop.

Those are just some of the events and activities that make winter in Cleveland fun.  Leave a comment below and let us know some of your favorite wintertime activities in Cleveland. 

Spend a Saturday with MedWish

 

The MedWish warehouse, where medical supplies for over 90 countries are collected

After pushing through any long week at work, I need a really good reason to wake up before 6 am on a Saturday.

But when local nonprofit MedWish International put out a call to bloggers to meet for a volunteer day, I had my reason.

I had heard a little bit about MedWish last Spring, but this past Saturday gave a hands-on glimpse into the empowering work MedWish is doing in their warehouse on Cleveland’s far east side.

MedWish Founder Dr. Lee Ponsky

Almost 20 years ago, Dr. Lee Ponsky was a surgical assistant in Nigeria with the World Health Organization.

Lacking even the most common supplies, doctors and nurses had to be their own MacGyvers using things like fishing line instead of suture. And when there wasn’t an alternative for certain medical supplies, Lee witnessed firsthand that patients often suffered and died for it.

Saddened but also riled by some of these experiences overseas, he returned to Cleveland determined to help resolve this need and started collecting unused medical supplies from local hospitals and clinics.

MedWish’s “hot items” – hard to keep in stock because they’re always needed

Over the years, this grew into the MedWish we know today, which in 2011 alone recovered more than 500,000 pounds of usable medical surplus.

By saving these items from landfills, Lee and his team puts them in the hands of people in need across the globe. From small crates and suitcases to 40′ cargo containers, MedWish delivers to over 90 countries.

MedWish works individually with the overseas recipients to ensure they receive the items they actually need – not things that would end up in unopened boxes.

And although they receive an impressive amount of medical supplies from regional hospitals and clinics, they will only deliver supplies that are in excellent and unexpired condition.

MedWish ships large hospital items like these beds to new clinics throughout the world

Because of this, MedWish relies on a corp of volunteers and their Building Careers vocational program to help their small but dedicated staff sort and package.

This is where our group came in on Saturday morning when I was joined by Wearing Mascara, sosAssociates and Cooker Girl.

After meeting Lee, we toured the warehouse and experienced first-hand how they sort and organize everything for delivery.

Our group’s task on Saturday was to go through surplus epidural kits to remove gauze, catheters, and a couple of fluids for injection. Although it was a fast and even fun activity, it was sobering to be reminded that each small piece from these surgical kits would ultimately have a huge impact on a patient overseas. An impact I’m only beginning to fathom.

Sorted epidural surgical kits

After Saturday’s blogger sort, I would encourage everyone to get involved with MedWish in some way:

  • Give your time:  MedWish can always use help sorting and packing the medical supplies they receive.Throughout the year they host Saturday sorts like the one I attended. There are also volunteer opportunities during weekdays and for groups.Become a volunteer: medwish.org/give/volunteer-info

***

***

  • Give funds: Every $1 donation to MedWish sends $16 of medical supplies overseas – with 92 cents of each dollar solely dedicated to recovering, repurposing and redistributing supplies. Donations can be made anytime online and by mail.You can also buy tickets to Huddle 2012 whose proceeds go to MedWish. The football-themed event on Nov. 17 provides a low-cost tailgate alternative to their Band Aid Bash.  Tickets are $25 which includes dinner, an auction and a visit from former Cleveland Browns player Dick Ambrose at the Wickliffe Italian-American club.Buy your Huddle tickets: medwish.org/huddle2012

***

  • Spread the word: You can actually do one thing right now for MedWish – help spread the word about their mission.Connect with MedWish on your social network of choice (@medwish on Twitter or facebook.com/MedWishInternational).And if you’re an Instagram, show MedWish what philanthropy in Cleveland means to you. Upload a photo, tag @medwishintl and use the hashtag #DoGoodCLE with your post by November 12 for a chance to win two tickets to Huddle 2012.

    Learn more: medwish.org/blog/what-does-philanthropy-mean-to-you

Happy bloggers (thanks to Wearing Mascara for the photo)

Thank you to Reanna, Traci, Lee and everyone I met during Saturday’s Sort. It was an even better reason than I thought to get out of bed so early!

Tremont Doubleheader: OH Blogging and CLE Beer Week

Kind of love that this is how Southside labeled our receipts at the OH Blogging dinner

Sadly the bulk of Cleveland Beer Week falls during one of work’s busiest times of year so I haven’t really had a chance to enjoy much of the festivities.

However, when I saw on Monday that Tremont Taphouse was showing Monty Python and the Holy Grail on their patio and serving up ale in Grail goblets you could take home, there was not much that could stop me from heading over.

(The fact that they also had turkey legs didn’t hurt in convincing Scott to go – the man is one Ren Faire away from buying a turkey farm)

This is what happiness looks like:

I didn’t completely get my fill of Tremont, though, despite Monday night’s feast of turkey, mussels and beef tongue-oyster tacos. Come Tuesday night I was ready to head on back to Tremont, this time to Southside for the monthly Ohio Blogging meetup.

As we head into the busy holiday months, I was thankful for a laidback meetup – just a casual dinner with old and new blogger friends.

It was my first time at Southside and after winding through the bar, they took us into the side room off the patio. I loved the stone fireplace and Day-of-the-Dead-inspired skeleton artwork looking down on us.

It was a great spot for our boisterous crowd to catch up on things – from toasting Poise in Parma’s third blogiversary to highlights from Fitbloggin’, some race and event updates, and a heads up about an upcoming WordPress tech talk.

In attendance we had:

(**If I missed your meetup recap, please let me know and I’ll add it in**)

If you want to quiet a group of bloggers, bring them food. This somewhat worked for us – though I will say I enjoyed a fun talk about comic books with Team PiP and got some new ideas to add to my comics pull list.

However, good-looking food ultimately wins out – even over comic book talk – and I had to dig into the salad I ordered as soon as it was put down in front of me:

After a lunch of rich buffalo chicken dip, I decided to go the salad route with Southside’s Broiled Scampis Salad. Large shrimp were mixed over a bed of crisp baby spinach with grilled apples, dried cranberries, tomatos and fontina cheese.

I liked the mix of tastes and textures – the tender grilled apples were my favorite part, especially when topped with Southside’s smoky Charred Tomato salad dressing.

Some restaurants may scrimp on the shrimp, but I thought the Southside offered 4 very-good-sized shrimps in the salad. The shells were a little more difficult to remove than usual (though that could have just been me being in a messy mood) and there wasn’t a place or room to discard them; however, I made due and the taste more than made up for it.

And even though I couldn’t make it to a lot of Beer Week, I did try a new-to-me brew. Southside had a selection of Oskar Blues brews including the Old Chub which I ordered. While it didn’t completely blow me away, it was a nice dark malted barley with a bit of a smoky taste to it.

My Tremont doubleheader has me in the mood for even more of the neighborhood’s eateries and I can’t wait for PlayhouseSquare Partners’ Tremont Dine Around on Nov. 7.

Throughout the year, our Membership Committee puts together these neighborhood dine arounds where both members and non-Partners can come out, explore the restaurants in a different neighborhood and meet new people.

When rsvping, you rank your order of preference from 4 Tremont restaurants – Fahrenheit, Lolita, Prosperity Social Club, and Southside. Each attendee gets assigned a restaurant where they’ll meet their small group at 6:30 for dinner. Afterwards, everyone is invited to meet up at The Treehouse for a post-dinner drink.

While you do get to list your preferences, I really enjoy the mystery of not knowing which restaurant I’m going to until a couple days before.

If you’d like to join me at the PlayhouseSquare Tremont Dine Around, here’s more info about rsvping. And for all you bloggers and blog supporters out there, sign up for the November statewide blog swap over at the Facebook event page and come join us at our December Holiday Party & Cookie Swap.

OBA's Night at the Theatre with PlayhouseSquare Partners

The most recent OBA Meetup took Cleveland bloggers to one of my personal favorite spots in the city, PlayhouseSquare

Sometimes when I’ve been go-go-go on a project, it’s really easy for me to lose sight of why I’m doing it.  In those cases, I have to take a step back and try to look at things as if I’m brand new to it.

I had the chance to do that last week when the Ohio Blogging Association’s latest meetup traveled to PlayhouseSquare for a behind-the-scenes tour with Partners, the theatre’s young professionals group.

Old show posters hang on the backstage wall of the Palace Theatre stage

The last backstage tour I attended was right after joining Partners a few years ago. And now that we’re about to launch a new season of Partners events I figured it was about time I brushed up on my PlayhouseSquare history — the OBA meetup was the perfect excuse.

Our tour last Wednesday wrapped through the Palace, State, Ohio and Allen Theatres on Euclid Avenue.

We heard tales about ghosts haunting the theatre, how some of the murals and artwork came to be (and in many cases came-to-be returned) and why the State Theatre lobby was the longest in the world. (Fun Fact: because the State Theatre’s auditorium is actually behind the Ohio, a lobby the size of three was needed to accommodate a marquee on Euclid next to the other theatres).

And just like when you re-read your favorite novel, I even learned a few new things while seeing the backstage dressing rooms for the first time and catching a glimpse of the Ohio Theatre as it undergoes the installation of new seating.

A bunch of us never realized the column heads in the theatre had a longhorn skull design (thanks, Scott, for pointing it out!)

The evening was the perfect way to reaffirm why I love being a part of PlayhouseSquare Partners. Sure, I love the fact that through Partners I’ve met friends, had fun at theatre and non-theatre events, and gotten discounts to Jump Back Ball.

However, going on the blogger tour and seeing fellow Clevelanders get so excited about PlayhouseSquare reinforced my #1 reason for being a member.

Being a member gives me the ability to support an organization that makes a huge impact on the city.  An organization that is a great example of how you can rebuild yourself in Cleveland, even after almost-being razed to the ground in the 1970s.

From contributing to PlayhouseSquare’s education mission to fundraising through Jump Back Ball, Partners helps the country’s 2nd largest theatre district provide entertainment and vital economic development to Northeast Ohio. Oh, and we have a lot of fun while doing it!

8/2: Partners’ free YP Night at Cinema at the Square

If you’re interested in learning more about PlayhouseSquare Partners while enjoying a free movie, you can join us on August 2 at YP Night at the Cinema.

Starting at 6pm,  PlayhouseSquare Partners is hosting a free pre-movie party for young professionals in the Ohio Theatre. There will be drinks, movie theater snacks, and networking. Plus, all of the Partners committees will have info about this year’s upcoming events — including the announcement of this year’s Jump Back Ball theme.

If you like what you see and want to join Partners, we’re also offering 20% off your membership that evening. So a $100 Mezzanine membership will cost only $80 (you’ll save twice if you plan on attending Jump Back Ball, because one of the membership benefits is a discount to JBB).

A ticket to the YP pre-party also gets you a free ticket to the West Side Story sing-a-long

And after the party, you’ll have a free ticket to the West Side Story Sing-a-Long which starts at 7:30pm.

I may not be that great at math but even I can see that adds up to a good deal.

Admission for YP Night at the Cinema is free, but tickets are required. You can get a free ticket by calling 216-640-8408.

A glimpse from the Palace Theatre stage, where all of the films in the Cinema at the Square are playing

After last week’s blogger tour, we grabbed drinks and a small bite to eat at the newly opened Alex Bistro where I got to mingle a bit.

Unfortunately, after having a particularly hectic day at work, I was a bit too flustered to have a chance to talk as much as I’d like with everyone — especially a few bloggers like Katie O, Karen and Lillia that I saw in real life for the first time after following them online.

However, it looks like I’ll have a chance to do that at our next event when the OBA goes to the Happy Dog for a blogger roundtable in the Underdog. In the meantime, I’ll have to suffice with keeping up on their blogs!

Some of the blogger tour enjoying dinner and drinks at Alex Bistro (photo courtesy of WhyCLE)

You can too – check out these bloggers and some of the recaps from the PlayhouseSquare tour:

Disclosure: As mentioned in previous posts, I serve on the board of PlayhouseSquare Partners. From time-to-time, I will share upcoming Partners events because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as a member and feel it’s an organization other Young Professionals who want to support the arts will enjoy as well.