Friday, October 5, 2018

The Cleveland Candle Co.

I've always really liked The Cleveland Candle Company candles, but when I found out you could make your own, I knew I wanted to sign up for a class. I loved the idea of making a custom candle and supporting a locally owned small business.

They are located in Ohio City (next to Bakersfield), Mentor and Cleveland Heights.
Ohio City, candle making, Cleveland Candle Co
I was so happy when they invited a group of CLE bloggers to come in and make our own candles, bath bombs and lip balm.
cleveland bloggers, craft, girls night out, cleveland
The timing was perfect! Fall is when everyone wants to get cozy...and the dry skin and lips start thanks to the erratic weather. I'm officially all stocked up on all my fall essentials thanks to The Cleveland Candle Co.

It was so much fun! The hardest part is picking your candle fragrance (there are over 150 to choose from!), but the staff helps make sure your custom combo smells good. They give you clear instructions and help as needed. Definitely check out the awesome Cleveland, Ohio City and other specialty containers you can choose for your candle.
CLE Candle Co
My blend included Green Tea, Clover and Aloe, Twigs and Berries, Pheromones and a splash of Roasted Coffee AKA "Fall in Love with Cleveland".
For the bath bombs you pick one fragrance, mix your ingredients, and stir and stir and stir. You end up getting a bonus arm workout :)
bath bomb, citrus, grapefruit, self care, cleveland, homemade
The lip balm recipe lets you customize the base (cocoa butter or shea butter), the oils (sunflower, avocado, coconut, and more) and fragrances. Plus you create your own labels. I mixed vanilla with peppermint and spearmint - so good!
homemade, lip balm, Cleveland, made in Ohio
If you don't want to make your own items or don't have time, you can purchase pre-made items. Or you can find them in shops around town. All of the products would make a great CLE-themed gift!
fall, ohio, cleveland, candles
I definitely recommend The Cleveland Candle Co. for a fun night out. It's perfect for birthday parties, showers, bachelorette parties, girls/moms night out or even a date night. Tanya (one of the owners) is super sweet and really makes sure everyone has a great experience.
cleveland bloggers, craft, girls night out, craft
And guess what?! It's BYOB and you can bring snacks too! Make sure to bring a corkscrew or bottle opener because surprisingly they don't have them. 
custom candle, candle making, fall, Cleveland, Ohio made candles
I love supporting local businesses, especially when the products are great and the owners are super sweet too. Now excuse me while I go light my candle and hit the bath...

** Disclosure: I was a customer since The Cleveland Candle Co opened and was invited to create a candle, bath bomb and lip balms as part of a local blogger meet up. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. **

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Taste of the Browns - 20 Years of Tackling Hunger

It was another fabulous night as the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Cleveland Browns joined forces to tackle hunger in NE Ohio. The 20th annual event raised over $260,000!! And thanks to everyone involved, they will be able to provide more than 1 million nutritious meals to those in need.

As guests arrived at First Energy Stadium, they were greeted by the Cleveland Browns Drumline.
And some special guests:

Guests grabbed a glass and headed to the 7UP City Club Lounge.
The stadium was decked out for this much anticipated event. 
Music filled the rooms
Taste of the Browns lives up to its name and there is a lot of tasting going on. So.Much. Food. I didn't even come close to trying everything!

This year, Chef John Selick treated guests to fresh pulled mozzarella served with a pesto infused tomato salad. Super fun and delicious too!
My favorite dish of the night was this seafood packed Bouillabaisse from Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry. OMG. 
The fresh fruit tarts from Market District were pretty and so fresh and tasty. I may have had two...
This Korean Chicken Leg from Yuza was delicious but super messy.
Momocho served a very tasty Las Gachas - Red Chile and Chocolate Mole Braised Lamb with Smoked Gouda Corn Masa, Pickled Chiles and Spiced Peanuts.
The gigantic Salmon Burger from Piew W was a huge hit. (pun intended ha ha)
The Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group wowed everyone with this Chargrilled Vegetable Polenta Cake with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce, Crispy Mushrooms and Chive Infused EVOO. 
Micelli's pilled arugula and heirloom tomatoes on top of ricotta for a delicious and beautiful dish. I will definitely be recreating this as home with the last of my garden tomatoes!
Heck's proved that they do more than burgers and bread pudding with these ahi tuna nachos.
B Spot in FirstEnergy Stadium creates a new burger based on each of the Browns home opponents. Super fun idea! They showed off their creation for the Falcons game at the event - The Georgia Peach Burger - and it was delicious, but flew off the plate before getting photographed.

There was lots of beer, wine and cocktails flowing.
And even the new exclusive cola of the Browns made an appearance.
One of the beverage highlights was the Field Goal Float, a boozy combination of Jagermeister, root beer and vanilla ice cream. You definitely want to try this at home.
The raffle prizes include something for everyone:
And of course it wouldn't be Taste of the Browns without lots of Browns players! Past and present players posed for pictures and signed autographs including honorary event co-chairs Christian Kirksey and Josh Cribbs.
Photo Credit: Browns Give Back
The best part though is all of the money that is raised for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Each dollar raised provides four nutritious meals to those struggling with hunger. 

If you missed the event this year, you can still help the Greater Cleveland Food by donating online. You can follow the Food Bank on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

** Disclosure: I was asked to help promote this event. I was provided tickets for my own use, as well as for a giveaway. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. **

Friday, September 21, 2018

It's Always Summertime at Margaritaville! (Win a $50 Gift Card!)

Summer is almost over but I'm savoring every drop while I can. But no matter the season, it's always feels like summer at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville! You can get that tropical feeling year round thanks to the waterfront location and nautical decor. Margaritaville is located in the Flats East Bank near both Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Once you step instead, you are transported to a Jimmy Buffet themed extravaganza. Part restaurant, part bar, and part gift shop - if you are a Jimmy Buffet fan, you will be in Paradise for sure.

Thank you to the folks at Margaritaville for inviting me to dine with them. They have a huge blender by the front door that reinforces your need for a margarita as soon as you step inside. Well played, Margaritaville. 
There are a bunch of different margaritas on the menu as expected but there are also moonshine based cocktails, wine and buckets of beer. I tried both the Watermelon and Perfect Margaritas and the Watermelon was the winner. It was fresh and not too sweet. Note: It doesn't come in a traditional margarita glass.
Overall, this is a fun place. Don't expect fine dining - but the food is good and the atmosphere is unique. There is Jimmy Buffet music playing and the decor is vibrant and a bit cheesy, in a good way. My favorite feature is the table that is built into a pontoon-style boat.
I love the painted ceiling and the palm trees.
The menu consists of an assortment of bar food, an assortment of burgers,  steaks and ribs, and seafood dishes with some salads. Vegetarian options include spinach and artichoke dip, a giant pretzel, salad and side dishes.
I couldn't resist ordering the Cheeseburger in Paradise: a nice sized burger with American cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickles. I ordered with extra pickles and I was not disappointed. I love that the fries came with skin on them. Unfortunately they were lukewarm in spite of the place being very slow on a Wednesday night. If they were hot, they would have been excellent. I still devoured them. 
They also have a kids menu that includes fun tropical mocktails served in light-up souvenir cups. This is definitely a kid-friendly place! They will love all the fun sights and sounds.

The rooftop Landshark Bar is supposed to have great views of Lake Erie and have a drink, but it was unfortunately closed during our visit. I definitely want to go back and check that out.

Margaritaville is close to FirstEnergy Stadium and would make a fun place to grab some drinks on Game Day. Wings are even back on the menu! They have lots of TVs so you could watch the game there even if you don't have tickets. Speaking of football, they have a Fins, Fans and Football giveaway going on right now where you can win a football themed prize pack.
And that's not all. You can also enter to win a $50 gift card right here at Eat*Drink*Cleveland.

Here's how to win a $50 gift card to 

Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville!

There are three ways to enter:

1. Leave a blog post comment telling me either your favorite Jimmy Buffet
2. Tweet the following:

I want to head to @Margaritaville thanks to @EatDrinkCLE. You can 
enter to #win a $50 giftcard too.

3. Head to this Instagram post and enter there

This contest ends Sept. 30th. Winner will be randomly selected. You must provide a way for me to contact you if you win.

** Disclaimer: I am partnering with Margaritaville with the post. I received a gift card to try the restaurant and share my thoughts. They also provided the gift card for the giveaway. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. **