Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The East Side Gets an Earthfare!

Many of you may think I'm a weirdo, but I LOVE grocery shopping! So when I heard that a new Earth Fare was coming to Solon, I was really excited. Honestly, I almost didn't believe it when I heard about it because we already have so many great choices for healthy organic food. I couldn't wait to see what the new store in town had to offer.

I was invited to the grand opening and was taken on a tour of the store by Ritchie. He was very knowledgeable and as he took me around the store, I could see why he was so enthusiastic too. Since then, I've been back twice and so far, I'm impressed.

The store is large but not so big that it is overwhelming. The aisles are wide so you can take your time to look around and read labels without fear of being run over.

I love how they set up the store so it's easy for you to make shopping decisions. Want organic? It has a circle shaped sticker. Want local? Look for smaller version of this sign

Gluten-free products are also easy to spot - they are mixed in with the rest of the items but they are on wooden shelves.

My favorite parts of the store are:

1. Bulk bins - the selection is extensive and full of surprises. Fancy sugar, spices and herbs, unique flours, granola, candy and more.
look at all those spices!
Grains, candy, beans, granola and more!

2. They not only allow you to try things before you buy, they ENCOURAGE it. No more buying a new product only to get home and find out you hate it! All you need to do is tell an associate what you would like to try and they'll get it for you.

3. Prepared foods are fresh and fairly priced. The selection isn't as large as the Cedar Road Whole Foods, but the price per pound is about $2 cheaper.

4. The Tomato Bank is their rewards program. Just type your phone # into the key pad when you check out. Love that they don't make you carry a little plastic card.

5. Their Food Philosophy makes it really easy for you to make healthy choices. They won't stock products with a lot of the yucky stuff we shouldn't be eating like high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and growth hormones. Saves a lot of label reading while you are shopping! If you ever find an item in the store that does have any of the nasty ingredients, you can let them know and they'll give you a $50 gift card and add the item to their "Boot List" and won't carry it anymore.

Here's some other favorites
We tried these stuffed chicken breasts and they were excellent! $3.99 each
Perfect for those summer wines and bubbles - a flash chiller
(every store should have one of these!)
Scoop your own ravioli and artisan chocolates
Imported Italian meats ~ swoon
And here's your chance to find out what YOUR favorite things about Earth Fare are. They provided a $50 gift card for me to give away to one of my readers. It's good at ANY Earth Fare so all the West Siders can shop at their Earth Fare too. Here's how:

1. (mandatory entry) Like Earth Fare Solon and Eat*Drink*Cleveland on Facebook and leave a comment below telling me you did. If you don't have Facebook, you can subscribe via email or follow my posts by clicking the links in the right column and commenting.

2. (mandatory entry) Leave a comment below telling me where you normally do your grocery shopping.

3. Follow @EarthFareSolon and @EatDrinkClev on Twitter and leave a comment.

4. Tweet the following:

I entered to #win a $50 gift certificate to @EarthFareSolon at @EatDrinkClev and you can too. #CLE

Leave a comment when you Tweet. You can do this daily for extra entries.

A separate comment for each entry is required. If you do all four, that's four comments.

This contest ends on Monday June 3rd at midnight. Winner will be announced Tuesday June 4th. The winner has until June 5th to claim their prize. If they don't, another winner will be drawn. Good luck!

** Disclosure: I was invited to tour the Earth Fare store and received two $50 gift certificates, one to use personally and one to give away. As always, all opinions and ideas are my own. **

Friday, May 17, 2013

Turn Any Light Into the Spotlight - A Blogger Beauty Extravaganza

First things first - congrats to @jesslyinCLE - she's my winner for the Marc's Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Fest tickets! Comment #5 about the delicious City BBQ was the winning comment. Congrats!

I've always wanted to visit the Charles Scott Salon in Rocky River. Everyone has always said what a great place it is but I never made it across town to try it for myself.
Canopi held a really fun blogger event at Charles Scott hosted by Wella Professionals and Elle. It was a great way for everyone to mingle, chat and be spoiled for a night. And for me to finally check out the salon!
Well I can see why people love it! Everyone was SUPER sweet, friendly and talented. The space is a lot bigger than it looks from the outside and it's the perfect mix of soothing and fun. They have lots of rooms for spa treatments and if you decide to include lunch with your services, you can eat in the old bank vault that looks like a patio thanks to wall murals. As I was looking around, I couldn't help think what a great place for a a bridal party to get ready for the big day!
We were treated to an evening of beauty that included hair styling, make up touch ups and manicures. A new product I discovered is Wella's Beach Texture Spray - my stylist Keri used it before my updo for some added texture and hold.
Fellow bloggers, a DJ, bubbles...

...and lots of tasty nibbles ensured that this event was a fun party that felt like it ended way too soon. 
The delicious food was from Picc-A-Deli in Westlake

After getting pampering and primped, we didn't want the night to end!

In addition to the night of beauty and fun, we also got some samples of the Wella Brilliance shampoo, conditioner and hair treatment in a cute bag with an aluminum water bottle. 

The May issue of Elle magazine rounded out our swag bag. Doesn't Adele look amazing? Love her smokey eye. Hopefully the "gorgeous hair every day" article will help me prep my locks for the big day (only 134 more days!)

If you want to check out Wella, you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook. You can find Elle on PinterestTwitter and Facebook for beauty, fashion and more.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Silver Spoon Awards Party 2013

Let's just start this post off with saying I'm STILL full from last night! 

Thanks to my awesome wedding photographer Lane Baldwin Photography, I won tickets to the 19th Annual Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party. I've always wanted to attend and was beyond thrilled to finally go. In spite of lots of trying-to-get-a-house-sold craziness, I knew this was event not to be missed.

This yummy spread from Whole Foods greeted us as we arrived. After one bite of the English cheddar and chocolate from Sweet Designs we knew we were in for one hell of a delicious night.
Because I wasn't at this event as an official blogger, I was able to just soak in the fun and not worry about who made what and taking a million pictures. But I couldn't resist taking these...
My hands down favorite of the night - holy crap was this delicious!!!!
My awesome date for the night, Elisabeth
Pretty sushi from Zack Bruell
Spoonful of deliciousness from Rocky River Wine Bar
What was left of the cool raw oyster display from Blue Point Grille at the end of the night
Lobster and shrimp roll from Hodge Podge Food Truck
They also had a delicious "Thai Iced Tea" - yum
There were so many delicious choices that we literally got to the point where we would go look at the food and smell it but couldn't put another bite in our mouths. Zack's Brews Coffee, treats from Sweet Melissa and giant cannoli from Mama Roberto's rounded out the night. 

Here's a list of all the featured restaurants from their website - see why I'm still stuffed?!

Do you have your tickets to the Rib Cook-Off and Music Fest yet? If not, click here to enter to win two free tickets.

Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 Marc's Great American Rib Cook Off & Music Festival

May is always one of my favorite months because it's my Birthday Month. If you don't celebrate for a month, I highly recommend it. I'll make any excuse for getting together with friends and family. And cake. Lots of cake!
And because my personal celebration coincides with the much anticipated Memorial Day weekend, the official kick off to summer is always something special. This weekend is traditionally filled with cook outs, parties and parades as we remember and honor our veterans.

A long standing Cleveland tradition is the Marc's Great American Rib Cook-Off & Music Festival. For over 20 years, thousands have feasted on ribs and rocked it out at this 4 day saucy weekend.

This year, the event is May 24th through the 27th. General admission is only $5.00 with an online coupon (available here) and includes free entertainment. You can also buy them at the door for $8. The music part of the festival takes you back in time as it kicks off on Friday with Mega 80's. Saturday features Rick Springfield, Sunday gets bluesy with Buddy Guy and the festival wraps up with Bret Michaels. If you want prime reserved seating for the concerts you can purchase tickets here.

I'm excited about the music, but it's the ribs that bring people back year after year. 10 of the best rib circuit grillers will be competing and you get to try them all. Monday at 4pm the winners will be announced. 

There's also an amateur competion on Saturday. If you want to be an official judge, simply download the free Live Nation mobile app by texting “LNAPP” to 404040. Prior to the cook-off, one random person will be selected and contacted through the Live Nation app about this cool gastronomic prize.

And I have two general admission tickets to this finger licking good event to giveaway.

1. Mandatory Entry: In the comments below, tell me your favorite BBQ. Is it at a restaurant or one you make at home? Bonus entry if you include your recipe!

2. Like Eat*Drink*Cleveland on Facebook and leave a comment below.

3. Tweet the following and leave a comment below:
" I want to kick of summer with @EatDrinkClev at the Great American Rib Cook-Off! Enter for 2 free tix here #HappyinCLE  "

4. Share this post on Facebook and leave a comment.

Contest ends Thursday May 16th at midnight. Winner to be announced Friday May 17th. Winner has until Sunday May 19th to claim their prize or a new winner will be drawn.

If you want to feast for a steal, take advantage of the Fox8 Rock 'n Rib Deal. Click here to purchase 2 general admission tickets plus $40 in food and drinks for only $31. Deal good while supplies last or until noon on May 20th.

Parking for a fee is available or you can ride the RTA for free. Park at any RTA Rapid Station and then hop aboard the Red, Blue or Green lines for the ride downtown. Transfer to the Waterfront Line to the Settlers Landing Station. You can walk or take a complimentary shuttle to the Nautica Pavillion.

You have another chance to win over at WhyCLE? too. Good luck!!

*** Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Cook-Off and received two general admission tickets to give away as well as two for my own use. As always, all thoughts are my own. ***

Friday, May 3, 2013

SOHO Meets Spain ~ Vayamos de Fiesta

I have so many things I want to share with you but it's been so crazy over here in EDC land. We have a possible buyer for my fiance's house (fingers crossed!!) and part of the offer is for him to finish his attic into a 3rd bedroom. Yep. It's crazy but true. Let's just say it's been a construction party every single night for the past 2 weeks. We've turned very European during this time. Dining at 10pm is très chic! 
wine dinner, spanish, vayamos de fiesta, eat drink cleveland

You can dine like a European too at the Spanish Wine Dinner at SOHO. I love the mix of Spanish and Southern. 

Everything about this menu sounds amazing! You get all this yummy goodness with wines for only $50 on Thurday 5/9.

And you don't have to wait until 10pm to eat. It starts at 7pm.

Vayamos de Fiesta ~ let's party!