Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cookies for Orphans at Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A’s “Cookies for Orphans” Benefit Takes Bite Out of Hunger
Do Something Sweet for Children in Need on Jan. 27
photo credit
WHEN: Wednesday Jan. 27 from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
WHERE: Participating Chick-fil-A locations 

More than 30 Chick-fil-A restaurants in Ohio and Northern Kentucky are inviting area residents to join in the fight against hunger – with cookies – today. 

All proceeds from the sale of chocolate chunk cookies from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. will be donated to A Child’s Hope International, a Cincinnati-based charity supporting orphans and vulnerable children locally and worldwide.

“The purchase of a single cookie can provide four high-protein meals, 25 gallons of clean water or a Challenge Pack with medical and food supplies,” says Larry Bergeron, founder and executive director of A Child’s Hope International. “There are 143 million orphans in the world. They all need hope and a home. Through this special one-day campaign, we hope to raise the level of awareness about orphans and raise funds to help them.” 

Last year’s efforts resulted in funding of 9,269 gallons of purified water and 20,000 protein meals to orphans and other at-risk children. The goal this year, with the help of the greater-Cleveland community, is to provide 12,000 gallons of clean water, nourish 100 children for a year and help fund needed medical and food supplies.

Head on over to your local restaurant for a sweet treat that will help a child in need. Beachwood, Harvard Park, Cuyahoga Falls, Macedonia, Rocky River, Strongsville and Willoughby are just some of the locations in our area participating.

Cookies are available individually or in trays which may be ordered in advance by calling participating Chick-fil-A restaurants. You can also donate directly here.

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Displaying Chick-fil-A-Cookie.jpg

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Great Big Home + Garden Show 2016 Giveaway

I am one of those people who hate winter in CLE. I try to remind myself that it's only a few (ha!) months and after it's over, I can go back to loving our weather.

But about now, I start getting the itch to see grass and smell flowers. Spring cleaning actually starts to sound good. Thankfully, the Great Big Home + Garden Show comes at the perfect time to get me out of my winter funk.

This year the gardens have a celebration theme and I can't wait! From Mardi Gras and Labor Day to welcoming home our military members or enjoying a wedding, each garden will leave visitors feeling festive and ready to plan their own backyard party. I know I'm ready to bust out the grill just thinking about it.

And you know you can't have a party without some great food. There will be lots of tasty inspiration at the Loretta Paganini Cooking Stage for spring, summer or anytime you are hosting friends and family.

Italian Appetizers, Easy Thai Food, Hearty Winter Soups and Valentine's Cupcakes are some of the delicious demonstrations this year. One of the shows I'm most looking forward is on Saturday 2/6 "Cooking with your Garden" with AJ Petitti and Stefanie Paganini because it combines my love of cooking and gardening.

Winter is also a great time to plan those spring and summer projects around your home. They will be showing you How to Build a Firepit along with kitchen design tips, best organic solutions for the yard, LEAP Into the Garden with Native Plants, top gardening trends, Trendy Terrariums and weekend project ideas. 

And what is the Great Big Home + Garden Show without celebrities? This year you'll get a chance to see:

Hosts of Two Chicks and a Hammer
Two Chicks and a Hammer

The Beekman Boys
The Cooking Channel's Beekman Boys
Toledo native Jason Cameron from DIY Network

Matt Fox of Room by Room
And local favorites Stefanie Paganini, Ursula Carmona and Angelo and AJ Petitti will be there too!

Some of this year’s show features include:
  • Wolf Timbers Rustic Manor, a 2,500-square-foot, ranch rustic-style Idea Home, is an open and airy three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom energy efficient home with a layout designed to wow! Built by Blossom Homes and sponsored by Sherwin-Williams, Cleveland Magazine and Ohio Magazine the home features an aging-in-place design that will inspire visitors thinking of building or renovating their homes.
  • The 1,500-square-foot Xtend Technologies Hi-Tech Entertainment Home, built by Pepperwood Homes, is designed with entertaining in mind and will inspire visitors with ideas for their own entertainment spaces. The home features the latest in indoor and outdoor technology from Xtend Technologies. Landscaping surrounding the Hi-Tech Home will also be provided by Morton’s Landscaping.
  • Everyone deserves their own personal getaway space and this year’s She Sheds will have visitors thinking about how to create their own backyard retreat. Whether it’s a nature nest, writer’s retreat or wine tasting room, these She Sheds will spark ideas for creating any type of retreat space with a feminine touch.
You can purchase tickets online. Adults are $12 and Children 6-12 are only $5. If you use promo code EATCLE16 when you purchase, you'll receive $1.00 off each ticket.

Or you can enter for a chance to win two tickets right here! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

Contest ends Saturday January 30th at midnight. Good luck!

** Disclosure: I was provided two tickets to giveaway as well as two for my own use in exchange for helping promote this event. As always, opinions expressed are my own. **

Monday, January 18, 2016

Red and White on Thursday Night Giveaway

Get ready for the 19th annual Red & White on Thursday Night event – presented by Cleveland Clinic Akron General – Akron’s signature social and culinary evening!
Enjoy delicious signature samplings from the area’s finest restaurants and tastings from international wineries. Along with the chef-inspired food, highlights of the event include the VIP Lounge, silent and live auctions, raffles and more! Event proceeds support the Arthritis Foundation's mission to find a cure for arthritis, the nation’s #1 cause of disability.

On Thursday, January 28, 2016 you could join me and more than 750 guests at the 19th Annual Red & White on Thursday Night, a wine and food event presented by Cleveland Clinic Akron General, benefiting the Arthritis Foundation.

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Displaying RW2016_Wine.png
Displaying RW2016_Wine.png

19th Annual Red & White on Thursday Night
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Quaker Station at the University of Akron
135 S Broadway St. Akron, OH 44308

Business/Cocktail Attire Requested
The event, voted one of the best in Akron by AkronLife Magazine, is expected to raise more than $82,000. I went last year and it was So.Much.Fun. All proceeds support critical local Arthritis Foundation initiatives including advocacy and access, help and support and research.

In addition to delicious dishes from Akron’s top chefs and a variety of wines from domestic and international wineries, Red & White on Thursday Night also features an exciting silent and live auction.

An exclusive VIP Lounge experience is also planned that will give VIP ticket holders access to special fare from Chef Dante Boccuzzi of DBA, specialty desserts and high-end wine pairings. Special features and other surprises are planned. VIP Lounge tickets are $125 in advance, or $135 at the door. General admission tickets are $85 in advance, or $95 at the door. Free valet parking is a great bonus too. Purchase tickets online or call 216-285-2822.

Participating restaurants include: 
  • Chef Dante Boccuzzi of DBA
  • Barmacy Bar & Grill
  • Bistro on Main
  • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
  • Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant
  • Chocolates by Erin
  • Chowder House CafĂ©
  • Hudson’s Restaurant & Catering
  • Melt Bar and Grilled – Akron
  • Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar
  • Panera Bread
  • Saffron Patch in the Valley
  • Silver Lake Country Club
  • The Galaxy Restaurant & Banquet Center
  • The Pierogi Lady
  • The Taverne of Richfield
  • Thorpe’s Market Avenue Grill & Pub
  • West Side Bakery
Hudson's was my personal favorite last year. Dante, Cilantro, Chowder House and Nuevo are always favorites of mine so I can't wait to see what they bring to the table. I really hope Melt makes the cereal treat again this year! And I'm especially looking forward to trying Barmacy after always seeing it along the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
Hudson's Restaurant
Hudson's Sriracha Shrimp Over Grilled Chive Polenta with Thai Cashew Brittle from 2015
Want to try them all? Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win two General Admission tickets! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entries will be checked for completion so be sure to actually complete each task for credit. Winners will have 24 hours to claim their prize by providing their name, email and phone # to facilitate electronic check in. If the winner does not respond in that time, a new winner will be randomly selected.

To find out more head to the website,  Facebook or Twitter.
*Disclosure: I was provided tickets for myself and a guest and to giveaway in exchange for helping to promote this event. As always, opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

If I Win the Powerball

So everyone is buzzing about the CRAZY HUGE Powerball jackpot. If you haven't gotten a ticket, now's your chance. Every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time, they draw five white balls out of a drum with 69 balls, and one red ball out of a drum with 26 red balls. Last I checked, the jackpot is over $1.5 Billion. Yes, billion with a B.  

I don't know about you, but I have my tickets for Wednesday's drawing. My coworkers and I have been talking about what we would do if we win. The consensus is: quit our jobs. Pretty obvious and not very original, right? While we were daydreaming, I came up with some other ideas. And no, buying a mansion is not one of them.

These are not lofty fix-all-the-problems-of-the-world ideas. These are purely for fun.
  • First and foremost, a lottery winner has to look good. So I'd be hiring my awesome hair styling pro to be my personal hairstylist. And I'd buy ALL the Oribe products. 
  • With it being winter here in the CLE, my next stop would be to get my ass to the airport as fast as possible and head somewhere warm and sunny. What's your favorite tropical destination?
  • Safely out of the cold, I'd be making sure all my nearest and dearest family and friends got a little something to make their lives easier. Heck, maybe they could come with me!
  • Drink the really good wine on a Tuesday, just because.
  • I would sponsor a movie at the Cleveland International Film Fest. To celebrate, I might even sponsor the whole thing in honor of it's 40th Anniversary this year. Even if you don't win, get a membership  - you won't regret it. #CIFF40 is sure to be the best year yet.
  • After the Film Fest, I'm heading straight to Italy. A cooking school in Tuscany would be the perfect place to relax and think of good ways to put my winnings to use. Lovely days and nights eating and drinking and soaking it all in.
  • Lots of money would go towards feeding the hungry and improving lower income access to fresh fruits and veggies.
  • I'm a sucker for the senior pets so I would fund a special shelter devoted to making their final years the very best while they hopefully find new homes. Adopt, don't shop people - and don't forget about the already trained furballs that need love too.
  • I would extend the Rapid down to Independence - it's something that should have been done years ago. I know I'd love to be able to hop on and head downtown instead of driving and paying to park, wouldn't you?
  • Travel, travel, travel. 
  • How about continuing the development on our waterfront? Yep, that would be on my list too. Something gorgeous and affordable so you don't have to be a lottery winner to enjoy it. 
  • A ton of donations to my favorite charities - soooo much more fun and rewarding than buying $500 shoes.
  • I'm trading in the Volvo for a party bus - the sure way for a guaranteed party for getting around.
Did you buy a ticket? What will you do if YOU win?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Holidays, New Year and Back to Reality

I don't know about you, but the past couple of weeks have been super busy, absolutely delicious and tons of fun!

Here's just a sampling of our Holidays 2015:

Cleveland Holiday Flea 2015
Kicking off the holidays at the Holiday Flea, decorations and shopping
Feats of Strength for Festivus 2015
Feats of Strength for Festivus
#holidayhop in Cleveland Flats East Bank, parties and Bedford Tree Lighting
Happy Hour, parties, friends and family galore

Santa, babies and our furry pup BuffyBuffy with her Reindeer friend

The Rail
After Christmas shopping and finally trying The Rail
Eat*Drink*Cleveland's 2015 Holidays
My nephew turned 18!!
Buffy, like the rest of us, is all pooped out!
Hope you had a wonderful holiday season!
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2016.