Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cheers to Eight Years of Eat*Drink*Cleveland!

Today is Eat*Drink*Cleveland's 8th anniversary! 

I could try to make a list of all the fun I've had since launching, but I'd rather today be about you - my fabulous readers. 

First of all THANK YOU for joining me on this journey. I truly could not have done it without you. The relationships that have been made are truly the very best part of blogging. I never dreamed that I could meet and be friends with so many wonderful people because of this little corner of the Internet.

I don't often make a big deal about how long I've been blogging, but this year seems extra special. The number 8 in numerology is about balance, and that is definitely something that I've been working on. Initially I thought I had to be everywhere and do everything, and while that was certainly fun, it wasn't sustainable. And I'm in this for the long haul! I've become pickier so I can have more time for home life, family, our amazing 17 1/2 year old Buffy, and our garden. If you aren't already, you can follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

In honor of this special occasion, I'm refreshing Eat*Drink*Cleveland. First up is my first official logo! 

I think the new logo captures a bit of my personality: fun, colorful, a bit too busy, and a little silly. I'm not elegant and perfect and I always want you to feel welcome. Come as you are and let's have fun!

You'll see the update on social media first, and then on the blog itself. And soon the website will see some changes as well.

Moving forward, if you have any favorite features or special requests, let me know. I want to provide content that you love, because I love all of you so much!

Here are some blasts from the pasts:

The very first post
The time we did a cleanse
2013 the year of the wedding
When we discovered Thai Thai
Some things about me
Boozy float recipe
My favorite stuffed squash recipe
One of my Favorite Places

So thanks again for always being here for me. I hope to keep sharing a little taste of my life with you for a long time. Cheers!

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Birthday to Remember

I love my birthday. If you are going to get older, you might as well have fun doing it, right? That's why you'll normally find me celebrating for about a month.

Well this one was definitely one to remember. 

The festivities started on the Friday before Memorial Day at the Flats East Bank. The Taste of Summer was unseasonably cool but we walked around and spent some time on the patios at Alley Cat, Dante's Inferno and Margaritaville.

We started out with the amazing calamari and platter of pickled veggies at Alley Cat. Put this combo on your Must Do list immediately!
We went to Dante's Inferno next and loved every single bite. The Nonna's meatballs are smack yo mama good.
The rooftop at Margaritaville is one of my favorite spots. The views are great and the vibe is chill. And the wine is cheap - grab a bottle for a real deal.
By the end of the night it had gotten quite chilly so we wrapped up the evening indoors at Beerhead with one of their ginormous pretzels.
Saturday we were in Cleveland again but this time it was Downtown. Dinner at Pura Vida was delicious but the restaurant was oddly almost empty and all the lovely ceiling drapery was gone. I'm hoping it was just the construction keeping folks away because this place is a real gem.
Afterwards we headed to the chic Azure for some rooftop patio action (notice a theme here?) After two pricey rounds of drinks we headed to our own patio and enjoyed a bottle of our VML Chardonnay from one of our trips to California.
Sunday we were super productive around the house and met my Mom and Step Dad for dinner at London Pickle Works - our favorite right around the corner hangout.

Monday my Dad's side of the family gathered for a Memorial Day cookout and birthday party combo. Lots of fun and great food!
If patios were the theme of the first part of the celebrations, wine was the theme of the second.

We celebrated my Mother-in-Laws birthday on the 28th at Michael Angelo's Winery
Little did she know that we were checking it out prior to my actual birthday on Friday. It was our first time there and we thought that is was a bit chaotic and the service was pretty bad. The wine is surprisingly good and the food is delicious. 
Plus they have lots of their famous bakery available for purchase. The cupcake was ok but the cannoli were even better.

The following day, I met my Auntie and one of her best friends at Coopers Hawk Winery. This place is one of my favorites! 
Pro Tip: Happy Hour is throughout the whole restaurant, not just the bar. Definitely get the brussels sprouts.
I was so excited when I woke up on the 31st and the weather was GORGOUS. After the cold, wet spring we have had, my one wish was for dry sunny weather.  And I definitely got it...along with a few surprises. 

My day started with Buffy giving me a present that I definitely didn't want - she pooped in the kitchen and walked in it. So not only did we need to clean the kitchen we had to give her a bath. What a way to start the day!

Second surprise of the day --- license plate renewal fiasco. Every year I say I'm going to mail it in. Every year I forget. So as usual I was scrambling on my birthday to get that taken care of. Because of a speeding ticket that I recently received (my first in 20 years!!!) and an expired insurance card, I wasn't able to get them until they FAXED my valid insurance card to Columbus.

Some of my co-workers must have known I needed some birthday cheer because a couple of us went to Condado's Tacos at Pinecrest.
Lunch courtesy of Hannah - thanks lady!
Things were starting to look up when I received my third birthday surprise - a flat tire. By this time my perky birthday attitude was almost lost for good. But thankfully, I made it to the garage just in the nick of time and got that fixed. After that, the rest of the day (thankfully!!) was fabulous.

We went back to Michael Angelo's Winery. And it was PACKED. I mean, park on the grass because there's no parking packed. Wow. What a difference a few days make. Luckily you can make reservations for groups of 10 or more. While they didn't seat us on the patio at promised, we had a great time and lots of delicious food and wine. The best part - they just released their Sparkling Rosé! It was as amazing as it sounds and perfect for the occasion.
We were treated to a tour and FINALLY snagged some seats on the patio to wrap up the evening.
It was definitely a birthday to remember! Thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate and made it extra special.
Some of the awesome ladies who celebrated with me:
Nicole of Eat Local Ohio, Michelle of Cleveland Foodie Girl and Heena of Kush Food

Next year is a biggie so I'm going to make the most out of this whole year trying to get ready for that one.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Tri-C JazzFest Giveaway

The Tri-C JazzFest turns 40 this year!
Join the Tri-C JazzFest June 27-29 as they take over Playhouse Square and celebrate Cleveland’ contributions to jazz over the decades with a mix of iconic and emerging artists.
There really is something for everyone! The event features both indoor and outdoor concerts, parties, and special events including a Beer Garden, cooking demos, street performances, food trucks, the U.S. Bank Kids Club and more. There is even a Saturday morning yoga session under the GE Chandelier!
There are nine ticketed events indoors in the Playhouse Square theaters. Headliners for the shows include Tower of Power, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride, Regina Carter and others. 

You can purchase single tickets or get a festival pass for tickets to all nine shows plus admission to the VIP Opening party and other perks. Tickets are on sale now.
The Outdoor Fest is free of charge. A happy hour with discounted drinks starts on the plaza at 5 p.m. Friday, June 28. The night will also feature street performers, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Parade the Circle puppets and line dancing. The free outdoor performances run 3 p.m. to midnight June 28-29.

Thanks to the folks at the Tri-C JazzFest, I'm giving away two tickets to one of my readers.

You can enter two ways:

1. Comment on this post telling me which performance or event you are most excited about. Make sure you include a way to contact you in case you are selected.

2. Head to my Instagram page and follow the instructions to complete your entry.

The giveaway ends June 13th at midnight. Winner will have 24 hours to respond. If not response, another winner will be selected. 

Good luck!!

Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland is presented by KeyBank and made possible by Cuyahoga Community College, the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council and a growing list of donors and members.

** Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Tri-C JazzFest.
As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. **