Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cleveland in the Zagat Guide

Check out how Cleveland restaurants fared in Zagat's America's Top Restaurants 2011 on Cleveland.com.

Out of the 20 restaurants I have only eaten at Momocho (over two years ago now) and 3 Birds (where I only had desert, most likely more than two years ago).  I'm going to put the rest of these eateries on my "wish list" on urbanspoon.  I love that the Cleveland food scene is getting more and more attention every year!

Way to go Cleveland!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gifts for Cleveland Lovers

As I've been thinking of Christmas gifts and shopping I've come across a lot of suggested gift lists for moms, dads, boyfriends, etc.  This has inspired me to create a Gift List for Cleveland Enthusiasts and here it is...

1.  A Browns Cover for your Kleenex Box- (They have a CAVS one too!) At a cool $14 this would make a great addition to any Browns Fanatics man cave!  Check out CraftedbyTeri's shop!
2.  For a lady in your life who lives in or has lived in Cleveland Heights (or one of the select few other suburbs featured in this Etsy shop) this necklace is perfect.  For only $34 you can carry a bit of your hometown close to your heart!  This necklace available from Etsy seller cieliblu.
3.  Maybe, even though we are lacking LeBron, you are a die hard CAVS fan and would like to show your team spirit in a discreet way.  If so, then this is perfect for you.  For only $7.99 you can own this CAVS themed G-String underwear!  Don't worry men, apparently it's available in a men's style as well!  Check out the goods at PMTreasurechest's shop!
4.  Calling all Cleveland Bride's- or maybe their Moms or Maids of Honors... If you're looking for the perfect surprise for your Indians loving groom on your wedding day look no further.  For a cool $30 you can own this Indian's inspired garter set!  Keep one and Toss one!  Stop by TheArtofSports' shop to see what else they have to offer!

5. Ok, Ok, let's get serious.  What about this t-shirt?  Designed by local artists (I went to school with one of them) this shirt shows the world that you love Cleveland!  Supporting the local economy and loving Cleveland?  There can't be anything better.  I think that $22 is a pretty reasonable deal for a shirt like this.  (I really need to remind myself to buy one of these.)  They have ton's of different designs and colors so check out the website GV Art + Design and see for yourself!
6.  Maybe your loved one would like a piece of artwork to hang on their wall.  I don't know his pricing, but check out this local artist (I admit, I know him too) and contact him to order one of his prints.  He even shoots in film!  Look at the gallery here for STT Design.  He really captures Cleveland quite well.

7.  How about a membership to a local museum?  Have a family you're buying for? Try the Cleveland Zoo ($70), The Great Lakes Science Center ($85), or the Children's Museum ($80)!

Well, that's all I can come up with now.  What are your favorite Cleveland related gifts?!  Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Shopping is Go!

I am heading out today to try and complete some of my Christmas shopping.  I am hoping to take advantage of some great deals out there...

Women's Clothing/Accessories:

50% off of EVERYTHING at New York and Company

40% off of your Full Price Purchase at Ann Taylor

40% off Complete Purchase at Ann Taylor Loft

30% off EVERYTHING at The Limited

Department Stores:

15% Savings Pass at Kohl's

15% Savings Pass on Clearance Items at Macy's

Hopefully I find a bunch of really cute stuff for good deals.  We'll see!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dear Santa: Take 2

I know I already posted all my greedy "wants" for Christmas, but I keep seeing more things that I want!  So here are a few more things that have struck my fancy.

9.  A "Grown Up" TV - i.e. an HD tv 36-42 inches (This is because my friends keep making fun of the TV I have now, which is the one I got to go to college with over 8 years ago!)
10.  A Case of The Biltmore in Asheville, NC's Pinot Grigio (My absolute favorite wine.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dear Santa:

Christmas is a little over a month away and I'm thinking of all the goodies that I want.  How selfish of me I know.  Here are some of my wants- no I don't expect to get all of them, but I'm hoping some make the cut.  Want to get me something?  Look no further:

1. The Amazon Kindle

2.  A Dodo Case (For the Kindle)

3.  iPad (ok ok this is a pipe dream but still I wannnnt!)

4. A NetFlix Subscription

5.  Any accessories for my Canon DSLR.  I'd like new lenses- wide angle, and a better zoom and a bigger carrying case.

6.  Any Glee Soundtrack (other than 1 and 2, I already own those)

7.  Anything anyone wants to get me!  Thoughtful gifts are great!

Edited to Add:

8.  One of the following wall decals- or maybe both...

Both are from Etsy seller WallsThatTalk!

What is on your wish list for Christmas 2010?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Restaurant Review: Deagan's Kitchen and Bar

Deagan's, a self described gastro-pub opened a couple of months ago in downtown Lakewood. I hadn't been yet, so when some former co-workers decided to have their Friday happy hour there I was very interested.  From the outside signage I was expecting more of a sports bar atmosphere but that isn't what you get at all.

My parents had gone to dinner there with friends earlier in the week so I already knew that the menu was a bit on the "fancy" side.  What I didn't know is that they completely redid the interior and have made a very nice upscale, yet laid back atmosphere.  I really liked their sconces that looked like bare old-fashioned light bulbs. 

I ordered my standard vodka and tonic and at 3 dollars a pop it was a much cheaper option than I expected.  I definitely felt that they were generous with the pour as well.  I ordered the Prince Edward Island Mussels  with fennel and saffron-tomato nage.  At 7 dollars these were a great deal, and while I didn't count I was impressed by the number of mussels I was given.

Two of my coworkers ordered, as did my parents when they went, the Spicy Shrimp Tacos with avocado, corn, white cheddar, and micro cilantro.  Everyone who had them said that they were very good and that they would order them again.  My one coworker, Ms. B said that they could be her "go to" dish.  The table also shared the Pomme Frittes that they said were good too.

I'm not a deviled eggs kind of a girl, but I did try one of their Deviled Eggs with lake Erie goat cheese, and English mustard and it wasn't bad.  I also tried a bacon wrapped date, it wasn't terrible, but I don't think I'll ever try it again.

Overall I had a great experience at Deagan's and may have to go again to continue expanding my palette. 

What new restaurants have you tried recently?

Deagan's Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Last year when the levy was on the ballot for my school district there was a lot of discussion about teachers being paid too much money.

This year, I am working as a teacher's aide*, am making 11k less and working more days out of the year.  Oh, and I get spit on.  Unless you get spit on at your job I don't want to hear anymore of this non-sense about teachers and school employees getting paid too much.

Also, I'm going back to Cozumel tonight- I will do my best to bring back some photographs and perhaps some opinions of my friends to have a more comprehensive review!

How was your Wednesday?  Did anyone spit on you?

*in a different school system

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Product Review: Scrabble Flash

I love Scrabble!  It is one of my favorite games of all time.  I have Scrabble Deluxe, Scrabble Slam, and Scrabble Scramble to Go already.  I also play Scrabble against my friends on Facebook as well. Recently, as a going away present from my team at work I received Scrabble Flash!

Scrabble Flash comes with 5 electronic squares that you set side to side to create words for a variety of games.  There are three modes of play to choose from and the cool thing is the tiles can tell if you've made a word or not and score it for you!  I was not sure how the tiles would react to each other but as long as most of each side was touching another tile they seemed to communicate just fine. Tonight I've just been playing by myself, but I can't really see how it'd be as fun with other people as you have to be very patient and take turns.  And, unlike the traditional scrabble game there isn't anything for you to be studying or looking at as you wait.  I really enjoyed it myself however.  Oh, and I love that it really ends up needing very little storage as the box you keep it in is approximately 4in by 2 in by 2in. 

As an English teacher, I can see this being used in the classroom.  It is very tactile and would allow students to have the opportunity to use their vocabulary and interact with words.  The game, retailing at approximately $30, might be a little pricey to purchase for a class, especially if you'd want more than one for the kids to use.  I could really see it in a tutoring or one-on-one setting.  I would also like to see them come out with a version where a teacher could choose the letters that show up on the tiles, or extend the amount of time that the player gets to find words, as many students would find the minute or so given to be quite limiting. 

Overall, I'm glad I have this game to add to my collection of Scrabble products. 

Do you like Scrabble?  What is your favorite Scrabble game?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Product Review: Silk Mint Chocolate Soy Milk

This post isn't specifically about Cleveland, just about me, living my life.

I am allergic to cow's milk- no not lactose intolerant, allergic.  My throat closes up, I can't swallow, and it's super uncomfortable.  A little over a year ago I discovered Silk soy milk.  I really only drink their chocolate flavor.  Recently a coworker posted on Facebook something about Mint Chocolate Silk so I was super excited when I finally some at Target today! 

It is delicious; more minty than chocolate-y but oh so good.  And it's the perfect thing for me to dip my Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies in!  Unfortunately I think this flavor is only around for the holidays along with their Pumpkin Spice, and Nog flavors.  I guess I better get my fill now!

Having allergies is very frustrating (I'm also allergic to nuts) so finding great tasting allergy friendly foods always makes me happy. 

Do you have any favorite dairy-free foods?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bar Review: The Spitfire Saloon

Friday night I went to see some of my coworkers perform with their band, Flanked by Red Flags at the Spitfire Saloon.  First off, the band was great to watch.  I really liked how fast paced their music was and that I could actually understand the majority of the lyrics!  It's always fun seeing people you know perform.  I tried to take some pictures of the band, but was trying to refrain from using a flash so they've got this blurry look to them.  Here's one of my favorites.

The venue was a different story.  Located on W.117th, I have passed this bar more times than I can imagine but had never gone in.  When I got there I liked the vibe, it was dark, a little dingy, very punk-rock inspired.  The stage was surrounded by a chain link fence, and there was a beer bottle "cannon" that shattered the glass bottles against a spiked wall.  Unfortunately all of this was overridden by the fact that the bar was filled with smoke!  We've had a smoking ban in Ohio for around four years now and yet there were enough people smoking that my eyes were burning.  Thank goodness I didn't wear a jacket into the place, because my clothes and hair reeked after just 2 hours. 

I will not be going to this establishment again if they continue to allow smoking.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'll be the first to admit that I have never been much of a walker, but in the past few years I have certainly started doing more of it.  My mother and her friends walk every morning for a few miles and have done so for many years now. This is another thing I really like about Cleveland (and my suburb, Lakewood); it is easy to walk places. 

The Huffington Post reported that Walk Score, a website that evaluates the "walkability" of an area, had ranked the 40 largest cities in the country and Cleveland came in at number 14.  If you check out Walk Score's website here you can see the break down by neighborhood for Cleveland as well.  Lakewood also has a very good score which you can check out here

How important is walkability to you??