Yes, my blog has been kept on the back burner in 2015. Thank you to those who have subscribed to my blog! I promise you will have much to read on here in 2016! This year I have been blessed with so many incredible moments that I will forever cherish. My niece had her first birthday (I can’t believe she’s a month away from 2 now!), so it was a great time getting away to be with family to celebrate, as well as a fun week-long vacation to Virginia and North Carolina for me and my love Patrick. I finally got to learn how to do glass-blowing (check out Season 2, Episode 1 of Listen Up Cleveland!, which I brought back this year: https://youtu.be/nZGcWLNxkk4 ), did two more 5k’s (suck it asthma!), the Cleveland Adult Big Wheels Race for the 2nd year in a row (we almost won the costume contest…you’ll see in the video below), fantastic concerts: Fleetwood Mac, Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood, J. Geils and Ian Hunter, Whitesnake, Van Halen, The Rock Hall Inductions Ceremony…met and interviewed so many wonderful people (including the now late, great former Congressman Louis Stokes), threw surprise parties/dinner for my mom and my boyfriend (milestone birthday year for both!) and was promoted at work to News Director. Needless to say, its been a crazy, awesome year! (For any negative nancy’s reading this, yes there were some bad moments too. I just choose not to reflect on them. Learn, grow, move forward.)
I grew up an avid reader, and practically lived at the Fleet Branch of the Cleveland Public Library. I believe that libraries are one of the most important resources we have as a community. To shine a light on our Cleveland Public Library’s importance I produced a special to showcase both the history of its development and many of the wonderful opportunities it offers.
This week, ironically being National Library Week, the special premieres. Tune in to TV20 all this week at 8am, 2:30pm and 8pm to catch The People’s University: A Look Inside the Cleveland Public Library. It will be available on YouTube soon, but for now those of you who do not have access to TV20 on your tv can head over to tv20cleveland.com to catch it on our Live Stream! Thank you to the wonderful staff of CPL for giving us access to capture the library’s many different departments, and for being a part of it. Also a HUGE thank you to Brian Bernhardt, Doug Fill and Patrick Longbrake for the beautiful footage and incredible editing work. And a big thank you to my boss, General Manager Kathy Allen, for letting me have the creative freedom to create this piece.
The biggest thank you of all is to my mom…for always bringing me to the library, letting me get lost in the stacks and encouraging me to do all of the reading programs.
Enjoy The People’s University: A Look Inside the Cleveland Public Library and let me know what you think!
Listen Up Cleveland Episode 10 debuted last week! I was at the beautiful Cleveland Museum of Art for two fantastic events. First I was at the highly popular Friday Monthly MIX event where this time they teamed up with Tri-C Jazz Fest. Then check out one of the best fashion shows in town when United Way of Greater Cleveland hosted their annual Rock The Catwalk in the Museum’s Atrium!
Then of course one of the best experiences of both my life and career was creating the Summer In The City Restaurant Special with my best friend and colleague Patrick Longbrake. The special premiered a few weeks ago, but you can now view it anytime you want on both the TV20 YouTube Channel and my personal one. Seven amazing restaurants you need to check out right here in CLE! Let me know if you get to try any of them (hopefully all of them!)!
After months of planning & hard work, the TV20 Summer In The City Restaurant Special myself and Patrick “Rudy” Longbrake have been working on finally debuts! Tune in this week (starting today!) at 9:30am, 4:30pm and 10:30pm to learn about 7 amazing Cleveland restaurants you must check out! The special will run all throughout the summer so stay tuned each week to the TV20 schedule!
Those with Time Warner Cable in Cleveland can find us on Channel 20. AT&T U-Verse can find us at Channel 99-Cleveland. And of course you can watch right from your computer at this link: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
*I would like to thank all of the participating restaurants, as well as my family and friends for their love and support. And a huge thank you to our boss, Kathy Allen, for letting us create this special!
Here is a listing of the fantastic restaurants we feature:
STERLE’S SLOVENIAN COUNTRY HOUSE
PJ McINTYRE’S IRISH PUB
*Let us know what you think of the special, and hope you get to try all 7 spots!
February is generally associated with love because of Valentine’s Day, and this month one of the greatest love’s of my life came into the world-my niece Khloe Olivia was born on February 4th! I am over the moon about her and can’t wait to hold her when I get to visit my family soon!
Then to spread the love, I participated in the Cupid’s Undie Run on February 15th. Cupid’s Undie Run is not just getting to run around in your undies lol, it raises money and awareness for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. I set a goal to raise $500, and thanks to my amazing family and friends I reached my goal! To top it off, Dan Gilbert (owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers) matched my goal (and any runner that made a goal of $500+ and succeeded!)! I had so much fun not only seeing so many of my friends and covering it for work, but seeing thousands of people willing to come out in their underwear in 18 degree weather to do their part to help children in need. Cupid’s Undie Run takes place all over the U.S. If you would like more information or to get involved visit cupidsundierun.org
A few days before Cupid’s’ Undie I had the pleasure of doing a radio interview on the Russell Reed Show on voiceitradio.com. It was great to talk about Life With Leah, media and to have the opportunity to promote my Cupid’s Undie Run Fundraising page. I have to publicly thank Russell again for the opportunity. It helped me to raise so much money for the kids! He’s a great guy, and I can’t wait to be on the show again. Check him out on voiceitradio.com daily! If you would like to check out my interview with Russell Reed click the link here:
Orchid Mania kicked off at one of my favorite places in Cleveland, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens! I’m always like a giddy little girl when I go to the gardens, and they do such a wonderful job with their seasonal events. Orchid Mania doesn’t just showcase a variety of gorgeous Orchids, but it also features an Interior Designer Showcase. If you’re interested in checking it out-and I highly recommend you do!-it goes until March 9th! http://www.cbgarden.org/
Now to rest up. My next adventure awaits!
Hope you’re having a Fabulous February!!
A fun, more fearless 2013 is a great (though very Cosmo way) of describing this past year. Entering the new decade, I feel more enlightened and proud of what I’ve both succeeded and failed at. One of the absolute biggest highlights of the year was finding out I’m going to be an Aunt! Khloe will be born at the start of 2014 so I already have something big to look forward to!
But before I start getting into the excitement of the new year, here is a look back at my 2013.
There are Goals for the year and general bucket list that I finally accomplished this year (in no particular order):
1. Made it to California!
*It only took 30 years, but I made it out west & loved it! I have a fear of flying, but when I boarded the plane I was beyond excited and ready to get to the other side of the country. And to finally see my best friend in person for the first time in three years! The trip was not only a much-needed vacation and girl time, but being away from it all gave me a chance to focus on myself and reassess my wants and needs in life.
2. Stand Up Paddle Boarding!
*I have visualized getting up on the board for a few years now, but between life happening and Cleveland weather I hadn’t had a chance. Then this year my friend Norm helped get up on a board and accomplish another goal. Being out on Lake Erie, just me on the board, paddling further from the shore…I can’t fully put into words how it feels. I just felt…free. And like Gidget.
3. Became An Anchor!
*After spending a year happily as a reporter and producing and hosting my show Listen Up Cleveland for TV20 I was completely shocked when I returned from California to get the news from my boss that I was being promoted to Anchor! All those years as a kid playing Murphy Brown, Oprah and Today Show has officially paid off.
4. Go to Therapy.
*Entering my 30’s I felt it was time to face any and all baggage and issues I’ve been facing or holding on to. BEST DECISION EVER. You know, we go for yearly physical check-ups, but never the mental and emotional kind. I feel better and stronger for going on a few sessions. If you have been contemplating it, I highly recommend you go. You are not weak for going, you are brave. Anyone that tells you otherwise clearly is someone who needs time in the chair themselves.
5. Ran My First 5k.
*If you happen to have read my blog about my Marathon experience then you know it was something I never thought I would get to do. Not only do I still feel so proud of myself for doing it, I’m already planning more 5k’s (and possibly move on up to 10) in 2014!
Then there were the fabulous, random life experiences that happened. (Again, in no particular order)
1. I turned 30! (ok, so that’s not random, but it is fabulous!)
2. Andy Cohen read my tweet on air during his show Watch What Happens!
3. As if that wasn’t nerdy enough for you: Michael Bolton, Cindi Leive, Kristen Dos Santos all tweeted me this year. I still am over the moon about Bolton. And he did it to me twice ;)
4. Finally met Cleveland legend Michael Stanley!
5. I made it in All About Beer Magazine with the pics my friend Michael Krokey took from the World of Beer event I covered. And they loved my news piece so much they want to use it for promotional purposes. Double Score!
6. When in California I took Cardio Barre with Minnie Driver and never knew it. Shows that A) celebs really do just blend in out in Cali and B) I really am oblivious half the time cause I live in my own world.
7. I got to be an extra in the new Katie Holmes movie and filmed my scene with Designing Woman herself-Jean Smart! Look for my possible cameo in Miss Meadows in 2014!
8. I dressed up as Lisa Loeb in the ‘Stay’ video for Halloween and tagged her in my pic and she totally Instagrammed it to her followers.
9. Made it on the side of RTA buses with my TV20 family!
10. When I was at the Burning River Fest Tower City Lights turned purple just for me :)
11. Finally saw KEM perform and met him!
12. Plunged into the frozen waters of Lake Erie for the Polar Bear Plunge
But the most important are the life & love lessons I’ve learned:
1. Look at things from other angles.
*I have been guilty as charged at only looking at my own perspective. Not at all things, I am a very compassionate person, but when it comes to my issues or personal dilemmas I only see it from my perspective. My hurt or angry feelings. Someone can say something and it can mean a few different things, it’s all in how you look at it. I was only ever looking at one side and not the other angles. This lesson has changed my perspective in a big way.
2. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.
*When I’ve wanted to accomplish something, see someone, be at an event…When Ive really wanted it I found a way. When I didn’t care all that much (or let fear take hold) I’d find an excuse. And though I already knew that about myself, it was this year I started seeing it with others. Eyes wide open from this quote and applying it to relationships- not just business and goals.
3. Others problems are not your own.
*If you read my blog piece last year about getting rid of energy vampires then you know this has been a struggle for me. I feel others emotions. Their vibes good or bad radiate to me and it can start to affect my mood. Its part of the reason I always try to be a happy, optimistic person. I want to radiate that and make people want to be that way too. But I have to finally come to terms that just really isn’t always the case. And one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced this year is I can’t solve everyone’s problems or make everyone happy.
4. The power of letting go.
*Letting go of people and dreams are both so scary, but I’ve learned how freeing it can be to let go and let God. I haven’t fully accomplished this yet. It’s definitely a process when you’re a bit of a control freak that wants to save the world, but I’m getting there.
I’m sure there are other big accomplishments, fun adventures and things I’ve learned that I’m forgetting (or choosing to keep to myself), but here is at least a taste of 2013 in the Life of Leah*. Thank you so much for reading and following (and if you don’t already follow, please do cause there will be a lot more to come in 2014!). I wish you a new year filled with Love, Adventure, Peace, Prosperity and most of all….Happiness. God Bless. XOXO, Leah*
A place you wouldn’t expect to hear the Cleveland Orchestra is at 78th Street Studios in Gordon Square District. A hip space known for its art galleries, many members of the Orchestra gathered to hold special performances here, along with other restaurants and spaces in the area. I was there to find out what it meant to some of the musicians to play outside of Severance Hall and the other programs they are involved in.
Then meet talented Cleveland-based fashion bloggers and see their latest collections at the Goodwill Goodstyle Fashion show! The show was not only a reminder how fun (and affordable!) thrifting can be, but you get to learn more about Goodwill and why it is such a wonderful organization.
So tune in today thru Monday morning at 5:30am, 8:30am and 8:30pm Est time! Don’t get TV20 with your cable provider? No worries, just click the link here to watch from your computer via the TV20 live stream: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
I’ll never forget my first sports-induced asthma attack. I was in the 7th grade running the mile run for the Presidential Physical Fitness Testing. In case you’re not familiar with this, it was something held at the end of the school year where you competed in various activities (sit-up, pull-ups, Mile run…) and could win awards for it. (It’s still around, check out more info here: https://www.presidentschallenge.org/celebrate/physical-fitness.shtml). I was always an active child, and could run pretty fast (even if I looked like an Ostrich…thanks Dad), but half-way through my run I was suddenly light-headed and could feel my chest tightening. I couldn’t catch my breath and had to stop. I walked the rest of the way, scared and pissed off I couldn’t finish the race. Within a week from that moment my mother took me to the doctor and I was diagnosed with sports induced asthma. Had to get an inhaler and watch my intensity during sports. So, from that moment I gave up on the idea of running.
This year with turning 30 I decided to add ‘Do a Marathon’ on my list of yearly goals. I did not want asthma to stop me, once and for all. Over the summer I covered the National Senior Games, and one of the participants was a woman over the age of 80 with severe asthma who was competing in Track & Field. As soon as I saw that I knew I had to find a race to participate in. Then lo and behold the Rock n’ Roll Marathon announced it was coming to Cleveland, and it was including a 5k (perfect for a beginner like me!). There really could not have been a better first marathon for me to attempt.
So, already an avid power walker, I decide to slowly incorporate running and jogging to my workout. Just enough so I wouldn’t become light-headed and completely winded. As I trained myself I found that I was going longer and longer in between my jogging and running before feeling too winded. I also had it in my head that as God as my witness I was going to do this.
Yesterday was race day, and I was stoked to finally do this! I wasn’t the least bit nervous. I had it in my head that I was not only going to do this without dying, but that I was going to make it to the finish line by my goal time of 45 min. I did intervals just like when training, but every time I passed cheerleaders, friends and family members of the racers or bands I got that extra push to run more and run faster! Before I knew it the finish line was in sight. It felt so incredible to cross the finish line! For the last 17 years I was convinced I would never get to run another race because I had asthma. That excuse is gone. I have proven to myself I can do it (and at 30!), and accomplished another goal for the year! Now im thinking about doing the Cleveland 10k in the Spring. Suck it asthma!
I know it’s been a few weeks, but Listen Up Cleveland is back! In studio I chat with legendary Cleveland Indians drummer John Adams. Aside from the Indians, John is also the founder of the Cleveland Blues Society and teaches. Then I’m with Tony Madalone, founder of Fresh Brewed Tees. Tony not only has a successful t-shirt company here in Cleveland, but launched the first ever t-shirt truck! We get a look at the truck and find out what inspired Tony to start his company.
You can catch Listen Up Cleveland today through Sunday at 8am, 2:30pm, 7:30pm and 4am. And don’t forget, even if you don’t have Time Warner Cable you can still watch TV20 24/7 online at this link: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
Follow me on Twitter at @ClevelandLeah and use the hashtag #listenupcle
As I had mentioned in my blog Spiritually Fed, I recently covered the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Heartthrob Ball for TV20. It was a fabulous ball that may have been so much fun to attend (KC & the Sunshine band played!), but the sole purpose was to recognize the brave individuals that have been through so much at the Clinic, and to raise money for the hospital so they can continue to provide the best for these children. If you would like to donate or find ways to volunteer, visit the website here: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/childrens-hospital/support/courageous-kids/default.aspx
Speaking of courage, a week ago today 3 missing women: Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michele Knight, were found and rescued. After 10 years of being held captive they are finally reunited with their families and free. But it will be a long road to recovery. Aside from sending prayers for these wonderful women (and child that was born from this), there is a Courage Fund set up to raise money to help them. With the Cleveland Foundation, the fund was created by Cleveland Council members Brian Cummins, Matt Zone and Dona Brady. 100% of donations will go to the survivors and their families. To donate please visit the website here: http://www.clevelandfoundation.org/about/cleveland-courage-fund/
Something I’m very proud to be able to do, and try to do at least once a year since I was 17, is donate blood to the American Red Cross. When you donate blood you are able to help save up to 3 lives. How amazing is that?! I am O+ which is a universal donor. Because of that I have always felt responsible to help since my blood type allows me to help all. I know not everyone is able to donate blood for various reasons, so even if you can’t you can still donate money or volunteer your time. In times of crisis (like recent situations Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Bombings), the American Red Cross comes to the aid of those effected. Let’s do what we can to help them! http://www.redcross.org/oh/cleveland
Lastly, and maybe a little more on the fun side of things, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Education program. When you buy your ticket to tour the museum (or buy a membership package!) you are giving money to help not only preserve music history, but help keep their education programs going. Thousands of students from all over Ohio, but especially Cleveland Municipal School District, learn so much from the Toddler Rock and Rockin’ The Schools programs. To get involved and find out more information, check out their website here: http://www.rockhall.com/education/
There are just a few ways we can help give back right here in our community. Let’s look out for each other!
It’s easy to get off track when life gets super busy. To get so caught up in your day-to-day life that family, friends, work, relationships, stress…it can consume you and make you forget to put God first. Or turn to him instead of others. I did that recently. I was so caught up in the day-to-day: my stress, my fears, my impulses…I wasn’t turning to the Lord. I wasn’t letting go of control. One day I woke up and felt lost. I realized that aside from getting off course spiritually, I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was so concerned with caring about everyone else and trying to please others, I stopped caring about what I really want and need and what the Lord wants me to do.
Then, just when I think I have enough to worry about and filled with so much anxiety, I covered the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Heartthrob Ball. My heart was overwhelmed by what the three Courage Award recipients went through. My friend Christine, one of the honorees this year, underwent a liver transplant. Jessica, the second Courage Award honoree, had a large benign tumor on her face. And Charlie, the third recipient, is four years old and had a heart transplant. Seeing their courage… their strength…it was overwhelming. My heart was over flowing for them and I was sobbing. It puts things in perspective when you see someone going through far worse. Not to dismiss my feelings, my problems, but they are nothing compared to what they have gone through. Then two days later the three missing girls: Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michele Knight, were found. Seeing the happiness of the families and of the community, hearing what pain and horror these girls endured for ten years…again, perspective.
Joel Osteen is my favorite preacher. I swear whenever I’m dealing with something, need to be spiritually fed, and I watch his show or open up his devotional it is always pertaining to what I’m going through. I’d like to share some of the advice he’s given that has helped me:
1. You may have a set back, but it’s God giving you a chance to set up the next move
2. God will give you beauty for ashes
3. Weeping may endure in the night, but joy comes in the morning
4. Don’t focus on your obstacles, focus on God
5. Disappointments are for a season, but God’s favor is for a lifetime
6. Don’t give up. There is reward for staying in faith.
7. Don’t be a baby, only you can make you happy
8. Quit expecting people in our life to be perfect (that includes ourselves)
9. You have to adjust to keep the peace
10. Don’t allow differences to sour your relationships
11. People will disappoint you. Don’t run to other people, just run to God
12. No one person can meet all of your needs, don’t put that on them
13. Letting emotions rule our life leads us to make wrong decisions
14. Some people try to get things from people they don’t have to give. Don’t fault them.
15. Don’t be stubborn, be the bigger person
16. When we live a shallow life we don’t please God. When we don’t please God we keep from receiving his blessings.
17. Be a victor, not a victim
18. You have to do the right thing even if you don’t feel like it
19. You can choose to be happy despite how you feel
20. It’s always the darkest before the dawn
We all go through tough times. It’s necessary though. You learn more about who you are, what you want and need. You learn who your true friends are. You learn who you can and cannot trust. It gives us a chance to pass God’s test and grow in our faith.
This past Thursday I attended the Goodwill Good Style Fashion Show, held at Windows on the River & the Cleveland Aquarium for an upcoming episode of my show Listen Up Cleveland. Featuring collections from various Northeast Ohio Bloggers, they showed how you can create 10 fabulous outfits by shopping at Goodwill and for under $100! You can’t beat $10 an outfit!
But there’s more to it than getting a great deal. When you shop at Goodwill you are helping someone else get a chance to learn great skills. You are helping out your community. Goodwill helps connect those that need help to get education, job placement, parenting programs and much more! They had mannequins with cool outfits placed around the Aquarium that showed not only how much the outfit cost, but how buying helps someone else.
The other really great part of watching the show was that it inspired me to go play in my closet and get more creative again. I mean, how often do any of us say “I have nothing to wear!” That’s not really true, there’s plenty. It’s just a matter of not being creative.
So thank you The Fashion Wheel, Dinas Days, Midwest Muse, The Cosmopolitan Clevelander, Downtown on 7th Avenue, Abby & Elle of Upstairs Fashion, for the birds and everyone else that participated for inspiring me with your fun, innovative and creative collections!
Last weekend I covered the Gordon Square Arts District 3rd Annual Hip2BSquare event, which celebrates the growth of the community over the past year and to help raise money for the new Near West Theatre and Cleveland Public Theatre. This year they honored Councilman Matt Zone and his wife Michelle, who serve and live in the community. Held at the very cool 78th Street Studios, there was live jazz music and food and spirits provided by Battery Park Wine Bar. Some of the Galleries were open, like the newly remodeled Susie Frazier Gallery. I interviewed Susie about her work, which consists of natural, re-purposed materials.
I then had the honor of interviewing Councilman Zone and Michelle on what it meant to be honored by the Gordon Square Arts District. The conversation then turned to their love story. A beautiful, and inspiring love story it is! Having met about 30 years ago in the area at a local club. They started in the arts together, and continue be involved in the arts together to this day.
For my coverage of this event, tune in today through Sunday to TV20’s Weekly News Wrap-Up at 7am, 12pm and 6pm.
The link to watch live stream: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
Listen Up Cleveland is back this week! In studio I’m with super talented R&B singer Alvin Frazier! Seriously, he’s amazing. Was such a pleasure to have him in studio. He even treats us to a small performance and we take a look at his brand new music video!
Then its on to CLE Clothing Co. on E.4th street and Euclid in Downtown Cleveland! We’ll show you the latest in cool Cleveland gear to wear and enjoy in your home!
So tune in to TV20 all this week at 6am, 11:30am, 5pm and 8:30pm!
If you don’t get TV20 at home you can catch it on-line. Here’s the link to our 24/7 live stream: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
Also on TV20 you can catch me during the Weekly News Wrap-Up at 7am, noon and 6pm with what’s happening in Arts & Entertainment in Cleveland.
Let me know what you think!
Cleveland’s own Burning River Ramblers won the Hard Rock Rising contest a few weeks ago, and is now competing against 95 other bands from all over the world to win the ultimate prize: a chance to play the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London AND have their own World Tour! Let’s do what we can to show the world why Cleveland IS the Home of Rock n’ Roll!
I had the opportunity today to interview two of the band members, Dave Young and Chris Rush, at Tower City Center where they had laptops set up that you can vote at! But even if you can’t make it to Tower City in the next hour so two, you can still vote right from home or work!
Here’s how to do it:
1) Go to Facebook.com/brramblers
2) Clink the link provided underneath their profile picture
3) “Like” the Hard Rock Cafe: Cleveland Facebook page and VOTE!
You can also check them out on Twitter at @BRRamblers
Voting ends May 1st!
We of course dressed in the spirit! You can catch Jack Marschall’s interviews with Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilman Jeff Johnson, as well as members of Seigel and Shuster Society and their family all next week during our Weekly News Wrap-Up!
Today is a fun day at TV20!! Our staff came dressed ready to support the Indians for the Home Opener!! The Inside Sports Report’s own Christian Patterson and Kenyon Johnson were there today covering it!!
We also have a lot of new programming starting today for you! Tune in at 6pm for our brand new Weekly News Wrap-Up with anchors Ciarra Nelson and Jack Marschall, Leah* Haslage with Arts & Entertainment and Christian Patterson with your Sports report!
But that’s not the only new show premiering tonight! Here are the other new shows lined up for tonight (and all this week)!
6pm- Weekly News Wrap-Up- Our new Weekly News Team! (also on at 7am and 12pm)
6:30- The Inside Sports Report– This week Christian and Kenyon is with Cleveland State Men’s Basketball Center Devon Long! Catch this exclusive piece with…
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Well it has been a whirlwind week celebrating the big 3-0 and filming new stuff at TV20! Last week I interviewed Terri Pontremoli from Tri-C Jazz Fest about the upcoming Tri-C Jazz Fest and last Friday I was at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens for the new Big Spring event! Big Spring is so beautiful and was so much fun!! It goes until April 28th so you better check it out if you have a chance! Tri-C Jazz fest, always a fantastic 10-day event, kicks off April 19th and I can’t wait!! (Head over to tricjazzfest.com for info and cbgarden.org for Big Spring info!)
As for turning 30, I couldn’t have asked for a more fun weekend! The best part of course was getting to spend a lot of time with my Grandma, who is my world. Thank you (again!!) to my family and friends for fabulous weekend spent at El Jalapeno, ParkView Tavern, XYZ Tavern, LUXE, Battery Park Wine Bar and Society on E.4th. Ending the weekend grilling out with the family was the cherry on top!
But now it’s Monday and back to the grind! Good Luck to our Cleveland Indians on our Home Opener today!! Beat those damn Yankees! :)
And I’m happy to announce Listen Up Cleveland is BACK tonight at 7pm!! It will repeat at 5:30am, 3:30pm and 7pm all week in case you miss it! In studio I have musician and friend Dave Brooks! Then I’ll be checking our the latest Spring Fashions at the new Evie Lou shop with owner (and shero!) Kim Crow! If you don’t get TV20 at home or work don’t worry you can catch it on-line via live stream at this link: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
If you have a musician/band or designer you think I should check out let me know!! And as always you can follow me on Twitter at @ClevelandLeah and Facebook at Facebook.com/ClevelandLeah !
A week ago I had the chance to cover the “Thank Hank/Agora 100” event, celebrating the 100th year of the theatre and honoring Agora owner Hank LoConti. It was such an honor getting to meet Mr. LoConti, and feel the Agora love from longtime concert-goers and musicians. Some of the people I got to interview were longtime concert photographer George Shuba, President of Seigel and Shuster Mike Olszewski, Dan Pecchio of The Glass Harp, Jim Henke, Jackie LaPonza from UnSaid Fate and more! There’s such an electricity you feel when you’re in the Agora.
After covering the Agora I headed over to the opening of Society, a cool new lounge on E.4th Street. If you love classic cocktails, and an old school lounge feel, then this is the spot for you! They had a live 3-piece jazz band playing which made me dig it even more! I highly recommend you check it our when you’re downtown!
Then Saturday morning it was time to plunge for charity!!
I not only covered the 4th Annual Polar Bear Plunge for TV20, but I agreed to plunge into Lake Erie as well! It was maybe 30 degrees out- freeezing! My friend Norm Baur, who has the company nalusup.com, was on the lake breaking the thin layer of ice for us pre-plunge. That just shows you how cold it was! But it could’ve been worse, and the sun was shining! And of course it was all to raise money and awareness for two great causes: Team Fox and Juvenile Diabetes Research. Over a hundred people turned out to plunge, helping raise so much money for the charities. My friend Billy Morris of Cleveland’s Breakfast Club and Enzo Maddalena of Masters of Disasters (dressed as Blue Man), kicked off the plunge with Enzo in the water playing drums while Billy rode his bike off a ramp into the cold lake! I really wish I would’ve known to dress up! People came in cool costumes like superheros, hula girls and bath robes! Lol! I was blessed to have the support of my friends there, as well as my boss Kathy Allen and her sister Sharon (thanks for the spare socks!). Thank you all again sooo much!
If you want more information as to how you can help these two great causes, you can log onto http://www.michaeljfox.org/get-involved/fundraise.html and jdrf.org.
And of course you can tune in all this coming week on TV20 to see my coverage of both events during the Weekly News Wrap-Up! My full length of the Agora 100 event will be in a few weeks.
I naturally woke up with the flu Sunday morning and have spent this whole week fighting it and trying to recover. I have another crazy, fun week ahead with Moondog Coronation Ball, Easter, Dyngus Day and of course…turning 30! So I’m off to recharge my personal battery for the next wave of awesomeness!
The Slovenian National Home (a.k.a The Nash) has been around since 1917 in my old neighborhood, Slavic Village. It is a beautiful, old-world social club that has a dance hall, a very cool stage and amazing 12 bowling lanes in the basement! Like most places in Cleveland during Lent, the The Nash offers a Fish Fry on Fridays, but this year it comes with live polka music and a side of bowling!
They even had a beer slide that you could play and enter to win tickets to the Indians Home Opener! (And yes, of course I tried!)
You can still catch the last fish fry of the Lenten season Friday, March 29! Dinner starts at 5:30pm and goes till 8pm, $9 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. Bowling starts at 6:30pm and goes till 10pm. Cost is just $2 for shoes and $3 per game. (First game free with purchase of dinner!)
So make sure you check out the Nash, and my coverage of the event all next week during our TV20 Weekly News Wrap-Up!
Here’s the info on The Nash:
Slovenian National Home 3563 East 80th Street Cleveland, Ohio 44105
facebook.com/thenashon80th twitter: @thenashon80th
Let’s also title this Some Lessons Learned In 30 Years.
1. Mom is basically always right. No, seriously. I can maybe think of one time she wasn’t completely right. (But sometimes you just have to follow your heart.)
2. SAVE moolah for emergencies. Maybe in my 30s I’ll finally get this one right.
3. Let go of expectations.
4. Don’t slack on working out after 25. They weren’t joking when they say your metabolism slows!
5. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for your life path. Not your job, not who you choose to date, not for your beliefs. None of it. Your path is your own so just enjoy the journey.
6. Don’t get caught up in gossip. Remember, it looks bad on you for being a part of it and the people talking about others probably don’t know the real story anyways.
7. Walk away from toxic people and don’t feel guilty about it. You can’t change people, so walk away.
8. You have to get uncomfortable to get comfortable. Take Chances!
9. You will have your heart broken…a few times. But, it will be ok. You will learn a hell of a lot about yourself and make some great friends (and some art) from it.
10. Don’t let fear stop you. Fear can be paralyzing, but if you just keep going it’s totally worth it.
11. Tell your family everyday that you love them and try to visit as much as possible. Life really, truly goes fast.
12. Don’t be so trusting. There is a saying, “Be careful who you open up to. Only a few people actually care, the rest are just curious.” No doubt. Too many so-called “friends” have taught me this lesson.
13. When dating, if he does the following: treats you like crap, is not supportive, cheats on you, lies and/or makes you walk on eggshells…dump him immediately. No, you can’t change him, influence him or inspire him. He will not change. Walk away and upgrade!
14. It’s ok to love fully (Even the jerks). But don’t settle.
15. Move! And if you hate it and move back that is ok too.
16. Trust your gut. It could very well save your life. If it doesn’t seem right, it’s not.
17. DO NOT get more than one credit card. Seriously.
18. Don’t go to school unless you’re really ready to.
19. Quit saying you’re old. You’re not old. I feel younger at 30 than I did at 20!
20. If he wants you, he’ll make the effort.
21. Limit the booze intake. That hangover is just not worth it. Oh, and after 25, a hell of a lot harder to work off. And that’s a lot of moolah you just spent.
22. But if you do drink too much nothing cures it quite like pickle juice, McD’s egg mcmuffin, a hot shower and nap.
23. Use moisturizer everyday. One with at least SPF 15.
24. Sometimes you have to take the long way to find out what your calling in life is. I’ve had HOW many jobs only to end up doing exactly what I said I wanted to do as a kid. But, I wouldn’t have the friends, knowledge, appreciation and resources I have if I hadn’t gone through all of that.
25. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever. There are Reasons, Seasons and Lifetime.
26. There really is nothing sexier than confidence and a sense of humor.
27. You never know unless you ask. The worst you’ll get is a ‘no’.
28. Having an inspiration board helps!
29. Don’t let anyone steal your joy. They’re just jealous/miserable/sad.
30. I will never have all the answers, but I’m having a great time finding them!
Yesterday the Sisterhood (in conjunction with Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio) held an Anti-Bullying Campaign at the West Side Community House in Cleveland.
The young girls, on a mission to show the effects of bullying, came out with blindfolds on to represent the people that see bullying happen but do nothing about it, a fake black eye to show how words hurt, and positive words to show encouragement. The girls were also wearing one of three t-shirts that they helped design that are also for sale to the public.
It was impressive and uplifting to see these young girls empowering not only each other, but reaching out to the public as well. Miss Allison McClain is doing a wonderful job with the girls and is a great role model for them.
For more on this event, including my interview with some of the girls that were involved, tune in to TV20’s Weekly News Wrap-Up the week of March 18th!
Yesterday marked exactly one month till I turn the big 3-0. It was like a fire was lit under my tail. I was motivated to get so much stuff done, stocked my fridge with healthy groceries, worked out…I’m ready for this!! But first, I need to slim down some more and I have exactly 4 weeks to get slim before I celebrate!
It also was a nice chance to reflect before bed as to how far I’ve come in (almost) 30 years. If you asked me as a little girl where I would be in my life at 30, it wouldn’t necessarily be where I am right now, but it would be close. My family is healthy and happy, I have amazing friends, a home I love and I’m working in TV. Now, little girl Leah would’ve said by 30 I would have a Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, live in Hollywood and New York and keep a place in Cleveland, be married (possibly twice) and have my star on the Walk of Fame. Well, I do not have any of those things, but I’m ok with that. I’m happy with what I have. It’s not to say I don’t want more, cause Lord knows I have a huge bucket list I’m still trying to fulfill, but at (almost) 30 I am happy with the journey God has taken me on.
Now, back to slimming down. I was at the grocery store yesterday and as I was walking up and down the aisles, choosing healthy but affordable options, I was thinking about my list of goals for the year and how one of those goals was to take up Ballroom dancing. I’ve taken jazz and hip-hop, but never ballroom and I have always wanted to. Plus its been 2 years since I’ve taken a dance class. Then I came to the magazine aisle and saw the latest issue of SELF Magazine which features dancer/actress Julianne Hough on the cover. She wasn’t skinny, she was in DANCER shape. Something I was once upon a time. I had to buy it, it was calling me.
After coming home and cleaning, dancing around my apartment and working out I finally got to sit down and relax. I curled up to my new magazine and got re-inspired. By the way, bravo SELF for the way you reformatted the magazine. As a magazine freak/snob/collector I found it to be fresh, relevant and all around well done. Great tips on how to go out and have cocktails and snacks on my next girls night out without all of the calories and guilt, new workout moves for my trouble areas that I can do anywhere and the article with Miss Hough was also great. I too have issues with my “thass”!
So, let the countdown begin! Here’s to 4 weeks to slim down before I celebrate! Oh, and I need to figure out how I’m going to celebrate…
Tune in for my latest episode of Listen Up Cleveland, which premiere’s tomorrow at 7pm! This week my guests are Michelle Andree, lead singer of the band School Girl Crush and the founder of Cleveland Musicians Care, and designer Valerie Mayen, owner of Yellowcake Shop!
Both are incredible, talented women and I had so much fun interviewing them for L.U.C.!
For information on my guests, you can check them out at the follow sites:
Valerie Mayen: http://www.yellowcakeshop.com/index2.php
Listen Up Cleveland premiere’s tomorrow at 7pm, but will repeat all week at 8am and 7pm! If you don’t get TV20 you can catch it on-line at the following link: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
As always, you can follow me on Twitter at @ClevelandLeah (#listenupcle ) and Facebook at facebook.com/ClevelandLeah
These past two weekends I had the pleasure of covering two more really cool, fun events here in Cleveland. First, on February 16th I was at the 4th Annual Brite Winter Festival in Ohio City. Obviously being a huge lover and supporter of music and the arts (especially locally) it is an event I never want to miss. And this is coming from a woman that doesn’t like playing in snow. :)
It’s a great way to go out and party and play outside in that dull stretch between New Years and St. Patrick’s when we’re all suffering from cabin fever. This year, as always with this event, the weather cooperated and was freezing cold and snowy!
If you are a musician or artist that would like to participate next year, or if you would just like more info on the event, head over to their website britewinter.com
Then this past weekend I got to cover the 5th Annual Greater Cleveland Film Commission Road to the Red Carpet event at Pickwick and Frolic.
Road to the Red Carpet is not only a great night of getting dressed up (black tie of course) and watching the Oscars with 600-700 of your closest friends, but it raises so much money for the Greater Cleveland Film Commission which helps to bring both big budget movies (like the Avengers, and soon Captain America) and many independent movies. Having a background in acting, a love of film and the whole process of making movies, I am honored to cover this event and help bring awareness and support to GCFC.
To find out more about the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and how you can get involved, donate, apply for jobs and much more, head over to clevelandfilm.com!
And to see my coverage from both events, tune into TV20 at noon and 6pm for our Weekly News Wrap-up all next week. You can watch TV20 24/7 on-line here: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
I had a great time today covering the Cleveland Auto Show for TV20 Cleveland. Here is our station blog about the preview from this morning!
The Cleveland Auto Show kicks off tomorrow, February 23rd, and our very own Leah Haslage and Christian Patterson were there today to get a sneak peek at the latest in automotive!
Whether you are looking to get a new SUV, truck or sports car, the Cleveland Auto Show has everything you’re looking for!
This year, for the first time ever, Hot Wheels teamed up with GM to create the latest Camaro.
A very cool local aspect to this years show are the three graduates of the Cleveland Institute of Art who co-designed the new Dodge Viper. We spoke with one of the alumni about the new Viper and what creating means to him.
For our full exclusive coverage of the cars in this…
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Last night was the premiere of my new show Listen Up Cleveland! Thank you so much to everyone that tuned in! If you missed it you have another chance! Tonight it will re-air on TV20 at 7pm, and tomorrow thru Sunday at 8am & 7pm.
If you do not get TV20 here is the link to our station live stream: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
Thank you so much to my guests Tom Weschler and Anton Zbarzh and Donald Hayes of Design Lab.
For more info on my guests you can check them out here:
Tom Weschler- http://tomweschler.com/
Enjoy the show and look out for Episode 2 coming out in 2 weeks!
Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter at @ClevelandLeah and at facebook.com/ClevelandLeah
I have been a fan of El DeBarge since I was little. I still have my cassette tape that has Who’s Johnny on it! So needless to say I was so excited to see he was opening for Kem. While I’ve waited almost 30 years to see El, I was really all about seeing Kem perform live. I have been a huuuuge fan on his since he released his first album in 2003. I remember driving home from the bridal shop I worked at and Love Calls starting playing on the radio. Kem, and the song, blew me away. I was tempted to pull over just to soak it up more. It was in that moment I knew Kem would become my all time favorite r&b/soul singer. Never thought anyone could out do Luther Vandross in my book, but Kem has.
He didn’t come to Cleveland till after his second album was released in 2006. I had unfortunately missed him every time he came. I realized this year made 10 years since I first heard Love Calls and knew I HAD to be at the show. The show was outstanding. Definitely in my top 5 concerts of all-time. He was so charismatic and really got the crowd involved. He spoke of his love of Christ and it made all of us stand up cheering. He let all of his band members and back-up singers get solo time and showed how much he appreciates them. Each and everyone of them were beyond talented.
Not only did I get to enjoy the show from the second row with a dear friend that shares the same love & appreciation of both Kem and music in general, but my friend helped make it possible for me to MEET Kem!!
Just crossed another goal off my bucket list! xo
I recently did a photo shoot with the incredibly talented Kevin Richards. I met Kevin a few years ago, but haven’t seen him in a while so it was also a great chance to catch up. He is a kindred spirit, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to frolic around Cleveland with him. If you are looking for a photographer I highly recommend Kevin!
Check out his website: http://www.studiokmr.com/
And here is his blog about our shoot: http://www.studiokmr.com/2013/02/leah-2/
My show, Listen Up Cleveland, will officially premiere next week!! Listen Up Cleveland focuses on both music and fashion in Cleveland. You can catch it on channel 20 on Time Warner Cable in the city of Cleveland, or you can catch it on-line at the following link: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice/tv20/watch
Show premieres Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 7pm!
Thank you so much to everyone that has supported me through this new endeavor, this is a life-long dream come true!Thank you to my boss, Kathy Allen, for trusting me to create this new show for TV20. Thank you Rudy (Patrick Longbrake) for all of your hard work with helping me produce this show and edit it! Henry, Tiffany, Doug and the rest of the TV20 family, thank you so so much for all of your hard work and support as well. I really could not do any of this without any of you!!
Dave Brooks and Freddie DeMarco, thank you for my kickass theme song! Thank you to all of my guests this season, I had a blast interviewing all of you. Can’t wait for the viewers to learn more about you!
And of course, thank you to my family, & friends. Love you with all of my heart! xo
Thursday is officially Valentine’s Day whether you like or not. Personally I like it, and I’m a single girl.I have a big heart with a lot of love to give and blessed to have a lot of loved ones to give it to. I believe in saying I love you and showing you care year round, and I think this greeting card holiday is just a lot of fun! Ok, it’s not fun if you are going through a break-up, but that aside it can be fun. If you follow my blog you know that a music lover. I thought today I would share a few song playlists for you (depending on your mood) to celebrate the holiday. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Get Your Sexy On~
1. Love Calls- Kem. (Do yourself a favor and just download all of Kem. You’ll thank me later.)
2. My Love- Little Texas
3. Make It With You– Bread
4. Gorilla- Bruno Mars
5. By Your Side- Sade
6. Cool Night- Paul Davis
7. A Love of Your Own- Average White Band
8. Ready For Love- Bad Company
9. Anytime, Anyplace- Janet Jackson
10. Heaven Help- Lenny Kravitz
11. Closer- Corinne Bailey Rae
12. The Only Exception- Paramore
13. Fade Into You- Mazzy Star
14. Come Undone- Duran Duran
15. Bad Habits- Maxwell
16. Mellow My Mind- Simply Red
17. Please Forgive Me- Bryan Adams
18. Lay, Lady, Lay- Bob Dylan
19. Bring It On Home- Little Big Town
20. Let It Be Me- Ray LaMontange
Fun In Love/Crushing
1. Accidentally In Love- Counting Crows
2. I Saw The Light- Todd Rundgen
3. Take Me With U- Prince
4. You Give Me Something- James Morrison
5. I’m Yours– Jason Mraz
6. Everytime I Think Of You- The Babies
7. A Love That Will Last- Renee Olstead
8. Crazy In Love- Beyonce and Jay-Z
9. I Can’t Wait- Nu Shooz
10. More Today Than Yesterday- The Spiral Staircase
11. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing– Leo Sayer
12. Signed, Sealed, Delivered- Stevie Wonder
13. Rock With You- Michael Jackson
14. Think I’m In Love- Eddie Money
15. Crazy Little Thing Called Love- Queen
16. Save The Last Dance For Me- Harry Connick Jr. (or Michael Buble)
17. I Second That Emotion- The Miracles
18. You Were On My Mind- We Five
19. Ain’t Leaving Without You- Jaheim
20. Can I Get Get Get- Junior Senior
1. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long- Otis Redding
2. When I Was Your Man– Bruno Mars
3. I Won’t Give Up- Jason Mraz
4. Can We Still Be Friends?- Todd Rundgren
5. The Beautiful Ones- Prince
6. Stars- Simply Red
7. Holding Out For Yesterday- Ambrosia
8. Let Me Let Go- Faith Hill
9. I’ll Still Be Loving You- Restless Heart
10. The Heart Of The Matter- Don Henley
11. Ain’t That Lonely Yet- Dwight Yoakum
12. Always On My Mind- Elvis Presley
13. I Still Believe In You- Vince Gill
14. Can’t Get You Off My Mind- Lenny Kravitz
15. Nothing Compares 2 U- Sinead O’Conner
16. Somewhere With You- Kenny Chesney
17. My Heart Can’t Tell You No- Rod Stewart
18. Insensitive- Jann Arden
19. That’s Just What You Are- Aimee Mann
20. All or Nothing- O Town
1. Goodbye To You- Scandal
2. Heartbreaker- Pat Benatar
3. Fool For Your Loving- Whitesnake
4. Edge Of A Brokenheart- Vixen
5. Used 2 Love U- John Legend
6. We Don’t Have To Work It Out– Fitz and the Tantrums
7. Chains- Tina Arena
8. Already Gone- The Eagles
9. Somebody That I Used To Know- Gotye
10. Grenade- Bruno Mars
11. Fast As You- Dwight Yoakum
12. Wrong Baby Wrong- Martina McBride
13. Fighter- Christina Aguliera
14. Too Late For Goodbyes- Julien Lennon
15. There’s More To Me Than You- Jessica Andrews
16. I’ve Done Everything For You- Rick Springfield
17. Who’s Sorry Now?- Connie Francis
18. Heard It Through The Grapevine- Gladys Knight & The Pips
19. I’m Not Waiting In Line- Train
20. You Give Love A Bad Name- Bon Jovi
Well, it was quite an interesting Grammy awards this year. Im really proud of Akron’s own The Black Keys and Dan Auerbach, and congratulations to them for winning tonight! Prince giving out Record of the Year to Gotye was an amazing moment, but I really had hoped Prince was performing. Maybe next year since he is releasing new music (Check out “Breakfast Can Wait”). Here is a run down of my thoughts on the performances, red carpet looks and random moments from the night:
1. The Bob Marley Tribute. Aside from the fact I love Bruno Mars, think he’s incredibly talented and would love to have his babies, pairing him with Sting was genius. Then to add Rihanna and Bob’s sons Ziggy and Damian…phenomenal. I was dancing around the living room to it!!
2. The Weight; the Levon Helm Tribute. I usually get a lil choked up when I hear The Weight, but this stunning tribute to Helm which featured Elton John, Mumford & Sons, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) & Mavis Staples was so well done I cried. And Mavis Staples proved she still has it!
3. Kelly Clarkson; Patti Page/Carole King Tribute. Clearly the tributes won big time in my book. But that aside Kelly proved why she is the highest grossing American Idol singer and that she doesn’t need to ever lip-sync. Love. Her.
4. The Black Keys with Dr. John. Our Akron boys kick ass. Period.
5. Jack White with a lot of awesome musicians. He just continues to surprise, entertain and amaze me.
1. Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z. Like every other woman on the planet I was beyond excited for JT sexy self to return. Overall the performance was good, but it didn’t blow me away.
2. Carrie Underwood. Speaking of blown away, Carrie performed the hit which vocally was killer. Spot on, flawless. BUT the wedding dress that kept changing graphics…um…weird. I get what they were trying to do visually, but I couldnt get past her upper body moving and her bottom part not. Just weird.
3. Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys. It wasn’t bad. Vocally strong (especially Ms. Keys), but over all didn’t excite me.
4. fun. I thought it was a fun performance and loved the rain effect. Don’t understand the capri’s, but whatever.
1. Frank Ocean. Good grief. All I hear is how great he is. I, being the music snob I can be, have surprisingly not checked him out yet so this was my first impression. Yes, I missed the infamous SNL performance. So, first impression was not good. Off key, boring and anti-climatic. And why is he singing about Forrest Gump? I don’t get it.
2. Taylor Swift. Just make it stop. The only thing worse would’ve been Carly Rae Jepsen.
3. Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley. I hate to put them in the Bad category cause I’m such a fan of them, but it was a rough performance. They’ll do better next time I’m sure.
1. Jennifer Lopez. Suck it dress code and Angie’s leg! All hail the queen!
2. Katy Perry. Her boobs getting the attention in that dress was like J Lo in the infamous Versace dress all over again. And nice nod to Priscilla Presley.
3. Nicole Kidman. She looks amazing in gold and happily in love with the sexy Keith Urban.
4. Justin Timberlake, I don’t think I need to explain why.
5. Kimbra. She looked so ethereal and sweet.
6. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. One of the hottest couples ever, and her black dress was gorgeous!
7. Kelly Rowland. That dress was insane. Complete perfection. And it makes me want to work-out hardcore.
8. Faith Hill. The perfect black cocktail dress.
9. Bonnie Raitt. She looked amazing in her pantsuit. She is aging gracefully.
10. Joan Osbourne. Yes, you read that right. She walked the red carpet in a beautiful yellow gown and looks exactly like she did in the mid-90s when she was at the GRAMMYs for One Of Us.
11. Janelle Monae. Girl has got the best personal style since Gwen Stefani came on the scene. Great pantsuit and pompadour.
12. Rihanna. She looked elegant in her red Azzedine Alaia gown.
13. Florence Welch. Modern day Shirley Manson in a killer green gown.
14. Miranda Lambert. Loved the color and fit of the gown and want her earrings so bad!
15. Beyonce. Risky, edgy and looked so comfortable.
1. Taylor Swift. The grecian dress was divine on her, but the hair looked ratty.
2. Adele. I know everyone hated her dress, but I didn’t think it was terrible. The color was fabulous on her and her hair/make-up was perfect. It was just too busy of a print.
3. Carrie Underwood. The Roberto Cavalli dress was great on her, the necklace (how many carats is that?!) was fabulous on her, I just hated it together.
4. Estelle. It is a cool, funky dress, but like Adele its just too busy.
1. Carly Rae Jepsen. This Roberto Cavalli did nothing for her and her hair bored me.
2. The Dream. Seriously, lose the “Swap Meat” hat.
3. Lisa D’Amato. I don’t even know why she was there and why she would wear that dress.
1. Prince giving Gotye their Record of the Year award, and telling them he’s a fan of the song
2. Jay-Z calling out The-Dream for his “Swap Meat” hat
3. Kelly Clarkson giving one of the best Grammy speeches of all-time.
4. LL Cool J, Tom Morello, Travis Barker, Z-Trip and Chuck D closed out the show with “Whaddup”
5. DJ Al Waser walking the carpet in a space suit.
Overall I’d give this years GRAMMYs a 8 out of 10. What did you think of this years’ awards?
*All photos from Rolling Stone.
I felt it was time for a change. As Sheryl Crow says, “A change would do you good.” It’s true. I have always preferred long hair on myself, but I felt it was time to mix it up. And there is something about taking inches off your hair that makes it feel like you’re cutting some of the past out. Like somehow experiences and past chapters live in my hair. Time to cut it off!
This was the perfect time. It’s still the beginning of a new year, and all new experiences are on the horizon! My very own show, Listen Up Cleveland! will be premiering in a few weeks and I’m in the process of producing another show. Then, in just a couple of months, I will turn 30. My 20s will officially be over and that is when the next big chapter begins!
I think going shorter (and even lighter!) is also perfect for Spring, which I don’t think can come fast enough!
Huge thank you to my friend and stylist Taylor Roby at the Salon at Bratenahl for my new look! If you’re looking for a stylist I high;y recommend Taylor!
The Salon At Bratenahl: (216) 451-1444
I love award season, but the SAG Awards are my favorite of all of them. Yes, even more than the Oscars. The opening “and I am an actor” is the best part. Hearing why they wanted to become an actor, or how they got their SAG card. To some people this may be pretentious, but to someone like me that has been acting since I was little, I find it fascinating. I have not acted in a while, but that’s not to say it doesn’t excite me still and that I may not still in the future. What I also love about SAG is that it’s actors honoring actors. They vote for who of their fellow peers did the best work all year. Makes it more meaningful. Speaking of meaningful, a big highlight of the night to me was Dick Van Dyke receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. Very deserving.
With that said, fashion is of course the other best part of the night. Here are my picks for the Best & Worst looks of the night:
Best: Sally Field, Tina Fey, Julianne Moore, Ben & Jen Affleck, Jane Krakowski, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Dockery, Kerry Washington, Nina Dobrev, Eddie Redmayne, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Moss, Ellie Kemper, Jaimie Alexander, Kiernan Shipka, Julie Bowen.
Worst: Ariel Winter, Nancy O’Dell, January Jones.
Who were your picks for best & worst dressed? I would love to hear your opinion!
This morning, at the Intercontinental Hotel, the Cleveland Clinic held the 21st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration. I am so honored to be able to have covered this event for TV20 Cleveland. The celebration opened with a performance from the All-City Choir, followed by the Invocation by Reverend Brian A. Shields, Chaplain of the Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic Board of Trustees Chair Bob Rich gave a great opening speech. He said the theme this year is the Martin Luther King Jr. quote “The time is always right to do what’s right.” It really, truly is.
This years’ Cleveland Clinic “Excellence in Service” awardees’ are:
* Lori Smith, Education
* Shanyn Flesch, Homecare
* Fairview Hospital Maintenance Department
The 2013 Lifetime of Service Award was then presented to our very own Honorable Mayor Frank Jackson.
Mayor Jackson is only the third recipient of this award, which honors a serving leader who has exhibited extraordinary strength of spirit and remarkable efforts in their public service. He has received national attention for his “Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools,” as well as the Healthy Cleveland Initiative, a partnership with Cleveland City Council and four major regional hospital systems. He has also worked with the public sector to encourage a reported $7 billion in development in the city.
The keynote speaker for this event was Grammy award-winning musical artist John Legend. Born in Springfield, Ohio, John has gone on to win nine Grammy’s, two NAACP Image Awards and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. Aside from being a recognized artist, John is an activist and philanthropist. He launched the “Show Me Campaign” in 2007, a non-profit organization that works to break the cycle of poverty through education. Education was an important part of his speech, stressing the point that children need to be given a better chance at receiving it. He is also on the board of “Teach America,” proving how important he really does find education as a priority. My favorite quote from John today was “We need to put the UNITY back in Community.” We certainly do. He challenges each and every one of us to do our part as citizens of our community to do what we can to be of service to others. Let’s stand up and take that challenge today!
Mayor Frank Jackson also gave a great quote during his speech. He said, “Cleveland is great because we are a serving city.” After the event I interviewed him and asked him to elaborate on that quote. I also asked what can WE as Clevelanders do to help our community. For Mayor Jackson’s response, as well the rest of my coverage of the event, stay tuned to TV20 Cleveland for my exclusive coverage!
Until then, starting today, let’s do our part to be of service in our community!
February 1st is National Wear Red For Women Day, and today I shot a PSA regarding the event for TV20.
The Go Red For Women campaign is embarking on their 10 year anniversary. It was started by the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in 2003 as a way to raise awareness of heart disease, which is the #1 leading cause of death for women.
According to the http://www.goredforwomen.org/ website,Go Red has been able to accomplish the following:
- 21 percent fewer women dying from heart disease
- 23 percent more women aware that it’s their No. 1 health threat
- Publishing of gender-specific results, established differences in symptoms and responses to medications, and women-specific guidelines for prevention and treatment
- Legislation to help end gender disparities
But like they state on their website, despite their progress, women are still dying from the disease. So I encourage you to do your part and get your yearly check-up and encourage your family and friends to get theirs as well. And, of course, wear red on February 1st to help raise awareness and show your commitment in battling this deadly disease.
In 2012 we lost a lot of legendary entertainers, were shocked by Katie Holmes escaping from Tom Cruise & the Scientology brainwashing and saw Amanda Bynes turn into Lindsey Lohan. Well, it’s a new year and here are some of the things I’m really looking forward to:
Kelly Clarkson & Brandon Blackstock- Yay! Miss Independent is marrying Reba’s stepson! You just know these two are going to have really cute wedding pics. And I think it would be really awesome to have Reba as a mother in law.
Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux~ She does no wrong in my eyes and he’s smoking hot. She definitely upgraded from Brad Pitt with this one. I doubt we’ll see pictures from the wedding. And they probably are secretly getting married in Cabo San Lucas as I write this. Im still super excited!
Curtis Stone & Lindsay Price~ Ok, I’m actually not super excited about this one. He’s so beautiful and I’m very jealous.
John Legend & Chrissy Teigen~ I’m a huge Legend fan, and I have a girl crush on Chrissy. If you don’t already follow her on Twitter I suggest you do it right now.
Kate Hudson & Matt Bellamy~ Cause I love Rock n’ Roll weddings.
Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard~ They’re just so stinking cute together, and you just know the baby will be adorable.
Princess Kate & Prince William~ I mean who doesn’t love looking at a Royal baby?! Ok, a lot of people don’t, but I can’t wait to see it. And more importantly, I can’t wait to see what Suri Cruise says about it on Suri’s Burn Book.
Holly Madison & her boyfriend~ As a Girls Next Door fan, I’m happy to see Holly is finally getting to be a mom. Deep down I wish it was with Hugh Hefner though. I know, you just vomited in your mouth at that statement.
Shakira & Girard Pique~ I’m guessing it will be a girl first of all. It will be a belly dancing baby and will follow in Shakira’s footsteps.
*I do not care about Kim & Kanye’s kid.
Black Sabbath returns!~ Not only do they have a new album coming out, but Ozzy Osbourne is back as lead singer and Rick Rubin is producing!
Bruno Mars~ I’m already obsessed with his new album Unorthodox Jukebox. It is so well done. I’m assuming there is a tour for it coming up and I think it would be worth seeing. He is one of the few current artists that I really like and respect. (Songs Im obsessed with: Locked Out of Heaven, Gorilla and When I Was Your Man)
Cher~ She’s releasing her first album since 2001 at some point this spring. Check out the song “Woman’s World,” which has already been released!
Hall & Oates~ They’re touring! And I need to get my tickets asap. Seeing them will make my dreams come true :)
Rolling Stones~ Rumored to be touring for their 50th Anniversary! Chances are the tickets will be ridiculously expensive, but I would love to finally see them live. Also, its rumored they are headlining Cochella. I know it’s only rock n’ roll, but I like it!
1600 Penn~ The fact that Bill Pullman is playing the President makes me want to tune in to this new comedy premiering soon on NBC.
Once Upon A Time~ I’m always looking forward to OUAT, but magic is coming (again) & this time they will be able to actually leave Storybrooke.
The Carrie Diaries~ I’m curious as to how they’re going to portray a young Carrie Bradshaw (one of my favorite TV characters of all time), and her first early years of living in New York City.
Girls~ I was late on the Girls bandwagon, but I caught up and I’m psyched for the new season! Will Hannah and Adam get back together? What life dilemma will the girls face next? Can’t wait!
Dallas~ It will be last few episodes featuring the now late Larry Hagman (JR Ewing). That alone will make it worth watching. He will be missed by all of us long time Dallas fans.
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes
The Black Keys winning Grammy’s. Cause we know they will, and they should.
What are YOU guys looking forward to in 2013?
Thank you so much to everyone that has read and followed my blog this year! Like I said in previous posts, it has been an exciting, scary and fun year!
I learned a lot about not only myself, but about so many wonderful people who I have met along the way. I finished Broadcasting school, went through the Hurricane Sandy mess, wept during the Chardon School and Sandy Hook tragedies with the rest of the nation and had some fabulous jobs.
Thank you to my family, friends and mentors for your continued love & support.
I wish everyone a fabulous, fun, adventurous, prosperous, happy & blessed 2013-Cheers!
What a whirlwind of a year it’s been! I personally experienced things far beyond my expectations. I made a list of 30 things I was hoping to accomplish/do/learn this year. I only actually checked off 10 things by this point. But that’s OK! Cause life happened and God gave me a better 2012 list then I could’ve hoped for. But regardless of that I still made my 2013 list. There are things I still want to do and see and I think making a goal list is the best motivator for that! Some years are going to be better at checking things off (like 2004 when I checked off 35 out 50 things!), but some things I’ll just carry over to the next year till I finally check it off. So, I encourage you to make a list of things YOU want to see, do or accomplish in 2013!
Here are a few things on my list that I’ll share with you:
1) Get my passport (yup, still don’t have it)
2) Go to Cali
3) Take a glass blowing class
4) Take a boxing class
5) Do the Ohio Wine Trail
6) Take dance classes again
7) Have a successful show!
8) Meet one of my sheros (Oprah, Hillary, Katie….)
9) See Joel Osteen live (Bonus: meet him!)
10) blog more
There’s far more than this, but like I said you get a sneak peek. Hopefully it inspires you to chase your dreams and goals! (Note: No goal or dream is too small or too big!!)
“Every age, every seven-year aggression, and every seven-year unfoldment has special things to be known, understood, and worked with. There is no time in your life that does not have validity. In each seven-year cycle there is a complete body chemistry change and a need for unfoldment, a release from preconceived attitudes. This gives a freedom which permits major change in attitudes, in relationships, and in career.” ~by Julien at innerself.com
They say you go through a life cycle every seven years, but I never really believed it until this year. Every year you have highlights and low moments. Some years seem to be filled with more of one than the other. There are years that I felt like there was some heavy force weighing me down. Those heavy years make the good ones feel so easy breezy. This was one of those breezy years. Not easy by any means, but breezy. Not since 2004 have I accomplished so many goals off my yearly check list or feel so secure in who I am and what I want. But, those 7 years in between have the hardcore highs and lows, the experiences that shaped me into being who I am today and knowing better of what I want, need and deserve.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful yearly reminder that we need to be thankful of all of the things we have: family, friends, our homes, our health. But, we need to be thankful everyday. We all have our hard days (sometimes weeks) where we can’t see the good. But counting our blessings is something we really should aim to do every day. I did not do the daily Facebook thanksgiving posts, so here are just some of the things I’m thankful for…
1. My Faith. Those hard days/weeks I mentioned- my faith is what got me through mine the most. The Lord is so incredibly good to me.
2. My Family.
3. My Friends.
5. Electricity. Definitely took this for granted till Hurricane Sandy reminded me.
6. My Phone. Seems maybe pretentious for me to add this, but I don’t know how I would survive without it. Another Hurricane Sandy reminder.
7. Google. Seriously has the answer to anything.
8. My Car. Her name is Lucy and she’s very good to me.
9. My Apartment. It is my haven.
10. GPS. I think next to the phone and electricity it is the greatest invention.
11. My Health. Ok, I know you’re thinking this should be higher on my list. It is, I’m just too lazy to change it.
12. Coffee. Like a car needs motor oil, I need my daily caffeine fix.
13. My Job. I’m doing what I love full-time finally and love every minute of it. I’m thankful I enjoy getting up and going to work everyday.
14. Social Media. Some days I think it’s a curse, but most days it is a blessing. I have made great friends because of it, have found another creative outlet with it and do it for a living. News gets to people instantly (blessing if a Hurricane is coming your way, curse if it’s a nasty rumor) because of it. I can communicate with family and friends out of state or the country. For that alone I’m thankful.
15. Every opportunity given to me.
16. Wine… And Christmas Ale.
17. Facetime. Like #14, getting to talk to my family and friends who aren’t in town and actually get to see them is so awesome.
18. My Cleveland. It is booming and being looked at in the way I always wanted it to be looked at. Finally it’s appreciated.
19. My Senses. I don’t want to know what life is like without any of them.
20. Love. It’s All You Need.
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xo
I recently did a photo shoot with my friend, photographer Shannon Textoris. We started off at Whiskey Island on a gorgeous day right before Hurricane Sandy hit. Lake Erie was eerily calm, the sun was shining and it was so warm out. You never would’ve guessed it was the end of October in Cleveland. Or, by the photos, that its Lake Erie. I wore my favorite sun dress- a simple, long green dress from Old Navy and was bare foot. Just me, hanging out in nature lol.
Then we made our way out to one of my favorite spots in Cleveland-Little Italy. I wore a deep pink velvet dress that belonged to my mom in the late 80s/early 90s. I guess it would be considered vintage now. Wait, would that make ME vintage now? Then a simple LBD (little black dress) with my new purple Steve Madden platform pumps. We had so much fun shooting, then went to a wine tasting at Little Italy Wines and ended at Maxi’s for some more wine and the best pizza in Little Italy!
I had so much fun frolicking around Little Italy with Shannon. We’ve known each other for over 10 years, but this was the first time we really got to bond. She is an amazing photographer (I’m not just saying that cause we’re friends), and I highly recommend you call on her for your next fashion/family/engagement/wedding/pet/whatever else photo shoot!
Then this week I was at Design Lab Inc. off of Clark and w.33rd in Cleveland. I will be featuring the two designers that run it- D.Hayes and Anton Zbarzh on my show Listen Up Cleveland in a few weeks. I’m so honored I got to be the first to try on some of their handmade pieces! Stay tuned to see which I chose to wear on the upcoming episode!
As soon as I heard that retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Sears were going to start Black Friday early I became instantly furious. Seriously, we are so consumed with materialistic things as a society that we can’t even spend one whole day being truly THANKFUL for what we have?! You have Thanksgiving dinner with your family, then it’s goodbye! I’m off to score a TV that’s on sale (cause it apparently wont be on sale ever again)! Makes me sick. Especially after what we just went through with Hurricane Sandy. It is just “things”. You can’t take it with you when you go. I get it, there are some sweet deals, but are those deals more important then spending time with your family and friends? I’m not even a big fan of Black Friday (the crowds scare the beJesus out of me!), but I think it is better to go on Friday then to start your shopping on Thanksgiving night.
I Googled “Black Friday Deals.” The first thing to come up was a website actually called blackfridaydeals.com. They have a sneak peek at all the ads so you can map out where you’re going to go. The first thing listed on this website was the Black Friday App for your phone. I’m all for bargains, but this is getting crazy. I could not imagine spending my Thanksgiving fighting for a bunch of crap and waiting in those ridiculous lines.
I feel the most sorry for the employees of all of the stores. Being dragged away from your family and into the fluorescent lights of the retail shops. Maybe some are looking forward to escaping their family and going to work, who knows, but as someone who has worked retail on Black Friday once-it sucks. And had I been stuck going in on Thanksgiving night I would have been really pissed. It was bad enough working on 9/11 and Christmas Eve, so I know the terrible feeling of not getting to be with my family when you really want to be.
I wrote a blog a week ago about Holiday gifts to buy (see: Holiday Gift Idea’s- Cleveland Edition), and the great thing is you can get these gifts on a day that isn’t on a National Holiday, keeps the money in the city and is more personal.
I’m thankful I am able to buy presents for my family this year without worry, but I am even more Thankful that I have my family to spend time with. You will not catch me at a store on Thanksgiving night. I would never let “things” replace my tradition of pigging out on pumpkin pie while watching It’s A Wonderful Life with my family. Cause that’s what Thanksgiving is all about Charlie Brown.
My Friday started off with covering the Fabulous Food Show at the IX Center for TV20. My friend Crystal Whipkey’s fabulous cupcake company Ciste was the first stand I hit! I had to devour at least one cupcake, right? So I chose the pumpkin caramel one! Sooo delicious!! It had a perfect hint of spice, and just melted in my mouth. Then it was on to the Red Cedar Coffee booth. Red Cedar Coffee is based out of Berea, Ohio and they have over 150 different roasts. I interviewed Anne from Red Cedar, and at the end she let me take home a bag of the Jingle Bell Java! Can’t wait to brew it at Thanksgiving for my family to try! Next was the Cheddar and Potato Pierogies from Pierogies of Cleveland. Being Polish and growing up with handmade pierogies I’ve become kinda a snob about them. But, I must say these were right on! Definitely check out their various flavors at pierogiesofcleveland.com!
Then as I was waiting to interview Cowboy George from Blaze Gourmet (hot sauces & salsa) I ran into Courtney, my roommate at Miss Ohio USA 2004! We haven’t seen each other since we competed 8 years ago! Ironically this weekend was the 2012 competition, so it was literally 8 years ago we last hung out. She had her beautiful baby and her mom with her. So great to see them and hope she and I can catch up soon! Wish I knew what the rest of the girls I met there are up to now. It was such a fun experience and I was lucky that the girls I met were very cool.
My last interview of the food show was with Joel Fink, creator of Fantasy Candies. His truffles were so good, but even better was his dark chocolate with chia seeds. Yes, chia seeds! Like chia pet chia seeds! He educated me on how important chia seeds are, as well as other nutritional facts. Joel and his company work closely with the Cleveland Clinic, and you can find his candies at both the Cleveland Clinic store on the main campus, as well as at fantasycandies.com.
Then later Friday night I headed out to Brothers Lounge to see my dear friends pOUT play! They rocked it out as always. If you never heard pOUT play you really need to get out to a show soon! (poutband.com) Of course right after I left Guy Fieri randomly shows up to see the show. I missed him at Fabulous Food earlier, then I missed him at pOUT. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be…
Saturday and Sunday I covered Cleveland Muny Football championships, but this time on the production end of things. It was a lot of fun having a new challenge getting to run graphics! I thought I knew football, but I really had no clue the difference between a first down and a fourth down. Thank God I had a spotter telling me what the plays were over head set! I have a better clue now but don’t test me, I’m still not that knowledgeable about plays. But I am a lot more knowledgeable about graphics.
Overall it was another crazy, fun and random weekend. On to the next one….
Tis the season! I know many of us are starting to shop for the holidays, and many of you (unlike me) have already started. Well here are some Cleveland themed/inspired/related gift idea’s to give (and maybe even give to yourself…).
Lilly Handmade Chocolates~
Who doesn’t enjoy getting chocolate, wine and beer?! Located in Tremont, this very hip chocolatiers specializes in pairing its wine and craft beers with its delicious handmade chocolates. http://lillytremont.com/
Cleveland Clothing Company
Everyone should be sporting some Cleveland pride and one of the places to go for this is at Cleveland Clothing Company! They have stuff for men, women and even babies! Pictures, hats, hoodies and stuff for your kitchen! There is literally something for everyone here. http://www.cleclothingco.com/products
Fresh Brewed Tees
Speaking of showing your Cleveland pride, this is another very cool Cleveland themed store to check out. Not only do they have really awesome clothes, but they support The City Mission and the Reckoning! Gotta love a place that gives back to the community! http://www.freshbrewedtees.com/
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Membership
The perfect gift for the music lover in your life! They have various levels of membership to choose from which comes with a collectors t-shirt. They can visit the museum as much as they want for a year and will be the first to know about all that’s happening at the Hall. Maybe they’ll even bring you as a guest with them, so really its a win-win gift. http://rockhall.com/
Do you have someone who loves yoga, aerial silks, massages, etc…? The Studio has all that and more. I’m not just promoting it, I attend classes there (see blog about my aerial ribbon experience). They have many wonderful and fully certified teachers and various classes to choose from. There is also a gift shop in the entrance if you would like to find more to give them. http://www.thestudiocleveland.com/
Cavs/Gladiators/Monsters/Browns/Indians Tickets and Merchandise
What Cleveland sports fan doesn’t love to get something new to add to their wardrobe?! Especially if they’re a tailgater or attend every game! Speaking of attending every game, you can really give the gift that keeps on getting by getting them season tickets. Just sayin’.
Cleveland Independents Gift Cards
For your favorite foodie I highly recommend the Cleveland Independents gift card. Honored at most Cleveland independent restaurants, this gives the gift recipient an option to choose which restaurant to enjoy. This totally saves you if you’re not sure what kind of place they like to go to, have tried, haven’t tried. Safe bet and a great way to help support Cleveland independent restaurants in the process! http://www.clevelandindependents.com/
Playhouse Square Theatre Tickets
If you have someone who loves to attend the theater this is the perfect option! There are many different plays, concerts and events to choose from! http://www.playhousesquare.org/
There are just a few idea’s to get you started on your holiday gift search! (And a big hint, hint to my family and friends looking to get me something…)
This weekend marked the official 100th Birthday of the West Side Market here in my home sweet home, Cleveland. Kicking off the weekend festivities was the People’s Party at Crop Bistro, which is located right across from the Market at Lorain and 25th street. Created by Crop Bistro owner and chef Steve Schimoler, as well as many other local restaurant owners, The People’s Party boasted over 40 local vendors, and more than 1,000 people in attendance. Tickets were a deal at only $25 a piece, especially since there were so many amazing restaurants to try! Proceeds from the event went to the Market’s Capital Campaign to help pay for renovations to the building. Bands like Crop’s very own Cream of the Crop, which Steve Schimoler is the drummer, rocked out in the main restaurant, while my dear friend DJ Peter Waters was keeping party goers dancing downstairs in the party room (the old bank vault!). I interviewed so many great local chef’s like Bac Nguyen of the Tremont restaurant Bac. His food was amazing (as always), and he discussed with us about his restaurant being the official “Chinese Restaurant” for The Christmas Story House!
A true testament of Girl Power right here in Cleveland are the ladies of Bonbon Bake Shop and The Pork Chop Shop. Let’s start with The Pork Chop Shop, which is owned and operated by Emma Beno and Alexia Rodriguez. Emma Beno is not only the only female butcher at the West Side Market, but she is the youngest vendor at the West Side Market! Love it! Then Alexia Rodriguez not only operates The Pork Chop Shop with Emma, but she is the new Executive Chef at Bonbon Bake Shop right across from the Market on Lorain. Bonbon Bake Shop is owned and operated by the super cool and talented Courtney McLaren Bonning. Courtney, along with her sweet and equally talented manager Becca Ritterspach have created such a fun, laid-back and cozy restaurant/bakery. Alexia joining the Bonbon team just goes to show sisters are doing it for themselves! These four women are so incredibly inspiring and kick-ass! Now seriously, go check out their shops!
Speaking of Female empowerment, I can’t say enough about ReHive Ale, the delicious new beer created by Chef Kimberly McCune Gibson and Ann Marie Larrance. ReHive Ale is Ohio’s first sustainable craft beer brewed by women. This beer pays tribute to chef Kimberly’s Geauga County roots as a beekeepers daughter. It has a really nice honey flavor, but not too sweet. Nor is it too heavy or hoppy. I fell in love with it and can’t wait to get my hands on some more! You can get more info on ReHive Ale and the women that created it at the site hungrybeecatering.com.
I had a great time getting to cover the event, and then getting to enjoy it as a Clevelander. But this was just the beginning…
On to THE party of the year- The West Side Market Centennial Gala! The event was hosted by Medical Mutual, along with Cleveland’s own Michael Symon and Jonathan Sawyer, and was held at the West Side Market. It was so much fun to be at the Market all fancied up! Many local chef’s like Chris Hodgson, Rocco Whalen and Britt-Marie Culey joined Nationally recognized chef’s Michael Ruhlman, Carla Hall, Andrew Zimmerman and Amy Bloomfield.
I still feel so honored to meet and interview Carla Hall. Not only is she an outstanding chef, but one of the kindest, most down-to-earth women I have ever met. She even joined my friends and I on the dance floor later in the evening! Make sure you check her out, along with our Michael Symon, on The Chew!
There was so much fantastic, delicious food that I don’t think it would be fair to name one-or even a few! One of the culinary highlights of the night though was the debut of the Great Lakes Brewery’s Butcher’s Brew Beer. Created specifically for the 100th Birthday, this amber lager had just enough hop to it and tasty flavoring. Definitely my new favorite Great Lakes Beer (sorry Christmas Ale). When leaving the Gala we were given gift bags that had Butcher’s Brew packaged in a commemorative screen printed 22-ounce bottle. The artwork, designed by Christine Wisnieski, depicts the stone sculpture of an ox, whose head peers over the peak of the Market. Each bottle was actually hand-bottled by GLBC brewers!
Speaking of delicious spirits, one of the most anticipated parts of the evening was the birthday toast! Champagne was distributed to everyone at the party, and you could feel the love and pride of everyone in the room as they toasted this historical moment. Mayor Frank Jackson, along with Councilmen Joe Cimperman, Matt Zone and Kevin Kelly, talked about the progress both the West Side Market and Ohio City have made throughout the years. They thanked everyone that has been involved in putting together the Centennial celebrations that have been going on throughout the year, concluding with this event (cheers to you Amanda Dempsey!). Gala co-chairs Michael Symon and Jonathan Sawyer then took to the stage to give their thanks. Not going to lie, I was getting very choked up by the time they took to the stage. As they were giving their speeches, my own memories of buying smokies from the Market with my dad when I was a kid came to mind. Then I thought about how just this past Spring I did a news package for my broadcasting school class at the Market talking about this very event! This event that I now am an actual reporter, interviewing Mayor Jackson, Jonathan Sawyer and Carla Hall at. I’ve come a long way, baby! And just five years ago during my brief stint living in NYC I was missing being at home and going to places like the West Side Market. Wandering the streets of NYC wondering why Cleveland didn’t have restaurant row’s, Cleveland gift shops and things of that nature. Five years later all those things I hoped for and wanted have happened. I’m surrounded by love and support for my beloved city, something that I felt so deeply at the Gala. Alright, I’m getting choked up again….
After the Gala ended I headed over with my friend Charlene to Noodlecat, which is owned by Jonathan Sawyer, for the official after party! I’m craving the pork dumplings so bad right now, which was one of the many creations he had for the party. If you haven’t tried Noodlecat yet I highly recommend heading over asap!
Needless to say I was exhausted by Sunday! I stayed low-key and enjoyed my home since I didn’t get to be there all week due to Hurricane Sandy. But I did get one last awesome weekend experience. I finally had a chance to sit and enjoy the new December issue of Glamour, one of my favorite magazines. For those that don’t really know me, I am a magazine addict. I subscribed to Glamour and few other magazines for years, and currently own the first 15 years of InStyle. I am also currently a Glambassador for Glamour Magazine. Ok, now that you have a little background you’ll know why this is big for me. So anyways, sitting and enjoying the December issue and I decide to Tweet Glamour about how much I love the new issue and I included Editor-In-Chief Cindi Leive on the Tweet. She truly is one of the best magazine editors EVER. I feel like she saved Glamour after the direction the prior editors had taken it. Anyways, not much later my phone lights up and there it is-a Tweet to my from my shero Cindi Leive! My weekend felt complete.
So that was life with me this weekend, stay tuned for what’s next! xo
Happy Birthday to me!! Ok, well not me (I’m an April baby), but my blog is officially a year old! Thank you so much to everyone that follows me (I promise, I’ll be better about sharing my antics, my opinion and what’s going on…), my family and my friends. It certainly has been a crazy year! When I started this blog I was just a few months into Broadcasting school and trying to juggle it along with work and internships. Then I finally graduated, went on a long over due vacation and watched my baby brother get hitched. I have tried Ariel Ribbon workouts, dyed my hair blonde (which I swore I’d never do), tried breaking an arrow with my neck (yes, seriously) and finally landed full-time work in television. I have made so many amazing new friends, had my heart infatuated and broken a few times and have found myself along the process. I have gone from one extreme to the other, and all along this bumpy road I have been having a wonderful journey. So here is to another fabulous year in the Life With Leah*!!
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