Small Business Saturday Shopping Guide

Supporting our local small businesses, whether they be adorable boutiques, a coffee spot or favorite bakery, has never been more critical than it has been this year. Many of these businesses were forced to shut down, adapt and maneuver through new restrictions, cleaning requirements and much more. So, I’ve been trying to support my favorite spots as much as possible, whether it’s an extra $20 into the tip jar, or opting to spend a little more money at a boutique vs. going to a bigger box store. Luckily for you, I’ve put together a shopping guide to help support local Cleveland businesses this Small Business Saturday (November 28th) and throughout the holiday season!

Brewella’s is a neighborhood favorite for us because it’s so close to home and delivers delicious treats, like crepes, and always have incredible seasonal menus — I’m anxiously awaiting their Christmas menu to drop! Brewella’s is also home to an incredible vibe with lots of fun and unique collectibles available for purchase. When in doubt, a gift-card is always a great stocking stuffer and easy way to support local.

Home for the Holidays. This pop-up shop always makes a splash each year — and this year you can even shop online and do curbside pick-up! Home for the Holidays curates local vendors and goodies into one place, making it a shop small, shop on steroids. And they’re stocked with gifts for everyone including your furry friends. My personal fave is finding hand painted Cleveland-themed ornaments!

Meatboxlocal brings local, Ohio farmed meats to your front door. This is a great gift that you can ship to friends and family you might not be seeing this season. With a variety of beef and chicken options, this is the perfect way to stay stocked on those meats – while ordering from the comfort of your own home. Plus, the meat is hormone free, grass-fed with free deliveries made weekly within a 50-mile radius from CLE.

Two Cafe & Boutique is truly a treat, for more than one reason! First, it employs individuals with exceptionalities to help bridge them into local workforce. Two, its cafe is farm-to-fork, serving breakfast and lunch with seasonal menus and the freshest ingredients. Three, the boutique sources lines that are for a cause while supporting other businesses in the US. The boutique is also the perfect spot for that hard to get person, a show stopper gift and stocking stuffers.

I’ve been shopping at Lovely Paperie & Gifts and sister store Babycakes Children’s Boutique this entire pandemic — even more than previous years. Why? When I’ve popped in-store to shop, it’s never crowded like big box stores, making this a place I feel safe shopping at! Both of these stores offer special keepsakes, thoughtful gifts and the perfect card for any milestone, holiday or just because. Plus nationwide shipping, in-store or curbside pick-up are available!

Besides finding the perfect gift at any of these spots, grabbing a gift card is another super easy way to instantly support your favorite small biz, and gifting your favorite spot to your favorite people! I’m planning on grabbing smaller amount gift cards from a few other favorite local spots to gift to friends/family and stuff stockings like Nature’s Oasis, Milo & Me, and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. I’m also hoping to shop a few new local spots this year that I’ve been following on Instagram!

And if you’re shopping in person this season, don’t forget your mask, hand sanitizer and a little extra space to those shopping around you!

Local Love: Home for the Holidays Pop-Up Shop

Looking to shop local this holiday season? Look no further — the Home for the Holidays Pop-up Shop is back! Going into it’s fourth year open, it’s found various homes in the neighborhood over the years.  And this pop-up shop supports all things local, by sourcing gems from small business makers in one place!

The best part is you’re not only supporting one local business you’re supporting 40! Home for the Holidays has a variety of gift options for everyone on your list, from baby, to dog mom, to husband or dad, coworkers, and of course your bestie.  Gifts include home goods, local snacks, honey, skincare, christmas themed, barware, and local gear, Home for the Holidays is truly a one stop shop!

With sections throughout the store it’s easy to navigate based on whoever you may be shopping for.  I personally gravitated to the pet section where there was a mix of goodies for your favorite furry friend, like toys and treats and then treats for mom like dog-themed candles and dog mom wine glasses!  And if you’re a human mom, or have a few sweet babes in your life you’ll be trying to decide between some adorable nursery or baby decor from lovefrombrooklyn or handcrafted blankets from Unsalted.
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Moving on to the men in your life. With plenty of amazing hand crafted options like CLE themed beer steins or leather coasters, key chains and valet trays from William & James Leather Co. (William & James also has some pretty amazing earrings available at Home for the Holidays shop, too!) You can also snag a Great Lakes Brewery bottle opener made from actual beer taps.  There are local tees, sweatshirts and winter gear with all his favorite local teams that make for a home run gift.

Speaking of jewelry, beyond unique one of a kind pieces from William & James — there are also copper and ceramic Ohio state necklaces, inspirational bangles and bold earrings that will truly make a statement.  There are also customizable pieces for a more personalized gift and even better stocking stuffer!
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HomeHolidays-beelife(4)To kick off my holiday shopping I stopped in to grab a few items and get inspired for more gifts, the best part is they are continually restocking and adding in new pieces. I grabbed a few handmade ornaments from GGDorothy Art, one of a Cleveland sky line (for us!) and then an Indians ornament for my aunties (shhh! it’s not Christmas yet).  I also grabbed a fun NYE card for a dear friend, a tea towel from Tart Boutique and sweet baby bows from lovefrombrooklyn.  I can’t wait to head back in the coming week to grab a few more goodies and see what new items are in stock at the shop!
HomeHolidays-beelife(1)Home for the Holidays is open Thursday – Sunday until December 23rd, so make sure to plan your trip for any and all of your holiday shopping, last minute gifts and something truly unique for your favorite people.  So if you stop in be sure to say hey to Maureen, the awesome owner behind Home for the Holidays, she is so sweet and hospitable!

Stay up to date with the latest from Home for the Holidays on Instagram and Facebook.

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Local Love: Valentine’s Edition

Hello, Cleveland lovers! Guess what – Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away… eeek!  Are you ready? If not,  I have some of my favorite local spots that would be perfect for a coffee date, heart-felt card or a romantic date night.
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Brewella’s: Decorated to the tee for the day of love, you might just fall in love with someone here.  Whether it’s a gift card, a coffee date for one of their seasonal latte’s (with homemade strawberry whip cream) or a breakfast date for crepes – Brewella’s will not only deliver in delicious drinks and eats, they’re festive pink and red decor will make you melt! Explore the coffee shop from their instagam.

Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes: KEC just dropped their Valentine menu, the key for this is ordering ahead to make sure your sweet treats are secure for your sweetie for the big day!  Not feeling all the kitchy V-day sweets?  KEC has a collection of customizable cakes for any occasion and other delicious treats stocked daily! Check out the Valentine menu here or tease your sweet tooth with KEC’s insta feed.

Boundary & Thorn:  The kitchen punny line of prints are so cute, and not to mention a little frisky!  This would be a fun little gift to give to a gal pal or sig-o, one of my personal favorites from the Coffee Punnies by B&T is “Wanna French” with a french press – it especially makes me think of B since we always make a french press on the weekends!  Boundary & Thorn also specializes in custom projects (dog portraits, wedding invites, holiday cards!) beyond her shop items! Shop B&T’s instagram feed.

Lovely Paperie & Gifts: Hey guys, listen up for this one! This would be a great place to bring your gal pal on a little shopping spree, to let her pick out a Lillie Pultzer piece, a monogram bracelet, or maybe some Kate Spade? If a shopping spree sounds a little too extravagant, they also have an assortment of stunning Valentine cards that would make anyone’s heart melt.  Ladies, they also have gifts for your guys too! Shop Lovely virtually here.

Distill Table: If you head to Distill you have to order one of their handcrafted cocktails, made with all locally sourced ingredients that will not only make your tastebuds giggle but the presentation will turn you to a heart eye-emoji.  The red velvet booths will make you want to cozy up with your Valentine while you enjoy all delicious and local food!
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So if you haven’t even thought of Valentine’s Day yet, maybe some of these local spots will inspire you – even if you’re not reading from CLE.   These are a lot of my favorite local shops that I like to frequent as often as I can especially for special occasions, looking for one of a kind gifts or for just some delicious local eats (or coffee, LBH)!

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Image Sources: Group image sourced from shops instagram feeds and linked within content.  

Local Love: Brewnuts

One of our favorite local spots is a donut shop with a bar!  Brewnuts was a much anticipated donut shop that teased locals with gorgeous gourmet donuts on their amazing instagram, custom orders and limited releases until opening their shop late summer of 2017, which has been a favorite since – especially with their colorful and trendy decor.

Brewnuts has a weekly rotating menu of unique, classic and seasonal flavors paired with fun events throughout the year around movie releases (like Jurassic Park), latest trends (Harry Potter day), holidays (Friendsgiving) and Cleveland centric sporting events.  In addition to cool events and tasty donuts, you can get great local beers which are also often times included in the donut recipes themselves! Whether you just want one donut or are going for a half dozen (which I highly recommend doing) you can’t go wrong, with impressive flavor line-ups it’s hard choosing just one!

A few of my favorite donuts to date include; the Animal Cracker Fry Cake (heavenly), their signature Strawberry Sprinkle and Maple Bacon and Vegan Cookie dough.  Lately when we stop in, in addition to grabbing a dozen donuts I’ve been ordering a mimosas and B usually grabs a beer or Bloody Mary, yum!! The best part is if you can’t stick around, the donuts taste just as good at home as they do at the shop.  In addition to having an awesome menu at their brick and mortar location, Brewnuts also does custom letter orders or private events like weddings – and they have gold glittery donuts… *swoon*

If you’re ever in town, have friends visiting, or simply just because, this is an awesome spot to try something different and fun and support a local Cleveland business. The donuts are big enough to share, but also not too big to finish one yourself! Brewnuts is our new go-to post-race spot and is the perfect spot for a little celebration.  Be sure to check out Brewnuts on instagram so you can swoon over their donuts and get the latest scoop on upcoming events and menu updates!

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Local Love: Brewella’s

The cutest little coffee and crepe shop opened up near us that we’re pretty sure this might become a new go-to spot, especially on the weekends.  With an inviting store front Brewella’s isn’t just your typical coffee shop, they also sell collectibles and use them as decor around this quaint shop that is an instagramers dream for the next swoon worthy decor photo. 

Let’s talk Crepes. With over nine different flavors of savory and sweet you can’t go wrong with either pick – I guess it just depends on what mood you’re in! We devoured the sweet chocolate, banana and peanut butter crepe, the ham & gruyere cheese, and then the egg, spinach and cheese.  Not only are their options for just about anyone, the batter of the crepes is so light and airy that you don’t feel stuffed after eating this delicious and generous serving! They also give you fancy vintage folks to eat with – playing right into that collectibles vibe.

Coffee talks. Between B and I our go-to’s are the hot drip coffee (for me) and the iced coffee (for B).  They serve Phoenix coffee and it’s quite tasty if I do say so myself.  They’ve even introduced a couple season drinks to the menu like the Jack-o-Latte and Hot Apple Cider, which are on my list for our next sit-down visit!

Brewella’s started as just being opened on weekends but are now open 6-days a week, woo – more opportunities for crepes! Whenever we’ve visited on the weekends there is a full house as it’s definitely become a neighborhood favorite for most as the atmosphere is so inviting and there are little nooks to cozy up in with a loved one to enjoy some coffee and crepes and chats.

Cheers to new neighborhood hangouts!

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Latest Obsessions 06.18

May seemed like such a blimp in the radar, that I totally forget to share my latest obsessions! Fear no more, here are the latest and greatest things that have been consuming my life lately from the latest headlines, to the finish touches for DIYs, to just hanging out with friends!
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Anthropologie Hardware. …Sorry that was me just drooling a little bit. Talk about a swoon!  Anthropologies hardware covers all the bases; knobs, hooks, handles, bath hardware, door knobs, switch plates, curtain hardware, and shelves and brackets!  My search started with just wanting a few fun, unique knobs for a DIY project to wanting a complete re-do on my bath hardware and finally finding some decent curtain rods, however I’ll be saving my pennies!

Plans with Friends. Since the summer is that weird time of the year that is either super busy for everyone or has random lulls of nothing, I’ve been finding myself trying to plan ahead with friends from drinks after work, to dinner parties with the significant-o’s to just hanging out in the back yard sharing a few drinks & stories.

Kate Spade. Upon learning about the tragic passing of Katherine Brosnahan, better known as Kate Spade, I found myself scrolling and scrolling through all the beautiful creations that build her brand.  My social feeds were filled with photos of people’s own Kate Spade bags or favorite pieces of clothing – her signature black and white polka dots and bright pink accents have become a staple.  My bridal shower was inspired by the signature look as well. She was so young and it’s just sad to see (but also amazing) how much she accomplished and the joy she brought to millions of people through her brand.  Read a few other times I’ve gushed about Kate Spade on the bee life here and here.

The Cavaliers.  It’s NBA finals season and we find ourselves back again for the fourth year against the same damn team. In our house we are basketball lovers, and the Cavs are our favorite team so we don’t start watching other teams until their season is wrapped. This season has been a whirlwind for the Cavs, and just getting to the finals has been no easy feet – but here we are up against the odds again, against “the best team in the league.” We had fun celebrating in 2016 and are looking forward to celebrating again this year!

Share your latest obsessions with me in the comments below!

 

 

Image Sources: Anthropologie Hardware | Cleveland Cavs | Kate Spade Bag 

 

Weekend Recap – #BestofCLE

This past weekend started with a bang on Friday night at Cleveland Magazine’s annual Best of Cleveland Party! This year the event was hosted at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame which is a kickass venue for a party.  The #BestofCLE features the hottest spots around the city, nominated by the people, live music, tasty treats, on top of being able to walk around and explore the Rock Hall exhibits.
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I ate all the sweets I could at the event, including cookies from Little Shop of Cookies, doughnuts from The Vegan Doughnut Company (YUM!), Jack Frost Donuts and macarons and sugar cookies from Luna Bakery & Cafe! Everything was so delicious. Beyond all the sweets, they had an array of sushi, sliders, pizza and popcorn from all of Cleveland’s favorite spots.  The night ended with DJ EV remixing a bunch of new and old songs getting everyone dancing, one big party.

We’ve been able to attend this party for the last seven years and it’s become a tradition with B and dear friends.  This is where we’ve first met people who have turned into dear friends and nights we’ve fallen more and more in love with our city.  If you’ve never been, its one of the best parties to attend in the city and you’ll get a taste of the entire city!

Cheers!

#ICYMI: Catch up on past #BestofCLE’s: 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016

Weekend Recap – CVNP Topography

B and I had the honor of being guests at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Topography event, Saturday night.

Not knowing what to expect, I was quickly blown away by the array of food, all supplied and catered by Spice Kitchen & Bar and the interactive cocktail experience while enjoying the trail system, leading us to an open field of beautifully dressed tables set for 200. A seated dinner was served at 8:15, it started with a salad and then family style dishes for the main meal. The food and service was exceptional.
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We were lucky to be accompanied by a great group of friends for this incredibly unique dining experience. After dinner we were able to sit around camp fires, sipping cocktails and enjoying the perfect summer night. A band played in the distance, while various tents were set up with bars or desserts!

The event supports and raises money for Trails Forever, with helps protect and preserve the CVNP trails.   B and I will definitely be heading back to check out the park in the future to enjoy some hikes.  If you have a chance, keep this event on your radar for next year, especially if you want to enjoy an unforgettable evening at a beautiful, local, national park with the best local cuisine.

Weekend Recap – Now This Is Summer.

The weather this past weekend was quintessential summer; sunshine, cloudless skies with a mix of patio drinks, a summer festival and friends. Friday night was a late one, celebrating a much needed Cavs win in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. But we will leave it at that.

Saturday was spent doing things around the house, and then dinner and drinks on the impressively large patio at Collision Bend Brewery – the latest hot spot in CLE.  With a well known chef, like Zack Bruell behind the business, this place was bumping. We had a great spot outside, but under the awning, perfect views of the river and the warm night.  We ordered a mixture of food to share with the table, but the standouts were the roasted brussels sprouts, oven roasted mixed olives, and the salami and green olive pizza. They had a great selection of beers and cocktails, although I opted for some Rose.  We will definitely be going back to soak in more drinks and the fabulous patio.

Sunday we enjoyed some more local food at the Taste of Lakewood, an annual event that has transformed over the years, and is now a free event to the public offering tasty snacks at affordable prices to sample. We had VIP tickets, which for a toasty sunny day was the perfect way to enjoy the festival feel, without fighting the lines, sore feet and the glaring sun. With VIP we were in a private tent, with plenty of tables and able to order 2-different food vendors, that volunteers would run and cut the lines to collect! Not to mention, 2-drink tickets with our own private bar. Our neighbors joined us, so it was a nice little outing to break up our Sunday afternoon.

Beyond the summer cold, I’ve been fighting off it was a pretty great weekend with lots of sunshine, friends/family, and just enough nap time in between all of that!

Cheers to the first real summer weekend!