Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Martinis, Etiquette, and a Seance!

This past Friday, I engaged in all three at the Hanna Theater.  Thanks to my dear friend Julie, I was invited to a special social media night to see the Great Lakes Theater production of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, which also included an introduction to making cocktails and an etiquette lesson.
Stirred, not shaken!
Our night began with a demo on how to properly make a martini.  Noel Coward was a huge fan of gin martinis and was often seen waving one towards the stage during a performance of one of his plats.  We learned a classic martini is made of equal parts gin (or vodka) and vermouth, chilled, stirred, and strained into a martini glass.  (Sorry James Bond, shaken not stirred is not the correct way to make a martini).  We were then given the choice to have either a gin or vodka martini garnished with either an olive or lemon.   Of course, I went with gin and a lemon garnish.

With our martinis in hand, we then headed upstairs for an etiquette lesson by Colleen Harding of the Cleveland School of Etiquette.  Colleen's lecture focused on proper etiquette at a cocktail party.  She explained the importance of using proper wine glasses with stems, how and when to join in a conversation, and how to appropriately give someone your business card.  As cute and chic as stemless wine glasses may be, if you are going to be in a situation where you are holding your glass, they will cause your wine to warm  quickly from body heat ruining the characteristics of the wine.  Also, did you know it is not proper to hand someone your card initially, if at all.  Colleen pointed out you should only give someone your card if they ask for it.  Remember, you are at a social event, not a poker tournament.  

Hilarious and "spook-tacular"!
We then were given a brief tour and history of the Hanna before showtime.  In 2008, Great Lakes Theater renovated the Hanna to create a more intimate experience for theater goers.  I personally feel there is not a bad seat in the house.  Also, the bar located in the back of the theater is a gift from Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.  Tom did perform for three seasons at the Great Lakes Theater.  

Blithe Spirit tells the story of novelist Charles Condomine who wants to research spirits for a novel he is working on.  Along with his wife Ruth, their friends the Bradmans, and Madame Arcati, they participate in a seance with leads to the spirit of Charles' first wife, Elvira, being summonsed to visit Charles.  Elvira is unhappy to find Charles has remarried and tries to sabotage his marriage to Ruth.  The play itself is comical and very enjoyable.  It is running currently through March 10.  You can save $10 on tickets by using the code: NEO when you purchase tickets online, over the phone (216-241-6000), or at the Playhouse Square box office.

Afterwards, KatieJulieJessica, Chris, Kasey, and Mary head to Cowell & Hubbard for some late night treats.  I ordered the vegan pizza which was topped with a bed of arugula and balsamic.  It was perfect for a late late dinner!  I cannot wait to return and try an entree and cocktail!  Zack Bruell once again did not disappoint!

**Disclaimer: I was invited to attend social media night at Great Lakes Theater.  I was given a ticket and complimentary cocktail in exchange for blogging about my visit.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own**

Friday, February 15, 2013

Best Week Ever!

Ok, maybe not best week ever, but this past week has been the best week of 2013.  Do you ever have a good feeling on Sunday that the upcoming week will be a really good one?  Typically, I am always optimistic about the upcoming week or just a new day in general.  However, there was a point on Sunday where I just had a really good feeling something big was going to happen.

One of my favorites from the Stella & Dot spring line!
My week began in the early hours of Sunday when the Notre Dame men's basketball team beat Louisville in 5/OT.  I know, very minor, but I love a close game especially when my team wins.  After maybe 5 or so hours of sleep, I met up with some of the #dirtyrunners for a Sunday morning run.  I will admit, my training for the Cleveland Marathon, has been a bit off, but I felt great after finishing my long run despite falling way behind everyone else for the last few group miles and adding a few more to bring me up to where I should be for training.

Cleveland Rocks!!
While warming up from a chilly run, I set up a Facebook page for one of my latest ventures, becoming  a Stella & Dot stylist!  My good friend Julie has been one and after many conversations, and a little convincing, I signed on!  Afterwards, Brad and I headed to the Great Big Home + Garden Show.  Overall, my favorite part was the garden displays which captured U.S Landmarks.  Some really captured every detail such as the one modeled after Augusta.  As a baseball fan, I was slightly disappointed with the interpretation of Wrigley Field.  They missed the ivy covered wall and to me, it looked like any other baseball field.  After admiring the gardens and deciding we one day will be hot tub owners, we headed to Fat Heads for lunch and beer sampling.  Food wise, I recommend the smokey wings, which are whole chicken wings, rubbed, grilled, then sauced just as I like to make them in the summer.
An ivy-less Wrigley
Augusta.  Felt like we were at the Masters
For the most part, the remainder of the week was somewhat normal.  Brad and I had a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner at The Black Pig where I enjoyed roasted duck and he enjoyed the Ohio Beef entree of steak and short rib, or as Ron Swanson would say, "Turf and Turf".  After dinner, we headed to Great Lakes for dessert.  Aside from tapping the Alberta Clipper, they were offering a tasting of Alberta Clipper, Edmund Fitzgerald, Blackout Stout, and Woodtooth Porter along with a red velvet cupcake, Edmund Fitz ice cream in a chocolate shot glass, and a chocolate covered ginger snap.  In other words, a plate of my favorite treats!!
The way to my heart!
While all the above would make for a pretty awesome, yet normal, week for me, what made this the best week of 2013 so far was a phone call I received on Wednesday morning.  I WAS OFFERED AND I ACCEPTED A LABORATORY CONSULTANT POSITION!!!  I finally found a job that will fit my background, personality, and career aspirations.  Here's to new beginnings on March 4th!!
Celebratory bubbles

**Disclaimer: I was given 2 tickets to the Great Big Home + Garden Show.  All opinions are 100% my own.**