Tuesday, August 11, 2015


One of the shippiest Scully and Mulder moments ever. 

Summer makes me think of driving. Rather, the joy that driving used to bring.

Now, driving is a frustrating, at times rage inducing, way to get to one place from another in a hurry. Always a hurry. Rush, rush, rush here. Eeeek. Rush, rush, rush there and back to here again while checking apps to find the cheapest gas and then shaking a fist at the pump while the car glug glugs my pay check away.

Driving didn't alway produce indigestion and migraines. 

Driving used to be fun.

Right around dusk, with the windows down, rolled down, with the right song on the radio, I'm transmogrified back to a teenager. 

The picture in my head is a slow motion movie of years gone by...a car load of kids.

Fighting over control of the radio, which for the record, always goes from driver to co-pilot.  

Driving through developments, cul-de-sacs and turning around dead end streets until it was time to go home.

Dropping passengers off, one by one, curfews not location determining drop offs.

Your arm sticking straight out the window, waving up and down with the air current, until the unfortunate bug splatting into your hand, resulting in squees of laughter.

I'm remembering those nights fondly as I'm looking out at the traffic zooming by. Wondering when I should leave to miss most of the bumper to bumper traffic.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

National Hamburger Festival Giveaway

Legend has it that in 1885, two brothers from Akron created a delicious sandwich - the hamburger.  This year is the 10th anniversary of the National Hamburger Festival in awesome, Akron, Ohio. 

The 10th Annual National Hamburger Festival presented by the City of Akron at Lock 3 Park, is this weekend, August 8-9. Admission is only $5 and children under 8 are free. The Festival supports Akron Children's Hospital. 

The event features 50 styles of hamburgers from over 20 eateries throughout Northeast Ohio. 50 styles of hamburgers. FIFTY. There is fun for all, including "Bobbing for Burgers" and the Ohio Amateur Hamburger Eating Contest (including a team from The Akron Fire Department!). For the grown ups, an Ohio Craft Beer Tasting and Indie Band Showcase is included on Sunday. 

Now for the fun part. The awesome folks at the Festival have given me a pack of four tickets to giveaway to one of you luck readers. 

There are several ways to enter...

1. Follow National Hamburger Festival and ClevelandChick on the twitter. 

2. Visit the National Hamburger Festival on the Facebook.

3. Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite burger toppings are. 

4. Go to the Twitter and tweet : "I want @HamburgerFest tickets from @ClevelandChick! http://bit.ly/1M1OMDt #BurgerFest15 "

You can tweet once a day, and leave me a comment here for each of the tasks you complete. I let a computer pick the winner, so if you don't comment, it won't be included. 

The winner will be selected on Wednesday, August 5, at noon, so get tweeting!

*Disclosure: The awesome National Hamburger Festival peeps have given me a complimentary pack of tickets for my use as well as a 4 pack to give away. The words here are all mine, and I'm hoping very few of the burgers will have onions on them. I hate onions. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Photo Fun - Irish Edition

Gillian Anderson being Scully. 
If you are new to Happiness is a Hot Pierogi, Photo Fun is a feature that allows me to share with you some of my digital photos.  These pictures have been stuffed in a folder on a nondescript server for years and I enjoy reminiscing. 

The road to Cliffs of Moher. 
Ten years or so ago, it was ridiculously cheap to fly to Europe. A round trip ticket to Dublin, Ireland cost $100 each way, out of Chicago. It was off season, but still an amazing opportunity. I took advantage of that ticket break for years.

One particularly adventurous trip to Dublin, I decided to see the countryside. I signed up for a day trip to see the Cliffs of Moher. Well, actually, I signed up for a trip to the Aran Islands, but there was a vicious snow storm, so I was advised to pick a new trip.

I took a train, and then a small bus to the cliffs. On that train ride, I saw the greenest fields you could imagine. I would share those pictures with you, but the film from that camera was damaged. Travel tip: always have a back up camera, that would be back up as in secondary not back up as in, "look out, I'm backing up!"

Our bus driver pulled off to the side of the road because of some sheep crossing, so I took this pic of the crazy winding road. There is a sheep out there somewhere. 

When we arrived to the Cliffs, it was breathtaking. My bus mates were two women from Long Island, a mixture of The Nanny and King of Queens, and a quiet woman traveling on her own from South Africa. Our tour guide pointed to the DANGER sign and said, "You better heed that or you will be gone." Every year, some knucklehead sits on the edge of the Cliff and gets woosh-ed off plummets down to the rocks below.  It is hard to imagine a gust of wind being that strong, but I was not going to  tempt fate. 

The day was cold and dreary. The sky was gray and dull.  The view was spectacular. There is a little part of me that wishes this trip was social media documented. At this time, there was no Twitter. No Instagram. No Facebook. I was very high tech with my 4 megapixel Kodak camera *and* my film camera.

The ride back to Dublin was an adventure. The New York ladies were yapping nonstop about New York, which may be why the bus driver had a pint when we stopped for dinner.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite picture from a past trip is.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tri-C JazzFest Giveaway Winner

The winner for the Tri-C JazzFest tickets has been notified. 

Thank you all for reading and entering!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tri-C JazzFest Giveaway or The Time I Met Sheila E

Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland is returning for the 36th year and this year's schedule is as awesome as ever. The weekend of entertainment comes to Playhouse Square July 9-11, featuring 9 ticketed concerts and two days of FREE outdoor shows on US Bank Plaza. 

Highlights of the festival include the Cleveland Centennial Celebration of Robert Lockwood, featuring Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring Sheila E. and Juan Escovedo

Tickets are on sale now, and you can snag a Festival Pass, which gets you in to all 9 concerts or you can purchase individual tickets online. Or, you can win a pair of tickets to see Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring Sheila E. and Juan Escovedo here. 

Before I get to the how to win, I want to tell you a little story. 

These are called cassette tapes. An old timey way of listening to music. 
The 80s.

Fashion was questionable. You had to go to the library and *look in books* for research papers.  Mix tapes were cassette tapes. MTV played music. 

Prince was all over the place. 

I was a ridiculous Prince fan. The whole 9 purple yards. I couldn't get enough of his unique musical style and attitude.  Out of all of his "proteges" Sheila E. was my favorite.  I wore out my Glamorous Life tape. In fact, it was viciously devoured by my tape deck of my Pontiac Phoenix hatchback. 

One of my favorite pastimes was to go to record stores. Places that had records. You have not properly lived until you have experienced that second of anticipation, waiting for the needle to fall on the record...followed by a brief crinkly scratch and then track one. I could spend an hour in the record store, looking for new music - reading the liner notes. 

My aunt took me to Record Revolution in Coventry, forever cementing her as my favorite, to look for Solo Two, the album (yes, *album*) that Sheila E worked on with her dad, Pete Escovedo. There was no googling to download a track. No spotify. No pandora. Just flipping through racks and racks of albums. 


I saved my allowance and convinced my mom to take me to the see Prince and The Revolution and Sheila E at Richfield Coliseum. 

Concert poster from The Coliseum
I had tickets for the second night, which was in the middle of a vicious snow storm and there were rumblings of canceling the show. I begged and pleaded to still go to the show. I loved Prince and I explained to my mom that Sheila E was a fierce percussionist and was completely unlike Prince's chick groups (a modern day comparison is Diddy and his Making the Band), and if we didn't go, my life would be ruined for all eternity. 

We trudged our way to the Coliseum, with blinding snow and much cursing. Sheila E. was on up first, and of course, killed it. Then came the break. I was chattering away loudly, my ears ringing from the speakers, when a man came over to us, chatted with my mom for a moment and said, "Follow me."  From that moment on, things are blurry...both from age and excitement of the moment. 

I'm not sure how it happened, but we followed the man through concrete corridors of the Coliseum, people running around focused on their mission for the moment, until we ended up in a dressing room. "Wait here," was the instruction. I had no clue what was going on, and I plopped down in an m & m green chair chatting away questioning everything. Then chaotic noise, a commotion shuffled into the room and in walked Sheila E. It was one of the few times in my life I was completely and utterly speechless. I tried to open my mouth, but my words were replaced with little squeaks. It would have been impossible for Sheila E. to have been a nicer person. We chatted for a few minutes as a seamstress tried to sew her stage costume back together and then just as quickly, we were ushered out and back to our seats. 


The show went on to be one of my favorites, certainly my favorite from the Coliseum days. And yes, I owed my mom. BIG time. 

Sheila E. has never slowed down with her career and continues to make music. I encourage you to listen to an interview she did with npr, here.  

Now, on to the fun part.

With Tri-C JazzFest, I want to send you to see Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring Sheila E. and Juan Escovedo on July 11. 

The rules are simple. Make sure you follow directions, because I let a computer pick the winner. Leave a comment here for each task you complete. If it isn't here, boo for you. 

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite celebrity encounter.
2. Visit Tri-C JazzFest on the Facebook.
3. Follow @TriCJazzFest and @ClevelandChick on the Twitter.
4. Follow @SheilaEDrummer on the Twitter.
5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:
"I want @clevelandchick to send me to @TriCJazzFest! #TriCJazzFest http://bit.ly/1RQCX2B"

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet. Winner will be selected on Sunday, July 5th at 6 pm, so get tweeting!
*Disclosure: The awesome peeps at Tri-C JazzFest asked me to help promote the event. In exchange, I was given 2 tickets to giveaway and 2 tickets for me. My opinions are all my own and my words are fueled by entirely too much hazelnut coffee. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cleveland Home and Remodeling Expo Giveaway



Spring has sprung and now is the time to tackle all the home improvement projects you have been thinking about all winter!

The Cleveland Convention Center is hosting the Cleveland Home and Remodeling Expo, March 27-29, chock full of exhibitors and celebrities from HGTV and BravoTV. Even if you don't have a house, Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Upper and Jeff Lewis from Bravo Tv's Flipping Out will make you want one. 

There is something for everyone, from the Arcadia GlassHouse Butterfly Feature to fully constructed Vignettes featuring decorating tips for small space living. 
You can purchase tickets for $10 at the door, but why would you when you can save $2 buying them online and an extra buck using promo code PIEROGI15HR. 
Now for the fun part. Want to win a pair of tickets? It is super easy, so make sure you follow directions. I let a computer pick the winner, so make sure you come back and comment on this post after you complete each task.

1. What home improvement are you thinking about tackling this Spring?
2. Follow Cleveland Home and Remodeling Expo on Twitter and Facebook
3. Follow Cleveland Home and Remodeling Expo on Pinterest
4. Follow Cleveland Chick on the Twitter and Instagram
5. Tweet the following: " I want @ClevelandChick to send me to the @GreatBigShow! http://bit.ly/1HO5Sny"

Leave a comment for each task. I let a computer pick the winner, so if it isn't there, boo for you. 
Winner will be selected at 4 pm on Friday, March 27, so get tweeting!
Disclosure: I was given a pair of tickets for me and a pair to give away, which is super awesome. Words are all my own, and are fueled by the wonky blogger settings at the moment. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Great Big Home + Garden Show

One of my favorite events is the Great Big Home + Garden Show. I love to get ideas for my home and just see the neato gadgets out there. The Show runs through February 16, so there is still time to get out there. You can find out more here

Through out the IX Center, there are model homes/barns/ etc set up and I was amazed at what they were able to do. In front of one of the models, they installed a pool with small fountains. Unfortunately, from this angle it looks as though the chairs are peeing. They aren't. I promise. 

Even though some of the set ups were way out of my price range, just seeing what is *possible* was fun. I love this fountain that was made using baseball bats. 

This year, the Show was highlighting Cleveland and the neighborhoods around, a lot like the Indians are going to do at the ballpark. The vendors did an amazing job bringing in the feeling of each area, whether Tremont or Little Italy. 

Even if you don't own a house, there is still a lot to see. 

This patriotic bathtub had a crowd the whole time I was there. Just the thought of being able to bathe in freedom every day is an interesting one. 

The Show also has vendors for your garden, with seeds, plants and even baby chicks (!).  Any garden, yard, garage or kitchen implement or chotchki is here. Pans, grills, flags, you name it, you can find it. 

I'm super bummed that I didn't buy this garden cat...he looks just like Bernie, so I think I will have to go back to get it. 

When you go, wear good walking shoes. There is a LOT of area to cover. Also, be sure you have an extra $10 for parking. 

Go, have a good time and get inspired!

Disclosure: I was given a pair of tickets to the show for myself and a pair to giveaway. The words are all mine.