As one door closes, another door opens…

It’s with the heaviest of hearts in sharing the news that Dean and I, after almost 6 wonderful years, have decided to sell our house. After remodeling each and every room in our home, we decided to ‘throw’ the house on Zillow’s ‘Make Me Move’ option to see what kind of interest we would generate.

Dean's pride and joy - the newly finished driveway!

Dean’s pride and joy – the newly finished driveway!

Interest was there and we quickly realized we needed to make some adult decisions. Do we pull it offline? Do we wait a year and list it with a Realtor? Do we build a pool in the backyard? <-- Yes, that convo happened.

I can just see the pool now.

I can just see the pool now.

We decided to pull it offline, enjoy the house and seriously list it in the future. And what happened to be a quick and crazy turn of events, we were made an offer on the house (after it was offline) and now we’re up and moving. As sad as I probably sound, we know this is the best decision for Dean and I. And we are really excited for this next chapter. Did I mention that we’re selling it to a couple we both know, in separate fashions of life? The world works in crazy ways!

Our Christmas engagement. omg the memories.

Our Christmas engagement. omg the memories.

As scared as I may be not knowing where I may be living in 2, 3 or 15 months, I know Dean, Cabela and I will figure it out and end up living in what will hopefully be our dream home. And, if I had to guess? We’ll be shacking up for a few (to many) months in my parents basement. Good thing my mom is basically my best friend and my dad is basically Dean’s.

All the endless hours I’ve spent watching HGTV and the DIY Network better pay off :)

Take a trip through the years at The Lincolnshire Estates. Think we like to have fun?

11 Foundation: “The Journey Back” Gala + Giveaway

February 19, 2011. The day that Nick Ventura’s life was forever changed. On a snowboarding trip with his friends in Ellicottville, NY, Nick suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and spent the following 18 weeks of his life at the PICU at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo and the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation.

At one point, the doctors told Nick’s family the chances of him making it through the first night were slim. Miraculously, following emergency surgery, physical, occupational, and speech therapy 6 days a week, Nick learned how to eat, walk, and talk again. Nick is no longer in therapy, but he continues to show improvement and is currently a sophomore at St. Ignatius High School.


In honor of Nick and TBI, his family created the 11 Foundation with the mission to support families and TBI survivors in need. I can’t imagine the pain and anguish the Ventura family has endured. And they endured it with positive attitudes and graciousness.

‘The Journey Back’ Inaugural Gala is a benefit supporting TBI survivors and their families presented by the 11 Foundation and Lago Restaurant.


The event will take place Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Aloft Hotel with an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres. The silent auctions features sports memorabilia, an LCD TV, a Fahrenheit Dinner Package, hotel accommodations, gift baskets and more.

The cost for this event is $100.00 per person or $175.00 for two tickets. Purchase now. Or you can enter to win two tickets to the event by:

1. Like 11 Foundation on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so.
2. Share this giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so.
3. Follow 11 Foundation on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you did so.
4. Tweet the following (leave a comment each time you tweet): ‘I want to win tickets to @11_foundation’s The Journey Back Gala supporting brain injury survivors from @dawgpndgirl:’

Be sure to leave a comment as I will randomly draw the winner from the comments section. You can tweet once per day. I will draw and contact the winners Monday, March 17.

Good luck and show your love to 11 Foundation by following their social media channels!

Disclaimer: I am friend’s with Nick’s dad, Brian, and volunteered to promote the event. All opinions are mine.

Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo Giveaway

The first-ever Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo will take place March 14-16 at the new Cleveland Convention Center. And it just so happens to be prime time to start planning a spring renovation project! Enter the perfect opportunity to see the latest trends, products and get tips from HGTV and DIY Network celebs!

Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo Logo

Speaking of celebs, one show I continually get sucked into watching on the weekends is DIY Network’s “Rehab Addict.” Nicole Curtis (who is a bombshell) is a self-taught home rehabber and designer, master of salvage picking, spirited advocate for saving old houses. She will appear on the Main Stage on Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15.

The Rehab Addict

The Rehab Addict

Not only will Nicole be at the show, other celebrities include: Ty Pennington, Ramsin Khachi and Matt Fox.

And if you haven’t already guessed, I am giving away two general admission tickets away to the show! There is only one way to enter (and you can only enter once): Leave a comment on this blog post telling me your favorite show on HGTV or the DIY Network. I will randomly select on winner on Friday, March 7. You can enter until midnight on Thursday.

Or, you can save $1 on your ticket by entering the code: DAWGDISH. Purchase here.

Disclaimer: I was asked by Marketplace Events to host this giveaway. I was provided with two general admission tickets to the show.

Things I’m lovin’

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share some of the things I’m currently lovin’ on. Somehow, Cleveland weather didn’t make the list.

Revenge: Dean and I can not get enough of this terribly awesome show. The acting is horrific, the puns are endless and the dramatic music is over-the-top. But we can’t stop watching episode after episode on Netflix. I’m ashamed to say Ems and Noles have been in my dreams.

Hibernation: This winter’s bitter cold temps and snow storms have had me cuddled up on the couch more than normal this winter. It’s fantastic because we’ve made plenty of belly-warming meals like chicken and sausage soup, creamy tortellinis, Sunday sauce specials and mashed taters to name just a few.
homemade red sauce

Shiraz: Going hand-in-hand with hibernating, I’ve developed a mild obsession with the red wine. And there’s nothing wrong with some Barefoot.

QT with Kimi: In preparation for our Friday Fundays we have planned for this summer, Kimi and I have been in training the past few Fridays. She rules.

These hams that have been part of most of the mentioned above:

Now, I just really want to be loving some warmer weather, boats, flip-flops, cold Summer Shandy’s and outdoor running, but I won’t get too greedy. Yet.

Happy Valentine’s Day week, friends!

Giveaway: Great Big Home + Garden Show

Updated: Emily won the tickets!

Like me, are you over this Cleveland winter and ready to say hello to spring? I’m assuming the answer is yes!

I have a great opportunity for you to get your green thumb ready for spring and summer in CLE: The Great Big Home + Garden Show! Taking place Saturday, Feb. 8 – Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Cleveland I-X Center, the show features more than 650 exhibitors showcasing the best tips and techniques in cooking, gardening, home improvement and more.


This year’s celebrities include:

Host of DIY Network and HGTV’s Yard Crashers and Turf War, Ahmed Hassan
Frank Fritz, co-star of History Channel’s hit show American Pickers
Food Network’s Next Food Network Star and Cupcake Wars, Emily Ellyn
Main Stage emcee, Matt Fox

Perrino Builders & Interiors returns for a second year to build the Idea Home that will inspire visitors with ideas for building, remodeling and decorating their own homes. A Vacation Home built by Weaver Barns will also provide extra inspiration. Landscaping surrounding the homes will be provided by Morton’s Landscaping.

If you want two free tickets to the show, simply comment on this blog post telling me your favorite room in your home and why! One winner will be randomly selected and picked on Feb. 3, 2014.

Or, save one dollar on your ticket by entering the code: DAWGDISH. Purchase here.

Disclaimer: I was asked by Marketplace Events to host this giveaway. I was provided with two general admission tickets to the show.

Pure Barre Winners!

I’m so excited to announce the winners of the Pure Barre giveaway!  And thanks to everyone who entered!  As a reminder, all of the winners were randomly selected with  Drum roll please…

The third place winner of 1 Free Class, 1 pair of PB sticky socks, 1 PB re-useable tote bag and 1 PB car decal ( a $40 value) is…



The second place winner of 2 weeks unlimited, 1 pair of PB sticky socks, 1 PB re-useable tote bag and 1 PB car decal (a $115 value) is…



And finally!  The GRAND PRIZE winner of 1 month Unlimited, 1 pink PB tank, 1 pair of PB sticky socks, 1 PB re-useable tote bag and 1 PB car decal (a $240 value) is…..
1st 1stLaura

JUST KIDDING! Laura never reached out to me so the new winner is….

1st b

Congrats, Shibani!

Winners MUST contact me within 24 hours or a new winner will be drawn!  And if you weren’t one of the lucky winners, you should most definitely still check out the new studio in Rocky River.  I’ll see you at the barre!

Pier W Hosts Orin Swift Wine Dinner January 21

**Have you entered to win one of three fabulous prizes from Pure Barre Rocky River? You have until midnight on Wednesday!**

pier w logoPier W is a staple in my family to celebrate milestones.  Whether it’s a 21st birthday, a 60th birthday or simply an excuse to get together for great eats and drinks, we often find ourselves either bellied up for the ridiculously cheap happy hour or seated at one of the breathtaking tables at one of the best restaurant joints in Cleveland.

On my mom's birthday last year.

On my mom’s birthday last year.

If you haven’t been to this gem in Cleveland, you should join me and check out The Orin Swift dinner on January 21, 2014 for only $75 plus tax and gratuity. (Call 216-228-2250 for reservations).  The menu sounds amazing:

1st Course

Pan Seared Nantucket Bay Scallops, Rutabaga Puree,

Honey Roasted Cashews, Bittersweet Chocolate Shavings

Orin Swift Blindfold ~ White Blend ~ California


2nd Course

Garden Sashimi,

Hawaiian Tuna, Verlasso Salmon, Pickled Kumquats, Micro Greens

Orin Swift Mannequin ~ White Blend ~ Napa ~ California


3rd Course

Duck Forcemeat Wrapped In Duck Prosciutto,

Prune and Blood Orange Glaze,

House Made Rice Noodles in Duck Consume

Orin Swift Prisoner ~ Zinfandel Blend ~ Napa ~ California


 4th Course

Assorted Chocolate Truffles

Orin Swift Abstract ~ Red Blend ~ Napa Valley ~ California


 For the amount of food and wine served at this meal, I think $75 is a great deal!  See you there?

Pier W Sommelier Kliment Stevoff

Pier W Sommelier Kliment Stevoff

Disclosure: I was provided a media pass to cover and promote the event at Pier W.  As always, opinions are mine.

Pure Barre Rocky River: New Year, New You!

For those of you that I’m foursquare friends with, it comes as no surprise to you that I’ve fallen in love with Pure Barre Westlake/Avon over the past 10 months or so.   However, it may surprise some of you that are familiar with my rocky history with barre classes :)

maui-honeymoonOwner, Lori Standen, brought her love of barre to northeast Ohio and along with it she hired a group of talented staff in Avon.  I personally have Lori, Maggie, Alice and Jenny to thank for burning me into shape leading up to our July nuptials.  I purchased the Bride-To-Be package because I knew I’d be living in a bikini for almost 2 weeks in Maui!

What exactly is a barre workout?

In just 55 minutes, you will achieve a total body workout targeted at the areas of the body women struggle with most:  seat, hips, thighs, abs, and arms. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretch section, which will help you achieve a long, lean, and strong physique.  

I, for one, feel much stronger than I was a year ago, have more muscle definition and love how warm and welcoming everyone (instructors included) are in the studio.

Lori’s success has led her to opening a second location in downtown Rocky River less than one year after the ribbon-cutting at PB Westlake/Avon.  (If there’s any confusion about the Westlake/Avon name – the studio was originally supposed to be in Westlake, but ended up in Avon.)  Since I spend so much time in Rocky River, I know I’ll be frequenting the new space, but will have the luxury of using my classes in both studios – a rarity in boutique fitness locations.

Pure Barre Rocky River is slated to open on Friday, January 17, 2013.   And I have quite the Pure Barre giveaway for you!

Grand Prize: (value $240)
1 month Unlimited
1 pink PB tank
1 pair of PB sticky socks
1 PB re-useable tote bag
1 PB car decal
2nd Prize: (value $115)
2 weeks unlimited
1 pair of PB sticky socks
1 PB re-useable tote bag
1 PB car decal
Third Prize (value $40)
1 Free Class
1 pair of PB sticky socks
1 PB re-useable tote bag
1 PB car decal

You can enter to be one of the three lucky winners by doing one or all of the following:

1. Post a comment telling me one workout you tried that put you out of your comfort zone (for me that was pure barre!).

2. Tweet the following: I want to win a @PB_RockyRiver package from @dawgpndgirl: #LiftToneBurn. You can tweet once per day.

3. Follow @PB_RockyRiver on Twitter (leave a separate comment telling me you did so or already do!).

4. Like Pure Barre Rocky River on Facebook (leave a separate comment telling me you did so or already do!).

The contest will run for one full week (January 8, 2014 – January 15, 2014).  Three winners will be randomly selected on Thursday, January 16, 2014 and must claim within 24 hours of posting.

Disclosure: I was gifted one month unlimited to Pure Barre for hosting this giveaway.  All opinions are mine, as always.

A very happy 30th in NYC

This may be 3 weeks late but I’m a crappy blogger so sue me.

For my special friend Alissa’s 30th birthday, her closest friends from near and far joined her for an unforgettable weekend in The Big Apple.  For all intensive purposes, I had never been to the city and was excited one of the girls on the trip lived in Brooklyn – she did all the planning for us! I even got to see my old roomie who now lives in NYC. We met at Rolf’s, aka the bar that Christmas threw up all over:



While we had intentions of sight-seeing and shopping, we we’re too busy having fun to be bothered by any of that.  Instead, we drank plenty of beer and wine, ate New York style pizza, went to the best bottomless Champagne brunch at Harry’s, had our hair blown out and danced until the wee hours of the morning.  And I think Alissa would have it no other way.  The pictures say it all…

The group eating 'za

The group eating ‘za

Cabbin' it.

Cabbin’ it.


Eat here. Just do it.

Eat here. Just do it.

HOTTEST server of all time. Evan.

HOTTEST server of all time. Evan.

Acting like cool kids.

Acting like cool kids.

This girl. I love her.

This girl. I love her.

Alissa has been one of the best friends I could ever ask for.  I’m lucky to have her in my life and can’t wait to make 30 more years of memories with her!  Not only did she travel up to CLE numerous times for wedding festivities this year, she went above and beyond as one of my maid of honors.  Since she’s in Charleston, I’m glad our close-knit group of girlfriends makes time for trips like this.  Happiest of birthdays, my friend.

Do you and your friends take yearly trips?



Rachael Ray comes to Cleveland December 14: Giveaway

I’ve always been a fan of Rachael Ray. EVOO, yummo and all.  I tend to watch 3 channels on TV and the Food Network happens to be one of my favorites.  And when I work from home, I always watch The Rachael Ray Show.  I have an obsession with anything buffalo chicken and I think she shares in my infatuation because she tends to share the most mouth-watering recipes.

Lucky for me, Rachael’s PR peeps are sending me a copy of her new book, Week in a Day!  Lucky for you, I have two tickets to giveaway to Rachael’s event in Rocky River on December 14!  All those in attendance will receive their very own signed cookbook.

Saturday, December 14, 7:00 PM

(Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)

Rocky River High School Auditorium

20951 Detroit Road, Rocky River, Ohio 44116

More event info



You can enter win two tickets to her event at Rocky River High School by:

  1. Posting a comment telling me your favorite cookbook.
  2. Tweet the following: I want to win tix to see @rachaelray from @dawgpndigrl: (You can tweet once per day. Leave a comment for EACH tweet).
  3. Follow me and Rachael on Twitter. Leave a comment letting me know you did so (or already do!)
  4. Share this content on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me you shared.

Sweepstakes runs until midnight Tuesday, December 3, 2013. One winner will be randomly selected and must reply within 24 hours to claim tickets.

Good luck!  Whoever wins has to let me know how it is as I’ll be in the Big Apple celebrating my best friend’s 30th!

Disclosure: I was contacted by Rachael Ray’s PR firm to promote her visit to Cleveland and her new cookbook.  Opinions are all mine.