Browns home-opening weekend!

**Congrats to @Timzaun for winning the Browns tickets to the Lions game!

The Browns have always been great at taking us to the highest-of-highs (I’m talking a couple of first downs) and plumetting us into the lowest-of-lows before we can even finish celebrating something semi-positive they did on the field. Do I sound bitter? I’m really not. I fully acknowledge the fact that I choose to put myself (and all of those who are lucky to be around me!) through this each and every year.

You know what though? I probably will never change. They don’t call me dawgpndgirl for nothin’! And the Browns Home Opener is essentially Christmas in Cleveland! I would never miss Christmas! So, my new bro-in-law and I headed downtown to paint the town Orange and Brown…

Cousin Lori and Browns fan CP!

Cousin Lori and Browns fan CP!

Tailgating in the tailgate.

Tailgating in the tailgate.

I even invited my brother…my hubs was too busy hanging out at the marina!

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Dave and I enjoyed the first half and then I decided to compare wedding rings with Sarah Haden…and asked her to wear my sunglasses. I’m sure that humbled her.

Summer 2013 weddings...now friends?

Summer 2013 weddings…now friends? Next week we may share shoes.

After waking up with a Monday morning Browns hangover, I got through the day because I knew we had my favorite fundraising event of the year to look forward to: The 2013 Taste of the Browns!

That's A LOT of meals.

That’s A LOT of meals.

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We ate well, we drank a bit and we ran into a lot of our friends. Including Chud and Joe Thomas’ wives (see Dean looking like a shrimp above). Living the high life, people!

When the Browns eventually win the home opener, we’re going to be there and it’s going to be awesome! Until then, I’ll pretend I’m friends with Joe Thomas, John Greco, Alex Mack, Bubba Baker, Hanford Dixon, Bill Duff, Kevin Mack…all while embarrassing Heatha.

Did you know? The Browns are tied for first in the AFC North! GO BROWNS!!!!

Cleveland Browns Ticket Giveaway and Fan Appreciation Week

I’m VERY excited to let you all in on what the Browns are up to leading up to their season/home opener on Sept. 8. In a mission to thank Browns fans on how much the organization appreciates our lifelong, dedicated support (and to show the rest of the country why the home-field advantage lives in Cleveland), there will be a week-long series of fan appreciation events and activities leading up to kickoff!

Paint The Town Browns LogoEach day, an activity will be announced on paintthetownbrowns.com. Be sure to check the URL out daily for exciting events that will be taking place and while you’re at it, brag about how truly awesome we are with the #WeAreCleveland hashtag.

In addition to these daily activities, I’m giving away TWO BROWNS TICKETS to the Lions game on October 13, 2013 and it’s easy to enter:

LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY
1. Like The Browns on Facebook
2. Follow them on Twitter
3. Follow them on Instagram
4. Tweet the following: ‘I want to win Browns tix from @dawgpndgirl because #WeAreCleveland and we are awesome http://bit.ly/185j95G‘ (You can tweet daily)
5. Leave a comment telling me who your favorite Browns player of all time is and why

You can enter until midnight on Friday, September 6, 2013. Winners will be announced shortly after!

Good luck…and represent Cleveland, Dawg Pound!

Damn right, we're from Cleveland and we're proud of it!

Damn right, we’re from Cleveland and we’re proud of it!

Disclaimer: I was provided with Cleveland Browns swag in exchange for hosting this giveaway. It goes without saying, that I support this team through thick and thin!

A Hawaiian Honeymoon

After the best day and night of our lives, Dean and I knew our adventure was just beginning. For starters, we had (have) the roller coaster of life ahead of ourselves. Not to mention, we were heading to Maui for 12 (TWELVE!) days of tropical-paradise-Heaven. I could go on. And on. And on. And I will, eventually.

But for now, I’ll share some ridiculous photos before divulging a few of our favorite things about Maui:

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Not a one of these photos have a filter on them. They were all taken on my iPhone Camera+ app. I packed my DSLR but instantly became a minimalist in Maui (wore makeup once and never dried my hair). I’m ready to go back!

#Paradise

2013 Taste of the Browns – Winner!

Congrats to @abbede! Her 25th comment was selected randomly on random.org as the winner of two tickets to the 2013 Taste of the Browns!

Sad you didn’t win? Buy your tickets now! I also heard a rumor that Amanda will be hosting her own giveaway on Clue Into Cleveland!

Go Browns!

2013 Taste of the Browns to benefit Cleveland Foodbank

I really can’t even believe I’m saying this but, THE BROWNS PLAY THIS WEEK! Sure, it’s a preseason game but it certainly means tailgating, sweatshirts, clambakes & football fever are just around the corner.

As with every year, I hate saying goodbye to summer but (duh) CLE is a football town and as we do each year, we’ve hit the reset button with the new ‘regime’ and I for one, am anxious to see what will unfold this year. Optimism is always high when training camp injuries are at a minimum!

The Monday following the Browns opener always marks one of my favorite Cleveland events – the Taste of the Browns!

Taste of the Browns Logo

Unlike years in the past, the event promoters are offering discounted tickets! The special ticket discount day is will be Friday, August 9 and general admission tickets will be sold for $150 (versus the normal $175). Buy now!

If you’re not familiar with this event, it’s held at the stadium and is chock full of Cleveland movers and shakers including current and retired Browns players! And if we win on September 8, I’m sure there will be lots of Browns players in attendance!

2011 Taste of the Browns with Alexa & Julie.

2011 Taste of the Browns with Alexa & Julie.

Last year’s Taste of the Browns raised more than $140,500 which translated to more than half a million meals to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank!

And I have two general admission tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader! You have four ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me which restaurant or beverage provider you’d love to try.

2. Leave a (separate) comment predicting the Browns record this season.

3. Tweet this message: ‘I want to win Taste of the Browns tickets from @dawgpndgirl http://bit.ly/16pLLWP #TOBgiveawy.’ (Leave a separate comment on this post letting me know you tweeted.)

4. Post a link to the contest on your Facebook page. (Leave a separate comment letting me know you did so.)

You can enter until midnight on Sunday, August 12, 2013 and can enter via Twitter daily. The winner will be selected at random and notified by August 14, 2013.

Or you can purchase tickets here.

Good luck and GO BROWNS!

Disclaimer: I was provided with two tickets to attend this event and two tickets to give away in exchange for this blog post.

I’m married!

You guys! I’m really a Coticchia. I had the absolute time of my life on July 13, 2013 & want to scream it from the rooftop! I have so much to share from our incredible day from the DIY projects we worked on all year to the beautiful bridesmaids dresses and everything in-between!

Since we don’t have our professional photos yet, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos I grabbed from the WeddingParty app (best idea ever!). We had nearly 600 photos uploaded by our guests onto the app to share. We also took over instagram for the night (#cotiwedding) 🙂 I don’t mess around when it comes to social media!

Anyways..my fav WeddingParty pics from the day:
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Getting married at CiC is where it’s at, people. Much more to come!

I’m intending on being an active blogger again now that I don’t have a wedding to plan!

I survived my Kelley’s Island bachelorette party

When you take one part lifelong pals, a sprinkle of awesome friends made over the past 4 years, a few family members & a bunch of girls that love boats and put them on an island, I can guarantee you it’s a good time. At least it was for my last hoorah on Kelley’s Island!

I can’t share much that happened on the island but I’ll disclose what’s web-propriate. This saying also applies to the Lake Erie Islands: WHAT HAPPENS ON KELLEY’S ISLAND, STAYS ON KELLEY’S ISLAND (or sometimes it goes on the Internet). But that’s ok with me because I had the time of my life! Now onto the good stuff…the pictures!

Things we're innocent. The ferry & deck drinking!

Things we’re innocent. The ferry & deck drinking!

Once we got settled into the swanky house, my amazing bridesmaids started bringing out the gifts! The first being AN INFLATABLE POOL! They know me so well 🙂

I'm only putting myself on the Internet in this fashion because Alexa already did. And it's the only photo I have of the pool!

I’m only putting myself on the Internet in this fashion because Alexa already did. And it’s the only photo I have of the pool!

Photo borrowed from the The Plum.

Then the Dong Bong made an appearance. Hey, it was a BACHELORETTE PARTY!! Julie’s face says it all.

The above montage captures not only one of the best gag gifts, but one of my MOH’s blow drying her hair with an air bed pump, Kimi & Heather at dinner and the entire group of Friday night hotties! We landed an amazing table at Kelley’s Island House for dinner. I won’t go into details, but we had some shady service.

Another photo from Alexa.

Another photo from Alexa.

However, a little snafu didn’t prevent people snapping photos of our dinner group…multiple times. Hey, I have hot friends!! I seriously think strangers thought we we’re famous or something. Ha!

After plenty of horrible music & gyrating at The Casino, we called it a night. Yes, a late night.

Come Saturday morning, I said goodbye to my mom, cousins, Alexa, Kimi & Heather and hello to an entirely new crazy group of gals. After a brunch you’d think could only be created on land, with a real kitchen, my bridesmaids threw me gag gift shower. Moving on…

Saturday afternoon was a repeat of Friday with the addition of Cards Against Humanity, grilling out, 10X more beer & your typical hilarity.

Granny Panties, my before photo, some of the aftermath & my bridal party!

Granny Panties, my ‘before photo, some aftermath & my bridal party!

I’m glad I was sans phone for most of the weekend, but that’s basically where the buck stops. Photos were taken and photos were deleted. We continued dancing, drinking, strawberry shots, Brandy Alexanders, Casino dancing & the party didn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. However, everyone ended up with one of these…(yes, this is the only Internet appropriate collage!):

My MOH, MacKenzie. Love her!

My MOH, MacKenzie. Love her!

Before. And After. It’s hard to have her look bad!

All in all, a freaking success. And guess what? The next thing up is the wedding!!! I guess it’s really happening. T-minus 16 days.

In all seriousness – I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends & family that threw & attended this party. Smooches!

Wedding Wednesday: Shower #2 (this is really happening)

Hi! When I said I was going to be MIA this spring & summer, I wasn’t lying. Life is cray.cray.cray. But life is great. And for the record, I am still getting married! In about 5 weeks. omgomgomg.

Speaking of getting hitched, remember back in December when my mom & bridesmaids threw me quite the shower? Most people would think that’s all you get. But no, that’s not all you get when you’re marrying into a loving Italian & Ukrainian family.

Aunts and aunts and moms and aunts and moms!

Aunts (host) and aunts (host) and moms and aunts (host) and moms!

The shower my soon-to-be family threw was at CYC. Did you know we liked boats and nautical things? They picked a pretty spot on location.

Not only did Dean’s aunts host the shower, Dean’s cousin (and my near & dear friend) Lori, made the cake. And no, Betty Crocker didn’t help. This girl has talent…right?!

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Everything on that cake was edible. Thank you, Lori! You’ve got it going on!

I’m so grateful for all of the ‘showering,’ however, being the center of attention tends to be a bit awkward, right? Hopefully the bachelorette debacle will prepare me up for the wedding…ha!

Stripes & polka dots were the theme!

Stripes & polka dots were the theme!

Soon-to-be-in-laws!

Soon-to-be-in-laws!

Baba & her 'granddaughters'!

Baba & her ‘granddaughter s’!

Can you tell Dean was stoked by this gift?

The Bobber!

The Bobber!

I have felt like a member of Dean’s immediate family for years and this shower made sure I never doubted being accepted into the fam. Thank you Aunt Viv, Jackie & Kathy!!!!!!!

Next up? Bachelorette, I do’s & Maui!!!!!!!

Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival Giveaway!

I don’t know where the month of May went, but I was planning on hosting this giveaway a few weeks ago – whoops! So let’s get down to business..

With the unofficial start of summer just a few days away, who doesn’t want to do what Americans do best? Eat!

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This year’s event highlights include:
-Sizzling entertainment from Mega 80’s, Rick Springfield, Buddy Guy and Bret Michaels along with dozens of regional bands performing on two stages throughout the weekend
-Ten professional grilling teams from across the country will engage in a fierce culinary battle for “Greatest Ribs in America,” “Butch Lupinetti Greatest Sauce in America” and “People’s Choice”
-Five rookie barbecue chefs will participate in the annual Marc’s Amateur Grilling Competition
-New Riverside Terrace and Dining Area offering scenic views of Lake Erie
-Kids’ activities and more!

You can enter to win two general admission tickets by completing one, two or all three of the options listed below (please leave a seperate comment for each entry):

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite dish to enjoy over the summer.

2. Follow @MarcsStores and @dawgpndgirl on Twitter.

3. Tweet the following:
I want to eat ribs & rock out at the @MarcsStores #GreatAmericanRibCookOff from @dawgpndgirl: http://bit.ly/12q0jn2

You can tweet once per day but remember to leave a separate comment each time you tweet. The winner will be randomly selected & notified the morning of Thursday, May 23, 2013.

Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the event & was provided with two tickets of my own.

Provenance winner!

Congrats to Melinda from 30 Something Therapy for winning $100 to Provenance at CMA with her (randomly selected) 35th comment! Thanks to all who entered. Check out Provenance on your next trip to the art museum!

Drop me an email with your address & I’ll send the gift card your way!