Why? Entertaining by Design Giveaway!

Can you believe it’s almost the holidays?! If you’re like me, you start to think about decorating your home for this festive season and maybe even changing up some of your typical decorations. Which makes Entertaining by Design a perfectly-timed event.


On Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, the Ohio Design Centre will be filled with 30+ spectacular themed tabletop, dining and entertaining vignettes created by Cleveland’s most talented interior designers. Having attended this event in the past, I can tell you that these designs truly are spectacular and inspired and you will leave with some amazing ideas. You also get to vote for your favorite designs!

Tickets to check out these gorgeous tablescapes are $10 at the door. There’s also a kickoff Patron Party & Gala on Friday, November 4 that is sure to be a great time! All proceeds from the Patron Party and the general Entertaining by Desgin event benefit Malachi House and their mission of serving the terminally ill.

You can enter to win two general admission tickets to check out Entertaining by Design and get inspiration for your holiday entertaining. Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Leave a comment telling me what upcoming event for which Entertaining by Design will provide you inspiration.

2. Visit Ohio Design Centre and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @ohdesigncentre and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend Entertaining by Design at @ohdesigncentre thanks to @WhyCLE: https://whycle.com/2016/10/20/why-entertaining-by-design-giveaway-3 #giveaway

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Monday, October 24 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Entertaining by Design. In exchange, I will receive two tickets to give away. I declined my own two complimentary tickets due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Pier W Tour of Italy Wine Dinner!

Pier W is one of Cleveland’s classic restaurants (they just celebrated their 50th anniversary last year) that continually remains relevant due to inspired menus that blend classic seafood choices with modern culinary techniques. Plus, you can’t beat the view, the ambiance, and the spot-on service!

Among the restaurant’s many accolades are “Best Seafood” and “Most Romantic” from Cleveland Scene Magazine’s Best of Cleveland and and “Best Brunch,” “Best View,” and “Best Seafood” from Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland.

Which is why I’m so excited for Pier W’s upcoming Tour of Italy Wine Dinner on Tuesday, November 1.


Kliment Stevoff, the restaurant’s wine director and Level II sommelier, along with Executive Chef Regan Reik will guide guests through a four-course food and wine pairing. You will not only get to enjoy delicious food, but you will learn more about Italian wines (personally, ones I don’t know much about) and how to pair them.

The menu is nothing short of incredible, with items like lobster carpaccio, lamb chops, and vanilla napoleon. You can view the complete menu here.

Seats for the Tour of Italy Wine Dinner are $85 plus tax and gratuity. This is sure to be a delicious, educational evening you won’t soon forget. Make your reservations today by calling 216-228-2250.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Pier W Tour of Italy Wine Dinner. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary seats at the dinner. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

What a beautiful weekend in the CLE! We just can’t take weather like this for granted, right? So, of course we had a jam-packed weekend to enjoy it all!

On Friday night, we went out to dinner with friends Elizabeth and Andrew and their daughter Mia to Lure Bistro & Sushi Bar. Jeffrey and Mia had a great time cracking each other up through the meal and in between toddler jokes, the grown-ups got to catch up too.

I love Lure’s sushi, but after looking at the menu, I knew what I needed to order: the duck pappardelle, with a light cream sauce, duck confit, cranberries, and mushrooms.


What a perfect fall dish! The duck was rich and the cranberries added a nice brightness to the meal.

The rest of our table stuck with Lure’s sushi and seafood dishes, with a selection of vegetarian sushi for Elizabeth and Andrew and the seared tuna for Matthew.

Jeffrey had a cheeseburger and Mia had mac ‘n cheese (Lure has a nice kids menu). And everyone was happy with their meals! Lure is always one of my favorite spots in downtown Willoughby and Friday’s dinner didn’t disappoint.

Saturday morning, we took Jeffrey to a Pumpkin Party at his school. The kids loved running around the playground (hooray, beautiful weather!), as well as enjoying cider and donut holes and decorating pumpkins.


I loved the foam stickers for decorating the pumpkins…so much neater than paint and the result was so cute!

Saturday evening, Matthew, Amanda, Scott and I attended our friend Gina’s wedding. We all met Gina through blogging for the Cleveland Zoological Society events, where she works. It was such an honor to be able to attend her big day!


Gina and her husband Todd are really into video games and they had tables with video games to play during the reception. But the coolest part of the video game theme was the cake, which had various classic video games (Pacman, Donkey Kong) projected on the white frosting.


The ceremony and reception were held at LaMalfa and the food was really good, especially the wide selection of appetizers during the cocktail hour. I’m a sucker for fried ravioli!


Good food, good friends, and a lovely special occasion…what a great way to spend Sweetest Day with my sweetie!


Amanda and Scott spent the night at our house after the wedding, which gave me a good excuse to make a real breakfast. I made some of my favorite Fresh Fork Market breakfast patties, as well as homemade waffles (recipe here, I added 1 teaspoon of vanilla too).

Then we were off to our niece Hannah’s fourth birthday party at the Riverfront YMCA. The kids had a great time running around the gym and eating pizza and cupcakes. But more than that, I love seeing the developing relationships with Jeffrey and his cousins!


So that was our weekend! So much fun with friends and family, with a sprinkling of fall festivities too. How was yours?


Why? EDWINS Run for Re-Entry Giveaway!

By now, you’ve heard of EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, a fine-dining French restaurant staffed by formerly incarcerated men and women.

Not only does EDWINS put out delicious food, but they make a huge impact on our community by providing a fair and equal second chance to everyone. In fact, EDWINS founder Brandon Chrostowski was honored as one of CNN’s heroes!

On Sunday, October 23, EDWINS is hosting the first Run for Re-Entry. This 5K takes place in the Buckeye neighborhood, which is home to the new EDWINS Second Chance Life Skill Center.

At the finish line, there will be live music, as well as food and beverage provided by EDWINS.


You can run or walk the 5K. Registration for the race is $25 for pre-registration and $15 for Buckeye neighborhood residents. Registration for the walk is $15 for pre-registration. Registration includes a t-shirt, as well as food and beverage. You can register online.

Or you can enter to win a free race registration right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me why you want to participate in the EDWINS Run for Re-Entry.

2. Visit EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @edwinscle and @whycle on Instagram and leave comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @EdwinsCLE and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to run the @EdwinsCLE Run for Re-Entry thanks to @WhyCLE: https://whycle.com/2016/10/14/why-edwins-run-for-re-entry-giveaway #giveaway

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, October 18 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the EDWINS Run for Re-Entry. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary race entry to give away. I declined my own complimentary race entry due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Jump Back Ball Ticket Sales Party!

As you might have heard, the hottest party in town – Playhouse Square Jump Back Ball – has a theme and a date.


Playhouse Square Partners presents Roaring Back to the 20’s on February 25, 2017. It’s sure to be a glitzy, glamorous, fun evening! And one that will sell out quickly!

On Monday, October 24, you can get your first chance to purchase Jump Back Ball tickets at the best possible price. There will be a ticket sales party in the State Theatre, with complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and your chance to score your tickets to this beautiful bash.

On October 24, Jump Back Ball general admission tickets will be priced as follows:

Partners Encore Society Members – $130 (limit 4 per membership)

Partners ($100+ level) – $130 (limit 2 per membership)

Partners ($50 level) – $165

Public – $165

All VIP tickets are $250 that evening.

Plus, if you’re a Partners member at the contributing level ($100) or above, you will enjoy a swell surprise at the ticket sales party!

So shimmy, shake, and jive on over to the Jump Back Ball ticket sales party and start to get excited for the hottest party in Cleveland!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary ticket when I purchase a ticket of equal value. I am also the vice co-chair of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

It was a fun and busy weekend! While Matthew and I were Rollin’ on the River on Friday, my parents took Jeffrey to a fall festival at Mapleside Farms. From caramel apples to hay rides to a gigantic slide, everyone had a great time!


Jeffrey came home with nearly an entire pumpkin patch to decorate our house! I can remember going to Mapleside as a kid (in fact, I lost my first tooth in one of their caramel apples), so I love that now Jeffrey is going there too!

On Saturday, Jeffrey and I went up to John Carroll University for Homecoming Weekend.


The weather was perfect for exploring campus and going to the street fair. Different student organizations had tents to raise money by selling things like cookies (which we had to get from my sorority, Kappa Delta), ice cream, and bottled water.

We also made spirit signs at the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter tent and scored a cool megaphone from the Carroll Crazies. There were food trucks, tailgating, and plenty of football fall fun to enjoy! We had a great time supporting the blue and gold!

Saturday evening, there was more seasonally-appropriate fun on tap as we attended a clambake at our friends Dominic and Kelly’s house. While Jeffrey was most excited about the bounce houses at the clambake…


…Matthew and I were excited about the delicious clambake fare (I especially love the crab legs option, since I don’t like clams).


We do love our clambakes here in Cleveland!

Sunday, we hosted Matthew’s side of the family for a birthday party for his dad. His dad is taking a trip to Spain soon, so I suggested a Spanish-themed party. Matthew’s brother brought a great selection of Spanish cheeses and olives for snacking.

I made paella for the first time (recipe here). I’m always nervous trying out a new recipe, especially with company. But I was really happy with the results! It was flavorful and packed with so many tasty meats and vegetables! Or perhaps the homemade sangria just made everything taste wonderful…


But more than the food, it was so nice to have time with family! The five cousins all sat at a kids’ table in the kitchen and we could hear crazy laughter and fun through the whole meal. And we ended the evening with Matthew’s dad reading a story to all the kids. It doesn’t get better than that!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

***Disclosure: I am the president of the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Rollin’ on the River!

On Friday night, Matthew and I enjoyed a little bit of Vegas right here in Cleveland when we attended Rollin’ on the River, a fundraiser for the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland. We started our evening at the Westin Cleveland Downtown in the VIP room, where we enjoyed tasty appetizers like bacon-wrapped dates and falafel balls, were entertained by a roving magician, and celebrated the 10th anniversary of this great event with a champagne toast.

The other highlight of the VIP room was the chance to see and take pictures with the Larry O’Brien Trophy. This was such a great chance to see up close the Cavs championship trophy! I love how accessible the trophy has been to fans, from season ticket holder events to making the rounds at fundraisers to public events at places like Jack Casino. It really feels like we all have a little part of that shiny beauty, which I think is a particularly Cleveland sentiment.


From there, we moved into the main room to enjoy dinner, casino games, and entertainment. I particularly enjoyed the “Rat Pack” style singers who serenaded us!


The dinner food included caprese salad, roast beef and potatoes, and turkey and stuffing, all portioned small enough that they could be eaten while mingling through the crowd.


I completely failed at getting a picture of our desserts, but both the baklava and the Vietnamese coffee ice cream were heavenly!

I found myself having quite a lucky night at the Blackjack table, which would never happen if I were playing with real money! We had a great time playing, as well as getting to know our tablemates. When you’re playing for fun, everyone just cheers each other on and chats and has a good time!


Aside from the ticket proceeds benefitting the Hunger Network, you could also contribute that evening by bidding on silent auction items, purchasing raffle tickets for a stay in the presidential suite at the Westin and an Urban Farmer gift card, or donating directly to the Hunger Network’s “Fill-A-Bag” program.

It was a wonderful, swanky evening, all to help the hungry in our community! Cheers to a fabulous 10th year and here’s to many more years of Rollin’ on the River!


***Disclosure: I was asked by the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote Rollin’ on the River. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? L’Amour du Vin!

I always appreciate food and wine events that feature restaurants I don’t get to that often. I have my favorite spots, but I often forget just how many great restaurants we have in the Cleveland area. Which is why L’Amour du Vin, a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, is consistently a favorite event. The restaurants are all from Lorain and western Cuyahoga County and I inevitably come away reminded of a spot or two I need to revisit.

Amanda graciously agreed to be my date and help me sample all the deliciousness. We started in the VIP room, where Heck’s Cafe served up a wide selection of tasty treats: a steak skewer, a burger with brie and cherry compote, a shooter of the most creamy, dreamy butternut squash soup, scallops, and mini chocolate peanut butter pies.


The burger was almost my favorite, but that soup…it was so seasonally perfect.

Also in VIP were craft cocktails from Brown-Forman, chair massages, charcoal portraits, and complimentary take-home truffles from Sweet Designs Chocolatier.

In the main room, the wine was flowing and the food was sizzling.


We enjoyed tuna tartare from both 87 West at Crocker Park and Wine Bar Rocky River. The mole-style chicken thighs from Market Rocky River were a big hit!


The tostones from BOMBA Tacos and Rum and tacos from Bistro 83 also brought the southwestern spice.


And in the comfort food category, the maple bacon mac ‘n cheese from Bar 145 Avon and the Korean short rib slider from Rue 254 were warm, filling, and delicious!

I always save plenty of room for the Kiedrowski Simply Delicious Bakery sweets. I love the snoogles (flaky pasty with cream cheese filling and glaze), but the mini cupcakes were pretty amazing too!


And Kiedrowski also offered a very timely cookie…


All of this great food and wine help raise funds for those in Northeast Ohio living with arthritis. If you want to help out the Arthritis Foundation too, there is another fun event coming up on December 11: the 2016 Jingle Bell Run. This family-friendly holiday run at Legacy Village is a festive way to benefit a wonderful cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote L’Amour du Vin. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Heinen’s Wine Tasting!

On Monday night, I met up with fellow members of the Playhouse Square Partners Encore Society for a lovely evening in the most gorgeous grocery store: the Heinen’s in downtown Cleveland.


Playhouse Square Partners Encore Society is a membership that is based on your donor level and is in addition to the general membership benefits that all Partners enjoy. Encore Society membership includes priority ticketing, Donor Circle seats, and invitations to exclusive networking events such as this one.

We got to enjoy our choice of wines from the large and varied selections offered at Heinen’s wine tasting stations. You simply use a prepaid card, select the size sample (priced based on the total cost of the bottle), and enjoy!


I always manage to find a new must-buy wine, as well as getting a chance to try wines that are out of our usual price range too. Plus, you can’t beat the beautiful surroundings of the AmeriTrust rotunda in the downtown Heinen’s!

Heinen’s also provided us with some delicious savory and sweet nibbles. The skewers were my favorite…they tasted like pasta salad on a stick!

John Williams of Process Creative Studios, the lead architect and designer on the downtown Heinen’s, spoke to us about the renovations. He focused on the importance of maintaining as much of the original features of the AmeriTrust building, as well as Heinen’s commitment to bringing an urban grocery store to downtown Cleveland.


For a great lunch if you work downtown or for a lovely spot for a drink and a nibble after work (plus a chance to get your grocery shopping done too), head over to the downtown Heinen’s. Click here for a round-up of the upcoming events at the store.

***Disclosure: I am the vice co-chair of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

Aside from all the fun with Cocktail Week Cleveland, there were lots of other good times this weekend. On Saturday morning, Alicia and I met up for a “mom date.” I let the momma-to-be decide what we did, so she picked a yoga class at GroundSwell Collective, followed by brunch in Gordon Square.


It was a chilly morning, but Mike’s flow got us warmed up very quickly. GroundSwell boasts beautiful views of Cleveland, as well as yoga classes that good for both the body and the soul.


I’ve enjoyed watching GroundSwell’s development on Cleveland Hustles and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them. The classes are moving indoors to a temporary location after this week, but you can stay up to date on the schedule and all the happenings on GroundSwell’s website.


Then we were off to brunch. Through happenstance, we ended up at Latitude 41n, which ended up being the perfect spot to sit and catch up. My brunch was pure fall: an apple cider mimosa (with a cinnamon sugar rim) and apple cinnamon pancakes.

And Alicia had the egg plate with turkey sausage and grits, which looked like a whole lot of traditional breakfast goodness.


It was a perfect morning to spend some time doing favorite things with a favorite friend!

On Sunday, we met up with Amanda and Scott to go to the Great Pumpkin Fest at Cedar Point.


I loved this event with Jeffrey last year, but it’s even better now that he’s older and can participate more.

He went trick-or-treating through Kiddie Kingdom, rode some of his favorite rides, visited the Magical House at Boo Hill, went through a corn maze, and even got to see a parade with favorite characters like Snoopy, Linus, and Sally.


It was such a fun day and a great way to start to get into the Halloween spirit!

How was your weekend? Can you believe it’s October?!