Why? Refined Giveaway!

Ohio is developing quite a spirited industry of spirits, which is why Refined was created. Refined is a festival that celebrates alcohol only from Ohio.


Refined is happening on Saturday, February 23 from 4-9pm at the Cuyahoga Fairgrounds. Refined has partnered with the non-profit Tails from the City to help with proceeds and volunteers so that cats can find forever homes.

At Refined, you can visit three themed bars:

  • Cat Bar, with cat-themed drinks and the chance to sign up to be a Tails from the City volunteer
  • Classic Bar
  • Pop Culture Bar

Tickets for Refined are currently on sale online. Single Entry ($48.60) or Multi/Two Person Admission ($90.62) gets you 15 drink tasting tickets, a shot glass, and access to all non-alcoholic drinks and food trucks.

VIP Single Entry ($69.61) or VIP Multi/Two Person Admission ($132.64) gets you 20 drink tasting tickets, a special shot glass, access to all non-alcoholic drinks and food trucks, 1/2-hour early entrance, and swag.

Or you can enter to win a general admission Multi/Two Person ticket right here. Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite Ohio spirit.

2. Visit Original Festival Collective and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you visited both.

3. Follow @co_festival 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:

Cheers! I want to win tickets to #RefinedCLE from @co_festival and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/01/23/why-refined-giveaway 

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

And for a chance to win two VIP Single Entry tickets, hop over to my Instagram page and follow the instructions there.

The giveaway will close on Saturday, January 26 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!




Why? barre3 January Challenge!

We’re about mid-way through the barre3 January Challenge, so I wanted to check in and let you know how it’s going (and remind you that it’s not too late to sign up!)


The barre3 January Challenge combines mindfulness and movement, which is one of the things that I love about it. Even before I was able to return to working out, I was able to participate in the challenge by using the Headspace app to meditate.

With Headspace, you can pick series of meditations focused on things such as happiness, stress/anxiety, focus, and more. If you’ve never meditated before, you can start with the basic series and even choose the length of time, with some as short as 3 minutes.

Headspace makes a daily meditation practice something that’s attainable. And it’s so great that barre3 recognizes the value of not just movement, but also mindfulness. The barre3 January Challenge is all about tapping into the strength you already have within you.

In returning to class at barre3 Legacy Village, I found that this messaging of mindfulness carries through to the movement piece of the challenge as well. Sure, the teachers encourage you to push yourself if you want to, but their main message is to listen to and honor your body where it is today.

This has been especially helpful in returning from a hiatus. I know that the teachers understand and support me and are going to help me reach my full potential, without pushing me past my limits. If I want to scale back on the weights, I can. If I want to go right into full plank, I can. It’s about tapping into the strength already in my body.

And seriously, you know there’s an amazing community going on when you receive multiple hugs and lots of great catch-up chats when you go back.

For me, I got hooked on barre3 specifically because of the elements of yoga it blends in. This focus on mindfulness has only increased that vibe. This is not just a great workout, but also a supportive community that cares about you and how you feel.

While we’re all motivated by putting our class and meditation stickers on the charts, you get the true sense that the people participating are motivated by something deeper.


By helping you change not how you look, but how you relate to your body and access what is already inside of you.

The barre3 January Challenge goes through February 3. You can still sign up for $99, which gets you unlimited classes until the end of the challenge, as well as 30 days of access to Headspace, weekly emails, and access to online workouts.

The barre3 January Challenge is habit-forming in the best way…not a fad, not something that will burn out, but a new way of honoring who you already are.

***Disclosure: I was asked by barre3 Legacy Village to help promote the January Challenge. In exchange, I received a complimentary challenge registration and barre3 swag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

It was a pretty low-key weekend around here, thanks to the weather. Sometimes Mother Nature makes us slow down and that’s OK!

Home Cooking

With being snowed in comes the opportunity to do some home cooking. I’ve been trying to find meals that everyone will like. Think: kid-friendly, but with enough flavor to keep the grown-ups happy too.

Friday night, I made baked chicken tenders with this recipe. What I really liked about this recipe was the batter incorporated Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, which gave the chicken more flavor than a standard egg wash.


I cheated a bit by using Heinen’s prepared foods for our potato side dish. But those stuffed twice-baked potatoes were hard to resist and Heinen’s prepared foods are so yummy!

Then on Sunday, we ventured out to my parents’ house. Jeffrey had been requesting to crack (not eat) crab legs and since the rest of us all enjoy the eating part, we figured we’d put him to work.


We did get Jeffrey to eat a couple bites of his handiwork too. The king crab legs were from Lobster Brothers and were sweet, tender, and delicious!

Family Yoga

On Sunday, we attended a family yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center.


It’s tough to find a yoga class that allows both parents and kids to practice together (click here to read my post for Northeast Ohio Parent on where to find kids yoga classes.) So, Matthew and I were really excited for the chance to practice with Jeffrey.


The class incorporated yoga poses, breath work, and meditation, all in ways that were fun, engaging, and accessible for the kids.


The family yoga class is held once a month at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. Cost to attend is free for members and $10 for non-members. The next class is on Sunday, February 17, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Click here to learn more and register.

So, that was our quiet winter weekend. How was yours? Did you stay warm and snug or venture out?


Why? Gourmet Guy Cafe!

Fast, flavorful, and fresh: the recently-opened Gourmet Guy Cafe in Rocky River is a great spot for lunch, casual dinner, or grab-and-go.


Gourmet Guy Cafe offers a great selection of sandwiches, sides, smoothies, and build-your-own bowls. I enjoyed both the Morning Sunrise smoothie (strawberries, banana, orange juice, yogurt) and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Passion (almond milk, banana, dark cocoa, honey.)


Healthy and decadent…yum!

We sampled three of Gourmet Guy’s sides: eggplant fries with creamy pesto…


…cous cous salad with tomatoes, feta, cilantro, and cucumber…


…and fried Brussel sprouts with roasted garlic and bacon mayo.


It would be completely impossible to pick a favorite. They were all delicious!

Then it was on to the sandwiches. The Triple B grilled cheese, with blackberry jam, bacon, caramelized onions, and Brie. This is a knockout combo of savory and sweet!


The Portobella mushroom panini with red onions, roasted garlic, arugula, and goat cheese spread was flavorful and filling.


And the salmon burger with lettuce, tomato, and whole grain mustard is great!


You can also build your own wraps or bowls with a choice of protein (steak, chicken, salmon, pulled pork, tofu), toppings, and dressings. These bowls are a yummy way to explore your healthy, creative side!

Gourmet Guy also offers prepared meals to go, which can be ordered online for pick-up.


So, for lots of fresh, delicious, healthy food for on the go or a meal out, check out Gourmet Guy Cafe!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting at Gourmet Guy Cafe. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Jumping Back Across the Pond in Cleveland!

By now you probably know that Playhouse Square Partners‘ annual Jump Back Ball fundraiser is British-themed: Jump Back Across the Pond.


If you’re going to Jump Back Ball (or considering it), you’re probably thinking of ways to get in the British spirit. And while a trip across the pond might not be feasible, there are plenty of ways to get in the mood right here in Cleveland.

Have a spot of tea

Nothing is more British than a spot of tea, right? Whether it’s High Tea at the Ritz Carlton Cleveland or the Macaron Tea Room, mini sandwiches, scones, and Earl Grey will have you feeling like you’re in jolly old England in no time!

Visit a pub

Perhaps fish and chips washed down with a pint is more your style. If so, check out Griffin Cider House or Fox & Hound Bar & Grill for an English pub experience.

Celebrate the British music invasion

One of the biggest pop culture contributions from across the pond came in the form of music. View artifacts, listen to songs, and generally celebrate these artists at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Take a stroll through an English garden

Did you know that the British Cultural Garden is the first of Cleveland’s cultural gardens? Visit this lovely garden that celebrates Shakespeare to feel immersed in a proper British setting.

View British art

Just up the road from the British Cultural Garden, visit the Cleveland Museum of Art to appreciate the British artwork in the Museum’s collection.

Now that you’re properly in the spirit of Jolly Old England, it’s time to grab your Jump Back Ball tickets and us all that British knowledge and culture you’ve soaked up!

Tickets are currently on sale for $165 for general admission, $200 for VIP admission, and $75 for late night admission. Click here to compare levels and purchase tickets.

For now, cheerio! Hope to see you as we Jump Back Across the Pond!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary VIP tickets. I am also the Communications Co-Chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Hudec Dental!

Selecting health care providers for your kids can be challenging. Not only do they need to feel comfortable with the person, but you as a parent need to feel comfortable too. Jeffrey just had his semi-annual dental appointment at Hudec Dental and we both left feeling so comfortable and happy!


I set up Jeffrey’s appointment through the Patient Care and Support Center. They made working around school, swimming, and social schedules a breeze to get the appointment scheduled.

We went to the office located within Lutheran Hospital, which is definitely a unique location. Even Jeffrey commented on the idea of a dentists’ office inside of a doctors’ office.


Jeffrey’s hygienist, Sandra Pierce, is also a mom and knew exactly how to connect with both Jeffrey and me. From suggesting Jeffrey open his mouth wide like a dinosaur to counting his teeth using the letters of the alphabet, Sandra’s methods made the appointment not only effective, but also fun.


Sandra answered my questions about tooth care at home and also indulged me showing her pictures of Jeffrey riding the Hudec Dental zamboni.

After the cleaning, we saw Dr. Jez, who also quickly connected with Jeffrey through “J names” and talking about his first just-starting-to-get-loose tooth. Sidebar: this momma is NOT ready for that.


He also reassured me that we kicked the pacifier habit in time to not do any lasting changes to his alignment. Hooray!

Jeffrey got a goodie bag of dental care items, plus a prize from the prize chest to take home. And we both got a good feeling knowing that not only are his teeth healthy, but he’s got a team of professionals who are both competent and kind helping him keep them that way.

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing partnership with Hudec Dental. Jeffrey received a complimentary cleaning and exam in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? City Barbecue!

You know a restaurant is opening with some hype already going when, on media preview day, no fewer than 10 cars pulled in the lot hoping City Barbecue was already open. Spoiler alert: the Beachwood location opens to the public on Monday, January 21.



The Beachwood restaurant will be the 46th location of City Barbecue, which started in Columbus, Ohio, and is now serving finger-lickin’ good barbecue across six states.


City Barbecue’s mainstay is smoked meat. The Beachwood location has three smokers, which run constantly with hickory wood to smoke brisket, pork, and chicken to perfection.


Seriously, you can smell the smoky wood in the parking lot and it just draws you in!

We got to sample some of all the meats the City Barbecue has to offer: beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey breast, chicken, St. Louis ribs, and sausage.


It is almost impossible to pick a favorite, but for me the beef brisket and the ribs were tops. The ribs fell off the bone and had just the right amount of seasoning and sauce.


Likewise, the beef brisket was incredibly tender and moist.


It didn’t need sauce, although City Barbecue offers a variety of year-round and seasonal sauces from sweet to spicy. The Brushfire was my favorite of the sauces.


We also got to try lots of City Barbecue’s delicious side dishes. Now, some of you know, I would make a meal on side dishes just about any day of the week.


The mac & cheese, cornbread, corn pudding, and hush puppies are all not to be missed. But the standout for me was the baked beans with brisket. The sauce was so thick, it was almost like a gravy and the flavor was rich and smoky.


Oh, and wash it all down with some lemonade!

City Barbecue has a fast casual atmosphere with food and service that are well above fast casual level. The team is invested in making both the food and the experience outstanding.


City Barbecue is also invested in the local community. The company annually donates 10% of its profits to charity. Also, the Beachwood City Barbecue freezes and donates any surplus side dishes to the City Mission to help feed those in need right here in the Cleveland area.

The Beachwood City Barbecue location opens on Monday, January 21. You can dine in, carry out, or order catering. Check it out and enjoy some smoky, barbecued goodness!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a media preview at City Barbecue with a guest, at which we received complimentary food and a swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

This weekend, Matthew and Jeffrey traveled to Texas to celebrate Matthew’s grandma’s 90th birthday.


Since we weren’t sure how I’d be feeling post-surgery, we decided I would skip this trip. And while I definitely missed seeing the family and celebrating Grandma and eating lots of brisket…oh, wait, I actually ate lots of brisket here (but more on that tomorrow)…

I did manage to scare up some fun around here, even with my best guys gone.

Disney on Ice

On Friday night, I took my dear friend Mariah and her son to see Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party.

Before the show, we got to attend an exclusive meet-and-greet with the main mouse himself (speaking of 90th birthdays)…


…and enjoy a delicious fajita bar dinner catered by Aramark.

Then it was off to the show! What an amazing spectacle!


From the costumes to the acrobatics to the chance to see so many favorite characters, Disney on Ice really delivered on the magic and fun.


I’m so glad I was able to enjoy the show with two of my favorite people and see the wonder and excitement that it brought!

Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party is in Cleveland through Sunday, January 20 at Quicken Loans Arena, with evening shows on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18 and three shows a day on Satuday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20. You can purchase tickets online.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets, a meet-and-greet character dinner, and Disney on Ice swag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Girls Night In

Saturday evening, I hosted a Girls Night In, because what else is a lady to do when she has the house entirely to herself?

We enjoyed lots of food and wine and girl talk, which was just good for my soul. You know when I only took one picture that it was a good night!


Oh, and that is a gigantic bottle of rose, which I found at Heinen’s (and is actually quite good, not just impressively sized.)

One of the things I knew I had to have on my table (especially with a vegetarian and a vegan coming) was Mama Mary’s Hummus.

You may have heard of Mama Mary’s as the “gas station hummus,” which has garnered tons of local press attention and even a spot on Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland list.

I have to tell you, the hype is warranted. This is truly the best hummus I’ve ever tasted. For the party, I chose the traditional, roasted red pepper, and jalapeno. They were all fantastic! Mama Mary’s Hummus is now available at 7 different locations: click here to find the one near you!

Spa West

Another key component of a weekend of “me time” was spa time with my mom. We went to Spa West, which is truly such a lovely and relaxing environment.

From the welcome tea to the calming music to the cozy relaxation room, you immediately feel more zen just walking in.

I had a signature pedicure with a hot stone leg massage and not only do my toes look ready to return to my yoga mat, but my legs feel soft, smooth, and stress-free.

The next time you want to treat yourself or have a perfect girls day out, check out Spa West!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my BBQ-eating adventures, but for now, I’m off to get ready to welcome Matthew and Jeffrey home! What would you do with a weekend to yourself?


Why? Perfectly Imperfect Produce!

There’s nothing I love more than when a person not only recognizes a problem, but comes up with an innovative solution. That’s exactly what Ashley Weingart did when she launched Perfectly Imperfect Produce.


Ashley’s family has been in the produce business for four generations. Ashley saw that the industry had a lot of food waste due to buyers’ shifts in demand or desire for “perfection” in the product.

Perfectly Imperfect Produce rescues produce that would otherwise go to waste, but is perfectly good for consumption. The items are unique in size, shape, or color, as well as those considered surplus crops.

Not only does Perfectly Imperfect Produce help to reduce food waste, they also help improve access to healthy food. For every box purchased, a donation of produce is made to local food pantries through the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.

We got to hear about Perfectly Imperfect Produce’s mission, as well as taste some of their delicious produce last night at Prep Kitchen CLE, which is a gorgeous space that is available for rent for meetings, social gatherings, and the like.


Aubrey of That’s What She Eats, who works with Perfectly Imperfect Produce to create recipes with their produce, created some delicious nibbles: sweet potato slices, roasted cauliflower, curry hummus, and butternut squash mac.

We also got to fill our own box of Perfectly Imperfect Produce, with items like apples, pears, ginger root, squash, and mango.


You can get in on your own Perfectly Imperfect Produce box with various options, such as organic, all fruit, and all veggie. You can also pick your size and frequency of delivery. Yes, I said delivery. All this great produce is delivered right to your door! Click here to see your options and order.

Perfectly Imperfect Produce is available in Cleveland and Columbus. Rescue some produce and do something good for you, for the food industry, and for those in need!

***Disclosure: I was invited by Perfectly Imperfect Produce to attend a complimentary influencer event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Wild Kratts Live in Cleveland Giveaway!

The PBS Kids show Wild Kratts is a fun, popular, educational program that is coming to Cleveland with a live performance.


The Wild Kratts Live! 2.0 Activate Creature Power is coming to Music Hall at Cleveland Public Auditorium on Saturday, May 11! Use Code WILD to get your tickets before they go on sale to the general public. Click here to purchase tickets.

Or you can enter to win 4 tickets to the show right here! 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 who you’d take to see Wild Kratts LIVE!

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

3. Follow @PBSKids 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 see @PBSKids Wild Kratts LIVE! thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/01/09/why-wild-kratts-live-in-cleveland-giveaway 

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

The giveaway will end on Saturday, January 12 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!