Why? Pittsburgh!

This weekend, Alicia, Melissa, and I took a little girls weekend road trip to Pittsburgh. It started with plans to see Sara Bareilles (who wasn’t coming to Cleveland), but turned in to a great chance to get away and explore a different city.

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We’ll start with the original purpose of the trip: seeing Sara Bareilles perform. I hadn’t see her live since her show at House of Blues maybe 8 years ago. She was fantastic! Her voice is gorgeous, her lyrics are captivating, and her personality makes me think we would totally be besties (call me, Sara).

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She played lots of favorites, as well as a bunch of songs from the musical she penned, Waitress and songs from her new album “Amidst the Chaos” (I am seriously hooked on “Fire” and “Poetry by Dead Men” from that album).

We stayed in an AirBNB, which is such a perfect way to travel, especially with a group. We saved money over a hotel, plus we had common area space for hanging out, ordering a ridiculous amount of Thai food which lasted us the whole weekend, and just generally getting more time together in a cozier environment.

We weren’t far from Carson Street, which has a ton of bars. The vibe/crowd is somewhat like the Warehouse District. We checked out Mario’s South Side Saloon, Carson City Saloon, and Local Bar & Kitchen.

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Carson Street is definitely a fun, young, busy place to be. When we were down there on Thursday night, we were in the midst of a ton of Steelers fans watching the game, but we managed to find one other Browns fan in the craziness!

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For dinner before the concert, we went to Morcilla, a beautifully-appointed tapas restaurant in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Much like the AirBNB, a tapas meal allows for a more communal experience.

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Some of the favorites from our table were the Marcona Almonds (lavender sugar, sea salt, EVOO); the Roasted Pepper Conserva (habanada and sweet carmen peppers, sherry vinegar, olive oil, garlic); the Oxtail Montadito (caramelized onion, machon cheese, baguette); and the Crispy Fried Sunchokes (butternut squash romesco, za’atar).

Don’t skip the churros with chocolate hazelnut sauce for dessert!

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The food was flavorful, the service was spot-on, and the restaurant was just charming!

Speaking of food, we also grabbed a couple great breakfasts while we were in town. We couldn’t resist a trip to the famous Pamela’s Diner.

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Their crepe-style hotcakes are so good! I got the specialty ones with apples, walnuts, and caramel!

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We also checked out Cafe Moulin, a small creperie in the Shadyside neighborhood. Since we couldn’t decide between savory and sweet, Alicia and I shared the Tivoli (fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach, pesto) and the Cheese Cake (marscapone, chocolate chips, berry compote).

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This place is delicious and adorable!

Beyond that, we also explored the Strip District, which kind of feels like the West Side Market writ large.

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Lots of delicious food shops, as well as some kitschy stores, to explore.

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So, that was our trip. We certainly found a lot to enjoy in Pittsburgh, but more than that, we had such a great time just being away and having plenty of uninterrupted moments to laugh and talk and catch up.

Have you been to Pittsburgh? What are some of your favorite places there?

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Why? Cleveland Monsters Monthly Pass!

For the last month, we’ve been enjoying the Monsters Monthly Pass, a new subscription service from the Cleveland Monsters.

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For only $39 per seat, you get tickets to every Monsters home game in the month, allowing you to choose when is best to attend games with the freedom of knowing you have guaranteed seats.

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Jeffrey loves attending the Monsters games and I love being able to decide on the spur of the moment that our schedules allow us to attend a game.

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Our seats have been great for the games and they are all sent to my FlashSeats account in advance, which makes attending on the fly a snap.

The Monsters games have always been a budget-friendly way to enjoy some good family fun, but the new subscription service makes it even easier.

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We have two seats at every game, so we can even change who goes to the games with Jeffrey, allowing more family members to experience the fun with him.

We especially enjoy the 1-2-3 Fridays, with $1 Pepsi products, $2 hot dogs, and $3 select draft beers.

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There’s no long-term commitment with the subscription service, either. You can subscribe month-to-month, so when life gets busy (like at the holidays,) we can take a break and return to the action in January.

The Monsters Monthly Pass is definitely a power play (see, I’m learning hockey terms) for your fun and your budget!

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Check it out and add some Monsters fun to your family’s schedule!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote the Monsters Monthly Pass. In exchange, I received a complimentary subscription with two tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? National Adoption Month!

As a mom, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Jeffrey to ensure he has a safe and loving future.

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But not all children are as lucky as Jeffrey. Not all children’s paths to this safe and loving future is linear.

November is National Adoption Month and SAFY of Cleveland is working to raise awareness about the need for finding forever homes for children in foster care who are eligible for adoption.

SAFY provides specialized supports for families adopting youth from foster care. When a child is unable to return to their biological family, SAFY walks with them on their journey to a forever family by supporting families looking to adopt through foster care.

Currently there are almost 3,000 children in custody in Cuyahoga County and almost 600 in permanent custody available for adoption.

Nationwide, there are more than 123,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted from foster care – one in five who are teens, and at risk of aging out with no permanent family (according to ChildWelfare.gov). Older youth (ages 15-18 years old) represent only 5 percent of all adoptions that take place each year.

This matters not only because of the grim statistics facing teens who age out of foster care, which include increased risk for homelessness, human trafficking and incarceration.

This matters because every youth deserves to have a forever family who will be there as a support in navigating all life’s milestones – high school, college, finding a job and learning the life skills needed for an independent, successful adulthood.

I have friends who are in the process of adoption and the love, commitment, and generosity of spirit they have already displayed awes me. I know that this kind of generosity of spirit deserves to be supported however we can.

By supporting SAFY, particularly during National Adoption Month, you can help children find their permanent homes and brighten their futures.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote National Adoption Month and SAFY. I received compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a pretty relaxed weekend, so here’s what we were up to…

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On Friday, Jeffrey and I stopped by Cleveland Public Square to check out Prismatica. These life-size prisms were created by Raw Design of Toronto and allow you to play with light and sound and reflection in a really unique way.

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We went around sunset, which lit up the prisms in a really beautiful way.

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You can check out Prismatica for yourself through November 15 on Public Square. It’s free, open to the public, and pretty cool at any time of day!

Cleveland Monsters Game

After our walk around Public Square, Jeffrey and I headed over to the Cleveland Monsters game. Jeffrey really gets into the games, as well as the fun in between periods.

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He (we) ended up on the Humongotron twice due to his dancing and cheering!

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We also ran into our friend Maddie, who we know from barre3, but is also a member of the Monsters dance team!

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More on our Monsters experience later this week, so stay tuned…

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote their subscription service. In exchange, I received a complimentary subscription. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Ghostbusters Birthday Party

On Saturday, we attended a birthday party for one of our favorite 3-year-olds. The party was Ghostbusters-themed and from the clothes…

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…to the cake…

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…to the treats…

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Mariah went all out on making this a super fun afternoon!

And that was about it for the weekend. Sometimes it’s nice to not have a ton of things to blog about, right? Don’t worry…that won’t last for too long, though! How was your weekend?

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Why? Holidays at Table 45!

I’m not usually someone who goes all-in on Christmas before Thanksgiving. But when I walked into Table 45 last night and saw their beautiful holiday set-up for our tasting dinner, I let go of all my reservations and started singing “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

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Starting November 18 through January 1, you can indulge in the 12 Cocktails of Christmas at Table 45. Themed on the classic Christmas song, these martinis are unique, delicious, and festive.

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Each comes with a nutcracker glass charm and are priced at $13. My favorites were:

  • Seven Swans A-Swimming (Kahlua, RumChata, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Cream)
  • Nine Ladies Dancing (RumChata, Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Gingerbread Syrup, Gingerbread Rim)
  • Ten Lords A-Leaping (Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Chambord, Cranberry Juice, Fresh Raspberries)
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming (Bulleit Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters)

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Table 45 is also offering A Christmas Story Cocktail, with Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Baileys, Goldschlager, Cinnamon Schnapps, Butterscotch Schnapps, and Cinnamon. It comes with a Leg Lamp ornament for $30.

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Table 45 has your holiday merriment covered on the food side too. You can enjoy Thanksgiving Brunch or Thanksgiving Dinner on November 28. Both are prix fixe at $65 for adults and $35 for children ages 4-12.

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You can also let Table 45 do your holiday cooking for you with Thanksgiving-to-Go, which serves 8-10 guests and includes a 22-24 pound turkey, seven sides, and two desserts for $225.

Table 45 will be offering a Children’s Magical Tea on December 7 and 14 for $45 per person. There will be face painting, cookie decorating, and delicious tea-time nibbles. I sampled some of the tea offerings last night and the desserts from Pastry Chef Stephanie will blow your mind.

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They’re sweet without being overly sweet, inventive, and just downright delicious! My favorite was this macaron with vanilla bean cream.

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Table 45 will also host Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Brunch, and Christmas Dinner. I got to try the Bistro Steak, which is offered at the holiday brunches, and is tender and flavorful.

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We also sampled the pork, which will be offered for Christmas Dinner and is a pretty great present to give yourself!

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Don’t miss the traditional toffee pudding either!

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Oh, and Pastry Chef Stephanie will be creating a gingerbread village in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel, which will be revealed on November 29.

There is so much holiday merriment happening at Table 45 that you can’t help but be swept up in the spirit(s) of the season! Don’t miss out!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting of Table 45’s holiday offerings. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Nighttown!

Nighttown is a Cleveland classic, a celebrated jazz club that’s been open for more than 50 years. I’d been to a couple events there, but never just popped in for dinner, which I had the opportunity to do this week while celebrating my bestie Mariah’s birthday.

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The bar and restaurant have the feel of a neighborhood pub and you can tell that it’s frequented by regulars who are well-known by the staff. They have a great selection of cocktails, spirits, and wines to enjoy. I had an Old Fashioned that was simply made and simply delicious.

For dinner, I had the swordfish special with basmati rice, flash-fried cauliflower, and remoulade.

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Similar to the drink, the preparation was straight-forward and well-executed.

Mariah had the Halloumi Kebobs, with halloumi cheese, citrus couscous (Mariah substituted mashed potatoes), and chive oil.

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Delicious! I could serious live on halloumi.

Nighttown is participating in Cleveland Independents Restaurant Week through November 16, so you can get a three-course, prix fixe meal (only $33 for dinner) to try out something new. And you should definitely come for dinner and stay for the entertainment! Check out Nighttown’s awesome line-up of live performances here.

It might have been my first time dining at this Cleveland institution, but it won’t be my last. I loved being treated like a regular even on my first visit and look forward to actually making myself one at Nighttown!

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Why? Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Cleveland Giveaway!

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is coming up on Tuesday, November 19 and Prosper for Purpose is hosting a fabulous event packed with inspiration, networking, and community to celebrate.

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WED Cleveland 2019: The Art of Entrepreneurship will take place at 78th Street Studios smARTspace on November 19. The event is part of the global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day movement that celebrates, empowers and supports women in business to alleviate poverty created by Cleveland native Wendy Diamond.

WED Cleveland offers a packed schedule with custom options to fit your time and interests:

  • A keynote from Rachel Downey
  • Workshops on goal setting, cultivating community, positive risk management, and more
  • Panels on creativity and blockchain
  • WED Cleveland Pioneer Award presentation to Anne Hartnett, Liz Ferro, and Susie Frazier
  • Networking
  • Breakfast and lunch

This is sure to be an amazing day of women supporting other women and learning from each other! You can register now online for $150. And you can save $10 off your registration using code WHYCLE.

Or you can enter to win a single registration to WED Cleveland  right here! You can do one, two, or all three entries, just leave a separate comment here for each entry.

1. Leave a comment here telling me which WED Cleveland speaker or session you’re most looking forward to attending.

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

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, November 10 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by WED CLE to help promote Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary registration for myself and one registration to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

Can you guys believe it’s November already? I definitely can’t! Here’s what the first weekend of the month brought…

Grunge Party

On Friday night, my friend Anne invited me to her law firm’s 20th anniversary party. Since the firm was formed in 1999, they decided to have a 90’s grunge-themed party.

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Never one to miss the opportunity to enjoy a good theme party, I snagged a Nirvana tshirt and flannel off Amazon, found some chokers and dark lipstick at Target, and channeled my inner angst.

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It was a really fun night and I was impressed that a group of lawyers could host a party with such a laid-back theme!

Playing With Fire

Saturday morning, Jeffrey and I caught an advance screening of “Playing With Fire,” which opens nationwide on Friday, November 8.

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The movie is about a group of smoke jumpers who end up having to care for three kids after a daring rescue. Predictable antics ensue. The movie was funny and heartwarming and featured some awesome supporting actors, such as Keegan-Michael Key and Judy Greer.

It’s definitely a great movie to see with your kids!

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***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the advance screening of Playing With Fire In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the screening.***

Brenna’s Birthday Party

On Sunday, Jeffrey and I were transported to jolly old England at Brenna’s Peppa Pig-themed birthday party. Alicia did an amazing job with the theme and everything from the decor to the food was spot on!

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There were donuts from Brewnuts, cake from Michael Angelo’s Bakery, and gorgeous linens from L’Nique Specialty Linen.

Plus, good friends, prosecco, lots of laughs, and so much fun celebrating this very special three year old!

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So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Drybar!

There’s a new spot at Legacy Village, which will leave you looking and feeling fabulous! Drybar is chic, sleek, and the place to go for a perfect blow-out. Part of a national chain and the first location in Ohio, Drybar offers styling services that are standardized across all locations, so whichever Drybar you’re near, you can trust that you’ll get the look you love.

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My Drybar experience started in their bright, cheery waiting area, with tasty chocolate-covered pretzels and beverages (I didn’t indulge in the champagne, but they do have both that and mimosas available).

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All of Drybar’s products and styles are “bar” themed. The products my stylist used included the On the Rocks Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo, Sake Bomb Nourishing Conditioner, Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler, and Triple Sec 3-in-1 Finishing Spray.

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The style I chose was the Southern Comfort with soft curls around my face and lots of volume.

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Not only was the style fabulous, but the whole experience was too! Drybar is a fun and relaxing environment, with rom coms on the TVs, cute décor, and nice little added touches (like iOS chargers at each seat).

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Any of the Drybar styles are $45, excluding the Shirley Temple (10 and under, $32) and the Uptini ($90). You can add a braid or scalp massage for $10 each or extensions for $20.

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Drybar also offers a monthly membership program. For $80 per month, you get two monthly blowouts, a free birthday blowout, 10% off products and tools purchased in-store, and $5 off any additional blowouts over your 2 per month. You can also roll over your blowouts month-to-month.

So, whether it’s on the regular, for a special occasion, or just as a treat to yourself, check out the new Drybar at Legacy Village and harness the power of a good hair day!

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***Disclosure: I was invited by Drybar to receive a complimentary blowout. I also have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? The Best Party of the Year Giveaway!

The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland is throwing a party and they want you to know right up front that it’s going to be The Best Party of the Year!

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Held on Friday, December 6 at The Renaissance Cleveland, this party will take you back in time to the 1920s. You can dress as a flapper or someone dapper or just come as you are!

There will be food, cocktails, raffles and silent auctions, beer and wine pulls, and plenty of dancing and merriment. It will be one swanky affair!

Proceeds benefit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, which provides food and other health-related vital services to individuals and families in need in our community.

Tickets are currently on sale for $99 and can be purchased online. You can save $5 on tickets with code WHYCLE19.

Or you can enter to win two tickets to The Best Party of the Year 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 your favorite decade for a theme party.

2. Visit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @hungernetworkgc 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 attend The Best Party of the Year with @hungernetworkgc and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/10/30/why-the-best-party-of-the-year-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 Sunday, November 3 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote The Best Party of the Year. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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