Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Random.org has chosen. Congratulations to Kathleen S. (Comment #22), winner of 4 tickets to the #KeyLegLamp Cavs game on Wednesday, December 5! Please check your email and reply by the end of the day or a new winner will be chosen.

If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets to attend the game and get your leg lamp bobble head by clicking here. Also, remember you have until Saturday, December 8 to enter the A Christmas Story House Night Out Sweepstakes, sponsored by Key Bank. Click here for details and an entry form.***

December is here and it’s time for lots of holiday fun! It’s also time to try to keep in shape, what with all the additional cookies and Christmas Ales. Confession time: I’ve been a lax yogi lately, but I got back in the swing on Saturday morning at Alicia‘s class at Nishkama Yoga. Sometimes you need a teacher who is also a friend and will totally call you out for avoiding chair pose or wimping out during three-legged dog.

After getting my asana kicked a bit, Matthew and I met up with Amanda and Scott and Kimberly and Chris to check out Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

IMG_4827Confession time again: I had never been to the Cleveland Botanical Garden before! I have no idea how that happened, but I’m so glad I remedied it. Glow decks out the Garden in twinkly, merry holiday splendor and is a truly festive way to spend an afternoon. Plus, you can stop in the main greenhouse and get a warm, butterfly-filled taste of summer too.


We saw Christmas trees everywhere, decorated by local gardening clubs. There are also hundreds of gingerbread houses, which were entered in the Glow gingerbread house competition. The details and creativity that went into the creation of these houses is amazing. Some of my favorites included the A Christmas Story-themed house, the West Side Market replica, and Santa’s Barn, complete with miniature farm animals.

Glow Gingerbread

While at Glow, you can decorate your own gingerbread house ($20) or castle ($30) to take home or go the easy route like we did and purchase one of the tasty gingerbread man cookies and a hot cider. While sipping your cider, take in live holiday music in a room that truly just glows.


Even the outside of the Garden is decked out with holiday decorations, from gingerbread men to peppermints. There is also a Garden Express train, which takes kids and parents on a ride through the Garden. The taller among our group vetoed experiencing the train firsthand. You can also head over to the Rink at Wade Oval for some ice skating.

Glow Outside

Glow left us feeling, well, all glowy. It’s a truly magical and beautiful way to celebrate the season in Cleveland! Glow is open through December 31. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6.50 for children. Click here for times and ticket information.

From Glow, we headed to Little Italy for dinner, which is just a short jaunt away. The last time I was in Little Italy was for the Feast of the Assumption, so I was looking forward to just relaxing and enjoying a sit-down meal in one of the restaurants. We chose Trattoria on the Hill and had a lovely, unrushed, completely filling Italian meal.

We started with the stuffed banana peppers, which were not too spicy and stuffed with a tasty sausage and cheese mixture.

IMG_4864We went with classic choices for dinner: I had the meat ravioli with tomato basil sauce and Matthew had the chicken piccata.


Both provided exactly what we wanted: a traditional, no-frills, delicious Italian meal. Somehow we made room for dessert and split the tiramisu.

IMG_4868This was some of the best tiramisu I have ever tasted! Definitely worth stuffing ourselves to enjoy every bite. It was a great end to a festive day that left us all in the mood to enjoy the holiday season.

On Sunday, Matthew and I celebrated six months of being married! First of all, where did the time go?! Second of all, I promise we’ll stop counting in months soon. Anyway, that was the second-most important celebration of the day, as we also had our niece Leila’s second birthday party to attend.

IMG_4907There were lots of presents, plenty of cake, and time with the cutest little 2-year-old I know. Pretty great way to cap off the weekend!

IMG_4877How was your weekend, CLE?

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Botanical Garden to help promote Glow. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

5 Responses

  1. What a very Cleveland weekend! Nick and I were at the gardens on Friday, he’d never been either. The gingerbread houses are my favorite- especially the West Side Market one 🙂

  2. You have totally made me want THAT Tiramisu, Jen! The last dessert I had (in Singapore) was supposed to be Tiramisu cake, but it wasn’t even close. I might have to bribe someone at Trattoria on the hill to ship me some!

    Congrats on your half-anniversary as well!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.