Why? Ingenuity Fest Dreamer’s Bal!

You’ve probably heard of Ingenuity Fest, an annual celebration of creativity and innovation that happens every September. But Ingenuity Cleveland also puts on a Dreamer’s Bal on Saturday, May 4 to support IngenuityFest 2019, as well as the organization’s year-round programming, such as IngenuityLabs Incubator Program and Ignite! Entrepreneurship Series.

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Held at Ingenuity Cleveland’s headquarters in the Hamilton Collaborative, this 100-year old factory setting will be filled with larger than life artwork inviting you to explore the worlds of your dreams.

From DJs to bands to intimate acoustic performances, you will enjoy a variety of musical acts, as well as dance performances.

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Photo Credit: Jerry Mann 

You’ll sip on libations from Watershed Distillery and Platform Beer Company and munch on small bites from Ohio City Galley.

Attendees are encouraged to wear the costumes of their dreams, whether fantastical or pajamas. This is sure to be a unique and interesting evening with stunning visuals, great music, and delicious food!

Tickets for the Dreamer’s Bal are currently on sale. General admission tickets are $27 in advance and $35 at the door. VIP tickets are $68 and include entry, food, 2 drink tickets, and other special extras.

Come enjoy this off-kilter evening and support a truly original Cleveland organization!

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Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party Giveaway!

It’s an anniversary year for the hottest food celebration in town! The Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party turns 25 this year, which means it’s going to be an even bigger and better celebration of the Cleveland food scene.

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The party takes place on Wednesday, May 15 from 6-9pm at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown, which means that you can take in some gorgeous city views in between bites from Cleveland’s best restaurants.

Every year I say this, but that’s because it remains the truth: This party is a marathon, not a sprint, of eating!

Photo courtesy of CLE Weekly/Orville McEachron Photography

Participating restaurants include Banter Beer and Wine, Bull & Bird Steakhouse, Fat Cats Restaurant, Il Rione Pizzeria, Luca Italian Cuisine, Marble Room, Pacific East Coventry, Pier W, Taki’s Greek Kitchen, and many more.

Silver Spoon Awards Party is a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation Ohio, which means that ticket proceeds go to a great cause! There are also raffles to help raise money, for which you can purchase tickets in advance.

Tickets for the Silver Spoon Awards Party are currently on sale for $100 for general admission and $150 for VIP admission. General admission includes food, wine, and craft beer tastings; access to the auctions and raffles; and a one-year subscription to Cleveland Magazine. VIP admission includes all of that, plus access to the VIP Lounge, with additional tastings, craft cocktails, a Chopped-style cocktail challenge, and more fun surprises.

Photo courtesy of CLE Weekly/Orville McEachron Photography

You can purchase tickets online for both the party and the raffles. Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets to the Silver Spoon Awards Party 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 which participating restaurant you’re most looking forward to sampling.

2. Visit Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards Party and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Hop over to @whycle on Instagram for an additional chance to win.

4. Follow @SilverSpoonCLE 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 @SilverSpoonCLE thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/04/23/why-silver-spoon-awards-party-giveaway-6/

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, April 29 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary VIP tickets for myself and 2 complimentary general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a busy holiday weekend, filled with friends, family, and favorite traditions.

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I’m big on traditions, especially at the holidays. And as a parent, I love taking Jeffrey to the same event year after year because it really illustrates how much he’s grown.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden‘s annual Easter Egg Hunt is one of those holiday traditions for us.

From the egg hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden (luckily we were in the second hunt and the rain stopped)…

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…to seeing the gardens in spring bloom…

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…to meeting the Easter Bunny…

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…to fun games and crafts, there’s so much to enjoy.

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We also got to experience the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Amazing Butterflies, which is open through Sunday, April 28. Kids get to work their way through a maze and take a journey from caterpillar to butterfly, with tons of fun, hands-on elements.

This is definitely an annual tradition we will keep!

Easter Fun

The rest of the weekend was filled with more traditional Easter goodness, from dyeing eggs with friends on Friday…

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…to dinner with Matthew’s family on Saturday, to which he brought this sinfully good carrot cake (recipe here)…

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…to church and dinner with my family on Sunday…

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…it was a weekend full of good food, favorite traditions, and people we love.

Whether Easter, Passover, or just a regular weekend is what you celebrate, I hope you had a great one!

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Why? Il Rione Pizzeria!

You guys, I am just flying through my 2019 Blog Bucket List! This week, I finally got to Il Rione Pizzeria, which had so much hype, I was wondering if it could possibly live up to my high pizza expectations.

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Spoiler alert: It surpassed them!

I met up with Alicia and Amanda for a proper girls’ night. We started with aperol spritzers, which were light and delicious and perfect for warmer weather.

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We then shared the meat and cheese plate, with San Danielle prosciutto, coppa, and rosemary ham. Amanda proclaimed this was the best Italian bread she’d ever had and I concur. It was crispy, but still soft and chewy. So good!

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We shared the clam pie, with middleneck clams, pecorino, garlic, and oregano, and the sausage pie, with red sauce, mozarella, sausage, roasted peppers, sauteed onions, garlic, and parmesan.

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The pies had a thin, chewy crust and were loaded with thoughtfully-chosen, flavorful toppings. This was just damn good pizza!

Il Rione’s menu keeps it simple: the meat and cheese board, a few salads, and the pies. You can choose a “suggested pie” or build your own. I’ve learned my lesson after build-your-own flavor debacles to take the suggested route.

The restaurant is small and fills up quickly. Arrive early or prepare to hang out with a spritzer or two at the bar. Either way, you won’t be sorry you stopped in to this cozy, haute casual, thoroughly delicious spot!

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Why? The Guiltless Podcast!

I have been really fortunate in doing this blogging thing to get to know some super cool Clevelanders. But I have to say, one of my favorite conversations in recent memory came last week when I met Joe and Patrick, the guys behind The Guiltless Podcast.

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Joe and Patrick have been friends for years and have the easy, natural rapport that comes from a relationship like that. The idea to do a podcast came when their mid-day office riffs on current topics would draw lots of laughs and attention. Frankly, I wish I had office mates like them back in my more traditional working days!

The name came from the idea that a guilty pleasure really isn’t guilty, it’s just a pleasure. Each episode strikes an easy, fun, conversational tone that makes you feel like you’re listening to a group of friends chatting over beers (which are apparently often involved in the recording sessions).

The Guiltless Podcast puts out an episode every two weeks and covers topics from depression to Cleveland sports (I swear, those two things can be linked) to notable Clevelanders (like an episode featuring the lady butchers of Saucisson).

Similar to something like The Daily Show, this podcast at times discusses serious topics, but in a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek way. Joe and Patrick understand that they have a platform and want to use it to shed light on great things going on in Cleveland. But they want to do it in a way that still makes you want to listen and have a beer with them.

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In fact, Joe and Patrick recently did a live event at Terrestrial Brewing Company, so you could literally have a beer with them!

What’s up next for The Guiltless Podcast? More live events, supporting The Village Feast in Slavic Village, and launching a network that will encompass the original podcast, as well as three others:

If you’re just jumping into The Guiltless Podcast, you’ve got 23 episodes to binge listen (is that a thing?), as well as follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Joe and Patrick are shedding light on cool happenings and people in Cleveland and are just fun to listen to, so check out The Guiltless Podcast for your next (not guilty) pleasure.

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Why? Art Fur Animals Giveaway!

On Saturday, May 18, the final Art Fur Animals event to benefit the Friends of the Cleveland Kennel will take place at The Madison.

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The event benefits the mission of the Friends of the Cleveland Kennel to provide necessary medical, enrichment, and comfort care to animals at Cleveland Animal Care and Control and offer resources to the Cleveland community in order to reduce shelter intake and improve the well being of animals.

As the dog mom of two rescue dogs, this mission is near and dear to my heart. Plus, with it being the final year of the event, you know they’ll make it one heck of a great party!

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Included at this year’s event are mini fiberglass dogs customized by local artists in the silent auction; a live art auction; appetizers and desserts from Bonefish Grille,
Rudy’s Strudel, Saucisson, and Cleveland Cupcake Co.;
wine and local craft beer from Tremont Taphouse and Great Lakes Brewing Company, served by celebrity bartenders; music from DJ Funk-Shway; a photo booth; and lots more fun at one of the hottest new event venues.

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Tickets are currently on sale for $50 for general admission and $125 for VIP admission (which includes early access to the event, complimentary beer/wine all evening, an event t-shirt, special VIP menu & lounge area, and limited reserved seating during the live auction). Volunteers are also needed for the event. Email the event team at artfuranimals@gmail.com if you are interested. 

Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, or all three entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me about the special pet in your life.

2. Visit Friends of the Cleveland Kennel and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

The giveaway will close on Monday, April 22 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Art Fur Animals. In exchange, I will receive two general admission tickets to give away. I declined my own tickets due to scheduling conflicts.***

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Why? Zippity Zoo Doo!

Have you ever wanted to enjoy an elegant evening of food, drink, and fun, while surrounded by exotic animals? Then the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s annual Zippity Zoo Doo fundraiser on Friday, June 7 is for you!

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You’ll enjoy themed cocktails and food from The Driftwood Group, silent auction items, a wine pull, and lots of other fun.

I’ve attended Zippity Zoo Doo for the past several years and always have a great time, whether it’s bidding on overnight stays at the Zoo, playing life-sized board games, or sipping on frose.

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This year’s event takes place in the new Asian Highlands exhibit, which is a beautiful space for exploring the fantastic Cleveland Metroparks Zoo you will be supporting.

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The Cleveland Zoological Society is the Zoo’s nonprofit advocate and partner and is committed to:

  • Raising public awareness of the Zoo as a community priority and civic asset
  • Securing private support for the Zoo and its programs
  • Giving visitors, members and donors great value for their investment
  • Ensuring that the Zoo remains one of Northeast Ohio’s preeminent destinations

Which means a night of fun at Zippity Zoo Doo supports these great missions. Plus, Zippity Zoo Doo gives you the chance to mix and mingle with 500 business and community leaders, young professionals, and Zoo staff.

Tickets are currently on sale for $250 per person ($175 tax deductible) and can be purchased online. I hope to see you for this wildly fun evening!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Zippity Zoo Doo. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary ticket and one discounted ticket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was another fun weekend, with checking out some small local businesses and catching some theater too…

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On Saturday, we had the last show in this season of Playhouse Square’s Children’s Theater Series.

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The show was “Junie B. Jones,” a musical version of the book series. The show followed the adventures of Junie B., an inquisitive first grader. The songs were fun and accessible for kids and the story was light-hearted with a lesson.

We love attending the Children’s Theater Series shows and are excited for next season!

Elegant Ice Creations

Saturday afternoon, we had a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Elegant Ice Creations workshop and handiwork.

Started by Aaron Costic, who began carving ice 25 years ago, the company has grown to an 8000 square foot studio that produces custom ice creations for special events, sports teams, business, and more.

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Aaron even won a gold medal for ice carving at the Turino Winter Olympics in 2006!

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Jeff Meyer, who gave us our tour, showed us some of the custom pieces waiting to be delivered…

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…as well as some of the custom ice cubes created there to make your cocktail just perfect.

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We also saw how the large blocks of ice are made…

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…and checked out a demonstration of the ice carving tools.

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What a cool (haha) local business!

Junker Fitness

On Sunday morning, I met up with a grade school classmate, Cindy, who invited me to check out a yoga class at Junker Fitness.

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Located in The Shoreway apartment building in Battery Park, Junker Fitness’s studio offers HIIT, yoga, and beach burn classes. They have a rooftop deck that overlooks Edgewater Park that is the perfect spot for summer yoga.

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Unfortunately, the weather kept our class inside on Sunday, but we still enjoyed a great flow, with lots of active stretching as well as vinyasa.

Junker Fitness also offers personal training that meets you where you are, both in terms of ability and location. Junker Fitness staff will travel to the gym close to you and work with you to build a program that suits your needs.

Plus, I had the opportunity to chat with the owners, Jack and his wife Stephanie, who are super personable, down-to-earth, and committed to becoming an active part of the community where the studio is located.

I can’t wait to head back to check out a rooftop yoga class…and I have some free class passes, so if you’re interested, hit me up in the comments!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a class at Junker Fitness. I received a complimentary class and class passes for a return visit. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Astoria

After our yoga class, I headed to brunch with the Junker Fitness team. We went to nearby Astoria, which was on my must-try list for awhile!

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While waiting for a table, we perused the market and wine shop and sipped mimosas, which is the best way to wait for a table ever!

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I had the seafood frittata, with a poached egg, potato and onion frittata, scallops, crab, and Hollandaise. Such a delicious brunch creation!

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I definitely want to go back and do a deeper dive into Astoria’s wine and charcuterie, too!

What a fun weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest!

Last night, we were at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, but for a taste homerun, not a baseball one!

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Our Lady of the Wayside‘s 25th annual Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest brought together great Cleveland restaurants with their yummiest small bites for a friendly competition.

Some of our favorites included the meatball bruschetta from The Woods Restaurant and Lounge

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…the scallops from Hilton Garden Inn (the second place winner for the night)…

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…the tuna with chile lime wonton from Momocho

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…the Cajun swordfish and risotto from Element 41 Kitchen and Bar

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…the crab cakes from Berea Depot and artichoke arancini from Sodexo, both of which I scarfed without taking pictures (the arancini won third place)….

…and the short rib Wellington from Tree House Gallery and Tea Room, which took home first place).

There were chef winners, but the real winners of the night are those served by Our Lady of the Wayside’s Pathways Day Program in Valley View. Currently the program serves 75 people, but will expand to 100 with the funds raised at last night’s event.

Stay tuned for more information on another fundraiser for Our Lady of the Wayside happening at Progressive Field in June: Grapes and Ale!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote their special events. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest and will receive two complimentary tickets to Grapes and Ale. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Coco’s Chalky Paints!

Last week, I had the chance to meet the owner of Coco’s Chalky Paints, a local businesswoman who has a beautiful storefront in the 5th Street Arcades.

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Built in 1898, the 5th Street Arcades maintain the beautiful architecture of the time but are filled with fun and functional modern stores. Coco’s Chalky Paints inhabits a unqiue and lovely space, which allows space for not only a store, but also chalk painting workshops in the future.

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Coco’s Chalky Paints has both pre-mixed chalk paint in a variety of colors, but also powder that can be mixed into any paint to change it into chalk paint. Painting a whole room? Purchase any flat or latex paint and mix in Coco’s Powder to create chalk paint.

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Just getting started? Coco’s Little Black Bag has all the tools you need to mix up your first batch!

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I was amazed at how much you can do with chalk paint! The entire store is filled with items she has painted. She even has furniture you can pick out and have her paint for you!

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Beyond just the Coco’s Chalky Paints, the store offers small home decor items like throw pillows, lamps, and more.

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Coco’s Chalky Paints also gives back to the community, by painting and donating furniture items to those in need. Every purchase funds more donated furniture!

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The store is lovely; the product is fun and functional; and the owner is an absolute delight! Stop in to Coco’s Chalky Paints today (or shop online)!

***Disclosure: I was invited to visit Coco’s Chalky Paints. I received a complimentary bag of products. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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