Why? Play Ball Park Giveaway!

The MLB All Star Game is coming to Cleveland this July. This event shifts the national spotlight to Cleveland and brings with it not only visitors and media, but some fun events for Clevelanders to enjoy.

One of these events is Play Ball Park, an interactive fan festival taking place inside and outside the Huntington Convention Center from July 5-9. This festival brings unique baseball experiences to Cleveland to delight fans of all ages.

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Play Ball Park offers free outdoor events including batting cages, pitching drills, meeting rising stars and former All Stars, and live music.

Indoor events at Play Ball Park are ticketed and include virtual reality and video game experiences, memorabilia from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, autograph stages, the World’s Largest Baseball, and more.

Tickets for Play Ball Park are $25 for adults and $18 for and children ages 2-12. You can purchase tickets online now. Or you can enter to win four tickets good for Friday, July 5 of Play Ball Park right here, courtesy of Destination Cleveland!

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 letting me know your favorite current or former All Star player.

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

3. Hop on over to @whycle on Instagram and follow the instructions with the PLay Ball Park picture.

4. Follow @TheCLE 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 Play Ball Bark thanks to @TheCLE and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/06/19/why-play-ball-park-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, June 23 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Destination Cleveland to help promote Play Ball Park. In exchange, I will receive 4 complimentary tickets for myself and 4 tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? North Union Farmers Market at Legacy Village!

Farm to table eating has become a way of life and Legacy Village is making it easy for you to make it part of yours.

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North Union Farmers Market is bringing their market to Legacy Village from every Sunday from 10am-1pm through September 29.

 

Not only will you have access an awesome selection of fruits and vegetables, but also dairy and meat products, honey and maple syrup, breads and pastries, cheese, sauces, pasta, and more. North Union Farmers Market also brings a host of fine artists and craftsman to round out your shopping experience, as well as live music to make it a true Sunday Funday.

Legacy Village is committed to total body wellness, so Farmers Market visitors can also take advantage of free summer fitness classes on The Lawn in conjunction with the North Union Farmers Market. The schedule includes:

  • Yoga with L.L. Bean: July 14, July 21, August 25, September 8
  • Bootcamp with L.L. Bean: June 23, July 7, August 4, August 18, September 5, September 22, September 29
  • Barre3: June 30, July 28, September 1

I hope to see you getting your shopping and fitness done in a fun way at the North Union Farmers Market at Legacy Village every Sunday this summer!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events. In exchange, I will receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

 

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Why? Weekends!

Despite the rain, we had a fun weekend! Here’s what we were up to…

Grapes and Ale

On Friday night, Matthew and I attended the 20th annual Grapes and Ale fundraiser to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside.

Held at Progressive Field, the event brought together wine, beer, BBQ, and live music for a perfect summer evening.

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We enjoyed BBQ-themed small plates from Element 41, Corleone’s, Smokin’ Rock ‘n Roll, Melt Bar and Grilled, Strip Steakhouse, and more.

The Sunrise Jones kept the crowd singing and dancing with awesome covers of everything from the Beatles to 80s yacht rock.

From the cool venue to the delicious food to the tasty libations, we had a wonderful time at Grapes and Ale!

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Plus, all of the fun was helping to support Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of providing opportunity to those with developmental disabilities.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Grapes & Ale. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Strawberry Picking

On Saturday, we snuck in some strawberry picking before the rain.

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‘Tis the season for pick-your-own strawberries in Northeast Ohio and none of us can resist both picking and snacking on these sweet berries.

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We went to West Orchards Farm Market and found really easy picking. In fact, we picked 13 pounds of strawberries for everything from munching by themselves to making strawberry pie.

It was a fun family activity!

Father’s Day

On Sunday, we celebrated Father’s Day with lots of good family time and home cooking. From time for Matthew and Jeffrey to hang out to time with our parents, we had lots of ways to celebrate the dads in our lives.

How was your weekend? Did you paddle out into the world to do anything fun?

Why? Cuyahoga50!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire, which captured national attention, despite being the 13th documented time the river had caught fire.

This anniversary and the subsequent transformation of the Cuyahoga River are being celebrated by Cuyahoga50, a local nonprofit putting on the largest series of public clean water events in the country, with more than 25 events over 5 days.

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The June 22, 1969 fire was covered in Time Magazine and became a symbol of environmental decay across the country and made Cleveland a laughingstock for years to come.

Both locally and nationally, that fire on the Cuyahoga River sparked an environmentalism movement that created the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and the Clean Water Act in 1972.

The Cuyahoga River has made amazing strides since then, becoming a clean, beautiful destination for sightseeing, water sports, and more.

Cleveland Waterfront tour with Mayor Jackson on the Goodtime III

But Cuyahoga50 also recognizes the environmental threats that still exist, such as algal blooms, climate change, plastic pollution, and invasive species. Cuyahoga50 hopes to combat these with local action and strong policy.

Cuyahoga50 is hosting a series of events from June 19-23, including beach cleanups, lectures, art exhibitions, Fred Walks CLE events, a lighted boat parade, free admission at the Great Lakes Science Center, and much more.

Get involved by learning more about how we worked our way from a national joke to a leader in environmentalism and then attend some of the events celebrating the mighty Cuyahoga River!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Cuyahoga50. In exchange, I received a complimentary Cuyahoga50 swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Moon Cleveland!

You’ve probably read Douglas Trattner‘s writing over the years, from Cleveland Scene Magazine to co-authoring four of Michael Symon’s cookbooks to Eater to Food Network Magazine.

This prolific local author has just written a new Cleveland guidebook: “Moon Cleveland.” The guidebook is easily broken down into sections that will help both locals and visitors find their perfect Cleveland experiences.

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Start with the “5 Top Experiences,” for the must-do, top-level Cleveland things, like food, sports, and beer.

Visiting (or entertaining visitors) for a weekend? The “Three-Day Best of Cleveland” will have you hopping all over town hitting some impressive highlights that will certainly leave your guests wanting to come back again and again.

Just moved to Cleveland or to a new location in your hometown? The Neighborhood Guide can help you find the best spots in your new locale.

From Sights to Restaurants, Nightlife to Recreation, “Moon Cleveland” covers it all, with digestible, but still informative descriptions, prices, hours, websites, and maps.

Love Cleveland, but want a quick trip away? The “Day Trips” section shares Trattner’s favorites from Amish Country to the Lake Erie Islands.

I like to say that Cleveland has so much to see, do, eat, and explore that it can be impossible to keep up with it all. But Douglas Trattner certainly does an impressive job in “Moon Cleveland.” The book can help you ease into learning about Cleveland or give even a seasoned local some great suggestions of new places to try.

“Moon Cleveland” is on sale now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, and Ebooks.com. Click here to order your copy and start (re)-exploring Cleveland!

***Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of “Moon Cleveland” from the author. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

 

Why? Fitness Events at Legacy Village!

There’s so much going on at Legacy Village this summer, including some great fitness events!

barre3 and Brio to Beat Cancer

On Monday, June 24, barre3 Legacy Village and Brio Tuscan Grille are teaming up to give you multiple ways to donate to American Cancer Society ReasearcHERS.

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The 6:30pm barre3 class will be taught by studio owner Liz and will be entirely donation-based, which means you can register for the class for free right here and make a donation at the studio when you attend.

Then head over to Brio Tuscan Grille for dinner, where 10% of your bill total will be donated to American Cancer Society ResearcHERS when you present the flyer attached in this invite.

If pasta is more your thing than planks, you can just come to dinner at Brio any time between 4pm and 10pm and present the flyer for your donation to be taken.

As you know, I’m an ambassador for American Cancer Society ResearcHERS and I’m so grateful to my friends at Legacy Village, barre3, and Brio for working with me to make this great event happen!

Yoga in the Village

Then, get your flow on with my girl Alicia on the Lawn at Legacy Village with the monthly Yoga in the Village series, which kicks off on Tuesday, June 25.

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Alicia will lead a sixty minute, all-levels yoga class from 6:30-7:30pm on the Legacy Village Lawn. Attendees will also receive a gift bag with a $5 Legacy Village gift card, as well as coupons and goodies from other Legacy Village retailers. Cost to attend is $15 and proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation of Northeast Ohio.

Stay after class and enjoy a special Yoga in the Village drink menu at Bar Louie, where 20% of your bill total will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation, as well as complimentary mini spa services from Ladies & Gentlemen Salon & Spa.

Other Yoga in the Village dates are July 16, August 20, and September 17. Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming classes.

No matter whether it’s barre3 or yoga, Brio or Bar Louie, there are plenty of opportunities to detox, retox, and do good all at once at Legacy Village!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events. In exchange, I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Hudec Dental EmBrace Your Smile!

Part of feeling confident is being able to share a healthy, beautiful smile with the world. Hudec Dental understands and has several orthodontic options to help you achieve that.

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Orthodontics are not just about aesthetics, but also about making sure your teeth are in the best position for your daily activities like eating, speaking, and smiling.

At Hudec Dental, you start with a complimentary consultation (for children as young as eight) at one of the convenient local orthodontic offices: Middleburg Heights, Mentor, Bedford, Canton, or Canfield.

Hudec Dental’s Orthodontics offers clear ceramic braces, traditional metal braces, clear aligners, expanders, retainers, and mouth guards. Most insurance plans are accepted and payment plans are available too.

You can make an appointment with

  • Dr. Sofia Xofylli (Bedford, Mentor, Middleburg Heights), who wrote her Thesis on Biomechanics and Orthodontic Tooth Movement with Invisalign.
  • Dr. Duchon (Middlebug Heights, Bedford, Mentor), who holds a Masters Degree and a Certificate of Training in Orthodontics.
  • Dr. William Buckley (Canfield, Canton), who has lectured on dentistry and orthodontics around the world in countries such as Poland, Mexico, Canada, Cairo, and the Philippines.

I had braces from fourth to sixth grade and retainers after that. I’m so glad that I was able to receive great orthodontic care and make sure that my teeth were strong and healthy.

Whether for yourself or for your children, it’s never too early or too late to explore your orthodontic options at Hudec Dental for your most healthy, beautiful smile!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Hudec Dental as a brand ambassador. I received compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

What a glorious summer weekend! We had so much fun, so let’s get right to it…

Safety Town Graduation

Friday morning, Jeffrey graduated from Mentor’s Safety Town.

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The program was really well put together, with fun crafts and songs each day and great teen helpers. Plus, Jeffrey would come each day last week and be able to tell me exactly what he learned about fire, water, traffic, bus, stranger, and gun safety.

I’m so proud of our little graduate!

Zippity Zoo Doo

On Friday evening, Matthew and I attended the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s annual Zippity Zoo Doo fundraiser.

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The event not only raises money for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo‘s conservation efforts and educational programming, but it also puts a swanky cocktail party right in the middle of Wilderness Trek!

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We were able to explore Asian Highlands and the Rosebrough Tiger Passage while sipping cocktails and nibbling on small bites.

Driftwood Catering did a great job with the food, with everything from corn soup shooters and mini chorizo tacos passed around to lamb chop with couscous and chicken nachos to sit and enjoy.

The cocktails were delicious too…this Bourbon-y Arnold Palmer was my favorite!

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We also got to feel like a kid again with Art of Sucre‘s delicious and fun cotton candy cart (I had the pink lemonade and champagne flavors combined into light, fluffy goodness).

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From food to friends to fun to philanthropy, Zippity Zoo Doo had it all!

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

LaureLive

On Saturday, we met up with friends for some fun and music in the sun at LaureLive.

I was a little apprehensive about taking Jeffrey to a music festival, but he had a rockin’ good time! Check out this awesome “air guitar” from the local Original Air Guitar!

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They had a promo giveaway at LaureLive and I don’t think Jeffrey has put the guitar down since.

The weather was perfect for sitting outside and listening to a lot of great local and even international bands. I was impressed with how the festival switched from stage to stage so there was almost no break in the music and you could easily hear and see all the acts.

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The food selection was awesome, with lots of food trucks and vendors to pick from. I grabbed lunch from Wok on the Wild Side and it was so yummy! And who can resist Luna Bakery and Cafe‘s macarons?!

When the kids got fidgety, there were bounce houses, face painting, and balloon artists to keep them happy.

And while we started too early in the day to make it all the way to Hozier, we did have an awesome time and were really impressed with the whole LaureLive experience!

Cedar Point Shores

The summer fun continued on Sunday with our first trip of the season to Cedar Point Shores, where Jeffrey went on water slides and I worked on my “mom tan” (you haven’t been laying out in the sun, you’re just outside chasing after someone).

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All in all, it was a busy, perfect summer weekend! How was yours?

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Why? James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner!

When the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner was announced, it was one of those events I immediately knew I wanted to attend. And while the ticket price might seem like a splurge, when you get 10 courses of phenomenal food prepared by celebrated chefs, plus wine pairings, you realize it’s a total steal!

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We started the evening by getting a glimpse at the entire group of chefs, who clearly all get along so well!

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Then we headed into Urban Farmer for the big event. We started with a cocktail hour with signature cocktails, as well as local beer and wine. Matthew tried the interesting Salt-Acid-Fat-Heat, with Tito’s Vodka infused with house-grown chili, Ardberg 10 year scotch, lemon, rosemary, and prosciutto and I had the light and fruity Spring to Summer, with Tito’s Vodka, aperol, grapefruit, lime, and Prosecco.

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We also nibbled on passed appetizers. There was Duck & Pancetta Polpetta from Chef Brian Okin of Dinner in the Dark; “Hillbilly Crudite” from Chef Adam Bostwick of Polpetta; Curied Foie Gras on Toast from Chef John Selick of Sodexo, University Hospitals; Yukon Gold and Sartori Mini Pierogi from Chef Chris Quinn of US Foods; and Braunschweiger Mousse from Chefs Penny Barend and Melissa Khoury of Saucisson.

Our first course from Chef Karen Small of Flying Fig was a Crisped Spring Onion Crepe, with asparagus and wild shrimp, tarragon, red chili butter, lemon confit, and Heritage Lake Farm watercress.

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This dish was springtime on a plate: delicate, light, and yet filled with distinct flavors.

Next was Roasted Summer Vegetables, with basil, smoked parmesan, and quinoa from Chef Justin Lucas of Urban Farmer.

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The vegetables had a rich, smoky flavor and the quinoa added nice texture.

The third course was A Walk through the Chef’s Garden, with squash blossom, egg, nasturtium, asparagus, green tomato, oyster leaf, and turnip.

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This dish was visually stunning, from the drop of “water” on each leaf to the perfectly runny egg nestled inside the squash blossom.

Next up was a play on a classic favorite from a hometown favorite: Chef Michael Symon of Lola, Mabel’s BBQ, and B Spot Burgers.

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The Chicken Liver Matzo Balls, with summer truffles, were a gourmet and luscious spin on the classic comfort food.

Next up was what I found to be the most interesting dish of the night: Koji Cured Crispy Maitake, with wild greens and walleye bottarga from Chef Jeremy Umansky of Larder Delicatessen & Bakery.

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Tangy, crispy, fresh, and delicious, this dish really showcased Chef Umansky’s unique ides.

The eating kept right on going with Ohio Wagyu Beef, with fritter, tomato chutney, carpaccio, beef fat tonnato, horseradish, rocket, quinoa, and maldon from Chef Vishwatej Nath of Urban Farmer.

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What a tasty way to enjoy wagyu two ways!

Our final savory course  was Lamb Loin, with napa cabbage, cannellini beans, tomato glace de viande, and celery root espuma.

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From Chef John M. D’Amico of Chez Francois, this dish was so delicious, I was tempted to lick the plate. This celebrated chef rarely leaves his kitchen, so it was truly a treat to enjoy his food at this event.

We had two dessert courses, which is how I plan to end all my meals now. First was Raspberry Tea Mousse, with lemon poppy sponge, fig, lemon verbena, and rye crumble from Pastry Chef Kara Swortchek of Urban Farmer.

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So many different flavors and textures at play in this bright, fruity dish!

Our final course was decadence defined and deconstructed: Dark Chocolate Toasted Rice Ice Cream, with black sesame almond chocolate cake, black sesame streusel, candied almonds, fennel caramel, coconut ginger cream, and pickled ginger chip, from Pastry Chef Annabella Andricks of The Dinerbar on Clifton.

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Each course was expertly paired with wine, some local, some not. But I loved seeing some of my local favorites from M Cellars and Ferrante Winery make appearances!

It was a fun, delicious, long evening of incredible food, wine, and camaraderie.

We have an incredible food community here in Cleveland, certainly worthy of such an amazing Celebrity Chef Tour experience.

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Why? Dancing Wheels!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal as the Dancing Wheels company prepares for “Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” on Friday, June 14 at the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square.

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Dancing Wheels is the nation’s first and foremost physically integrated dance company that pairs disabled dancers with non-disabled dancers.

“Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” will feature four world premiere pieces by internationally-acclaimed disabled choreographers. I got a glimpse at these pieces at the rehearsal and was amazed by the beauty, grace, and haunting emotion of the company’s performances.

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Dancing Wheels also provides in-studio classes, K-12 in-classroom education, and a summer Youth Arts Camp, so the organization is truly in the community creating greater understanding and acceptance of those with disabilities and fostering integrated partnerships with the non-disabled.

Dancing Wheels’s founder, Mary Verdi-Fletcher, is world-renowned as a wheelchair dancer and has a passion not only for the art form, but for the organization she founded in 1980.

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Attending “Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” will not only provide an evening of entertainment, but will support the Dancing Wheels mission and programming.

Tickets are $40 for general admission, which includes the performance and after party. VIP tickets are $125 and include a Gala Celebration with pre-performance hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, silent auction, prime seating for the concert, and meet & greet dessert and champagne after party.

Join Dancing Wheels for an inspirational night of dance on Friday, June 14!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Dancing Wheels to help promote Reverse*Reboot*Reveal. In exchange, I will receive compensation for this post. I declined two tickets to the show due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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