Why? Weekends!

You guys, how are we at Thanksgiving week?! This year is just flying by! Probably because I keep filling my time with so much fun. Let’s get to the weekend recap…

Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast

On Friday morning, I got up bright and early as usual, but rather than yoga pants and school drop-off, I was off to The First Tee of Cleveland‘s annual Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast.

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The First Tee of Cleveland is a non-profit that teaches children core values and builds character through the game of golf.

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And while I am admittedly not a golfer, there is obviously something to their system. I have been continually impressed by the program participants I’ve met, who handle themselves with beyond-their-years poise and confidence.

 

I had the chance to attend with and meet some of the program volunteers, who get to pass on their love for golf, as well as their life experience to participants on a weekly basis.

There are so many wonderful non-profits in the Cleveland area doing a host of good works through sometimes unexpected outlets. If The First Tee of Cleveland speaks to you, you can learn more their programs, volunteer to help the organization, or donate.

***Disclosure: I was asked by The First Tee of Cleveland to help promote Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

The Winter Market

Friday night, I had the chance to attend the VIP preview of The Winter Market, a holiday-themed extension of the popular The Summer Market.

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Held at The Shipyards, this event was packed with fabulous local makers, most of whom I was fangirling over after following for so long on Instagram.

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I picked up some goodies from Paper Cutz Vintage, Hand Lettered Old Shit, and Suzy Q’s Redos.

Plus, Jeffrey got a donut from Big Mouth Donuts, I got some wine, and we both got a bit more into the holiday spirit.

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There’s nothing like shopping in-person and shopping local, with real people who care about their craft!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the VIP Winter Market event with two complimentary tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Monsters Game

From there, Jeffrey and I went to the Cleveland Monsters game, as part of their Monsters Monthly Pass (read more about our experience with the Monsters Monthly Pass here).

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Friday night’s game was dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Prayers from Maria Children’s Cancer Foundation, with the players wearing sunflower jerseys and attendees receiving sunflower remembrance cards.

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So, not only was it a fun night of hockey, but it was meaningful too!

Also, I think Jeffrey might be the newest member of the Monsters Top Line Dance Team!

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Our friend Maddie is on the team and was so sweet to stop to chat with Jeffrey and get this fun group shot!

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

Girls Night Out

On Saturday night, I met up with some gal pals to celebrate my friend Stacey’s birthday at the Wild Eagle Saloon.

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From the pour-your-own-beer wall to the solid 80’s music choices on the jukebox to the tasty bar food (get the pulled pork quesedilla, trust), we had a great time.

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We also felt like we stepped back in time to college, as there was an intense game of beer pong happening while we were there!

From Wild Eagle, we headed over to Nano Brew. Apparently, this unassuming beer and burger joint turns in to quite the hot spot on a Saturday night!

After a lot of laughs, hugs, and drinks, we headed home…a perfect girls night out!

Platform Pub Yoga

I’m no stranger to Sunday morning yoga, but it gets even better when it’s Alicia teaching and when I get a beer after class!

I attended this month’s installment of the Platform Pub Yoga series. Taking place on the last Sunday of the month, this series pairs an hour-long vinyasa flow with a post-class beer, plus a donation to a local non-profit.

This month’s non-profit was the May Dugan Center, which provides a host of services to those in need from trauma counseling to a food pantry.

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There’s nothing I like better than starting my day with yoga, good friends, tasty beer (I had the Smores Yammy), and an everything bagel (not pictured, because I just ate it too damn fast).

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Slyman’s Tavern!

If you’re from Cleveland, Slyman’s corned beef sandwiches are a classic. Mile-high and delicious, they have been a part of Cleveland’s food scene before Cleveland had a celebrated food scene.

Slyman’s Tavern takes that classic corned beef deliciousness and expands it to a broader menu, still focused on comfortable, deli-style fare.

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Jeffrey and I had a chance to stop in at the newest Slyman’s Tavern location in Mentor (there are also locations in Independence and Orange) for an expansive taste of their menu.

We started with the Tavern Pretzel, served with beer mustard and Slyman’s beer cheese for dipping. Jeffrey’s face says it all: this is one tasty pretzel!

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I couldn’t stop munching the Reuben Poppers, with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, served with beer mustard and thousand island dressing.

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Surprisingly moist for a fried appetizer, these are a must-order. Pro-tip: ask for a side of the spicy ranch too!

Jeffrey chose the chicken tenders and fries from the kids menu and devoured every bite, which is a win in and of itself!

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I got to taste so many tasty options from the menu, all featuring Slyman’s renowned corned beef.

Of course, there was a classic Reuben, on buttery grilled rye bread with sauerkraut and melted Swiss. Slyman’s sandwiches are famous for tons of meat, but you can order a “lite meat” option.

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I loved the Slyman’s Chicken Melt, with corned beef, Swiss cheese, fried chicken breast (also available grilled), and spicy ranch on a ciabatta roll.

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This was just enough corned beef to satisfy a taste for it, but with lots of other delicious flavors too.

I also sampled the Corned Beef Hash Breakfast, with two eggs and choice of toast. Diner style fare at it’s best!

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For sides, I tried the creamy potato salad, the crisp cole slaw, and the decadent Slyman’s Fries, with corned beef, Slyman’s cheese sauce, and green onions.

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Speaking of decadent, Jeffrey helped me polish off a delicious chocolate milk shake and a brownie sundae with local Pierre’s ice cream.

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The food was all delicious, straight-forward, comforting, and filling. Exactly what you want from a deli-style meal!

On Mondays, Slyman’s Tavern offers a free upgrade to a combo meal. And during all Cleveland and Ohio State games, you can enjoy $3 domestic drafts and $5 appetizers at the bar.

The newest Slyman’s Tavern gives you the deli-style atmosphere too, with a “bar side” that is separate from the “deli side,” so you can choose the type of experience you want.

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For the corned beef that made it a classic or one of the expanded offerings on the menu, Slyman’s Tavern continues the tradition of delicious deli-style food.

***Disclosure: I was invited to enjoy a complimentary meal at Slyman’s Tavern in Mentor. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? #GivingTuesdayCLE!

Giving Tuesday has become a national movement to drive philanthropic donations. Do Good CLE is harnessing this movement for #GivingTuesdayCLE.

#GivingTuesdayCLE is Cleveland’s local response to the global Giving Tuesday movement — a citywide celebration of generosity and volunteerism, bringing attention and support to local nonprofits while encouraging donors to “Give Where You Live!”

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For me, one of the best parts about blogging has been the chance to work with and amplify the voices of local nonprofits. So I was honored to be asked to participate in this video (produced through a donation by Anthony Thomas Advertising) about #GivingTuesdayCLE, with so many of the city’s movers and shakers in the nonprofit community.

#GivingTuesdayCLE 2019 officially kicked off yesterday, Tuesday, November 19, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

You can participate in lots of ways:

  • Register a local nonprofit you’re involved with to be part of the #GivingTuesdayCLE drive
  • Donate to one of the many local nonprofits supported by #GivingTuesdayCLE. You can direct your donation to one of over 50 local nonprofits or give an undirected donation which will be shared equally between 16 small nonprofits selected by Wish Cleveland for their commitment to community building, equity, diversity, and social justice.
  • Attend The Good Hat Bash on Tuesday, December 3 at the Beachland Ballroom, with heavy apps, cash bar, and a chance to celebrate the #GivingTuesdayCLE goodness (tickets are $30)
  • Purchase a “Do Good” hat for $25 and warm both your head and your heart this season

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Much like the idea of shopping local, #GivingTuesdayCLE focuses efforts on giving to local nonprofits, where your money and your impact stay right in our community. Check out the list of nonprofits to find one or many that speak to you and please give generously in this season!

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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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