Why? Refined Giveaway!

Ohio is developing quite a spirited industry of spirits, which is why Refined was created. Refined is a festival that celebrates alcohol only from Ohio.

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Refined is happening on Saturday, February 23 from 4-9pm at the Cuyahoga Fairgrounds. Refined has partnered with the non-profit Tails from the City to help with proceeds and volunteers so that cats can find forever homes.

At Refined, you can visit three themed bars:

  • Cat Bar, with cat-themed drinks and the chance to sign up to be a Tails from the City volunteer
  • Classic Bar
  • Pop Culture Bar

Tickets for Refined are currently on sale online. Single Entry ($48.60) or Multi/Two Person Admission ($90.62) gets you 15 drink tasting tickets, a shot glass, and access to all non-alcoholic drinks and food trucks.

VIP Single Entry ($69.61) or VIP Multi/Two Person Admission ($132.64) gets you 20 drink tasting tickets, a special shot glass, access to all non-alcoholic drinks and food trucks, 1/2-hour early entrance, and swag.

Or you can enter to win a general admission Multi/Two Person ticket right here. Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite Ohio spirit.

2. Visit Original Festival Collective and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you visited both.

3. Follow @co_festival and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

Cheers! I want to win tickets to #RefinedCLE from @co_festival and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/01/23/why-refined-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

And for a chance to win two VIP Single Entry tickets, hop over to my Instagram page and follow the instructions there.

The giveaway will close on Saturday, January 26 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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Why? City Barbecue!

You know a restaurant is opening with some hype already going when, on media preview day, no fewer than 10 cars pulled in the lot hoping City Barbecue was already open. Spoiler alert: the Beachwood location opens to the public on Monday, January 21.

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The Beachwood restaurant will be the 46th location of City Barbecue, which started in Columbus, Ohio, and is now serving finger-lickin’ good barbecue across six states.

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City Barbecue’s mainstay is smoked meat. The Beachwood location has three smokers, which run constantly with hickory wood to smoke brisket, pork, and chicken to perfection.

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Seriously, you can smell the smoky wood in the parking lot and it just draws you in!

We got to sample some of all the meats the City Barbecue has to offer: beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey breast, chicken, St. Louis ribs, and sausage.

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It is almost impossible to pick a favorite, but for me the beef brisket and the ribs were tops. The ribs fell off the bone and had just the right amount of seasoning and sauce.

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Likewise, the beef brisket was incredibly tender and moist.

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It didn’t need sauce, although City Barbecue offers a variety of year-round and seasonal sauces from sweet to spicy. The Brushfire was my favorite of the sauces.

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We also got to try lots of City Barbecue’s delicious side dishes. Now, some of you know, I would make a meal on side dishes just about any day of the week.

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The mac & cheese, cornbread, corn pudding, and hush puppies are all not to be missed. But the standout for me was the baked beans with brisket. The sauce was so thick, it was almost like a gravy and the flavor was rich and smoky.

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Oh, and wash it all down with some lemonade!

City Barbecue has a fast casual atmosphere with food and service that are well above fast casual level. The team is invested in making both the food and the experience outstanding.

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City Barbecue is also invested in the local community. The company annually donates 10% of its profits to charity. Also, the Beachwood City Barbecue freezes and donates any surplus side dishes to the City Mission to help feed those in need right here in the Cleveland area.

The Beachwood City Barbecue location opens on Monday, January 21. You can dine in, carry out, or order catering. Check it out and enjoy some smoky, barbecued goodness!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a media preview at City Barbecue with a guest, at which we received complimentary food and a swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Perfectly Imperfect Produce!

There’s nothing I love more than when a person not only recognizes a problem, but comes up with an innovative solution. That’s exactly what Ashley Weingart did when she launched Perfectly Imperfect Produce.

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Ashley’s family has been in the produce business for four generations. Ashley saw that the industry had a lot of food waste due to buyers’ shifts in demand or desire for “perfection” in the product.

Perfectly Imperfect Produce rescues produce that would otherwise go to waste, but is perfectly good for consumption. The items are unique in size, shape, or color, as well as those considered surplus crops.

Not only does Perfectly Imperfect Produce help to reduce food waste, they also help improve access to healthy food. For every box purchased, a donation of produce is made to local food pantries through the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.

We got to hear about Perfectly Imperfect Produce’s mission, as well as taste some of their delicious produce last night at Prep Kitchen CLE, which is a gorgeous space that is available for rent for meetings, social gatherings, and the like.

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Aubrey of That’s What She Eats, who works with Perfectly Imperfect Produce to create recipes with their produce, created some delicious nibbles: sweet potato slices, roasted cauliflower, curry hummus, and butternut squash mac.

We also got to fill our own box of Perfectly Imperfect Produce, with items like apples, pears, ginger root, squash, and mango.

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You can get in on your own Perfectly Imperfect Produce box with various options, such as organic, all fruit, and all veggie. You can also pick your size and frequency of delivery. Yes, I said delivery. All this great produce is delivered right to your door! Click here to see your options and order.

Perfectly Imperfect Produce is available in Cleveland and Columbus. Rescue some produce and do something good for you, for the food industry, and for those in need!

***Disclosure: I was invited by Perfectly Imperfect Produce to attend a complimentary influencer event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? United Way of Greater Cleveland Love Out Loud!

On Thursday, February 7, the United Way of Greater Cleveland will be kicking off its 2019 Community Campaign Fundraiser with an event called Love out Loud.

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The event is at Magnolia Night Club from 7-10pm. There will be a DJ, cash bar with 20% of profits benefitting United Way of Greater Cleveland, and a spoken word artist. Cost to enter is donation-based (give $1, $5, $20, whatever you can.)

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Love Out Loud will focus on those affected by displacement and its lasting impact on our communities. Displacement occurs when any household is forced to move from its residence by conditions which affect the dwelling or immediate surroundings, and which

  • Are beyond the household’s reasonable ability to control or prevent
  • Occur despite the household’s having met all previously imposed conditions of occupancy
  • Make continued occupancy by that household impossible, hazardous or affordable.

Displacement disproportionately affects mothers of single-family households, families of color, and children.

The United Way of Greater Cleveland is working to raise awareness of the problem of displacement. Their goals are to spread awareness about house evictions, housing insecurities and lead; encourage the community to imagine themselves in the “shoes” of those who are affected by it; and, ultimately, to come together to develop solutions.

Join the United Way of Greater Cleveland for Love Out Loud and help kick off the Community Campaign Fundraiser focusing on the important issue of displacement.

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Why? Red & White on Thursday Night Giveaway!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get out more? Or maybe to try a new restaurant or two? Then I’ve got the event for you: the 22nd annual Red & White on Thursday Night to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio.

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Happening Thursday, January 24 at Quaker Station at the University of Akron, this event brings together the winners of Akron Life Magazine‘s 330 Flavor Awards, wine and craft beer samples, silent auctions, and an exclusive VIP lounge for a evening filled with food, fun, and philanthropy.

You will get to enjoy both savory and sweet small bites from Bistro on Main, Cilantro Thai and Sushi Restaurant, Gervasi Vineyard, Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill, Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar, The West Side Bakery, and more.

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VIP guests will enjoy exclusive tastings from The Galaxy Restaurant & Banquet Center, high-end wines tastings, and specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman, as well as access to all the general admission food and drink.

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Plus, all the proceeds from the event benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio, which is working to help the over 2.6 million people in Ohio living with arthritis.

Tickets are $85 for general admission and $125 for VIP admission. Tickets are available online.

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Or you can enter to win 2 general admission tickets to Red & White on Thursday Night right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Check out the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment here telling me from which you’re most excited to sample food.

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

3. Hope over to my Instagram page and complete an additional entry there.

4. Follow @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend #akronredwhite thanks to @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/01/02/why-red-white-on-thursday-night-giveaway-3 

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, January 6 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio to help promote Red & White on Thursday Night. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary VIP tickets for myself and two general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Somewhere in Time 1969!

Ever wanted to step back in time to the year that was called “The Year of Change?” Then Somewhere in Time 1969 on Saturday, February 2, is the perfect party for you!

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This event is a fundraiser for the Western Reserve Historical Society and is held at the beautiful Cleveland History Center.

The event celebrates this tumultuous year of protest, revolution, and change through the sounds, grooves, duds, suds, and moves of this pivotal year in which the eagle landed.

Somewhere in Time will feature Lip Flappin’ Live Music, Funkadelic Full Bar, Cool Threads Costume Contest and Prizes, and Super Square Silent Auction.

Costumes are not required, but encouraged! Tickets for Somewhere in Time 1969 start at $100 for Western Reserve Historical Society members, $125 for non-members if you purchase by January 1 (price jumps to $150 after that), and $50 for young professional members. Tickets can be purchased online.

Somewhere in Time is a fun way to step back to a time of social change and cultural revolution, all while supporting one of Cleveland’s great cultural institutions!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Western Reserve Historical Society to help promote Somewhere in Time. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Just-a-Buck!

Are you feeling the Christmas pressure? There’s so much to do this time of year. I especially notice it now that Jeffrey is in school…presents for teachers and friends and his swim instructor and…

So, what I really need is a place where I can get a lot done for not a lot of money. That’s where Just-a-Buck comes in. Everything is, you guessed it, just one dollar.

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On my recent visit, I snagged wrapping paper, tons of stocking stuffers, and even some fun 2019 novelty glasses to get us prepared for New Year’s Eve too.

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Just-a-Buck is neat, organized, and has everything from home goods to gift items to daily necessities.

But the best part about Just-a-Buck isn’t the selection or the price, but the fact that shopping there supports Solutions at Work. SAW is the non-profit partner of the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. SAW provides employment, training, and career growth for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Just-a-Buck employs individuals through Solutions at Work and gives them meaningful job training in a supportive work environment.

So, for all your last minute holiday shopping necessities, stop by Just-a-Buck, with two Northeast Ohio locations in Parma and South Euclid.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Just-a-Buck. In exchange, I received gift certificates to shop at the South Euclid location. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? United Way of Greater Cleveland!

The United Way of Greater Cleveland is doing so many amazing things in our community, which is why I’m proud to share that I will be working with them as an ambassador to share their good works.

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The United Way of Greater Cleveland is addressing poverty and need in our community in several categories, including financial stability, health, emergency food and shelter, and education.

Today, I wanted to focus on sharing the United Way of Greater Cleveland’s education initiatives.

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The United Way of Greater Cleveland has programs in place to take children from preschool to grade school to high school.

  • Kindergarten Readiness – Programs increasing the quality of local early education providers through the State of Ohio’s Step Up to Quality program and enhancing the knowledge and skills of childcare providers.
  • Grade Level Reading – Programs working with students in Kindergarten to Third Grade to prepare for and pass the Third Grade Reading examination for successful promotion to Fourth Grade.
  • After School and Mentoring – Programs providing out-of-school activities that build positive relationships, confidence, academic and leadership skills.

The organization is investing $2,200,000 in educational programs. You can read about the programs in which the United Way of Greater Cleveland invests here.

These initiatives help prepare children to succeed, since we know how important education is to future success. So, how can you help? You can donate to the United Way of Greater Cleveland, you can join the United Way advocacy network to advance the public policy agenda, or you can volunteer with the United Way.

Education is the key to helping children succeed and the United Way of Greater Cleveland is working to make sure they have the tools and programs to achieve.

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Why? Allison Rose Foundation!

Sometimes out of the most tragic of circumstances can come motivation, strength, and passion to make the world a better place. That is certainly the impetus behind the newly-launched Allison Rose Foundation.

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Allison was diagnosed with a severe nut allergy as a child and found a supportive and safe environment created by both her parents and school. When Ally was a freshman at Ohio University, she suffered an allergic reaction that sent her into anaphylaxis and ultimately took her life.

Ally was regarded as a bright light and a giving, caring young woman with unlimited potential. Out of the tragedy of her death, her family started the Allison Rose Foundation.

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The Allison Rose Foundation is dedicated to changing the lives of families with food allergies through education, awareness, research, and advocacy. Through this family’s horrible loss, they are seeking to ensure that other families don’t endure the same.

The Allison Rose Foundation is hosting their Founder’s Event on Saturday, January 26 at the Embassy Suites in Independence to celebrate the launch of the Foundation. The event will have heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, raffles, and silent auctions. Tickets are $100 for those 21 and older and $50 for those ages 16-20.

You can also donate to the Allison Rose Foundation online.

In a world where food allergies are increasing in number and severity, the Allison Rose Foundation seeks to help families cope with these allergies and move toward a world where no family has to lose a child to a food allergy.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Allison Rose Foundation. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the Founder’s Event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? The Gathering Place!

Last week, I had the pleasure of getting an up close and personal look at The Gathering Place. This nonprofit organization provides free services to those who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as their families.

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From Art & Music Therapy to Exercise to Children, Teen & Family Programs to Meditation to Reiki, Massage & Reflexology, the programs at The Gathering Place seek to address the spiritual, physical, emotional, and social needs unique to those who are facing cancer.

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One of the services offered at The Gathering Place is Nutrition, including cooking classes to teach skills like healthier eating, non-inflammatory diet, and cooking for one for those who have lost their partner to cancer.

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We had the chance to prepare a delicious, healthy breakfast that included tofu scramble, poached eggs, turmeric Golden Milk, and flax seed pancakes with blueberries and blackberries.

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Not only was all this food tasty, it was all so good for you and specifically designed to be appropriate for those undergoing cancer treatment.

The Gathering Place meets people where they are during a traumatic time in their lives and provides support, encouragement, an understanding community, and practical day-to-day services for cancer patients and survivors and their entire support network.

The Gathering Place has two locations, in Beachwood and Westlake, and is an organization largely driven by volunteers. You can read more about their services here, donate here, sign up to volunteer here, and learn about additional ways to support The Gathering Place here.

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I am so honored to work with The Gathering Place on spreading the word about their organization and can’t wait to share more of their events and opportunities with you in the coming months!

***Disclosure: I worked with The Gathering Place on hosting an Influencer Breakfast. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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