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.

IMG_5455

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.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? The Best Party of the Year Giveaway!

The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland is throwing a party and they want you to know right up front that it’s going to be The Best Party of the Year!

2665

Held on Friday, December 6 at The Renaissance Cleveland, this party will take you back in time to the 1920s. You can dress as a flapper or someone dapper or just come as you are!

There will be food, cocktails, raffles and silent auctions, beer and wine pulls, and plenty of dancing and merriment. It will be one swanky affair!

Proceeds benefit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, which provides food and other health-related vital services to individuals and families in need in our community.

Tickets are currently on sale for $99 and can be purchased online. You can save $5 on tickets with code WHYCLE19.

Or you can enter to win two tickets to The Best Party of the Year 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 your favorite decade for a theme party.

2. Visit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @hungernetworkgc 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 The Best Party of the Year with @hungernetworkgc and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/10/30/why-the-best-party-of-the-year-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, November 3 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote The Best Party of the Year. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Jump Back Ball!

There are a lot of great fundraisers in Cleveland for a lot of great causes. But the one that is closest to my heart is Playhouse Square‘s annual Jump Back Ball.

72449453_10156860479148693_4697497613870563328_n

This event is put on by Playhouse Square Partners (I’m finishing up my sixth and final year on their board this year) and has everything you could want in an amazing party:

  • 2 bands, one rocking the Key Bank State Theatre stage and DJ Smoov rocking the late night party in the Key Bank State Theatre lobby
  • Unlimited cocktails and dinner and late-night eats from Driftwood Catering
  • Gaming tables, auctions, and activities throughout the theatre and lobby
  • Awesome decor created by Playhouse Square Partners
  • Dress like your favorite rock star from the past, like you’re going to the Grammy’s, or in your finest

All of this fun benefits Playhouse Square’s Community Outreach and Education initiatives, including Disney Musicals in Schools, the Dazzle Awards, and more.

This year’s Jump Back Ball theme is From Jukebox to Boombox and you’ll leap back on a musical journey through time on Leap Day, Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Tickets go on sale today at 10am. There are three ticket levels to fit your time and budget:

  • VIP tickets for $200, which includes an extra cocktail party at 6:30pm in the Connor Palace Theatre, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music from Sinatra CLE
  • General admission ticktes for $120 for Partners members and $155 for the general public
  • Late night admission tickets for $75, which include admittance at 9:30pm, the late night music and eats, and activities (limited number)

Ticket prices will increase as the event approaches (in fact, General Admission tickets increase by $10 tomorrow, October 30), so grab your tickets now to secure the best price!

I hope to see you at Jump Back Ball 29: From Jukebox to Boombox!

***Disclosure: I am the Communications Co-Chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy, fun, pre-Halloween weekend, so let’s get right to it…

Designer Dress Days

On Friday morning, I stopped by the 51st annual Designer Dress Days sale to benefit NCJW Cleveland.

IMG_5171

Held at the Mandel JCC, this sale has something for every fashionista, from exclusive designer labels to cashmere to furs to handbags.

IMG_5170

I scored an amazing deal on this stunning dress off the Celebrity/Influencer rack.

IMG_5174

It was donated by Kimberly of Modern Musings and I just cannot wait to wear it out on the town (perhaps to the event I’ll be blogging about tomorrow).

The sale is still on today, October 28, from 12-8pm and tomorrow, October 29, from 10am-7pm. And today, everything is 20% off the already amazing prices! So stop by and grab yourself some fabulous new finds for your wardrobe, all to benefit a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NCJW Cleveland to help promote Designer Dress Days. In exchange, I received complimentary admission to the preview day and compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Burntwood Tavern Dia de los Muertos

On Friday night, I met up with my friend Lisa for dinner at Burntwood Tavern to enjoy their limited-time Dia de los Muertos menu.

We both started with the Perfect Margarita, served on the rocks with Patron, Grand Marnier, lime, and a salted rim.

IMG_5179

We shared the Pacos Nachos, with smoked pork carnitas, colby jack cheese, crispy jalapenos, peppers and onions, avocado salsa, pico de gallo, and queso blanco.

IMG_5180

Hearty and filling, these were delicious nachos!

For my entree, I had the Baja Fish Tacos, with beer-battered cod, cole slaw, queso rico, chipotle aioli, and rice & beans.

IMG_5181

The rice & beans were not your typical Mexican rice & beans, but they were tasty. And the fish was tender and flaky, with a nice kick from the chipotle aioli.

The Dia de los Muertos menu is available at all Burntwood Tavern locations through Sunday, November 3, with options from tacos to burritos to chicken tortilla soup. Over on Instagram, I’m running a gift card giveaway for $50 to Burntwood Tavern to check it out for yourself. The giveaway closes on Tuesday, October 29 at 11:59pm, so hop over and enter!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Burntwood Tavern to help promote the Dia de los Muertos menu. In exchange, I received two complimentary entrees and two complimentary margaritas. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we kicked off our fourth season as subscribers to the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square.

IMG_5201

The first show was Jungle Book, a re-imagined version of the classic tale, with a great message about conservation mixed in. Every year, Jeffrey becomes so much more engaged in the stories taking place on stage!

While the season ticket packages are sold out for this year, stay tuned in March for when the 2020-2021 season is announced. This a great way to introduce children to live theater in a way that is friendly and accessible, while still challenging their imaginations.

Gesu Young Families Truck or Treat

Trunk or Treat events have become quite popular over the last few years with church groups and schools, where families can decorate their cars and let their kids trick or treat in an enclosed area.

The Gesu Young Families group hosted their Truck or Treat on Saturday night, but it turned into a Gym or Treat due to the weather!

IMG_5255

There was a DJ, pizza, and plenty of candy! Our Trunk or Treat design came from my friend Sarah who created this adorable Toy Story-scape and was kind enough to let me borrow it! It was definitely a hit with the kids!

Trunk or Treat was a fun night and a great precursor to all the Halloween action coming this Thursday.

Gesu Blue-Gold Game

On Sunday, we bundled up and headed to the last game of Jeffrey’s soccer season: the Gesu Blue-Gold game.

IMG_5272

All the Kindergartners played each other, enjoyed pizza and snacks, and generally celebrated the end of a fun season!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Flavors of Northeast Ohio!

I’ve been really fortunate throughout this blogging adventure to get to attend a lot of fabulous fundraisers. One that has been on my must-attend list for a long time was Flavors of Northeast Ohio to benefit the American Liver Foundation Heartland Division.

This unique event brings together several amazing local chefs, who are each given a table of guests for whom they create a multi-course dinner, paired with wine. The menus and tables are themed with the chefs’ creativity, making the evening a full sensory experience.

IMG_5109

 

But before you even enter the ballroom and take a seat at your table, you can nibble on delicious passed hors d’oeuvres from the participating chefs, enjoy a signature cocktail (this year’s was a painkiller from Porco Lounge & Tiki Room), and bid on auction items or participate in the wine pull.

My table was created and catered by Chef Chris Kafscak of Nomad Culinary. The theme was Game Night and the tablescape was filled with board game fun.

IMG_5098

For our first course, we slurped up some delicious game of Life “College Ramen,” which was much tastier than any ramen I ever made in my dorm room! This course was paired with Kendall Jackson Avant Chardonnay.

IMG_5102

Next up was “Professor Plum & Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen with the Salad,” a fun play on classic Clue characters in the name and a tasty salad too. This course was paired with Robert Mondavy Private Select Rye Barrel Aged Red Blend.

IMG_5103.jpg

Our next course was simply titled “Lox,” a high-scoring Scrabble word. In reality, the course featured salmon two-ways with a tasty faro, asparagus, and olive salad. This course was paired with Beringer Bros. Tequila Barrel Aged Sauvignon Blanc.

IMG_5104

From Candy Land, our next course was Gloppy’s Pierogi with Chocolate Red Wine Beef, paired with Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon. You had me at pierogi, but the tender, flavorful beef was delicious too!

IMG_5107

Our last course, themed on Sorry, was White Chocolate Cheesecake paired with Dark Horse Sparkling Brut. The game-board presentation of this dish made it almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

IMG_5108

All of this delicious food and culinary creativity helped to raise $116,000 for the American Liver Foundation Heartland Division and put the 15-year total for this Flavors of Northeast Ohio event at $1 million!

IMG_5101

I may have checked this off my must-attend bucket list, but I’ll certainly be attending this amazing event again!

***Disclosure: I was asked by American Liver Foundation Heartland Division to help promote Flavors of Northeast Ohio. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Sunbeam Holiday Boutique Giveaway!

It’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping! The Sunbeam Holiday Boutique is the perfect place to get the gifts you need!

sunbeam

Taking place November 6, 7, and 8 at The Country Club in Pepper Pike, Sunbeam Holiday Boutique features more than 30 vendors from all over the country selling jewelry, apparel, fine clothing, stationary, delectables, and gifts for the home.

There is an opening night party on Wednesday, November 6, where you can be the first to shop the vendors, as well as enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets for the opening night party are $135 and can be purchased online.

The Boutique is open to the public on Thursday, November 7 (10am-9pm) and Friday, November 8 (10am-3pm) for $10 admission.

tarawilson

There is also a Ladies Night on Thursday, November 7 from 6-9pm, where a master sommelier will guide you through a French champagne tasting. Admission is $20 and includes the tasting, a glass of champagne, and light hors d’oeuvres. Tickets can be purchased online.

All of this shopping fun benefits Vocational Guidance Services, a non-profit that serves people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Admission fees, as well as a portion of vendor proceeds, go toward helping Vocational Guidance Services provide a full range of vocational rehabilitation services, as well as paid work opportunities, to nearly 4,000 individuals with physical disabilities, mental disabilities, a history of incarceration or addiction, injured veterans, or other barriers to employment.

You can enter to win one of two sets of admission tickets to the Sunbeam Holiday Boutique, good for November 7 or 8 including the Ladies Night, 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 who you’re shopping for at the Sunbeam Holiday Boutique.

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

3. Follow @vgsjob 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 win tickets to @vgsjob Sunbeam Holiday Boutique from @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/10/24/why-sunbeam-holiday-boutique-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 Tuesday, October 29 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Sunbeam Holiday Boutique. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary admission tickets for myself and two admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Grit, Gratitude & You Breakfast Giveaway!

The First Tee of Cleveland is a non-profit organization that teaches children core values such as honesty, respect, and confidence through the game of golf.

RAR_1Zaw.jpeg
Image courtesy of The First Tee of Cleveland

On Friday, November 22, at Windows on the River, the First Tee of Cleveland will celebrate the volunteers and advocates who contribute to achieving the organization’s mission at their 8th annual Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast.

The Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast includes breakfast (obviously), but also motivational and inspirational presentations:

  • Keynote speaker June Ryan, Rear Admiral, US Coast Guard (Retired), a dynamic trainer, speaker, author and coach
  • Presentation of The Del de Windt Leadership Award for Civic Engagement to Rick Buoncore, Managing Partner of MAI Capital Management and the first Board Chair of The First Tee of Cleveland

There will also be delicious food, lots of coffee, and networking time to follow the presentations.

Tickets for the Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast are $125 and proceeds from the event will enable The First Tee of Cleveland to extend its reach to more youth throughout Northeast Ohio in need of the organization’s positive impact on their social and emotional skills.

hkr146jg.jpeg
Image courtesy of The First Tee of Cleveland

Tickets can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two tickets 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 your favorite breakfast food.

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

3. Hop over to my Instagram page and complete the steps with the First Tee of Cleveland picture.

3. Follow @FirstTeeCLE 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 the @FirstTeeCLE Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/10/22/why-grit-gratitude-you-breakfast-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 Friday, October 25 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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

jenclesig_pur

Why? Designer Dress Days!

It’s almost time for one of the most fabulous clothing sales in town: Designer Dress Days presented by NCJW Cleveland.

50510654_1940652162649979_3919936751782592512_n

The 51st annual Designer Dress Days (“DDD”) is a wonderland of fashion finds from designers such as Vince, Theory, Alice and Olivia, kate spade, Tory Burch, Georgio Armani, and more.

IMG_4297

Happening Friday, October 25 through Tuesday, October 29 (excluding Saturday) at the Mandel JCC, Designer Dress Days not only lets you find lovely fashions at great discounts, but it also lets you support the amazing programs and community volunteer efforts of NCJW Cleveland.

My favorite part of Designer Dress Days, aside from the fabulous finds, are the over 250 volunteers who help make this shopping experience fun. They will help you navigate the sale, ooh and aah when you try things on, and just generally make your time at DDD so pleasant.

29DB0860-3552-4E14-9ECE-D05C9CB55715

I had a chance to preview some of the items that will be available at this year’s Designer Dress Days and you do not want to miss out on this!

IMG_4296

There will also be a special rack of items donated by local celebs and influencers, so be sure to check that out!

Designer Dress Days dates and times are:

Friday, October 25 – Preview Day ($20 entry fee this day only) – 10am-4pm

Sunday, October 27 – 10am-4pm

Monday, October 28 – 12pm-8pm

Tuesday, October 29 – 10am-7pm

Get yourself a gorgeous new dress or handbag and contribute to a great philanthropy, all in one spot!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NCJW Cleveland to help promote Designer Dress Days. I was invited to an influencer preview event, received compensation, and will receive complimentary admission to the Preview Day. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends, Part 1!

It was a busy weekend, so I’m splitting up the weekend recap:

Firehouse Subs

On Friday night, we grabbed a quick and tasty dinner at Firehouse Subs. These subs aren’t your typical sub shop sandwiches. They are hot and tasty and substantial.

IMG_4667

We tried the new Nashville Hot Brisket, the Sweet and Spicy Meatball, and the Firehouse Steak and Cheese.

IMG_4669

All were packed with delicious meats and cheeses, served hot and fresh.

Plus, Firehouse Subs is a super fun place to bring the kids, with firefighters uniforms and all kinds of engaging décor.

IMG_9806

Firehouse Subs also collects money to support local fire departments by helping them purchase necessary equipment. Jeffrey donated $1 of his own money to the fund!

IMG_4672

And now, every Sunday at Firehouse Subs, you can get a kids meal for 99 cents with the purchase of an adult combo meal.

IMG_4664

So, not only are you getting a great meal, you’re getting a great deal too!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the kids meal deal at Firehouse Subs. In exchange, I received a complimentary meal. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Jurassic World Live Tour

On Saturday, we took Jeffrey to see Jurassic World Live Tour.

IMG_4695

From tons of giant, lifelike dinosaurs…

IMG_4701

…to an entertaining storyline with lots of scientific tidbits…

IMG_4691

…to, did I mention the really cool dinos?

IMG_4698

Jeffrey had a great time and really engaged with the story.

We also got to see the brand new Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, which is shiny and bright and so different from what you remember.

I can’t wait to spend more time there!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Jurassic World Live Tour. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our busy weekend!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Republic Food and Drink!

This week, I met up with fellow Playhouse Square Partners members for a dine-around in the Playhouse Square District.

At our dine-arounds, we select four restaurants that are geographically close together and split into small groups to enjoy a meal. Then we all meet up for an after-dinner drink together.

In the Playhouse Square District, we visited Ghost Light Restaurant and Lounge, Yours Truly, Puente Viejo, and Republic Food and Drink, all close to the theaters and great choices for pre- or post-theater dining. Our after-dinner drink was at Parnell’s Pub, a perennial Partners favorite.

I was in the group at Republic Food and Drink, which is a part of the Driftwood Group. This relatively-new restaurant occupies the former Otto Moser’s space and has transformed the old deli standby it into a comfortable, modern, delicious spot.

The list of bourbon cocktails alone had me happy! But the expansive menu of elevated comfort food sealed the deal. Our table shared the Pub Onion to start, a crispy-fried Vidalia onion with Carolina Gold Ranch.

I couldn’t pass up the Chicken Fried Chicken, with whipped potato, bourbon bacon green beans, and black pepper gravy.

IMG_4423

The chicken was tender and the breading was crisp. The potatoes and gravy were well-executed and the bourbon bacon green beans could make anyone eat their veggies.

Other comfort food favorites around the table included the Baked Mac ‘n Cheese, the Pork Schnitzel, and the Short Rib Stroganoff.

IMG_4425

As we head into Fall, the menu is perfect for cooler nights…warm up with an Old Fashioned and some Short Ribs!

And if you want to explore the Playhouse Square District with Partners, join us on Monday, October 7 for our Recess Scavenger Hunt to benefit arts education. Tickets are only $10!

***Disclosure: I am the Communications Co-Chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur