Why? Jump Back Ball!

The 29th annual Playhouse Square Jump Back Ball is in the books and it was yet another incredible party!

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This year’s theme was “From Jukebox to Boombox” and people came dressed as musicians from through the decades. I had fallen in love with this dress that I picked up at the Designer Dress Days sale and, thanks to my friend Amy’s suggestion, decided to do a play on “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

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Mariah did my make-up (with almost all BeautyCounter products) and from the makeup to the headpiece to the dramatic back of the dress, I had so much fun stepping out of my usual look.

Of course, my crew all showed up looking fabulous too, from Elton Jane to Cher to a Beastie Boy to Britney and K.Fed.

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Big shout-out (and a Grammy) to Anne for being a fantastic and gorgeous date!

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Faction rocked the main stage while everyone munched on breakfast-for-dinner treats from Driftwood Catering, then danced their feet off.

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DJ Smoov kept the late night jams flowing as the crowd spilled out into the KeyBank State Theatre lobby.

This was my ninth year attending Jump Back Ball and every year I’m blown away by what a fun party it is, but also how much hard work and dedication is put in by Playhouse Square Partners on every aspect of the evening from decor to fundraising to make this event a success.

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Through Jump Back Ball and other events throughout the year, Playhouse Square Partners supports the non-profit mission of Playhouse Square, specifically the education and community outreach initiatives. And we have a lot of fun, too!

While you have to wait a whole year for another Jump Back Ball (it’s always the last Saturday in February, so mark your calendar now,) you can learn more about Partners by joining us at our Monthly Members Meeting on Monday, March 9.

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

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Why? Weekends!

It was a busy and fun weekend of food and friends, so let’s get right to it…

Lindey’s Lake House

On Friday night, I met up with my friend Maria for dinner at Lindey’s Lake House. Lindey’s has a relaxed, coastal vibe in everything from the decor to the drinks to the food.

Maria started with the Coastal Paloma, with tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave, and a pink-peppercorn salt rim. I had the Basil Bourbon Smash, with bourbon, simple syrup, muddled lemon, mint, and basil shrub. Both made us dream of summer patio sipping!

We shared the Crab & Parmesan Dip, with baked and topped with spinach and bread crumbs and served with parmesan garlic crisps. A tasty way to start our meal!

Maria had the Lindey’s Lobster Roll, with tarragon mayo and cucumber salad. You would have thought we were in Maine!

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And I had the Crab Cakes, with remoulade, slaw, and handcut fries. These crab cakes were meaty and delicious!

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For dessert, we shared the Warm Cookies & Milk and felt like kids again!

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For a taste of summer with great drinks and yummy seafood, check out Lindey’s in Beachwood, the Flats East Bank, and Lakewood.

Little Italy

OK, so I told you this weekend was a lot of eating! On Saturday night, Jeffrey, my parents, and I had dinner at Mia Bella. This is one of our favorite places in Little Italy.

Before we left for dinner, Jeffrey insisted on wearing a tie and bringing his wallet so he could “pay the bill.” Such a gentleman!

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We shared the spicy Shrimp Saganaki and the House Meatballs as appetizers, while Jeffrey ate tons of the homemade bread.

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For my entree, I had the Veal Piccata, with chardonnay-lemon sauce and asparagus. The veal was tender and the delicate sauce was perfect on this dish.

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Jeffrey had a cheese pizza and was delighted with his choice. It’s always nice to find a restaurant that can make everyone happy!

Our server was so sweet, too. We told Jeffrey the bill was $3, which he proudly paid and she went right along with it!

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We headed across the street to Presti’s Bakery for dessert, where Dad and I had affogatos, Mom had a “lobster tail” (puff pastry with amaretto filling), and Jeffrey had a gigantic M&M cookie.

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A perfect end to a lovely evening!

Platform Pub Yoga

I spent the last Sunday of the month in my favorite way to spend that day: Pub Yoga at Platform Beer Co.

Alicia taught a fantastic hour-long flow with lots of feels (damn you for playing “Fast Car”), lots of laughs (yogi semi-pro tip: don’t laugh in camel pose), and lots of my favorite ladies.

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Plus, the class benefited Ursuline Piazza, which provides services such as housing, counseling, and more to those with HIV/AIDS. Each month’s Pub Yoga benefits a different local non-profit. The next Pub Yoga class is on Sunday, March 29. For just $20, you get the yoga class, a beer, and a donation to the non-profit. Plus lots of laughs! Now that’s a great Sunday Funday! 

Between the eating, yoga, and laughing, Jeffrey had his weekly basketball game and a little friend’s birthday party, so there was lots of busy fun this weekend! How was your weekend?

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Why? Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest Giveaway!

***This event has been postponed.***

Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside is always a fun and delicious night for a fantastic cause. I love a good appetizer and I love seeing local chefs have some friendly competition with each other!

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You can sample tons of tasty small bites, then vote on who should be awarded the Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre title. There is also live music from Elite Dream Band, wine and craft beer samples, silent auction items, and amazing ballpark views.

The event takes place on Thursday, April 2 at the Discount Drug Mart Club at Progressive Field. There are 14 participating restaurants, including Cleveland Chop, Tartine Bistro, Mallorca, The Woods, and Zak Bruell Restaurant Group.

Tickets are $80 and all proceeds benefit Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of supporting over 1,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. For Our Lady of the Wayside’s clients, nursing care isn’t an option, at an annual unfunded cost of $650,000. Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest will support Wayside’s nursing program.

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Tickets are available online or you can enter to win two tickets to the event right here! Here’s how to enter:

1.Leave a comment here letting me know which participating restaurant‘s hors d’oeuvre you’re most excited to sample.

2. Visit Our Lady of the Wayside and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Visit my Instagram page and follow the instructions on the Cleveland’s Finest image for an additional entry.

4. Follow @OurLadyWayside 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 win tickets to @OurLadyWayside #ClevelandsFinest2020 from @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2020/02/18/why-clevelands-finest-hors-doeuvre-contest-giveaway-5 

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, February 23 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

This weekend recap could also be titled “How I spent most of my weekend in Tremont…”

Great Big Home and Garden Show

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I checked out the opening day of the Great Big Home & Garden Show at the I-X Center.

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We especially enjoyed checking out the Garden Showcase and getting a breath of spring in January!

This year’s gardens are themed on One-Tank Trips and showed off a lot of creativity in imagining nearby destinations in gardens.

From model homes to ways to decorate both the inside and outside of your house, there’s something interesting for everyone to find at the Great Big Home & Garden Show!

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The show runs through Sunday, February 9. You can save $1 off your online ticket purchase with code CLE2020.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Great Big Home & Garden Show. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the show.***

Prosperity Social Club and Literary Tavern

On Friday night, I was out and about in Tremont with friends for dinner and drinks. We started at Prosperity Social Club, which offers great food and drinks in a casual atmosphere.

 

I had the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned (yum) and the fried chicken (double yum.) The chicken was crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside, and paired perfectly with the mashed potatoes.

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Simple, classic, delicious food in an easy-going setting. Sounds like the perfect place to end the week!

From there, we headed over to Literary Tavern. This cozy bar serves up craft cocktails and small plates in an intimate environment.

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I enjoyed the Blood Fountain, with OYO Bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and red wine. Both the taste and presentation of this drink are spot on!

Game of Thrones Bar Crawl

On Saturday, it was back to Tremont for the Game of Thrones Bar Crawl to benefit A Special Wish Cleveland. When you registered for the crawl, you picked a house (Targaryen for us) and then went from bar to bar with your house.

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From The Treehouse to Post 58 to Crust to the South Side to Dante, we covered a lot of ground on the Tremont bar scene.

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And it was all for a good cause! What a fun way to spend the afternoon!

Children’s Theater Series

Before the bar crawl, Jeffrey, my mom, and I attended another of the Children’s Theater Series shows at Playhouse Square.

This show was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites,” presented by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. This puppet-based theater company did a lovely job presenting these classic stories in a bright, engaging way.

The Children’s Theatre Series is a great way to introduce your child to live theater in a friendly way, with shows that speak directly to them.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Playhouse Square Partners!

On Wednesday, I got to spend the evening pretending it was summer with putt-putt, margaritas, and tacos at Playhouse Square Partners‘ Putt-Putt Night.

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The event was held in the lobby of the KeyBank State Theatre, which not only provided a unique setting for miniature golf, but also let us start daydreaming about Jump Back Ball, which will be held there in just over a month!

We had a great time playing putt-putt and I even got two holes in one! There were also some great prizes of loge seats to various shows at Playhouse Square for those with the lowest score, as well as those who could get a hole in one on a particularly tricky hole.

Playhouse Square Partners plans lots of fun evenings like the putt-putt event, as well as our gala Jump Back Ball. We also assist Playhouse Square’s Community Engagement and Education initiatives through both fundraising and hands-on volunteering. And we get to do a lot of it in the absolutely beautiful theaters of Playhouse Square!

If that sounds like you’re speed, check out joining Playhouse Square Partners and/or join us for Jump Back Ball on Saturday, February 29. This will be my ninth Jump Back Ball and I swear they get better every year! This year’s theme is “From Jukebox to Boombox” and it’s sure to be a rockin’ evening!

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

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Why? Allison Rose Foundation Yellow Brick Road Celebration!

This month, the Allison Rose Foundation will host its second annual gala event: the Yellow Brick Road Celebration.

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The event takes place on Saturday, January 25 at the Embassy Suites in Independence and focuses on giving guests the “courage” and “heart” to advocate for children and young adults with food allergies.

The Yellow Brick Road Celebration will raise funds to expand the Allison Rose Foundation’s educational curriculum and scholarships, create additional awareness campaigns, contribute to research and advocate for change to save lives.  A portion of the proceeds will also go to the new Cleveland Clinic Food Allergy Center of Excellence.

The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, raffles, and a keynote speech from Broadway star Jessica Vosk, a star of the musical “Wicked,” who will share her story of managing anaphylactic food allergies.

The Allison Rose Foundation was created after the tragic death of Allison Rose Suhy from an extreme food allergy reaction. Her parents turned that tragedy into an opportunity to help other families manage food allergies and hopefully never deal with the same sort of tragedy.

Tickets for the Yellow Brick Road Celebration are currently on sale online for $100 for those 21+ and $50 for those ages 16-21. Click here to purchase tickets and attend this inspiring night of turning tragedy into a true community effort of giving back.

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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 23rd annual Red & White on Thursday Night to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio.

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Happening Thursday, January 23 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 BOMBA Tacos & Rum, Crave, Gervasi Vineyard, Saffron Patch, West Side Bakery, Trattoria Vaccaro, Missing Falls Brewery, and more.

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VIP guests will enjoy exclusive food and high-end tastings, specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman, and more, 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.

 

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 on the Red & White on Thursday Night image.

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/2020/01/08/why-red-white-on-thursday-night-giveaway-4 

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

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Why? Getaway!

This past weekend, I took a big step outside my comfort zone in two ways: I traveled solo and stayed overnight in a cabin. I’m pretty bad at both alone time and things involving nature, so this was sure to be an adventure.

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I stayed in a Getaway cabin in in Lisbon, Ohio at Getaway Beaver Creek. Getaway cabins are essentially tiny houses, with a kitchenette, bathroom with both toilet and shower, desk, and bed.

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The queen-sized bed is against a wall with a huge window to look out into nature.

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Your Getaway cabin includes pots, pans, utensils, cups, a kettle, coffee, tea, a radio, and some books.

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You also have access to an outdoor campsite with chairs, a picnic table, and a firepit with wood to make a camp fire.

And of course, there’s a s’mores kit! Getaway cabins include lots of cute touches like a cellphone “lockbox,” postcards to send to loved ones, crayons for if you brought the kiddos (or for you)…ways to relax and unwind and disconnect.

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Your cabin locks with a keycode and you receive a text message prior to check in with your cabin name and keycode. There’s also a main office when you arrive at the cabins, as well as a phone in your cabin to call to the office, which made me feel secure, especially when traveling alone.

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The Getaway cabins are in a secluded area, but all in a horseshoe near each other and every cabin was occupied on the day that I stayed.

Getaway also helps you out with a website that includes nearby hiking trails, as well as restaurants and attractions. Being not a big nature girl, plus being by myself in January, I opted for more of the attractions than the hiking.

I had a delicious lunch at The Vineyards at Pine Lake, which boasts a lovely view, tasty wine, and great food.

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I highly recommend the Chicken Francaise paired with the Vineyard White wine and I also grabbed a bottle of the Pinot Noir to take back to the cabin with me.

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And of all the crazy, fun coincidences, Mariah’s parents happened to be having lunch there too, so I guess I’m never really alone!

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The bartender at The Vineyards at Pine Lake recommended I check out Birdfish Brewing, so I popped in to one of their tasting rooms for a quick sample of the local brews.

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After some time in the cabin unwinding, watching movies (no Wi-Fi, so bring DVDs), reading, and eating lots of popcorn…

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…I decided to venture out in the evening to Numbers Brewing Company for some live music.

So whether you’re in to exploring nature or exploring new-to-you places, Getaway makes a great jumping off point. Plus, with being solo, I found myself chatting away with people more than I would have otherwise, finding out some cool recommendations from the locals, and really getting a better sense of the area.

I was surprised at how modern, cute, and comfortable the Getaway cabins are and honestly how safe I felt, even being by myself. And Getaway gives back too: for every Getaway, one tree is planted by the non-profit One Tree Planted.

You can book a Getaway cabin that will accommodate two people or four (the four-person has a second, lofted queen bed.) And you can make your Getaway as laid back or active as suits your personality. You can also saev $25 off your next Getaway using code WHYCLE25 when you book.

***Disclosure: I was invited by Getaway to help promote Getaway Beaver Creek. In exchange, I received a complimentary one-night stay. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Dinner in the Dark!

Last week, I attended a Dinner in the Dark event at 111 Bistro. These events bring together chefs from different restaurants to create a six-course tasting meal. Each Dinner in the Dark benefits a local non-profit. December’s non-profit was The Up Side of Downs.

We started our evening with an apple cider and rye cocktail from Tom’s Foolery Distillery and an amuse bouche from 111 Bistro.

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As you can see, you remain “in the dark” about the menu until you are served each course, but are given picture hints. Each course is also expertly paired with wine.

Our first course was seared duck breast served over ravioli from The Corkscrew Saloon.

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I’ve rarely met a duck dish I didn’t like and this was no exception!

Next up was a trio of sashimi from Twiisted.

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Especially since I don’t get down toward Medina very often, it was nice to try so many local restaurants! This sushi was great!

Next up was a warm, comforting chutney from NEOMU.

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Perfect for a cold December night!

Next up were scallops with butternut squash puree and morel chips from Wolf Creek Tavern.

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This dish had a lot of elements, all of which went together so well!

Next was short ribs from DYNE.

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With a six-minute egg, Brussel sprouts, and rutabaga puree, there was not a thing on the plate I didn’t love!

Our dessert was from our host 111 Bistro: a coffee tart that was decadent and delicious!

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Dinner in the Dark is such a fun way to experience food from several different chefs. The next Dinner in the Dark takes place on Monday, January 13 at the Elyria Country Club. Tickets are $90 per person and are available online.

You need to be willing to be adventurous, since you won’t know the menu ahead of time, but you won’t be disappointed by the quality of the food and wine, as well as the camaraderie of the chefs. Plus, it all benefits a good cause!

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Why? Weekends!

There was lots of time with family and friends this weekend, which is just how a pre-holiday weekend should be…

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On Friday night, Alicia, Amanda, Kimberly, and I got together for my favorite grown-up holiday tradition: TWC Christmas (the name is a long story.)

We usually meet up at someone’s house, but everyone was feeling cooking-and-hosting overwhelmed this year, so we instead opted for dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants: Dante.

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From fabulous cocktails to delicious food, Dante is always a perfect spot for an evening out. I had the Wild Boar tenderloin, with honey roasted rutabaga & Brussel sprouts and chorizo potato hash.

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This dish was tender, flavorful, and plate-licking good.

We all shared desserts, but the favorite at the table was the Caramel Apple Walnut Blondie, with apple jam filling, streusel, cider caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream.

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After dinner, we walked over to The Spotted Owl for a Christmas nightcap.

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They have a special menu of holiday-themed drinks that are all guaranteed to make you merry. I had the Ginger All The Way and it was creamy, spicy perfection.

What a perfect night of fabulous food, drinks, and, most importantly, friends!

The Magic of Lights

On Saturday night, Jeffrey and I checked out The Magic of Lights at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

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There is a drive-through component, where you make your way through millions of dazzling Christmas lights, with themed areas like “Nativity,” “Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “Joy to the World.”

There is also Santa’s Holiday Village, where you can park and walk through the village with a light selfie tunnel…

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…inflatables…

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…”ice” bumper cars…

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…and lots of festive fun.

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The Magic of Lights takes place every day through Saturday, January 4. Tickets for a car are $20 in advance. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote The Magic of Lights. In exchange, I received a complimentary car ticket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Platform Pub Yoga

My Sunday started out on a funday note with Platform Pub Yoga. We enjoyed a great hour-long vinyasa flow taught by Alicia, then headed downstairs for a beer, a bagel sandwich, and lots of laughs.

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It’s so nice in this busy season to take a time-out for something that totally made me feel invigorated! Plus, part of the proceeds from the event benefited Providence House! The next Platform Pub Yoga happens on Sunday, January 26.

Neil Diamond Christmas

On Sunday night, Mom and I attended Neil Diamond Christmas at Music Box Supper Club.

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The Diamond Project Band did a fantastic job, playing both Christmas tunes and classic Neil Diamond hits.

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Mom and I had a blast singing along! What a fun way to end the pre-holiday weekend!

How was your weekend? Are you ready for the holiday week ahead?

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