Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend, which is exactly what I needed after just returning from a trip (and traveling again this week!)

Yoga Roots 30+ Social

On Saturday evening, I attended a social for everyone who reached 30 or more classes in the Yoga Roots fall challenge. Of 186 people who participated in the fall challenge, 27 of us reached 30+ classes!

Held at the home of studio owners Scott and Kim, the social was a great chance to celebrate reaching 30+ classes, meet other yogis, and see each other in something other than yoga pants! I was surprised how many of us didn’t know each other, just from being on different class schedules!

There were delicious nibbles from the studio’s neighbors: Gigi’s on Fairmount and On the Rise. I could eat Gigi’s bruschetta and On the Rise’s raspberry bars all day! And there were custom cookies from Sarah, one of the Yoga Roots teachers.

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I’ve talked before about really finding a home at Yoga Roots and Saturday night was just another example of why that is so true. Yoga Roots is genuinely a community, not just a studio, which is what keeps me coming back (and has me geared up for the spring challenge, too)!

Family Yoga

Sunday morning, we attended the monthly Family Yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. This has become one of our favorite family activities. Each month, the class is a bit different, but always explores mindful movement, breath work, and meditation in a way that’s fun for all ages.

This month, the kids participated in an obstacle course that involved my friend Robin and I being bridges in both down dog and plank as the kids crawled under us!

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So, we got some exercise in too! The next Family Yoga class takes place Sunday, April 14, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Cost to attend is free for Mandel JCC members and $10 for non-members. You can sign up online.

Piston Powered Auto-Rama

On Sunday, my dad took Jeffrey to the I-X Center for the Piston Powered Auto-Rama.

A love for cars is something Dad and Jeffrey have shared basically since Jeffrey was born and seeing the joy they both get from sharing car experiences is so fulfilling.

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Jeffrey got to sit in the world’s fastest car…

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…as well as see dragons and robots, so the afternoon was a total win for him!

St. Patrick’s Day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my parents’ house, with plenty of corned beef and Great Lakes Brewing Company Conway’s Irish Ale.

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It was a lovely, quiet weekend! How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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Why? St. Kitts!

I’m ba-a-a-a-ck. Literally at 1:30am today. And here I am, writing to you all. That’s true love, right?

Also, I figure the window on me talking about my vacation is closing, so here we go…

It had been awhile since Mom and I had traveled just the two of us. In fact, the last “girls only” trip was when we went to Scottsdale a couple months before Jeffrey was born. So the chance to get away together was much appreciated.

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Which means right off the bat, I have to give mad props to Matthew for holding down the fort (seriously, the literal fort is still standing) and my dear friend Mariah for helping out too.

So, now to the trip: As you may remember, my dad owns a tire business (Tireman USA) and this trip was part of an incentive program with Goodyear. When we first got to St. Kitts, we spent a day with the other Goodyear folks and incentive-earners working on clean-up and building projects at a local school.

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The group built picnic tables, re-tiled a kitchen, cleaned up classrooms, painted playground equipment, did landscaping, and packed nearly 200 bookbags stuffed with donated school supplies.

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It was surely a different way to kick off a vacation, but so worthwhile!

We stayed at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, which boasted amazing ocean and mountain views, beautiful pools, and delicious food and drink.

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Matthew and I honeymooned in St. Lucia and the topography of St. Kitts reminded me very much of that destination.

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Some of our favorite things we ate at the Marriott included the Chilean sea bass at Blu Seafood Restaurant, the St. Kitts BBQ Pizza from Pizza Shack, and the mushroom soup en croute at Royal Grill Steakhouse.

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We also explored St. Kitts and it’s neighboring island, Nevis, a bit. On St. Kitts, we went to a wonderful dinner at Marshall’s Restaurant.

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I had lobster jerk pasta and Mom had grilled local lobster tail, both of which were so fresh and delicious.

On Nevis, we saw the home where Alexander Hamilton lived as a child, which was a great piece of history and obviously much more popular because of the musical. They were actually playing the soundtrack at the house!

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We also had lunch at the world-famous Sunshine’s Bar.

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The walls are covered with celebrities who made their way to this beach shack restaurant for the Killer Bee cocktail, a rum punch that packs quite a sting!

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Nevis is a much quieter island than St. Kitts, with a smaller population and tons of wild monkeys running about.

We also went on a snorkel catamaran cruise off St. Kitts, which was a gorgeous way to see the island. The Caribbean waters are so clear that we could see tons of fish and turtles and coral, too!

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We ended the trip with a party on the beach with live music, a huge fire pit, and lots of fun!

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It was an amazing chance to get away, relax, do some good, and see a new place in the world! I am so glad to have gone, but also so glad to be back home in CLE!

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Why? Hudec Dental!

You know what I really love? When the things that you need to get done no matter what can be done with ease and, dare I say, a little enjoyment. That’s been true for me with my dental appointments at Hudec Dental.

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The Patient Care Support Center makes scheduling an appointment a breeze. When you call, you speak with a friendly specialist who can easily accommodate your schedule and get your appointment set up quickly.

I had my semi-annual cleaning and exam last week at the Macedonia office. The building is actually a historical landmark, set on a corner and definitely more stand-out and interesting than your typical dental office.

My hygienist, Amalie Podgorski, did a great job and was really efficient, especially since I had Jeffrey gazing into my mouth at the same time!

Dr. Cortni Gaffney was so nice and we even worked through a treatment plan to address my teeth grinding issues and the wear and tear on my teeth from those. She had great practical solutions for both short-term and long-term treatment. And the Office Manager was great in working up an estimate for the treatment plan, too!

I left with my teeth feeling clean and healthy, but also with the feeling that I’d had a nice, pleasant experience. We all have things we have to get done in life, but it’s great when the “have to’s” can be enjoyable. What makes that difference is the people involved in those “have to’s.” Hudec Dental definitely makes this particular “have to” enjoyable, from scheduling through check-in and cleaning and exam.

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Hudec Dental as a brand ambassador. I received a complimentary cleaning and exam as part of this relationship. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Hey, hey, it’s March! We welcomed the new month with a fun weekend out and about in Cleveland.

Home Cooking

But before we were out and about, we were in and cozy. On Friday night, I made BBQ chicken mac ‘n cheese (recipe here).

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Before I made the mac, I cooked the chicken wrapped in foil packets at 250 degrees for 2 hours. This made the chicken tender and perfect to fork shred, which was the exact right consistency for the mac ‘n cheese.

Pair this with Matthew’s homemade Old Fashioned and you have a perfect little Friday evening meal!

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we had the third of four shows in the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square. This one was “Emily Brown and the Thing,” about a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who have many adventures after bedtime.

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We didn’t know the story going in and found the show to be engaging and funny. I love taking Jeffrey to see live theater, especially in the incredible theaters at Playhouse Square!

Lunch in Ohio City

From there, we headed over to Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch. I always enjoy going to the brewpub because, while you can find Great Lakes beer all over, there’s always something special on tap at the pub.

I tried the Imperial Buzzcut Nut Brown Ale, brewed with honey and hazelnuts, and Matthew had the same. We both really enjoyed this smoothy, nutty beer!

To eat, I had the Fitzgerald burger, with bacon, smoked cheddar, Edmund Fitzgerald BBQ sauce, and onion straws.

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Flavorful and juicy, this was one delicious burger! The fries were particularly good, too!

Matthew had the Sweet & Salty Pork pizza, with smoked pulled pork, cucumber, green pepper, onion, mozzarella, goat cheese, garlic oil, and orange lavender honey.

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He ate the entire pizza (!), so my guess is that it was quite tasty!

Jeffrey loved his chicken fingers, too! The brewpub atmosphere for a weekend lunch is wonderful for kids, too!

From there, we had to stop to get dessert at Mitchell’s Ice Cream!

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The Buckeye Sundae was the perfect sweet treat. Jeffrey is pretty much all of us when it comes to Mitchell’s…

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What a fun family day!

***Disclosure: I received a gift card from Great Lakes Brewing Company as part of my partnership with Lyft. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sprinkle

On Sunday, I attended a Sprinkle for my dear friend Mariah, who is expecting a little girl in May. While Mariah has two boys already, it was so fun to fete her new arrival with lots of pink clothes and toys.

I also had to snag her this adorable onesie from Anne Cate!

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We had a great ladies lunch, with bellinis, homemade pesto and chicken, salad, fruit, and pastries from Luna Bakery & Café.

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It was a lovely way to celebrate a lovely lady!

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So that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from Jumping Back Across the Pond, we had some other fun things going on this weekend…

Lunch and a Movie

Jeffrey didn’t have school on Friday, so we met up with his best buddy and little brother for lunch and a movie. We started at Yours Truly at Shaker Square. It’s delicious diner-style food makes it a great choice for a wide age range.

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The kids enjoyed chicken fingers, cheeseburger, and grilled cheese. I had a most tasty tuna melt (my favorite sandwich) on grilled rye and my friend had the Tuscan chicken wrap.

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Quick, yummy, and friendly…Yours Truly is always a favorite stop.

From there, we took the kids to see “How to Train Your Dragon 3,” which we all agreed was our favorite of the series!

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What a fun little Friday afternoon!

Paczki Party

If you live in Cleveland, you’ve heard about paczki, a Polish donut-like treat that’s popular for Fat Tuesday. On Sunday, Michael Angelo’s Bakery and Winery hosted a Paczki Party that combined Polish paczki and pierogi and polkas with Mardi Gras-themed elements.

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The paczki were plentiful and delicious, with traditional flavors like apricot, prune, and poppyseed, as well as more modern flavors like strawberry mousse, custard, and peanut butter.

There were also kids crafts and face painting, which Jeffrey really enjoyed.

Michael Angelo’s has some of the tastiest paczki you’ll find and this was a great way to get a head start on enjoying them.

Cleveland Yoga

It’s not really a surprise that I spent time at a yoga studio over the weekend, but on Sunday night I ventured from my home studio to take a class at Cleveland Yoga in Beachwood.

Ylonda, one of my first yoga teachers, teaches there and had promised to play her electric cello during savasana at her classes this week. I couldn’t miss that combination!

Ylonda is an accomplished cellist, a challenging yoga teacher, and an all-around amazing soul. I always leave her classes feeling physically and emotionally charged up! It was the perfect way to end the weekend and get motivated for the week ahead!

How was your weekend? What do you do to recharge for the week ahead?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a low(er)-key, family-centric weekend for us, which is always a nice break, especially after a super busy weekend previously.

Monster Jam Triple Threat Series

Saturday afternoon, Jeffrey got to experience his first Monster Jam when the Triple Threat Series roared into Quicken Loans Arena.

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Jeffrey was excited to not only see the big trucks, but also wear his noise-cancelling headphones (seriously, that might have been the bigger excitement for him).

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The Triple Threat Series featured crowd voting after each round, so it was fun to pick and cheer for our favorites.

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This is definitely one of those “boy mom” experiences that I never thought I’d be doing, but when I saw how much fun Jeffrey had, it made it worth it! This was a great, family-friendly activity!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Monster Jam Triple Threat Series. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Mom’s Birthday Dinner

On Saturday, I made a three-course birthday dinner for my mom. She’s usually the one having us over to eat, so it was nice to be able to make a fancy meal for her instead.

Our first course was Tomato Basil Crab Bisque (recipe here). Slightly spicy, thick and creamy, this was a great first course for a winter meal.

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For the second course, I made Veal Osso Buco (recipe here) and Creamy Parmesan Polenta (recipe here).

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The osso buco smelled so delicious while it was cooking and came out very tender and flavorful!

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For the polenta, I would suggest cooking it slightly longer than the recipe suggests or giving it a little time before serving to set up. But it was the perfect flavor complement to the osso buco.

For dessert, Jeffrey helped me make a Raspberry-Fudge Fantasy Torte (recipe here).

 

I love the combination of chocolate and raspberry! And the whipped cream frosting is a nice, light change of pace.

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It was a fun night celebrating our wonderful mom/grandma!

Family Yoga

On Sunday, we took another Family Yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center.

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These have quickly become a favorite family activity, with a great mix of activity, meditation, and breath work geared to Jeffrey’s ability and attention level.

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The next class is on Sunday, March 17, with sessions at 10am and 11am. The class is free for Mandel JCC members and $10 for non-members. You can register here.

Winking Lizard

After yoga, we went to lunch with friends at a favorite for all ages: Winking Lizard.

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From a great beer selection for the grown-ups to a tasty kids menu to bowls of popcorn for group munching, everyone can find something to enjoy!

What a great Sunday Funday!

So, that was our low(er) key weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a super busy weekend in the CLE, so let’s get right to it…

Partner Yoga

On Friday night, Matthew and I took a Partner Yoga workshop at Yoga Roots. Both of us have practiced for a long time, but never like this!

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Led by Yoga Roots teachers Sharon and Nick, the workshop put you and your partner in poses together, from feet touching in child’s pose to planking on top of each other!

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The room was filled with lively conversation and laughter. It was a great way to not only connect with your partner, but to build connections within the Yoga Roots community too. After class, we grabbed some wine and snacks for a little picnic on our mat.

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This was a fun and unique date night and a cool way to expand our practice!

Donut Fest

Saturday, we continued our annual tradition of attending Donut Fest.

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Held at RedSpace, this event brings together 12 donut purveyors to offer samples of their tasty treats, along with local coffee vendors to help wash it all down.

This year, some of our favorites included the chocolate strawberry creme stick from Jack Frost Donuts

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…the chocolate clementine donuts from Fiona’s Coffee Bar and Bakery

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…and the sour cream donuts from Goldie’s Donuts & Bakery.

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While Donut Fest is definitely a sugary overload, I feel like the bakeries have moderated the sample size from the first year, so you can actually enjoy something from each of the shops. Plus, who doesn’t love the chance to taste test so many different types of donuts under one roof?!

Anne Cate Studio Opening

Saturday night, my friend Mariah and I attended the grand opening party for Anne Cate‘s studio space in Mentor.

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This space is part office, part production studio, which can also sell some of the skyline merchandise. It’s sleek, modern, and perfectly pretty in Anne Cate’s signature pink and black!

I can’t wait to see what fabulous things Anne Cate has in store (haha) for this space!

Partners Brunch Around

On Sunday, I joined some of my fellow Playhouse Square Partners for brunch in Tremont. We had groups at 4 different Tremont restaurants and I was lucky enough to land at Fat Cats.

As one of Tremont’s longest standing restaurants, Fat Cats has stood the test of time and remains a delicious spot to eat. I had the Williams Wake Up Breakfast Sandwich, with egg, avocado, bacon, and slaw.

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Served on lightly grilled bread and with a side of sweet potato fries, this was a perfect brunch item: sort of breakfasty, sort of lunchy, and totally yummy!

After our brunches, the groups from the various restaurants all met up for a drink at The Flying Monkey Pub.

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What a great Sunday Funday!

Bright Ideas

After that, I headed to The Brecksville Theatre to see my friend Wes in their production of “Bright Ideas.” This show is a campy and fun look at parents trying to get their kid into a very exclusive preschool.

We definitely laughed a lot and found some very relatable moments in the show. It’s playing February 15, 16, and 17 and you can purchase tickets online.

So that was our busy weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It was a fun, family-centric weekend! And how about this warmer weather?! We were definitely ready to get out of hibernation!

Hathaway Brown Heritage Dinner

On Friday evening, Jeffrey’s school hosted what has become one of our favorite traditions there: the Hathaway Brown Heritage Dinner. It’s essentially a giant potluck dinner, where people bring an appetizer, entree, or dessert representing their heritage.

We brought kielbasa, pierogi, and sauerkraut because Ancestry DNA confirmed I’m just as Eastern European as I thought I was!

But we also enjoyed hummus, samosas, cornbread, Mongolian beef, lasagna, and lots of other delicious dishes.

One of our favorite parts of the event is the selection of cookies and candies from around the world that you can take home. There are these delicious chocolate shortbread Scottie dogs that we just adore!

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There are also crafts, games, and music from different cultures, so the Heritage Dinner is about more than just good food. The students get to experience a little bit of the world and the different backgrounds of the student body.

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What a fun Friday evening!

Bowling Birthday Party

Saturday, we went to a bowling birthday party for one of Jeffrey’s friends at North Woods Lanes.

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Jeffrey loved the bumper bowling and got some strikes and spares!

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It’s so fun to see the kids grow up and get into different birthday activities.

Great Big Home and Garden Show

On Sunday, we stopped by the Great Big Home and Garden Show at the I-X Center.

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From testing out hot tubs…

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…to kids’ power tools…

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Jeffrey was definitely having fun checking out all the different booths.

We all loved the Garden Showcase, which gave us a real taste of spring.

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The gardens are all themed on fairy tales this year, with things like “Alice in Wonderland,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and a Magic Treehouse.

Jeffrey and Matthew also rode the giant ferris wheel, which is a must at the I-X Center!

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The Great Big Home and Garden Show continues through Sunday, February 10. You can purchase tickets online and save $3 with code CLE19.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Great Big Home and Garden Show. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend! How was yours? Did you get out and enjoy this mild weather?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends, Part 2!

The rest of our weekend was family-fun focused, so here we go…

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Jeffrey had a parent/teacher conference day on Friday, so since he didn’t have school, we were looking for something fun to do. We went to the Children’s Museum of Cleveland to check out their two newest exhibits: Theater and Playlist.

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Theater and Playlist opened at the end of November and give children new ways to explore their creativity at the museum. Theater has everything you need to put on a play, from a ticket booth to a tech area that controls lights and sound effects to hair and makeup stations and costumes.

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Children can put on plays, musicals, puppet shows, or concerts. The creativity I saw in the different types of shows and costumes was awesome! What a cool spot for kids to explore!

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Playlist incorporates shadow walls and wooden “instruments” to let children express themselves in dance and instrumentation. Playlist has different musical themes, from Latin to African to Americana.

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Much like Theater, Playlist encourages individuality and creativity. It was so cool to see Jeffrey dance and perform (and not even want to leave those two areas).
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If you haven’t been to the Children’s Museum of Cleveland in a bit, you’ll find all the favorites you loved, plus new exhibits to spark the imagination!

***Disclosure: I received two complimentary passes courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we enjoyed the next show in the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square: “The Rainbow Fish.”

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Put on by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, this bright and engaging puppet performance was a wonderful way to enjoy a story that Jeffrey was well-familiar with from the children’s book.

Every time we take Jeffrey to the theater, I see him become more invested in the storytelling and it’s truly a wonderful experience for the whole family!

Open House

On Sunday, we took Jeffrey to an Open House to see where we applied for him to be in Kindergarten. I honestly can’t believe we’re at the Kindergarten application point!

He really enjoyed getting to see where his “big boy school” may be. Plus, we all enjoyed going out for pizza and pasta at Pizzazz on the Circle with his best friend afterwards.

 

So, a win-win all around!

That was our weekend, in two parts. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a pretty low-key weekend around here, thanks to the weather. Sometimes Mother Nature makes us slow down and that’s OK!

Home Cooking

With being snowed in comes the opportunity to do some home cooking. I’ve been trying to find meals that everyone will like. Think: kid-friendly, but with enough flavor to keep the grown-ups happy too.

Friday night, I made baked chicken tenders with this recipe. What I really liked about this recipe was the batter incorporated Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, which gave the chicken more flavor than a standard egg wash.

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I cheated a bit by using Heinen’s prepared foods for our potato side dish. But those stuffed twice-baked potatoes were hard to resist and Heinen’s prepared foods are so yummy!

Then on Sunday, we ventured out to my parents’ house. Jeffrey had been requesting to crack (not eat) crab legs and since the rest of us all enjoy the eating part, we figured we’d put him to work.

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We did get Jeffrey to eat a couple bites of his handiwork too. The king crab legs were from Lobster Brothers and were sweet, tender, and delicious!

Family Yoga

On Sunday, we attended a family yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center.

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It’s tough to find a yoga class that allows both parents and kids to practice together (click here to read my post for Northeast Ohio Parent on where to find kids yoga classes.) So, Matthew and I were really excited for the chance to practice with Jeffrey.

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The class incorporated yoga poses, breath work, and meditation, all in ways that were fun, engaging, and accessible for the kids.

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The family yoga class is held once a month at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. Cost to attend is free for members and $10 for non-members. The next class is on Sunday, February 17, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Click here to learn more and register.

So, that was our quiet winter weekend. How was yours? Did you stay warm and snug or venture out?

jenclesig_pur