Why? Weekends!

It was another fun, festive weekend! Here’s what we were up to:


On Friday, my mom watched Jeffrey for the day, so that I could have my self-proclaimed “Mommy’s Holiday Get Sh*t Done Day.” The day included gift shopping, grocery shopping, party prepping, and some time for me, too.

I started my day at Brewnuts, which I had been dying to get to since they opened their storefront in Gordon Square.

The store is as adorable as the donuts are tasty. Brewnuts are HUGE donuts and a great balance of sweet frosting and not-too-sweet dough. I had a hard time deciding which to get, but I chose the mint chocolate coffee, made to look like a Frappuccino.


Yum! Brewnuts also has a large selection of craft beer and options to make your coffee or hot chocolate boozy.


Whether you stop for a morning treat or an after-work libation and donut, Brewnuts is an awesome, funky, tasty place to try!

The Beauty Room

From there, it was time to pamper my long-neglected toes with a pedicure at The Beauty Room in Tremont.


I met up with my girlfriend Kimberly, which meant that the pedicure was also good for my soul! Add in some pomegranate mimosas and you have the makings of a perfect morning!


The Beauty Room is bright, inviting, and has a wonderful selection of products and services (everything from massages and facials to blowouts to manicures) to make you feel, well, beautiful! And starting my day with so much relaxation guaranteed a productive, low-stress remainder of the day at the stores.

Goodyear Blimp Toys for Tots Drive

On Saturday, Matthew, Jeffrey, my parents, and I drove down to the Goodyear Blimp hangar to participate in their annual Toys for Tots drive.


For a donation to Toys for Tots, you get to drive through the Goodyear Blimp hangar and see the hangar and blimp all decked out for Christmas.


Santa is also there to greet you, as well as Marine in full dress uniform to accept your donation.

Jeffrey loved getting to check out the blimp up close, as well as any chance to have even a brief audience with Santa.


What a cool thing to be able to see and a great way to drive donations to a wonderful cause!

Jeffrey’s Holiday Play Date

For the third year in a row, we packed our house on Sunday with Jeffrey’s friends and their families for a holiday play date.


The calm before the toddler storm 


We played winter carnival games, did a holiday book exchange, and generally had a fun, slightly chaotic, wonderful time.

And while the food at the party tends toward the simple pizza, cookies, and brownies, I did add in a new addition this year: spiced wine (recipe here).


This was the perfect cozy treat and I loved that I could leave it in the slow cooker to stay warm for the entire party! Plus, anytime the toddler count in your house climbs to double digits, you need wine too.

The holiday play date has become one of our favorite traditions and I love the chance for everyone to get together in this festive season!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?



Why? A Christmas Story House!

I love the movie “A Christmas Story,” especially because parts of the movie were filmed in Cleveland. But I had never been to A Christmas Story House. The holiday season seemed like the perfect time to remedy that!

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A Christmas Story House is located in Tremont. You can tour the house where parts of “A Christmas Story” was filmed, including iconic scenes like Ralphie on the stairs in his pink bunny suit, the leg lamp scenes, and the shoot-out with Black Bart.


The entire house is hands-on, so you can sit, touch, and pose to your heart’s content.


Even though Jeffrey hasn’t seen the movie yet, he was immediately drawn to Randy’s kitchen hiding spot!


You can also see Ralphie and Randy’s bedroom, complete with Ralphie’s Red Ryder essay.

Our tour guide also gave us tips for spotting which scenes were filmed in Cleveland when you watch the movie.

After touring the house and yard, you head across the street to the museum, which is filled with memorabilia from the film.


We also got a chance to see the A Chirstmas Story LEGO prototype, which was created by a fan of the movie and his 9 year old daughter.


The prototype has been submitted to LEGO Ideas and, if it gets 10,000 votes, will be reviewed to be created and sold by LEGO. You can head over to LEGO now and give it a vote online.

A Christmas Story House is open year-round except major holidays. It’s a fun way to interact with the history of one of the most popular movies filmed in Cleveland.

Plus, if you visit A Christmas Story House, you’ll save 10% off your meal at The Rowley Inn, which is right across the street.

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Saving 10% and getting a great meal makes Jeffrey excited 😉 

After my last visit, I couldn’t wait to get back to The Rowley Inn and lunch there capped off a perfect morning of Cleveland nostalgia.


Why? PAW Patrol Live!

Front-row center seats. The performers looking you in the eye. Dancing with wild abandon right in front of the stage. Where else but at PAW Patrol Live?



I joked that I’d never been front-row center before, but it’s true. Not for U2 or Billy Joel or any of the amazing acts I’ve seen live. But for how happy the show and the proximity made Jeffrey, it was absolutely worth it!


The PAW Patrol Live show was themed “The Great Pirate Adventure” and it was filled with fun songs, upbeat dancing, lots of neat effects, and of course an adventure for the pups to save the day.


We also had the VIP tickets, which gave us access to a meet-and-greet following the show with Ryder, Skye, and Chase.

The VIP area also included snacks, juice, books, and toys…everything you need to keep kids happy while they wait for their photo opp!

It was so fun to see Jeffrey’s reaction to some of his favorite characters being brought to life right in front of him.


From Skye flying across the stage to Zuma scuba-diving in the ocean, all the pups had a part to play. No job is too big, no pup is too small!

If your kids love the PAW Patrol as much as Jeffrey does, there’s another chance to see PAW Patrol Live when it comes to Playhouse Square on February 9, 10, and 11. Tickets are on sale now!



Why? Weekends!

Welcome to the time of year where every weekend is so packed with fun and festivities that they might burst. So, let’s get right to it!

Pajamas and Popcorn

On Friday night, Jeffrey’s school hosted Pajamas and Popcorn, a family movie night with pizza, popcorn, kids in PJs, and cookies.


The movie was “Horton Hears a Who,” so there were also cute Dr. Seuss photo opps. It was a really cute idea and a fun way to ease Jeffrey into the movie theater experience.

The Capital Grille

On Saturday night, we met up with my parents to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with dinner at The Capital Grille.


I started with the Blackberry Bourbon Sidecar, because apparently I like cocktails with bourbon now. I’m clearly growing as a person. Matthew and I also shared the lightly-breaded calamari with cherry peppers that give it a nice kick.


For my entrée, I decided to be the only non-red meat eater at the table because I just couldn’t resist the evening’s fish special: grilled swordfish topped with crab gratin.


Paired with a nice Sauvignon Blanc, this meal had lots of delicate flavors that were executed perfectly. Swordfish is one of my favorite fish and when you top it with crab…wow! My dad ordered the lamb chops, which received rave reviews!

For dessert, Matthew ordered the warm double chocolate cake with port-wine cherries and I had the apple crostada.

Each was the perfect compliment to our meal. We have never been less than totally impressed with the food and the service at The Capital Grille. And during the holiday season (until December 30), The Capital Grille will also be open for lunch from 12-3pm.

Breakfast with Santa

Sunday morning, we attended the John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa. The event includes a Mass, a toy collection for Bellefaire JCB, breakfast, and of course a visit with Santa!


My favorite part of this event has been how my friends and I have used it as a chance to gather with our kids. I spent the morning with people I’ve known for 18 years (whoa) and got to see our kids forming friendships with each other too. It’s really special, especially being up on campus with our future Carroll students!

If you’re a John Carroll alum, you have another chance to celebrate the season on campus at the annual Christmas Reception this Wednesday, December 6. It’s truly one of my favorite events of the year, so don’t miss it!

Om for the Holidays Cleveland

While Jeffrey was napping away his Santa-induced exhaustion, I headed to Om for the Holidays Cleveland.

The rainbow in this pic. I just can’t. @namastenik led an awesome flow!

Om for the Holidays was the brainchild of Angela from Universal Architect and Scare Your Soul. It brought together not only some amazing merchants for holiday shopping…

…but also live music, coaching, community-building, and yoga.

What better way to kick off the busy holiday month than with an opportunity to not only accomplish some holiday gift-buying, but also a chance to nurture your soul with like-minded folks?


Merry Everything, indeed!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours? Is Christmas crazy starting to creep into your life yet?




Why? Goldfish Swim School Holiday Package Giveaway!

Giving the gift of experience is a great option for holiday gift-giving and when that experience is one that teaches you a valuable skill, the gift just keeps on giving!

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Goldfish Swim School is offering two different holiday packages that are perfect for the little fish in your life:

  • The Group Lesson Package, which includes 2 months of group lessons, the annual membership fee, a Bubbles the Goldfish stuffed animal, a Goldfish towel, goggles, and three family swim passes – $189
  • The Mini 3 Lesson Package, which includes 2 months of Mini 3 lessons (designed for ages 2-3 years), the annual membership fee, a Bubbles the Goldfish stuffed animal, a Goldfish towel, a reusable swim diaper, and three family swim passes – $239

Jeffrey has had such great experiences at Goldfish Swim School and developed so much in both confidence and skills.


What better gift to give to someone special little one in your life?! Which is why Goldfish Swim School (with locations in Northeast Ohio in Fairview ParkCleveland East, and Hudson) is giving away your choice of one of the two above-mentioned holiday packages 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 telling me to whom you’d gift the Goldfish Holiday Package.

2. Visit your Goldfish Swim School of choice (Cleveland EastFairview Park, or Hudson) and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @goldfishswim 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 a holiday swim package from @goldfishswim and @WhyCLE #giveaway  https://whycle.com/2017/11/30/why-goldfish-swim-school-holiday-package-giveaway 

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

The giveaway will end on Tuesday, December 5 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Winner will be chosen at random. Note that lesson dates and times are subject to availability.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Goldfish Swim School to help promote their Holiday Gift Packages. In exchange, I will receive holiday gift package of the winner’s choice to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

Has your turkey coma lifted? I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving weekends! Here’s what we were up to:

Thanksgiving, Parts 1 and 2

This year, we flip-flopped our normal holiday arrangement, which meant we celebrated Thanksgiving with Matthew’s family on Thursday and with my family on Saturday. Since I’ve prepared Thanksgiving dinner for my family for 11 years now (!), it was kind of odd to be just hanging out in my jammies, watching the Macy’s parade. I kept thinking I was forgetting to cook something!

For Matthew’s family dinner, we brought caramelized butternut squash (recipe here) and this gorgeous cake from Kelsey’s Bakery.


This cake was as tasty as it was pretty, with moist chocolate cake layered with caramel buttercream. The frosting was the perfect level of sweetness and everyone from Jeffrey to my father-in-law loved the cake!

Kelsey’s Bakery has a kiosk at Beachwood Place for the season, so check them out for some holiday sweetness.

On Saturday, we hosted my family for Thanksgiving, part 2. I cook as if we’re feeding an army…I counted and I made enough side dishes that everyone could have their own!


I use my grandma’s stuffing recipe and my great grandma’s pumpkin pie recipe. Everything we eat is traditional and tastes just like it always has, which I love at the holidays!


It was so nice to be able to celebrate with everyone in our families (and get a little breather between all the eating, too!)

Holiday Decorating

The rest of the weekend was spent preparing for Christmas. We went and picked out our Christmas tree…


And then covered it in lights and sparkles and ornaments with lots of history, tradition, and stories.


Jeffrey also has a small tree in his room with his own ornaments (think: lots of Lightning McQueen, fire trucks, and the like).


Even the pups are in the holiday spirit!


I love Christmas time and I love having the house all sparkly and twinkly. I think this year is going to be the peak of Jeffrey’s Christmas excitement, too, which makes everything more fun.

I’m glad we had such a nice, productive weekend at home, too. The next weekends are jam-packed with chasing Santa all over the Cleveland area! Stay tuned…


Why? Weekends!

It was a busy and fun weekend! Here’s what we were up to:

All Aboard! The Science of Trains

One of my favorite things about the Great Lakes Science Center is that it allows Jeffrey to learn through hands-on exploration. When you combine that philosophy with something Jeffrey already loves like trains, you’re bound to have a great experience!

From the moment you arrive at the Great Lakes Science Center, you’re greeted in a way that lets you know what the latest exhibit is all about.



All Aboard! The Science of Trains is open through February 19 at the Great Lakes Science Center. Jeffrey loved taking a ride on the Dominion Energy Train…


…as well as checking out the model trains from the National Model Railroad Association Ohio Division 4.

There are also hands-on exhibits that allow you to explore things like friction, power…


…rail safety, and even the history of trains in Cleveland.


There’s even a real Plymouth Switcher on the front lawn of the Great Lakes Science Center!


All Aboard! The Science of Trains not only brings trains to life, but takes them beyond Thomas the Tank Engine to teach the science behind them.


Check it out at the Great Lakes Science Center before February 19!

Punch Bowl Social 

All that train time worked up an appetite, so we picked up Matthew and headed to Punch Bowl Social Cleveland for lunch. We kicked off our Fri-yay with a sampler of the namesake punches.


My favorite was the King’s Cup, with two kinds of rum, pineapple fennel seed shrub, white pear fuji apple tea, and lime juice.

We selected some of Punch Bowl Social’s newest menu items to enjoy. We started with the lobster bacon fries, generously topped with real lobster, bacon, creme fraiche, green onions, and cheddar cheese.

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These fries were rich and delicious and more than enough to share (although you might not want to!)

For our entrees, we went with seasonal comfort food. Matthew had the golden chicken pot pie, with chicken, tasso ham, vegetables, and mustard cream, topped with puff pastry.


This was packed with delicious flavors and was the perfect winter dish!

I had the autumn pot roast, with whipped sweet potatoes and seasonal roasted vegetables.


The roasted vegetables and whipped sweet potatoes were the perfect compliment to the tender beef.

And Jeffrey enjoyed his grilled cheese in between pretending to bowl.

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Punch Bowl Social really is a great spot for the whole family, from family-friendly brunch and lunch to adult fun in the evenings with great cocktails, bowling, and karaoke. And if you haven’t been in awhile, be sure to check out the delicious new seasonal menu items!

barre3, Bites, and Blog

On Saturday, I co-hosted “barre3, Bites, and Blog” with barre3 at Legacy Village.


We had an awesome turnout of strong ladies, many of whom had never taken a barre class before. Liz Ferrante, the studio owner, led us through a challenging and centering hour-long class that gave those new to barre3 a great sense of what the classes entail.


We laughed, sweat, and generally had a great time together! After class, we enjoyed some delicious and healthy nibbles generously provided by Luna Bakery & Cafe and Whole Foods.


Luna made granola and yogurt cups with fresh berries and gluten-free lemon zucchini walnut muffins, which were amazingly moist and yummy! We also got to try some tasty Health Warrior chia bars and sparkling water courtesy of Whole Foods.

We also had fun raffles for the class attendees, with shirts from barre3 and some great local items purchased at Banyan Tree and Merchant’s Mrkt at Legacy Village.


This event combined so many things I’m passionate about: fierce and inspiring ladies, local businesses supporting each other, and finding fitness that makes you feel strong and centered.

Thanks so much to Liz and the whole team at barre3 Legacy Village for making this event happen and to all the awesome ladies who spent part of their Saturday sweating and shaking with me!

So, how was your weekend?

***Disclosure: I was invited by the Great Lakes Science Center to visit All Aboard! The Science of Trains and received two complimentary admission tickets. I was invited by Punch Bowl Social to a complimentary lunch featuring new menu items. I was asked by barre3 Legacy Village to co-host and promote an event and in exchange, I received a complimentary 5-class pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

It was another fun weekend in CLE! Here’s what we were up to:

Solon Fit Crawl

On Saturday, I met up with friends for the Solon Fit Crawl. This fitness bonanza benefitted the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Go Team Orange!


I joked that the last time I did a crawl, it was going to bars (but it’s really true)! This crawl took participants to four different Solon workout studios, with 25-minute classes at each stop.

Our first stop was Oasis Yoga and Fitness for a quick vinyasa flow (we got to keep the towel, too).


Next up was TITLE Boxing Club, where we all got a bit punchy.

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Our penultimate stop was at barre3 Solon to get strong and centered.


And we ended our day with the high-energy circuit at Orangetheory Fitness.


Predictably, yoga and barre3 were my favorites of the crawl, but I was a bit charmed by Orangetheory Fitness (and probably would have enjoyed it even more had it not been our fourth and final stop).

Along the way, we received treats not only from the studios but also from Vitamix, Raw Trainer (OMG, that Notcho Cheese is amazing), Athleta at Beachwood Place, and the Womb Wellness Center.

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I enjoyed trying some new fitness options, as well as some familiar ones, plus getting to help a great cause and laughing a lot as we attempted to complete the crawl. What a fun, unique, fit idea!

Burntwood Tavern

The unofficial final stop on the Solon Fit Crawl was obviously Burntwood Tavern, where we saw many fellow crawlers after the event.


We took advantage of their 4-6pm, seven-days-a-week happy hour (!!!) with $4 glasses of house wine and half-priced appetizers and flatbreads. The shrimp tacos and chicken avocado flatbread (and wine) were the perfect post-crawl treat!


What a great deal and a good opportunity to talk while not wheezing on a treadmill!

Brenna’s First Birthday Party

On Sunday, we had a magical unicorn-themed birthday party to attend for the lovely Brenna!

Alicia and Hans planned a perfect party, with adorable details, delicious food (thank goodness I fit crawled the day before!), and lots of love!


I always feel like the first birthday is just as much a celebration for the parents for making it through the first year, so congrats to these fabulous folks for thriving, smiling, and starting their unicorn off so well.

And I love seeing the friendship developing between Brenna and Jeffrey!


You guys have lots of years of shared events ahead, if your mommas have anything to say about it!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?


Why? Children’s Museum of Cleveland!

On Friday, Jeffrey and I got a sneak peek at the brand new Children’s Museum of Cleveland, which opens to the public today (Monday, November 6).


The new museum is located on Euclid Avenue, in one of the few remaining “Millionaire’s Row mansions, which has tripled the museum’s space from it’s prior location.


All of the exhibits in the Children’s Museum of Cleveland are brand new and designed to encourage imaginative, creative, open-ended play.

The Arts & Parts Exhibit includes space for painting, creating with modeling clay, and more.


Adventure City has lots of real-life city aspects, such as a Farmer’s Market, kitchen, veterinary clinic…

…construction zone, and climbing apparatus.

Our personal favorite area is the Wonder Lab, with water play stations…


…and an air-pressure tube system that sends scarves magically flying through the air

The Children’s Museum of Cleveland also provided for quiet spaces to take a break from all the action, such as a reading nook…


…and a sensory-friendly room for children who need that accommodation.

You can also book a Birthday Party at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland!

The Children’s Museum of Cleveland is now open every day except Thursdays (note: I love this option, since most museums are closed on Mondays). Admission is $12 for all over the age of 1. Memberships are available starting at $80. Click here for more information on admission and memberships.

The new Children’s Museum of Cleveland is a bright, beautiful, fun place to explore and is well-suited to a wide range of ages and interests. I hope to see you unleashing your inner child with your littles there soon!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the media preview of the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? barre3, Bites, and Blog!

As you might have noticed, I’ve kind of gotten hooked on barre3 classes. I’ve been an exclusive yogi for so long that when my friend Sara dragged me to a barre3 class (with the promise of wine after), I went for the wine, let’s be honest.

But what I found at barre3 is an awesome fusion of barre, yoga, and Pilates that felt at once familiar and challenging. A barre3 class is an hour-long workout that targets your legs, arms, seat, and core. It gets your heart rate up, but also works in lots of good stretches too.


The instructors are supportive and offer tons of modifications throughout the class. The studio is bright, light, and inviting. The jams are pumping. And the workout leaves you feeling strong and centered.

Since I started taking barre3 classes, I’ve been able to increase my hand weight level by a pound each. I’ve also noticed that my balance poses in yoga are stronger and more balanced because my core and seat are stronger. The classes really make a difference!

And barre3 offers a Play Lounge during select classes, where Jeffrey can have fun while I take my hour to work and reboot. We both have a great time and leave feeling refreshed. What could be better than that?


Now, I think all of this should sell you on trying barre3. But I get that sometimes it takes a friend and some wine to motivate you to try a new workout. Which is where barre3, Bites, and Blog comes in.

Barre3 Why CLE Insta

On Saturday, November 18 at 1:30pm, join me at barre3 Legacy Village for a complimentary, hour-long Barre3 class taught by studio owner Liz Ferrante. Then stick around for some sips and nibbles, conversation with Liz and me, and some cool Cleveland-themed raffles.

I promise you that you’ll leave feeling great and you might even find a new workout to love! Space is limited, so register today! Click here to register for barre3, Bites, and Blog! I’m so excited to be partnering with a spot that I love. I hope you’ll join me and love it too!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Barre3 Legacy Village to partner on an event open to Why CLE? followers. In exchange, I will receive a complimentary class pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***