Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend of celebrating, so let’s get right to it…

Wedding

On Saturday, Matthew and I attended Jillian and Patrick’s wedding at the InterContinental Cleveland.

IMG_0896

Both the ceremony and the reception were held at the InterContinental and I was amazed at how quickly the room transformed from the ceremony venue to a beautiful reception venue.

The food was delicious!

IMG_0902

We had New York Strip, grilled shrimp, truffle risotto, and grilled asparagus, plus a grilled Caesar salad, yummy passed appetizers (we made very good friends with the ceviché server), and tasty cake.

And there were some surprise guests during the dancing: the Tribe Hot Dogs!

IMG_7747

Here you can see me not at all maintaining my cool while dancing with Mustard. And Mom and I had to get a snap with our favorite lady hot dog: Onion.

IMG_0921

It was a lovely ceremony and a fun reception! Jillian is my (step)dad’s daughter and so it was even more special to see the love and pride he had in walking her down the aisle, giving a toast, and dancing the Father-Daughter dance.

Jeffrey’s 5th Birthday Party

On Sunday, we hosted Jeffrey’s 5th birthday party at our house. Jeffrey would want me to tell you that he doesn’t officially turn 5 until this coming weekend, though!

IMG_1003

The party was “space” themed and we certainly blasted off to a good time.

My dad was the grill master and made up tasty hot dogs and hamburgers from Pinzone’s Market Fresh Meats. The cake, cupcakes, and pastry tray for the grown-ups came from the always spot-on Michael Angelo’s Bakery.

My high school and college classmate Holly of Cupcakes by Holly created adorable sugar cookies

for the treat boxes.

IMG_0928

And the pièce de résistance: we surprised Jeffrey with a visit from the Euclid Beach Rocket Car.

IMG_0982

He was so shocked and took every single ride the car made while it was at the party.

IMG_0977

Both kids and adults had a blast (haha) riding around in this piece of Cleveland history.

IMG_0990

The Euclid Beach Rocket Car has it so many things I love: Cleveland nostalgia, fun music, that summery festival feel, and public spectacle 😉

And our driver Jen was so sweet, both before and during the party. If you’re looking to add some serious star power (I can’t stop the puns) to your next party, check ’em out!

IMG_0999

Even better than the Rocket Car was the chance to spend time with friends who have all been such a huge part of Jeffrey’s life and a huge support in ours these last five years (and longer).

I think our future astronaut had an out-of-this-world day!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend filled with yoga and family time, so pretty much a perfect one for me!

Balance and Brews

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Anne for Balance & Brews at Saucy Brew Works. Balance & Brews is a one-hour, all-levels vinyasa class held at various breweries around town. After your class, you can stay and enjoy a beer (one beer included with your class) and mingle with your fellow yogis.

I always enjoy these classes, not only because I get a beer after, but because of the opportunity to practice in very different environments. At Saucy, we were right out on the brewery floor, with lots of noises, smells, and activity happening around us. It’s a great way to practice being focused and staying in the moment.

And your reward for all that focus is pretty great too!

IMG_0777

I tried the Don’t Stop Wit It Wit It, a Belgian Wit that is light, crisp, and perfect for summer sipping!

Check out Balance & Brews upcoming schedule, with classes at Masthead, Terrestrial, Great Lakes, Fat Head’s, CLE Urban Winery, and Market Garden.

Mother’s Day

The rest of the weekend was spent in various phases of Mother’s Day celebrating…

At school, Jeffrey made a Mother’s Day gift, themed on “Where the Wild Things Are.” Not only is it something I’ll treasure, but the pride he had in giving it to me was so sweet to see.

IMG_0770

Matthew and Jeffrey made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning and I even got a little treat from my “furry kids” too…

IMG_0774

Matthew found these adorable chocolate dogs at the Urban Farmer charity bake sale!

IMG_0775

Speaking of chocolate, he and Jeffrey also created a box of homemade treats for me: chocolate-covered strawberries and grapes! How sweet!

IMG_0782

We capped off our Mother’s Day celebrations with dinner at my parents’ house, complete with fabulous wine and some ridiculous triple crème brie.

IMG_0786

It was lovely and relaxed and a perfect weekend of feeling truly appreciated and loved!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

We weren’t about to let the chilly, damp, foggy weather get us down this weekend. Here’s what we were up to:

Azure Rooftop Lounge Summer Kick-Off

On Friday night, Matthew and I attended the Summer Kick-Off party at Azure Rooftop Lounge.

59532553_2703612152998745_4409374654850924544_o
Photo Credit: Orville McEachron Photography

Located on the 12th floor of The 9, Azure has stunning skyline views and an expansive outdoor space with bar seating, cozy couches, and some fabulous plant walls.

IMG_0610

We sampled some of the delicious food you can get at Azure, including Savory Ahi Tostadas, Shishito Peppers, Crab Cake Sliders, and delicious mini desserts.

We also sampled some of Azure’s signature cocktails, including boozy lemonade and strawberry mules.

IMG_0602

Azure Rooftop Lounge is now officially open for the season and is a fabulous spot for a summer cocktail (or two). Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 3-6pm and includes $2 off cocktails and sangria, $3 off wine, $1 off beer, and $9 starters.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Summer Kick-Off at Azure Rooftop Lounge with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Indians Game

Despite the weather on Saturday, we bundled up and headed to our first Cleveland Indians game of the season.

DB2BC15D-DDF4-4D5A-9AD4-A5E0D28CE1EE

We enjoyed the activities on the Family Deck and Jeffrey picked up his Tribe Town MVP kit, filled with fun Indians merchandise!

Even better, the Indians got a win over the Seattle Mariners! Despite the fact that it felt more like football weather, our first Tribe game of the season was a home run!

IMG_7683

Mommas and Margaritas

On Sunday, I hosted some of my mom friends for a Cinco de Mayo/Pre-Mother’s Day celebration. Appropriately titled, “Mommas and Margaritas,” we had margaritas, guacamole, salsa, hot corn chile dip (recipe here), and lots of laughs.

IMG_0642

I couldn’t do it without these ladies (and others in abstentia) and I was so glad we had a chance to celebrate an early Mother’s Day!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? The Rusty Bucket!

Last night, Jeffrey and I had dinner at a place that made us both smile: The Rusty Bucket in Solon.

IMG_0543

This casual eatery lives up to the idea of fun and friendly service and approachable food in a relaxed setting. Our server, Kelly, was certainly the embodiment of this. She was so sweet to Jeffrey and she and I chatted easily about everything from food to blogging.

Before I get to the food, let’s talk beverages. I started with an Old Fashioned, which was a bit strong for my still-making-friends-with bourbon taste. Matthew would have loved it, though!

IMG_0545

But the Strawberry Lemonade, Blueberry Iced Tea, and Cold Brew were all winners in my book!

Now, let’s get to the food…I got to try a sampling of The Rusty Bucket’s featured new menu items in both appetizers and desserts.

The hefty star of the table was the “Cheese Blanket” Nachos, with seasoned ground beef, braised black beans, the “cheese blanket,” pico de gallo, jalapenos, sour cream, and scallions.

IMG_0546

So cheesy! These are definitely for sharing…I could barely make a dent in all that cheesy goodness!

I also sampled the Rusty Bucket Wings in Joe’s Regular flavor. Crisp and with just a slight kick, these were good wings.

IMG_0549

They are also available in Tamarind BBQ, Sweet Chili, Spicy Garlic, and Habanero.

To round out the appetizers, the Spinach Con Queso, with spinach, white wine, and cheeses served in a just-out-of-the-oven crock was creamy and delicious.

IMG_0548

I also loved the chips…very light and crispy!

Jeffrey enjoyed the Kids Pepperoni Pizza (seriously, he ate the whole thing, as well as stealing all of one of the desserts).

IMG_0555

And I enjoyed learning about Bucketeer Bookworm Program for kids. Remember BookIt? This is kind of the same concept.

IMG_0544

For every 5 books that your child reads or has read to them, you receive a complimentary kids meal. When you reach 15 books, you receive $10 off admission to Legoland Discovery Centre in Columbus! What a fun way to encourage reading!

Now to the desserts…

The Sticky Bun Bread Pudding has croissants rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked with vanilla custard, topped with warm caramel, pecans, and Edy’s vanilla ice cream.

IMG_0551

This was lighter than a lot of bread puddings and just delicious!

Jeffrey completely devoured the Death by Chocolate, a triple decker chocolate sheet cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache.

I love me nothing more than a fruit dessert, so I was thrilled with the Berry Cobbler,  served in a hot crock with Edy’s vanilla ice cream.

IMG_0550

For a fun, easy meal that will keep the whole family satisfied, check out The Rusty Bucket!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary meal at The Rusty Bucket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy holiday weekend, filled with friends, family, and favorite traditions.

Cleveland Botanical Garden Easter Egg Hunt

I’m big on traditions, especially at the holidays. And as a parent, I love taking Jeffrey to the same event year after year because it really illustrates how much he’s grown.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden‘s annual Easter Egg Hunt is one of those holiday traditions for us.

From the egg hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden (luckily we were in the second hunt and the rain stopped)…

IMG_0304

…to seeing the gardens in spring bloom…

IMG_0297

…to meeting the Easter Bunny…

IMG_0288

…to fun games and crafts, there’s so much to enjoy.

IMG_0291

We also got to experience the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Amazing Butterflies, which is open through Sunday, April 28. Kids get to work their way through a maze and take a journey from caterpillar to butterfly, with tons of fun, hands-on elements.

This is definitely an annual tradition we will keep!

Easter Fun

The rest of the weekend was filled with more traditional Easter goodness, from dyeing eggs with friends on Friday…

39205C42-1214-41FC-A060-5D21BFE1EAE1

…to dinner with Matthew’s family on Saturday, to which he brought this sinfully good carrot cake (recipe here)…

IMG_0316

…to church and dinner with my family on Sunday…

IMG_0327

…it was a weekend full of good food, favorite traditions, and people we love.

Whether Easter, Passover, or just a regular weekend is what you celebrate, I hope you had a great one!

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It was another fun weekend, with checking out some small local businesses and catching some theater too…

Junie B. Jones

On Saturday, we had the last show in this season of Playhouse Square’s Children’s Theater Series.

IMG_0158

The show was “Junie B. Jones,” a musical version of the book series. The show followed the adventures of Junie B., an inquisitive first grader. The songs were fun and accessible for kids and the story was light-hearted with a lesson.

We love attending the Children’s Theater Series shows and are excited for next season!

Elegant Ice Creations

Saturday afternoon, we had a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Elegant Ice Creations workshop and handiwork.

Started by Aaron Costic, who began carving ice 25 years ago, the company has grown to an 8000 square foot studio that produces custom ice creations for special events, sports teams, business, and more.

IMG_0171

Aaron even won a gold medal for ice carving at the Turino Winter Olympics in 2006!

IMG_0167

Jeff Meyer, who gave us our tour, showed us some of the custom pieces waiting to be delivered…

IMG_0170

…as well as some of the custom ice cubes created there to make your cocktail just perfect.

IMG_0169

We also saw how the large blocks of ice are made…

IMG_0176

…and checked out a demonstration of the ice carving tools.

IMG_0183

What a cool (haha) local business!

Junker Fitness

On Sunday morning, I met up with a grade school classmate, Cindy, who invited me to check out a yoga class at Junker Fitness.

IMG_0196

Located in The Shoreway apartment building in Battery Park, Junker Fitness’s studio offers HIIT, yoga, and beach burn classes. They have a rooftop deck that overlooks Edgewater Park that is the perfect spot for summer yoga.

IMG_0198

Unfortunately, the weather kept our class inside on Sunday, but we still enjoyed a great flow, with lots of active stretching as well as vinyasa.

Junker Fitness also offers personal training that meets you where you are, both in terms of ability and location. Junker Fitness staff will travel to the gym close to you and work with you to build a program that suits your needs.

Plus, I had the opportunity to chat with the owners, Jack and his wife Stephanie, who are super personable, down-to-earth, and committed to becoming an active part of the community where the studio is located.

I can’t wait to head back to check out a rooftop yoga class…and I have some free class passes, so if you’re interested, hit me up in the comments!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a class at Junker Fitness. I received a complimentary class and class passes for a return visit. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Astoria

After our yoga class, I headed to brunch with the Junker Fitness team. We went to nearby Astoria, which was on my must-try list for awhile!

IMG_0201

While waiting for a table, we perused the market and wine shop and sipped mimosas, which is the best way to wait for a table ever!

IMG_0200

I had the seafood frittata, with a poached egg, potato and onion frittata, scallops, crab, and Hollandaise. Such a delicious brunch creation!

IMG_0202

I definitely want to go back and do a deeper dive into Astoria’s wine and charcuterie, too!

What a fun weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from breaking in the new Lindey’s Lake House, we had a very theatrical weekend, so let’s get on with the show…

Beck Center for the Arts

On Friday, Matthew and I went to see a performance of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” at Beck Center for the Arts.

IMG_0013

Held in the intimate Studio Theater, you felt as if you were in Emerson’s Bar and Grill in Philadelphia in 1959.

IMG_0016

The show dramatically recreates a performance given by Billie Holiday a mere four months before her death. Her classic songs are interwoven with funny and tragic stories from her troubled life.

Nicole Sumlin is brilliant as Billie Holiday and the practically one-woman show left us riveted.

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” continues at Beck Center for the Arts through April 14. You can purchase tickets online.

Community theater is a vital part of our arts community and Beck Center not only allows performers and audiences a chance to enjoy great shows, but it also furthers arts education.

IMG_0012

Beck Center for the Arts offers multiple theater experiences, from shows suited for adults and families alike. Check out their upcoming shows, including “King Lear” and “Matilda the Musical.” Beck Center also offers educational programs, with a full array of summer camps.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a performance of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” at Beck Center. I received two complimentary tickets to the performance. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sesame Street Live

From jazz and blues and tales of addiction to magic and sing-alongs and inspiration, we shifted gears and attended Sesame Street Live Make Your Magic on Saturday.

IMG_0029

Jeffrey felt like he might be a little big for Sesame Street Live, but as soon as the show started, he was transported and thoroughly enjoyed the songs and story.

IMG_0041

Elmo and Abby and friends learned not only how to perform magic tricks, but also how to find wonder if the every day happenings of life.

It was a fun, vibrant performance that we left singing.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Sesame Street Live. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets to the show.***

How was your weekend? Did you get outside and enjoy the glorious weather?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Happy Home Opener, Cleveland! There may be snow on the ground, but the home opener means summer is just around the corner…

So, how did I fill the chilly last weekend of March? Let’s get to it…

Brewery Crawl

On Saturday, Matthew and I met up with our friends Ritch and Denise for a brewery crawl. Ritch has a goal of hitting a certain number of Cleveland breweries by a certain birthday (numbers withheld because we’re all getting older), plus it was just Denise’s birthday, so what a fun way to celebrate!

IMG_9857

We started at Saucy Brew Works, where we love the food just as much as we love the beer.

F407052F-9069-4D21-8621-817A613BACEA

We shared the Nashville Hot Chicken and Bees Knees pizzas and definitely couldn’t decide which we enjoyed more.

From there, it was a short walk to Bookhouse Brewing. This cozy, bookstore style brewery made us want to sit there all day. I had a sampler and really enjoyed all the (fabulously-named) beers I tried: Patio Season, Maybe Partying Will Help, River of Memories, and Reasons to be Cheerful.

IMG_9855

Next up: Brick and Barrel Brewing, where we played board games while enjoying our brews. I had a Roasted Out of My Gord pumpkin porter, because if this cold weather is sticking around, so is my love for porters and stouts.

Our final stop was Terrestrial Brewing Company, which was filled with great beer, but also with sweet fuzzes. I love bars that are dog friendly. I spent most of my time hanging out with the pets (sorry, friends).

IMG_9862

It was a fun afternoon and such a great reminder of how many awesome breweries we have in Cleveland, who are putting out creative, delicious beer! We also picked up a bunch of stamps in our Cleveland Brewery Passport!

Monsters Purple Game

That evening, we picked up Jeffrey and headed to the Cleveland Monsters Purple Game, to benefit the American Cancer Society, Ohio.

751DF8F3-C808-4DDD-8508-3542E9B336CD

We had so much fun (and amazing seats). The Monsters games are action-packed and really family-friendly, which make them a favorite sporting event choice for us.

IMG_9864

Plus, the Monsters commitment to the American Cancer Society was really touching and made it an even better night out.

The Monsters auctioned off a special commemorative purple jersey to raise funds, as well as showing videos throughout the game and having people make support signs for those in their life impacted by cancer.

When everyone waved their purple rally towels, it was a sight to see!

IMG_9878

Stay tuned for my on my growing involvement with the American Cancer Society…

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote the Purple Game. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets and a parking pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Superstar and Nuevo Modern Mexican

I had a Sunday Funday with my mom, when we attended “Superstar: The Songs. The Stories. The Carpenters.” at Playhouse Square. I got Mom the tickets for her birthday and have to admit to not being a huge Carpenters fan going in to the show. But, the music was great!

IMG_9897

I had no idea going in that Helen Welch, the lead singer, is a Cleveland resident who has performed at places like Nighttown, so the local connection had me enjoying the show even more.

After the show, we grabbed dinner at Nuevo Modern Mexican. There’s something about having guacamole and a margarita while it’s snowing that just makes you feel like you’re shaking your fist at the weather.

IMG_9899

Gosh, I can’t wait for patio season!

We shared the habanero jelly guacamole and then I had the Cuban sandwich, which was meaty and flavorful!

IMG_9900

For dessert, I had the manzana gallette because I seriously cannot pass up an apple dessert.

IMG_9901

It was a great way to end a great weekend! How was yours? What are you doing to celebrate the Home Opener?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Toledo!

Remember my 2019 blog bucket list? One of the things I wanted to do was take more day trips around Ohio.

IMG_9754

Yesterday, Jeffrey and I checked off a day trip to Toledo with the help of our friends Haylie and Zak (remember when they came to visit me in Cleveland) and our new pals at Destination Toledo.

We started our day at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

IMG_9727

From tales of shipwrecks…

IMG_9734

…and WWII aircraft carrier practice drills…

IMG_9746

…the Great Lakes have a storied history to share.

IMG_9728

The National Museum of the Great Lakes has plenty of hands-on elements that kept Jeffrey entertained, too!

We also had a chance to visit the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, once known as the Queen of the Great Lakes.

IMG_9749

Our guided tour let us see the sheer size and majesty of this ship.

IMG_9751

Captain Jeffrey approved!

IMG_9762

Then it was off to lunch at a location of a Toledo classic: Packo’s at the Park, located right near the Toledo Mud Hens stadium.

IMG_9766

This casual café serves loaded hot dogs, as well as Hungarian classics of stuffed cabbage and chicken paprikash.

Tony Packo’s is a Toledo institution and has attracted national attention. The walls are covered with autographed hot dog buns signed by famous visitors from actors to politicians.

IMG_9767

Tony Packo’s is also known for their pickles (you can try the sweet hots at B Spot). I ordered some fried pickles to share with the table and didn’t share any!

IMG_9769

Next up was Jupmode, because everyone loves city-themed merchandise! The store is fun and funky, with a pinball machine…

IMG_9781

…and a wall of very good puppers who have visited.

IMG_9782

I couldn’t resist this Lin-Manuel Miranda-themed shirt and I am currently wearing it as a write…

IMG_9783

Then it was off to Imagination Station, a wonderland of science-themed fun for all ages!

IMG_9791

I especially enjoyed the Popnology: From Sci-Fi to Wi-Fi special exhibit, open through April 28.

Imagination Station lets you truly experience science, from becoming a human yo-yo (Haylie was brave enough to try it) to flying a flight simulator.

IMG_9800

Imagination Station is bright, fun, and engaging…a perfect place to spend an afternoon with your kiddo and kids at heart!

IMG_9785

We said goodbye to Toledo with a stroll through Promenade Park, which especially comes to life in the summer with a splash pad and outdoor concert series.

It was a jam-packed day that gave us a taste of the family fun that Toledo has to offer.

IMG_9780

You know I’m always encouraging you to explore Cleveland, but there are also lots of other great places to explore in Ohio, so take a day trip beyond your backyard and see what you can find!

***Disclosure: We received complimentary admission to the National Museum of the Great Lakes and Imagination Station and complimentary lunch, courtesy of Destination Toledo. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Stay Dog Daycare!

There’s a new local business in town, that’s making their mark by being the only 24/7/365 dog daycare and boarding facility in town!

IMG_9537

Stay Dog Daycare and Boarding is conveniently located in Gordon Square, perfect for drop-off and pick-up on your way downtown. The facility is staffed 24 hours a day and you can drop off or pick up your pooch at any time of day.

If you’re traveling and need to leave early for the airport, if you work a non-traditional schedule, if you just need some extra hours at the office, Stay Dog Daycare makes sure your furry friend is happy during that time.

IMG_9541

There’s a large, temperature-controlled indoor run, with plenty of space for the dogs to play and indoor K9 grass. If your pup is spending the night or eating lunch there, your dog will have their own private crash pad to go to. Stay Dog Daycare also has crates large enough to accommodate multiple dogs, if you have pooches who would like to stay together.

IMG_9538

One of my favorite features is “Grandma’s Living Room,” with couches, chairs, and more for the dogs to curl up and enjoy.

IMG_9540

Pricing starts at $9 for an up to 2-hour drop in (great for somewhere for your dog to go while you grab dinner in the neighborhood) up to $40 for 24 hours. Regular pricing includes group play, food, snacks, and administration of medication.

You can also add in extras such as bath ($25), personalized play or cuddle time ($15 for 20 minutes), additional walks/runs ($15 for 20 minutes), brain games ($5), and homemade treats ($5-$10).

Click here to find out about the services and decide what’s right for you.

You can tell the folks at Stay Dog Daycare will treat your pets like family, just as you do! Stay Dog Daycare doesn’t just watch your dog while you’re away, either. They offer monthly pup photo shoots for you to bring your fuzzy family to and plan to be involved with neighborhood festivals and gatherings to truly be a part of the community.

IMG_9539

If you need a place for your pup to stay for a short break or a long vacation, look no further than Stay Dogs Daycare and Boarding!

jenclesig_pur