Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend that combined busy with relaxed, going out with staying in. Here’s the round up:

Cedar Point

On Friday morning, Mom and I took Jeffrey to Cedar Point, as we’re squeezing in as many trips up there as we can before summer ends!

On this trip, we picked up Jeffrey’s Pre-K Pass, which is an awesome deal that gives kids ages 3 to 5 complimentary admission to both Cedar Point and Cedar Point Shores through the end of the 2018 season!

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I definitely thought this was too good to be true when I first heard about it, but it’s legit and it’s awesome! Click here to find out more and register your child for their own Pre-K Pass.

Date Night at the Zoovies

Friday night, Matthew and I met up with friends Melissa and Tim for one of our favorite summer evenings at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo: Date Night at the Zoovies.

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Date Night at the Zoovies is a fundraiser for the Cleveland Zoological Society that gives you the chance to explore part of the Zoo; enjoy beer, wine, appetizers, and movie theater snacks; and watch a movie in the outdoor amphitheater.

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This was the sixth annual Zoovies event and every year it grows in popularity. This year’s event sold out in an impressive 27 minutes! The appetizers this year were themed on the movie being shown, “Spaceballs.” We nibbled on Space Meatball Subs, Lone Star pulled pork, and Pizza the Hut mini pizzas.

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During the movie, we munched candy, popcorn, Chex Mix, and hot dogs while basking in the cheesy 80’s glory of “Spaceballs.” Zoovies is such a fun, relaxed evening! Definitely keep your eyes open for when tickets go on sale for next year’s event…you don’t want to miss it!

Run for Recovery

Saturday morning, I was back at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, this time for the Run for Recovery to benefit Recovery Resources.

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Though the run started off damp, the sun peeked out by the end of the 5K! Aside from the run, there was a board sharing who you were running to support, as well as the opportunity to paint rocks for a memorial rock for someone in recovery or who has lost their life to addiction. The rocks will be placed in a memorial garden.

Run for Recovery is not only good exercise, but it’s a meaningful way to support Recovery Resources and acknowledge both those who have lost their lives to addiction, as well as those in the recovery process.

Saturday and Sunday Home Cooking

I told you this weekend balanced going out with staying in, which meant that we had two nights at home to enjoy yummy home-cooked meals.

On Saturday, we had friends over for tacos, Coronas, and plenty of sitting and chatting in the backyard. We made garlic tequila lime flank steak (recipe here) with all the taco trimmings including homemade guacamole, as well as Mexican chocolate cake (recipe here) for dessert.

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It was a fun and tasty night!

On Sunday, we made grilled pork chops with grilled peaches (recipe here) which tapped into the seasonal goodness of peaches as well as the summery-ness of grilling.

I also made roasted potatoes with hatch chiles (recipe here) using hatch chiles that I got from Heinen’s this weekend (stay tuned for more on that on Wednesday.)

So that was our weekend! How was yours?

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Date Night at the Zoovies. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. I was asked by Recovery Resources to help promote the Run for Recovery. In exchange, I received one complimentary race registration. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

This weather is glorious, although not quite August-like…but we certainly enjoyed every minute!

Lake Metroparks Farmpark

On Friday morning, Jeffrey and I met up with friends for a play date at Lake Metroparks Farmpark. The Farmpark is always one of our favorite spots to play. There are indoor and outdoor playgrounds, in addition to all the animals and hands-on farming fun.

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The kids got to help groom a horse, as well as meet Bentley and Beau, the Farmpark’s newest baby calves.

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I’m afraid Bentley might have picked up some bad habits from Jeffrey (or maybe it’s the other way around…he was born in a barn after all ;-))

The Farmpark is hosting a Corn Roast this Friday, August 18 to kick off the Grand Opening of their three-acre Corn Maze. The event includes an old-fashioned barn dance, games and activities, and a dinner with fresh-roasted corn, BBQ chicken, JoJo fries, and a beverage. Cost to attend is $16 for those over 12 and $12 for those ages 2-11. Click here to find out more and purchase tickets.

Nuevo Mod Mex

On Friday night, my dad’s business, Tireman USA, hosted a party for employees and business associates on the second floor of Nuevo Mod Mex. Not only could we enjoy fabulous margaritas (the spicy mango is my favorite) and delicious appetizers (OMG, the queso and chorizo) and tacos from a build-your-own buffet…

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…but we also got to take in gorgeous city views and lovely lake breezes too.

It was a great way to celebrate the business, summertime, and our beautiful city!

WRRA Summer Regatta

This summer, Matthew decided to join the Western Reserve Rowing Association summer league. Despite having never rowed before, he jumped in, went to practice weekly, and not only excelled at this new hobby, but also had a really great time!

On Saturday, WRRA hosted their Summer Regatta and Jeffrey and I went down to cheer on Matthew and the rest of the team.

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The team ended up winning a silver medal in the novice division! I’m really proud of the whole team and especially of Matthew for throwing himself wholeheartedly into something new!

Saturday Dinner

Saturday night, while Matthew was out celebrating the rowing victory, I decided to make a delicious, light, fresh pasta dish packed with summer vegetables (recipe here.)

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Usually when Matthew isn’t home for dinner, I make something for Jeffrey and grab some leftovers or a bowl of cereal for myself. But since I saw this recipe, I had been craving it and I’m so glad I skipped my Chex for this!

SUP Yoga

On Sunday morning, I decided to take the plunge into stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga.

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Yoga Roots and SUP Cleveland partnered to offer a class the was part paddleboarding and part yoga flow. For me, getting over my nerves and being able to relax enough to practice yoga on my paddleboard seemed pretty insurmountable at first.

 

But my tapping into breath and focus, I was able to actually do more than I thought I could!

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Thanks to my parents for being my cheering section and paparazzi

And while I don’t think SUP yoga is for me, I’m glad that I pushed myself to not only try something new, but something pretty far outside my comfort zone. There’s a lesson in that: not everything has to be your jam, but you’ll never know what you can do and what you will like unless you try!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from Twilight at the Zoo, there was lots of other great summer fun to be had this past weekend!

Yoga + Beer at Platform Beer Co.

On Saturday morning, I headed to Platform Beer Co. for one of my favorite combinations: yoga and beer!

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The patio at Platform was the perfect spot for an hour-long vinyasa flow led by my dear friend Alicia.

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Alicia has recently returned to teaching yoga and I had forgotten how much I enjoy her blend of challenging poses, great cues and guidance, fabulous music choices, and humor.

The class was a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation and included an hour-long yoga class and one Platform beer. I chose the Dancin’ in the Streets saison as my beer and couldn’t pass up one of the breakfast sandwiches, made with a Cleveland Bagel Co. bagel, egg, cheese, and bacon.

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If you’re interested in another chance to practice and drink with Alicia (and me) and benefit the Arthritis Foundation, check out Sunset Yoga on the Superior Viaduct on Monday, August 14. Your $25 ticket includes a 60-minute all-levels yoga class, one beer or glass of wine and complimentary small bites on the Luca Italian Cuisine veranda and extended happy hour specials until 9:00 p.m.

AIA Cleveland Beach Day

From there, I met up with Matthew and Jeffrey at Edgewater Beach for the AIA Cleveland Beach Day.

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For the past three years, Matthew and his AECOM colleagues have competed against other architecture firms in the sandcastle competition.

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This year, the AECOM team did a play on the Cleveland Metroparks Centennial, combined with Star Wars, naturally. There was the “Centennial Falcon,” as well as tree that proclaimed, “May the forest be with you.”

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They even had a colleague dress up like Jabba the Hutt!

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There is a fan favorite contest, voted on by beach-goers at Edgewater, and a contest judged by AIA members. For the third year, AECOM won the judges’ choice as best sandcastle. It takes a lot of work and creativity to make these sandcastles and I’m so proud of Matthew and his team!

Plus, Jeffrey and I never mind an excuse to spend the day at the beach (and get some Honey Hut ice cream at the Edgewater Beach House too.)

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Aladdin’s Eatery

Saturday evening, we met up with friends for dinner at Aladdin’s Eatery. With a menu that can keep adults and kids happy, Aladdin’s is a favorite! I ordered the hummus shawarma plate, with tons of Aladdin’s delicious hummus, seasoned beef, tomatoes, and pine nuts.

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Don’t forget some of Aladdin’s amazing hot sauce, too! What a great meal!

Cleveland Indians Game

On Sunday, we took Jeffrey to the Cleveland Indians game, which was his first of this season. It’s always so fun to take Jeffrey back to a place he hasn’t been in awhile to see how his interests and reactions change.

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He was much more interested in watching the game this time, as well as running the Tribe Tracker on the Family Deck, which allows you to virtually race against your favorite player.

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We all had a great time, despite the Tribe’s loss. Jeffrey loved the ball and bat giveaway, too and practiced his stance next to the new Lou Boudreau statue that was just unveiled this past weekend.

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So, that was our weekend! Lots of great summer time fun, packed into a couple days! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Bridgestone Invitational!

So, I always thought golf tournaments were about, well, golf.

 

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Shhh. Golf clap.

 

But, like most sports events these days, it’s not just about the sport, but about the entire experience. The Bridgestone Invitational, which is part of the PGA Tour and takes place at Firestone Country Club in Akron every year, has upped their game to make the tournament a true event with so much to see and do (and eat!) beyond the world-class golf.

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You can grab a bite and a drink throughout the course, with tons of delicious options. We started our tour at the air-conditioned Grey Goose 19th Hole Lounge (21+), where a Moscow Mule made with Grey Goose La Poire and served in a real copper cup took the edge off a hot morning on the course.

Then it was off to Firestone Village to enjoy burgers and brats from B Spot and a cold one at the Labatt Beer Garden.

 

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Thanks so much to Chef (and friend) Matt Harlan for making awesome food and being awesome with Jeffrey. Sorry we got you in trouble when we were all talking too loud on the course 😉

 

From there, more eating was in store at Firestone Foodies, a food truck rally on the 12th green.

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Firestone Foodies features Barrio, Lobster Louies (OMG, the crab cakes), and Hatfield’s Goode Grub (OMG, the bacon and brown sugar mac ‘n cheese.)

The Lawn at Water Tower Way hosts a Kids Autograph Zone. Jeffrey immediately proclaimed that he wanted an autograph, despite having no idea what an autograph is. And I immediately proclaimed that I wanted a taste of William Hill Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc.

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Our final stop was the Penzoil Fan Zone by Firestone Complete Auto Care, with prizes and giveaways, miniature golf, Swenson’s Food Truck (in case you were running low on cheeseburgers between B Spot and there), ice cream, cornhole, and more.

Both Jeffrey and I had a wonderful time and found lots to see, do, and enjoy, since we are admittedly not the biggest golf fans. But even if you’re not a huge golf fan, you can’t help but get caught up in the chance to be so close to world-class athletes who are making Northeast Ohio home for a few days.

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The Bridgestone Invitational continues through this Sunday, August 6 and tickets are still available! Click here to purchase tickets. And mark your calendars for next year, too. I’ll see you on the links (did I say that right?)

***Disclosure: I was invited to tour the Bridgestone Invitational and received complimentary admission, food and beverages, and activities. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Summertime and RTA!

Oh, do I love getting out and about in the summer! I especially love creating new adventures and lasting memories for Jeffrey in this glorious season. Which is why the chance to combine one of his favorite places (the Great Lakes Science Center) with a fun way to get there (the RTA rail line) was a winner!

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Before we even left, I was able to plan our trip using the RTA CLE app and easily find out departure and arrival times and the best way to go.

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I was even able to purchase tickets through the app! All this pre-planning is especially helpful with a kiddo in tow, to minimize station wait time. And until August 6, children under 12 can ride RTA for free!

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Jeffrey spent the entire trip plastered to the window and was so excited about taking the train. After spending three years in DC, without a car and taking the Metro everywhere, I want my son to understand how to use public transportation and appreciate both it’s function and fun.

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Plus, if you show your RTA fare pass at any one of a number of awesome destinations around town from restaurants to stores to museums, you’ll save some dough as part of RTA’s summer tour promotion! The Great Lakes Science Center is one of these partners and showing your RTA pass will save you $2 off general admission. Click here for a full list of participating businesses and deals.

To help you get hooked on RTA as a great way to travel around town, I have a giveaway of one monthly RTA pass, plus 4 admission passes to the Great Lakes Science Center. 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 RTA summer tour partners and tell me which deal sounds best to you.

2. Visit Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @GCRTA 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:

#IGoRTA to great deals thanks to @GCRTA and @WhyCLE: https://whycle.com/2017/08/01/why-summertime-and-rta #giveaway

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, August 6 at 11:59pm at the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote RTA’s summer tour deals. In exchange, I received a complimentary RTA monthly pass, as well as 4 complimentary admission tickets to the Great Lakes Science Center. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: I'm trying a little bit of new structure with the weekend recaps, especially for the busy ones. Let me know what you think!***

Legacy Live

On Friday evening, Matthew and I had a nice, easy date night at Legacy Village. We had dinner at Bar Louie, where we snagged a table overlooking the patio so we could also take in the sounds of Legacy Live.

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Legacy Live is a concert series that takes place every Friday and Saturday night through September on the green at Legacy Village. The Recyclers were Friday night's band and they played a great mix of well-known rock covers. It was a fun, relaxed evening!

Yoga and Brunch in Tremont

Saturday morning, I met up with my friend Katie for rooftop yoga at Tremont Athletic Club.

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Not only does Tremont Athletic Club have really nice indoor workout facilities, the rooftop boasts impressive views of the city! Ylonda, one of my first yoga teachers, teaches the Saturday rooftop class. Her classes are this crazy, amazing mix of inspiration and perspiration. She always leaves me feeling stronger and more centered, both physically and spiritually.

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Since we burned a Ylonda class worth of calories, Katie and I headed to Dante Next Door for brunch. I had the tiger shrimp and polenta, Katie had the crab cakes Benedict, and we shared the box of pastries. Stuffed and happy, it made for a perfect lovely Saturday!

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There's nothing like old friends, yoga, and brunch to feed your body and your soul!

Inside the Park Home Run

Sunday morning, we all got up bright and early to head to Progressive Field for the Inside the Park Home Run to benefit the Cleveland Furniture Bank. I would definitely run more often if this was the view!

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You could participate in a 4-mile, 1-mile, or Kids Fun Run, all of which ended with the opportunity to run on the warning track and virtually cross home plate!

I participated in the 1-mile and Jeffrey ran the Kids Fun Run. And I think we were equally excited about our time on the field!

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The Hot Dog Derby dogs were also at the event, to get the runners started and mingle with the participants.

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It was a really fun morning and a pretty unique experience, all to benefit the Cleveland Furniture Bank's Beds for Kids program that provides cribs and beds to children in need.

Family Picnic

From there, it was off to a family reunion picnic at the Hinkley Reservation in the Cleveland Metroparks. I can remember attending this picnic as a kid and so I love being able to pass the tradition down to Jeffrey, too.

I was tasked with bringing a dessert to share, so I made these S'mores Cookies (recipe here.)

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They were easy and tasty and a great way to enjoy a classic summer taste! I especially enjoyed the rolled oats and cinnamon in the dough!

Shift at Bliss

I ended my weekend with yoga and some serious inspiration at the Tough as Milk Shift at Bliss. If you remember, I hosted a "shift" to benefit Tough as Milk and I was glad to have the chance to attend another shift to benefit this amazing organization, which brings trauma-informed yoga and fitness to domestic violence victims.

This shift was held at Inner Bliss. We got to hear more of Bilyana's heart-wrenching and amazing personal story, as well as how she's turning her own tragedies into something good and strong for not only herself, but others. I can't encourage you enough to follow along with Tough as Milk's events or host a shift yourself!

So, that was my weekend, packed with so much fun! How was yours?

***Disclosures:  I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events. In exchange, I will receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. Also, I was asked by the Cleveland Furniture Bank to help promote the Inside the Park Home Run. In exchange, I received one complimentary race registration for the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Northeast Ohio Parent!

If you follow along on Facebook and Twitter, you may have noticed me sharing posts and articles that I’ve written for Northeast Ohio Parent.

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I’m really excited to add this writing to my repertoire. It allows me to go more in depth about fun things to do with your kids around town and highlight some of the many amazing family activities to do around Cleveland. I also want to focus on how parents can have fun without kiddos. I did a post on how to plan a fun “Moms Day Out” and also want to do a post on great date night options.

I’ve also started a recurring series called “On the Town Survival Guide,” which focuses on tips on how to maximize fun and minimize stress when taking your kids to certain places. So far I’ve tackled Cedar Point and Cleveland Indians games and am planning posts on theater outings and fine dining.

If you pick up the July print issue (online version here) you’ll find an article I wrote on helping your children put on a fabulous lemonade stand. And stay tuned to the August issue for an article on the top 10 things to do before summer is over.

Northeast Ohio Parent is a great resource and honestly one of my go-to’s even before I started writing for it. You can find a list of upcoming events, get parenting tips, learn about area schools, and more. Plus, there are a host of great local bloggers covering a wide range of topics from a more personal angle.

If there are topics you’d like to see covered for Northeast Ohio Parent, let me know! I’m always open to new ideas. And if you’re a Northeast Ohio parent, bookmark the site for lots of great local information!

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It was feeling pretty tropical this weekend. OK, it was hot! On Friday, Jeffrey and I met up with friends for a play date at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. There are not only beautiful gardens and the Manor House to explore, there are also beautiful and fun children's gardens.

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There are musical elements, bubbles, a sandbox, lawn bowling, and a huge Tudor-style play house.

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There was also a butterfly house that Jeffrey loved exploring. Stan Hywet offers an elegant and lovely setting, even for the youngest visitors!

Friday evening, we started preparing for our annual summer BBQ. Jeffrey was a big help in the kitchen, assisting me with making brownies and M&M cookies.

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Saturday morning, Jeffrey and I made a breakfast stop at Luna Bakery & Cafe. Their pastries are so delicious! I couldn't resist grabbing an almond croissant and Jeffrey snagged a couple macarons.

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Really, our purpose in going to Luna that day was to pick up a special order of Cleveland skyline sugar cookies.

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Our BBQ coincided with Cleveland's birthday, so I needed something to celebrate! These cookies were adorable and delicious!

Then it was time for the fifth annual BBQ in our backyard. This is always one of our favorite evenings of the summer: lots of food, tons of friends from so many different parts of our lives, so much fun!

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The weather cleared up perfectly and we were able to enjoy being outside. And that picture above is literally the only one I took all night. I was too busy being present, which was really lovely and much needed.

On Sunday, after party clean-up was done, we took Jeffrey to Oktoberfest in July, with lots of good summer festival rides and games (and Disco Inferno too!)

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That was our weekend! Our BBQ has become an essential part of our summer and so this weekend felt pretty perfect!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Northeast Ohio Rocks!

Don’t let the title fool you. I don’t mean like “Cleveland Rocks.” I mean actual rocks. Painted adorably and scattered around as an act of goodwill.

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Northeast Ohio Rocks is a community that is homegrown, grass roots, and entirely adorable. We found our first painted rock in Cleveland Public Square back in April. Jeffrey was so excited by the rock painted to look like a crocodile. On the back of the rock was a message to post a picture of the rock on the Facebook group and re-hide it.

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We found our next rock at Legacy Village, this one with the sweet and simple message, “Smile.”

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Jeffrey has since hidden those rocks for others to find. And he loved seeing people post that they found them on the Facebook page!

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We also picked up a couple plain rocks on our adventures and painted them to add to the Northeast Ohio Rocks family.

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The Facebook group has grown to over 176,000 members, with rocks found everywhere from Cleveland to Australia! People take such time and care in painting the rocks and in finding fun places to hide them. And it truly brings such joy to find one.

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There are other rock painting groups, too. For example, Jeffrey found this rock at Cedar Point painted by Erie Rocks.

Keep your eyes peeled for painted rocks and maybe try your hand at adding to those out and about in the community. For inspiration or to see where rocks are found, check out Northeast Ohio Rocks on Facebook and Instagram.

This simple act of kindness and fun that even a three year old can understand is such a cool and unselfish way to spread joy. I love that the gesture can span ages, regions, and abilities to touch everyone.

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

One of the things I love so much about summer is that every weekend feels like a marathon of fun! On Friday evening, Matthew and I met up with my parents, Amanda, and Scott for the Billy Joel concert at Progressive Field.

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Before the show, we had dinner at Mabel’s BBQ, which never fails to deliver amazing meats. I also tried the rye bread stuffing this time, which was moist, flavorful, and delicious. And I can never resist the cracklins!

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The concert was awesome, with so many hits, as well as deep cuts. Billy Joel even played a 5 song encore! One of my favorite moments of the show was when he honored crew member Larry Doby, Jr., whose father Larry Doby played for the Cleveland Indians and was the first African-American to play in the American League.

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Cleveland has quite the amazing line-up of concerts this summer and we’ve been able to enjoy so many great artists at a variety of venues.

On Saturday, we attended our friends Kevin’s and Sarah’s wedding. After the sweet ceremony, we enjoyed even more sweetness with a donut bar! (Seriously, this should be a must for all occasions.)

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The reception was held at Mahall’s with plenty of retro bowling fun, plus the other kind of bar every occasion should have: a taco bar.

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The wedding and reception were relaxed, fun, and so true to Kevin and Sarah. Congrats and best wishes to the happy couple!

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After the reception, I swung by the St. John Vianney church festival with Jeffrey. This is one of our favorite summer festivals. There are a ton of great kids games (most of which are only 25 cents to play!,) plus putt-putt, some rides (not traveling carnival rides,) really good food (funnel cakes,) and the piece de resistance: the Euclid Beach Rocket Car.

It was the perfect end to a lovely summer day!

On Sunday, we met up with Amanda and Scott again, this time for a fun-filled day at Cedar Point. Amanda and Scott are one set of Jeffrey’s godparents and they are so wonderful with him!

From rides to the arcade to ice cream, Jeffrey got to do everything he loved, with people he loves so much!

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I think it’s safe to say that Cedar Point is currently Jeffrey’s favorite spot on earth!

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So that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur