Why? Well, Part 2…

Since last we talked here, the world changed yet again. I feel like I’m not even going to bother getting my footing, because the ground is ever-shifting these days.

Jeffrey and I are working on settling into a routine with school work (and recess and lunch and really more snacks than I thought one could eat.)

Honestly, I love the time with him, although my heart hurts that he can’t be with his friends or have the routine of Kindergarten that he so enjoyed.

His teachers are doing a phenomenal job with Google Classroom, posting assignments, extra learning and fun opportunities, and pics of classmates so the kids can stay somewhat connected.

I know how fortunate we are on the spectrum of all that is going on in the world right now, so when the moments of feeling overwhelmed or uncertain arise, I try to just breathe (or text or meme or walk outside or cry or laugh or drink wine or all of the above) through them.

I would imagine things will continue to be quiet around these pages for awhile, as places remained closed and events are canceled or postponed. I’ve been posting local news updates and whatnot on Facebook and Twitter, as well as lots of stories of how we’re spending our days on Instagram (if you’re a parent with a Star Wars-obsessed boy, I got you.)

I just dropped in here to say hi; to wish you all patience and health and stability; and to throw a couple resources your way. If you want to help those in need, consider volunteering with or donating to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. If you want to support our local restaurants in this time, check out this Cleveland Restaurant Take Out Facebook group for info on menus, times, etc.

Stay healthy, be kind, and we’ll catch each other on the flip side…

Why? Weekends!

You guys, spring is in the air! Which made for a busy and fun weekend! Let’s get to it…

Cleveland Monsters Game

On Friday night, Jeffrey and I went to one of his favorite places in town: a Cleveland Monsters game. First, though, we grabbed dinner at Yours Truly.

IMG_8414

Yours Truly is a favorite for both of us. Jeffrey loves the grilled cheese and I couldn’t pass up the Tuna Supreme, on toasted rye with cheese and tomato. A perfect Lenten dinner!

IMG_8415

From there, it was off to the Monsters game. It was Mascot Night and there was a bobblehead giveaway (plus we ran into our friend Maddie from the Monsters Top Line Dance Team), so it was a pretty exciting night even before the ice action started.

It was also Gesu night at the game, with one of the teachers getting to ride on the zamboni and represent the school.

IMG_8426

Monsters games are one of my favorite things to do with Jeffrey. He always has a great time, there’s lots of family-friendly fun, and the price point is really reasonable!

LOFT Shopping Party

On Saturday, I hosted a spring shopping party at LOFT at Legacy Village. As usual, the LOFT ladies made everything so fun and easy, providing beverages and sweets and just being a total treat to work with.

IMG_8474

Before we even got to the party, though, my friend Anne and I hit a class a barre3, then grabbed Bloody Marys at Bar Louie (it’s called balance, friends.) I love how Legacy Village is a one-stop for everything to make a perfect Saturday afternoon!

IMG_8444

I got a ton of cute spring clothes at LOFT that will work for everything from work to play to going out, all for great prices, too.

If you need to refresh your wardrobe for the coming season, stop by and tell ’em I sent you!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. For hosting a shopping party at LOFT, I received two complimentary items from the store. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Gigi’s on Fairmount

On Sunday, I met up with Mariah and Ashlie to celebrate Ashlie’s upcoming new arrival, Baby Aria. Gigi’s on Fairmount is the perfect spot for a ladies brunch! I just adore this cute, cozy, French spot!

IMG_8497

I had the Avocado Toast 2 Ways, with jammy eggs and pink peppercorn on one and grapes tomatoes on the other.

IMG_8493

Oh, and get the Passion Bubbles, with cava and passionfruit puree. So delish!

IMG_8492

It was a lovely weekend, with lovely weather and lovely friends! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

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

Lindey’s Lake House

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

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

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

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

IMG_8038

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

IMG_8037

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

IMG_8041

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

Little Italy

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

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

IMG_8060

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

IMG_8061

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

IMG_8062

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

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

IMG_8065

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

IMG_8066

A perfect end to a lovely evening!

Platform Pub Yoga

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

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

225E1274-D955-4178-BC57-1E63064EDED4

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

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

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a fun and festive weekend, celebrating both Valentine’s Day and my mom’s birthday. Let’s get to it…

Valentine’s Day

Jeffrey didn’t have school on Friday, so I got to have a Valentine’s day-date with my best buddy. We started with breakfast at Original Pancake House.

IMG_7906

There’s nothing that Jeffrey likes more than a stack of chocolate chip pancakes!

Then we headed to Busy Bee’s Pottery and Arts Studio for some pottery painting. Busy Bee’s allows you to walk in, select a piece, and paint it however you choose.

IMG_7912

Jeffrey chose this water cup with various sports on it, which is pretty on-brand. He got to paint it in his own style and it will be fired and ready to pick up in a week.

IMG_7913

What a fun activity! I had such a lovely Valentine’s Day with my best date!

Columbus

On Saturday, Jeffrey, my parents, and I headed down to Columbus for a long-weekend road trip. My mom’s birthday was on Saturday, so I wanted to do something to celebrate her special day. Being the awesome grandma that she is, she couldn’t think of a better way to spend her birthday than doing things that Jeffrey enjoys.

IMG_7930

We started at Legoland Discovery Center.

IMG_7926

Jeffrey and my dad spent most of the time there building and racing LEGO cars, which was a great way for them to bond.

IMG_7931

From building to exploring the cities of Ohio built out of LEGOs to rides, Legoland Discovery Center has tons of hands-on fun for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages!

After Legoland, we took a short walk over to McCormick and Schmick’s for dinner. Being Valentine’s weekend, the restaurant was packed and the service and the kitchen were less than stellar. But the manager definitely helped smooth the bumps in the road. And the food and drinks were very tasty.

Mom and I each chose a drink that was prepared tableside, because we so fancy like that. I had the Overcast, with bourbon, crème de cassis, orange bitters, and chocolate foam. Delicious!

IMG_7940

While I didn’t get any entrée pictures because we basically inhaled them after the long wait, I had the sesame-crusted tuna, which was so good. I’m a sucker for good side dishes and the wasabi mashed potatoes and black pepper sauce brought the heat to this dish!

We all shared the Chocolate Bag for dessert: a bag molded out of dark chocolate and filled with white chocolate mousse and berries. Yum!

The next morning, we took a mandatory dip in the hotel pool. There is nothing more exciting for a kid than a hotel pool, I swear!

IMG_7943

We stayed at the Hilton Columbus at Easton, which was beautiful inside and located in close proximity to everything we wanted to do while we were in town.

Sunday morning, we grabbed breakfast at SuperChefs, a superhero-themed restaurant that was as fun as it was tasty.

IMG_7944

I had the croissant breakfast sandwich, with eggs, candied bacon (yes, please), and mixed green, served with a side of delicious hash browns.

IMG_7950

Jeffrey had this gigantic pancake stack. The look on his face says it all!

IMG_7948

Then it was off to COSI for an afternoon of science fun.

IMG_7951

Jeffrey was thrilled with the recently-opened DC Superheroes exhibit, where he could channel his inner Justice League hero.

IMG_7965

I was thrilled that our admission was free with our Great Lakes Science Center membership, as the two museums have membership reciprocity. What an awesome deal!

From futuristic superheroes…

IMG_7952

…to prehistoric dinosaurs, there was so much to see and do at COSI!

IMG_7966

Then it was time to hit the road home, with a mandatory stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn on the drive back.

IMG_7969

Yes, I got a bag of cheddar and caramel corn. No, I amazingly haven’t eaten it yet.

It was such a fun road trip and a great chance to get away to celebrate Mom’s birthday. I always have a great time in Columbus, from the food to the activities!

So, that was our weekend. Jeffrey still has one more day off school, so we’ll be fully back to reality tomorrow! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? B Spot Burgers!

You probably already know that B Spot Burgers offers delicious, well, burgers. But next month, B Spot is rolling out a revamped menu of non-burger offerings. Jeffrey and I got a sneak peek at the new menu items that are diverse and delicious.

IMG_7711

 

In the appetizer category, B Spot is adding two different kinds of chicken wings, as well as classic guacamole and tortilla chips. The wings are available with a flavorful mild dry rub or a spicy jabanero glaze.

There are also two new salad offerings: chickpea and farro and the sunny side. Anything is better when you put a fried egg on top, right? These salads are hearty, but healthy!

B Spot is also adding three new kielbasa sandwich options, all made with kielbasa from the West Side Market. There is a Cleveland classic: the Polish Boy.

IMG_7726

There will also be Reuben-Style and Pulled Pork kielbasa sandwiches.

My favorite was the Polish Boy, made with Cleveland Kraut!

A trio of new sandwiches are also being added to the menu in March. The Pulled Pork was my flavorful favorite of the bunch.

IMG_7731

The Turkey and Pastrami are also delicious and packed with quality meats and toppings.

And last but not least, some decadent new milkshake choices: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, Blueberry (Jeffrey’s surprising favorite), and Creamsicle (my favorite.)

8870FE20-5327-4803-B83D-81062691881B

B Spot is upping it’s non-burger game with these new options, so stop by and discover another side of B Spot!

***Disclosure: I was invited with a guest to a complimentary tasting of B Spot’s new menu. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend, with lots of buddies, beverages, and brunches, so let’s get right to it…

100th Day of Kindergarten

On Friday, Jeffrey’s class celebrated their 100th day of Kindergarten. All the kids had to make a project using 100 of something they love, so Jeffrey built a roller coaster with 100 LEGOs.

IMG_7758

He was so proud of the project, plus his class made special 100 day t-shirts and crowns, too. I can’t believe the school year is more than half over!

Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar

On Friday night, I met up with Amanda at Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar for some low-key cocktails and catching up. We happened to run into our friend Kate, too!

IMG_7774

Griffin Cider House has an expansive gin selection, but if gin isn’t your thing (and it’s not mine), there are still plenty of great cocktail choices, like this bourbon apple cider that I thoroughly enjoyed.

IMG_7775

It’s a chill spot that’s perfect for hanging out with friends!

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

On Saturday, I gathered some of my favorite ladies for a Galentine’s brunch at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.

3B41F433-3F99-42D6-B706-B0BE8DFD0359

From bottomless mimosas to delicious food, this was the perfect spot for our celebration. I had the shrimp and grits, with andouille, poached eggs, and a truly spicy and flavorful hot sauce.

IMG_7784

The grits were the perfect texture and this dish had a lot of great flavor!

I also highly recommend a side (or two) of the focaccia bread, which was served piping hot in a mini cast iron skillet.

IMG_7785

Most of all, it was a great morning spending time with some of my girls. I am so lucky to have friends from a lot of different areas of life. Around the table were ladies I met in high school and college and through blogging and motherhood. They all blend together so well and it just makes getting everyone together such a joy!

Blu the Restaurant

On Sunday, I was back on the brunch bandwagon at Blu the Restaurant. My dear friend Anne is heading to Honduras on a mission trip this week, so after her missioning Mass, we wanted to take her out to brunch to send her off well.

IMG_7801

We shared the spicy hash, with barbecued potaotes, jalapeno, poached egg, and spicy hollandaise to start. Everyone agreed these were the tastiest potatoes they’ve ever had.

IMG_7797

We also shared the mimosa bottle service, with blood orange, orange, and pomegranate juices.

IMG_7799

For my entrée, I had the stuffed peppers, with veal and pork stuffed peppers and marinara, topped with fried eggs. I liked the brunch twist on this traditional Italian dish!

IMG_7803

Jeffrey had the Yaya’s Pancakes, which were somewhere between a biscuit and a muffin in terms of shape and texture, and were entirely devoured!

This was a great spot for brunch and I definitely have my eye on a few other menu items for the next time we go back!

I snuck in a bit more food fun this weekend at the soft opening of Proof in Tremont, so stay tuned for that later this week…

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was another fun and busy weekend, so let’s get right to it…

Quintana’s Speakeasy

On Friday afternoon, Mariah and I slipped away for an afternoon cocktail at Quintana’s Speakeasy.

IMG_7475

Tucked upstairs from Quintana’s Barber Shop, the speakeasy has all the atmosphere of stepping back in time, including a secret entrance (nope, you have to figure it out for yourself.)

I had the What Do Wine Know?, with house mulled wine, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and soda. I love mulled wine and this was a refreshing twist on it!

IMG_7477

I can’t wait to go back and try more delicious drinks in this super intimate location!

Upward Basketball League

On Saturday morning, Jeffrey had his first game with his Lil Cowboys team as part of the Upward Sports basketball league.

IMG_7505

From the announcement of each player, complete with a tunnel to run through…

IMG_7493

…to the fun of the actual game…

IMG_7501

Jeffrey loved every minute!

I’ve been really impressed with the Upward league’s focus not only on skills, but also sportsmanship and character building. It’s going to be a great season for the Lil Cowboys!

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

From there, it was off to a birthday party at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.

IMG_7512

The museum has really grown since it’s opening, adding new exhibits like Meadow (for little ones), Playlist, Theater, and Brick Works.

If you saw a group of crazed almost six-year-old boys tearing through the museum, that was our group!

Cavs

Jeffrey and I rounded out our Saturday with a Cavs game with the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter.

48836D01-2D3B-4C85-84A9-EC0F33002F2C

We had a reception in one of the new banquet rooms at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, complete with awesome views of downtown and delicious food.

IMG_7513

And while we only made it until halftime (it was a long, busy day), we loved watching all the NBA action!

Catholic Schools Week

On Sunday, we kicked off Catholic Schools Week with a Mass and open house at Gesu Catholic School.

IMG_7527

I can’t believe just last year, Jeffrey went to the open house as a prospective student and now he’s showing off his Kindergarten classroom and projects.

His teachers are just wonderful and I’ve been so happy with his progress this year! I also just love being part of such a warm, caring community.

IMG_7526

So, that was the weekend. Lots of good time with my favorite kiddo (and a little mom break too!) How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend around here, which was much needed after a busy week and an aversion to going out in the blustery winter weather…

Salted Dough

On Saturday, Jeffrey and I met up with my parents to check out the newly-opened Salted Dough in Broadview Heights.

IMG_7318

From the same owner as Crust in Tremont, Salted Dough serves up pizzas and a handful of other Italian dishes in a warm, casual setting.

I started with a Maple Bacon Old Fashioned, because who can resist a drink with both bourbon AND bacon?!

IMG_7319

We all shared the Brussel Sprouts, with Dijon aioli, balsamic, and crispy shallots…

IMG_7321

…and the Meatballs, packed with traditional Italian flavors. Pro tip: order the Salted Dough appetizer to dip in the sauce.

IMG_7320

Salted Dough has a wide variety of pizzas, as well as build-your-own options. Jeffrey had the cheese pizza, which made him a very happy camper!

IMG_7323

Mom chose the gnocchi with rosemary and mushroom cream sauce…decadent and delicious!

IMG_7324

Salted Dough offers daily beef, chicken, and fish specials, as well as a daily ravioli special. I had the chicken special.

IMG_7327

The chicken was lightly breaded and served on top of fried eggplant and salted dough. It was covered in red sauce with capers and olives. It was rustic and satisfying!

I couldn’t pass up the tiramisu for dessert. Salted Dough offers several varieties daily, but I stuck with the traditional.

IMG_7328

Jeffrey enjoyed the chocolate gelato.

Salted Dough is a great addition to the south side of town and I can’t wait to go back to try some more of the pizzas!

Vault

On Saturday night, I stopped in at Vault at The 9 to research my next piece for Ohio. Find It Here.

IMG_7362

That’s all I can say for now, but I’ll share the link to the full post on all the craft cocktail and Cleveland history fun I had once it’s done…

The rest of the weekend was spent keeping warm on what felt like our first real winter weekend of the season! How did you stay warm this weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? NCJW Winter Meeting: Headlines and Hemlines!

Spend a fun and fashionable morning with NCJW Cleveland at their 125th annual Winter Meeting on Wednesday, February 5 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven.

winter-meeting-save-the-date

The theme of this year’s Winter Meeting is Headlines and Hemlines. The morning will include a presentation from Sarah Rogers and Sara Hume from Kent State University Fashion Museum, exploring how the tenor of the times has impacted both fashion and the activities of NCJW Cleveland.

You can start your morning perusing pop-up shops starting at 10am, enjoying a curated shopping experience with unique retailers. Brunch and the presentation begin at 11:30am.

Cost to attend is $40 for NCJW Cleveland members and $45 for non-members. Click here to purchase a ticket and enjoy a morning of fashionable fun!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the NCJW Cleveland Winter Meeting. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Cavs Academy Clinics!

Jeffrey is so into sports, more so than I ever imagined he would be. And not just watching sports, but playing them too. If your kids are the same way, the Cavs Academy Clinics are a great way for them to experience hands-on all the basketball excitement they enjoy watching at the Cavs games.

10-1618 CA-38

The Cavs Academy Clinics are designed for boys and girls ages 7 and up, of all skill levels. There are clinics throughout the Northeast Ohio region. Upcoming clinics are:

  • Thursday, January 16 in Akron
  • Monday, February 17 in Fairview Park
  • Friday, February 28 in Toledo
  • Sunday, March 8 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (All Girls)
  • Saturday, March 28 at Cleveland Clinic Courts (All Girls 3V3)
  • Saturday, April 4 in Youngstown
  • Thursday, April 9 in Broadview Heights (Elite 3-on-3)

For the younger kids ages 3-6, there are Cavalittles Clinics. Upcoming clinics are:

  • Wednesday, January 15 in Seven Hills
  • Wednesday, February 5 in Brunswick
  • Wednesday, March 11 in Avon Lake

Clinics include a Cavs Academy dri-fit shooting shirt,  Cavaliers 50th Season Celebration Spaulding basketball, and a ticket to a 2019-20 regular season home game.

10-1618 CA-99

Click here for more information and to register for a Cavs Academy Clinic!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Cavaliers to help promote the Cavs Academy Clinics. In exchange, I received a complimentary Cavalittles Clinic registration for Jeffrey. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur