Why? Jump Back Ball!

Saturday was the annual Jump Back Ball put on by Playhouse Square Partners. This year’s theme was Jump Back Across the Pond and the guests came decked out as everything from royalty to musicians to wizards.

IMG_8961

 

The VIP Party had the royal family make an appearance…

IMG_8955

…including the Queen’s corgi (in reality, Murray, who belongs to Beard and the Broad).

IMG_8953

 

We also enjoyed specialty cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Pope’s Kitchen, high tea inspired appetizers from The Driftwood Group, and music from North Coast String Quartet.

IMG_8958

Then it was off to the main event, with more great food and drinks, music from Abby Normal & the Detroit Lean on the main stage and Faction on the late night stage, and tons of fun British-themed photo opps, all created by Playhouse Square Partners members.

IMG_8980

This was our eighth Jump Back Ball and I’m amazed how, every year, we have such an incredible time at this truly unique, fun, epic event!

IMG_8970

Oh, and did I mention it’s all to benefit Playhouse Square’s community outreach and education initiatives, such as the Dazzle Awards and the Disney Musicals in Schools program?

What a bloody brilliant evening! Stay tuned for next year’s theme announcement and ticket sales kickoff in Fall 2019!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. I am also the co-chair of the Communications Committee for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Ohio City Galley!

When I got together for Galentine’s Day with my girls Alicia and Amanda, we had our very different tastes on display.

IMG_8755

Luckily, we had dinner at Ohio City Galley, a restaurant incubator with four different mini-restaurants, so our different tastes could all be satisfied under one roof!

Ohio City Galley is a chance for chefs to essentially test a restaurant concept rent-free, with the Galley Group providing marketing, space upkeep, and the like. Ohio City Galley’s current restaurants are Poca Casual Mexican, Sauce the City, Tinman, and The Rice Shop.

IMG_8749

I chose the BBQ Pork Belly from The Rice Shop, served with sticky rice, honey mustard kale, and sambal sour cream.

IMG_8750

The dish was flavorful and the pork belly was the perfect balance of crispy and tender.

Alicia and Amanda both chose dishes from Poca Casual Mexican: the Al Pastor tacos and the Oaxacan tamales. And while I didn’t sneak any bites, they were very happy with their choices. We also shared some of the guacamole with the most delicious masa chips!

IMG_8764
Photo Credit: Alicia

For dessert, the apple fritters from Tinman, served with caramel sauce and Apple Jacks ice cream were a decadent and delicious end to our meal.

IMG_8757

The bar at Ohio City Galley is also serving up creative treats. I enjoyed a Moses Cleveland, with bourbon, herbed plum syrup, citrus, and soda.

IMG_8744

We also got to help the bar manager Daniella practice four signature Galentine’s cocktails, all of which were unique and delicious.

IMG_8747

Pro tip: Go to Ohio City Galley during happy hour (Monday through Friday, 5-7pm) for half off all drinks and specials at the restaurants!

With it’s haute cafeteria-style environment, tasty drinks, and creative cuisine, Ohio City Galley is the perfect way to try something new and satisfy everyone’s different tastes in one place!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Perfectly Imperfect Produce!

There’s nothing I love more than when a person not only recognizes a problem, but comes up with an innovative solution. That’s exactly what Ashley Weingart did when she launched Perfectly Imperfect Produce.

IMG_7997

Ashley’s family has been in the produce business for four generations. Ashley saw that the industry had a lot of food waste due to buyers’ shifts in demand or desire for “perfection” in the product.

Perfectly Imperfect Produce rescues produce that would otherwise go to waste, but is perfectly good for consumption. The items are unique in size, shape, or color, as well as those considered surplus crops.

Not only does Perfectly Imperfect Produce help to reduce food waste, they also help improve access to healthy food. For every box purchased, a donation of produce is made to local food pantries through the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.

We got to hear about Perfectly Imperfect Produce’s mission, as well as taste some of their delicious produce last night at Prep Kitchen CLE, which is a gorgeous space that is available for rent for meetings, social gatherings, and the like.

IMG_7995

Aubrey of That’s What She Eats, who works with Perfectly Imperfect Produce to create recipes with their produce, created some delicious nibbles: sweet potato slices, roasted cauliflower, curry hummus, and butternut squash mac.

We also got to fill our own box of Perfectly Imperfect Produce, with items like apples, pears, ginger root, squash, and mango.

IMG_8002

You can get in on your own Perfectly Imperfect Produce box with various options, such as organic, all fruit, and all veggie. You can also pick your size and frequency of delivery. Yes, I said delivery. All this great produce is delivered right to your door! Click here to see your options and order.

Perfectly Imperfect Produce is available in Cleveland and Columbus. Rescue some produce and do something good for you, for the food industry, and for those in need!

***Disclosure: I was invited by Perfectly Imperfect Produce to attend a complimentary influencer event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Hey guys! How was your weekend? Ours was a nice balance of time out and time at home, so let’s get right to it…

Michael Angelo’s Winery

On Friday night, I met up with my friends Anne and Kim at Michael Angelo’s Winery.

49371705_10217398240138709_6399447309070893056_n

The winery is huge and beautifully decorated, with lots of seating options from at the wine tasting bar to tables to cozy chairs and couches.

IMG_7876

I started with a wine flight, which let me sample four different wines. I chose the Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

IMG_7880

I really enjoyed all my selections, except for the Pinot Noir (which, admittedly, I don’t have as much experience with in general.)

We decided to share a couple appetizers: the crispy Brussel sprouts with maple aioli, mint, and lemon and the confit chicken wings with soy garlic sauce.

IMG_7878

Both were quite tasty! The pizzas coming out of the kitchen all looked amazing, too!

In addition to the food and wine, you can snag yourself some of Michael Angelo’s well-known bakery items, from bread to macarons to paczki. There is also a shop with coffee, candy, and bottles of wine for purchase.

The winery quickly filled up on Friday evening and is clearly deserves it’s new “hot spot” status with food, wine, and atmosphere that are all on point.

Yoga and Oils

Saturday morning, I went to an event that combined something I know really well (yoga) with something I don’t know as well (essential oils.)

Held at Borrow – Curated Rentals & Design, the event started with a presentation on doTERRA Essential Oils, with a sample of their Balance oil to take home.

IMG_7885

Then, Alicia led us through a Slow Flow and Yoga Nidra combination that left us feeling refreshed and intent on the year ahead.

IMG_7886

Alicia graciously let me just hang out in my own restorative poses in the back, but I was definitely able to reap the benefits of the relaxation and the chance to set a mantra for 2019.

Mine? “I am at ease.”

IMG_7893

Plus, Borrow was just a lovely environment for this event, with lots of beautiful lighting and vintage items all around. I want one of these swings at home, stat!

The Rest of the Weekend

We spent most of the rest of the weekend taking down the Christmas decorations. It was definitely time to do it, but I also just don’t like that job, except when it’s done.

Since we were all working so hard around the house, we needed some sustenance, so I made a winter time favorite: hatch chile and chorizo mac ‘n cheese.

IMG_7897

I use this recipe, but add in some loose chorizo that I brown and mix in. When you can get hatch chiles from Heinen’s next summer, grab as many as you can and freeze them. That way you can enjoy these smoky, spicy peppers all year!

We also went to a 10th birthday party for Iain, who Jeffrey calls “my big friend Iain.” Pizza, cake, and lots of chances to play made for a perfect Sunday Funday for these guys!

IMG_7920

So that was our weekend. Hope you enjoyed the very not-January-like weather!

jenclesig_pur

Why? 2018!

2018 was, well, a year. To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve on a good year and this year was more challenging than most. I’m having a hard time separating the bad from the good, so I’m mostly just ready to welcome a new beginning.

But when I look back on it, there were certainly fun moments in 2018, along with a lot of growth, strengthening of relationships, and deepening of commitments.

In 2018, we ate…

…we drank…

…we traveled…

…I yoga-ed and barre-d…

 

…we sported…

 

…we got cultured…

 

…and we got to the Point.

img_4921

We loved…

 

…and lost.

IMG_2631

And my kid grew into even more of an extraordinary, funny, smart, inquisitive human.

IMG_7604

It’s been a hell of a year and while I’m honestly not sad to see it go, I do hope the lessons, the growth, and the friendships stay with me into 2019.

May the New Year land softly, however you may feel about 2018. XO

jenclesig_pur

Why? HaylieStory in Motion!

Awhile ago, I met up with Haylie from HaylieStory and Zak from Zak Films to film a City Surge video all about Cleveland.

From the West Side Market, to East 4th Street, to Playhouse Square, we checked out some of the best that Cleveland has to offer.

I tried to pick places that really highlighted the culture, food, and people that make Cleveland so awesome!

And now, I’m so excited to share the final product with you.

For more awesome City Surge videos, along with thoughts on travel, life, and fun, follow along with #HaylieStory! Thanks to Haylie and Zak for spending such a fun day with me around Cleveland!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Blogiversary!

Hi there, guys! This is one of my favorite blogging days, when I celebrate the anniversary of Why CLE?

This year, it’s my 8th blogiversary. And I say something like this every year, but I honestly can’t believe I’ve gotten to do this for so long. I am so grateful for those of you who have been reading since the beginning and for those of you who just started reading and for those of you in the in between.

I’ve gotten to explore so much of my favorite town and show it off to strangers!

I’ve deepened my love for Cleveland and it’s amazing people!

I’ve written 1,610 blog posts!

I’ve (sort of) figured out Twitter and Instagram!

I’ve met some of my best friends and just incredibly cool and engaged folks through social media!

I’ve had incredible experiences with this city’s institutions, makers, and organizations doing fantastic work in the community!

I’ve eaten a lot of food!

I’ve gotten to be on TV (bonkers)!

I’ve gotten to be a small part of your Cleveland life and you’ve been a huge part of mine!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for these past 8 years; for growing with me, supporting me, and choosing (because what you read on the Internet is 100% your choice) me. I adore you, I adore this city, and I adore celebrating made-up holidays!

To thank you for 8 great years, I am giving away a $25 gift card to the Cleveland-area restaurant of your choice and a $25 gift card to the Cleveland-area boutique of your choice. There will be two winners: one for the restaurant and one for the boutique.

To enter to win, just leave a comment here letting me know which restaurant or boutique you’d choose.

Ooh, and hop over to Instagram for an additional chance to win!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a fun and busy weekend, as I got the chance to show off more of Cleveland to my friend Jen, who was visiting from DC. Here’s what we were up to…

Laurentia Winery and The Pompadour

Jen arrived on Saturday and we decided to have a fabulous evening out and about on the town. On past visits, I’ve taken Jen toward downtown for dinner, so I decided we should head in a different direction and try the wineries instead.

We started at Laurentia Winery, which was packed on a snowy Saturday night. There was live music, a fire in the fireplace, and a lively crowd. We enjoyed the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon for me and the Gewurtzraminer for Jen, along with a charcuterie and cheese board to share.

img_6486

The wines and food were delicious and the atmosphere was both fun and relaxing. Laurentia has quickly become a must-stop for me anytime I’m in wine country!

From there, we headed to dinner at The Pompadour Bar and Tapas. I seriously cannot get enough of this cozy, delicious spot. For my cocktail, I had the Pompadour Buck, with Knob Creek Bourbon, ginger shrub, ginger beer, and angostura bitters. Bourbon and ginger are a tasty match!

img_6494

Jen had the Pineapple Upside Down Cake Martini, with cake vodka, Frangelico liquor, pineapple, and grenadine.

Jen and I have always enjoyed tapas restaurants because we get to have such a communal eating experience. So, we shared the chorizo and potato croquetas, with Spanish chorizo, potato, manchego cheese, and lemon garlic aioli…

img_6488

…the marinated roasted vegetables with goat cheese and balsamic reduction…

img_6490

…the turkey albondigas (turkey meatballs) with tomatillo mojo sauce, goat cheese, and cilantro…

img_6491

…and the braised short rib with parsnip puree, ancho chili mojo sauce, and pickled chayote.

img_6492

When (not if) you go to The Pompadour, you must order the short rib. All our other choices were also flavorful and fantastic! This place is spot-on with taste and presentation!

Yoga/Brunch

Even though Alicia has switched from Yoga/Brunch to Soul Flow Sundays, we decided to create a little throwback when we attended her class on Sunday morning, then headed to brunch afterwards.

The Soul Flow Sundays class was a classic Alicia mix of challenging poses (with plenty of modifications to keep beginners and advanced yogis happy), great stretching, and some soul and breath work too. So, an entirely perfect way to start a Sunday!

img_6499

Alicia teaches her Soul Flow Sunday class every week at 9:30am at Elevated Dance Studio in Independence. Cost to attend is $15. Click here to reserve your spot!

From there, we headed to Burntwood Tavern for brunch. I had the Nashville chicken biscuit, with sweet and spicy chicken, eggs, American cheese, sausage gravy, and crispy potatoes. So good!

img_6506

After lots of laughs and mimosas, we set about the rest of our days feeling full in body and spirit!

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Jeffrey wanted to show “Aunt Jen” one of his favorite places in Cleveland, so we took her to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Even though the weather was cool, there were still plenty of animals out and active, particularly in Asian Highlands, Wilderness Trek, and the Rosebrough Tiger Passage.

 

We also popped into The RainForest to warm up a bit after our trek around the outside of the Zoo!

img_6515

Stay tuned to the Cleveland Zoological Society’s member magazine for my article on animals to see in the winter at the Zoo, but take it from me, there are plenty to see!

Brim Kitchen and Brewery

Since we let Jeffrey pick the location for our Sunday afternoon fun, we also let him pick our dinner spot. He chose Brim Kitchen and Brewery, which made all of us happy!

I had the General Tso Cauliflower, which is an unusual choice for me, but it was so flavorful and delicious! Served with kimchi fried rice, radish, sesame, and carrot, this is one vegan dish I would order again and again!

img_6518

Matthew had the duck confit cavatelli and Jen had the mac ‘n cheese and both looked to die for, especially on a cold night.

 

Jen and I shared the apple hand pie, but inhaled it before any pictures could be taken of this fall deliciousness.

So, that was our weekend, aside from one very cute mermaid-themed second birthday party!

img_6479

I’m reluctantly sending Jen back to DC this morning after a quick stop at Fiona’s Coffee Bar.

And then tomorrow, we’re off to Disney for the rest of the week! Stay tuned on Insta for all the Disney fun and here for all the Cleveland stuff I’ve prepared for you to read while I’m gone!

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It really feels like autumn, with the trees in all their glory! And once the rain finally stopped, it was a lovely weekend! Let’s get to all the fun…

Eight Crazy Nights Launch

These past two weeks, I’ve been starting my weekend recap with my Thursday night activities. I feel like I’m in college again!

This past Thursday, I attended the launch of Eight Crazy Nights, the holiday beer from Collision Bend Brewing Company.

img_6350

I make an exception to starting the season early when it comes to holiday brews! Eight Crazy Nights is spicy, not too heavy, and a tasty seasonal pour.

img_6349

The launch was a lot of fun, with music from the Ohio City Singers and lots of tasty nibbles from Collision Bend’s menu. The bianco pizza and the Collision Bend popcorn, with chicken schmaltz, Mexican pepper mix, lime zest, and pecorino, were my favorite bites of the night!

img_6352

Eight Crazy Nights is available on tap at the restaurant, as well as in cans in your local store (I’ve already confirmed my local Heinen’s has it!)

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the launch of Eight Crazy Nights at Collision Bend Brewing Company. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Parents Night Out

Part of my job as one of the Room Parents for Jeffrey’s class was to plan Parents Night Out. This evening was a chance for the Pre-K parents to connect with each other outside of the drop-off line and without kids clamoring for attention.

img_6360

We held the Parents Night Out at Nighttown.

img_6358

Nighttown was so easy to work with setting up the event and the service was spot on! We had a selection of tasty (and generously-sized) appetizers, including egg rolls, bruschetta, chicken satay, and mushroom tarts.

It was a fun evening of catching up with friends and meeting people outside of school! We even got to hear some of the awesome live music that Nighttown had that evening before we had to get home to relieve babysitters of their duties!

HaylieStory

While I was a BloggyCon, I had the pleasure of meeting Haylie from HaylieStory.

img_6375

Haylie, along with her friend Zak of Zak Films, make City Surge videos where they visit cities around Ohio. So, we decided to collaborate on filming a City Surge video around Cleveland!

img_6371

We started at the West Side Market, then checked out East 4th Street, Playhouse Square, and University Circle.

img_6372

I tried to pick places that really highlighted the culture, food, and people that make Cleveland so awesome!

I can’t wait to see the finished video and will share it with you once it is done! What places would you have taken Haylie and Zak?

Modern CLE

Have you been hearing about Modern CLE? There’s quite the buzz about this website that launches today!

Modern CLE is written by journalists and focuses on telling stories from a female perspective.

img_6393

There will be news, health and wellness, financial advice, lifestyle, and more content put out daily covering Cleveland and beyond from a journalistic, female point of view.

I attended the launch party for Modern CLE at Heyday Collective. There were lots of tasty treats, bubbles, and fabulous ladies!

 

I’m so excited to read along with Modern CLE and enjoy their fun, fresh, female content!

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy, fun weekend-plus (I’m throwing an event from Thursday, too), so let’s get right to it…

Eat Like a Kid Again

On Thursday, my friend Melissa and I attended the Eat Like a Kid Again event to benefit Children’s Hunger Alliance.

img_6200

Held at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland, the event brought together chef-inspired takes on favorite kids’ foods and drinks, along with a DJ, silent auction, and wine pull to raise funds for the Children’s Hunger Alliance mission of providing nutritious food to children across Ohio by partnering with local community organizations.
img_6194

We nibbled on mac ‘n cheese from Melt Bar and Grilled (did you know they have mac ‘n cheese varieties on their menu now?); spaghetti-o’s from Nora; sloppy joe’s from Saucisson; and s’mores from Annie’s Signature Sweets.

I snagged a nice bottle of sauvignon blanc from the wine pull and Melissa scored a Vitamix from the silent auction!

img_6195

Plus, it was fun to spend an evening in a place where we often take our kids to play. I’m reminded how lucky we are to be able to provide as we do for Jeffrey and how important it is to help those less able to do so.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Children’s Hunger Alliance to help promote Eat Like a Kid Again. In exchange, I received two complimentary general admission tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Put on Your Boogie Shoes

Friday night, Matthew and I transformed ourselves into a classic Cleveland couple for the Charles Bowlus Charities Put on Your Boogie Shoes fundraiser.

img_6211

This annual event was held this year at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown and featured some delicious food stations (build your own mac ‘n cheese FTW), delightful drinks, and one of our favorite local cover bands: Faction.

img_6213

Everyone in attendance went all out with their costumes! Some of our favorites included the Scooby Doo group, the Handmaid’s Tale handmaids, and the Chipotle burrito.

img_6210

The event raised funds for the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center. Every year, Charles Bowlus Charities chooses a non-profit to donate this event’s funds to, always focused on women and children.

It was a spook-tacular party for a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Charles Bowlus Charities to help promote Put on Your Boogie Shoes. In exchange, I received two complimentary general admission tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Children’s Theater Series

Saturday kicked off our third season as season ticket holders for the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square with a Light Wire Theater performance of “The Ugly Duckling.”

img_6219

We all really enjoy these shows! They introduce children to live theater in a setting that is accessible. Children can talk quietly during the performances, attend pre-show workshops, and the shows are all around one hour long.

We’ve found the performances to be thoughtful, engaging, and fun!

While season tickets are sold out for the 2018-2019 season, you can purchase individual tickets for the remaining shows, which include “The Rainbow Fish,” “Emily Brown and the Thing,” and “Junie B. Jones.”

Grossology and Spooktacular Science

Since Sunday was rainy and cold, we decided to spend time indoors with two of Jeffrey’s godparents: Amanda and Scott (follow their super fun adventures on Tow for the Road!)

img_6226

The Great Lakes Science Center was hosting their Halloween party, Spooktacular Science, with monster dance parties, glow-in-the-dark slime, and exploding pumpkins.

We also got to check out the newest exhibit: Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body.

img_6231

Grossology teaches visitors the facts and science behind farts, burps, pimples, mucus, and a host of other, well, gross functions of our bodies.

img_6232

It’s fun, colorful, and super hands-on, all of which Jeffrey just loved!

img_6236

Grossology is now open and included with your admission to the Great Lakes Science Center.

So that was our weekend (plus). How was yours? Did you have some pre-Halloween fun?

jenclesig_pur