Why? Weekends!

Phew! It was a super busy weekend in the CLE! Here’s what we were up to:

Cleveland Goes Red Luncheon

On Friday, I donned a sassy red dress and headed to the Cleveland American Heart Association‘s Go Red for Women Luncheon.

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The event kicks off with a fun and educational expo, with health screenings, CPR training, heart-healthy Jeopardy, photo opps, silent auctions, and more.

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I brought my best little buddy and biggest motivator to stay heart healthy with me! He had a great time too!

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After the expo, we headed into the luncheon, which not only featured a tasty, heart-healthy meal, but also speakers sharing their personal heart health stories and doctors sharing information on how to be heart healthy and recognize signs and symptoms of a heart attack, which are very different in women than in men.

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The theme of this year’s luncheon was “Everyone Plays a Role,” which is really true. From donating to the American Heart Association to educating ourselves and others, we all can help to reduce heart disease as the number one killer of women. I know I want my heart to be strong and healthy so that I can enjoy life with Jeffrey!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Cleveland American Heart Association Go Red for Women Luncheon. In exchange, I received a complimentary ticket to the luncheon. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Vodka Vodka

On Friday night, Matthew and I went to Cleveland Scene‘s Vodka Vodka event at Red Space.

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The event included vodka cocktails from Skyy Vodka, Three Olives, Tito’s, and Amsterdam Vodka.

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I really liked the Skyy Pineapple Apple Spritzer and the Tito’s Cosmo, which was made with Cleveland’s own Pope’s Kitchen mixers.

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You could also grab tasty, vodka-soaked treats like strawberries and gummy bears.

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And enjoy truffles made with liquor from The Bom.

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The tunes were pumping with a great DJ and there was a fashion show featuring local boutiques like Whiskey Grade and Tres Sorelle.

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The atmosphere was clubby, energetic, diverse, and fun! I do enjoy a vodka cocktail and when you add in lots of local fun too, you have the makings of a great Friday night.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Cleveland Scene’s Vodka Vodka. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Hot Mommas at JBB

Playhouse Square Partners Jump Back Ball is right around the corner and this year, we are going with a group of friends who have never been to the event before. So, in order to fully chat dresses and jewelry and all the trimmings of the evening, we had a girls night in.

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We’ve dubbed our group “Hot Mommas at JBB” and you can see why, obviously. I can’t wait to share one of my favorite evenings in town with these fabulous friends!

Yoga/Brunch

I really love that Alicia has increased her Yoga/Brunch offerings at Dante Next Door, because it means I can enjoy this perfect way to kick off Sunday Funday even more often.

My friend Beth and I met up and practiced a strengthening, opening, Alicia-patented wonderful flow. Then we headed downstairs to Dante Next Door for mimosas and brunch. I couldn’t pass up the crab cake Benedict.

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The crab cakes are meaty, the eggs are perfectly cooked, and the Hollandaise adds just the right lemony tang.

The Yoga/Brunch events are a great way to spend a Sunday morning. $15 gets you an hour-long yoga flow, plus a complimentary mimosa or coffee afterwards. You have two more chances in February: the 11th and the 25th. Click here to register.

The rest of Super Bowl Sunday was spent vegging with the Puppy Bowl, Justin Timberlake, and “This is Us.” How was your weekend?

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Why? GrooveRyde!

On Friday night, a group of fabulous Clevelanders gathered at GrooveRyde Downtown, brought together by one of my favorite Cleveland movers and shakers, Alicia. The evening was called “Cleveland Connects,” which we did, not only with GrooveRyde, but with each other!

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Anjua and Zosimo, the husband and wife team behind GrooveRyde, welcomed us to their new downtown location and took us through shortened versions of three of their signature workouts. And thanks to the awesome attendees, the energy in the room kept us going through all three!

We started with Beat Box, a boxing/boot camp combination that got your heart pumping and your muscles burning. What a way to work out the week’s aggressions!

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Next up was Groove Cycle, a to-the-beat cycling class that combined sweat and motivation for an awesome ride!

Finally, Anjua introduced us to Buti Yoga, which combines yoga with tribal dance and natural, sensual movement.

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That’s the description, at least. I’m pretty sure my Buti Yoga didn’t look that natural, but Anjua assured us that it’s something that takes practice to both understand the movements and let go of inhibitions.

After the scorching workouts, we had a chance to refuel and refresh with goodies from Raw Trainer (OMG, their notcho cheese is the best thing ever)…

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The RefreshinQ Co., whose muscle cream definitely got me through a sore day-after…

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…and NOOMA, The Beauty Room, and Lululemon Crocker Park.

Anjua also talked to us about GrooveRyde’s “Heart and Hustle” philosophy.

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The idea is to find what it is your heart wants and then put in the hustle to make it happen. It’s still going to be work, but you’ll enjoy it! And it’s clear the GrooveRyde crew enjoys where they’re putting in their hustle!

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For an awesome workout from a passionate group of people, whether you like boxing, spinning, or yoga, check out GrooveRyde, either Downtown or Woodmere. And stay tuned for their new location coming to the Van Aken District.

***I was invited to attend the complimentary Cleveland Connects event at GrooveRyde. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

So, the theme for this past weekend is: “Staying in is the new going out.” It wasn’t even because of the weather…we just had a lot of plans to hang out at friends’ houses and it was pretty perfect!

Taco Bar Night

On Saturday, we hung out with friends Ritch and Denise and their kiddos. We had a build-your-own-taco bar and the kids had lots of fun playing their version of rock band…

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…and superheroes (I had some fun with that, too).

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I volunteered to bring dessert and made this delicious and easy apple crisp (recipe here).

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Top it with some Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream and you have the perfect sweet end to a fun evening!

Yoga/Brunch

The only thing more likely than yoga to pull me out of hibernation is the combination of yoga, brunch, and two of my best babes. I met up with Kimberly for Alicia‘s Yoga/Brunch at Dante Next Door on Sunday morning.

A perfectly-paced yoga flow centered on balance in the new year was followed by a perfectly chatty brunch.

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Alicia is such an inspiring and motivating teacher! And the chance for some good girl time and pancakes after class made this an even more wonderful Sunday morning!

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The berry pancakes at Dante Next Door are not to be missed! You can check out another session of Yoga/Brunch this Sunday, January 21 or Sunday, February 4, 11, or 25. Cost is $15 for an hour-long yoga class, plus a complimentary mimosa or coffee at brunch. Click here to register.

Pasta Perfection

Sunday evening, I stayed on the carb train with our friends Melissa and Tim. They make homemade pasta every Sunday and invited us over to not only eat, but help make the pasta!

 

I had never made pasta before and the process was really fun, especially sharing it with friends! And the end result was SO delicious!

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Melissa’s homemade sauce was the perfect compliment to the pasta. And after eating such fresh pasta, I don’t think I’ll ever eat boxed noodles again!

It was such a fun weekend and, except for the necessary yoga and mimosa, I’m pretty sure that staying in is the new going out! Who’s having us over next weekend?!

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Why? Weekends!

Other than our road trip to Columbus, there was plenty of other fun to keep us busy this weekend…

Duck Donuts

While we were down in Columbus, we took the recommendation of our fellow bloggers and made a stop at Duck Donuts. Duck Donuts makes hot, fresh vanilla cake donuts, to which you can add your choice of glazes, sprinkles, and drizzles.

They also make donut sundaes, which is what Matthew and I decided to order.

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The cake donut was moist and delicious, but what I learned is, much like Barrio or Happy Dog, I can’t be trusted to created my own delicious flavor combinations. I’m an order-from-the-menu girl.

Disney on Ice

Saturday night, we took Jeffrey to see Disney on Ice at Quicken Loans Arena. I can remember going to see Disney on Ice as a kid, so it was really special to be able to share the experience with Jeffrey.

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This year’s show is themed “Dare to Dream” and focuses on Disney’s strong female heroines, from Cinderella to Belle to Moana.

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Jeffrey loved the show! Disney on Ice is still at the Q for more performances from Thursday, January 11 through Sunday, January 14. If you click here and use code WHYCLE, you can save up to $10 on your tickets. It’s a fun family experience that’s full of magic!

Free Community Yoga with Awake to My Soul YTT

When I started practicing yoga, my first teacher was Ylonda, who spoiled me from the get-go by teaching an amazing blend of fired-up workout and soulful inspiration. Ylonda recently started her own yoga teacher training. And now her teacher trainees are offering free community classes every Sunday at Praxis Fiber Workshop in the Waterloo Arts District to help them gain teaching experience.

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Praxis Fiber Workshop is an awesome, artsy space and it provided the perfect location for a Sunday morning sweat session. If you’re interested, the free classes are offered every Sunday at 10:30am and will be taught by a different Awake to My Soul YTT trainee. It’s an awesome way to get some yoga in your day and help a future amazing yoga teacher, too.

Sunday Funday

Sunday evening, we had the perfect staying-in Sunday Funday with some of our favorite friends.

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We had lots of delicious food from Café Melissa

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…lots of laughs and catching up time and just a great evening belatedly ringing in the new year.

How was your weekend? Are you ready for this week’s “heat wave?”

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Why? Watershed Distillery!

On Saturday, Matthew and I took a little road trip down to Columbus for a tour and tasting at Watershed Distillery. We were already fans of Watershed vodka, so the chance to try more of their spirits with some fellow Cleveland bloggers was a big enough carrot to warrant a drive down 71 South.

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We were greeted at Watershed with a punch made from apple brandy, bourbon-barrel gin, bitters, lemon, and bubbles. The drink was clean, crisp, and nice balance of sweet and bitter flavors. And we got to enjoy at the lovely bar in Watershed’s Kitchen & Bar.

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Next up was a tour of Watershed’s distillery, which is founded in the idea that success requires hard work and that those who enjoy success should give back to the community. In fact, the name Watershed is the company’s shorthand for community and that theme extends throughout Watershed and into the surrounding community.

Watershed’s production facility is impressive and designed to create the highest-quality spirits.

Watershed uses corn and apples as the base for their vodka and those ingredients are sourced from Ohio. We got to sample the vodka; four-peel gin, which uses lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange peels for a more citrus-forward gin; and the distillery-exclusive Guild Series gin, which was finished with chamomile.

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My favorite of these was the four-peel gin, which has a light, citrus taste that made it more palatable to me than most gins.

We also got to sample Watershed’s barrel-aged spirits: bourbon-barrel gin, bourbon, old fashioned (basically the classic cocktail in a one-step pour), and apple brandy.

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I might have to take back everything I ever said about bourbon, because I drank this one straight and actually liked it! Oh, and the apples for the apple brandy come from a farm near Cleveland, so I think we’re obligated to drink a lot of it!

After the tour of the distillery and tasting the spirits straight (including the amazing Nocino, which reminds me of a spiced wine liquor), it was time for some snacks and a cocktail demonstration.

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Watershed’s Kitchen & Bar cocktail menu changes seasonally. Currently, the menu is creatively modeled on an IKEA catalog, down to the elements you need to create the drink, fun illustrations, and Scandinavian translations.

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The current Watershed cocktails are designed to be clean and minimalist, following the Scandinavian IKEA concept.  Rather than garnishing the glass with fruit, which creates a lot of waste, Watershed makes sprays of the various fruits to mist over the drinks when they are finished.

I enjoyed all three of the cocktails we got to sample, but my favorite was the Stock Home Syndrome, made with apple brandy, lemon, orgeat, and allspice dram, with a mist of Laphroaig. The drink is modeled after a late fall day and smelling leaves burning and it hits all the right notes!

The snacks from the Kitchen were delicious too!

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We enjoyed fried Brussel sprouts with black pepper honey, lemon, and mint; pork rinds with malt vinegar, Parmesan, and fermented hot sauce; crispy fingerling potatoes with roasted garlic, Parmesan, and rosemary aioli; and braised meatballs with stewed tomatoes, mixed grains, and cabbage.

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All of the food felt comforting and familiar, but also with enough of a twist to make it interesting. The Kitchen menu changes frequently, but you can check out a sample here.

If you’re down in Columbus, stop in to either the Kitchen & Bar for a drink and bite or take a tour of the Distillery (or both)! And the next time you’re shopping for spirits for a party, a gift, or just your average Tuesday, remember this carefully-crafted, incredibly-delicious, locally-committed company!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tour and tasting at Watershed Distillery with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

Holy holiday festivities, Batman! What a busy, fun weekend! Let’s get to it:

TWC Christmas

One of our most-anticipated holiday evenings is TWC Christmas. “TWC” stands for the “Tri-County Wives Club,” a silly shorthand that Alicia, Amanda, Kimberly, and I came up with for our little group.

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Every year at Christmastime, we gather for way too much food, lots of bubbles and beer, a hilarious White Elephant gift exchange, and games.

It’s a relaxing night in the middle of a crazy time of year and a wonderful chance for all of us to see each other before we’re off to family commitments.

This year, we played a new game: What Do You Meme? (thanks, Jessa!). It led to lots of laughs, plus Amanda and I trying to create a new Obama-Biden meme.

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It was another merry TWC Christmas!

Cavs Wine & Gold Nation Breakfast with Santa – *sponsored*

On Sunday morning, Matthew, Jeffrey, and I went to the Cavs Wine & Gold Nation Breakfast with Santa at Quicken Loans Arena, a complimentary event for Wine & Gold Nation members and their families.

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There was so much to see and do, from visits with the Cavs Girls and mascots…

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…to crafts like making reindeer and snowmen…

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…to story time with the Cleveland Public Library to donuts and coffee to enjoy…

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…to a visit with Santa Claus, of course. I think Santa got a lot of requests for another Cavs championship!

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It was a fun morning and a great benefit of Cavs Wine & Gold Nation membership, which is definitely focusing on families and experiences outside just the games themselves. Cavs Wine & Gold Nation has memberships for all age levels that make great Christmas gifts!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Cavs Wine & Gold Nation membership. In exchange, I received a complimentary Cavalittles membership for Jeffrey. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Mapleside Breakfast with Santa

Because why wouldn’t you go to two breakfasts with Santa in one day? We are insane(ly festive). Our next Sunday stop was at Mapleside Farms for their first annual Breakfast with Santa.

We enjoyed a full breakfast buffet in the beautiful and rustic Mapleside Barn, with visits from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Grinch.

After breakfast, we boarded a decorated wagon for a short ride over to the sweet shop to decorate (and eat) cupcakes…

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…and take a dunk in the chocolate fountain.

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Then it was another audience with Santa. Jeffrey is in this sweet spot of really understanding all the things that Christmas can mean, but also fully believing without question. It’s pretty magical this year!

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Our day ended with the create-your-own caramel apple bar, which is how days should end more often!

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Yum!

It was such a fun, festive weekend! How was yours?

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Why? The Rowley Inn!

Tucked away in Tremont, caddy-corner to A Christmas Story House, is a hidden gem of a restaurant: The Rowley Inn. This place has so many things I love in a Cleveland restaurant: friendly and fun, with plenty of kitsch, but also really amazing food and drink.

We started our evening with A Pink Nightmare, a tasty cocktail with 1800 Silver, Campari, lime juice, housemade simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and a splash of Sprite.

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The cocktails at The Rowley Inn are named from “A Christmas Story” and are as yummy as they are creatively named. I couldn’t pass up the Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine, with whipped cream vodka, Kahlua, half n half, and Ovaltine (of course).

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We also got to sample the Red Ryder, with Bulleit bourbon, lemon juice, maple, and cranberry. It’s possible that I don’t actually hate bourbon, because I thought this was delicious!

The Rowley Inn offers more than just great cocktails, though. The food is billed as Cleveland-style comfort food and that is the perfect categorization. Pierogi are featured prominently throughout the menu, so you know how I felt about that!

We started with two gloriously deep-fried starters: The Rowley Inn shrimp cocktail and the fried pickles.

These appetizers started a recurring theme for the night of LOVING the sauces and toppings that came with our food. Yes, the food itself was great, but the sauces elevated the dishes and showed an attention to detail and understanding of flavors that was truly impressive.

Next up was the Southwest chicken salad, with Cajun-rubbed chicken, avocado, black beans, corn, tortilla strips, and more.

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Yum! This salad was packed with fresh flavors and was a nice balance to all the heavy, comfort food we were eating.

One of our favorites of the evening was the chicken club, with avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, spicy mayo, and a walnut pesto that was to die for!

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I want to eat this all the time.

We also tried the Cleveland’s Best Grilled Cheese, with smoked gouda, a mozzarella/provolone blend, and a touch of mayo.

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OMG. I’m on grilled cheese overload because Jeffrey eats it all the time, but this was truly amazing.

Next up was the Cleveland burger, with pierogi, kielbasa, kraut, beer cheese, and stadium mustard.

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This burger still cheers for the Browns, wears shorts as soon as the temperature is above 60 degrees, and loves Drew Carey. It’s THAT Cleveland. And I love it THAT much.

You think we’re done? This is a Cleveland bar, my friend. We kept eating.

The Rowley Inn says their mac ‘n cheese is so good it’ll make you wanna slap your momma. Um, apologies to my lovely mother, but yes. Yes, it does.

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We also tried one of The Rowley Inn’s most original offerings: Loco Moski. This is their take on a traditional Hawaiian dish. Sauteed pierogi are topped with hamburger patty, fried egg, gravy, and caramelized onions.

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It’s like poutine. With pierogi. On crack.

We rounded out the savories (and our expanding bellies) with a sample of a brunch item: chicken and waffles with gravy and perfectly spicy hot sauce.

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The cinnamon waffles gave the dish the perfect balance of sweet and savory and makes me want to spend my Sunday Funday at The Rowley Inn for sure (with some more of that Ovaltine concoction too).

For dessert, it was more pierogi…

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These are candied apple pierogi, filled with cooked apples and topped with candied apple pieces and caramel candies. So original!

I was flat-out blown away by the dishes at The Rowley Inn. Comfort food can  incorporate elements that excite and challenge your palate. I love all the Cleveland memories wrapped into The Rowley Inn and I love the quality and imagination of the dishes.

The bar is open every day at 5:30am (for real) and the kitchen is open daily at 11am on weekdays and 8am on weekends. And if you stop in after a visit to A Christmas Story House, you can save 10% on your food bill! Make The Rowley Inn part of your holidays and beyond!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting dinner at The Rowley Inn with a guest. I also received a gift card to use on a future visit (which I will be making oh so soon). As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

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

Solon Fit Crawl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burntwood Tavern

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

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

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

Brenna’s First Birthday Party

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

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

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

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

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

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

This weather, right?! What a gorgeous weekend! And a busy one too…

Light the Night

On Friday evening, Jeffrey and I went up to Hathaway Brown for their Light the Night celebration, which kicks off homecoming weekend. From balloon artists to games to music to food trucks, there was something fun for every age.

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While the event was mainly to celebrate the high school athletes, Hathaway Brown did a great job of making even the youngest in the community feel welcome and engaged.

Halloweekends

Jeffrey loves Cedar Point and I love a fall festival, so Halloweekends is the perfect combination! The Great Pumpkin Fest transforms the kids’ areas of Cedar Point with trick-or-treat stations, hay bale mazes, pedal tractors, and non-spooky haunted house, and more Halloween fun.

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Plus, there are still all the favorite rides to enjoy! Jeffrey escorted Brenna on one of the car rides…how sweet are they?!

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Plus, the Halloween decorations throughout the park are impressive! There are tons of pumpkins everywhere, some creatively shaped, too!

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Plus, the summer-like weather and the chance to spend a day with some of our favorite people made Halloweekends quite the perfect day!

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Yoga and Brunch

On Sunday, I met up with my friend Beth for another round of Alicia‘s Yoga/Brunch series at Dante Next Door. After a challenging and centering practice, we headed downstairs to brunch. By happenstance, I knew almost all of the other yogis, so I not only had a chance to catch up with Beth, but chat with other Yoga/Brunch loving friends, too.

I’m working my way through the Dante Next Door brunch menu (it’s a tough job). This time, I chose the braised beef croissant, with shortrib, Gruyere, Dijon, and fried onions. The sandwich was so flavorful and tender!

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The flavors reminded me of French Onion soup, just in sandwich form. Delicious!

The next Yoga/Brunch is Sunday, October 22. $15 gets you an hour-long practice, plus a complimentary mimosa or coffee at brunch. Click here to register!

So, that was our weekend. How was yours? Did you enjoy the weather and cheer on the Indians?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Yoga Outside the Studio!

More and more, yoga is asking you to unroll your mat somewhere outside a studio. And while I love a good studio flow, I also can’t help but enjoy taking my practice out and about, especially in the summer.

Over the last week, I had a chance to practice in two awesome locations with amazing views that put a great angle on my practice.

Last week, Inner Bliss Yoga Studio hosted Bliss in the Ballpark, an hour-long vinyasa yoga practice at Progressive Field.

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We got to unroll our mats on the right field deck and practice facing out to the field. I may have set my intention for another World Series appearance!

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After the practice, we could stay and enjoy a beer in The Corner and get to know some of the other baseball-loving yogis. I definitely find that, more than in a studio class, these out-and-about yoga classes offer the chance for fellowship and community after class. Don’t get me wrong: that happens at a studio, but it takes time to build. People tend to stick around and chat more right away at these classes.

This Monday, my dear friend Alicia taught a yoga class nearby to Luca Italian Cuisine on the Superior Viaduct.

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With sweeping views of the city and Alicia’s wonderful teaching style, this is one of my favorite classes in recent memory. Alicia referenced the city and the views at the beginning, but wasn’t heavy-handed about it. She let her students find their own inspiration and meaning from the beautiful surroundings.

After class, we got to enjoy a glass of wine and appetizers at Luca Italian Cuisine. Again, everyone from the class gathered and had a chance to get to know each other better.

The yoga justifies the pasta and all the glorious Luca bread I ate, right?!

Yoga outside the studio can be fun, challenging, community-building, and an all around cool experience. Keep your eyes open for more such events like Alicia’s Yoga and Brunch series at Dante Next Door and Inner Bliss’ Believe in CLE event at the Rock Hall. And for my thoughts on other outside-the-studio yoga:

Where have you practiced outside the studio? And what did you think of it?

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