Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend, which is exactly what I needed after just returning from a trip (and traveling again this week!)

Yoga Roots 30+ Social

On Saturday evening, I attended a social for everyone who reached 30 or more classes in the Yoga Roots fall challenge. Of 186 people who participated in the fall challenge, 27 of us reached 30+ classes!

Held at the home of studio owners Scott and Kim, the social was a great chance to celebrate reaching 30+ classes, meet other yogis, and see each other in something other than yoga pants! I was surprised how many of us didn’t know each other, just from being on different class schedules!

There were delicious nibbles from the studio’s neighbors: Gigi’s on Fairmount and On the Rise. I could eat Gigi’s bruschetta and On the Rise’s raspberry bars all day! And there were custom cookies from Sarah, one of the Yoga Roots teachers.

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I’ve talked before about really finding a home at Yoga Roots and Saturday night was just another example of why that is so true. Yoga Roots is genuinely a community, not just a studio, which is what keeps me coming back (and has me geared up for the spring challenge, too)!

Family Yoga

Sunday morning, we attended the monthly Family Yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. This has become one of our favorite family activities. Each month, the class is a bit different, but always explores mindful movement, breath work, and meditation in a way that’s fun for all ages.

This month, the kids participated in an obstacle course that involved my friend Robin and I being bridges in both down dog and plank as the kids crawled under us!

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So, we got some exercise in too! The next Family Yoga class takes place Sunday, April 14, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Cost to attend is free for Mandel JCC members and $10 for non-members. You can sign up online.

Piston Powered Auto-Rama

On Sunday, my dad took Jeffrey to the I-X Center for the Piston Powered Auto-Rama.

A love for cars is something Dad and Jeffrey have shared basically since Jeffrey was born and seeing the joy they both get from sharing car experiences is so fulfilling.

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Jeffrey got to sit in the world’s fastest car…

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…as well as see dragons and robots, so the afternoon was a total win for him!

St. Patrick’s Day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my parents’ house, with plenty of corned beef and Great Lakes Brewing Company Conway’s Irish Ale.

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It was a lovely, quiet weekend! How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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.

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We loved…

 

…and lost.

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

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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? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend filled with lots of pre-Halloween festivities. Let’s get right to it!

Haunted Hayrides

On Friday, we attended one of our favorite Halloween traditions: the Haunted Hayrides at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark.

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We boarded the wagon and wound our way through a not-too-scary forest filled with fun decorations and enthusiastic actors.

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Once we departed the wagon, we could choose from the scary or not-scary path for some Halloween festival fun. We chose the not-scary path and enjoyed playground equipment, tasty food vendors like Corbo’s, and a glow-stick dance party.

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The Haunted Hayrides sell out quickly every year, so stay tuned next year for information on ticket sales!

Fall Fest

On Saturday, we attended the Fall Fest for the Early Childhood grades at Hathaway Brown School. Jeffrey got to debut his awesome T-Rex Halloween costume (from Pottery Barn Kids)…

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…pick a pumpkin to decorate and play fun Halloween-themed games.

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Plus, there was cider and donuts from Patterson Fruit Farm…a fall classic! We always enjoy these school parties that let the kids (and parents) connect outside of glass and have a great time!

Dinner at Red and Eagles Concert

Saturday evening, my dad and I had tickets to see the Eagles at Quicken Loans Arena (thanks, Mom!) We started our evening with dinner at Red, the Steakhouse. Dad and I made our own surf and turf with a pound of king crab legs and a 22-ounce bone-in ribeye.

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Both were perfection! We also shared the stuffed hot peppers for an appetizer and the classic creme brulee for dessert. What a great meal!

Then it was off to the concert. This was honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Vince Gill and Deacon Frey (Glenn Frey’s son) did an incredible job filling Glenn Frey’s shoes.

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The hometown crowd loved all the Joe Walsh numbers, of course. The Eagles played two and a half hours of solid music and sounded incredible!

But for me, the best part of the evening was the chance to connect with my dad. We share an appreciation for classic rock (and a good steak), but we don’t often get the chance to do things just the two of us. So the evening was really special and not just because the concert was so great!

Boo at the Zoo

On Sunday, we participated in another favorite Halloween tradition: Boo at the Zoo at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

From trick or treating…

…to a dance party…

…to the awesome new decorations, we love the classic Boo at the Zoo fun and there’s always something new to discover each year, too.

There’s still one weekend of Boo at the Zoo, happening Friday, October 26 through Sunday, October 28. You can purchase tickets online.

So, that was our fun, fall, festive weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was one of my favorite weekends of the summer: the weekend of our annual backyard BBQ. But that wasn’t the only fun this weekend. Let’s get to it…

Swensons Drive-In

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I found ourselves in need of lunch, so I pulled us into Swensons Drive-In.

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Swensons has a crazy cult following and it’s easy to see why. The service is fast and friendly and the food is cheap and delicious! Jeffrey loved the novelty of having a tray of food hooked onto our car window!

He enjoyed the kid’d hot dog and I dove into a cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, and pickle.

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It’s fast food that totally lives up to the hype. Oh, and don’t skip the milkshakes!

Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival

On Friday night, I stopped up at the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival.

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This festival combines the best in Irish food, beer, and music into one fun-filled weekend. There were creative Irish food options like the Irish eggrolls and Reuben raft from Hooley House and the Irish street corn from Gunselman’s Tavern.

I also got to hear a variety of live music at various stages around the Festival, some of which was paired with traditional Irish dancing, too!

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The Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival attracts nationally-known musical acts, which adds to the excitement of the weekend. It was a fun Friday night raising a pint to lots of Irish traditions!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival. In exchange, I received complimentary admission tickets, as well as $10 in food tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Annual Backyard BBQ

When Matthew and I moved into this house just over six years ago, we knew we had a great house and yard for entertaining. So we started a tradition of hosting a summer backyard BBQ, which has evolved from lots of beer drinking by the fire into the wee hours to lots of kids running around.

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It’s always one of our favorite evenings of the summer! My dad mans the grill and makes burgers, hot dogs, and Italian sausage sandwiches. Everyone gets a chance to just relax and have fun. One of the best parts of the evening is how well friends from different places in our lives come together.

People have actually gotten to know each other through coming to this event each year! I was especially excited this year to get to hug my friend Beth, who had completed the Velosano ride that morning!

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A great new addition to the BBQ was the Bunch o Balloons, which are water balloons that fill a bunch at once and self-tie.

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Water fun doesn’t get easier than this! The weather was perfect (despite lots of predictions of rain all week) and we had an amazing summer evening that ended with this kind of silly fun…

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It doesn’t get any better!

Sunday was spent cleaning up from Saturday and making this delicious Portuguese barbecue chicken to pair with my Heinen’s Portuguese wine finds.

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Market at the Food Bank!

Last night, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s impressive and functional warehouse space was transformed into a huge foodie party featuring some of Cleveland’s top restaurants.

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The annual Market at the Food Bank event brought together food, libations, live music, and fabulous auction items, all to raise money for the Harvest for Hunger campaign.

One of my favorite parts about Market at the Food Bank is getting to see the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s warehouse space. It really drives home who and what this fundraiser supports.

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Some of our favorite nibbles of the night were the steak skewers from Ruth’s Chris Steak House (so tender!), the crab and seaweed salad served on shrimp chips from Pearl of the Orient

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…the lobster and potato pierogi from Strip Steakhouse (pictured above), the s’mores dessert from BRIM Kitchen and Brewery which paired perfectly with their stout (I live way too close to this yumminess)…

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…the spicy jambalaya made with our favorite Pope’s Kitchen Bloody Mary mix…

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…the pork belly skewers from Market Garden Brewery

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…and my favorite of the evening: a mini waffle cone stuffed with mac ‘n cheese and fried chicken with Sriracha honey drizzle from University Hospitals.

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What a tasty evening! We also scored a big win at the silent auction: a Goodyear racing tire autographed by Dale Ernhardt, Jr. for a Father’s Day present for my dad (obvi, dad’s not a big blog reader).

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What better gift for a racing fan who owns a tire business?! Plus, it was a donation to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank!

Market at the Food Bank is always an impressive evening that not only raises money, but puts attendees in touch with where their donations are going. Cheers to another successful year!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help promote Market at the Food Bank. In exchange, I received two general admission tickets for myself and two general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from my Friday evening sweat session, there was a lot of other fun to be had this weekend. Let’s get to it…

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

On Friday, Jeffrey and I met up with friends for a fun play date at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.

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I love how bright, open, and engaging the new Museum is! And I’m not the only one…the Museum was packed on Friday! From building cars to making crafts to caring for cats…

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…Jeffrey had a great time and burned off a lot of that stuck-inside winter energy.

After the Museum, we headed for lunch at a spot that makes both kids and adults happy: Mama Santa’s in Little Italy.

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Pro tip: if you’re at any of the museums with your kiddos and heading there, give them a call and they’ll have your pizza ready to eat when you arrive!

New Year, New Beauty at The Beauty Room

Saturday afternoon, I popped into The Beauty Room for a blowout and some bubbles at their New Year, New Beauty open house.

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Aside from getting a killer blowout, there was a photo booth, snacks, skincare consultations, and lots of fun gifts and prizes. It was a great event to thank current clients and introduce new people to this fabulous finishing salon.

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Kimberly can certainly plan a great party!

AECOM Holiday Party

There was a reason I needed a killer blowout, which was because we had Matthew’s work holiday party on Saturday night. We got to take part in a murder mystery themed “Killigan’s Island.”

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Floriano Productions put on an entertaining romp through figuring out “who dunnit,” which got people talking and working together and helped break some of the awkward corporate party vibe.

This was my first experience with a murder mystery dinner and I definitely want to try my detective skills at another one!

Great Lakes Science Center

On Sunday morning, we went with my parents to the Great Lakes Science Center. It’s a toss-up who enjoyed All Aboard! The Science of Trains more: Jeffrey or my dad.

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This exhibit is open through February 19, so don’t miss your chance to explore the rails!

From railway fun to space adventures, it was a great family morning at the Great Lakes Science Center!

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This was a perfect way for my dad and Jeffrey to connect over common interests!

Puppies and Pilates at Soza Fitness and Wellness

From science to snuggles, I spent my afternoon at Puppies and Pilates at Soza Fitness and Wellness.

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The event combined an hour-long pilates class with the chance to play with some adorable, adoptable pups from the Parma Animal Shelter.

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You could also sign an anti-puppy mill petition, purchase dog treats and clothes, and make donations to the Shelter. If you’re interested in getting fit with the fuzzes, Soza Fitness and Wellness is hosting another Puppies and Pilates class on Sunday, March 4. Cost to attend is $17.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Welcome to the time of year where every weekend is so packed with fun and festivities that they might burst. So, let’s get right to it!

Pajamas and Popcorn

On Friday night, Jeffrey’s school hosted Pajamas and Popcorn, a family movie night with pizza, popcorn, kids in PJs, and cookies.

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The movie was “Horton Hears a Who,” so there were also cute Dr. Seuss photo opps. It was a really cute idea and a fun way to ease Jeffrey into the movie theater experience.

The Capital Grille

On Saturday night, we met up with my parents to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with dinner at The Capital Grille.

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I started with the Blackberry Bourbon Sidecar, because apparently I like cocktails with bourbon now. I’m clearly growing as a person. Matthew and I also shared the lightly-breaded calamari with cherry peppers that give it a nice kick.

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For my entrée, I decided to be the only non-red meat eater at the table because I just couldn’t resist the evening’s fish special: grilled swordfish topped with crab gratin.

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Paired with a nice Sauvignon Blanc, this meal had lots of delicate flavors that were executed perfectly. Swordfish is one of my favorite fish and when you top it with crab…wow! My dad ordered the lamb chops, which received rave reviews!

For dessert, Matthew ordered the warm double chocolate cake with port-wine cherries and I had the apple crostada.

Each was the perfect compliment to our meal. We have never been less than totally impressed with the food and the service at The Capital Grille. And during the holiday season (until December 30), The Capital Grille will also be open for lunch from 12-3pm.

Breakfast with Santa

Sunday morning, we attended the John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa. The event includes a Mass, a toy collection for Bellefaire JCB, breakfast, and of course a visit with Santa!

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My favorite part of this event has been how my friends and I have used it as a chance to gather with our kids. I spent the morning with people I’ve known for 18 years (whoa) and got to see our kids forming friendships with each other too. It’s really special, especially being up on campus with our future Carroll students!

If you’re a John Carroll alum, you have another chance to celebrate the season on campus at the annual Christmas Reception this Wednesday, December 6. It’s truly one of my favorite events of the year, so don’t miss it!

Om for the Holidays Cleveland

While Jeffrey was napping away his Santa-induced exhaustion, I headed to Om for the Holidays Cleveland.

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The rainbow in this pic. I just can’t. @namastenik led an awesome flow!

Om for the Holidays was the brainchild of Angela from Universal Architect and Scare Your Soul. It brought together not only some amazing merchants for holiday shopping…

…but also live music, coaching, community-building, and yoga.

What better way to kick off the busy holiday month than with an opportunity to not only accomplish some holiday gift-buying, but also a chance to nurture your soul with like-minded folks?

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Merry Everything, indeed!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours? Is Christmas crazy starting to creep into your life yet?

jenclesig_pur

 

 

Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend filled with homey holiday parties, which are always a favorite way to celebrate the season!

But first, on Friday morning, we had a holiday sing-along at Jeffrey’s school. I wasn’t sure how getting a class filled with 2 and 3 year olds to sing anything together would work, but I was excited to see the sure-to-be-adorable result.

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The kids danced and jingle belled along with some cute snowman, angel, and dreidel songs. The music teacher did a wonderful job not only showcasing what the kids had learned, but making the parents feel a part of the event. It was Jeffrey’s first assembly and I can’t wait to be in the audience cheering for him for years to come!

On Friday evening, we had one of my favorite holiday traditions: “TWC Christmas.” It’s such a great chance for friends to get together, eat lots of food, drink some bubbly, exchange crazy White Elephant gifts, and generally celebrate the holiday together.

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This year, we had a very special addition to the party in one Baby Brenna. So add in baby snuggles to the party and everyone had a perfect time!

We enjoyed pizza from Pizzeria Cerino,  plus homemade contributions like cranberry Boursin dip, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, and meatballs. I’m always so grateful to have time with friends to just relax during this busy time of year!

On Saturday, there was much more food to be eaten, as my mom had Matthew, his dad, and me over for a fabulous holiday feast. From blue crab tomato bisque…

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to prime rib and twice-baked potatoes…

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…to a delicious eggnog pudding pie made with Hartzler’s Eggnog (and an adorable elf cake from Michael Angelo’s for Jeffrey)…

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everything was delicious! My mom always outdoes herself with hosting!

Plus, while we were over at their house, my dad had the chance to take Jeffrey to see a spot-on replica of Mater (from “Cars”) that lives near them. Jeffrey was so excited to see a life-sized version of one of his favorite characters!

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On Sunday, I hosted a Mary Kay party with a few of my lovely gal pals. I’m always apprehensive about hosting something like this because I like to just have friends over without them feeling pressure to buy something or do something.

But despite my apprehension, we had a great time, fueled by cranberry martinis, Buffalo chicken dip, Kahlua cake, and lots of laughter. And I actually ended up purchasing some eye shadow and serum, too.

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So, that was our weekend! And now I’m feeling that last-minute Christmas crunch, so I’ll be hitting the shops today for sure. How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a long, family-and-turkey filled weekend, so let’s get right into it! We had two Thanksgiving dinners: one on Wednesday night and one on Thursday. On Wednesday, we went to Matthew’s sister’s house. Our contributions to the dinner were a butternut squash side dish (recipe here) and this adorable turkey cake from Michael Angelo’s Bakery.

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The cake was as tasty as it was cute and all the kids (big and small) loved it!

On Thursday, we had my family over for Thanksgiving. Since I graduated from law school, I’ve been preparing our Thanksgiving dinner and I really love doing it! From my great grandmother’s pumpkin pie recipe to Eastern European favorites like dumplings and sauerkraut, the table is filled with traditional foods.

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This year, I took advice that I received at Pier W’s Tour of Italy wine dinner and served Prosecco with both dinner and dessert. It was a crowd-pleaser and paired well with all the foods!

Friday was spent picking out our Christmas tree…

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…and starting to decorate the house, too. Jeffrey has his own small tree in his room, which he really loves!

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Saturday evening, we headed downtown for Winterfest, which returned to Public Square this year. Before heading to the tree lighting, we stopped in at the Keep it Local Cleveland Winter Market, with lots of great local artisans like Pope’s Kitchen, Fear’s Confections, and Distinct CLE Crates, and a visit with this guy, too!

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Then it was off to Public Square for the lighting of the giant Christmas tree, as well as all the other trees and displays around the Square.

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The new Public Square has quickly become a favorite gathering place and it’s so nice to see the lights and ice rink back there this year, too. I always went to the tree lighting with my mom as a kid and I love continuing that tradition with Jeffrey.

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Winterfest has grown to encompass so many different areas of downtown, with shopping, music, ice skating, and all kinds of family-friendly activities. After the tree lighting, we popped over to Bloom Bakery for complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, which was the perfect sweet way to end the evening!

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On Sunday, we went to dinner at The Capital Grille for my Dad’s birthday. Even after all the Thanksgiving eating, we somehow found room for more food! I ordered the bone-in ribeye with porcini dust and aged balsamic. So rich, so perfectly cooked, so good!

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Our table shared side dishes of mushroom risotto, wild mushrooms, and sweet creamed corn with bacon. Matthew and I also shared the lobster and crab cakes for our appetizer and my Dad’s complimentary birthday dessert of a mini cheesecake and mini espresso flourless cake was delicious, too!

And you might not believe it, but The Capital Grille really is family-friendly! Jeffrey loved his cheeseburger and ice cream trio. Our server was attentive and friendly to his needs and we all had a wonderful experience! This is a steakhouse that really delivers!

So, that was our weekend! A seamless transition from one holiday to the next and lots of fun, too! How was your Thanksgiving weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Happy Halloween! It was a fun-filled weekend with lots of holiday-  and Indians-related festivities. On Friday, Matthew, Jeffrey, and I went to the Halloween Hay Ride at the Lake Metroparks Farm Park.

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The Halloween Hay Ride involves a not-too-scary ride through the Farmpark, with lots to see from Peanuts to pirate ships to Chewbacca (the only thing that scared Jeffrey).

Once you’re done with the Hay Ride, there are activities to enjoy, such as a glow dance party, hay maze, concessions, playground equipment, and more.

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There are two post-hay ride path options: scary and not-scary. This makes the event great for all ages! Jeffrey also got to enjoy a pony ride!

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I’m always so impressed with the Farmpark’s special events. They are well-planned, adorable, and offer a lot for a wide range of ages. We will definitely be jumping on the Country Lights tickets, which go on sale tomorrow morning for Farmpark members and Lake County residents (general public on sale November 8).

Saturday morning, we were off for more Halloween fun at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History‘s Owls and Howls party.

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We met up with Jeffrey’s cousins Leila and Hannah and enjoyed not only the museum itself, but craft stations like decorating picture frames and pumpkins and making banana “ghosts” and special animal presentations.

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This is the second year we’ve attended Owls and Howls and we always have a wonderful time!

Saturday evening, Mom and I went out to dinner and to watch the Indians game. We chose the bar at Fahrenheit for the right combination of delicious food and being able to watch the game. We started with the chicken spring rolls and grilled avocado with goat cheese.

That grilled avocado…amazing! Mom chose the pork chop for her entrée, served with creamed sweet corn and carmelized Brussel sprouts. The sides alone would make this a great choice, but the pork chop was also juicy and delicious!

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I went with a special for the evening: seared lamb paired with lamb Bolognese. From the homemade pasta to the brightness of the peas and orange in the sauce to the rich flavor of the seared lamb, this dish was spot on!

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And of course we couldn’t pass up dessert: banana cream pie for Mom and chocolate chip cookie dough pot de crème for me (let that sink in…it was heaven).

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We had such a fun time eating, drinking, talking, and cheering! I can remember friends taking me to Fahrenheit back in 2003 before I moved to DC as a way to entice me to move back to Cleveland after law school (it worked, too). And Fahrenheit remains just as delicious today!

On Sunday, we took Jeffrey to Mall-o-Ween at SouthPark Mall. This was our first time going mall trick or treating and I was unprepared for how crazy crowded it would be! But Jeffrey had a great time and came home with lots of good candy (we snag the Reese’s cups and 100 Grand bars for ourselves).

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We had lunch at the just-opened Bar Louie at SouthPark. The burgers were tasty, but the service and kitchen are working out some hiccups (which is understandable when it’s been open for all of 3 days).

Still, it was a great spot for lunch after the candy craziness!

That was our weekend! Have a great Halloween and rest up for another late night of baseball on Tuesday!

jenclesig_pur