Why? Weekends!

It was another fun, festive weekend! Here’s what we were up to:

Brewnuts

On Friday, my mom watched Jeffrey for the day, so that I could have my self-proclaimed “Mommy’s Holiday Get Sh*t Done Day.” The day included gift shopping, grocery shopping, party prepping, and some time for me, too.

I started my day at Brewnuts, which I had been dying to get to since they opened their storefront in Gordon Square.

The store is as adorable as the donuts are tasty. Brewnuts are HUGE donuts and a great balance of sweet frosting and not-too-sweet dough. I had a hard time deciding which to get, but I chose the mint chocolate coffee, made to look like a Frappuccino.

IMG_8581

Yum! Brewnuts also has a large selection of craft beer and options to make your coffee or hot chocolate boozy.

IMG_8580

Whether you stop for a morning treat or an after-work libation and donut, Brewnuts is an awesome, funky, tasty place to try!

The Beauty Room

From there, it was time to pamper my long-neglected toes with a pedicure at The Beauty Room in Tremont.

IMG_8584

I met up with my girlfriend Kimberly, which meant that the pedicure was also good for my soul! Add in some pomegranate mimosas and you have the makings of a perfect morning!

IMG_8582

The Beauty Room is bright, inviting, and has a wonderful selection of products and services (everything from massages and facials to blowouts to manicures) to make you feel, well, beautiful! And starting my day with so much relaxation guaranteed a productive, low-stress remainder of the day at the stores.

Goodyear Blimp Toys for Tots Drive

On Saturday, Matthew, Jeffrey, my parents, and I drove down to the Goodyear Blimp hangar to participate in their annual Toys for Tots drive.

IMG_8623

For a donation to Toys for Tots, you get to drive through the Goodyear Blimp hangar and see the hangar and blimp all decked out for Christmas.

IMG_8598

Santa is also there to greet you, as well as Marine in full dress uniform to accept your donation.

Jeffrey loved getting to check out the blimp up close, as well as any chance to have even a brief audience with Santa.

IMG_8597

What a cool thing to be able to see and a great way to drive donations to a wonderful cause!

Jeffrey’s Holiday Play Date

For the third year in a row, we packed our house on Sunday with Jeffrey’s friends and their families for a holiday play date.

 

IMG_8630
The calm before the toddler storm 

 

We played winter carnival games, did a holiday book exchange, and generally had a fun, slightly chaotic, wonderful time.

And while the food at the party tends toward the simple pizza, cookies, and brownies, I did add in a new addition this year: spiced wine (recipe here).

IMG_8627

This was the perfect cozy treat and I loved that I could leave it in the slow cooker to stay warm for the entire party! Plus, anytime the toddler count in your house climbs to double digits, you need wine too.

The holiday play date has become one of our favorite traditions and I love the chance for everyone to get together in this festive season!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Advertisements

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.

IMG_8241

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.

IMG_8253

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.

IMG_8255

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.

IMG_8256

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!

IMG_8282

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.

IMG_8360
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?

IMG_8359

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 busy and fun weekend! Here’s what we were up to:

All Aboard! The Science of Trains

One of my favorite things about the Great Lakes Science Center is that it allows Jeffrey to learn through hands-on exploration. When you combine that philosophy with something Jeffrey already loves like trains, you’re bound to have a great experience!

From the moment you arrive at the Great Lakes Science Center, you’re greeted in a way that lets you know what the latest exhibit is all about.

 

IMG_7923

All Aboard! The Science of Trains is open through February 19 at the Great Lakes Science Center. Jeffrey loved taking a ride on the Dominion Energy Train…

IMG_7931

…as well as checking out the model trains from the National Model Railroad Association Ohio Division 4.

There are also hands-on exhibits that allow you to explore things like friction, power…

IMG_7945

…rail safety, and even the history of trains in Cleveland.

IMG_7947

There’s even a real Plymouth Switcher on the front lawn of the Great Lakes Science Center!

IMG_7954

All Aboard! The Science of Trains not only brings trains to life, but takes them beyond Thomas the Tank Engine to teach the science behind them.

IMG_7941

Check it out at the Great Lakes Science Center before February 19!

Punch Bowl Social 

All that train time worked up an appetite, so we picked up Matthew and headed to Punch Bowl Social Cleveland for lunch. We kicked off our Fri-yay with a sampler of the namesake punches.

IMG_7964

My favorite was the King’s Cup, with two kinds of rum, pineapple fennel seed shrub, white pear fuji apple tea, and lime juice.

We selected some of Punch Bowl Social’s newest menu items to enjoy. We started with the lobster bacon fries, generously topped with real lobster, bacon, creme fraiche, green onions, and cheddar cheese.

IMG_7960 (1)

These fries were rich and delicious and more than enough to share (although you might not want to!)

For our entrees, we went with seasonal comfort food. Matthew had the golden chicken pot pie, with chicken, tasso ham, vegetables, and mustard cream, topped with puff pastry.

IMG_7963

This was packed with delicious flavors and was the perfect winter dish!

I had the autumn pot roast, with whipped sweet potatoes and seasonal roasted vegetables.

IMG_7962

The roasted vegetables and whipped sweet potatoes were the perfect compliment to the tender beef.

And Jeffrey enjoyed his grilled cheese in between pretending to bowl.

IMG_7959 (1)

Punch Bowl Social really is a great spot for the whole family, from family-friendly brunch and lunch to adult fun in the evenings with great cocktails, bowling, and karaoke. And if you haven’t been in awhile, be sure to check out the delicious new seasonal menu items!

barre3, Bites, and Blog

On Saturday, I co-hosted “barre3, Bites, and Blog” with barre3 at Legacy Village.

IMG_7976

We had an awesome turnout of strong ladies, many of whom had never taken a barre class before. Liz Ferrante, the studio owner, led us through a challenging and centering hour-long class that gave those new to barre3 a great sense of what the classes entail.

IMG_0225

We laughed, sweat, and generally had a great time together! After class, we enjoyed some delicious and healthy nibbles generously provided by Luna Bakery & Cafe and Whole Foods.

IMG_0224

Luna made granola and yogurt cups with fresh berries and gluten-free lemon zucchini walnut muffins, which were amazingly moist and yummy! We also got to try some tasty Health Warrior chia bars and sparkling water courtesy of Whole Foods.

We also had fun raffles for the class attendees, with shirts from barre3 and some great local items purchased at Banyan Tree and Merchant’s Mrkt at Legacy Village.

IMG_7978

This event combined so many things I’m passionate about: fierce and inspiring ladies, local businesses supporting each other, and finding fitness that makes you feel strong and centered.

Thanks so much to Liz and the whole team at barre3 Legacy Village for making this event happen and to all the awesome ladies who spent part of their Saturday sweating and shaking with me!

So, how was your weekend?

***Disclosure: I was invited by the Great Lakes Science Center to visit All Aboard! The Science of Trains and received two complimentary admission tickets. I was invited by Punch Bowl Social to a complimentary lunch featuring new menu items. I was asked by barre3 Legacy Village to co-host and promote an event and in exchange, I received a complimentary 5-class pass. 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!

IMG_7635.jpg

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).

IMG_7628

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

IMG_7629 (1)

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

IMG_7631

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

IMG_7633

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.

IMG_7630 (1)

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.

IMG_7638

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!

IMG_7639

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!

IMG_7671

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!

IMG_7657

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? barre3, Bites, and Blog!

As you might have noticed, I’ve kind of gotten hooked on barre3 classes. I’ve been an exclusive yogi for so long that when my friend Sara dragged me to a barre3 class (with the promise of wine after), I went for the wine, let’s be honest.

But what I found at barre3 is an awesome fusion of barre, yoga, and Pilates that felt at once familiar and challenging. A barre3 class is an hour-long workout that targets your legs, arms, seat, and core. It gets your heart rate up, but also works in lots of good stretches too.

IMG_8297

The instructors are supportive and offer tons of modifications throughout the class. The studio is bright, light, and inviting. The jams are pumping. And the workout leaves you feeling strong and centered.

Since I started taking barre3 classes, I’ve been able to increase my hand weight level by a pound each. I’ve also noticed that my balance poses in yoga are stronger and more balanced because my core and seat are stronger. The classes really make a difference!

And barre3 offers a Play Lounge during select classes, where Jeffrey can have fun while I take my hour to work and reboot. We both have a great time and leave feeling refreshed. What could be better than that?

22195492_1647993975231824_1747727145687004370_n

Now, I think all of this should sell you on trying barre3. But I get that sometimes it takes a friend and some wine to motivate you to try a new workout. Which is where barre3, Bites, and Blog comes in.

Barre3 Why CLE Insta

On Saturday, November 18 at 1:30pm, join me at barre3 Legacy Village for a complimentary, hour-long Barre3 class taught by studio owner Liz Ferrante. Then stick around for some sips and nibbles, conversation with Liz and me, and some cool Cleveland-themed raffles.

I promise you that you’ll leave feeling great and you might even find a new workout to love! Space is limited, so register today! Click here to register for barre3, Bites, and Blog! I’m so excited to be partnering with a spot that I love. I hope you’ll join me and love it too!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Barre3 Legacy Village to partner on an event open to Why CLE? followers. In exchange, I will receive a complimentary class pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was another glorious fall weekend in Cleveland, this one packed with lots of family fun! Here’s what we did:

Halloween Hayrides

On Friday, we headed to Lake Metroparks Farmpark for the Halloween Hayrides.

IMG_2820

We started with a hayride past several fun, not-too-spooky stations with everything from traditional Halloween scenes…

IMG_2828

…to movie characters…

IMG_7121

…to cute decorations.

IMG_7117

The hayride drops you off where you can select your path: scary or not scary. We stuck with the not scary side, where we enjoyed glow dancers…

IMG_2836

…festive decorations…

IMG_7152

…and yummy concessions (Corbo’s Bakery apple fritters are not to be missed.)

Before we left, Jeffrey had to take a pony ride, too!

IMG_7164

The Halloween Hayrides have definitely become a favorite Halloween event for us. And while they are sold out for this year, keep your eyes open for next year’s ticket sales!

Pumpkin Party

Saturday morning was the annual Pumpkin Party at Jeffrey’s school. They create a mini pumpkin patch for the kids to pick a pumpkin and decorate, as well as other crafts and donuts and cider to enjoy.

IMG_7170

And since the weather was so fabulous, the kids got plenty of time to play outside on the playground too!

Marvel Universe Live!

Saturday afternoon, we met up with Jeffrey’s godparents Amanda and Scott for Marvel Universe Live.

IMG_7198

Jeffrey is just starting to get into superheroes and Amanda and Scott are very into superheroes, so it was the perfect activity. Jeffrey enjoyed the show (he thought most of the fight scenes were simply funny due to the number of flips and crazy moves) and declared Spiderman and Ironman to be his favorites. For me, I love that Jeffrey and his godparents can connect and have so much fun together!

Birthday Party

Sunday, we had a fifth birthday party for our niece Hannah. Elizabeth was pregnant with Hannah at our wedding…time flies! The party was at West Side Gymnastics Club and Jeffrey had a blast bouncing and playing with his cousins.

IMG_7216 (1)

Home Cooking

Despite all the activity, we managed to squeeze in some dinners at home too. I made my favorite homemade mac ‘n cheese, which has hatch chiles and chorizo.

22467763_1657501114281110_952398749590124316_o

I use this recipe, but add in the chorizo. So spicy and comforting and yummy!

On the lighter side, I made swordfish with tomato relish (recipe here) and rice and broccoli pilaf (recipe here).

IMG_7215

Lots of good, fresh flavors in this meal! With as crazy as our schedules can be, I miss being able to cook at home and it was nice this weekend to have the time to make some meals for us.

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Mia Bella Restaurant!

On Wednesday night, I met up with Ann of Annie’s Signature Sweets for a chatty and carby dinner at Mia Bella Restaurant in Little Italy. We started with generous drinks: a Moscow Mule for Ann and a Old Vine Zinfandel for me.

After devouring the delicious bread with garlic butter, it was entrée time (AKA, bring on more carbs). I chose the scampi risotto, with butternut squash, zucchini, huge scampi, and a slightly spicy red sauce.

IMG_7098.jpg

The seasonal vegetables were the perfect compliment to the not-too-creamy risotto. And as someone who is almost always in the clean plate club, I will confess to taking some of this large dish home for leftovers!

Ann chose the Mia Bella pasta, a traditional linguini with marinara dish that was executed flawlessly. I totally approve of Ann’s decision to add mushrooms…I love me some pasta with mushrooms.

 

22406167_10214813811165887_8752649194469108896_n
Photo credit: Annie’s Signature Sweets 

We had decided to go to Presti’s Bakery for dessert, but we lingered over dinner too long and they were closed. There’s nothing sadder than pressing up against a bakery window, longing for a cannoli.

Luckily, since I had dinner with a baker, I got to take home some of Annie’s Signature Sweets ginger cookies, which helped to satisfy my sweet tooth!

The next time you find yourself in Little Italy, Mia Bella is a delicious, cozy, friendly choice!

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.

IMG_6991

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.

IMG_7015

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

IMG_6511

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

IMG_7027

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

IMG_7023

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!

IMG_7037

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? Flour Restaurant!

I’ve talked before about the black hole that certain Cleveland places fall in for me. And while I had been to Flour Restaurant for brunch and lunch and have always loved their food at events, somehow having dinner at Flour had eluded me.

I finally remedied that last night at a belated birthday dinner with my dear friends Robin and Amy.

IMG_6964

I started with the Perfect Pear, a cocktail with Belvedere Vodka, Prosecco, St. Germain, pear, and rosemary. We also shared the aptly-named Big A$$ Meatball, with whipped ricotta, tomato sauce, provolone, and crispy sage.

IMG_6951 (1)

I would like some of that whipped ricotta to spread on everything. Literally everything.

For dinner, Amy and I both couldn’t resist the lamb garganelli, which came highly recommended by our server.

IMG_6953

The lamb was so tender and added the perfect flavor to the rustic sauce. And of course the pasta was perfection! We both got the smaller portion, which was more than plenty of food with the appetizer and dessert. I always appreciate restaurants that offer these kinds of portion options, allowing you to try even more things from the menu.

Robin chose the traditional Margherita pizza, made in Flour’s own wood-fired oven. For dessert, I had the tiramisu, Robin had the spiced chocolate cake (get this on your next visit), and Amy had the sorbet.

I don’t know why it took me so long to have dinner at Flour, but the casual elegance, delicious pasta, and tasty beverages will make it a place I won’t neglect again! And now you can take home your own Flour pasta to make at home thanks to Flour Pasta Co. Mangia!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from all the eating we did this weekend, we also had some great family time too!

Great Lakes Science Center

We met up with friends for a fun, whole family play date at the Great Lakes Science Center. The kids spent most of their time in the Polymer Funhouse, which has a ball pit, slides, and lots of hands-on things geared to their age (see what I did there?!).

IMG_6836

To celebrate the Halloween season, check out Spooktacular Science at the Great Lakes Science Center on October 21-28, with things like a Monster Mash Dance Party, Eerie Science behind Lake Erie, and Pumpkin Explosions.

PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Tour

On Sunday, we took Jeffrey to play in Adventure Bay come to life at the PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Tour. He got to explore a life-sized Lookout…

…captain the Sea Patroller…

IMG_6872

…drive PAW Patrol-themed vehicles…

IMG_6868

…and, best of all, meet some of his favorite PAW Patrol characters!

Jeffrey LOVES the PAW Patrol, so the chance to not only meet the characters, but explore a life-sized version of their world was so exciting!

So, that was our weekend! Lots of eating (as you saw over the past two days) and lots of family fun too. How was yours?

***Disclosure: I was asked by Spin Master to help promote the PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Tour. In exchange, I received a box of Spin Master toys and a PAW Pass that granted me VIP access to the Roll Patrol Tour. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur