Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend that combined busy with relaxed, going out with staying in. Here’s the round up:

Cedar Point

On Friday morning, Mom and I took Jeffrey to Cedar Point, as we’re squeezing in as many trips up there as we can before summer ends!

On this trip, we picked up Jeffrey’s Pre-K Pass, which is an awesome deal that gives kids ages 3 to 5 complimentary admission to both Cedar Point and Cedar Point Shores through the end of the 2018 season!


I definitely thought this was too good to be true when I first heard about it, but it’s legit and it’s awesome! Click here to find out more and register your child for their own Pre-K Pass.

Date Night at the Zoovies

Friday night, Matthew and I met up with friends Melissa and Tim for one of our favorite summer evenings at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo: Date Night at the Zoovies.



Date Night at the Zoovies is a fundraiser for the Cleveland Zoological Society that gives you the chance to explore part of the Zoo; enjoy beer, wine, appetizers, and movie theater snacks; and watch a movie in the outdoor amphitheater.


This was the sixth annual Zoovies event and every year it grows in popularity. This year’s event sold out in an impressive 27 minutes! The appetizers this year were themed on the movie being shown, “Spaceballs.” We nibbled on Space Meatball Subs, Lone Star pulled pork, and Pizza the Hut mini pizzas.


During the movie, we munched candy, popcorn, Chex Mix, and hot dogs while basking in the cheesy 80’s glory of “Spaceballs.” Zoovies is such a fun, relaxed evening! Definitely keep your eyes open for when tickets go on sale for next year’s event…you don’t want to miss it!

Run for Recovery

Saturday morning, I was back at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, this time for the Run for Recovery to benefit Recovery Resources.


Though the run started off damp, the sun peeked out by the end of the 5K! Aside from the run, there was a board sharing who you were running to support, as well as the opportunity to paint rocks for a memorial rock for someone in recovery or who has lost their life to addiction. The rocks will be placed in a memorial garden.

Run for Recovery is not only good exercise, but it’s a meaningful way to support Recovery Resources and acknowledge both those who have lost their lives to addiction, as well as those in the recovery process.

Saturday and Sunday Home Cooking

I told you this weekend balanced going out with staying in, which meant that we had two nights at home to enjoy yummy home-cooked meals.

On Saturday, we had friends over for tacos, Coronas, and plenty of sitting and chatting in the backyard. We made garlic tequila lime flank steak (recipe here) with all the taco trimmings including homemade guacamole, as well as Mexican chocolate cake (recipe here) for dessert.


It was a fun and tasty night!

On Sunday, we made grilled pork chops with grilled peaches (recipe here) which tapped into the seasonal goodness of peaches as well as the summery-ness of grilling.

I also made roasted potatoes with hatch chiles (recipe here) using hatch chiles that I got from Heinen’s this weekend (stay tuned for more on that on Wednesday.)

So that was our weekend! How was yours?

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Date Night at the Zoovies. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. I was asked by Recovery Resources to help promote the Run for Recovery. In exchange, I received one complimentary race registration. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***



Why? Moxie, the Restaurant!

A couple weeks ago, I met up my lovely girlfriends Robin and Amy for a dinner to celebrate Robin’s birthday at Moxie, the Restaurant.


I hadn’t been to Moxie in ages and was excited to try again this popular East side restaurant. I started with the soup du jour, a corn chowder that was packed with summer vegetables and light on the cream.

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Also, in the background of the picture is Moxie’s delicious white bean paste topped with olive oil. Don’t skip the bread service at Moxie!

For my entree, I chose the pan seared scallops, served with a summer vegetable medley, crispy potatoes, Meyer lemon vinaigrette, and arugula pesto.


The entree was seasonal, flavorful, and delicious! Amy and Robin both chose the crispy chicken sandwich, with spicy herb sauce.

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Moxie does casual as well as it does haute cuisine, which makes dining there a great choice!

Since it was a birthday celebration, we of course had to have dessert. Robin had the baked hot chocolate, a moist and decadent flourless chocolate cake topped with whipped cream.


I had the PB and Jelly, with peanut butter mousse, raspberry pate de fruit, and shortbread.


What a fun twist on a childhood classic flavor combo! This dessert is huge, though! Definitely something to consider sharing.

All in all, we had a fabulous meal and an even better time catching up and celebrating our friend’s special day!



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.


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.


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?


Why? Weekends!

This weather is glorious, although not quite August-like…but we certainly enjoyed every minute!

Lake Metroparks Farmpark

On Friday morning, Jeffrey and I met up with friends for a play date at Lake Metroparks Farmpark. The Farmpark is always one of our favorite spots to play. There are indoor and outdoor playgrounds, in addition to all the animals and hands-on farming fun.


The kids got to help groom a horse, as well as meet Bentley and Beau, the Farmpark’s newest baby calves.


I’m afraid Bentley might have picked up some bad habits from Jeffrey (or maybe it’s the other way around…he was born in a barn after all ;-))

The Farmpark is hosting a Corn Roast this Friday, August 18 to kick off the Grand Opening of their three-acre Corn Maze. The event includes an old-fashioned barn dance, games and activities, and a dinner with fresh-roasted corn, BBQ chicken, JoJo fries, and a beverage. Cost to attend is $16 for those over 12 and $12 for those ages 2-11. Click here to find out more and purchase tickets.

Nuevo Mod Mex

On Friday night, my dad’s business, Tireman USA, hosted a party for employees and business associates on the second floor of Nuevo Mod Mex. Not only could we enjoy fabulous margaritas (the spicy mango is my favorite) and delicious appetizers (OMG, the queso and chorizo) and tacos from a build-your-own buffet…

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…but we also got to take in gorgeous city views and lovely lake breezes too.

It was a great way to celebrate the business, summertime, and our beautiful city!

WRRA Summer Regatta

This summer, Matthew decided to join the Western Reserve Rowing Association summer league. Despite having never rowed before, he jumped in, went to practice weekly, and not only excelled at this new hobby, but also had a really great time!

On Saturday, WRRA hosted their Summer Regatta and Jeffrey and I went down to cheer on Matthew and the rest of the team.


The team ended up winning a silver medal in the novice division! I’m really proud of the whole team and especially of Matthew for throwing himself wholeheartedly into something new!

Saturday Dinner

Saturday night, while Matthew was out celebrating the rowing victory, I decided to make a delicious, light, fresh pasta dish packed with summer vegetables (recipe here.)


Usually when Matthew isn’t home for dinner, I make something for Jeffrey and grab some leftovers or a bowl of cereal for myself. But since I saw this recipe, I had been craving it and I’m so glad I skipped my Chex for this!

SUP Yoga

On Sunday morning, I decided to take the plunge into stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga.


Yoga Roots and SUP Cleveland partnered to offer a class the was part paddleboarding and part yoga flow. For me, getting over my nerves and being able to relax enough to practice yoga on my paddleboard seemed pretty insurmountable at first.


But my tapping into breath and focus, I was able to actually do more than I thought I could!

Thanks to my parents for being my cheering section and paparazzi

And while I don’t think SUP yoga is for me, I’m glad that I pushed myself to not only try something new, but something pretty far outside my comfort zone. There’s a lesson in that: not everything has to be your jam, but you’ll never know what you can do and what you will like unless you try!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?


Why? Weekends!

Aside from Twilight at the Zoo, there was lots of other great summer fun to be had this past weekend!

Yoga + Beer at Platform Beer Co.

On Saturday morning, I headed to Platform Beer Co. for one of my favorite combinations: yoga and beer!


The patio at Platform was the perfect spot for an hour-long vinyasa flow led by my dear friend Alicia.


Alicia has recently returned to teaching yoga and I had forgotten how much I enjoy her blend of challenging poses, great cues and guidance, fabulous music choices, and humor.

The class was a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation and included an hour-long yoga class and one Platform beer. I chose the Dancin’ in the Streets saison as my beer and couldn’t pass up one of the breakfast sandwiches, made with a Cleveland Bagel Co. bagel, egg, cheese, and bacon.


If you’re interested in another chance to practice and drink with Alicia (and me) and benefit the Arthritis Foundation, check out Sunset Yoga on the Superior Viaduct on Monday, August 14. Your $25 ticket includes a 60-minute all-levels yoga class, one beer or glass of wine and complimentary small bites on the Luca Italian Cuisine veranda and extended happy hour specials until 9:00 p.m.

AIA Cleveland Beach Day

From there, I met up with Matthew and Jeffrey at Edgewater Beach for the AIA Cleveland Beach Day.


For the past three years, Matthew and his AECOM colleagues have competed against other architecture firms in the sandcastle competition.


This year, the AECOM team did a play on the Cleveland Metroparks Centennial, combined with Star Wars, naturally. There was the “Centennial Falcon,” as well as tree that proclaimed, “May the forest be with you.”

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They even had a colleague dress up like Jabba the Hutt!


There is a fan favorite contest, voted on by beach-goers at Edgewater, and a contest judged by AIA members. For the third year, AECOM won the judges’ choice as best sandcastle. It takes a lot of work and creativity to make these sandcastles and I’m so proud of Matthew and his team!

Plus, Jeffrey and I never mind an excuse to spend the day at the beach (and get some Honey Hut ice cream at the Edgewater Beach House too.)


Aladdin’s Eatery

Saturday evening, we met up with friends for dinner at Aladdin’s Eatery. With a menu that can keep adults and kids happy, Aladdin’s is a favorite! I ordered the hummus shawarma plate, with tons of Aladdin’s delicious hummus, seasoned beef, tomatoes, and pine nuts.


Don’t forget some of Aladdin’s amazing hot sauce, too! What a great meal!

Cleveland Indians Game

On Sunday, we took Jeffrey to the Cleveland Indians game, which was his first of this season. It’s always so fun to take Jeffrey back to a place he hasn’t been in awhile to see how his interests and reactions change.


He was much more interested in watching the game this time, as well as running the Tribe Tracker on the Family Deck, which allows you to virtually race against your favorite player.


We all had a great time, despite the Tribe’s loss. Jeffrey loved the ball and bat giveaway, too and practiced his stance next to the new Lou Boudreau statue that was just unveiled this past weekend.


So, that was our weekend! Lots of great summer time fun, packed into a couple days! How was yours?


Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: I'm trying a little bit of new structure with the weekend recaps, especially for the busy ones. Let me know what you think!***

Legacy Live

On Friday evening, Matthew and I had a nice, easy date night at Legacy Village. We had dinner at Bar Louie, where we snagged a table overlooking the patio so we could also take in the sounds of Legacy Live.



Legacy Live is a concert series that takes place every Friday and Saturday night through September on the green at Legacy Village. The Recyclers were Friday night's band and they played a great mix of well-known rock covers. It was a fun, relaxed evening!

Yoga and Brunch in Tremont

Saturday morning, I met up with my friend Katie for rooftop yoga at Tremont Athletic Club.



Not only does Tremont Athletic Club have really nice indoor workout facilities, the rooftop boasts impressive views of the city! Ylonda, one of my first yoga teachers, teaches the Saturday rooftop class. Her classes are this crazy, amazing mix of inspiration and perspiration. She always leaves me feeling stronger and more centered, both physically and spiritually.



Since we burned a Ylonda class worth of calories, Katie and I headed to Dante Next Door for brunch. I had the tiger shrimp and polenta, Katie had the crab cakes Benedict, and we shared the box of pastries. Stuffed and happy, it made for a perfect lovely Saturday!



There's nothing like old friends, yoga, and brunch to feed your body and your soul!

Inside the Park Home Run

Sunday morning, we all got up bright and early to head to Progressive Field for the Inside the Park Home Run to benefit the Cleveland Furniture Bank. I would definitely run more often if this was the view!



You could participate in a 4-mile, 1-mile, or Kids Fun Run, all of which ended with the opportunity to run on the warning track and virtually cross home plate!

I participated in the 1-mile and Jeffrey ran the Kids Fun Run. And I think we were equally excited about our time on the field!

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The Hot Dog Derby dogs were also at the event, to get the runners started and mingle with the participants.



It was a really fun morning and a pretty unique experience, all to benefit the Cleveland Furniture Bank's Beds for Kids program that provides cribs and beds to children in need.

Family Picnic

From there, it was off to a family reunion picnic at the Hinkley Reservation in the Cleveland Metroparks. I can remember attending this picnic as a kid and so I love being able to pass the tradition down to Jeffrey, too.

I was tasked with bringing a dessert to share, so I made these S'mores Cookies (recipe here.)



They were easy and tasty and a great way to enjoy a classic summer taste! I especially enjoyed the rolled oats and cinnamon in the dough!

Shift at Bliss

I ended my weekend with yoga and some serious inspiration at the Tough as Milk Shift at Bliss. If you remember, I hosted a "shift" to benefit Tough as Milk and I was glad to have the chance to attend another shift to benefit this amazing organization, which brings trauma-informed yoga and fitness to domestic violence victims.

This shift was held at Inner Bliss. We got to hear more of Bilyana's heart-wrenching and amazing personal story, as well as how she's turning her own tragedies into something good and strong for not only herself, but others. I can't encourage you enough to follow along with Tough as Milk's events or host a shift yourself!

So, that was my weekend, packed with so much fun! How was yours?

***Disclosures:  I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events. In exchange, I will receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. Also, I was asked by the Cleveland Furniture Bank to help promote the Inside the Park Home Run. In exchange, I received one complimentary race registration for the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

It was feeling pretty tropical this weekend. OK, it was hot! On Friday, Jeffrey and I met up with friends for a play date at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. There are not only beautiful gardens and the Manor House to explore, there are also beautiful and fun children's gardens.


There are musical elements, bubbles, a sandbox, lawn bowling, and a huge Tudor-style play house.


There was also a butterfly house that Jeffrey loved exploring. Stan Hywet offers an elegant and lovely setting, even for the youngest visitors!

Friday evening, we started preparing for our annual summer BBQ. Jeffrey was a big help in the kitchen, assisting me with making brownies and M&M cookies.


Saturday morning, Jeffrey and I made a breakfast stop at Luna Bakery & Cafe. Their pastries are so delicious! I couldn't resist grabbing an almond croissant and Jeffrey snagged a couple macarons.


Really, our purpose in going to Luna that day was to pick up a special order of Cleveland skyline sugar cookies.


Our BBQ coincided with Cleveland's birthday, so I needed something to celebrate! These cookies were adorable and delicious!

Then it was time for the fifth annual BBQ in our backyard. This is always one of our favorite evenings of the summer: lots of food, tons of friends from so many different parts of our lives, so much fun!


The weather cleared up perfectly and we were able to enjoy being outside. And that picture above is literally the only one I took all night. I was too busy being present, which was really lovely and much needed.

On Sunday, after party clean-up was done, we took Jeffrey to Oktoberfest in July, with lots of good summer festival rides and games (and Disco Inferno too!)

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That was our weekend! Our BBQ has become an essential part of our summer and so this weekend felt pretty perfect!


Why? SoulConnect Tribe!

A few months ago, I told you about SoulConnect Tribe, helmed by the lovely Katie Kurtz.

Katie in her element: connecting and eating ice cream

I finally got a chance to attend one of the monthly SoulConnect gatherings, this time held at Mason’s Creamery.


I can never resist ice cream and when you pair that with a chance to connect with some like-minded, open-hearted ladies, you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect evening.


I ordered the affogato, because I feel like at Mason’s, while the ice cream can 100% stand on its own, you owe it to yourself to get a churro or an egg waffle or something out of the usual ice cream shop box. So take a scoop of their French Toast ice cream, pour some espresso over it and you have a creamy, dreamy breakfast-like treat.

But, I wasn’t just there for the affogato. Read the paper in the picture above. Or just focus on this: In our Tribe (you already belong.) How amazing is that? There was an instant comfort level among the ladies attending the event. And while we had some questions to help prompt conversation, I found the conversations immediately took deeper turns. There was not a lot of simply small talk. We dove into dreams of new jobs, hopes for the fate of relationships, and more.

And we took selfies…

Hey, Annie’s Sweet Shop!

It was open, real, honest connection, which can only happen when everyone comes to the table with a mind and heart that can accept and reciprocate that. And I think SoulConnect Tribe can serve a lot of purposes. It can be a way to find new friends. It can be a safe space to voice hopes, fears, and dreams. It can be a break from the grind of every day life, with a chance to do something purely for you. It can be a chance to connect with ladies in similar and entirely different life circumstances and all learn from each other.

As Katie said, it is not a support group, it is a supportive group. And can’t we all use a little more of that?

If this kind of connection sounds like your jam, sign up for the SoulConnect Tribe email newsletter to stay informed of the next gathering. They are held monthly at female-owned businesses in the Cleveland area. And while last night’s was my first meet-up, it most certainly won’t be my last!


Why? Weekends!

One of the things I love so much about summer is that every weekend feels like a marathon of fun! On Friday evening, Matthew and I met up with my parents, Amanda, and Scott for the Billy Joel concert at Progressive Field.


Before the show, we had dinner at Mabel’s BBQ, which never fails to deliver amazing meats. I also tried the rye bread stuffing this time, which was moist, flavorful, and delicious. And I can never resist the cracklins!


The concert was awesome, with so many hits, as well as deep cuts. Billy Joel even played a 5 song encore! One of my favorite moments of the show was when he honored crew member Larry Doby, Jr., whose father Larry Doby played for the Cleveland Indians and was the first African-American to play in the American League.


Cleveland has quite the amazing line-up of concerts this summer and we’ve been able to enjoy so many great artists at a variety of venues.

On Saturday, we attended our friends Kevin’s and Sarah’s wedding. After the sweet ceremony, we enjoyed even more sweetness with a donut bar! (Seriously, this should be a must for all occasions.)


The reception was held at Mahall’s with plenty of retro bowling fun, plus the other kind of bar every occasion should have: a taco bar.


The wedding and reception were relaxed, fun, and so true to Kevin and Sarah. Congrats and best wishes to the happy couple!


After the reception, I swung by the St. John Vianney church festival with Jeffrey. This is one of our favorite summer festivals. There are a ton of great kids games (most of which are only 25 cents to play!,) plus putt-putt, some rides (not traveling carnival rides,) really good food (funnel cakes,) and the piece de resistance: the Euclid Beach Rocket Car.

It was the perfect end to a lovely summer day!

On Sunday, we met up with Amanda and Scott again, this time for a fun-filled day at Cedar Point. Amanda and Scott are one set of Jeffrey’s godparents and they are so wonderful with him!

From rides to the arcade to ice cream, Jeffrey got to do everything he loved, with people he loves so much!


I think it’s safe to say that Cedar Point is currently Jeffrey’s favorite spot on earth!


So that was our weekend! How was yours?


Why? 750ml Wine Bar!

Is there anything better than a good wine bar? Of course not. Which is why I was so excited that I discovered 750ml Wine Bar in Brecksville. Nestled in a cozy brick building at the corner of Routes 21 and 82, it’s part wine boutique, part wine bar, and all fabulous.

For me, the biggest attraction was the $15 wine flight. For this totally reasonable price, you can select any four red or white wines available by the glass (excluding sparkling.) I loved the chance to try some new wines and enjoy several different varietals in one sitting.


Red is always my preferred wine, but I couldn’t ignore rose, since it is summer after all!

My friend Deborah and I shared a small bite and a flatbread, which was the perfect amount of food! The pretzel sticks and mustard dipping sauces were really yummy (and if that seems like more of a beer food choice, 750ml has a nice craft beer selection.)


We also shared the wild mushroom flatbread, which was earthy and flavorful and devoured quickly!


There are several flatbreads on my “to try” list, especially the brie and pear and the fig and prosciutto. I also definitely want to give the sriracha hummus and the brie in puff pastry (a seasonal special) a try.

750ml also has a wine boutique that takes up about half their space, with a wide variety of wines and craft beer for purchase to enjoy at home, with special events and tastings too.

There are 750ml Wine Bar locations in Akron and Brecksville. The Brecksville location offers happy hour Monday through Friday from 4-6pm with discounted small bites and drinks.

Next time you’re looking for the perfect wine bar that combines a cozy atmosphere with a great wine selection and yummy food, give 750ml Wine Bar a try!