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?

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Why? St. Kitts!

I’m ba-a-a-a-ck. Literally at 1:30am today. And here I am, writing to you all. That’s true love, right?

Also, I figure the window on me talking about my vacation is closing, so here we go…

It had been awhile since Mom and I had traveled just the two of us. In fact, the last “girls only” trip was when we went to Scottsdale a couple months before Jeffrey was born. So the chance to get away together was much appreciated.

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Which means right off the bat, I have to give mad props to Matthew for holding down the fort (seriously, the literal fort is still standing) and my dear friend Mariah for helping out too.

So, now to the trip: As you may remember, my dad owns a tire business (Tireman USA) and this trip was part of an incentive program with Goodyear. When we first got to St. Kitts, we spent a day with the other Goodyear folks and incentive-earners working on clean-up and building projects at a local school.

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The group built picnic tables, re-tiled a kitchen, cleaned up classrooms, painted playground equipment, did landscaping, and packed nearly 200 bookbags stuffed with donated school supplies.

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It was surely a different way to kick off a vacation, but so worthwhile!

We stayed at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, which boasted amazing ocean and mountain views, beautiful pools, and delicious food and drink.

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Matthew and I honeymooned in St. Lucia and the topography of St. Kitts reminded me very much of that destination.

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Some of our favorite things we ate at the Marriott included the Chilean sea bass at Blu Seafood Restaurant, the St. Kitts BBQ Pizza from Pizza Shack, and the mushroom soup en croute at Royal Grill Steakhouse.

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We also explored St. Kitts and it’s neighboring island, Nevis, a bit. On St. Kitts, we went to a wonderful dinner at Marshall’s Restaurant.

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I had lobster jerk pasta and Mom had grilled local lobster tail, both of which were so fresh and delicious.

On Nevis, we saw the home where Alexander Hamilton lived as a child, which was a great piece of history and obviously much more popular because of the musical. They were actually playing the soundtrack at the house!

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We also had lunch at the world-famous Sunshine’s Bar.

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The walls are covered with celebrities who made their way to this beach shack restaurant for the Killer Bee cocktail, a rum punch that packs quite a sting!

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Nevis is a much quieter island than St. Kitts, with a smaller population and tons of wild monkeys running about.

We also went on a snorkel catamaran cruise off St. Kitts, which was a gorgeous way to see the island. The Caribbean waters are so clear that we could see tons of fish and turtles and coral, too!

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We ended the trip with a party on the beach with live music, a huge fire pit, and lots of fun!

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It was an amazing chance to get away, relax, do some good, and see a new place in the world! I am so glad to have gone, but also so glad to be back home in CLE!

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Why? Weekends!

Hey, hey, it’s March! We welcomed the new month with a fun weekend out and about in Cleveland.

Home Cooking

But before we were out and about, we were in and cozy. On Friday night, I made BBQ chicken mac ‘n cheese (recipe here).

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Before I made the mac, I cooked the chicken wrapped in foil packets at 250 degrees for 2 hours. This made the chicken tender and perfect to fork shred, which was the exact right consistency for the mac ‘n cheese.

Pair this with Matthew’s homemade Old Fashioned and you have a perfect little Friday evening meal!

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we had the third of four shows in the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square. This one was “Emily Brown and the Thing,” about a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who have many adventures after bedtime.

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We didn’t know the story going in and found the show to be engaging and funny. I love taking Jeffrey to see live theater, especially in the incredible theaters at Playhouse Square!

Lunch in Ohio City

From there, we headed over to Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch. I always enjoy going to the brewpub because, while you can find Great Lakes beer all over, there’s always something special on tap at the pub.

I tried the Imperial Buzzcut Nut Brown Ale, brewed with honey and hazelnuts, and Matthew had the same. We both really enjoyed this smoothy, nutty beer!

To eat, I had the Fitzgerald burger, with bacon, smoked cheddar, Edmund Fitzgerald BBQ sauce, and onion straws.

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Flavorful and juicy, this was one delicious burger! The fries were particularly good, too!

Matthew had the Sweet & Salty Pork pizza, with smoked pulled pork, cucumber, green pepper, onion, mozzarella, goat cheese, garlic oil, and orange lavender honey.

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He ate the entire pizza (!), so my guess is that it was quite tasty!

Jeffrey loved his chicken fingers, too! The brewpub atmosphere for a weekend lunch is wonderful for kids, too!

From there, we had to stop to get dessert at Mitchell’s Ice Cream!

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The Buckeye Sundae was the perfect sweet treat. Jeffrey is pretty much all of us when it comes to Mitchell’s…

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What a fun family day!

***Disclosure: I received a gift card from Great Lakes Brewing Company as part of my partnership with Lyft. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sprinkle

On Sunday, I attended a Sprinkle for my dear friend Mariah, who is expecting a little girl in May. While Mariah has two boys already, it was so fun to fete her new arrival with lots of pink clothes and toys.

I also had to snag her this adorable onesie from Anne Cate!

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We had a great ladies lunch, with bellinis, homemade pesto and chicken, salad, fruit, and pastries from Luna Bakery & Café.

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It was a lovely way to celebrate a lovely lady!

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So that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from Jumping Back Across the Pond, we had some other fun things going on this weekend…

Lunch and a Movie

Jeffrey didn’t have school on Friday, so we met up with his best buddy and little brother for lunch and a movie. We started at Yours Truly at Shaker Square. It’s delicious diner-style food makes it a great choice for a wide age range.

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The kids enjoyed chicken fingers, cheeseburger, and grilled cheese. I had a most tasty tuna melt (my favorite sandwich) on grilled rye and my friend had the Tuscan chicken wrap.

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Quick, yummy, and friendly…Yours Truly is always a favorite stop.

From there, we took the kids to see “How to Train Your Dragon 3,” which we all agreed was our favorite of the series!

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What a fun little Friday afternoon!

Paczki Party

If you live in Cleveland, you’ve heard about paczki, a Polish donut-like treat that’s popular for Fat Tuesday. On Sunday, Michael Angelo’s Bakery and Winery hosted a Paczki Party that combined Polish paczki and pierogi and polkas with Mardi Gras-themed elements.

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The paczki were plentiful and delicious, with traditional flavors like apricot, prune, and poppyseed, as well as more modern flavors like strawberry mousse, custard, and peanut butter.

There were also kids crafts and face painting, which Jeffrey really enjoyed.

Michael Angelo’s has some of the tastiest paczki you’ll find and this was a great way to get a head start on enjoying them.

Cleveland Yoga

It’s not really a surprise that I spent time at a yoga studio over the weekend, but on Sunday night I ventured from my home studio to take a class at Cleveland Yoga in Beachwood.

Ylonda, one of my first yoga teachers, teaches there and had promised to play her electric cello during savasana at her classes this week. I couldn’t miss that combination!

Ylonda is an accomplished cellist, a challenging yoga teacher, and an all-around amazing soul. I always leave her classes feeling physically and emotionally charged up! It was the perfect way to end the weekend and get motivated for the week ahead!

How was your weekend? What do you do to recharge for the week ahead?

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Why? Jump Back Ball!

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

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The VIP Party had the royal family make an appearance…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why? Ohio City Galley!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo Credit: Alicia

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

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

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

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

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

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Why? Weekends!

It was a super busy weekend in the CLE, so let’s get right to it…

Partner Yoga

On Friday night, Matthew and I took a Partner Yoga workshop at Yoga Roots. Both of us have practiced for a long time, but never like this!

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Led by Yoga Roots teachers Sharon and Nick, the workshop put you and your partner in poses together, from feet touching in child’s pose to planking on top of each other!

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The room was filled with lively conversation and laughter. It was a great way to not only connect with your partner, but to build connections within the Yoga Roots community too. After class, we grabbed some wine and snacks for a little picnic on our mat.

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This was a fun and unique date night and a cool way to expand our practice!

Donut Fest

Saturday, we continued our annual tradition of attending Donut Fest.

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Held at RedSpace, this event brings together 12 donut purveyors to offer samples of their tasty treats, along with local coffee vendors to help wash it all down.

This year, some of our favorites included the chocolate strawberry creme stick from Jack Frost Donuts

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…the chocolate clementine donuts from Fiona’s Coffee Bar and Bakery

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…and the sour cream donuts from Goldie’s Donuts & Bakery.

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While Donut Fest is definitely a sugary overload, I feel like the bakeries have moderated the sample size from the first year, so you can actually enjoy something from each of the shops. Plus, who doesn’t love the chance to taste test so many different types of donuts under one roof?!

Anne Cate Studio Opening

Saturday night, my friend Mariah and I attended the grand opening party for Anne Cate‘s studio space in Mentor.

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This space is part office, part production studio, which can also sell some of the skyline merchandise. It’s sleek, modern, and perfectly pretty in Anne Cate’s signature pink and black!

I can’t wait to see what fabulous things Anne Cate has in store (haha) for this space!

Partners Brunch Around

On Sunday, I joined some of my fellow Playhouse Square Partners for brunch in Tremont. We had groups at 4 different Tremont restaurants and I was lucky enough to land at Fat Cats.

As one of Tremont’s longest standing restaurants, Fat Cats has stood the test of time and remains a delicious spot to eat. I had the Williams Wake Up Breakfast Sandwich, with egg, avocado, bacon, and slaw.

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Served on lightly grilled bread and with a side of sweet potato fries, this was a perfect brunch item: sort of breakfasty, sort of lunchy, and totally yummy!

After our brunches, the groups from the various restaurants all met up for a drink at The Flying Monkey Pub.

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What a great Sunday Funday!

Bright Ideas

After that, I headed to The Brecksville Theatre to see my friend Wes in their production of “Bright Ideas.” This show is a campy and fun look at parents trying to get their kid into a very exclusive preschool.

We definitely laughed a lot and found some very relatable moments in the show. It’s playing February 15, 16, and 17 and you can purchase tickets online.

So that was our busy weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It was a fun, family-centric weekend! And how about this warmer weather?! We were definitely ready to get out of hibernation!

Hathaway Brown Heritage Dinner

On Friday evening, Jeffrey’s school hosted what has become one of our favorite traditions there: the Hathaway Brown Heritage Dinner. It’s essentially a giant potluck dinner, where people bring an appetizer, entree, or dessert representing their heritage.

We brought kielbasa, pierogi, and sauerkraut because Ancestry DNA confirmed I’m just as Eastern European as I thought I was!

But we also enjoyed hummus, samosas, cornbread, Mongolian beef, lasagna, and lots of other delicious dishes.

One of our favorite parts of the event is the selection of cookies and candies from around the world that you can take home. There are these delicious chocolate shortbread Scottie dogs that we just adore!

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There are also crafts, games, and music from different cultures, so the Heritage Dinner is about more than just good food. The students get to experience a little bit of the world and the different backgrounds of the student body.

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What a fun Friday evening!

Bowling Birthday Party

Saturday, we went to a bowling birthday party for one of Jeffrey’s friends at North Woods Lanes.

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Jeffrey loved the bumper bowling and got some strikes and spares!

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It’s so fun to see the kids grow up and get into different birthday activities.

Great Big Home and Garden Show

On Sunday, we stopped by the Great Big Home and Garden Show at the I-X Center.

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From testing out hot tubs…

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…to kids’ power tools…

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Jeffrey was definitely having fun checking out all the different booths.

We all loved the Garden Showcase, which gave us a real taste of spring.

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The gardens are all themed on fairy tales this year, with things like “Alice in Wonderland,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and a Magic Treehouse.

Jeffrey and Matthew also rode the giant ferris wheel, which is a must at the I-X Center!

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The Great Big Home and Garden Show continues through Sunday, February 10. You can purchase tickets online and save $3 with code CLE19.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Great Big Home and Garden Show. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend! How was yours? Did you get out and enjoy this mild weather?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Motogo Mobile Shop Class!

I love what a small world Cleveland can be and how you can reconnect with old friends in the most unexpected of ways. I had the opportunity to spend a morning touring Skidmark Garage last week and chatting about their new non-profit wing, Skidmark CLE. And I got my tour from my high school and college classmate, Molly Vaughan!

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Molly and Skidmark owner Brian have made a name for Skidmark Garage, a community garage where people can come to work on their motorcycles and share tools, space, and knowledge in a non-intimidating environment.

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From talking with Molly, Skidmark has made itself an active part of the St. Clair/Superior community where it’s located with community-based projects, a welcoming vibe, and a lounge space that hosts everything from photo shoots to comedy nights for comedians just getting started to nonprofit fundraisers.

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Which brings me to Skidmark CLE, the nonprofit arm of Skidmark Garage, which is seeking to expand Skidmark’s presence in the community. Skidmark CLE is supporting a mobile shop class concept designed by Molly and Brian called Motogo. Molly and Brian both have backgrounds working in education, so Motogo is a natural fusion of their skills.

Motogo encourages hands-on learning through motorcycle maintenance, teaching real-world problem solving, critical thinking, measurement, and calculations. Many schools no longer offer shop class or only do so in a vocational setting. Molly and Brian believe all students can benefit from this type of get-your-hands-dirty, work-as-a-team education.

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Motogo offers three options: a full semester program, a quarter-long program, and Motogo Light, a pop-up program for community organizations. All Motogo’s programs mirror STEAM objectives for learning.

To raise money to bring Motogo to more students, Skidmark Garage is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, February 9 from 6-10pm. There will be food stations, open bar, live music, and dancing, all in one of the coolest, funkiest environments you can find!

Tickets are currently on sale for $100. Don’t miss this chance to have a fun evening for a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Skidmark CLE to help promote the Motogo Mobile Shop Class fundraiser. I declined a complimentary ticket due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

This weekend, Matthew and Jeffrey traveled to Texas to celebrate Matthew’s grandma’s 90th birthday.

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Since we weren’t sure how I’d be feeling post-surgery, we decided I would skip this trip. And while I definitely missed seeing the family and celebrating Grandma and eating lots of brisket…oh, wait, I actually ate lots of brisket here (but more on that tomorrow)…

I did manage to scare up some fun around here, even with my best guys gone.

Disney on Ice

On Friday night, I took my dear friend Mariah and her son to see Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party.

Before the show, we got to attend an exclusive meet-and-greet with the main mouse himself (speaking of 90th birthdays)…

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…and enjoy a delicious fajita bar dinner catered by Aramark.

Then it was off to the show! What an amazing spectacle!

 

From the costumes to the acrobatics to the chance to see so many favorite characters, Disney on Ice really delivered on the magic and fun.

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I’m so glad I was able to enjoy the show with two of my favorite people and see the wonder and excitement that it brought!

Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party is in Cleveland through Sunday, January 20 at Quicken Loans Arena, with evening shows on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18 and three shows a day on Satuday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20. You can purchase tickets online.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets, a meet-and-greet character dinner, and Disney on Ice swag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Girls Night In

Saturday evening, I hosted a Girls Night In, because what else is a lady to do when she has the house entirely to herself?

We enjoyed lots of food and wine and girl talk, which was just good for my soul. You know when I only took one picture that it was a good night!

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Oh, and that is a gigantic bottle of rose, which I found at Heinen’s (and is actually quite good, not just impressively sized.)

One of the things I knew I had to have on my table (especially with a vegetarian and a vegan coming) was Mama Mary’s Hummus.

You may have heard of Mama Mary’s as the “gas station hummus,” which has garnered tons of local press attention and even a spot on Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland list.

I have to tell you, the hype is warranted. This is truly the best hummus I’ve ever tasted. For the party, I chose the traditional, roasted red pepper, and jalapeno. They were all fantastic! Mama Mary’s Hummus is now available at 7 different locations: click here to find the one near you!

Spa West

Another key component of a weekend of “me time” was spa time with my mom. We went to Spa West, which is truly such a lovely and relaxing environment.

From the welcome tea to the calming music to the cozy relaxation room, you immediately feel more zen just walking in.

I had a signature pedicure with a hot stone leg massage and not only do my toes look ready to return to my yoga mat, but my legs feel soft, smooth, and stress-free.

The next time you want to treat yourself or have a perfect girls day out, check out Spa West!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my BBQ-eating adventures, but for now, I’m off to get ready to welcome Matthew and Jeffrey home! What would you do with a weekend to yourself?

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