Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend, so let’s get right to it!

Designer Dress Days

On Friday, I attended the preview day for the Designer Dress Days sale, put on by the National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland.


This is the 50th anniversary of Designer Dress Days, which offers new and gently worn designer dresses, suits, jackets, handbags, athletic wear and more at ridiculously great prices.

I scored 2 cashmere sweaters, a Burberry dress, a Burberry skirt, and a Bergdorf Goodman dress for under $300!

The event is volunteer-driven and supports the NCJW/Cleveland’s community service and advocacy initiatives. The sale continues today from 12pm-8pm and tomorrow from 10am-7pm, so check it out and score some designer duds for a great price and for a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked to by NCJW/Cleveland to help promote Designer Dress Days. In exchange, I received complimentary access to the Preview Day, as well as compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Northeast Ohio Parent Blogger Meet-Up

On Friday evening, Jeffrey and I headed to Café o’Play for a meet-up with fellow Northeast Ohio Parent bloggers and their families.

We love Café o’Play because it’s a fun, safe indoor play area with lots to do, but still the ability to keep an eye on your child no matter where they might be (and the coffee and food are legit, too.) Apparently, Jeffrey had so much fun I didn’t even get a picture of him!

I really enjoy blogging for Northeast Ohio Parent and try to focus my blog posts on things to do with your kids around town or ways to incorporate Cleveland into your parenting, play dates, and whatnot. You can check out my latest post here.

Best of Cleveland Party

I had never been to the Cleveland Magazine Best of Cleveland Party before, which made me feel like I was missing out on one of the best parties of the year. After Saturday night, I know I was right to feel that FOMO.


Held at the Rock Hall, the party was three levels of amazing Best of Cleveland winners with everything from beer to burgers to books.

I finally got to try Mama Mary’s Hummus and it was just as amazing as everyone says it is! Try the seasonal pumpkin hummus with a cinnamon graham cracker to achieve peak fall.


The Gimme S’more mini beers from Boss Dog Brewing were a total win, especially because they took the time to do the sugar rim and toasted marshmallow at the event!


Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream…I mean, you know my love for them is so deep.


Polpetta deserves to be at Best of Cleveland because their table featured two of my great loves: meatballs and Kevin Love (holding a meatball.)


And I got so excited to see The Pompadour, one of our new favorite spots, honored for Best Tapas!


And from mascots to friends, there were so many of the best people to get to see, too!


We danced to Billy Likes Soda and DJ E-V and just generally celebrated these restaurants, breweries, businesses, and people who are making Cleveland the amazing place it is!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Cleveland Magazine to help promote the Best of Cleveland Party. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

We also threw into the weekend a birthday party for one of our nieces, some yoga, and some time at home…phew! How was your weekend?



Why? Perplexity Games!

I love when we can find something to do on a night out with friends that involves an activity, not just drinks and dinner. It sparks conversation, encourages interaction, and just makes the evening more unique.

So, when Perplexity Games invited us to come in for an evening in one of their escape rooms, I jumped at the chance. Matthew and I teamed up with our friends Deborah and Kevin to try to crack the case of the Eliot Ness Escape Room.


I love the Cleveland theme to this escape room! Set in the time of Eliot Ness’s tenure as Safety Director in Cleveland, the escape room challenges you to find the ledger of a crooked city commissioner.


Through various clues, hidden doors, and fun surprises (and a couple clues from the watchful eyes), we had the chance to step back in time, work together, challenge our brains and our speed, and have a great time!

We were able to find the ledger with just a minute and a half to spare (you have an hour in the escape room.)


But even if we hadn’t cracked the case, we would have had a wonderful time! The escape rooms at Perplexity Games are about challenging problem-solving, not feeling trapped or scared.

All the escape rooms are designed by the owner’s family, who share a love for gaming and found games to be a way to connect as a family. Along with the Eliot Ness Escape Room, there is the Clockwork Caper Escape Room and the T.I.T.U.S. Escape Room. Each room is priced at $30 per person and can hold different maximum numbers (Eliot Ness – 12, Clockwork Caper – 8, T.I.T.U.S. – 5.)

Perplexity Games is also in the process of building two holiday escape rooms called The Naughty List, which can each hold 10 people and will be perfect for holiday parties.


Perplexity Games is family-owned and operated, creative, fun, and located in the perfect neighborhood for an evening out – Ohio City. For your next couples night out, team-building, or game night, check them out and see if you can crack the case too!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Perplexity Games and received complimentary admission for four to the Eliot Ness Escape Room. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Legacy Village Birthday Staycation!

When I was thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year, I decided I wanted to do a staycation that included my favorite people and my favorite things to do. So, naturally I landed on Legacy Village.

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I checked in to the Hyatt Place Legacy Village for some swim time. There is nothing Jeffrey loves more than a hotel pool!


The Hyatt Place Legacy Village is the perfect place to stay for a staycation or for out-of-town friends. The hotel is modern and comfortable, with lots of thoughtful touches (my favorite were the reading nooks in the lobby.) There’s free breakfast, a fitness center, and the aforementioned pool, too!

Plus the staff is very sweet!


Once Jeffrey was dried off and on his way to Grandma’s house for the night, Matthew joined me for dinner at The Capital Grille, just a short walk from the hotel.


I’ve written several times about how The Capital Grille’s food is just incredible and this dinner was no exception. Matthew and I shared the pan-fried calamari with peppers with our bourbon cocktails.


For dinner, I had the tomahawk veal chop with foie gras butter and Matthew had the bone-in filet. Everything was prepared to perfection.


Beyond that, though, the service at The Capital Grille is always on point. The servers know exactly when to chat, when to leave you in peace, what wine to recommend, and so on. That made our dinner not only delicious, but utterly enjoyable.


Saturday was all about the girls at Legacy Village. In the morning, I literally walked across the street to meet up with friends at Barre3 and start my morning with a great workout.

From there, we went to Bar Louie and met up with more friends for brunch.


From extra boozy mimosas to fluffy peanut butter pancakes, brunch was just the right balance to the workout.


We were lucky enough to be at Legacy Village during the Wildroots market, so we got to check out some great local, artsy shopping in addition to all the every day fabulous Legacy Village shopping options.


Then it was time for some straight-up pampering with manicures and pedicures at Anthony Vince Nail Spa. I love how many color options they have there and with a huge staff and tons of pedicure chairs, the service is always fast (and friendly.)

After grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks to give myself a boost of energy before heading home, I realized that I chose the perfect location for my birthday staycation. From fancy to casual dining, working out to being pampered, and of course, shopping, Legacy Village had it all (and a great place to stay while enjoying it!)

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. I also received a complimentary one-night stay at the Hyatt Place Legacy Village. The idea for the staycation and, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.***




Why? Weekends!

This weekend still felt like summer to me! So, despite the appearance of pumpkins later on in my post, I’m hanging on to the end of summer…


On Friday morning, while the kids were in school, I went with my friends Mariah and Ashlie to Brewnuts for their Harry Potter-themed donuts that were available this weekend only.

Brewnuts not only makes gigantic, creative donuts, but they come up with lots of fun theme days to sprinkle even more magic on the donuts. I opted for a Sorting Hat donut, whose yellow buttercream filling told me I was a Hufflepuff.


Add in a Butterbeer latte…


and the cute, tiki-themed decor…


and you have the makings of three very happy moms!

Bloggy Con

On Saturday, I attended Bloggy Conference, a conference for bloggers. Held at Cedar Point’s Hotel Breakers, the location was perfect for soaking in a bit more of summer.


We heard speakers on everything from SEO to brand ambassadorships and had a chance to connect with other bloggers from around the country.

This was my first blog conference, despite how long I’ve been doing this, and I really feel like I came away with some valuable insights into things I can implement with the blog, as well as things that I don’t want to change.

Small City Taphouse

Since we were spending the night in Sandusky, I had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants out that way: Small City Taphouse.

This restaurant boasts 80 beers on tap, which obviously means you have to get a flight because it is impossible to choose just one.


My two favorites from my flight were the Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing and the Haunted Hayride Pumpkin Ale from Masthead Brewing.

Small City Taphouse also has a full sushi and Asian cuisine menu. The TNT roll, with tuna and jalapeno was a great choice, as was the spicy egg noodles with beef.


If you find yourself in Sandusky, definitely check out Small City Taphouse!

Cedar Point Halloweekends

On Sunday, my best guys joined me at Cedar Point for Halloweekends.


From trick or treating through Kiddie Kingdom…


…to trying out the new-this-year challenge course…


….to catching the It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown parade…

…there was so much to do on top of the rides that Jeffrey always loves. It was a fall festival in summer-like weather!


Halloweekends continue every weekend through October 28, so don’t miss this chance for some family-friendly thrills and treats!

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?


Why? Chefs Unbridled!

On Saturday night, Matthew and I attended one of our favorite foodie events: Chefs Unbridled to benefit Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center.


This event brings together a collection of talented Cleveland chefs, all of whom prepare delicious small plates to be enjoyed while strolling the big tent on the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club grounds.

The weather was cooler and the chefs were thinking cozy, fall flavors. Chef Scott Kuhn and Chef Chris Hodgson of the Driftwood Group prepared seafood chowder and fried burrata, both of which were warm and satisfying.

Speaking of warm and satisfying, the tomato risotto from the Union Club of Cleveland fit that bill too! And the slightly spicy, totally tender pork ropa vieja from Sol was delicious!


The newly-opened Polpetta was on hand with chicken meatballs with Thai peanut sauce over veggie fried rice. Yum!


And Chef Demetrios Athenos’ stuffed dates wrapped in bacon were the perfect bite-sized nibble.


All of this food and fun (and friends)…


benefited Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, which helps children and adults with disabilities, PTSD, and other physical and emotional challenges, connect with horses and find comfort and growth through these relationships.


The live auction, which included two in-home dinners provided by Driftwood Group, raised over $60,000 for Fieldstone Farm!


What a fabulous, fall-like evening for a wonderful cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Fieldstone Farm to help promote Chefs Unbridled. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***



Why? Zoo Clues and Brews and Date Night at the ZOOvies!

Last week, we attended two fun, adults-only events at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Both were fundraisers for the Cleveland Zoological Society, which supports the Zoo’s education, conservation, animal care, and capital improvements initiatives.

Zoo Clues and Brews is put on by the Cleveland Zoological Society’s young professionals group: Ambassadors Circle. Teams hunt throughout the Zoo for answers to clues on everything from animals to exhibits to the Zoo’s mission.


It’s a great way to get to know the Zoo better, plus enjoy some munchies and adult beverages!


Plus, teams really get into the team names and costumes! This year, our team was named Ostricilogical Signs. Mariah made these awesome shirts with an ostrich constellation and we added boas for some feathery fun.


Zoo Clues and Brews has become a really popular yearly event at the Zoo, so stay tuned for next year’s scavenger hunt, as well as other great events from the Ambassadors Circle!

Speaking of popular, sold-out zoo events, Date Night at the ZOOvies definitely qualifies. The Zoo is open after-hours for food, drinks, and a throwback movie in the Zoo’s amphitheater.

This year, the Driftwood Group, Great Lakes Brewing, and Vitamix all provided delicious food and drinks for pre-movie munching.


Plus, both Zoo Clues and Brews and Date Night at the ZOOvies were enhanced by the Asian Lantern Festival still being set up throughout the Zoo.


After dinner and lanterns and seeing some Zoo critters…


we headed to the amphitheater to watch the classic “Wayne’s World,” while enjoying popcorn and movie theater candy.

It was a great week of adult fun at the Zoo, all to benefit the Cleveland Zoological Society!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote both Zoo Clues and Brews and Date Night at the ZOOvies. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to both events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***



Why? Cleveland Candle Co.!

Last night, I got to hang out with some fabulous fellow blogger babes while getting hands-on with making candles, bath bombs, and lip balms, which was really a fantastic way to spend a Thursday night.


Cleveland Candle Co. invited us in to not only check out their amazing pre-made products, but make our own too. Cleveland Candle Co. has a huge selection of fun, delicious, lovely smelling candles, with seasonal favorites, food and drink scents, and specialty scents (the Black Tie, trust me).

All of their products are produced with local ingredients (90% of the waxes used are sourced from Ohio) and all USA-made glass. Plus, Cleveland Candle Co.’s candles are soy wax and use all-natural ingredients, so they burn clean and smell wonderful.

To create our own custom candle, we started by exploring the scent wall and choosing scents we liked. Then the girls at Cleveland Candle Co. helped us create a blend based on the scents that worked for us. They could help make our candles fresher, sweeter, spicier…whatever our preference.


My perfect blend, which I titled “Fall AF,” includes Apple Orchard, Mulled Cider, Crackling Firewood, and Orange Spice. So fall. I can’t wait to cozy up with it.


Then we got to mix custom bath bombs, choosing our own scent and color. My blue Spa Day bath bombs will make for a relaxing soak, if I can use them before Jeffrey does! He loves bath bombs!


We also created our own custom lip balms, getting to choose the perfect oil, butter, and scent to make our lips luscious. My blend included cocoa butter, blood orange and vanilla infusion essential oils, grapeseed oil, and Vitamin E.


My balm’s name? Orange You Glad You Kissed Me 😉

It was so fun to not only support a local small business committed to quality products, but to feel like part of the process in creating our own items. I am NOT a crafty person, as we know, but the team at Cleveland Candle Co. made everything easy and fun.

Plus, we could bring in our own beverages and snacks, so we definitely had a party with wine, stuffed peppadews, and Reese’s cups, which is the trifecta of an amazing meal.

For pre-made products perfect for treating yourself or those you love or for a totally fun and unique party idea (birthdays, bachelorettes, any given Thursday), be sure to check out Cleveland Candle Co., with locations in Mentor, Coventry, and Ohio City.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary candle, bath bomb, and lip balm workshop at Cleveland Candle Co. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

What a busy and fun weekend we had! Let’s get right to it!

Scene 75 Entertainment Center

On Friday, we had the perfect rainy morning play date at Scene 75 Entertainment Center. Jeffrey loves arcades and gets so excited to win tickets and earn prizes.


Scene 75 has a ton of arcade games in a huge space that doesn’t make you feel crammed in or overwhelmed.


They also have a lot of other fun attractions, like go-karts, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, laser tag, and a bounce house area that was definitely a favorite for Jeffrey and his friends.


We had a blast and will definitely be back because there’s a ton to do at Scene 75!

Lake Metroparks Farmpark Corn Maze Grand Opening Corn Roast

As much as I’m trying to hang on to summer, fall is just around the corner, which means things like fall fests and corn mazes. The Lake Metroparks Farmpark hosted a grand opening corn roast to celebrate their Alien Adventure Corn Maze.


The grand opening party had live music from Horsefeathers Band, pedal tractors, corn hole, and a delicious dinner of BBQ chicken, Jo-Jo potatoes, and corn.


We took on the corn maze challenge of finding all 20 aliens hidden throughout the maze. Jeffrey was so proud that he found all of them!


The Corn Maze is now open through October 14 from 9am-4pm. Farmpark admission applies. Definitely put this on your list of fall to-do’s!

Recovery Resources Run for Recovery

Saturday morning, we met up with friends at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for the Recovery Resources Run for Recovery.


While the kids missed the Fun Run because we were trying to wait out the rain, they created their own fun run…


…plus we had a chance to wander through the Zoo and see the red pandas, elephants, and tigers before the Zoo opened.


The Run for Recovery is in its 6th year and had its most successful turnout to raise money for Recovery Resources’ addiction services programs. A fun morning for a great cause…no better way to start the day!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Recovery Resources to help promote the Run for Recovery. In exchange, I received a complimentary race registration. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Western Reserve Rowing

We hustled over to the Western Reserve Rowing regatta on the Cuyahoga River just in time to see Matthew and his team win a gold medal in the Experienced Rowing division!


This is Matthew’s second year rowing and I’m so proud of all the time and effort he’s put in, to say nothing of the team’s success!


Plus, it’s just a really cool thing to be hanging out on the banks of the Cuyahoga surrounded by the city and watching people enjoy the water (and take a break for a massive freighter to go through).

Goldie’s Donuts & Bakery

Our busy Saturday wasn’t done yet. We also got to sample some new products that are now available at Goldie’s Donuts & Bakery.

The “sticky fingers” will be available on weekend mornings and is a donut that is prepared French-toast style and topped with nuts, corn flakes, and caramel drizzle.


Sweet, sticky, satisfying, and delicious!

Jeffrey also gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to Goldie’s Oreo cheesecake, which is light and fluffy, but still totally decadent.


This donut shop that’s more than just donuts is worth a stop no matter the time of day!

***Disclosure: I was invited for a complimentary tasting of Goldie’s Donuts & Bakery’s new menu items. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Indians Game

The weather on Sunday was just perfect to take in an Indians win at Progressive Field!


Jeffrey gets so excited about sports events now. He loved everything from watching the game…


…to participating in the activities on the Family Deck


…to running the bases as part of Kids Fun Day.


Jeffrey has a Tribe Town MVP membership this year and it was so worth it! From a cool swag bag to getting to skip the activity waiver line to being first in line to run the bases, the membership has a lot of great perks for families attending games.

And since it was Jim Thome weekend, I had to enjoy a Thomenator hot dog with kraut, onions, and pierogi. A hall of fame hot dog for our newest hall of famer!

So, that was our weekend! Lots of busy, end-of-summer fun! How was yours?


Why? Weekends!

As of today, we have two weeks left of Jeffrey’s summer break. Just two weeks! So, we’re going to get in every bit of summer goodness we can. Here’s what we were up to this weekend…

Lake Metroparks Farm Park

On Friday, we met up with friends Lane and Nolan for a play date at the Lake Metroparks Farm Park.


Jeffrey is so sweet with Nolan! The Farm Park was the perfect way to bridge the age gap between the boys by giving them things to see and do that they could both appreciate.

Photo Credit: Lane

It was a lovely little summer Friday afternoon!

First Watch

Saturday morning, Mom and I met up for brunch at First Watch. I really love the food at First Watch, plus any place that brings me a pot rather than a cup of coffee is speaking my language!

I ordered the Elevated Egg Sandwich, with bacon, Gruyere, avocado, mayo, and lemon-dressed arugula.

IMG_4555 (1)

I loved the freshness of the avocado and lemon paired with the richness of the bacon and Gruyere. So good!

Mom chose the seasonal Elote Mexican Street Corn Hash, with seasoned potatoes, roasted sweet corn, chorizo, Cotija cheese, and chipotle crema.


Spicy, sweet, and satisfying! First Watch is a great breakfast spot!

Buckeye Beer Engine

Then it was off to our friend Kevin’s 40th birthday party at Buckeye Beer Engine. While Buckeye Beer Engine is known for their craft beer selection, I found myself enjoying their bourbon cocktails, including the bourbon ginger mimosa.


We also chowed down on their boneless wings (the spicy garlic Parmesan are on point), crab cakes, and pierogi. It was a fun afternoon of good drinks and good food to celebrate a good friend!

Cedar Point

On Sunday, we found ourselves at Cedar Point once again, this time for our annual trip with Amanda and Scott.


As Jeffrey’s godparents and huge Cedar Point enthusiasts, Amanda and Scott are the perfect folks for a day at the amusement park. They love going on the rides with Jeffrey and I can see their relationship with him deepen each time we go.


It was a beautiful day to be up at the park too! We’re squeezing in as many Cedar Point trips as we can before the summer is through!


So, that was our weekend. How was yours? Are you feeling the back-to-school blues too?


Why? Weekends!

Other than having a howling good time at Twilight at the Zoo, there was lots of other happenings this weekend. Here’s what we were up to:

AIA Cleveland Sand Festival

For the last four years, Matthew and some of his AECOM colleagues have competed in a sand castle building competition put on by AIA Cleveland. It’s always so cool to see the beach filled with sandcastles built by actual architects!


This year, the AECOM team created a Harry Potter themed sand sculpture that looked incredible and took home the judges’ award for the fourth year in a row!


The competition takes place at Edgewater Beach and there are awards from both judges and the public. You can follow along at @CleSandFest to vote for your favorite (cough, AECOM, cough.)

Babes and Babies Who Brunch

On Sunday morning, my friend Maria had Alicia and me over with our kiddos for a lovely brunch!


Maria and I have been friends since a fateful English class (and living in the same dorm) in our freshman year at John Carroll.

It’s always so great when friendships stand the test of time and evolve to fit where we are in our lives now.

Jeffrey took this, thus the finger photo bomb

And it’s even more fun to see our kids getting along too!


I swear Brenna was having fun! We all had a lovely morning!

Blossom Music Festival

Sunday night, we found ourselves back at Blossom Music Center for another Cleveland Orchestra concert.


This time, we brought Jeffrey and met up with friends who also brought their sons. From the “Under 18s Free” tickets to the Young Audiences guide, the Cleveland Orchestra goes out of its way to make these concerts accessible to all ages.


Jeffrey enjoyed listening to the orchestra and picnicking outside just as much as we did! I love being able to expose him to culture in a way that is fun and accessible to him!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?