Why? Weekends!

It was another busy and fun weekend in Cleveland, so let’s dive right in!

Mad for Plaid

The Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society recently opened a new exhibit, Mad for Plaid.

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This exhibit takes you through the history of plaid in fashion, starting in the time of Queen Victoria.

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Mad for Plaid takes you from the early days of plaid in fashion through iconic UK designers, such as Alexander McQueen and Burberry through plaid in grunge and rock (there are even pieces on loan from the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame) through 1970’s fashion to today.

 

There are even examples from plaid on the silver screen in the form of two costumes from “The Greatest Showman,” which were designed by a local costume designer and worn in the film by Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.

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Mad for Plaid is now open and is a visually elegant way to experience the history of plaid in fashion. Also, check out StyleMe Saturdays, with monthly free programming including exclusive curator tours, themed discussion, and hands-on demonstrations from Praxis Fiber Workshop.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary curator tour of Mad for Plaid. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

John Carroll Reunion Weekend

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since I graduated from John Carroll University (probably because I’m still up on campus so often). This weekend, John Carroll celebrated Reunion Weekend, bringing together graduates from class years ending in 3 and 8.

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Saturday morning, I attended a yoga class and the family picnic up on campus. The family picnic had great food, as well as face-painting, balloons, a bubble artist, and a sketch artist to keep everyone entertained.

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Saturday evening, I attended the Reunion Weekend Mass at Church of the Gesu, then headed to dinner and dancing on the Quad. My friends and I made it a girls night at Reunion and had so much fun reminiscing about people and places from our college days.

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We all met on our very first day at John Carroll, when we lived on the same floor in Dolan Hall. To be able to stay friends for all these years and celebrate Reunion together is truly something special!

The dinner, desserts, drinks, and DJ were all perfect! From toasting to National Rose Day to enjoying mini donuts from Donut Lab to catching up with friends, Reunion Weekend was filled with sweetness!

 

We’re already talking about our 20th Reunion, although no one quite wants to do the math on how old we’ll be for that!

Great Lakes Science Center

On Sunday, we met up with friends for a play date at the Great Lakes Science Center. Since we attended the member preview of TapeScape, Jeffrey has been asking to go back for more sticky, slide-y fun!

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In addition to TapeScape, we enjoyed classic Science Center favorites like the Polymer Funhouse and checked out the cool duct tape photo opp, too.

The Great Lakes Science Center always offers something fun and educational that captures Jeffrey’s imagination and attention. It’s a favorite play date spot for sure!

***Disclosure: I received four complimentary tickets, courtesy of the Great Lakes Science Center. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

 

 

 

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

As summer gets into full swing, it’s event season at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Cleveland Zoological Society puts on several FUNdraising events for the Zoo during the summer months, the biggest of which is Twilight at the Zoo, happening August 3.

This summer marks the 25th year for Twilight at the Zoo, which combines bands, beer, food, and after-hours Zoo admission into one wild party! This year will be my sixth year attending Twilight at the Zoo, so I thought I’d take a look back at all the years of fun so you can have a sense of what you’ll experience at Twilight at the Zoo:

2012

Yup, there are cheesy photo opps with pretend critters, but also the chance to see some of the Zoo’s real critters as you move from stage to stage throughout the Zoo. Remember, Twilight at the Zoo is a great party, but also a fundraiser for the Cleveland Zoological Society to support the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

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2013

Twilight at the Zoo is a 21+ event and there are plenty of libations to enjoy! All levels of tickets include open bar. VIP tickets include additional beer, wine, and cocktail choices.

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2014

Glow necklaces! There are always fun giveaways like necklaces, flashing cups, and the like at Twilight at the Zoo. This is helpful because it is definitely a party-after-dark event!

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2015

Bands! Twilight at the Zoo is a huge outdoor concert, with bands playing simultaneously throughout the Zoo. Musical styles range from rock ‘n roll to swing to country to jazz. We often discover new favorite bands at Twilight at the Zoo…Billy Likes Soda quickly became a favorite and a yearly stop for us now!

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2016

So, there’s lots of walking and dancing at Twilight at the Zoo. While you wouldn’t know it from this happy, early-in-the-night picture, this is the year I ended up taking my shoes off and attempting to walk barefoot to the car before Matthew gave me his shoes. He’s a good one. Point being, wear comfy shoes and come ready to walk and dance it out.

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2017

Twilight at the Zoo is genuinely the party of the summer! We always have such a great time, from enjoying nibbles in VIP, to discovering new bands and old favorites, to partying with friends.

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Tickets are currently on sale for this always sold-out event! General admission tickets are $75 in June and $85 in July and August. Zoo Members can save $5 off general admission tickets in June only. Click here to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo. In exchange, I will receive four complimentary VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Just to let you know right from the start, this post is 90% Jeffrey’s birthday and 10% donuts…

Goldie’s Donuts

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I had the chance to check out the brand new Goldie’s Donuts and Bakery in Lyndhurst.

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Located in the former Amy Joy’s Donuts location, Goldie’s does more than just donuts, but boy, do they make great donuts! The sour cream donut was my favorite: so moist and delicious! I also tried the classic glazed, which was light and fluffy.

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Goldie’s also offers tons of pastries, like cookies with rich and delicious chocolate icing, Russian tea cakes made from a 100-year old recipe, and decadent brownies and coconut bars.

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Goldie’s also has apple fritters and chocolate chip cookies that are both as big as your head!

Goldie’s is open daily from 5am to 10pm, so any time you’re craving donuts or any of their other delightful treats, you can grab one (with the convenience of a drive-through if you want). Goldie’s is a great addition to our fabulous locally-owned donut scene in Cleveland!

***I was invited to a complimentary tasting at Goldie’s Donuts and Bakery. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Jeffrey’s Birthday: Parts One, Two, and Three

Jeffrey turned four yesterday and it’s hard to believe how fast time has gone! I’m so proud of the boy he has become: so inquisitive and funny and smart and empathetic. And what better way to mark turning four than with a weekend of parties?!

On Friday, we had a party for Jeffrey’s school friends at Preston’s HOPE Playground Park. This is always a favorite place to play and it was the perfect spot for the kids on that beautiful day.

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We ordered pizza from Pizzazz on the Circle and had a great time playing.

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Jeffrey has gotten really into birthdays, particularly singing “Happy Birthday,” and it was such a treat to watch him get so excited for that part of his parties.

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On Saturday, we had a party with Jeffrey’s friends at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.

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When the new Museum opened, Jeffrey immediately requested to have his birthday party there. It was the perfect spot, with lots of fun things for the kids to do, plus a spacious and well-appointed party room and friendly staff that made hosting a breeze!

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Jeffrey’s cake came from Cakes to You and was designed to match his invitations and party décor perfectly!

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Jeffrey also requested a rocket ship piñata (thank goodness for Amazon…you can find anything, I swear), which led to a lot of excited candy grabbing!

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And then on Sunday, we had a party at our house with our family and Jeffrey’s godparents. My dad arranged for a pretty amazing surprise in our driveway: Lightning McQueen and Mater!

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Lightning is my dad’s car, with the addition of a perfectly-designed sunshade. It was so cool for Jeffrey to see these characters come to life in his driveway!

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We had lots of good BBQ food, time to play in the yard, and another fabulously designed Cakes to You cake.

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Anything that can make Jeffrey this happy is completely worth doing (three times over)!

Happiest birthday to our favorite little man, who woke up this morning and said very seriously, “Momma, I am four now.” I can’t wait to see what it brings!

And of course, what an epic Cavs win! Pretty nice birthday present they gave Jeffrey there!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your long weekend and take time to remember the reason for the holiday, too.

jenclesig_pur

Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party!

The Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party to benefit the Arthritis Foundation isn’t just a strolling food and wine event. It is a whole body sensory experience. From the tastes and smells to the sights and sounds, I always leave this party buzzing with Cleveland happiness.

So, let me take you on a little sensory overload tour of last night’s fun…

Matthew and I enter the VIP area and immediately head toward Porco Lounge and Tiki Room. Their set-up whisks us away to an island bar somewhere in the Caribbean…

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…and so do their drinks. Get the Painkiller! We enjoy our drinks while taking in the historic sights at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum at the Cleveland History Center.

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From the Caribbean to Japan, we can’t pass up the ultra fresh and ultra delicious sushi prepared by Chef Dante Boccuzzi at Ginko.

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The Silver Spoon Awards Party isn’t just a chance to eat great food, but also a chance to rub elbows with Cleveland’s culinary elite! Oh, you can also rub elbows with some blogger friends too!

We head upstairs to the main room and prepare ourselves (loosen our belts) to tackle this gauntlet of gastronomic  glory.

We snag a delicious chicken slider with mango habanero salsa from Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar before heading downfield to enjoy steak from Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill and see Bernie Kosar himself!

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I almost fumbled my steak as I caught sight of Swensons Drive-In‘s burgers and mini milkshakes! I had two mini shakes, because they’re mini, obviously.

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Next up was the delicious chorizo and roasted corn from Butcher and the Brewer and the comforting smells and tastes of French Onion Pot Roast from Creekside Restaurant & Bar.

We spiced things up with the delicious offerings from Thai Thai (the buzz is well earned) while taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel.

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We couldn’t resist diving under the sea with Pier W‘s oyster po boy and Marble Room‘s smoked salmon puff.

I attempted to look dainty as I tore into the ribs from Mabel’s BBQ, but that pepper crust and mustardy sauce made all restraint go away!

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Speaking of making all restraint go away, we definitely did shots of ceviche followed up with shots of Mezcal. We blame Chef Jonathon Sawyer and this The Greenhouse Tavern deliciousness.

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We capped off this feeding frenzy with sweet treats from one of my favorite east side haunts, Luna Bakery and Café. I didn’t dive in to this table set-up face first, but I wanted to.

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Then, it was back downstairs for another visual treat: watching bartenders from Ginko, Porco Lounge and Tiki Room, Salt+, and Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen compete in a Chopped-style cocktail competition, with ingredients including Woodford Reserve, green tea, rhubarb, and dragon fruit.

We also got to sample their unique creations and vote for our favorite! Matthew and I split our votes between Porco Lounge and Tiki Room and Ginko.

Tired, stuffed, and overwhelmingly impressed yet again by this event and Cleveland’s diverse and vibrant food scene, we waddled back to home to dream of next year’s Silver Spoon Awards Party!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Taki’s Greek Kitchen!

While I’ve never been hemmed in by the East side/West side divide, it also isn’t very often that I go out to eat in Avon Lake. When I made plans to meet up with my friend Beth on her side of town, we immediately agreed to eat at Taki’s Greek Kitchen.

I had enjoyed the food from Taki’s at events before, but never had dinner there. And now I’m even more impressed! Beth and I started by sharing the octapodi skaras, which had char-grilled octopus, arugula, warm Greek potato salad, and red wine vinaigrette.

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I love grilled octopus and this preparation paired it perfectly with the bitterness of the arugula and the crisp texture of the potatoes.

For my entrée, I had the Thursday weekly special of stifado vodino, which are braised short ribs with pearl onions and spiced tomato sauce, served over orzo.

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The short ribs were so tender and the sauce had a delicious spice! I highly recommend going on a Thursday to enjoy this special!

Beth had the macaronia thalassina, with spaghetti, shrimp, mussels, artichoke hearts, spinach, tear drop tomatoes, pine nuts, white wine, lemon butter, Feta, and fresh herbs.

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This dish was light, fresh, and bursting with Mediterranean flavors!

For dessert, we shared the ekmek, which had pistachios layered between kataifi, custard, and whipped cream.

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So rich and delicious! Definitely a shareable dessert, especially after I nearly cleaned my entrée plate!

Taki’s Greek Kitchen offers amazing, high-end Mediterranean dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. It was definitely worth the drive for this East sider and I know I’ll be back!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends, Part 1!

Holy goodness, it was a beautiful and busy weekend! So, we’re doing a two-part, mini-series Weekend Recap. Let’s get right to it…

TapeScape: Sticky Science

The Great Lakes Science Center has a brand new exhibit and we are totally stuck on it!

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It’s called TapeScape: Sticky Science and it features a two-level, 1,300-square foot, all-ages playground made out of packing tape! The playground is lit with bright colors and is truly a fun climbing and sliding experience for the whole family!

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It’s truly amazing that packing tape can support the weight of people and create an entire playground. Of course, TapeScape: Sticky Science explores the science behind the polymers at work in tape, as well as things like adhesion and cohesion, how geckos cling to class and more.

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There are also some cool duct tape fashions to check out!

TapeScape is part of the Great Lakes Science Center’s movement toward creating their own exhibits, rather than bringing in traveling exhibits. In fact, Matthew volunteered one evening to help build TapeScape, so it’s as local as it gets!

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TapeScape is open now through September 3 and has fun for the whole family, including a TotScape area for the smallest tape climbers.

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Don’t miss it!

Wade Oval Walk Against Hunger

On Friday, we couldn’t pass up the chance to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! So, Jeffrey and I met up with friends Elizabeth, Mia, and Charlie for the Wade Oval Walk Against Hunger.

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The walk was put on by University Circle Inc. and raised money for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Harvest for Hunger campaign. You could walk 1 or 2 miles (4 or 8 laps around Wade Oval) for $10 per mile. We intended to walk 2 miles, but the kids’ attention spans only let us get in 1 mile!

There was a lot of other fun on Wade Oval that day, too, from food trucks to lawn games to live music!

It was such a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon and we contributed to a great cause too!

Azure Rooftop Lounge

Does it feel like a switch got flipped and we’re all in summer mode?! It certainly feels that way to me! On Friday evening, Matthew and I attended the season opening of Azure Rooftop Lounge at The 9, which put me even more in summer mode.

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Azure Rooftop Lounge is an expansive space, with bar seating, comfy couches, and high top tables. You can get views of everything from the skyline to Progressive Field to Playhouse Square to even snippets of Lake Erie.

 

Of course, you can also enjoy tasty cocktails while taking in these views. Azure’s build-your-own drink menu let’s you construct your perfect mule, margarita, or mojito, all just right for summer sipping!

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There are also delicious menu items from Chef Nelly Buleje, including tuna tartar, bruschetta, burgers and chicken sandwiches, and custom-built bowls in styles like Mediterranean, sweet berry, and Pacific.

The food and the drink at Azure elevate this to more than just your average rooftop bar! Azure has lots of fun events planned for the summer season, including Rooftop Rose on Tuesdays, Rooftop Happy Hour from 4-6:30pm, and Summer Nights every Friday and Saturday night with a DJ.

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Don’t miss the fabulous views, food, and fun at Azure this summer!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Azure Rooftop Lounge Kick-Off with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of our weekend adventures!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Grapes Under Glass!

This past weekend, Heinen’s Downtown Cleveland and The 9 co-hosted a series of wine tasting events called Grapes Under Glass.

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These events were a great way to showcase not only the gorgeous Cleveland Trust Rotunda, but also Heinen’s expansive wine selection and The 9’s delicious food from Adega.

On Friday night, my friend Mariah and I attended the California Blue Chip Wine Experience. The event showcased “powerfully-built, highly-rated, limited-release red wines from California,” which sounded like a total palate pleaser for me!

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We each received a wine passport giving us access to a one-ounce taste of all fifteen of the wines, plus three “bonus” tastes for our favorites of the bunch. Some of my favorites included the Caymus Special Select Cabarnet Sauvignon, the Turley Zinfandel, the Quilt Reserve Cabarnet Sauvignon, and the Paul Hobbs Dr. Crane Cabarnet Sauvignon.

Mariah and I agreed that our most enjoyed wine of the evening was the Duckhorn The Discussion, so named because it was a long discussion at the winery to create a Duckhorn red blend.

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All of these big, bold reds were masterfully paired with with tapas-style food from Chef Nelly Buleje of Adega.

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The poke bowl was light and fresh, but it’s spicy sauce could hold it’s own with the wine! And the build-your-own tacos or steam buns were delicious!

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My favorite was the chicken al pastor, which packed a ton of heat! The Kogi short rib was so tender too!

For dessert, there were tobacco chocolate cookies (rich and smoky) and strawberry rhubarb tarts (the perfect balance of sweet and tart).

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The California Blue Chip Wine Experience at Grapes Under Glass was a treat for all the senses, from the beautiful surroundings to the fabulous wines and delicious food. Heinen’s and The 9 are two of Downtown Cleveland’s prettiest, tastiest, most luxurious places to be and their combined forces made this event not to be missed!

***Disclosure: I was invited by Heinen’s to attend the Grapes Under Glass California Blue Chip Wine Experience. I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend in Cleveland! And while I didn’t have the chance to attend the Rock Hall Induction or the first Cavs playoff game, I am so proud of how Cleveland put on a fabulous show on the national stage!

So, here’s what I was up to as Cleveland was rocking it out:

Providence House Luncheon

On Friday, Kimberly and I attended the Providence House Annual Luncheon at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.

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Providence House is a crisis nursery that is committed to ending child abuse and preserving families in the Cleveland area. Providence House was founded by Sister Hope Greener in 1981. This year, Providence House turns 37 and its founder Sister Hope turns 90.

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Friday’s luncheon feted Sister Hope and raised $90,000 for Providence House.

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It also introduced a powerful new brand campaign designed by Twist Creative. This campaign showcases the impact of Providence House on its residents and volunteers.

The Providence House luncheon was a wonderful way to not only celebrate the organization’s history, but also look forward to a bright and exciting future for the house. If you want to be part of that future, you can find out more online about how to donate or volunteer.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Providence House Annual Luncheon with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we attended the final show of this season’s Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square.

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The show, put on by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, brought to life the sweet story of “Guess How Much I Love You” and the imaginative story of “I Love My Little Storybook.” We’ve been reading “Guess How Much I Love You” since Jeffrey was born. It was so touching to experience it live on stage together!

The shows for next year’s Children’s Theater Series are “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Rainbow Fish,” “Emily Brown and the Thing,” and “Junie B. Jones.” Season tickets go on sale May 21. We love attending the Children’s Theater Series shows and experiencing culture together as a family!

Mass and a Meal

Saturday evening, we attended the sixth annual Mass and a Meal event put on by the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. We started the evening with Mass at Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy.

Then we headed across the street to Nido Italia for a delicious family-style dinner with breaded eggplant, cavatelli, and chicken piccata.

Of course, I can’t be that close to Presti’s and not stop for a cannoli, too!

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Mass and a Meal has become a Chapter favorite event and a yearly tradition for many alumni. If you’re a John Carroll alumni, the Chapter has some great upcoming events including our Founders Day Celebration this Thursday, April 19 at Market Garden Brewery. I hope to see you there!

***Disclosure: I am the president of the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Yoga Roots

Sunday evening, I met up with Mom for her first class at Yoga Roots. We took a restorative yoga class which was a great chance to recharge our minds and bodies before a busy week.

You know how much I love practicing, so I’m so excited to share that with Mom too. And I can’t think of a more supportive community than Yoga Roots to practice.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours? Did you get in on any of the Rock Hall excitement?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Make-a-Wish Big Wish Gala!

Last night, Matthew and I attended the Make-a-Wish Big Wish Gala at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown.

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As we enjoyed the cocktail hour, we perused amazing silent auction items, all framed by incredible views of Cleveland. There were some unique and fun auction items, including a pet photo shoot with Greg Murray, a fireworks package from Phantom Fireworks called the “Grounds for Divorce,” and tickets to “Hamilton: An American Musical” from Playhouse Square.

Matthew and I always love participating in the wine pull at charity events. I liked that this wine pull gave you a hint at which type of wine you would get (red tissue paper for red, white tissue paper for white, or red and white combined for rose).

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After cocktails and auction shopping, it was time to head in for dinner. We enjoyed chicken, risotto, and desserts that were as tasty as they were adorable.

During dinner, we had the chance to hear stories from families whose child had a wish granted, as well as from Doctor Anup Patel, Section Chief of Pediatric Neurology and Director of the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, who has seen the tangible medical difference that having a wish granted can make in a child’s physical well-being.

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It was truly amazing to hear from families who have endured so much stress and fear over their child’s health speak about what it means to be able to take a break from the tension and enjoy moments together as a family.

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I also got to reconnect with a high school classmate, Megan, who is one of the incredible people working at Make-a-Wish to make children’s wishes come true every day!

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Wishes come in all shapes and sizes, from trips to Disney World or Hawaii to a day at the salon to getting a computer or playset to meeting the Pope, which actually happened for local Wish Kid Leonora and her family. Wishes are as unique as the child who wishes them. What is consistent about every wish is that it means the world to that child and their family.

Currently, Make-a-Wish is only able to grant one out of every two eligible wishes, which is why the Big Wish Gala, which raised over $500,000 last night, is so critical. Make-a-Wish wants to be able to grant more wishes and help even more children not only have a special day, but create lifetime memories and see medical improvement.

If you want to get involved through volunteering or donating to Make-a-Wish, click here for more information on how you can make wishes come true, too.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Make-a-Wish to help promote the Big Wish Gala. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Austin!

This past weekend, I met up with my “PLP” (platonic life partner) Andrea for a fabulous weekend of face-to-face catching up in Austin, Texas.

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Andrea and I met in law school and quickly became inseparable. And while life has taken us in a lot of different directions since then, we’ve always managed to stay in touch and even carve out time to see each other in person.

We chose Austin because it was a city we could both get to easily (Cleveland has direct flights there now on both Southwest and Allegiant, woot) and we had heard great things about it. So, here’s where we went and what we loved:

South Congress

The South Congress (or SoCo) neighborhood reminds me of Gordon Square or Tremont, with lots of great restaurants and fun boutiques to explore.

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On my first day in Austin, while I was waiting for Andrea to arrive, I popped into the South Congress Hotel for a tasty drink in their adorable lobby bar.

Andrea and I both relaxed with pedicures at Ten Over Ten, a salon that exclusively does nail appointments and is totally relaxing, as well as totally focused on non-toxic products.

Also in the SoCo area, we fell in love with the adorable Maya Star boutique, as well as the tasty Amy’s Ice Creams (think Coldstone-style treats, but yummier).

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This street art says it all…we loved SoCo!

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Rainey Street

Another great neighborhood in Austin is Rainey Street, which has bars and restaurants galore, all built into adorable bungalows. Rainey Street also boasts some of Austin’s “trailer parks,” which are areas that have food trucks permanently parked.

I had a drink and food truck chicken wings at Lustre Pearl on Rainey Street. I sipped on a Clive Davis (Bulleit rye, lemon juice, ginger beer, and Peychaud’s bitters) while hanging out in the backyard-like patio with giant games, lawn chairs, and astroturf.

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Later in the weekend, Andrea and I returned to Rainey Street for margaritas and guacamole at El Naranjo.

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Rainey Street was definitely hopping on a Saturday night! For a fun collection of restaurants and bars, with tons of options for whatever your taste, I highly recommend a walk (or two) down Rainey Street!

The Roosevelt Room

From the laid back to the fancy, Andrea and I spent an evening sipping fabulous cocktails at The Roosevelt Room, a reservations-only speakeasy nestled in downtown Austin.

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The menu is divided by era and offers a huge selection of craft cocktails, with everything from a Manhattan to a Long Island Iced Tea. We scored seats at the bar, where we got to see the amazing bartenders work their magic, as well as enjoy our own delicious beverages (I got the Air Mail Special, with champagne, dark rum, honey, and lemon).

The Roosevelt Room was a treat for all the senses!

Mattie’s 

While we received tons of different recommendations for places to go in Austin, one place almost everyone mentioned was Mattie’s.

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Mattie’s feels like something out of “Gone With the Wind,” with a beautiful plantation-style house and a distinct feeling of southern hospitality. We went for brunch and loved everything from the amazing buttermilk biscuits to the duck confit hash.

Both the food and the setting were unique and lovely! Mattie’s famous peacocks were strolling the grounds while we were there and Snowball the peacock definitely enjoyed showing off for the camera.

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Mattie’s is a not-to-be-missed southern experience!

Drink Local

While in Austin, I also got to catch up with my friends Shannon and Steven, who took me to Still Austin and The Austin Winery, both located within steps of each other in an industrial park.

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I highly recommend the cocktail flight at Still Austin, which gives you a great taste of their different varieties of whiskey mixed into tasty drinks.

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Also in the same industrial park is a local brewery, so you can get whiskey, beer, and wine all in one spot!

Eat Local

When your AirBNB doesn’t have coffee, you end up at the nearest coffee shop, which is how we discovered the lovely SummerMoon.

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We also ended up at a lovely lunch spot by happenstance: Laundrette. Located in a former laundromat, this bright, charming restaurant served up a lovely ladies lunch.

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The fried chicken sammie was delicious, as was the beet hummus!

We also hit Barlata Tapas Bar, for delicious small plates. Andrea and I had a favorite tapas restaurant in law school, so Barlata was a nice bit of nostalgia, as we shared tapas standards like patatas bravas, garlic shrimp, and blistered shishito peppers.

Yay for eating local! Austin definitely has no shortage of great places to eat!

Getting my Om On

If you know me, you know I also snuck in some time on my mat while in Austin. I practiced at Sukha Yoga, which has a beautiful studio and a warm, welcoming vibe. Seriously, if you’re in town, check out this studio!

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I also picked up a class at barre3 Austin. Because barre3 is standardized across the franchises, I knew exactly what I’d be getting, which was a great workout that felt instantly familiar.

So, that was our weekend in Austin! Tons of time exploring a fabulous and fun town, but even better, tons of time catching up with a fabulous and fun friend!

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