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?

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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.***

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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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Why? The South Side and Hi & Dry!

Last week, I met up with some fabulous lady bloggers for a taste of two fabulous Tremont restaurants: The South Side and Hi & Dry. The South Side was opened in 2003 by Sherman DeLozier with the idea of being a middle ground for Tremont’s restaurants: not too fancy, not too casual. And Chef Natasha Pogrebinsky, who grew up in Parma, does just that with fabulous and fun menu offerings.

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We got a broad taste of The South Side’s menu, including items that will be appearing on the summer menu starting in early May. The gazpacho and seafood shooters and Big Fat Greek Salad (watermelon, cucumber, tomato, onion, feta, and basil), both tasted just like summer should: fresh and delicious!

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The tuna and avocado salad was incredible and had everyone going back for seconds!

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The beets and grapefruit salad was also light, bright, and so good!

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We also got to sample several different kinds of tacos: steak, shrimp, and black bean and kimchee.

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Pair them with a habanero tequila and peach margarita and you’ll want to spend your taco Tuesdays at The South Side!

The South Side also pays homage to Natasha’s Eastern European roots with things like deep-fried pierogi stuffed with mac ‘n cheese and kielbasa kebabs (kielbasa and potato pancakes).

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A bite of these with the chipotle aioli is SO GOOD!

But Chef Natasha didn’t stop there and showed us her skill with fish and pasta, too. The mushroom ravioli with truffle and beet fettucine with goat cheese and dill were both well-prepared and delicious!

The pesto-crusted salmon and tomato-roasted grouper also elevate The South Side’s menu to true gastro pub status. The food is creative and tasty, while still being accessible and not too pretentious.

The South Side strip and St. Louis style ribs will keep the more traditional meat-eaters happy, with just enough of a foodie flair.

Oh, you’re a pizza fan? Try the shrimp primavera pizza!

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And if you’re looking for brunch decadence, look no farther than the Money Ball, a meatball wrapped around a 6-minute egg and baked under a blanket of pie dough, served with buttermilk sausage gravy.

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The South Side truly has something on their menu for everyone! The food, drinks, and staff are easy-going and genuinely wonderful. If this place slipped off your Tremont radar, as it did mine admittedly, make sure you get there soon for all this Cleveland-grown deliciousness!

We then waddled (literally) down the street to Hi & Dry for a sampling of their playful cocktail menu and some duckpin bowling.

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All of Hi & Dry’s cocktails are named after hashtags. I think the #CaseoftheMondays (pictured here) is my favorite! And while Hi & Dry is primarily a bar and arcade destination, there are some fun bar food menu items, including this SPAM sandwich.

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So, whether you’re in search of a great meal, a great drink, or a great time, you can’t go wrong stopping at The South Side or Hi & Dry (or both)! These locally-owned, locally-focused restaurants are true gems in the Tremont neighborhood!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting at The South Side and Hi & Dry. Much thanks to Tricia of Planes, Trains, and All of Our Meals for organizing this event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a wonderful holiday weekend, filled with family and friends! Here’s what was hopping:

Dyeing Easter Eggs

On Friday, Jeffrey and I had our friends over to dye Easter eggs. We dye eggs every year and I love how Jeffrey has gotten more interested in it as time goes by.

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Check out his masterpieces!

Cleveland Botanical Garden Easter Egg Hunt

Speaking of annual traditions, on Saturday we went to the Cleveland Botanical Garden Easter egg hunt. This is one of our favorite holiday events!

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You ticket includes an Easter egg hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden, which is filled with tons of candy-filled eggs, as well as fun spring decorations.

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There were also crafts and outdoor games like bean bag toss and giant tic-tac-toe to enjoy. Plus there was a visit from a very special bunny in a very special bunny car!

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You also got admission to the Cleveland Botanical Garden to check out their Spring Blooms event. Spring Blooms replaced Big Spring and has all the bright spring colors and flowers you’ve come to expect, but fewer children’s play elements.

We really enjoyed our morning at the Easter egg hunt! For an event that draws around 1,000 people, it is very well organized and always a lot of fun!

Dante and Justin Timberlake

On Saturday night, I celebrated my dear friend Kimberly‘s birthday with dinner at Dante, followed by the Justin Timberlake concert.

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Our meal at Dante was perfect, from the aptly-named Something Fun cocktail…

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…to the honey-roasted Brussel sprouts with goat cheese and polenta with pork belly (OMG, both were life-changing!)

From there, it was off to an awesome night of music with Justin Timberlake, with a special guest appearance from LeBron James, too!

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What a fun night!

Easter

The rest of our weekend was spent enjoying Easter with our families. On Saturday, I prepared a traditional and locally-sourced Polish Holy Saturday feast, with pierogi from Janka Meat Products and Pierogi, kielbasa from Pinzone Market Fresh Meats, and sauerkraut from Wholesome Valley Farm via Fresh Fork Market.

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On Sunday, we had Easter bunny treats to discover…

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…time with both Matthew’s and my families and lots of smiles and good memories!

It was a great weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Weekends!

Oh my goodness, we could not have crammed more into this weekend if we tried! So, let’s get right to it:

#HamilFlow and Ginko (hey, that rhymes)

Friday night, I watched as one of my favorite people paired two of her favorite things and, boy, was the result magical! Alicia taught a 75-minute yoga class with the music of “Hamilton: An American Musical.” Much like the musical itself, the class was inspiring, fun, and fast-paced. This class sold out fast, so stay tuned because Alicia has promised a sequel!

After class, we headed downstairs to Ginko for what is always the finest sushi in Cleveland.

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Ginko always has the freshest and most inventive sushi offerings. It’s so fun to sit at the bar and watch the chefs create, too!

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Dessert that evening was a chocolate pot de creme, so who can resist that?

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It was a perfect Friday night!

Seussical Jr.

On Saturday afternoon, we headed to St. Francis of Assisi School for their production of “Seussical, Jr.” My friend Melissa was the director of the show and I was so impressed with her work and the talent of the cast!

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Plus, it’s a great musical for kids to enjoy! Jeffrey especially loved seeing his friend Dean (Melissa’s son) in the cast as one of the Whos!

Cleveland Monsters Purple Game

From there, we headed downtown for the Cleveland Monsters Purple Game. The Purple Game focused on raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.

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There were opportunities to donate, to learn about community efforts to help those with cancer, and just generally show your support for those battling cancer.

The game also took place during the Monsters and Cavs ongoing food drive for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Harvest for Hunger program, so there were lots of ways to do good while taking in the hockey action.

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This was Jeffrey’s first hockey game. From meeting the Monsters Girls and practicing his shot on the concourse to high-fiving the players before the game (check out my Insta for the video), he had a great time.

The Monsters games definitely have a family-friendly atmosphere, with lots happening on the ice in between the action and plenty to cheer about.

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They also have a more family-friendly price-point than some other sports, making it easy to take your whole family (and in our case, some of Jeffrey’s godparents, too). You can check out the Monsters upcoming games and promotions online to get in on the icy fun for yourself!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Cleveland Monsters Purple Game. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to the game and the opportunity to participate in the pre-game high-five tunnel. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Playhouse Square Partners Brunch Around

Sunday Funday came and I decided to just keep the weekend fun going! I met up with fellow Playhouse Square Partners for a Brunch Around in the Gordon Square Arts District.

We had groups at 4 different restaurants in the area, then all met up for a cocktail together after our brunches. I had brunch at Luxe Kitchen and Lounge. Luxe has a Sunday happy hour from 11am-1pm with half-off bloody marys, mimosas, and bellinis. Talk about a Sunday Funday!

For my brunch, I chose the buttermilk fried chicken thigh, served with country gravy, braised swiss chard, and a biscuit.

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This was savory brunch perfection! It had been way too long since I had been to Luxe. Now, I just need it to be warm enough for their fabulous patio to open!

***Disclosure: I am the co-chair of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend! Plenty to keep us busy for sure! How was yours?

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Why? Taste Restaurant!

Last Friday, I met up with my friends Robin and Amy to take advantage of the end of Cleveland Independents Restaurant Week, which offered three-course, prix-fixe menus at the Cleveland Independents restaurants.

We scoured the menus and selected Taste Restaurant in Cleveland Heights. I had never been to Taste, but the Restaurant Week selections all looked great and were all part of the permanent menu, which means any favorite dish could be ordered again.

I started with the arancini, with three-cheese risotto, lemon pesto, fresh basil, and marinara.

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So good! These balls of happiness were crispy on the outside, but still retaining the creamy goodness of the risotto, with sauces that perfectly complimented each other.

My friend Amy got the mussels, with sauteed tomatoes and spinach and a lemon wine broth. I snuck a bite of broth with toast and was impressed with the delicate, delicious flavors.

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For my entree, I chose the crab-stuffed salmon. There were a lot of great carnivorous options, but #LentProblems took over. And honestly, I wasn’t at all disappointed with my choice.

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The salmon was served on top wild mushroom risotto (looking back, I ate a lot of risotto that night) and covered in a lemon Chardonnay cream sauce. The flavors were light and lovely!

Amy and Robin both chose the Burger du Jour, with white cheddar and bacon.

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I was definitely eyeing up those thin, crispy fries. Yum!

The deal going into Restaurant Week was that we’d each order a different dessert and share, because variety is the spice of sweetness!

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We shared the white chocolate and vanilla creme brulee, the chocolate lava cake, and the chocolate mousse with hazelnut ice cream. All the desserts were so good! I didn’t expect to like ice cream and mousse together, but it really worked!

I had never been to Taste, but now I want to go back to order some of these new favorites and try some other options, too! Have you ever discovered a restaurant through Restaurant Week?

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Why? Weekends!

If it can’t be warm in Cleveland, at least the sun can shine, right? Here’s how we spent this bright, chilly weekend.

Breakfast with the Bunny 

On Saturday morning, we hopped right over St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to Easter celebrations!

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Matthew, Jeffrey, and I headed south to the Akron Zoo for their Breakfast with the Bunny. We started with a breakfast buffet and time for Easter crafts, plus time with the fuzzy bunny himself.

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Then the kids went to an Easter egg hunt in a designated area of the Zoo, divided by age. The eggs were plentiful and easy to find, plus the kids got to trade in however many eggs they found for a sweet treat bag.

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After the egg hunt, we could stay for as long as we liked to explore the Zoo, too. Even the animals were getting in on the egg hunt fun!

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It was fun, albeit cold, morning and a nice way to kick off the Easter season!

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

Of course, we couldn’t completely ignore St. Patrick’s Day! My mom made a delicious corned beef dinner.

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Pair it with a Great Lakes Brewing Co. Conway’s Irish Ale and you have a the perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal!

Death of a Salesman

Saturday evening, Matthew and I went to see our friend Wes, who was playing Bernard in The Brecksville Theatre‘s production of “Death of a Salesman.” It had been awhile since I had attended a community theater performance and I forgot how much I enjoy the intimacy of those shows. I’m always so impressed by the talent we have right in our own backyard, too.

While Death of a Salesman ended its run on Sunday, The Brecksville Theatre has a full season of options, plus there are community theaters all over Cleveland offering great cultural experiences with homegrown talent.

Yoga/Brunch

I kicked off my Sunday at Alicia‘s Yoga/Brunch. I’ve said it before, but Alicia’s balance of meditative mindfulness and challenging asana is really my favorite way to practice. I always feel taken care of in both body and spirit.

After class, we headed to downstairs to Dante Next Door for mimosas and conversation and delicious brunch food. I had the cheddar, bacon, scallion hash (OMG, so good) and the waffle with apples and Kentucky bourbon maple syrup.

I can never choose between sweet and savory at brunch, so I decided not to decide!

Alicia has a ton of upcoming Yoga/Brunch dates, if you want to get your Sunday Funday kicked off the right way. Cost is $15 for a 60-minute class, plus a free mimosa or coffee at brunch. Click here for dates and to register.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours? Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

jenclesig_pur

Why? CraftyBags!

I will fully admit that I’m not a crafty person. I would love to come up with really cute, creative things for Jeffrey and his friends to create at parties or play dates, but it’s just not something at which I excel. And don’t get me started on craft stores…I just get completely overwhelmed!

Which is why I love the concept of CraftyBags, created by a Cleveland mom to help other moms!

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CraftyBags is a company that designs and sends prepacked craft kits that are perfect for a birthday party or play date or even just a fun activity at home.

Each CraftyBags kit comes with detailed instructions, all the materials you need to make the craft for four people, and canvas bags for sending the crafts home with your guests.

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Jeffrey and his friend Mia got to try their hands at making Mini Lighthouses (with parental guidance, of course).

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Jeffrey was pretty excited to make what he decided was Cap’n Turbot’s lighthouse from PAW Patrol! The CraftyBags instructions were easy to follow, even for non-crafters.

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The results were far from Pinterest-professional (blame operator error), but we had a great time and the kids love their lighthouses!

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I certainly never would have thought to use plastic cups and battery tealights to create a lighthouse! Sometimes a mom just needs a little inspiration, a little direction, and a little one-stop shopping to make something fun come together, right?!

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You can check out all the CraftyBags craft kit offerings here, including painted ceramic mugs, mod podge picture frames, and a perfectly seasonal Easter egg bunny. Prices for a kit to make 4 crafts range from $10.99 to $19.99.

Also, you can use code WHYCLE15 through March 31 to save 15% on your CraftyBags order.

CraftyBags made crafting fun and accessible both for Jeffrey and me! Check it out and support this local business with a smart, creative idea!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote CraftyBags. In exchange, I received a complimentary CraftyBags Mini Lighthouse kit and a discount code to share with readers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a busy, fun-filled weekend in Cleveland, so let’s dive right in:

Fish FRYday

There’s nothing more Cleveland this time of year than a fish fry. Jeffrey and I met up with friends at St. Dominic Church for their Lenten Fish Fry.

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Do not pass up the hush puppies or the fried shrimp! Jeffrey loved his kids cheese pizza meal, but he also loved the crafts and balloon artist there, too. This was everything a fish fry should be: classic, tasty, well-run, and fun!

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

On Saturday morning, we took Jeffrey to a school friend’s birthday party at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.

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We just love this bright, fun, imaginative space! But then you throw in the excitement of a birthday party on top of it…well, as you can see, a great time was had by all!

The Children’s Museum is also working to reach its capital campaign goal, with plans to open expansion exhibits, including Meadow (for children ages birth to 3 years), Music, and Theater.

Meadow Exhibit rendering

You can donate to the Museum’s capital campaign online now.

Ohio City Beer Crawl

From the party, Matthew and I headed to the craft beer mecca of Ohio City. We met up with our friends Denise and Ritch, who have the goal of hitting 40 craft breweries in the area before Ritch turns 40. Being the good friends we are, we agreed to help him accomplish his goal!

We started at Hansa Brewery, where we munched on superb potato pancakes and Bavarian pretzels, washed down with a beer sampler.

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The Wit Wit and Bye Felicia! were my favorites.

Then we walked over to Forest City Brewery to enjoy another sampler and their West Side Market chacuterie platter.

The St. Wendelin Wheat was my favorite here.

Then it was off to Bad Tom Smith Brewing, which I have to confess was completely unheard of to me before our crawl.

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But you should definitely stop by to try their wide selection of beers, plus you can order from their neighbor Ohio City Burrito while you’re there!

We ended our crawl at Nano Brew Cleveland, with more samplers, plus the Stoner Fries and fried mac ‘n cheese bites (both are pretty much necessary for life on stop 4 of a bar crawl).

Add in their DJ spinning epic 80’s music and you have the end to a perfect afternoon in Ohio City. I love how walkable, energetic, and diverse the neighborhood is. Whether you want a bar crawl or a nice meal, you can find it there!

Cleveland Orchestra Family Concert

On Sunday afternoon, we met up with Matthew’s family for the Cleveland Orchestra Family Concert of Scheherazade. Matthew’s brother and sister-in-law chose the concert as a family Christmas present and it was a great choice!

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Not only did Jeffrey get to experience the beautiful music and creatively-told story thanks to the Orchestra and the Enchantment Theater Company, but he also got to try his hand at playing some of the instruments before the show.

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The Meet-the-Instruments pre-show event allowed children to get hands-on with some of the instruments they would hear during the concert and certainly sparked interest in a lot of future musicians.

Matthew used to play the French horn, so we especially loved seeing Jeffrey try that out!

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How lucky we are to be able to experience not only one of the best orchestras in the world, but one of the loveliest venues too! I also love that the Orchestra offers family-friendly options to make music and culture accessible to all ages. Jeffrey can say he cut his teeth on music from the Cleveland Orchestra and that is pretty spectacular!

Dewey’s Pizza

After the show, we stopped by Dewey’s Pizza for a fun family dinner filled with laughter, catching up, and of course, yummy pizza. Dewey’s has a wide selection of creative pies, plus a window where the kids could watch their pizzas being made. It was a perfect dinner choice!

So, that was our weekend. Lots of great times with family and friends and lots of time at some of Cleveland’s finest neighborhoods and institutions. You can’t ask for more than that!

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