Why? Weekends!

It was another fun and busy weekend, so let’s get right to it…

Quintana’s Speakeasy

On Friday afternoon, Mariah and I slipped away for an afternoon cocktail at Quintana’s Speakeasy.

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Tucked upstairs from Quintana’s Barber Shop, the speakeasy has all the atmosphere of stepping back in time, including a secret entrance (nope, you have to figure it out for yourself.)

I had the What Do Wine Know?, with house mulled wine, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and soda. I love mulled wine and this was a refreshing twist on it!

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I can’t wait to go back and try more delicious drinks in this super intimate location!

Upward Basketball League

On Saturday morning, Jeffrey had his first game with his Lil Cowboys team as part of the Upward Sports basketball league.

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From the announcement of each player, complete with a tunnel to run through…

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…to the fun of the actual game…

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Jeffrey loved every minute!

I’ve been really impressed with the Upward league’s focus not only on skills, but also sportsmanship and character building. It’s going to be a great season for the Lil Cowboys!

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

From there, it was off to a birthday party at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.

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The museum has really grown since it’s opening, adding new exhibits like Meadow (for little ones), Playlist, Theater, and Brick Works.

If you saw a group of crazed almost six-year-old boys tearing through the museum, that was our group!

Cavs

Jeffrey and I rounded out our Saturday with a Cavs game with the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter.

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We had a reception in one of the new banquet rooms at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, complete with awesome views of downtown and delicious food.

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And while we only made it until halftime (it was a long, busy day), we loved watching all the NBA action!

Catholic Schools Week

On Sunday, we kicked off Catholic Schools Week with a Mass and open house at Gesu Catholic School.

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I can’t believe just last year, Jeffrey went to the open house as a prospective student and now he’s showing off his Kindergarten classroom and projects.

His teachers are just wonderful and I’ve been so happy with his progress this year! I also just love being part of such a warm, caring community.

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So, that was the weekend. Lots of good time with my favorite kiddo (and a little mom break too!) How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Masthead Brewing!

Last night, Alicia and I grabbed a casual and yummy dinner at Masthead Brewing before heading over to the Hanna Theatre for a show. While you wouldn’t necessarily think of Masthead for a pre-show meal, it’s within a short walk or an inexpensive Uber ride to the theaters.

While I know I like Masthead’s craft beers (the Single Origin Coffee Stout and Falling Fruit are my favorites currently on tap there), I opted for a cocktail last night. I had the Bourbon Jam, with Watershed Bourbon, Grand Marnier, orange bitters, orange juice and raspberry preserves.

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Sweet, but not too sweet, this cocktail was right up my alley!

Alicia and I shared the new-to-the-menu Meatball Pizza, with crushed red pepper, red sauce, and fresh basil.

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I love Masthead’s thin-crust pies and this one is packed with traditional Italian goodness!

We also shared the Brussel Sprouts, with Ohio apples, roasted shallots, bacon, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Because we felt better about devouring the pizza with some vegetables nearby.

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Actual footage of me devouring the pizza

We also shared the Everything Pretzel, with pimento cheese, stadium mustard, and IPA honey mustard (my favorite of the dips.)

Then it was off to see “The Office! A Musical Parody” at the Hanna Theatre. The show was funny and light and a great tribute to the sitcom we loved.

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Masthead made the perfect casual stop before this casual show. Next time you’re in the area, grab a pizza and a beer and enjoy! And Masthead is celebrating their Third Anniversary Party tomorrow, so drop in and celebrate!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a fun weekend in Cleveland, as we bounced between spring and winter weather…

Disney on Ice

On Friday night, Jeffrey and I attended opening night of Disney on Ice Presents Road Trip Adventures at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

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Disney always puts on a fantastic show, between great costumes, fun songs, and amazing skating and acrobatics.

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We got to see favorites from Frozen, The Incredibles, Toy Story 4, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, The Lion King, and more.

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Our seats were in the “Extra Magic Zone,” so we had lots of up close time with the characters! Jeffrey’s face says it all…it was a magical show!

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Disney on Ice Presents Road Trip Adventures is at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse through Sunday, January 19, with shows on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Click here to purchase tickets. If you use code WHYCLE, you can save on tickets to the 7pm shows on each day.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Disney on Ice. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

JCU Alumni Retreat

On Saturday morning, I attended an alumni retreat at John Carroll University. I always love being back up on campus, but I find it especially conducive to reflection for me.

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The retreat focused on releasing things from the past year that were no longer serving us and cultivating healthy habits for the year to come. The retreat even started with an hour-long yoga flow, which you know always puts me in a great mindset!

One of the most moving parts of the retreat was when all the participants wrote down on flash paper something they wanted to release moving into 2020. We each lit the paper on fire and watched our something be released into the air.

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I got so much out of both our personal reflection time, as well as the group sharing that we did. Campus Ministry and the Cleveland Alumni Chapter did a fantastic job planning a meaningful morning!

Winter Wonder Cleveland

On Saturday afternoon, I made a return to Winter Wonder Cleveland, which is fun, interactive “Instagram museum” where you can play and get some great photos, too.

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Since I first visited Winter Wonder Cleveland, there are some new interactive elements at the Griswold House, as well as some new artwork from Platform Beer Co

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…and an even more in-depth mirror room.

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Winter Wonder Cleveland is open through Sunday, January 26. There’s so much more than just Christmas fun to experience here. Instagram museums are becoming the hot new thing and Cleveland has its own for just a bit longer, so check it out while you can. For hours and tickets, click here.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Winter Wonder Cleveland. In exchange, I received complimentary admission. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Phunkenship Barrel Room Yoga

On Sunday, I checked out a familiar yoga teacher (Alicia) in a new-to-me setting (Phunkenship by Platform.)

Phunkenship is Platform Beer’s dedicated sour-beer facility, which also has a very cool taproom for enjoying those sour beers. I had a The Wolf at the Door, a dark-chocolate raspberry stout.

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But before enjoying the beers, we enjoyed an hour-long vinyasa flow in Phunkenship’s barrel room.

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Alicia is teaching at Phunkenship on the second Sunday of every month, so check out the schedule for some savasana and sours combined! For $15, you get the hour-long class, plus a beer. The laughs are free!

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So that was my weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Mecklenburg Gardens!

For New Year’s Eve this year, my friend Anne invited me to take a road trip with her to Cincinnati to ring in the new year German-style.

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Anne’s friends Chris and Allison own Mecklenburg Gardens, the oldest restaurant in Cincinnati. Mecklenburg Gardens was established in 1865 and is still serving up delicious German food and beer, with the distinction of being named America’s Best Beer Garden by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

While it was too chilly to enjoy the outdoor gardens, we did get to experience the bier hall, which was filled with old-world charm.

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Mecklenburg’s Midnight in Munich party included a champagne toast at 6pm (midnight Munich time); a delicious buffet of German favorites like sauerkraut balls, a whole roast pig, and German chocolate cake; live music; and lots of fun.

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Seriously, all New Year’s Eve celebrations should happen at 6pm. I was in my PJs on our hosts’ couch before midnight.

While our trip to Cincinnati was super short, I was absolutely delighted with Mecklenburg Gardens and the hospitality we received. I definitely want to head back down south soon to explore more of the city, so let me know if you have any recommendations of where to go!

And if you find yourself in Cincinnati, check out Mecklenburg Gardens for a delicious taste of old-world Germany!

How did you ring in the New Year?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

So, is anyone else confused as to when the weekend actually started (or ended for that matter?) It was a lovely, relaxed holiday weekend around these parts…

Laurentia Vineyard and Winery

On Friday night, I met up with my friend Michelle for dinner at Laurentia Vineyard and Winery. Michelle and I went to college together and hadn’t seen in each in way, way too long!

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It was wonderful to reconnect and so easy to chat. Plus, Laurentia makes for such a pretty, cozy place to meet.

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I tried the 2016 Pinot Noir instead on my usual Cabernet Sauvignon and really enjoyed it! For dinner, I had the Roast Chicken Gnocchi, with chicken, spinach, mushrooms, parsley pesto, and bone broth.

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The flavors were delicate, which made me glad I chose the Pinot Noir over the Cabernet.

It was a fabulous night of good food, good wine, and reconnecting with a good friend.

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Despite not having the outcome we were hoping for, my friend Anne and I had a great time on Saturday night watching Ohio State play in the Fiesta Bowl.

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We went to Brew Garden in Strongsville, which has tons of both bar and table seating and lots of TVs, making it the perfect place to take in a game.

They also have a great beer selection, with lots of Ohio brews (we both liked the Twisted Kilt from Thirsty Dog.) We shared the Spinach and Artichoke Dip and the Mean Green Nachos, which were both tasty and good for splitting.

Next time there’s a big game, check out Brew Garden for a place to watch it!

Adrenaline Monkey

Jeffrey had a high-octane adventure at Adrenaline Monkey on Sunday.

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It’s a great place for kids (and adults) to run, climb, jump, swing, and get out some of that pent-up winter break energy.

Adrenaline Monkey has winter break day camps and extended hours while the kids are out of school, so check it out. I can vouch for it buying us an extra hour and a half of sleep this morning, too!

Little Women

On Sunday, my mom and I went to see Little Women. Having read the book and seen various film adaptations, I was still so excited to see this new version.

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The cast is superb, the cinematography and costumes are beautiful, and the story is the one you know by heart, even if you didn’t remember that you do.

It is heartwarming and beautiful and empowering, so grab your best friend, your mom (or if, like me, they’re one and the same), and get to the theater to see it!

So, that was the weekend. Not bad for the last of the decade. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

There was lots of time with family and friends this weekend, which is just how a pre-holiday weekend should be…

#TWCChristmas

On Friday night, Alicia, Amanda, Kimberly, and I got together for my favorite grown-up holiday tradition: TWC Christmas (the name is a long story.)

We usually meet up at someone’s house, but everyone was feeling cooking-and-hosting overwhelmed this year, so we instead opted for dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants: Dante.

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From fabulous cocktails to delicious food, Dante is always a perfect spot for an evening out. I had the Wild Boar tenderloin, with honey roasted rutabaga & Brussel sprouts and chorizo potato hash.

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This dish was tender, flavorful, and plate-licking good.

We all shared desserts, but the favorite at the table was the Caramel Apple Walnut Blondie, with apple jam filling, streusel, cider caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream.

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After dinner, we walked over to The Spotted Owl for a Christmas nightcap.

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They have a special menu of holiday-themed drinks that are all guaranteed to make you merry. I had the Ginger All The Way and it was creamy, spicy perfection.

What a perfect night of fabulous food, drinks, and, most importantly, friends!

The Magic of Lights

On Saturday night, Jeffrey and I checked out The Magic of Lights at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

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There is a drive-through component, where you make your way through millions of dazzling Christmas lights, with themed areas like “Nativity,” “Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “Joy to the World.”

There is also Santa’s Holiday Village, where you can park and walk through the village with a light selfie tunnel…

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…inflatables…

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…”ice” bumper cars…

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…and lots of festive fun.

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The Magic of Lights takes place every day through Saturday, January 4. Tickets for a car are $20 in advance. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote The Magic of Lights. In exchange, I received a complimentary car ticket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Platform Pub Yoga

My Sunday started out on a funday note with Platform Pub Yoga. We enjoyed a great hour-long vinyasa flow taught by Alicia, then headed downstairs for a beer, a bagel sandwich, and lots of laughs.

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It’s so nice in this busy season to take a time-out for something that totally made me feel invigorated! Plus, part of the proceeds from the event benefited Providence House! The next Platform Pub Yoga happens on Sunday, January 26.

Neil Diamond Christmas

On Sunday night, Mom and I attended Neil Diamond Christmas at Music Box Supper Club.

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The Diamond Project Band did a fantastic job, playing both Christmas tunes and classic Neil Diamond hits.

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Mom and I had a blast singing along! What a fun way to end the pre-holiday weekend!

How was your weekend? Are you ready for the holiday week ahead?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend filled with holiday cheer, so let’s get right to it…

Country Lights

On Friday night, we went to Country Lights at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark. Country Lights quickly became one of our favorite holiday traditions.

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From the wonderful decorations both inside and out…

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…to the unique magic of building a toy with an elf helper in Santa’s workshop…

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Country Lights always delivers on the Christmas fun!

This event sells out quickly every year, so stay tuned for when tickets go on sale next fall!

Tannenbaum Trail

On Saturday, my friend Anne and I hit the Tannenbaum Trail, sponsored by the Ohio Wine Producers Association.

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For $65 per couple, you receive a small Christmas tree, as well as 2 wine tastes, a small bite, and an ornament at each of several Geneva-area wineries. You can even travel the Tannenbaum Trail over three weekends!

Anne and I were able to get to seven wineries on our adventure: Urban Vintner, Cask 307, Silver Crest Cellars, Stonegait Winery, Grand River Cellars, Debonné Vineyards, and South River Vineyard.

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The two tastes were just enough wine to allow us to experience the wineries, but still be able to get to a lot of different places. And the small bites were just the right amount of food!

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We ended our day at M Cellars, which was not on the Tannenbaum Trail, but is one of our favorite spots when we’re at the wineries.

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This is the second year that I’ve done the Tannenbaum Trail and I love growing my ornament collection and trying new wineries, plus seeing all the beautiful decorations in this festive season!

Kids Holiday Parties

On both Saturday and Sunday, we had kids’ holiday parties, with lots of Christmas crafts…

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…a Santa visit…

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…and lots of holiday cheer!

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It was a fun and festive weekend as we get ever closer to Christmas! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

When your weekend recap is essentially three blog posts, you know it was a good time!

John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa

On Sunday morning, the John Carroll Alumni Relations Office hosted their annual Breakfast with Santa on campus.

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The Breakfast with Santa includes a Mass in St. Francis Chapel, a buffet breakfast in the Dining Hall, crafts, a donation drive for Bellefaire JCB, and of course a chance to visit with Santa.

Jeffrey made a list before we went and presented it to Santa, who promised to take it back to the North Pole with him!

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We also had a chance to visit with the President of the University, Dr. Johnson, and his wife Jill, who are such wonderful assets to the university.

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I always love this event because I can catch up with college friends and see how our kids have now become friends, too!

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It was a fabulous holiday morning!

Mean Girls

On Sunday night, Alicia brought me as her guest to see “Mean Girls” at Playhouse Square. Before the show, we grabbed cocktails and appetizers at Republic Food and Drink.

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We both love their selection of bourbon cocktails (I had the rye old fashioned). We also devoured the Warm Bavarian Pretzel Sticks with cheddar-beer sauce and the Warm Street Corn Dip, with sweet corn, white cheddar, cilantro, and lime, served with corn tortilla chips.

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Then it was over to the show. Alicia and I both had the chance last week thanks to Playhouse Square to interview the actors portraying “The Plastics,” so it was especially fun to see them in action after getting the chance to know them a bit off-stage.

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The show is energetic and hilarious and has all the best lines that you love from the movie version, plus updated jokes for 2019. And boy, can the cast sing and dance! I absolutely loved the performance! “Mean Girls” is at Playhouse Square through Sunday, December 22, so don’t miss your chance to get in on the fun!

So, that was my weekend in (three) nutshells. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Best Party of the Year!

On Friday night, Mariah and I attended The Best Party of the Year. Any party that calls itself that out of the gate has got to deliver and the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland‘s fundraiser certainly did.

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This year’s theme was the 1920’s, so you saw people dressed as flappers and dapper dans, all living it up in a post-Prohibition world.

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There was fabulous food from great local places like Melt Bar and Grilled (the bacon and pesto on the mac and cheese was divine)…

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AMP 150

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Barrio

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Art of Sucre, Inca Tea, and more.

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There was fun music for dancing from TKO Entertainment. There was a great photo booth, a fully-stocked bar, and fantastic auction items.

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There was also the chance to help a wonderful community organization. The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland strives to help reduce hunger and enhance nutrition in the community by providing food and other health-related vital services. The Hunger Network has over 70 hunger centers throughout Cuyahoga County to serve the community.

So, a super fun and tasty and glamorous night all for a great cause? I think that has every right to be called The Best Party of the Year!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote The Best Party of the Year. In exchange, I received two complimentary general admission tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year!

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Epic turkey cake from Michael Angelo’s Bakery

Not only do I get to enjoy a delicious, traditional dinner with family, but I also get to officially kick off the Christmas season!

Great Lakes Brewing Co.

On Wednesday (it was a looong weekend), I met up with my oldest friend, Kevin, who was in town for the holiday. What better place to catch up than Great Lakes Brewing Co.?

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I always like going to the brewpub, because I can grab a brewpub-exclusive beer. This time I tried the Meow Meow Pumpkin Milk Stout, which was creamy and rich and specifically noted as being brewed by GLBC’s female brewers.

The Seared Salmon Salad, with pickled carrots, cabbage, sesame seeds, and herbed peanut dressing, balanced out the heavy beer and made for a great lunch.

It’s so great when folks come back to Cleveland for the holidays (and I get face-to-face catching up time!)

E5C4P3 Concert

Aside from all the traditional Thanksgiving fun, I also started a new tradition on Black Friday: attending the E5C4P3 Journey Tribute concert at Music Box Supper Club.

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My friend Lisa’s husband Troy is the keyboardist in this awesome band, who sound just like Journey and definitely know how to keep the crowd on their feet and rocking.

We had a gaggle of girls/Troy fans there and had a riot singing, dancing, and just generally partying the night away.

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E5C4P3 has an upcoming show on Saturday, December 14 at Legends Sports Bar in Parma, which is a fundraiser for Project Noelle. Check ’em out!

Christmas Decorating

It was also the weekend to deck the halls. Jeffrey picked out the perfect tree, as well as this festive Rudolph yard ornament.

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I got to bust out all my favorite Cleveland ornaments, which makes the house feel even more merry!

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Jeffrey made some ornaments for the “big tree” this year…

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…as well as decorated the tree in his room, too!

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So, that was the holiday weekend in this corner of the world. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur