Why? Weekends!

It was a busy and fun weekend of food and friends, so let’s get right to it…

Lindey’s Lake House

On Friday night, I met up with my friend Maria for dinner at Lindey’s Lake House. Lindey’s has a relaxed, coastal vibe in everything from the decor to the drinks to the food.

Maria started with the Coastal Paloma, with tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave, and a pink-peppercorn salt rim. I had the Basil Bourbon Smash, with bourbon, simple syrup, muddled lemon, mint, and basil shrub. Both made us dream of summer patio sipping!

We shared the Crab & Parmesan Dip, with baked and topped with spinach and bread crumbs and served with parmesan garlic crisps. A tasty way to start our meal!

Maria had the Lindey’s Lobster Roll, with tarragon mayo and cucumber salad. You would have thought we were in Maine!

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And I had the Crab Cakes, with remoulade, slaw, and handcut fries. These crab cakes were meaty and delicious!

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For dessert, we shared the Warm Cookies & Milk and felt like kids again!

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For a taste of summer with great drinks and yummy seafood, check out Lindey’s in Beachwood, the Flats East Bank, and Lakewood.

Little Italy

OK, so I told you this weekend was a lot of eating! On Saturday night, Jeffrey, my parents, and I had dinner at Mia Bella. This is one of our favorite places in Little Italy.

Before we left for dinner, Jeffrey insisted on wearing a tie and bringing his wallet so he could “pay the bill.” Such a gentleman!

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We shared the spicy Shrimp Saganaki and the House Meatballs as appetizers, while Jeffrey ate tons of the homemade bread.

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For my entree, I had the Veal Piccata, with chardonnay-lemon sauce and asparagus. The veal was tender and the delicate sauce was perfect on this dish.

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Jeffrey had a cheese pizza and was delighted with his choice. It’s always nice to find a restaurant that can make everyone happy!

Our server was so sweet, too. We told Jeffrey the bill was $3, which he proudly paid and she went right along with it!

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We headed across the street to Presti’s Bakery for dessert, where Dad and I had affogatos, Mom had a “lobster tail” (puff pastry with amaretto filling), and Jeffrey had a gigantic M&M cookie.

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A perfect end to a lovely evening!

Platform Pub Yoga

I spent the last Sunday of the month in my favorite way to spend that day: Pub Yoga at Platform Beer Co.

Alicia taught a fantastic hour-long flow with lots of feels (damn you for playing “Fast Car”), lots of laughs (yogi semi-pro tip: don’t laugh in camel pose), and lots of my favorite ladies.

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Plus, the class benefited Ursuline Piazza, which provides services such as housing, counseling, and more to those with HIV/AIDS. Each month’s Pub Yoga benefits a different local non-profit. The next Pub Yoga class is on Sunday, March 29. For just $20, you get the yoga class, a beer, and a donation to the non-profit. Plus lots of laughs! Now that’s a great Sunday Funday! 

Between the eating, yoga, and laughing, Jeffrey had his weekly basketball game and a little friend’s birthday party, so there was lots of busy fun this weekend! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a fun and festive weekend, celebrating both Valentine’s Day and my mom’s birthday. Let’s get to it…

Valentine’s Day

Jeffrey didn’t have school on Friday, so I got to have a Valentine’s day-date with my best buddy. We started with breakfast at Original Pancake House.

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There’s nothing that Jeffrey likes more than a stack of chocolate chip pancakes!

Then we headed to Busy Bee’s Pottery and Arts Studio for some pottery painting. Busy Bee’s allows you to walk in, select a piece, and paint it however you choose.

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Jeffrey chose this water cup with various sports on it, which is pretty on-brand. He got to paint it in his own style and it will be fired and ready to pick up in a week.

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What a fun activity! I had such a lovely Valentine’s Day with my best date!

Columbus

On Saturday, Jeffrey, my parents, and I headed down to Columbus for a long-weekend road trip. My mom’s birthday was on Saturday, so I wanted to do something to celebrate her special day. Being the awesome grandma that she is, she couldn’t think of a better way to spend her birthday than doing things that Jeffrey enjoys.

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We started at Legoland Discovery Center.

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Jeffrey and my dad spent most of the time there building and racing LEGO cars, which was a great way for them to bond.

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From building to exploring the cities of Ohio built out of LEGOs to rides, Legoland Discovery Center has tons of hands-on fun for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages!

After Legoland, we took a short walk over to McCormick and Schmick’s for dinner. Being Valentine’s weekend, the restaurant was packed and the service and the kitchen were less than stellar. But the manager definitely helped smooth the bumps in the road. And the food and drinks were very tasty.

Mom and I each chose a drink that was prepared tableside, because we so fancy like that. I had the Overcast, with bourbon, crème de cassis, orange bitters, and chocolate foam. Delicious!

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While I didn’t get any entrée pictures because we basically inhaled them after the long wait, I had the sesame-crusted tuna, which was so good. I’m a sucker for good side dishes and the wasabi mashed potatoes and black pepper sauce brought the heat to this dish!

We all shared the Chocolate Bag for dessert: a bag molded out of dark chocolate and filled with white chocolate mousse and berries. Yum!

The next morning, we took a mandatory dip in the hotel pool. There is nothing more exciting for a kid than a hotel pool, I swear!

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We stayed at the Hilton Columbus at Easton, which was beautiful inside and located in close proximity to everything we wanted to do while we were in town.

Sunday morning, we grabbed breakfast at SuperChefs, a superhero-themed restaurant that was as fun as it was tasty.

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I had the croissant breakfast sandwich, with eggs, candied bacon (yes, please), and mixed green, served with a side of delicious hash browns.

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Jeffrey had this gigantic pancake stack. The look on his face says it all!

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Then it was off to COSI for an afternoon of science fun.

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Jeffrey was thrilled with the recently-opened DC Superheroes exhibit, where he could channel his inner Justice League hero.

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I was thrilled that our admission was free with our Great Lakes Science Center membership, as the two museums have membership reciprocity. What an awesome deal!

From futuristic superheroes…

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…to prehistoric dinosaurs, there was so much to see and do at COSI!

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Then it was time to hit the road home, with a mandatory stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn on the drive back.

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Yes, I got a bag of cheddar and caramel corn. No, I amazingly haven’t eaten it yet.

It was such a fun road trip and a great chance to get away to celebrate Mom’s birthday. I always have a great time in Columbus, from the food to the activities!

So, that was our weekend. Jeffrey still has one more day off school, so we’ll be fully back to reality tomorrow! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend around here, which was much needed after a busy week and an aversion to going out in the blustery winter weather…

Salted Dough

On Saturday, Jeffrey and I met up with my parents to check out the newly-opened Salted Dough in Broadview Heights.

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From the same owner as Crust in Tremont, Salted Dough serves up pizzas and a handful of other Italian dishes in a warm, casual setting.

I started with a Maple Bacon Old Fashioned, because who can resist a drink with both bourbon AND bacon?!

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We all shared the Brussel Sprouts, with Dijon aioli, balsamic, and crispy shallots…

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…and the Meatballs, packed with traditional Italian flavors. Pro tip: order the Salted Dough appetizer to dip in the sauce.

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Salted Dough has a wide variety of pizzas, as well as build-your-own options. Jeffrey had the cheese pizza, which made him a very happy camper!

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Mom chose the gnocchi with rosemary and mushroom cream sauce…decadent and delicious!

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Salted Dough offers daily beef, chicken, and fish specials, as well as a daily ravioli special. I had the chicken special.

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The chicken was lightly breaded and served on top of fried eggplant and salted dough. It was covered in red sauce with capers and olives. It was rustic and satisfying!

I couldn’t pass up the tiramisu for dessert. Salted Dough offers several varieties daily, but I stuck with the traditional.

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Jeffrey enjoyed the chocolate gelato.

Salted Dough is a great addition to the south side of town and I can’t wait to go back to try some more of the pizzas!

Vault

On Saturday night, I stopped in at Vault at The 9 to research my next piece for Ohio. Find It Here.

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That’s all I can say for now, but I’ll share the link to the full post on all the craft cocktail and Cleveland history fun I had once it’s done…

The rest of the weekend was spent keeping warm on what felt like our first real winter weekend of the season! How did you stay warm this weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend, which after last weekend’s birthday busy-ness, was much-needed.

Sunrise Yoga

On Saturday morning, I headed down to the Cleveland American Heart Association Heart Walk for a sunrise yoga class with my girl Alicia.

GrooveRyde, where Alicia teaches on Monday nights (take her GrooveFlow class…your thighs will hate you, but thank you), was one of several local businesses supporting the Heart Walk with additional fitness offerings, fun booths, and more.

I forgot how different it is to practice on the grass, though. You’re using different muscles to stabilize and you’ll definitely feel the difference the next day!

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The view of the city at sunrise makes it worth it though!

Soccer

So, I’m officially a soccer mom!

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Jeffrey joined the school soccer team and had his first two games on Saturday morning. From learning which way to kick the ball (mostly because of kicking it the wrong way) to agreeing to play defense, then immediately asking “What’s defense?,” it was equal parts heartwarming and hilarious.

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But I’m so proud of Jeffrey for trying something new and for the coaches for doing a great job exposing the kids to soccer specifically and sportsmanship generally.

Birthday Dinner

I also snuck in one last birthday dinner at my parent’s house. We had delicious, huge crab legs from Lobster Brothers, tasty sangria, and a decadent ice cream cake from Mitchell’s.

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Despite the candles literally singeing my hair (the hazards of a bigger number birthday), it was a lovely celebration. My presents also added two new leopard-print items to my ever-growing collection!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a long holiday weekend and the unofficial start of summer, so of course there was lots of fun to be had…

Goldfish Swim School

Crazy early on Friday morning, Jeffrey and I headed to Goldfish Swim School – Cleveland East Side as part of a segment on WKYC on swimming safety.

Jeffrey got to spend an hour taking a swim lesson, while WKYC did various live shots. He had a great time just doing something he enjoys anyway (albeit usually not that early!)

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You can see Jeffrey swimming along here and here.

We’ve been so happy with his progress at Goldfish Swim School, not only in swim skills, but also in self-confidence! We definitely feel confident going into the summer season that he is ready for all the pool and water fun the season brings!

Luca West

On Saturday evening, my mom and I met up for a Girls’ Night Out at Luca West.

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From perfect cocktails to delicious food, this is a great spot to dine! We started with an appetizer course of the Sacchetti, white truffle and ricotta-stuffed sacchetti pasta with white truffle and aged fig balsamic.

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This is one rich dish, but so worth the indulgence! Pro tip: use the bread to sop up the extra sauce!

For our entrees, we both chose veal: grilled veal chop with truffle butter for Mom and veal piccata for me. Both were served with roasted potatoes and asparagus.

We both cleaned our plates! The veal was tender, the piccata sauce was bright and citrusy, and the sides were the perfect compliment.

For dessert, we went with a trio of traditional choices: crème brûlée (so smooth and creamy), cannoli, and tiramisu (light and fluffy perfection). All were delicious and left us with something to take home to our husbands, too!

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I am always so impressed with the food and the service at Luca West…truly a fabulous place to enjoy an Italian feast!

Tremont Greek Fest

On Sunday, we crossed another item off my 2019 Blog Bucket List at the Tremont Greek Fest.

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The festival offers lots of traditional Greek food prepared from family recipes, from gyros to souvlaki to lamb shank. You can grab a gyro to go or stay and enjoy a full dinner platter.

Matthew had the jumbo gyro and I had the souvlaki pita. Both were so flavorful!

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Of course, we couldn’t skip the pastry table. The baklava was nutty, sticky goodness!

There are also vendors, Greek music and dancing, and a couple carnival-style games.

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Festivals always say summertime to me, so it was great to spend the unofficial kick-off to summer at a festival that I’ve always wanted to attend!

Jeffrey’s Birthday

Monday brought Jeffrey’s 5th birthday!

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Since we had his big party last weekend, we spent the day with our parents and him, playing in the backyard, exchanging presents, and of course eating.

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I made grilled garlic tequila lime flank steak (recipe here), street corn (recipe here), guacamole, and salsa, so we could all build our own perfect platter of Mexican-style deliciousness.

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For dessert, we went with our go-to Mitchell’s Ice Cream for a build-your-own-sundae bar.

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It was a lovely, relaxed afternoon celebrating our favorite young man!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend of celebrating, so let’s get right to it…

Wedding

On Saturday, Matthew and I attended Jillian and Patrick’s wedding at the InterContinental Cleveland.

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Both the ceremony and the reception were held at the InterContinental and I was amazed at how quickly the room transformed from the ceremony venue to a beautiful reception venue.

The food was delicious!

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We had New York Strip, grilled shrimp, truffle risotto, and grilled asparagus, plus a grilled Caesar salad, yummy passed appetizers (we made very good friends with the ceviché server), and tasty cake.

And there were some surprise guests during the dancing: the Tribe Hot Dogs!

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Here you can see me not at all maintaining my cool while dancing with Mustard. And Mom and I had to get a snap with our favorite lady hot dog: Onion.

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It was a lovely ceremony and a fun reception! Jillian is my (step)dad’s daughter and so it was even more special to see the love and pride he had in walking her down the aisle, giving a toast, and dancing the Father-Daughter dance.

Jeffrey’s 5th Birthday Party

On Sunday, we hosted Jeffrey’s 5th birthday party at our house. Jeffrey would want me to tell you that he doesn’t officially turn 5 until this coming weekend, though!

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The party was “space” themed and we certainly blasted off to a good time.

My dad was the grill master and made up tasty hot dogs and hamburgers from Pinzone’s Market Fresh Meats. The cake, cupcakes, and pastry tray for the grown-ups came from the always spot-on Michael Angelo’s Bakery.

My high school and college classmate Holly of Cupcakes by Holly created adorable sugar cookies

for the treat boxes.

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And the pièce de résistance: we surprised Jeffrey with a visit from the Euclid Beach Rocket Car.

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He was so shocked and took every single ride the car made while it was at the party.

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Both kids and adults had a blast (haha) riding around in this piece of Cleveland history.

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The Euclid Beach Rocket Car has it so many things I love: Cleveland nostalgia, fun music, that summery festival feel, and public spectacle 😉

And our driver Jen was so sweet, both before and during the party. If you’re looking to add some serious star power (I can’t stop the puns) to your next party, check ’em out!

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Even better than the Rocket Car was the chance to spend time with friends who have all been such a huge part of Jeffrey’s life and a huge support in ours these last five years (and longer).

I think our future astronaut had an out-of-this-world day!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend filled with yoga and family time, so pretty much a perfect one for me!

Balance and Brews

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Anne for Balance & Brews at Saucy Brew Works. Balance & Brews is a one-hour, all-levels vinyasa class held at various breweries around town. After your class, you can stay and enjoy a beer (one beer included with your class) and mingle with your fellow yogis.

I always enjoy these classes, not only because I get a beer after, but because of the opportunity to practice in very different environments. At Saucy, we were right out on the brewery floor, with lots of noises, smells, and activity happening around us. It’s a great way to practice being focused and staying in the moment.

And your reward for all that focus is pretty great too!

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I tried the Don’t Stop Wit It Wit It, a Belgian Wit that is light, crisp, and perfect for summer sipping!

Check out Balance & Brews upcoming schedule, with classes at Masthead, Terrestrial, Great Lakes, Fat Head’s, CLE Urban Winery, and Market Garden.

Mother’s Day

The rest of the weekend was spent in various phases of Mother’s Day celebrating…

At school, Jeffrey made a Mother’s Day gift, themed on “Where the Wild Things Are.” Not only is it something I’ll treasure, but the pride he had in giving it to me was so sweet to see.

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Matthew and Jeffrey made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning and I even got a little treat from my “furry kids” too…

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Matthew found these adorable chocolate dogs at the Urban Farmer charity bake sale!

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Speaking of chocolate, he and Jeffrey also created a box of homemade treats for me: chocolate-covered strawberries and grapes! How sweet!

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We capped off our Mother’s Day celebrations with dinner at my parents’ house, complete with fabulous wine and some ridiculous triple crème brie.

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It was lovely and relaxed and a perfect weekend of feeling truly appreciated and loved!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend, which is exactly what I needed after just returning from a trip (and traveling again this week!)

Yoga Roots 30+ Social

On Saturday evening, I attended a social for everyone who reached 30 or more classes in the Yoga Roots fall challenge. Of 186 people who participated in the fall challenge, 27 of us reached 30+ classes!

Held at the home of studio owners Scott and Kim, the social was a great chance to celebrate reaching 30+ classes, meet other yogis, and see each other in something other than yoga pants! I was surprised how many of us didn’t know each other, just from being on different class schedules!

There were delicious nibbles from the studio’s neighbors: Gigi’s on Fairmount and On the Rise. I could eat Gigi’s bruschetta and On the Rise’s raspberry bars all day! And there were custom cookies from Sarah, one of the Yoga Roots teachers.

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I’ve talked before about really finding a home at Yoga Roots and Saturday night was just another example of why that is so true. Yoga Roots is genuinely a community, not just a studio, which is what keeps me coming back (and has me geared up for the spring challenge, too)!

Family Yoga

Sunday morning, we attended the monthly Family Yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. This has become one of our favorite family activities. Each month, the class is a bit different, but always explores mindful movement, breath work, and meditation in a way that’s fun for all ages.

This month, the kids participated in an obstacle course that involved my friend Robin and I being bridges in both down dog and plank as the kids crawled under us!

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So, we got some exercise in too! The next Family Yoga class takes place Sunday, April 14, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Cost to attend is free for Mandel JCC members and $10 for non-members. You can sign up online.

Piston Powered Auto-Rama

On Sunday, my dad took Jeffrey to the I-X Center for the Piston Powered Auto-Rama.

A love for cars is something Dad and Jeffrey have shared basically since Jeffrey was born and seeing the joy they both get from sharing car experiences is so fulfilling.

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Jeffrey got to sit in the world’s fastest car…

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…as well as see dragons and robots, so the afternoon was a total win for him!

St. Patrick’s Day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my parents’ house, with plenty of corned beef and Great Lakes Brewing Company Conway’s Irish Ale.

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It was a lovely, quiet weekend! How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a pretty low-key weekend around here, thanks to the weather. Sometimes Mother Nature makes us slow down and that’s OK!

Home Cooking

With being snowed in comes the opportunity to do some home cooking. I’ve been trying to find meals that everyone will like. Think: kid-friendly, but with enough flavor to keep the grown-ups happy too.

Friday night, I made baked chicken tenders with this recipe. What I really liked about this recipe was the batter incorporated Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, which gave the chicken more flavor than a standard egg wash.

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I cheated a bit by using Heinen’s prepared foods for our potato side dish. But those stuffed twice-baked potatoes were hard to resist and Heinen’s prepared foods are so yummy!

Then on Sunday, we ventured out to my parents’ house. Jeffrey had been requesting to crack (not eat) crab legs and since the rest of us all enjoy the eating part, we figured we’d put him to work.

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We did get Jeffrey to eat a couple bites of his handiwork too. The king crab legs were from Lobster Brothers and were sweet, tender, and delicious!

Family Yoga

On Sunday, we attended a family yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center.

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It’s tough to find a yoga class that allows both parents and kids to practice together (click here to read my post for Northeast Ohio Parent on where to find kids yoga classes.) So, Matthew and I were really excited for the chance to practice with Jeffrey.

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The class incorporated yoga poses, breath work, and meditation, all in ways that were fun, engaging, and accessible for the kids.

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The family yoga class is held once a month at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. Cost to attend is free for members and $10 for non-members. The next class is on Sunday, February 17, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Click here to learn more and register.

So, that was our quiet winter weekend. How was yours? Did you stay warm and snug or venture out?

jenclesig_pur

Why? 2018!

2018 was, well, a year. To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve on a good year and this year was more challenging than most. I’m having a hard time separating the bad from the good, so I’m mostly just ready to welcome a new beginning.

But when I look back on it, there were certainly fun moments in 2018, along with a lot of growth, strengthening of relationships, and deepening of commitments.

In 2018, we ate…

…we drank…

…we traveled…

…I yoga-ed and barre-d…

 

…we sported…

 

…we got cultured…

 

…and we got to the Point.

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We loved…

 

…and lost.

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And my kid grew into even more of an extraordinary, funny, smart, inquisitive human.

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It’s been a hell of a year and while I’m honestly not sad to see it go, I do hope the lessons, the growth, and the friendships stay with me into 2019.

May the New Year land softly, however you may feel about 2018. XO

jenclesig_pur