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

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy and fun weekend in the CLE! Here’s what we were up to:

John Carroll University Alumni Awards Dinner

On Friday night, I was honored to receive the Rev. William M. Bichl, S.J. Alumni Volunteer Service Award from my alma mater, John Carroll University.

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I served on the Cleveland Alumni Chapter Board for six years and was so humbled to receive this award as I completed by board term. John Carroll means so much to me and has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mom received her Masters in Education from Carroll, so being able to share the Awards Dinner with her was particularly meaningful.

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The dinner itself was lovely, with good food and good conversation with the other award winners and their families. The other award recipients were so deserving and have accomplished so much that it was truly amazing to be mentioned in the same breath.

I am so grateful for the chance to give back to John Carroll, to receive the award, and to get to share it with the people who mean the most to me and who supported the time and effort I put into my volunteer work.

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Day Out with Thomas

Saturday morning, we boarded a train for Sodor at Day Out with Thomas at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

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We got to enjoy a thirty minute train ride on Thomas himself, along with lots of other train-themed fun, including train tables, model trains, and the chance to ring a real train bell!

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One of my favorite parts of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad events is that they are volunteer-driven. The volunteers care so much about making the experience fun for the kids, which just adds to how special the memories made are.

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Tickets are still available for this weekend’s Day Out with Thomas events, happening Friday, May 25 through Sunday, May 27. Click here to purchase tickets.

Happy Dog

You can keep our family happy with the food at Happy Dog! We popped in for a quick lunch after our Thomas adventure for hot dogs, tots, and craft beer for Matthew and me. I highly recommend Masthead Falling Fruit!

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Matthew and I both got Chef Symon’s Favorite, with alien pickle relish, chunky peanut butter, and Sriracha drizzle. So good!

Dazzle Awards

On Saturday evening, I attended the third annual Dazzle Awards at Playhouse Square. The Dazzle Awards celebrate high school theater in a Tony Awards-style event, handing out awards for everything from set design and costumes to acting. The winners of the Best Actor and Best Actress awards get to travel to New York City to compete in the National High School Theater Awards on Broadway!

I was so impressed with the talent up on stage and with Playhouse Square’s commitment to celebrating these young people. Playhouse Square Partners helps to support the Dazzle Awards, among other Playhouse Square Education and Community Outreach initiatives, so it was cool to see what our donation dollars support.

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

Moms, Manis, and Mimosas

Sunday, I hosted a little brunch party to celebrate my lovely mom friends. I’m so lucky to have women who are supportive and understanding and funny and caring. I’ve really found my mom tribe!

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So, what better way to celebrate these fabulous friends than with brunch (I made this almond French toast and this crab strata) and Prosecco sangria and manicures?

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We had time to eat and chat and pamper ourselves and it was just lovely! It’s so important to celebrate our friends and I’m glad I had a chance to do it!

It was a great weekend with family and friends! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

I hope you all had lovely Mother’s Day weekends! Here’s how we spent ours:

Thrive Arts Center

On Saturday, we attended a birthday party for one of Jeffrey’s friends at Thrive Arts Center.

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Thrive Arts Center opened after Jeffrey finished up with Kindermusik, so this was our first chance to check it out. It’s an impressive space that is bright, fun, and imaginative, with space for Kindermusik, instrument and voice lessons, dance classes, and birthday parties too.

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We got to participate in a Kindermusik class before making birthday crowns and enjoying cake and snacks. It was a fun way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon! If your kids are interested in music, dance, or arts, check out Thrive Arts Center’s class offerings!

Mother’s Day

My Mother’s Day started with a present that Jeffrey made for me at school. It’s pretty fun now that he’s old enough to participate in making/picking out gifts. He was so excited to present me with my hand-painted letter!

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After a fabulous vinyasa flow at Yoga Roots, we met up with my parents for brunch at The Capital Grille. The Capital Grille has quickly become a favorite special occasion spot, so I couldn’t wait to indulge in their Mother’s Day brunch.

When we arrived, my mom and I each received a sparkly red rose to commemorate Mother’s Day.

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The dinner menu was available, but we chose to order off the three-course brunch menu. I chose the field greens salad, the lobster frittata, and the crème brulee.

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The lobster frittata was so rich, with a fluffy, creamy egg frittata on top a hash brown cake, served with lobster tail meat and Hollandaise sauce. This was brunch perfection!

The best part of the brunch was the bottomless mimosas or bellinis! The service, food, and drinks all made this a truly indulgent Mother’s Day treat!

So, that was our weekend. A little quieter than our usual, but that was really nice. I enjoyed the chance to soak up family time on Mother’s Day weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

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?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from my Friday evening sweat session, there was a lot of other fun to be had this weekend. Let’s get to it…

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

On Friday, Jeffrey and I met up with friends for a fun play date at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.

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I love how bright, open, and engaging the new Museum is! And I’m not the only one…the Museum was packed on Friday! From building cars to making crafts to caring for cats…

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…Jeffrey had a great time and burned off a lot of that stuck-inside winter energy.

After the Museum, we headed for lunch at a spot that makes both kids and adults happy: Mama Santa’s in Little Italy.

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Pro tip: if you’re at any of the museums with your kiddos and heading there, give them a call and they’ll have your pizza ready to eat when you arrive!

New Year, New Beauty at The Beauty Room

Saturday afternoon, I popped into The Beauty Room for a blowout and some bubbles at their New Year, New Beauty open house.

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Aside from getting a killer blowout, there was a photo booth, snacks, skincare consultations, and lots of fun gifts and prizes. It was a great event to thank current clients and introduce new people to this fabulous finishing salon.

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Kimberly can certainly plan a great party!

AECOM Holiday Party

There was a reason I needed a killer blowout, which was because we had Matthew’s work holiday party on Saturday night. We got to take part in a murder mystery themed “Killigan’s Island.”

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Floriano Productions put on an entertaining romp through figuring out “who dunnit,” which got people talking and working together and helped break some of the awkward corporate party vibe.

This was my first experience with a murder mystery dinner and I definitely want to try my detective skills at another one!

Great Lakes Science Center

On Sunday morning, we went with my parents to the Great Lakes Science Center. It’s a toss-up who enjoyed All Aboard! The Science of Trains more: Jeffrey or my dad.

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This exhibit is open through February 19, so don’t miss your chance to explore the rails!

From railway fun to space adventures, it was a great family morning at the Great Lakes Science Center!

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This was a perfect way for my dad and Jeffrey to connect over common interests!

Puppies and Pilates at Soza Fitness and Wellness

From science to snuggles, I spent my afternoon at Puppies and Pilates at Soza Fitness and Wellness.

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The event combined an hour-long pilates class with the chance to play with some adorable, adoptable pups from the Parma Animal Shelter.

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You could also sign an anti-puppy mill petition, purchase dog treats and clothes, and make donations to the Shelter. If you’re interested in getting fit with the fuzzes, Soza Fitness and Wellness is hosting another Puppies and Pilates class on Sunday, March 4. Cost to attend is $17.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Holy holiday festivities, Batman! What a busy, fun weekend! Let’s get to it:

TWC Christmas

One of our most-anticipated holiday evenings is TWC Christmas. “TWC” stands for the “Tri-County Wives Club,” a silly shorthand that Alicia, Amanda, Kimberly, and I came up with for our little group.

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Every year at Christmastime, we gather for way too much food, lots of bubbles and beer, a hilarious White Elephant gift exchange, and games.

It’s a relaxing night in the middle of a crazy time of year and a wonderful chance for all of us to see each other before we’re off to family commitments.

This year, we played a new game: What Do You Meme? (thanks, Jessa!). It led to lots of laughs, plus Amanda and I trying to create a new Obama-Biden meme.

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It was another merry TWC Christmas!

Cavs Wine & Gold Nation Breakfast with Santa – *sponsored*

On Sunday morning, Matthew, Jeffrey, and I went to the Cavs Wine & Gold Nation Breakfast with Santa at Quicken Loans Arena, a complimentary event for Wine & Gold Nation members and their families.

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There was so much to see and do, from visits with the Cavs Girls and mascots…

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…to crafts like making reindeer and snowmen…

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…to story time with the Cleveland Public Library to donuts and coffee to enjoy…

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…to a visit with Santa Claus, of course. I think Santa got a lot of requests for another Cavs championship!

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It was a fun morning and a great benefit of Cavs Wine & Gold Nation membership, which is definitely focusing on families and experiences outside just the games themselves. Cavs Wine & Gold Nation has memberships for all age levels that make great Christmas gifts!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Cavs Wine & Gold Nation membership. In exchange, I received a complimentary Cavalittles membership for Jeffrey. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Mapleside Breakfast with Santa

Because why wouldn’t you go to two breakfasts with Santa in one day? We are insane(ly festive). Our next Sunday stop was at Mapleside Farms for their first annual Breakfast with Santa.

We enjoyed a full breakfast buffet in the beautiful and rustic Mapleside Barn, with visits from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Grinch.

After breakfast, we boarded a decorated wagon for a short ride over to the sweet shop to decorate (and eat) cupcakes…

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…and take a dunk in the chocolate fountain.

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Then it was another audience with Santa. Jeffrey is in this sweet spot of really understanding all the things that Christmas can mean, but also fully believing without question. It’s pretty magical this year!

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Our day ended with the create-your-own caramel apple bar, which is how days should end more often!

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Yum!

It was such a fun, festive weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was another fun, festive weekend! Here’s what we were up to:

Brewnuts

On Friday, my mom watched Jeffrey for the day, so that I could have my self-proclaimed “Mommy’s Holiday Get Sh*t Done Day.” The day included gift shopping, grocery shopping, party prepping, and some time for me, too.

I started my day at Brewnuts, which I had been dying to get to since they opened their storefront in Gordon Square.

The store is as adorable as the donuts are tasty. Brewnuts are HUGE donuts and a great balance of sweet frosting and not-too-sweet dough. I had a hard time deciding which to get, but I chose the mint chocolate coffee, made to look like a Frappuccino.

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Yum! Brewnuts also has a large selection of craft beer and options to make your coffee or hot chocolate boozy.

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Whether you stop for a morning treat or an after-work libation and donut, Brewnuts is an awesome, funky, tasty place to try!

The Beauty Room

From there, it was time to pamper my long-neglected toes with a pedicure at The Beauty Room in Tremont.

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I met up with my girlfriend Kimberly, which meant that the pedicure was also good for my soul! Add in some pomegranate mimosas and you have the makings of a perfect morning!

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The Beauty Room is bright, inviting, and has a wonderful selection of products and services (everything from massages and facials to blowouts to manicures) to make you feel, well, beautiful! And starting my day with so much relaxation guaranteed a productive, low-stress remainder of the day at the stores.

Goodyear Blimp Toys for Tots Drive

On Saturday, Matthew, Jeffrey, my parents, and I drove down to the Goodyear Blimp hangar to participate in their annual Toys for Tots drive.

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For a donation to Toys for Tots, you get to drive through the Goodyear Blimp hangar and see the hangar and blimp all decked out for Christmas.

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Santa is also there to greet you, as well as Marine in full dress uniform to accept your donation.

Jeffrey loved getting to check out the blimp up close, as well as any chance to have even a brief audience with Santa.

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What a cool thing to be able to see and a great way to drive donations to a wonderful cause!

Jeffrey’s Holiday Play Date

For the third year in a row, we packed our house on Sunday with Jeffrey’s friends and their families for a holiday play date.

 

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The calm before the toddler storm 

 

We played winter carnival games, did a holiday book exchange, and generally had a fun, slightly chaotic, wonderful time.

And while the food at the party tends toward the simple pizza, cookies, and brownies, I did add in a new addition this year: spiced wine (recipe here).

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This was the perfect cozy treat and I loved that I could leave it in the slow cooker to stay warm for the entire party! Plus, anytime the toddler count in your house climbs to double digits, you need wine too.

The holiday play date has become one of our favorite traditions and I love the chance for everyone to get together in this festive season!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Welcome to the time of year where every weekend is so packed with fun and festivities that they might burst. So, let’s get right to it!

Pajamas and Popcorn

On Friday night, Jeffrey’s school hosted Pajamas and Popcorn, a family movie night with pizza, popcorn, kids in PJs, and cookies.

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The movie was “Horton Hears a Who,” so there were also cute Dr. Seuss photo opps. It was a really cute idea and a fun way to ease Jeffrey into the movie theater experience.

The Capital Grille

On Saturday night, we met up with my parents to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with dinner at The Capital Grille.

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I started with the Blackberry Bourbon Sidecar, because apparently I like cocktails with bourbon now. I’m clearly growing as a person. Matthew and I also shared the lightly-breaded calamari with cherry peppers that give it a nice kick.

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For my entrée, I decided to be the only non-red meat eater at the table because I just couldn’t resist the evening’s fish special: grilled swordfish topped with crab gratin.

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Paired with a nice Sauvignon Blanc, this meal had lots of delicate flavors that were executed perfectly. Swordfish is one of my favorite fish and when you top it with crab…wow! My dad ordered the lamb chops, which received rave reviews!

For dessert, Matthew ordered the warm double chocolate cake with port-wine cherries and I had the apple crostada.

Each was the perfect compliment to our meal. We have never been less than totally impressed with the food and the service at The Capital Grille. And during the holiday season (until December 30), The Capital Grille will also be open for lunch from 12-3pm.

Breakfast with Santa

Sunday morning, we attended the John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa. The event includes a Mass, a toy collection for Bellefaire JCB, breakfast, and of course a visit with Santa!

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My favorite part of this event has been how my friends and I have used it as a chance to gather with our kids. I spent the morning with people I’ve known for 18 years (whoa) and got to see our kids forming friendships with each other too. It’s really special, especially being up on campus with our future Carroll students!

If you’re a John Carroll alum, you have another chance to celebrate the season on campus at the annual Christmas Reception this Wednesday, December 6. It’s truly one of my favorite events of the year, so don’t miss it!

Om for the Holidays Cleveland

While Jeffrey was napping away his Santa-induced exhaustion, I headed to Om for the Holidays Cleveland.

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The rainbow in this pic. I just can’t. @namastenik led an awesome flow!

Om for the Holidays was the brainchild of Angela from Universal Architect and Scare Your Soul. It brought together not only some amazing merchants for holiday shopping…

…but also live music, coaching, community-building, and yoga.

What better way to kick off the busy holiday month than with an opportunity to not only accomplish some holiday gift-buying, but also a chance to nurture your soul with like-minded folks?

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Merry Everything, indeed!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours? Is Christmas crazy starting to creep into your life yet?

jenclesig_pur