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!
The view of the city at sunrise makes it worth it though!
So, I’m officially a soccer mom!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
On Saturday evening, my mom and I met up for a Girls’ Night Out at Luca West.
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.
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!
I am always so impressed with the food and the service at Luca West…truly a fabulous place to enjoy an Italian feast!
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!
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!
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.
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!
The party was “space” themed and we certainly blasted off to a good time.
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!
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.
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.
Matthew and Jeffrey made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning and I even got a little treat from my “furry kids” too…
Matthew found these adorable chocolate dogs at the Urban Farmer charity bake sale!
Speaking of chocolate, he and Jeffrey also created a box of homemade treats for me: chocolate-covered strawberries and grapes! How sweet!
We capped off our Mother’s Day celebrations with dinner at my parents’ house, complete with fabulous wine and some ridiculous triple crème brie.
It was lovely and relaxed and a perfect weekend of feeling truly appreciated and loved!
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 Rootsfall 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.
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)!
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!
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.
It was a pretty low-key weekend around here, thanks to the weather. Sometimes Mother Nature makes us slow down and that’s OK!
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.
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.
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!
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.
The class incorporated yoga poses, breath work, and meditation, all in ways that were fun, engaging, and accessible for the kids.
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?
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…
…I yoga-ed and barre-d…
…we got cultured…
…and we got to the Point.
And my kid grew into even more of an extraordinary, funny, smart, inquisitive human.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Matthew and I both got Chef Symon’s Favorite, with alien pickle relish, chunky peanut butter, and Sriracha drizzle. So good!
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!
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?
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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Our meal at Dante was perfect, from the aptly-named Something Fun cocktail…
…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!