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

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