Why? Woofstock Giveaway!

I’m a big believer in “adopt, don’t shop,” which is why I’m so excited to again help promote Woofstock, a groovy fundraiser for the Geauga Humane Society Rescue Village.

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Woofstock is a full day of family- and dog-friendly activities happening on Sunday, September 16 at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field. The day kicks off with a can’t-miss pooch parade around the polo field, with prizes for Best Group, Best Individual, and Most Creative.

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There will also be live music throughout the day, Rescue Rrrow filled with adoptable dogs, vendors with treats and fun for humans and fuzzes, and lots more!

There are three registration options for Woofstock:

  • $25, which gets you admission and a Top Dog t-shirt
  • $10, which gets you admission and an Average Mutt bandana
  • $5, which gets you admission and a Stray Dog wristband

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Registration is free for children 10 and under. Once you register, you’re encouraged to continue your fundraising efforts for the Geauga Humane Society Rescue Village. Click here to register or donate.

Or you can enter to win a complimentary Woofstock registration and Top Dog t-shirt right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me why you want to attend Woofstock.

2. Visit the Geauga Humane Society and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @rescuevillage and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @rescuevillage and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to groove, play, and fund raise for @rescuevillage at #Woofstock thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/08/17/why-woofstock-giveaway-2 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, August 21 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Geauga Humane Society Rescue Village to help promote Woofstock. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary Woofstock to give away. I declined my own complimentary registration due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Incuya Music Festival Giveaway!

This summer, a new music festival is coming to Cleveland: Incuya Music Festival.

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Happening August 25 and 26 on the Malls in Downtown Cleveland, Incuya Music Festival will bring bands like New Order, The Avett Brothers, Cake, The Revivalists, Booker T. Jones, and more to the birthplace of rock ‘n roll. See the full lineup here.

There will be lots of other cool aspects to Incuya beyond just the music. Platform Beer Co. has brewed a special Tourbus Pilsner just for the festival, which can be enjoyed at Incuya’s beer garden or Platform’s tasting rooms in Cleveland and Columbus.

Incuya’s Foodland brings some of the best of Cleveland’s celebrated food scene to the festival, with selections from restaurants like Black Pig, The Plum, and Happy Dog, as well as food trucks such as Betty’s Bomb Ass Burgers, Smokin’ Rock and Roll, and Sauced Wood Fired Pizza.

There will also be cool photo opps from both Vitamix and Destination Cleveland available at Incuya, perfect for filling your Instagram feed.

Tickets are still on sale for Incuya Music Festival. Weekend General Admission is $135, Weekend VIP is $235, Weekend Prestige is $335, and Single Day General Admission is $85.

Or you can enter to win two Single Day General Admission tickets right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment telling me which band you’re most excited to see.

2. Visit Incuya Festival and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @incuyafestival and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @IncuyaFestival and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to rock at @IncuyaFestival thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/08/16/why-incuya-music-festival-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Monday, August 20 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Incuya Music Festival. In exchange, I will receive two Single Day General Admission tickets to give away. I declined my own tickets due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Taste of Legacy!

Legacy Village is a hub not just for shopping, but also for eating. Which is why the Taste of Legacy Village on Sunday, August 26 from 12pm-5pm is sure to be an awesome event!

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This 15th annual event brings together restaurants and specialty food retailers to offer food samples. The Ohio Wine Producers Association will also be on hand to offer wine samples for $1 per sample.

The Taste of Legacy Village will also feature a Kids’ Zone with balloon artists, face painters, and games from the Cleveland Monsters and Cleveland Gladiators. You can also enjoy live music throughout the event from Saborit Latin Soul and Rockport and complimentary salsa dancing lessons!

Participating vendors include:

  • Bar Louie
  • Black Box Fix
  • BRIO
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • The Capital Grille
  • Giant Eagle
  • Granite City Food & Brewery
  • The Melting Pot
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Starbucks

Tickets and Taste Dollars (good for food samples only) are currently on sale online. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the best of Legacy Village eating all at once!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Chefs Unbridled!

Remember when I said that if a fundraiser is celebrating a milestone year, it’s not only proven itself as a great event, but also the milestone year is probably going to eclipse all the others.

Which is why I’m so excited to help Chefs Unbridled, one of my favorite foodie events all year, celebrate this year. Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, the beneficiary of Chefs Unbridled, is marking its 40th anniversary this year, which means Chefs Unbridled will be an even bigger and better party than before!

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Held at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club Polo Field on Saturday, September 8, you will enjoy delicious tastings from some of Cleveland’s finest chefs, cocktails, live music, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bourbon tasting with Tom’s Foolery, and a wine pull and auction.

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This year’s chefs represent a diverse line-up of styles who are sure to delight your tastebuds:

Back again this year: A limited number of “Golden Tickets” are available to purchase for $100 each for a chance to win a five-course meal prepared exclusively by Chefs Kuhn and Hodgson.

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The winning Golden Ticket includes wine, service and cleanup for 20 guests right in the winner’s home. To purchase your Golden Ticket, click here. Golden Tickets will not be sold at the event.

Chefs Unbridled is the primary fundraiser for Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, which serves people of all ages who face challenges such as PTSD, ADHD, injuries, and neurological disorders. Fieldstone Farm students work with the horses to overcome barriers and achieve goals. This is one of the largest centers of its kind in the country, serving more than 1,000 students each year.

Tickets for Chefs Unbridled are on sale now online and are $140 per attendee. Don’t miss this always sold-out event on what is sure to be an even more amazing year!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Chefs Unbridled. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

As of today, we have two weeks left of Jeffrey’s summer break. Just two weeks! So, we’re going to get in every bit of summer goodness we can. Here’s what we were up to this weekend…

Lake Metroparks Farm Park

On Friday, we met up with friends Lane and Nolan for a play date at the Lake Metroparks Farm Park.

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Jeffrey is so sweet with Nolan! The Farm Park was the perfect way to bridge the age gap between the boys by giving them things to see and do that they could both appreciate.

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Photo Credit: Lane

It was a lovely little summer Friday afternoon!

First Watch

Saturday morning, Mom and I met up for brunch at First Watch. I really love the food at First Watch, plus any place that brings me a pot rather than a cup of coffee is speaking my language!

I ordered the Elevated Egg Sandwich, with bacon, Gruyere, avocado, mayo, and lemon-dressed arugula.

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I loved the freshness of the avocado and lemon paired with the richness of the bacon and Gruyere. So good!

Mom chose the seasonal Elote Mexican Street Corn Hash, with seasoned potatoes, roasted sweet corn, chorizo, Cotija cheese, and chipotle crema.

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Spicy, sweet, and satisfying! First Watch is a great breakfast spot!

Buckeye Beer Engine

Then it was off to our friend Kevin’s 40th birthday party at Buckeye Beer Engine. While Buckeye Beer Engine is known for their craft beer selection, I found myself enjoying their bourbon cocktails, including the bourbon ginger mimosa.

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We also chowed down on their boneless wings (the spicy garlic Parmesan are on point), crab cakes, and pierogi. It was a fun afternoon of good drinks and good food to celebrate a good friend!

Cedar Point

On Sunday, we found ourselves at Cedar Point once again, this time for our annual trip with Amanda and Scott.

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As Jeffrey’s godparents and huge Cedar Point enthusiasts, Amanda and Scott are the perfect folks for a day at the amusement park. They love going on the rides with Jeffrey and I can see their relationship with him deepen each time we go.

 

It was a beautiful day to be up at the park too! We’re squeezing in as many Cedar Point trips as we can before the summer is through!

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So, that was our weekend. How was yours? Are you feeling the back-to-school blues too?

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Why? Pastina Rustic Italian and Fahrenheit!

This year, the stars aligned to make deciding what to do for Matthew’s birthday really easy. On his birthday, Pastina Rustic Italian (which had been on our list to try) and Fahrenheit combined forces to create a delicious five-course dinner paired with wine.

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The dinner was not only a chance to eat amazing food, but also a chance to benefit the family of Mentor Police Officer Mathew Mazany, who was killed in the line of duty recently.

Our first course was straciatella, made in house, served with roasted eggplant, zucchini, and peppers.

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I loved this dish! The smoky roasted vegetables complimented the rich cheese so well!

Next up was chicken piccata, with a luscious lemon butter sauce with capers and artichokes.

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It was served on top roasted, smashed potatoes that I’m having dreams about still!

Now, if Matthew says his favorite course is a pasta course, you know you’ve done something amazing, because he will usually pick a meat course over anything else.

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The bolognese sauce was amazing, but the cavatelli was the real star: perfectly cooked, made in-house, tender but firm.

Our final savory course featured Chef Rocco Whalen’s famous short ribs, served over Pastina’s in-house fettucine with an Asian glaze.

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What a great way to showcase both chefs talents and emphasize that this event was all about combining forces!

We ended on a sweet note with pistachio gelato, made in-house from Sicilian pistachios.

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I was so impressed with the menu, the expert wine pairings, and the generosity of the chefs and the community that came together for this event!

We will definitely be back to Pastina (and we already knew we loved Fahrenheit)!

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Why? Wild Eagle Steak and Saloon!

Last week, Matthew and I got a chance to check out the brand new Wild Eagle Steak & Saloon in Broadview Heights.

Brought to you by the same folks who run the Wild Eagle downtown, this takes the best parts of that concept and makes them event bigger. The Inebriation Station (AKA, the wall of serve yourself craft beer) of course is part of the Broadview Heights location.

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If beer isn’t your thing, there are plenty of craft cocktails to try or you can grab yourself a Boozy Boot, filled with delicious (and sneakily boozy) libations.

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There’s also a huge game area, with shuffleboard, duck pin bowling, cornhole, and more. This isn’t your average cheesy arcade. The space is sleek and a great place to hang out before or after dinner.

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Speaking of dinner, we got an expansive tour of the menu from Chef Nelly Buleje, also of Adega. We started with an appetizer portion of the pork belly & mac balls. Mac & cheese is panko-breaded and fried, then topped with house-rubbed pork belly.

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This is a whole big bowl of insane deliciousness!

We also tried the double barrel shrimp, which packed a flavorful heat, and the sweet potato nacho tots, which are a savory combination of fabulous comfort foods!

 

For entrees, we sampled three delicious choices. The Nashville Fried Chicken is pounded thin, double breaded, and topped with Nashville spices and country gravy.

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The chicken was amazingly tender for being so thin and the spices and gravy were so flavorful!

We also tried the ribeye, which was well-prepared and topped with delicious maître d’ butter.

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We somehow found room to try the award-winning Sooey Sunrise burger, topped with sunny side up egg, maple-glazed pork belly, and smoked Gouda.

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Now I know why my vegan friend refers to me as her most carnivorous friend. But, boy, everything was so good that it was worth the meat sweats!

We ended our evening with chocolate cake and banana pudding. So sweet!

A lot of the dishes and drinks at Wild Eagle have a distinct southern flair. The music is country and rock, the vibe is fun, and the food is accessible while still being chef-driven.

This is a welcome addition to an area saturated with chain restaurants. It’s also a perfect stop on your way down to Blossom for a concert, which is when we stopped in. And on Saturday nights, come for dinner and stay for live music from 9pm-1am.

***Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal at Wild Eagle Steak & Saloon. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

Other than having a howling good time at Twilight at the Zoo, there was lots of other happenings this weekend. Here’s what we were up to:

AIA Cleveland Sand Festival

For the last four years, Matthew and some of his AECOM colleagues have competed in a sand castle building competition put on by AIA Cleveland. It’s always so cool to see the beach filled with sandcastles built by actual architects!

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This year, the AECOM team created a Harry Potter themed sand sculpture that looked incredible and took home the judges’ award for the fourth year in a row!

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The competition takes place at Edgewater Beach and there are awards from both judges and the public. You can follow along at @CleSandFest to vote for your favorite (cough, AECOM, cough.)

Babes and Babies Who Brunch

On Sunday morning, my friend Maria had Alicia and me over with our kiddos for a lovely brunch!

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Maria and I have been friends since a fateful English class (and living in the same dorm) in our freshman year at John Carroll.

It’s always so great when friendships stand the test of time and evolve to fit where we are in our lives now.

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Jeffrey took this, thus the finger photo bomb

And it’s even more fun to see our kids getting along too!

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I swear Brenna was having fun! We all had a lovely morning!

Blossom Music Festival

Sunday night, we found ourselves back at Blossom Music Center for another Cleveland Orchestra concert.

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This time, we brought Jeffrey and met up with friends who also brought their sons. From the “Under 18s Free” tickets to the Young Audiences guide, the Cleveland Orchestra goes out of its way to make these concerts accessible to all ages.

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Jeffrey enjoyed listening to the orchestra and picnicking outside just as much as we did! I love being able to expose him to culture in a way that is fun and accessible to him!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

When a fundraiser hits 25 years, you know it’s a party that has the fun figured out! Twilight at the Zoo celebrated 25 years of rocking the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo while raising money for the Cleveland Zoological Society.

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Twilight at the Zoo fills the Zoo with bands of every style from rock to country to swing. Some of our favorites include Billy Likes Soda

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…and Faction, who always do amazing mash-up sets, like their tribute to boy bands!

There is always plenty to eat and drink, from hot dogs and popcorn chicken to Sam Adams and Angry Orchard Cider.

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And we got to see some of the zoo critters, even if it was past their bedtime.

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We enjoyed the VIP area, which included mixed drinks and food from Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish, House of Blues Cleveland, and Texas de Brazil.

 

This year we also got to see the incredible Asian Lantern Festival as part of our time at Twilight at the Zoo, which definitely added to the festive atmosphere!

 

As always, Twilight at the Zoo was an evening of good friends, great music, and fun times!

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Cheers to 25 more years of howling at the moon at Twilight at the Zoo!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo. In exchange, I received four complimentary VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Bomba the Brave!

I’m on a kick this week with people who use their fame as a springboard for doing something meaningful for the community at large (see here.) Recently, I had the chance to chat with Denise Dufala, a longtime Cleveland reporter and anchor.

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Denise has authored a children’s book called “Bomba the Brave,” which is not only adorable, but also has a great message for children as young as preschool.

When Bomba Zarowski (a Cleveland name if there ever was one and the actual name of Denise’s nephew’s stuffed bunny) goes to school, he discovers he needs glasses and is teased by the other bunnies. But with the help of a kind bunny and Bomba’s own sweet spirit, all the bunnies learn an important lesson about bullying and how to stand up for what’s right.

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Denise told me that the book is inspired by a story that she wrote in first grade, when Mrs. Fish (Matt Fish of Melt’s mom) instructed her students to create their own story. Young Denise wrote a story about a bunny with glasses that evolved into the playful, helpful story book of today. As the daughter of a first grade teacher, I love where her inspiration came from!

Denise said that covering news stories about bullying prompted her to want to make a difference in this area. She wrote “Bomba the Brave” with the help of child psychologists and bullying experts, who made sure that the book’s anti-bullying message was clear and properly directed.

Denise also partnered with Values in Action to make “Bomba the Brave” a reality and spread it’s message of acceptance, friendship, and courage.

As a mom, I worry about Jeffrey facing bullying as he progresses in school and want him to understand both how to respond to bullying and also the impact that being the bully can have on others. “Bomba the Brave” was age-appropriate for Jeffrey and a great way to introduce the concept, while still holding his interest with cute characters and fun songs.

“Bomba the Brave” is currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books a Million. This is a great way to teach your kids important lessons about bullying, while also supporting a local notable who is doing her part to better our community.

***Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of “Bomba the Brave.” As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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