Why? Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast Giveaway!

The First Tee of Cleveland is a non-profit organization that teaches children core values such as honesty, respect, and confidence through the game of golf.


On Friday, November 16, at Tenk West Bank in The Flats, the First Tee of Cleveland will celebrate the volunteers and advocates who positively impact children’s lives at their 7th annual Grit, Gratitude, and You Breakfast.

The Grit, Gratitude, and You Breakfast includes great presentations:

  • Keynote speaker Brandon Chrostowski, founder, president, and CEO of EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute
  • The Del de Windt Leadership Award for Civic Engagement presented to Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, past president of Cuyahoga Community College, and her husband Walter Thornton, a founding member of The First Tee of Cleveland

There will also be a delicious breakfast and networking time to follow the presentations.

Tickets for the Grit, Gratitude, and You Breakfast are $125 and proceeds benefit the First Tee of Cleveland’s not-for-profit mission. Tickets can be purchased online.

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

1.Leave a comment here telling me your favorite breakfast food.

2. Visit First Tee of Cleveland and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

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

I want to attend the @FirstTeeCLE Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/10/19/why-grit-gratitude-and-you-breakfast-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 Wednesday, October 24 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the First Tee of Cleveland Grit, Gratitude, and You Breakfast. In exchange, I will receive two tickets to give away. I declined my own tickets due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Tom + Chee!

As fall settles in, there’s nothing quite so comforting as a grilled cheese sandwich and soup for lunch. And it’s one meal that Jeffrey and I can always agree on. Which is why we both left very happy campers after our lunch at Tom + Chee in Broadview Heights on Monday.


I tried both the Flying Pig and the Pep + Chee sandwiches. The Flying Pig has smoked Gouda, hand-carved turkey, applewood smoked bacon, and housemade pickles on sour white bread.


The turkey was really tender and flavorful and the pickles made this a top-notch sandwich!

The Pep + Chee has mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, marinara sauce, and parmesan-crusted sour white bread.


To take this delicious sammy to the next level, dunk it in Tom + Chee’s creamy basil tomato soup!

Aside from creamy basil tomato, Tom + Chee offers classic tomato soup, chicken noodle, and a soup of the day, all perfect for dipping. They also offer a variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, along with build-your-own options.

Jeffrey got to experience Tom + Chee’s Kid Pack, which lets a group of kids build their own grilled cheese and fruit cup, decorate their own sugar cookie, and complete a craft.


Jeffrey selected classic white bread, American cheese, and ham for his sandwich and had so much fun putting it together.


He also loved the craft and decorating the cookie (whew, that’s a lot of sprinkles)!

The Kid Pack is a great choice for a birthday party or school group!

Tom + Chee also offers catering, as well as great daily specials like $1.99 Kids Meals on Sundays and Mondays; $2 grilled cheese with a beverage purchase on Tuesdays; 1/2 priced donuts on Wednesdays; $1 off salads on Thursdays; and $2 of shareables on Fridays.

Wait, donuts, you say? Yup, Tom + Chee offers a variety of grilled cheese donuts that are decadent and delicious. We took home a box of the classic donut bites, with peanut butter, vanilla, and chocolate dipping sauces.



For comfort food that tastes delicious and will make the whole family happy, check out Tom + Chee!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary lunch at Tom + Chee with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***



Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend, so let’s get right to it!

Designer Dress Days

On Friday, I attended the preview day for the Designer Dress Days sale, put on by the National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland.


This is the 50th anniversary of Designer Dress Days, which offers new and gently worn designer dresses, suits, jackets, handbags, athletic wear and more at ridiculously great prices.

I scored 2 cashmere sweaters, a Burberry dress, a Burberry skirt, and a Bergdorf Goodman dress for under $300!

The event is volunteer-driven and supports the NCJW/Cleveland’s community service and advocacy initiatives. The sale continues today from 12pm-8pm and tomorrow from 10am-7pm, so check it out and score some designer duds for a great price and for a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked to by NCJW/Cleveland to help promote Designer Dress Days. In exchange, I received complimentary access to the Preview Day, as well as compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Northeast Ohio Parent Blogger Meet-Up

On Friday evening, Jeffrey and I headed to Café o’Play for a meet-up with fellow Northeast Ohio Parent bloggers and their families.

We love Café o’Play because it’s a fun, safe indoor play area with lots to do, but still the ability to keep an eye on your child no matter where they might be (and the coffee and food are legit, too.) Apparently, Jeffrey had so much fun I didn’t even get a picture of him!

I really enjoy blogging for Northeast Ohio Parent and try to focus my blog posts on things to do with your kids around town or ways to incorporate Cleveland into your parenting, play dates, and whatnot. You can check out my latest post here.

Best of Cleveland Party

I had never been to the Cleveland Magazine Best of Cleveland Party before, which made me feel like I was missing out on one of the best parties of the year. After Saturday night, I know I was right to feel that FOMO.


Held at the Rock Hall, the party was three levels of amazing Best of Cleveland winners with everything from beer to burgers to books.

I finally got to try Mama Mary’s Hummus and it was just as amazing as everyone says it is! Try the seasonal pumpkin hummus with a cinnamon graham cracker to achieve peak fall.


The Gimme S’more mini beers from Boss Dog Brewing were a total win, especially because they took the time to do the sugar rim and toasted marshmallow at the event!


Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream…I mean, you know my love for them is so deep.


Polpetta deserves to be at Best of Cleveland because their table featured two of my great loves: meatballs and Kevin Love (holding a meatball.)


And I got so excited to see The Pompadour, one of our new favorite spots, honored for Best Tapas!


And from mascots to friends, there were so many of the best people to get to see, too!


We danced to Billy Likes Soda and DJ E-V and just generally celebrated these restaurants, breweries, businesses, and people who are making Cleveland the amazing place it is!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Cleveland Magazine to help promote the Best of Cleveland Party. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

We also threw into the weekend a birthday party for one of our nieces, some yoga, and some time at home…phew! How was your weekend?



Why? The Macaron Tea Room!

Yesterday, three generations joined together to raise our pinkies and enjoy a delightful spot of tea!


Mom, Jeffrey, and I enjoyed lunch at The Macaron Tea Room in Broadview Heights. Mom and I marveled at their large selection of teas, from specially-blended black teas, white teas, traditional black teas, and fruit teas.


I particularly enjoyed the Blueberry Wildchild. I also love the adorable cups and teapots at The Macaron Tea Room. Even Jeffrey’s lemonade came in a teapot!


Mom and I shared the High Tea for Two, which included three tiers of delicious nibbles.


The first level included tea sandwiches: cucumber with cream cheese and chive; tuna salad; shredded egg with garlic spread; roast beef; and avocado and bacon.


It’s hard to pick a favorite of the sandwiches! All the breads were delicious. I really liked the horseradish on the roast beef sandwich and you can never go wrong with avocado and bacon!

The next tier included a scone with clotted cream and fresh jam, a petit four (ours had apple butter), a Victoria spongecake, and a tea biscuit.

The top tier included a Nutella waffle cake (yum), a mini pecan pie (yum), and a macaron (yum).


Jeffrey got the Nursery Tea, with grilled cheese and ham and cheese sandwiches cut out like airplanes (so cute), grapes, and a macaron.

We had fun with the dress-up corner and the paintable cookie, too!


We all just generally enjoyed a lovely and relaxing lunch! The Macaron Tea Room takes time and care creating delectable, delicate food that is perfect for a ladies’ (and small gentleman’s) day out!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary lunch at The Macaron Tea Room with guests. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Pastina Rustic Italian!

I am writing to you while still completely stuffed and blissed out over a delicious Italian meal we enjoyed last night at Pastina Rustic Italian.

Pastina is truly committed to making as much as possible in-house, as well as sourcing from local distributors whenever they can. We got to see one of the chefs pull fresh mozzarella in front of our eyes.


This process happens daily at Pastina, along with homemade pastas and breads that are on another level of delicious!

So, what did we get to eat? We started with the Smoked Salmon Chips, with chile cream cheese, pickles, chives, and capers, which could make someone who doesn’t like salmon (looking at you, Kate) like salmon.


One of Pastina’s chefs, Michael, is from Alabama and brings in some southern influences to the cuisine when he can.

We had the Arancini, which feature basil risotto, fresh mozzarella, and marinara. Oh my goodness, these are balls of Italian happiness!


We also sampled three varieties of Stone Oven Pizza, which all had that perfect chewy thin crust and delicious toppings. My favorite was the Harvest Pizza, a white pizza with zucchini and butternut squash.

We couldn’t pass up the chance to enjoy the fresh mozzarella in action in the Caprese Salad with cherry tomatoes, arugula pesto, fleur de sel, basil, and EVOO.


For our entrees, we devoured several menu items. The Cavatelli Bolognese is truly a labor of love, with pasta made in-house and a bolognese sauce that speaks to the hours of roasting the meat and melding the phenomenal flavors.


We also had the Chicken Valdostana with madeira wine, roasted mushrooms, basil, and provolone. A really delicious meat dish, that is served with in-house linguine.


And the Butternut Squash Ravioli, with brown-butter sage, crispy sunchoke chips, and fig balsamic is fall on a plate!


Leave room for dessert at Pastina! The pistachio gelato, made in-house, is honestly one of the best ice cream desserts I’ve ever eaten.


The cannoli and tiramisu are also not to be missed!

Everything at Pastina is made with time, care, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to fresh, locally-sourced products. This is not your average Italian food. You can absolutely taste the difference in the fresh pasta, the delectable cheese, and the decadent sauce.

I’ll be full for a week! Or at least until lunch when I dive into my leftovers!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary dinner at Pastina Rustic Italian with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

We had lots of family-centered fun this weekend! Let’s get right to it:

Birthday Party at Greater Cleveland Aquarium

On Saturday morning, Jeffrey and I went to a birthday party for one of his school friend’s at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.


We’ve been to the Aquarium several times, but never for a birthday party. I was really impressed with everything the party included. There was a party room with a submarine the kids could play in, crafts for the group, pizza and cake, and even a visit from a turtle!

The party also included admission to the Aquarium for the kids to check out all the sea critters. What a fun morning!

Fall Flyer

On Sunday, we hopped aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for their Fall Flyer trip.



The Fall Flyer is a two-hour, non-stop ride that takes you though the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to take in the beautiful fall foliage.


We rode on the Silver Lariat, one of the new California Zephyr cars. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad recently added four cars from the California Zephyr line which have dome seating; luxurious seats; tables; and more amenities.


We enjoyed taking in the fall sights, including changing leaves, the Cuyahoga river, lots of bikers and runners on the Towpath, and tons of people visiting Szalay’s pumpkin patch. We also enjoyed tasty snacks like hot dogs and popcorn from the dining car.


Every time we take the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, I’m so impressed with the volunteers who work as Conductors, Trainmen, and more. They truly make the experience so enjoyable!

The fall colors will only continue to become more striking, which makes the Fall Flyer a perfect choice for a fall weekend activity. The Fall Flyer runs every Saturday and Sunday in October at 9:45am and 1:30pm from the Rockside Station and 11:30am and 3:30pm from the Akron Northside Station. Tickets start at $25 per person. Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was invited to take a ride on the Fall Flyer and received three complimentary tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

That was our weekend, aside from watching lots of Cleveland sports, of course! How was yours?




Why? Best of Cleveland Giveaway!

Cleveland Magazine is preparing to throw a party celebrating its Best of Cleveland award winners. On Satuday, October 13, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will be packed with the best of Cleveland food, drink, music, and more.


Billy Likes Soda (Best Cover Band) and DJ EV (Best Local DJ) will be performing. You’ll also get to enjoy food and drink from winners like:

  • Daylight Donuts (Best Ice Cream Filled Donuts)
  • Masthead Brewing Co. (Best Pizza)
  • Polpetta (Best Meatballs)
  • Ginko (Best Sushi)
  • The Wine Spot (Best Wine Shop)
  • Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream (Best Ice Cream)
  • And many, many more

Your ticket also includes admission to the Rock Hall and the Power of Rock Experience.

Tickets are currently on sale online for $75 for General Admission and $110 for VIP (which includes an open bar wristband.) You can also save 20% off tickets by using code BESTOFCLE when you checkout.

Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets right here (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me which of the Participating Winners you’re most excited to see at the Best of Cleveland party.

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

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

4. Follow @ClevelandMag 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 party with the Best of Cleveland thanks to @ClevelandMag and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/10/04/why-best-of-cleveland-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 Tuesday, October 9 and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Cleveland Magazine to help promote the Best of Cleveland party. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary general admission tickets for myself, 2 general admission tickets to give away, and a promo code to share. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Put on Your Boogie Shoes Fundraiser – Costumes and Cocktails!

Want a fun way to celebrate Halloween while benefiting a great cause? Well, then Put on Your BOO-gie Shoes and head to the Hilton Cleveland Downtown on Friday, October 26.


This event is put on by Charles Bowlus Charities. Charles Bowlus Charities was established in memory of Charles Bowlus, CEO and founder of ECRM, who passed away in August, 2011 from lung cancer, with the intent of keeping Charlie’s philanthropy alive. Its mission is to provide support for local organizations, who assist those individuals and families dealing with cancer, health & wellness, women, and children.

The beneficiary of this year’s Put on Your BOO-gie Shoes is the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, which empowers individuals, educates the community, and advocates for justice to end domestic violence and child abuse.


Put on Your BOO-gie Shoes will be a fun Halloween party with live music from Faction (one of our favorite local cover bands), food, beer, wine, raffles and silent auctions, and costumes galore with a costume contest too.

General admission tickets are $85 and include a beer and wine bar and food. VIP tickets are $125 and include the above, plus liquor, valet parking, and VIP section access. You can purchase tickets online.

Don’t miss this fun way to celebrate Halloween, while benefiting a great cause. Oh, and tell me what Matthew and I should dress like in the comments…

***Disclosure: I was asked by Charles Bowlus Charities to help promote Put on Your BOO-gie Shows. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Urban Farmer!

Urban Farmer bills itself as Cleveland’s modern steakhouse, a title which fits it well. The vibe is more casual, cowboy punk than dark wood. There is a focus on locally-sourced, artisanal products. There is a playfulness at Urban Farmer that you don’t usually get from a steakhouse, particularly one that can deliver on taste in the way this restaurant can.

On Friday night, Matthew and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Urban Farmer. We started with a glass of M Cellars Brut Rose, a sparkling wine almost exclusive to Urban Farmer and a display of the restaurant’s commitment to showcasing local products.


For our first course, we enjoyed the Rabbit & Duck Pierogi with onion, jus, citrus cream, and quinoa. This interesting twist on a classic Cleveland menu item was rich and satisfying, with just the right amount of smoky, gamey flavor.


We also feasted on the Braised Octopus with tonnato, ‘nduja oil, fennel, and lemon vinaigrette. These meaty pieces of octopus were deliciously prepared and dressed. I’m so glad to see more local restaurants serving a dish we fell in love with on a trip to Miami.


We also shared the Beet & Squash Salad, with arugula, citrus, chevre, pistachio, and beet meringue “croutons.” A really tasty and original approach to a beet salad!


Of course, the steak is the highlight at Urban Farmer, with New York Strip, Filet Mignon, and Ribeye as the standard offerings on the menu, and with options from grass-fed to grain-fed.

Matthew chose the grain-finished, bone-in, twenty-one day dry aged New York Strip from New Creation Farm in Ohio. The steak was perfectly prepared, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!


Not that it needed any accompaniment, but the Ohio Wagyu Tallow & Bleu Cheese Butter and the Roasted Foraged Mushrooms made fabulous compliments to the steak.


I chose the Georges Bank Scallops, served with pea risotto, pancetta, carrot, and lemon. Fresh, delicious, and with flavors that perfectly paired, this was an elegant dish!


We also enjoyed some of the seasonal Corn Elote with smoked jalapeno aioli, cotija, and scallion. Seriously, if you can get there before this off the menu, do!


And then dessert…Matthew chose the Eight Layer Chocolate Torte, which looked like a giant Andes mint and tasted even better.


My desserts were all set ablaze tableside, with the Cleveland Cassata Alaska…


and the Café Cleveland, which has Watershed high-proof vodka and walnut nocino, Cointreau, Kahlua, and La Colombe coffee.



Such showmanship and such deliciousness!

This is one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time from top to bottom.


The friendly service, the commitment to local products, and the sheer craftsmanship of the chefs make Urban Farmer a fantastic place for a meal!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a dinner at Urban Farmer with a guest. I received a gift card toward our meal, as well as some complimentary items from the kitchen. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Taste of the Browns!

The last few years that we’ve attended the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Taste of the Browns fundraiser, the food has been terrific and the venue has been stellar and everyone has been excited about helping out those in need. But the energy about the Browns themselves…it might have been a little bit low.

But coming off the big win last Thursday and the announcement of Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback, there was genuine sports excitement in the air on Monday night.


Of course, the terrific food, stellar venue, and fantastic opportunity to help those in need still existed too.


Every dollar raised at Taste of the Browns equals 4 meals for those with food insecurity. Chef Rocco Whalen, one of the honorary co-chairs of this year’s event, single-handedly raised $10,000 by donating two Fahrenheit food truck private parties during the live auction!

Of course, Taste of the Browns isn’t just about the Browns…it’s also about the taste! And taste we did!

We started out at B Spot Burgers with their Georgia Peach burger.


Did you know that the B Spot in FirstEnergy Stadium creates a new burger geared to each of the Browns home opponents? This creation for the Falcons game is a winner for sure!

Check out this array of delicious nibbles, with an Asian pulled pork wonton from Pearl Asian Kitchen, tuna nachos from Heck’s Cafe, and steak with horseradish sauce from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.


The miso-glazed pork belly from AMP 150 and the rosemary lamb chop with butternut squash from Johnny’s Downtown were both perfect for the now fall-like weather!

And we had a ball with these gigantic Salerno Family meatballs from Lago East Bank.


Proving they’re more than just tacos, Barrio‘s sea scallop ceviche was a fresh, delicious treat!


I also love when I find a new restaurant that I have to try outside of a tasting event. This year, that restaurant was Corktree Tavern, whose short ribs with goat cheese polenta and dried cherries was tender, flavorful, and an amazing amount of yum in a small bite.


To the food, the cause, and the newly re-energized Browns, cheers!


***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Taste of the Browns. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***