Why? Legacy Village Home District Showcase at Arhaus!

As we head into fall and start thinking about holiday entertaining, your home might need a little refresh. That’s where the Legacy Village Home District Showcase comes in. These events, which happen at LV Home District retailers on select Wednesdays, give you access to home design experts sharing their knowledge, plus light refreshments, prizes, and more.

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On Wednesday, October 25, Arhaus Furniture will present New Trends in Furniture and Color and Tabletop Displays. You’ll learn how to mix and match various patterns, styles, and colors in your home, as well as how to achieve a quick and easy design change using accessories.

There will be light refreshments from Legacy Village restaurants, as well as the chance to win Arhaus gift cards in various denominations. The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is encouraged. Register for the event here. This is sure to be a great way to get ready for the new season with a home decor refresh.

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

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Why? First Tee of Cleveland 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.

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On Tuesday, November 7 at Music Box Supper Club, the First Tee of Cleveland will celebrate 17 years of positively impacting children’s lives at their annual Grit, Gratitude, and You Breakfast.

The Grit, Gratitude, and You Breakfast includes:

  • Celebration of The First Tee of Cleveland being named 2017 S.T.R.I.V.E. Organization of the Year by National Council of Youth Sports and AIG
  • Address by guest speaker Andre Thornton, former Cleveland Indians player and founder of The First Tee of Cleveland
  • The Del de Windt Leadership Award for Civic Engagement presented to James C. Boland
  • The Doris Evans, M.D., Merit Scholarship Award presentation
  • Special Participant Perspectives Presentation

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

Tickets for the Thanksgiving 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: https://whycle.com/2017/10/18/why-first-tee-of-cleveland-grit-gratitude-and-you-breakfast-giveaway #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, October 23 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 Thanksgiving 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.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was another glorious fall weekend in Cleveland, this one packed with lots of family fun! Here’s what we did:

Halloween Hayrides

On Friday, we headed to Lake Metroparks Farmpark for the Halloween Hayrides.

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We started with a hayride past several fun, not-too-spooky stations with everything from traditional Halloween scenes…

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…to movie characters…

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…to cute decorations.

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The hayride drops you off where you can select your path: scary or not scary. We stuck with the not scary side, where we enjoyed glow dancers…

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…festive decorations…

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…and yummy concessions (Corbo’s Bakery apple fritters are not to be missed.)

Before we left, Jeffrey had to take a pony ride, too!

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The Halloween Hayrides have definitely become a favorite Halloween event for us. And while they are sold out for this year, keep your eyes open for next year’s ticket sales!

Pumpkin Party

Saturday morning was the annual Pumpkin Party at Jeffrey’s school. They create a mini pumpkin patch for the kids to pick a pumpkin and decorate, as well as other crafts and donuts and cider to enjoy.

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And since the weather was so fabulous, the kids got plenty of time to play outside on the playground too!

Marvel Universe Live!

Saturday afternoon, we met up with Jeffrey’s godparents Amanda and Scott for Marvel Universe Live.

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Jeffrey is just starting to get into superheroes and Amanda and Scott are very into superheroes, so it was the perfect activity. Jeffrey enjoyed the show (he thought most of the fight scenes were simply funny due to the number of flips and crazy moves) and declared Spiderman and Ironman to be his favorites. For me, I love that Jeffrey and his godparents can connect and have so much fun together!

Birthday Party

Sunday, we had a fifth birthday party for our niece Hannah. Elizabeth was pregnant with Hannah at our wedding…time flies! The party was at West Side Gymnastics Club and Jeffrey had a blast bouncing and playing with his cousins.

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Home Cooking

Despite all the activity, we managed to squeeze in some dinners at home too. I made my favorite homemade mac ‘n cheese, which has hatch chiles and chorizo.

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I use this recipe, but add in the chorizo. So spicy and comforting and yummy!

On the lighter side, I made swordfish with tomato relish (recipe here) and rice and broccoli pilaf (recipe here).

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Lots of good, fresh flavors in this meal! With as crazy as our schedules can be, I miss being able to cook at home and it was nice this weekend to have the time to make some meals for us.

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Mia Bella Restaurant!

On Wednesday night, I met up with Ann of Annie’s Signature Sweets for a chatty and carby dinner at Mia Bella Restaurant in Little Italy. We started with generous drinks: a Moscow Mule for Ann and a Old Vine Zinfandel for me.

After devouring the delicious bread with garlic butter, it was entrée time (AKA, bring on more carbs). I chose the scampi risotto, with butternut squash, zucchini, huge scampi, and a slightly spicy red sauce.

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The seasonal vegetables were the perfect compliment to the not-too-creamy risotto. And as someone who is almost always in the clean plate club, I will confess to taking some of this large dish home for leftovers!

Ann chose the Mia Bella pasta, a traditional linguini with marinara dish that was executed flawlessly. I totally approve of Ann’s decision to add mushrooms…I love me some pasta with mushrooms.

 

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Photo credit: Annie’s Signature Sweets 

We had decided to go to Presti’s Bakery for dessert, but we lingered over dinner too long and they were closed. There’s nothing sadder than pressing up against a bakery window, longing for a cannoli.

Luckily, since I had dinner with a baker, I got to take home some of Annie’s Signature Sweets ginger cookies, which helped to satisfy my sweet tooth!

The next time you find yourself in Little Italy, Mia Bella is a delicious, cozy, friendly choice!

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Why? Pete the Cat!

One of the projects at Jeffrey’s school involves the storybook “Pete the Cat.” The kids got really into the story and even created their own class version of it. Then, Pete himself appeared and every child got a chance to take Pete home for a few days. So, here’s what Pete did at our house:

Pete got to know the natives. While he and the dogs are on uneasy terms…

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…Pete was able to find some feline friends in Cali and Halloween Cat.

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He also found some familiar reading material to make him feel comfortable.

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Jeffrey treated Pete to a concert, a cookie, and some play time with friends.

Since the weather was so beautiful, Pete also spent lots of time playing outside!

As a member of the Hathaway Brown community, Pete of course attended Light the Night to support the Blazers.

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He played games…

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…and even found a guitar to strum.

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The line for the East Coast Frozen Custard truck at Light the Night was a bit long. And since ice cream is like catnip for Jeffrey, his momma, and Pete, we headed to Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream for a sweet treat.

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Pete has an adventurous streak, so a trip to Cedar Point seemed the best way to spend our Saturday. Pete rode the carousel and the “crazy corner cars” (as Jeffrey calls them)…

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…but was quite disappointed that he didn’t make the height requirement for the Raptor.

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He did get to trick-or-treat, though!

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Pete was also a big winner at the arcade and took home a yo-yo from his skeeball skills.

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Pete also got to meet Jeffrey’s grandma and do some baking with her.

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Pete might have had a few too many sprinkles.

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And of course Pete spent a lot of time cheering on Jeffrey’s favorite team, the Cleveland Indians!

Most important, Pete and Jeffrey formed a lifelong friendship (and tired each other out!)

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jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

This weather, right?! What a gorgeous weekend! And a busy one too…

Light the Night

On Friday evening, Jeffrey and I went up to Hathaway Brown for their Light the Night celebration, which kicks off homecoming weekend. From balloon artists to games to music to food trucks, there was something fun for every age.

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While the event was mainly to celebrate the high school athletes, Hathaway Brown did a great job of making even the youngest in the community feel welcome and engaged.

Halloweekends

Jeffrey loves Cedar Point and I love a fall festival, so Halloweekends is the perfect combination! The Great Pumpkin Fest transforms the kids’ areas of Cedar Point with trick-or-treat stations, hay bale mazes, pedal tractors, and non-spooky haunted house, and more Halloween fun.

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Plus, there are still all the favorite rides to enjoy! Jeffrey escorted Brenna on one of the car rides…how sweet are they?!

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Plus, the Halloween decorations throughout the park are impressive! There are tons of pumpkins everywhere, some creatively shaped, too!

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Plus, the summer-like weather and the chance to spend a day with some of our favorite people made Halloweekends quite the perfect day!

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Yoga and Brunch

On Sunday, I met up with my friend Beth for another round of Alicia‘s Yoga/Brunch series at Dante Next Door. After a challenging and centering practice, we headed downstairs to brunch. By happenstance, I knew almost all of the other yogis, so I not only had a chance to catch up with Beth, but chat with other Yoga/Brunch loving friends, too.

I’m working my way through the Dante Next Door brunch menu (it’s a tough job). This time, I chose the braised beef croissant, with shortrib, Gruyere, Dijon, and fried onions. The sandwich was so flavorful and tender!

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The flavors reminded me of French Onion soup, just in sandwich form. Delicious!

The next Yoga/Brunch is Sunday, October 22. $15 gets you an hour-long practice, plus a complimentary mimosa or coffee at brunch. Click here to register!

So, that was our weekend. How was yours? Did you enjoy the weather and cheer on the Indians?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Flour Restaurant!

I’ve talked before about the black hole that certain Cleveland places fall in for me. And while I had been to Flour Restaurant for brunch and lunch and have always loved their food at events, somehow having dinner at Flour had eluded me.

I finally remedied that last night at a belated birthday dinner with my dear friends Robin and Amy.

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I started with the Perfect Pear, a cocktail with Belvedere Vodka, Prosecco, St. Germain, pear, and rosemary. We also shared the aptly-named Big A$$ Meatball, with whipped ricotta, tomato sauce, provolone, and crispy sage.

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I would like some of that whipped ricotta to spread on everything. Literally everything.

For dinner, Amy and I both couldn’t resist the lamb garganelli, which came highly recommended by our server.

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The lamb was so tender and added the perfect flavor to the rustic sauce. And of course the pasta was perfection! We both got the smaller portion, which was more than plenty of food with the appetizer and dessert. I always appreciate restaurants that offer these kinds of portion options, allowing you to try even more things from the menu.

Robin chose the traditional Margherita pizza, made in Flour’s own wood-fired oven. For dessert, I had the tiramisu, Robin had the spiced chocolate cake (get this on your next visit), and Amy had the sorbet.

I don’t know why it took me so long to have dinner at Flour, but the casual elegance, delicious pasta, and tasty beverages will make it a place I won’t neglect again! And now you can take home your own Flour pasta to make at home thanks to Flour Pasta Co. Mangia!

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Why? Veggie U Food & Wine Gala!

So, what makes a great Saturday night in Cleveland?

A gorgeous venue, The 925 Building:

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Fabulous, creative, delicious food:

Bison bourguignon and potato puree tartlet with smoked onion, parsnip, heirloom carrot, and buffalo nduja oil from Urban Farmer Cleveland

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Veggie Crunch Salad with sunflower seeds and dried cranberries from Dinner in the Dark

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Smoked walleye with Portuguese potato salad from Green City Growers

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Lentil crepe, almond basmati rice, local cucumber and radish ceviche from Pier W

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Oyster and beef tongue taco with ranchero, pickled onion, and Asian greens from Parker’s Downtown

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Venison sausage with corn puree and jalapenos from Ohio City Provisions

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And wash it all down with pisco sours from Vitamix

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And sweeten it up with fall angel food trifle from Luna Bakery & Cafe

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Then add in a great cause, helping students learn to appreciate, grow, and eat vegetables and fruits through Veggie U.

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Now that’s a recipe for a perfect Saturday night!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Veggie U to help promote the Food & Wine Gala. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets for myself and four tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Apple Harvest Pairing Dinner!

Since it was finally feeling like fall this weekend, it was the perfect time for the Apple Harvest Pairing Dinner at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark.

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Our evening started with a horse-drawn carriage ride to the beautifully-refurbished machinery barn, which was decked out in rustic elegance, setting the tone for the event.

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While we nibbled on appetizers and enjoyed the first of our Debonne Vineyards pairings (a nice Riesling), we also had the opportunity to try pressing apple cider or take a stroll through the Farmpark’s apple orchard and learn more about apple trees.

Then it was time for the sit-down dinner. Our first course was pumpkin soup, with yummy notes of sweet potato and butternut squash, which paired nicely with Debonne Vineyards’ Pinot Grigio.

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Our main course from J&J Catering was pork osso bucco braised in apple and served with layered white and sweet potatoes with candied pecans.

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I was blown away by this dish. The pork was fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth tender. The flavors of fall delighted your palate in every bite. It was truly an incredible course. It was paired with a Rose Pinot Noir from Debonne Vineyards.

And finally, we ended our evening with an apple dumpling with peanut butter sauce, paired with Debonne Vineyards Chardonnay.

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I would eat these apple dumplings every day! And the apple and peanut butter combination was so comforting and delicious!

It was a truly lovely and seasonal evening. The setting was filled with rustic charm, the food was extraordinary, and the wine was nicely paired. All of this for only $45 per ticket, which is an incredible deal!

And if you’re looking for more fall fun at the Farmpark, check out the Corn & Pumpkin Festival happening October 7-8!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Apple Harvest Pairing Dinner. In exchange, I received two complimentary registrations for the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Hansa Brewery!

Last night, I met up with fellow John Carroll University alumni for a happy hour at Hansa Brewery, sponsored by the Cleveland Alumni Chapter.

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I always enjoy the chance to meet up with other alumni and I had never been to Hansa Brewery, so this was definitely a win-win!

For research purposes (the things I do for you, dear readers) I tried two different kinds of Hansa Brewery beer: the Farmer’s Only Saison and the Stomping Ground Coffee Stout, a collaboration with Rising Star Coffee Roasters. Both were well-balanced and quite tasty.

Speaking of tasty, we got to sample some of Hansa Brewery’s appetizers: potato pancakes, pretzels, and the charcuterie plate.

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The potato pancakes were generous with the potato and the perfect balance of moist and crispy, served with either applesauce or sour cream. The whole grain mustard with the pretzels was a delicious beer-drinking snack!

Hansa Brewery’s full menu offers a panoply of German favorites, including wiener schnitzel, jagerschnitzel, and hackbraten. The décor is also old-world themed and matches the beer and food.

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If you’re looking for great, locally-made German beer and food in a fun atmosphere, look no further than Hansa Brewery!

And if you’re a John Carroll alumni, here are some of the Cleveland Alumni Chapter  upcoming events:

Prost to good beer, good food, and good times!

***Disclosure: I am the president of the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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