Why? Ohio & Sonoma County Wines!

Ohio is becoming a hot spot of wine production and now the Ohio Wine Association is pairing up with Sonoma County’s Wine Road to present Sonoma & Ohio Wines: Unplugged, Uncorked & Unforgettable.

This event will take place on Sunday, June 24 at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, providing an iconic backdrop for a fabulous night of wine tasting.

The Grand Tasting Experience takes place from 7-9:30pm and includes passed appetizers, live music from Stan Miller, and wine tastings from both Sonoma County and Ohio wineries.

There will also be “Just a Taste” 20-minute tasting intimate seminars from Marianne Frantz of the American Wine School, focused on Rhone varietals, Rose, and Pinot Gris, Gruner, and Gewurztraminer. These seminars are limited to 20 people each.

The Sonoma County wineries include Alexander Valley Vineyards, Christopher Creek Winery, Korbel Champagne Cellars, Notre Vue/Balverne, Viszlay Vineyards, and more. The Ohio wineries include Ferrante Winery, Gervasi Vineyard, M Cellars, South River Vineyard, and more.

There is also a VIP Experience that includes valet parking and a seated winemaker-led tasting featuring 8 Sonoma County wines, as well as admission to the Grand Tasting Experience.

The event will feature a silent auction with proceeds benefitting the Wine Road Family Fire Fund, helping 60 families and their employees along Wine Road who were impacted by the wildfires in Sonoma County.

Tickets are currently on sale for $150 for the VIP Experience and $65 for the Grand Tasting Experience. You can also save $5 on your Grand Tasting Experience tickets by using code WHYCLE. Click here to purchase tickets.

This is sure to be a fabulous night of local and national wines in an amazing venue!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Ohio Wine Association to help promote Ohio & Sonoma County Wines. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary VIP Experience tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***



Why? Swings-n-Things Giveaway!

I always love taking Jeffrey to places that I went as a kid and reliving my childhood through his eyes. Which is why I had so much fun taking him to Swings-n-Things last week!


I can remember going to Swings-n-Things as a kid and having so much fun in this wonderland of things to do. When Jeffrey and I walked in, he was immediately excited by all the fun options, from the game room to miniature golf to bumper boats.

We started in the game room, where Jeffrey enjoyed bowling, skeeball, and other arcade games to earn tickets.


I also had a random stroke of luck at one of the claw games and won him this gigantic purple ball (yup, I picked that up with a claw…total mom win).


In the game room, there’s also a Kids Korner with things to climb on and slide down, which Jeffrey loved!


Outside, you can splash on the bumper boats, and, for the bigger kids, try out paintball, the batting cages and Go Karts. Jeffrey and I played a round of miniature golf on one of Swings-n-Things two courses.


And of course, what day of fun would be complete without ice cream?! Swings-n-Things ice creamery features homemade ice cream that is rich and delicious. My favorite is the cappuccino chip!

Swings-n-Things is also nearing completion on a bar area that will feature wine, local craft beers, and great views of the miniature golf courses and batting cages.

There truly is something for everyone of every age to enjoy at Swings-n-Things! And while I have great memories of time as a kid at Swings-n-Things, the facilities and attractions have all been updated to ensure not only the most fun experience, but also the safest.

This family-owned and operated business is a perfect place to spend a summer day with your kiddo and feel like a kid again yourself! And to help you do just that, I have 4 Karts Plus passes to give away! The Karts Plus pass includes unlimited rounds of miniature golf, unlimited Grand Prix Go Kart and Rookie Track rides, unlimited Wet-n-Wild bumper boats rides, unlimited play in Kids Korner, and $3 of game room play.

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 letting me know which part of Swings-n-Things you’re most excited to experience.

2. Visit Swings-n-Things and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @swings_n_things 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 win passes to @swings_n_things from @WhyCLE #swingsnthings #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/06/13/why-swings-n-things-giveaway 

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

The giveaway will close on Monday, June 18 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was invited to visit Swings-n-Things and received two complimentary Karts Plus passes, as well as complimentary game room play and food. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***




Why? Weekends!

It was another busy and fun weekend in Cleveland, so let’s dive right in!

Mad for Plaid

The Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society recently opened a new exhibit, Mad for Plaid.


This exhibit takes you through the history of plaid in fashion, starting in the time of Queen Victoria.


Mad for Plaid takes you from the early days of plaid in fashion through iconic UK designers, such as Alexander McQueen and Burberry through plaid in grunge and rock (there are even pieces on loan from the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame) through 1970’s fashion to today.


There are even examples from plaid on the silver screen in the form of two costumes from “The Greatest Showman,” which were designed by a local costume designer and worn in the film by Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.


Mad for Plaid is now open and is a visually elegant way to experience the history of plaid in fashion. Also, check out StyleMe Saturdays, with monthly free programming including exclusive curator tours, themed discussion, and hands-on demonstrations from Praxis Fiber Workshop.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary curator tour of Mad for Plaid. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

John Carroll Reunion Weekend

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since I graduated from John Carroll University (probably because I’m still up on campus so often). This weekend, John Carroll celebrated Reunion Weekend, bringing together graduates from class years ending in 3 and 8.


Saturday morning, I attended a yoga class and the family picnic up on campus. The family picnic had great food, as well as face-painting, balloons, a bubble artist, and a sketch artist to keep everyone entertained.


Saturday evening, I attended the Reunion Weekend Mass at Church of the Gesu, then headed to dinner and dancing on the Quad. My friends and I made it a girls night at Reunion and had so much fun reminiscing about people and places from our college days.


We all met on our very first day at John Carroll, when we lived on the same floor in Dolan Hall. To be able to stay friends for all these years and celebrate Reunion together is truly something special!

The dinner, desserts, drinks, and DJ were all perfect! From toasting to National Rose Day to enjoying mini donuts from Donut Lab to catching up with friends, Reunion Weekend was filled with sweetness!


We’re already talking about our 20th Reunion, although no one quite wants to do the math on how old we’ll be for that!

Great Lakes Science Center

On Sunday, we met up with friends for a play date at the Great Lakes Science Center. Since we attended the member preview of TapeScape, Jeffrey has been asking to go back for more sticky, slide-y fun!


In addition to TapeScape, we enjoyed classic Science Center favorites like the Polymer Funhouse and checked out the cool duct tape photo opp, too.

The Great Lakes Science Center always offers something fun and educational that captures Jeffrey’s imagination and attention. It’s a favorite play date spot for sure!

***Disclosure: I received four complimentary tickets, courtesy of the Great Lakes Science Center. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?





Why? Zippity Zoo Doo!

On Friday night, Matthew and I were swept away to the Asian Highlands at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.


The Cleveland Zoological Society‘s annual Zippity Zoo Doo fundraiser celebrated the newest exhibit at the Zoo with a party filled with Asian food and décor. We nibbled on delicious crab Rangoon, salmon poke bowl, crispy noodle salad, and firecracker chicken, prepared by The Driftwood Group.


There were also fun, summery drinks like Moscow mules and “frose rose” (frozen rose).

This year’s event was set up to meander through part of the Zoo, allowing you views of many different Zoo animals as you walked between food stations.


Of course, the highlight was a sneak peek of the new Asian Highlands exhibit, which opens to the public tomorrow, June 12. Asian Highlands is beautifully designed, with an open feel and overhead animal pathways, similar to the Rosebrough Tiger Passage.


Asian Highlands is home to the Zoo’s red pandas, snow leoapards, and Amur leopard, which is one of only 40 left in the world!


The Amur leopard was quite active on Friday night and showed off the new animal pathways, as well as how close you can get to the animals in this amazing new exhibit.


Zippity Zoo Doo is also a fundraiser for the Cleveland Zoological Society, so there were opportunities to contribute to the Zoo’s conservation and educational missions through silent auctions (check out my girl Alicia‘s awesome donation, which quickly was bid out of my price range)…


…a wine pull with the most amazing wine bags…


…and Giving Tree donations.

We also had a chance to mingle with the Ambassadors Circle, the young professionals group of the Cleveland Zoological Society, and hear about some of their fun upcoming events, including their Zoo Clues and Brews Scavenger Hunt.

From the theme to the event set-up to the new exhibit, Matthew and I agreed this was our favorite Zippity Zoo Doo yet! Be sure to check out the new Asian Highlands exhibit opening tomorrow on your next trip to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Zippity Zoo Doo. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? The Cleveland Orchestra Blossom Music Festival!

The Cleveland Orchestra, which marked it’s 100th anniversary, is celebrating Blossom Music Center‘s 50th anniversary with a special season of The Cleveland Orchestra Blossom Music Festival.

Franz Welser-Most by Roger Mastroianni
Franz Welser-Most by Roger Mastroianni 

The Blossom Music Festival will include a Salute to America over the Fourth of July; Opening Night: Pictures at an Exhibit conducted by Franz Welser-Most; Audra McDonald Sings Broadway; The Little Mermaid – Live; Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach; and Star Wars A New Hope in Concert – Live.

Yo-Yo Ma_ by Jason Bell.jpg
Yo-Yo Ma by Jason Bell 

For the second year, The Cleveland Orchestra will host the Blossom Picnic Contest, happening on July 15 with the Schumann’s Spring Symphony concert. Concertgoers can set up their perfect Blossom lawn picnic to be judged by local celebrities and members of the Cleveland Orchestra. Winners will be judged on presentation, taste, and creativity.

Blossom Photo Credit: Roger-Mastroianni

Of course, even if you’re not competing or attending that particular concert, attendees to all the Blossom Music Festival shows are welcome to bring their picnic baskets to enjoy on the lawn.

The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom is one of Cleveland’s best summer traditions and this season, celebrating Blossom’s 50th year, is sure to be especially wonderful!

***Disclosure: I will receive two complimentary tickets to the Blossom Music Festival concert of my choice, courtesy of the Cleveland Orchestra. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

It was a busy and fun weekend in the CLE, so let’s get right to it!

Cedar Point

On Friday, Jeffrey, my mom, and I took the first of what will surely be many trips to Cedar Point this summer. We have season passes, so we go up there as much as we can. Jeffrey not only loves going on the rides, but also watching the big roller coasters.

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This year, Jeffrey is tall enough to go on rides by himself, which gives him even more of a thrill!


Jeffrey is also tall enough to ride (accompanied) one of my favorite rides from when I was a kid: Ocean Motion. After his first ride, during which he laughed and screamed happily the whole time, he immediately demanded to go again. Luckily, I convinced that the limit for consecutive rides is two…I can’t ride the way I used to!

We got to catch up with some favorite friends and visit the Melt Bar and Grilled there too.


So, all the way around, it was a great day!

Cleveland American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Ball

On Saturday, Matthew and I got to get all dressed up and have a swanky night out for our sixth anniversary at the Cleveland American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Ball.


Held in the beautiful atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the event celebrated the $1.3 million fundraising success of this year’s Heart and Stroke Ball committee in grand style.


Over 750 people attended the event, which featured a cocktail hour with tasty drinks, such as this watermelon, lemon, vodka creation.


During the cocktail hour, there was a lot to take in, from performers to artists at work.

Guests could also mingle in the Social Suite, sponsored by Citrus Social, which I staffed during the event.


We then enjoyed a delicious dinner that included salad, short ribs, and chocolate tart.


We also heard from AHA staff, the event chairperson, and a sudden cardiac arrest survivor with inspiring messages of hope and thanks. There was surprisingly no auction portion of the evening, but rather drawings for giveaways to attendees as thank you gifts.


After the presentations wrapped up, it was time to dance to the sounds of Shout!, an impressive 11-piece band that kept guests moving and grooving well into the night!


It was a fabulous evening for a great cause! As I mentioned in one of my posts from the evening, my grandfather recently suffered a stroke, so the cause really struck close to home, as did the beautiful tribute walls created by family and friends.


To see such success for an organization working to alleviate heart and stroke conditions really meant a lot!

***Disclosure: I attended the Cleveland American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Ball as part of my working relationship with Citrus Social. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Rosewood Grill

On Sunday, we tried a new-to-us brunch at Rosewood Grill. I enjoyed the champagne sangria and Matthew had a bacon bloody mary, complete with a mini Miller High Life to accompany it!


We shared the monkey bread (pull apart cinnamon rolls) and deviled eggs to start.


For my entree, I chose the prime rib hash, with roasted red peppers, potatoes, and sunnyside-up eggs. The hash was flavorful and delicious!


Matthew enjoyed the crab cake Benedict, which is obviously the best kind of Benedict!


Since I’ve decided brunch is my favorite meal, I always enjoy trying new brunch locales. Rosewood Grill will stay on the Sunday Funday list for sure!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?


Why? North Union Farmers Market at Legacy Village!

There’s nothing better than a Farmers Market in the summer! You not only get your grocery shopping done, but you get the freshest produce, get a chance to try new things, and are outside to boot. A win all the way around!

IMG_1972 (1).jpg

Which is why I’m so excited about the non-profit North Union Farmers Market bringing their market to Legacy Village from June 10 through September 23. The market will run on Sundays from 10am-1pm.


Not only will you have access an awesome selection of fruits and vegetables, but also dairy and meat products, honey and maple syrup, breads and pastries, cheese, sauces, pasta, and more. North Union Farmers Market also brings a host of fine artists and craftsman to round out your shopping experience.

This market takes place during the height of Ohio growing season, so you’re sure to get the freshest and best every week, especially with North Union’s wide selection of quality vendors.

I hope to see you getting your shopping done in a fun way at the North Union Farmers Market at Legacy Village every Sunday starting Sunday, June 10!

***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.***


Why? Weekends!

Just to let you know right from the start, this post is 90% Jeffrey’s birthday and 10% donuts…

Goldie’s Donuts

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I had the chance to check out the brand new Goldie’s Donuts and Bakery in Lyndhurst.


Located in the former Amy Joy’s Donuts location, Goldie’s does more than just donuts, but boy, do they make great donuts! The sour cream donut was my favorite: so moist and delicious! I also tried the classic glazed, which was light and fluffy.


Goldie’s also offers tons of pastries, like cookies with rich and delicious chocolate icing, Russian tea cakes made from a 100-year old recipe, and decadent brownies and coconut bars.


Goldie’s also has apple fritters and chocolate chip cookies that are both as big as your head!

Goldie’s is open daily from 5am to 10pm, so any time you’re craving donuts or any of their other delightful treats, you can grab one (with the convenience of a drive-through if you want). Goldie’s is a great addition to our fabulous locally-owned donut scene in Cleveland!

***I was invited to a complimentary tasting at Goldie’s Donuts and Bakery. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Jeffrey’s Birthday: Parts One, Two, and Three

Jeffrey turned four yesterday and it’s hard to believe how fast time has gone! I’m so proud of the boy he has become: so inquisitive and funny and smart and empathetic. And what better way to mark turning four than with a weekend of parties?!

On Friday, we had a party for Jeffrey’s school friends at Preston’s HOPE Playground Park. This is always a favorite place to play and it was the perfect spot for the kids on that beautiful day.


We ordered pizza from Pizzazz on the Circle and had a great time playing.


Jeffrey has gotten really into birthdays, particularly singing “Happy Birthday,” and it was such a treat to watch him get so excited for that part of his parties.


On Saturday, we had a party with Jeffrey’s friends at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.


When the new Museum opened, Jeffrey immediately requested to have his birthday party there. It was the perfect spot, with lots of fun things for the kids to do, plus a spacious and well-appointed party room and friendly staff that made hosting a breeze!


Jeffrey’s cake came from Cakes to You and was designed to match his invitations and party décor perfectly!


Jeffrey also requested a rocket ship piñata (thank goodness for Amazon…you can find anything, I swear), which led to a lot of excited candy grabbing!


And then on Sunday, we had a party at our house with our family and Jeffrey’s godparents. My dad arranged for a pretty amazing surprise in our driveway: Lightning McQueen and Mater!


Lightning is my dad’s car, with the addition of a perfectly-designed sunshade. It was so cool for Jeffrey to see these characters come to life in his driveway!


We had lots of good BBQ food, time to play in the yard, and another fabulously designed Cakes to You cake.


Anything that can make Jeffrey this happy is completely worth doing (three times over)!

Happiest birthday to our favorite little man, who woke up this morning and said very seriously, “Momma, I am four now.” I can’t wait to see what it brings!

And of course, what an epic Cavs win! Pretty nice birthday present they gave Jeffrey there!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your long weekend and take time to remember the reason for the holiday, too.


Why? The Capital Grille Cocktail Time!

When you combine two of my favorite things, cocktail time and The Capital Grille, you’re bound to get an amazing result!

The Capital Grille’s new Cocktail Time menu delivers the quality you’ve come to expect from the restaurant, but with more casual and price-friendly options.

Matthew and I recently got a tour of the Cocktail Time menu and can tell you that the choices would make any hour, or many hours, happy! We started with the bottled cocktails: the Nine to Five (Tito’s Vodka, fresh tangerine juice, and elderflower cordial) for me and the Churchill (Maker’s Mark Bourbon, lemon juice, and hibiscus honey syrup) for Matthew.

Both of these cocktails were delicious and perfect for seasonal summer sipping! The Cocktail Time menu also features a third bottled cocktail, the Slow Ride, with 1800 Silver Tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, and ginger syrup, as well as discounted wine and local craft beer.

We then got to taste an array of sliders, all available on the cocktail menu. Everything on the sliders, from sauces to pickles, are made in-house by Chef Anthony. The mini tenderloin sliders with wild mushrooms and herbed Boursin cheese were incredibly tender and juicy.

The candied bacon cheeseburger sliders with white cheddar and bacon jam were a tasty twist on a traditional bacon cheeseburger.

Hands-down our favorite of the sliders was the Korean fried chicken sliders. These are only available at six Capital Grille locations nationwide. They pack a nice, flavorful heat in the sauce, balanced with the peanut slaw and house-made pickles.

So freakin’ good. I’m salivating just writing about it.

The Cocktail Menu also features shareable appetizers, including the tender lamb lollipops, topped with 15-year aged Balsamic.


The Cocktail Time menu is available in the Lounge area at The Capital Grille from Monday through Friday, 4pm to 7pm. The lounge area is not just a bar, but a genuinely nice place to relax and unwind at the end of the day. And the Cocktail Time menu offers a great chance to enjoy high-quality food and drinks at a reasonable price.

While we were at The Capital Grille, we decided to sample a couple items from the Spring Menu as well: the tuna tartare with mango, avocado, and Sriracha and the burrata salad with Balsamic-glazed pears, prosciutto, and arugula.

The tuna tartare is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. And speaking of perfect blends, a bite with all the elements of the burrata salad is the definition of the perfect blend!

What a sweet night at a place that has quickly become a favorite of ours for special occasions!

With the addition of the Cocktail Time menu, this will quickly become a favorite after-work happy hour spot as well.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting of the Cocktail Time menu at The Capital Grille. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


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.


I served on the Cleveland Alumni Chapter Board for six years and was so humbled to receive this award as I completed by board term. John Carroll means so much to me and has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mom received her Masters in Education from Carroll, so being able to share the Awards Dinner with her was particularly meaningful.


The dinner itself was lovely, with good food and good conversation with the other award winners and their families. The other award recipients were so deserving and have accomplished so much that it was truly amazing to be mentioned in the same breath.

I am so grateful for the chance to give back to John Carroll, to receive the award, and to get to share it with the people who mean the most to me and who supported the time and effort I put into my volunteer work.


Day Out with Thomas

Saturday morning, we boarded a train for Sodor at Day Out with Thomas at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.


We got to enjoy a thirty minute train ride on Thomas himself, along with lots of other train-themed fun, including train tables, model trains, and the chance to ring a real train bell!


One of my favorite parts of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad events is that they are volunteer-driven. The volunteers care so much about making the experience fun for the kids, which just adds to how special the memories made are.


Tickets are still available for this weekend’s Day Out with Thomas events, happening Friday, May 25 through Sunday, May 27. Click here to purchase tickets.

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!


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!


So, what better way to celebrate these fabulous friends than with brunch (I made this almond French toast and this crab strata) and Prosecco sangria and manicures?


We had time to eat and chat and pamper ourselves and it was just lovely! It’s so important to celebrate our friends and I’m glad I had a chance to do it!

It was a great weekend with family and friends! How was yours?