Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend of celebrating, so let’s get right to it…


On Saturday, Matthew and I attended Jillian and Patrick’s wedding at the InterContinental Cleveland.


Both the ceremony and the reception were held at the InterContinental and I was amazed at how quickly the room transformed from the ceremony venue to a beautiful reception venue.

The food was delicious!


We had New York Strip, grilled shrimp, truffle risotto, and grilled asparagus, plus a grilled Caesar salad, yummy passed appetizers (we made very good friends with the ceviché server), and tasty cake.

And there were some surprise guests during the dancing: the Tribe Hot Dogs!


Here you can see me not at all maintaining my cool while dancing with Mustard. And Mom and I had to get a snap with our favorite lady hot dog: Onion.


It was a lovely ceremony and a fun reception! Jillian is my (step)dad’s daughter and so it was even more special to see the love and pride he had in walking her down the aisle, giving a toast, and dancing the Father-Daughter dance.

Jeffrey’s 5th Birthday Party

On Sunday, we hosted Jeffrey’s 5th birthday party at our house. Jeffrey would want me to tell you that he doesn’t officially turn 5 until this coming weekend, though!


The party was “space” themed and we certainly blasted off to a good time.

My dad was the grill master and made up tasty hot dogs and hamburgers from Pinzone’s Market Fresh Meats. The cake, cupcakes, and pastry tray for the grown-ups came from the always spot-on Michael Angelo’s Bakery.

My high school and college classmate Holly of Cupcakes by Holly created adorable sugar cookies

for the treat boxes.


And the pièce de résistance: we surprised Jeffrey with a visit from the Euclid Beach Rocket Car.


He was so shocked and took every single ride the car made while it was at the party.


Both kids and adults had a blast (haha) riding around in this piece of Cleveland history.


The Euclid Beach Rocket Car has it so many things I love: Cleveland nostalgia, fun music, that summery festival feel, and public spectacle 😉

And our driver Jen was so sweet, both before and during the party. If you’re looking to add some serious star power (I can’t stop the puns) to your next party, check ’em out!


Even better than the Rocket Car was the chance to spend time with friends who have all been such a huge part of Jeffrey’s life and a huge support in ours these last five years (and longer).

I think our future astronaut had an out-of-this-world day!

How was your weekend?


Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party!

On Wednesday, Cleveland came together to celebrate its best restaurants at the Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party.


Over 50 restaurants were represented, serving delicious small bites that prove why they made this acclaimed list of dining winners.

Some of our favorites included the fish tacos from Pier W (those wonton crisp shells)…


…the sticky mango rice and potstickers from Thai Thai


…the prosciutto and artichoke from Humble Wine Bar (which I gobbled without getting a picture)…

…the Salerno family meatballs from Lago East Bank


…the goat cheese and Brussel sprout crostini from Distill Table


…and the skirt steak with chimichurri from Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill (the way to my heart is a good chimichurri).


We also found some amazing cocktails in the VIP Lounge, with special offerings from Porco Lounge and Tiki Room and Western Reserve Distillers.

The VIP Lounge also featured amazing food from Mabel’s BBQ, Luca Italian Cuisine, and Saucy Brew Works.


Plus, the evening benefited the Arthritis Foundation Ohio, so we stuffed ourselves with the best food in town for a good cause!


Cleveland has so many fabulous restaurants and it was fun to celebrate them and to see these talented folks all come together for charity!


***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets and two general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***



Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend filled with yoga and family time, so pretty much a perfect one for me!

Balance and Brews

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Anne for Balance & Brews at Saucy Brew Works. Balance & Brews is a one-hour, all-levels vinyasa class held at various breweries around town. After your class, you can stay and enjoy a beer (one beer included with your class) and mingle with your fellow yogis.

I always enjoy these classes, not only because I get a beer after, but because of the opportunity to practice in very different environments. At Saucy, we were right out on the brewery floor, with lots of noises, smells, and activity happening around us. It’s a great way to practice being focused and staying in the moment.

And your reward for all that focus is pretty great too!


I tried the Don’t Stop Wit It Wit It, a Belgian Wit that is light, crisp, and perfect for summer sipping!

Check out Balance & Brews upcoming schedule, with classes at Masthead, Terrestrial, Great Lakes, Fat Head’s, CLE Urban Winery, and Market Garden.

Mother’s Day

The rest of the weekend was spent in various phases of Mother’s Day celebrating…

At school, Jeffrey made a Mother’s Day gift, themed on “Where the Wild Things Are.” Not only is it something I’ll treasure, but the pride he had in giving it to me was so sweet to see.


Matthew and Jeffrey made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning and I even got a little treat from my “furry kids” too…


Matthew found these adorable chocolate dogs at the Urban Farmer charity bake sale!


Speaking of chocolate, he and Jeffrey also created a box of homemade treats for me: chocolate-covered strawberries and grapes! How sweet!


We capped off our Mother’s Day celebrations with dinner at my parents’ house, complete with fabulous wine and some ridiculous triple crème brie.


It was lovely and relaxed and a perfect weekend of feeling truly appreciated and loved!

How was your weekend?


Why? Spice Spring Supper Club at Borrow Rentals!

Last night, Mom and I celebrated an early Mother’s Day with the best gift we can give each other: time together.


We attended the Spring Supper Club at Borrow Rentals, with food and expertly-paired wine from Spice Kitchen and Bar. The setting was perfect, with Borrow’s eclectic, vintage decor fitting in perfectly with Spice’s seasonal, farm-driven cuisine.


We were welcomed with Prosecco (the only way I like to be welcomed) and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.


Our first course was 3-Way Dandelion Kombucha Soup, with radish, snow peas, and dandelion greens, paired with Corvidae Riesling.


I was so skeptical about this course and I just loved it. The soup was tangy and spicy, with just enough sweetness from the snow peas to balance it out.

The second course was Guinea Fowl “Caesar” Salad, with romaine, ramp croutons, Styx mountain cheese, and Lake Erie Caesar dressing, paired with The Curator White Blend.


One of my favorite things about Spice is how hyper-local and seasonal their food always is. Ramps are a sure sign of spring in Ohio!

Our third course was Venison Sausage Pasta, with spring green pea pesto, whipped ricotta, Spice Acres mushrooms, and foraged nuts, paired with Farnese Montelpuciano d’Abruzzo Fantini.


Rich, delicious, and creatively presented, this dish was a winner!

We ended our spring dining with Angel Food Cake, with Chantilly cream and rhubarb jam, paired with Marenco Moscato d’Asti.


What a lovely evening of creative food in a creative atmosphere, shared with the lady who taught me to love both!


Why? Grapes and Ale Giveaway!

Who’s ready to think about summer BBQ’s? I know I am! Our Lady of the Wayside is again hosting their fabulous and fun BBQ fundraiser at Grapes and Ale on Friday, June 14, now in it’s 20th anniversary year.


Progressive Field once again hosts this fabulous evening. You’ll get to sample BBQ bites from some of Cleveland’s sauciest restaurants, including Berea Depot, Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute, Melt Bar and Grilled, and Smokin’ Rock and Roll.

There will be over 300 international wines to sample included with your admission, as well as craft beer samples available for purchase at The Corner.

You can also groove to live music from local bands The Sunrise Jones and Moshuro.

General admission tickets to Grapes and Ale are $60 and include unlimited wine and food samples, access to The Corner to purchase craft beer samples, a souvenir glass, live entertainment, and access to take your chance to win fabulous auction prizes.

You can also upgrade to VIP tickets, which are $125 and include all of the above plus access to a private Majic VIP area with featured wines, beers, and Tito’s Vodka cocktails, plus special hors d’oeuvres and desserts from 700 Beta and Cupcake Cravings.

You can purchase tickets online now. Or you can enter to win two 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 here letting me know if you’re most excited for BBQ, wine, or beer at Grapes and Ale.

2. Visit Our Lady of the Wayside and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Hop on over to @whycle on Instagram and follow the instructions with the Grapes and Ale picture.

4. Follow @OurLadyWayside 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 attend @OurLadyWayside #GrapesandAle thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/05/09/why-grapes-and-ale-giveaway-7 

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, May 14 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Grapes and Ale. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary VIP tickets for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Wildroots Modern Market at Legacy Village!

Last year, Legacy Village started a partnership with Wildroots Market that was so popular, the partnership is expanding to offer monthly markets this summer.

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The first market will take place on Saturday, May 18 from 11am to 4pm, where you can peruse over 90 vendors from Northeast Ohio and beyond, with everything from home décor to vintage goods to jewelry to contemporary art.

Wildroots Modern Market 1.jpg

This free, family (and dog) friendly event will also include food trucks, live music, and a complimentary barre3 class from 10am-11am before each market.

Additional markets in the series will be held on June 22, July 20, August 24, and September 21. Don’t miss this fun chance for unique shopping, food, fitness, and fun!

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



Why? Weekends!

We weren’t about to let the chilly, damp, foggy weather get us down this weekend. Here’s what we were up to:

Azure Rooftop Lounge Summer Kick-Off

On Friday night, Matthew and I attended the Summer Kick-Off party at Azure Rooftop Lounge.

Photo Credit: Orville McEachron Photography

Located on the 12th floor of The 9, Azure has stunning skyline views and an expansive outdoor space with bar seating, cozy couches, and some fabulous plant walls.


We sampled some of the delicious food you can get at Azure, including Savory Ahi Tostadas, Shishito Peppers, Crab Cake Sliders, and delicious mini desserts.

We also sampled some of Azure’s signature cocktails, including boozy lemonade and strawberry mules.


Azure Rooftop Lounge is now officially open for the season and is a fabulous spot for a summer cocktail (or two). Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 3-6pm and includes $2 off cocktails and sangria, $3 off wine, $1 off beer, and $9 starters.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Summer Kick-Off at Azure Rooftop Lounge with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Indians Game

Despite the weather on Saturday, we bundled up and headed to our first Cleveland Indians game of the season.


We enjoyed the activities on the Family Deck and Jeffrey picked up his Tribe Town MVP kit, filled with fun Indians merchandise!

Even better, the Indians got a win over the Seattle Mariners! Despite the fact that it felt more like football weather, our first Tribe game of the season was a home run!


Mommas and Margaritas

On Sunday, I hosted some of my mom friends for a Cinco de Mayo/Pre-Mother’s Day celebration. Appropriately titled, “Mommas and Margaritas,” we had margaritas, guacamole, salsa, hot corn chile dip (recipe here), and lots of laughs.


I couldn’t do it without these ladies (and others in abstentia) and I was so glad we had a chance to celebrate an early Mother’s Day!

How was your weekend?


Why? Roses and Rosé at Heinen’s!

It’s rosé season! Personally, I don’t think it ever stopped being rosé season, but this light, fruity wine certainly reaches it’s peak consumption during the spring and summer months.


It’s perfect for patio drinking, day-drinking, and pairing with the lighter foods you’re cooking this season.

Last night, Heinen’s celebrated both rosé wine and roses, with an event that included a rosé and cheese pairing, as well as a flower arranging tutorial.


When we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of Bacio della Luna Pinot Brut Rosé. This sparkling wine was vibrant, crisp, and one of my favorites of the evening.


It was paired with a Caseificio Truf 3 Latti, a cow, goat, and sheep milk cheese with truffles. Creamy, dreamy, earthy yumminess!

We then sampled six non-sparkling rosés, each paired with cheese and all available at your neighborhood Heinen’s:



  • 2018 The Palm by Whispering Angel, paired with Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper
  • 2018 Confidencial Rosé, paired with Mayfield Road Creamery Plain Havarti-Holstein
  • 2018 Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noir, paired with Saint Angel Triple Crème Brie
  • 2018 Alexander Vineyards Rosé of Sangiovese, paired with Ubriaco Prosecco Cheese (it’s bathed in prosecco, not unlike myself)
  • 2018 Viallet Rosé, paired with Beecher’s Dutch Hollow Dulcet
  • 2018 Diving into Hampton Waters Rosé (from Jon Bon Jovi’s winery), paired with Mackenize Creamery Chevre with Herbs de Provence

Of these wines, the Rodney Strong and Confidencial were my favorites. So, I learned I really like rosé of Pinot Noir! I also learned that rosé can be made from any red wine grape and that the trend as consumers is toward lighter-colored rosés, which does not necessarily mean better quality.



I love that Heinen’s incoporated local cheese from Mayfield Road Creamery and Mackenzie Creamery into the tastings. The store does a wonderful job at stocking wines and cheese that range from hyper-local to around-the-world.

For our floral arranging demonstration, we learned to always keep your flowers in cold water, cut them once you bring them home from the store, and create your arrangements by looking at them from the side perspective, which is what your dinner guests will see when they are on your table.


Of course, Heinen’s offers a lovely selection of fresh flowers to help you create the perfect centerpiece for your own Roses and Rosé party!

Alicia is super excited about the wine and cheese

Spring has sprung, so if you need me, I’ll either be in the Heinen’s wine aisle or sitting on my porch sipping my rosé! Cheers!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Roses and Rosé event at Heinen’s with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? The Rusty Bucket!

Last night, Jeffrey and I had dinner at a place that made us both smile: The Rusty Bucket in Solon.


This casual eatery lives up to the idea of fun and friendly service and approachable food in a relaxed setting. Our server, Kelly, was certainly the embodiment of this. She was so sweet to Jeffrey and she and I chatted easily about everything from food to blogging.

Before I get to the food, let’s talk beverages. I started with an Old Fashioned, which was a bit strong for my still-making-friends-with bourbon taste. Matthew would have loved it, though!


But the Strawberry Lemonade, Blueberry Iced Tea, and Cold Brew were all winners in my book!

Now, let’s get to the food…I got to try a sampling of The Rusty Bucket’s featured new menu items in both appetizers and desserts.

The hefty star of the table was the “Cheese Blanket” Nachos, with seasoned ground beef, braised black beans, the “cheese blanket,” pico de gallo, jalapenos, sour cream, and scallions.


So cheesy! These are definitely for sharing…I could barely make a dent in all that cheesy goodness!

I also sampled the Rusty Bucket Wings in Joe’s Regular flavor. Crisp and with just a slight kick, these were good wings.


They are also available in Tamarind BBQ, Sweet Chili, Spicy Garlic, and Habanero.

To round out the appetizers, the Spinach Con Queso, with spinach, white wine, and cheeses served in a just-out-of-the-oven crock was creamy and delicious.


I also loved the chips…very light and crispy!

Jeffrey enjoyed the Kids Pepperoni Pizza (seriously, he ate the whole thing, as well as stealing all of one of the desserts).


And I enjoyed learning about Bucketeer Bookworm Program for kids. Remember BookIt? This is kind of the same concept.


For every 5 books that your child reads or has read to them, you receive a complimentary kids meal. When you reach 15 books, you receive $10 off admission to Legoland Discovery Centre in Columbus! What a fun way to encourage reading!

Now to the desserts…

The Sticky Bun Bread Pudding has croissants rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked with vanilla custard, topped with warm caramel, pecans, and Edy’s vanilla ice cream.


This was lighter than a lot of bread puddings and just delicious!

Jeffrey completely devoured the Death by Chocolate, a triple decker chocolate sheet cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache.

I love me nothing more than a fruit dessert, so I was thrilled with the Berry Cobbler,  served in a hot crock with Edy’s vanilla ice cream.


For a fun, easy meal that will keep the whole family satisfied, check out The Rusty Bucket!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary meal at The Rusty Bucket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Legacy Village Food Truck Mondays!

It’s almost time for outdoor eating: patios, picnics, and, of course, food trucks! Legacy Village will once again be offering a strolling mecca of food trucks on Food Truck Mondays.

Legacy Village - Logo


The inaugural Food Truck Monday takes place on Monday, May 20 from 11:30am to 1:30pm. There will be a great selection of fan favorite food trucks, such as Barrio Tacos, Chef Grey Wolf, Cookery Food Truck, Donut Lab, Off the GRIDdle, Superhero Food Truck, and The Little Piggy, all parked along Legacy Village’s Main Street.

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You’ll also be able to enjoy a variety of local bands performing on The Lawn at each Food Truck Monday to add to the fun, festival-like atmosphere. Bring a picnic blanket or snag  a seat at one of the benches or tables and relax for a sunshiny, delicious meal!

Legacy Village Food Truck Mondays will take place on May 20, June 3, June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12, and August 26. Food Truck Mondays are perfect for a lunch break, a lunch date, or a play date!

***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.***