Why? Refined Giveaway!

Ohio is developing quite a spirited industry of spirits, which is why Refined was created. Refined is a festival that celebrates alcohol only from Ohio.

Medpromo2

Refined is happening on Saturday, February 23 from 4-9pm at the Cuyahoga Fairgrounds. Refined has partnered with the non-profit Tails from the City to help with proceeds and volunteers so that cats can find forever homes.

At Refined, you can visit three themed bars:

  • Cat Bar, with cat-themed drinks and the chance to sign up to be a Tails from the City volunteer
  • Classic Bar
  • Pop Culture Bar

Tickets for Refined are currently on sale online. Single Entry ($48.60) or Multi/Two Person Admission ($90.62) gets you 15 drink tasting tickets, a shot glass, and access to all non-alcoholic drinks and food trucks.

VIP Single Entry ($69.61) or VIP Multi/Two Person Admission ($132.64) gets you 20 drink tasting tickets, a special shot glass, access to all non-alcoholic drinks and food trucks, 1/2-hour early entrance, and swag.

Or you can enter to win a general admission Multi/Two Person ticket 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 Ohio spirit.

2. Visit Original Festival Collective and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you visited both.

3. Follow @co_festival 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:

Cheers! I want to win tickets to #RefinedCLE from @co_festival and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/01/23/why-refined-giveaway 

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

And for a chance to win two VIP Single Entry tickets, hop over to my Instagram page and follow the instructions there.

The giveaway will close on Saturday, January 26 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

jenclesig_pur

 

 

Why? Weekends!

It was a pretty low-key weekend around here, thanks to the weather. Sometimes Mother Nature makes us slow down and that’s OK!

Home Cooking

With being snowed in comes the opportunity to do some home cooking. I’ve been trying to find meals that everyone will like. Think: kid-friendly, but with enough flavor to keep the grown-ups happy too.

Friday night, I made baked chicken tenders with this recipe. What I really liked about this recipe was the batter incorporated Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, which gave the chicken more flavor than a standard egg wash.

IMG_8268

I cheated a bit by using Heinen’s prepared foods for our potato side dish. But those stuffed twice-baked potatoes were hard to resist and Heinen’s prepared foods are so yummy!

Then on Sunday, we ventured out to my parents’ house. Jeffrey had been requesting to crack (not eat) crab legs and since the rest of us all enjoy the eating part, we figured we’d put him to work.

IMG_8296

We did get Jeffrey to eat a couple bites of his handiwork too. The king crab legs were from Lobster Brothers and were sweet, tender, and delicious!

Family Yoga

On Sunday, we attended a family yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center.

IMG_8289

It’s tough to find a yoga class that allows both parents and kids to practice together (click here to read my post for Northeast Ohio Parent on where to find kids yoga classes.) So, Matthew and I were really excited for the chance to practice with Jeffrey.

IMG_8286

The class incorporated yoga poses, breath work, and meditation, all in ways that were fun, engaging, and accessible for the kids.

IMG_8283

The family yoga class is held once a month at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. Cost to attend is free for members and $10 for non-members. The next class is on Sunday, February 17, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Click here to learn more and register.

So, that was our quiet winter weekend. How was yours? Did you stay warm and snug or venture out?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Gourmet Guy Cafe!

Fast, flavorful, and fresh: the recently-opened Gourmet Guy Cafe in Rocky River is a great spot for lunch, casual dinner, or grab-and-go.

IMG_8242

Gourmet Guy Cafe offers a great selection of sandwiches, sides, smoothies, and build-your-own bowls. I enjoyed both the Morning Sunrise smoothie (strawberries, banana, orange juice, yogurt) and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Passion (almond milk, banana, dark cocoa, honey.)

IMG_8246

Healthy and decadent…yum!

We sampled three of Gourmet Guy’s sides: eggplant fries with creamy pesto…

IMG_8245

…cous cous salad with tomatoes, feta, cilantro, and cucumber…

IMG_8243

…and fried Brussel sprouts with roasted garlic and bacon mayo.

IMG_8244

It would be completely impossible to pick a favorite. They were all delicious!

Then it was on to the sandwiches. The Triple B grilled cheese, with blackberry jam, bacon, caramelized onions, and Brie. This is a knockout combo of savory and sweet!

IMG_8251

The Portobella mushroom panini with red onions, roasted garlic, arugula, and goat cheese spread was flavorful and filling.

IMG_8252

And the salmon burger with lettuce, tomato, and whole grain mustard is great!

IMG_8254

You can also build your own wraps or bowls with a choice of protein (steak, chicken, salmon, pulled pork, tofu), toppings, and dressings. These bowls are a yummy way to explore your healthy, creative side!

Gourmet Guy also offers prepared meals to go, which can be ordered online for pick-up.

IMG_8256

So, for lots of fresh, delicious, healthy food for on the go or a meal out, check out Gourmet Guy Cafe!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting at Gourmet Guy Cafe. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? City Barbecue!

You know a restaurant is opening with some hype already going when, on media preview day, no fewer than 10 cars pulled in the lot hoping City Barbecue was already open. Spoiler alert: the Beachwood location opens to the public on Monday, January 21.

IMG_8149

 

The Beachwood restaurant will be the 46th location of City Barbecue, which started in Columbus, Ohio, and is now serving finger-lickin’ good barbecue across six states.

IMG_8173

City Barbecue’s mainstay is smoked meat. The Beachwood location has three smokers, which run constantly with hickory wood to smoke brisket, pork, and chicken to perfection.

IMG_8171

Seriously, you can smell the smoky wood in the parking lot and it just draws you in!

We got to sample some of all the meats the City Barbecue has to offer: beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey breast, chicken, St. Louis ribs, and sausage.

IMG_8161

It is almost impossible to pick a favorite, but for me the beef brisket and the ribs were tops. The ribs fell off the bone and had just the right amount of seasoning and sauce.

IMG_8176

Likewise, the beef brisket was incredibly tender and moist.

IMG_8169

It didn’t need sauce, although City Barbecue offers a variety of year-round and seasonal sauces from sweet to spicy. The Brushfire was my favorite of the sauces.

IMG_8152

We also got to try lots of City Barbecue’s delicious side dishes. Now, some of you know, I would make a meal on side dishes just about any day of the week.

IMG_8162

The mac & cheese, cornbread, corn pudding, and hush puppies are all not to be missed. But the standout for me was the baked beans with brisket. The sauce was so thick, it was almost like a gravy and the flavor was rich and smoky.

IMG_8174

Oh, and wash it all down with some lemonade!

City Barbecue has a fast casual atmosphere with food and service that are well above fast casual level. The team is invested in making both the food and the experience outstanding.

IMG_8166

City Barbecue is also invested in the local community. The company annually donates 10% of its profits to charity. Also, the Beachwood City Barbecue freezes and donates any surplus side dishes to the City Mission to help feed those in need right here in the Cleveland area.

The Beachwood City Barbecue location opens on Monday, January 21. You can dine in, carry out, or order catering. Check it out and enjoy some smoky, barbecued goodness!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a media preview at City Barbecue with a guest, at which we received complimentary food and a swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

This weekend, Matthew and Jeffrey traveled to Texas to celebrate Matthew’s grandma’s 90th birthday.

IMG_8143

Since we weren’t sure how I’d be feeling post-surgery, we decided I would skip this trip. And while I definitely missed seeing the family and celebrating Grandma and eating lots of brisket…oh, wait, I actually ate lots of brisket here (but more on that tomorrow)…

I did manage to scare up some fun around here, even with my best guys gone.

Disney on Ice

On Friday night, I took my dear friend Mariah and her son to see Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party.

Before the show, we got to attend an exclusive meet-and-greet with the main mouse himself (speaking of 90th birthdays)…

IMG_8024

…and enjoy a delicious fajita bar dinner catered by Aramark.

Then it was off to the show! What an amazing spectacle!

 

From the costumes to the acrobatics to the chance to see so many favorite characters, Disney on Ice really delivered on the magic and fun.

IMG_8064

I’m so glad I was able to enjoy the show with two of my favorite people and see the wonder and excitement that it brought!

Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party is in Cleveland through Sunday, January 20 at Quicken Loans Arena, with evening shows on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18 and three shows a day on Satuday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20. You can purchase tickets online.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets, a meet-and-greet character dinner, and Disney on Ice swag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Girls Night In

Saturday evening, I hosted a Girls Night In, because what else is a lady to do when she has the house entirely to herself?

We enjoyed lots of food and wine and girl talk, which was just good for my soul. You know when I only took one picture that it was a good night!

IMG_8141

Oh, and that is a gigantic bottle of rose, which I found at Heinen’s (and is actually quite good, not just impressively sized.)

One of the things I knew I had to have on my table (especially with a vegetarian and a vegan coming) was Mama Mary’s Hummus.

You may have heard of Mama Mary’s as the “gas station hummus,” which has garnered tons of local press attention and even a spot on Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland list.

I have to tell you, the hype is warranted. This is truly the best hummus I’ve ever tasted. For the party, I chose the traditional, roasted red pepper, and jalapeno. They were all fantastic! Mama Mary’s Hummus is now available at 7 different locations: click here to find the one near you!

Spa West

Another key component of a weekend of “me time” was spa time with my mom. We went to Spa West, which is truly such a lovely and relaxing environment.

From the welcome tea to the calming music to the cozy relaxation room, you immediately feel more zen just walking in.

I had a signature pedicure with a hot stone leg massage and not only do my toes look ready to return to my yoga mat, but my legs feel soft, smooth, and stress-free.

The next time you want to treat yourself or have a perfect girls day out, check out Spa West!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my BBQ-eating adventures, but for now, I’m off to get ready to welcome Matthew and Jeffrey home! What would you do with a weekend to yourself?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Perfectly Imperfect Produce!

There’s nothing I love more than when a person not only recognizes a problem, but comes up with an innovative solution. That’s exactly what Ashley Weingart did when she launched Perfectly Imperfect Produce.

IMG_7997

Ashley’s family has been in the produce business for four generations. Ashley saw that the industry had a lot of food waste due to buyers’ shifts in demand or desire for “perfection” in the product.

Perfectly Imperfect Produce rescues produce that would otherwise go to waste, but is perfectly good for consumption. The items are unique in size, shape, or color, as well as those considered surplus crops.

Not only does Perfectly Imperfect Produce help to reduce food waste, they also help improve access to healthy food. For every box purchased, a donation of produce is made to local food pantries through the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.

We got to hear about Perfectly Imperfect Produce’s mission, as well as taste some of their delicious produce last night at Prep Kitchen CLE, which is a gorgeous space that is available for rent for meetings, social gatherings, and the like.

IMG_7995

Aubrey of That’s What She Eats, who works with Perfectly Imperfect Produce to create recipes with their produce, created some delicious nibbles: sweet potato slices, roasted cauliflower, curry hummus, and butternut squash mac.

We also got to fill our own box of Perfectly Imperfect Produce, with items like apples, pears, ginger root, squash, and mango.

IMG_8002

You can get in on your own Perfectly Imperfect Produce box with various options, such as organic, all fruit, and all veggie. You can also pick your size and frequency of delivery. Yes, I said delivery. All this great produce is delivered right to your door! Click here to see your options and order.

Perfectly Imperfect Produce is available in Cleveland and Columbus. Rescue some produce and do something good for you, for the food industry, and for those in need!

***Disclosure: I was invited by Perfectly Imperfect Produce to attend a complimentary influencer event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Hey guys! How was your weekend? Ours was a nice balance of time out and time at home, so let’s get right to it…

Michael Angelo’s Winery

On Friday night, I met up with my friends Anne and Kim at Michael Angelo’s Winery.

49371705_10217398240138709_6399447309070893056_n

The winery is huge and beautifully decorated, with lots of seating options from at the wine tasting bar to tables to cozy chairs and couches.

IMG_7876

I started with a wine flight, which let me sample four different wines. I chose the Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

IMG_7880

I really enjoyed all my selections, except for the Pinot Noir (which, admittedly, I don’t have as much experience with in general.)

We decided to share a couple appetizers: the crispy Brussel sprouts with maple aioli, mint, and lemon and the confit chicken wings with soy garlic sauce.

IMG_7878

Both were quite tasty! The pizzas coming out of the kitchen all looked amazing, too!

In addition to the food and wine, you can snag yourself some of Michael Angelo’s well-known bakery items, from bread to macarons to paczki. There is also a shop with coffee, candy, and bottles of wine for purchase.

The winery quickly filled up on Friday evening and is clearly deserves it’s new “hot spot” status with food, wine, and atmosphere that are all on point.

Yoga and Oils

Saturday morning, I went to an event that combined something I know really well (yoga) with something I don’t know as well (essential oils.)

Held at Borrow – Curated Rentals & Design, the event started with a presentation on doTERRA Essential Oils, with a sample of their Balance oil to take home.

IMG_7885

Then, Alicia led us through a Slow Flow and Yoga Nidra combination that left us feeling refreshed and intent on the year ahead.

IMG_7886

Alicia graciously let me just hang out in my own restorative poses in the back, but I was definitely able to reap the benefits of the relaxation and the chance to set a mantra for 2019.

Mine? “I am at ease.”

IMG_7893

Plus, Borrow was just a lovely environment for this event, with lots of beautiful lighting and vintage items all around. I want one of these swings at home, stat!

The Rest of the Weekend

We spent most of the rest of the weekend taking down the Christmas decorations. It was definitely time to do it, but I also just don’t like that job, except when it’s done.

Since we were all working so hard around the house, we needed some sustenance, so I made a winter time favorite: hatch chile and chorizo mac ‘n cheese.

IMG_7897

I use this recipe, but add in some loose chorizo that I brown and mix in. When you can get hatch chiles from Heinen’s next summer, grab as many as you can and freeze them. That way you can enjoy these smoky, spicy peppers all year!

We also went to a 10th birthday party for Iain, who Jeffrey calls “my big friend Iain.” Pizza, cake, and lots of chances to play made for a perfect Sunday Funday for these guys!

IMG_7920

So that was our weekend. Hope you enjoyed the very not-January-like weather!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Affogato Cat Café!

This week, Affogato Cat Café opened in Tremont. Jeffrey is obsessed with cats, so a visit to Affogato made it onto our 2019 Bucket List and was quickly accomplished.

IMG_7843

Affogato is co-owned by three young, entrepreneurial folks, two of whom are John Carroll alumnae. As you can imagine, I was excited to discover that bit of trivia!

There is a small (think: four tables) café area, with coffee house drinks and treats, all with fun cat-themed names. Jeffrey had a Meowcaron and I had a Café au Lay on My Keyboard.

IMG_7834

The café uses lots of local products, like Rising Star Coffee and Storehouse Tea.

IMG_7833

The café area has windows that look into the cat lounge. To enter the cat lounge, you need to make a reservation for a one-hour time frame. Weekday reservations are $10 per person, weekend reservations are $12, student reservations are $8, and a 10-hour day pass is $49. Children are welcome and those over 5 years old require a separate reservation.

Before you enter the cat lounge, you get a review of the cat lounge rules and then it’s kitty time.

IMG_7837

The cats in the lounge currently range in age from 8 months to 13 years, with all the different energy levels and personalities that go along with it.

Jeffrey’s favorite was Trish Panda, who enjoyed playing string toy games and even let Jeffrey pet her a bit.

IMG_7841

With the exception of Prince, the resident cat, all the cats in the lounge are adoptable through the Cleveland APL.

The cat lounge has everything from cozy places to curl up with a furry friend to desks to work. There are phone chargers, books, games, and cat toys…everything you need to make a visit fun, productive, relaxing, or whatever else you might be seeking.

IMG_7851

I’m seriously wishing I saved my papasan chair from college after seeing how much Jeffrey liked this one!

IMG_7856

I am a confirmed dog person, but I did find the residents and the concept of Affogato Cat Café to be really sweet. Adoptable animals always have a special place in my heart Affogato provides a great way to find a new adoptable pet or just have some cozy kitty time. Jeffrey certainly loved it, if his individual goodbyes to each cat are any indication.

IMG_7854

Affogato is now open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am-9pm. Remember, if you want to visit with the kitties, you need to make a reservation online.

 

Why? 2019 Blog Bucket List!

Hey there, 2019! I’ve been thinking about this new year from a blog perspective in terms of where I’d like to go that I haven’t been.

arm-desk-hand-58457
Image Source 

So, here’s my current 2019 places-to-go bucket list:

1.Il Rione Pizzeria – How have I not been to this place yet?! I’m pretty sure I could house one of those pizza solo.

2. Flight Cleveland – While I’m in the neighborhood for Il Rione, obvs. I like my Bucket Lists to be efficient.

3. Affogato Cat Café – OK, this is on Jeffrey’s bucket list. And we’re going today. So I mostly like just being able to already check something off.

4. Marble Room Steak and Raw Bar – See my reasoning for #1. How have I not been here yet?!

5. The Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art – Georgia O’Keefe is a sorority sister of mine. And I’ve heard the exhibition is a stunner.

6. More general day trip/small trip exploration. Jeffrey is getting to be a great road trip buddy. We’ve had a blast on our Columbus drives. Currently on my list to get to: Toledo, Pittsburgh, Amish Country, and Cincinnati.

7. Nell and Rose – This just looks like a great place to shop!

8. The Van Aken District – In the same vein, I want to get some more local boutique shopping on at this new spot.

9. The Lake Erie Bluffs in the Lake Metroparks – Spectacular views of our Great Lake? What’s not to love?!

10. The Tremont Greek Fest – I live for summer fairs and festivals and this is somehow one I’ve never been to. Is it less crazy than Taste of Tremont?

What’s on your 2019 bucket list?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Red & White on Thursday Night Giveaway!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get out more? Or maybe to try a new restaurant or two? Then I’ve got the event for you: the 22nd annual Red & White on Thursday Night to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio.

Social Share Image

Happening Thursday, January 24 at Quaker Station at the University of Akron, this event brings together the winners of Akron Life Magazine‘s 330 Flavor Awards, wine and craft beer samples, silent auctions, and an exclusive VIP lounge for a evening filled with food, fun, and philanthropy.

You will get to enjoy both savory and sweet small bites from Bistro on Main, Cilantro Thai and Sushi Restaurant, Gervasi Vineyard, Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill, Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar, The West Side Bakery, and more.

27545549_1521631271287627_6901705027897551112_n

VIP guests will enjoy exclusive tastings from The Galaxy Restaurant & Banquet Center, high-end wines tastings, and specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman, as well as access to all the general admission food and drink.

27501076_1521633144620773_4239268561451703010_o

Plus, all the proceeds from the event benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio, which is working to help the over 2.6 million people in Ohio living with arthritis.

Tickets are $85 for general admission and $125 for VIP admission. Tickets are available online.

27459092_1521628174621270_7179330442798683926_n

Or you can enter to win 2 general admission tickets to Red & White on Thursday Night 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.Check out the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment here telling me from which you’re most excited to sample food.

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

3. Hope over to my Instagram page and complete an additional entry there.

4. Follow @ArthritisFDN 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 #akronredwhite thanks to @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/01/02/why-red-white-on-thursday-night-giveaway-3 

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, January 6 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio to help promote Red & White on Thursday Night. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary VIP tickets for myself and two general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur