Why? Pittsburgh!

This weekend, Alicia, Melissa, and I took a little girls weekend road trip to Pittsburgh. It started with plans to see Sara Bareilles (who wasn’t coming to Cleveland), but turned in to a great chance to get away and explore a different city.

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We’ll start with the original purpose of the trip: seeing Sara Bareilles perform. I hadn’t see her live since her show at House of Blues maybe 8 years ago. She was fantastic! Her voice is gorgeous, her lyrics are captivating, and her personality makes me think we would totally be besties (call me, Sara).

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She played lots of favorites, as well as a bunch of songs from the musical she penned, Waitress and songs from her new album “Amidst the Chaos” (I am seriously hooked on “Fire” and “Poetry by Dead Men” from that album).

We stayed in an AirBNB, which is such a perfect way to travel, especially with a group. We saved money over a hotel, plus we had common area space for hanging out, ordering a ridiculous amount of Thai food which lasted us the whole weekend, and just generally getting more time together in a cozier environment.

We weren’t far from Carson Street, which has a ton of bars. The vibe/crowd is somewhat like the Warehouse District. We checked out Mario’s South Side Saloon, Carson City Saloon, and Local Bar & Kitchen.

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Carson Street is definitely a fun, young, busy place to be. When we were down there on Thursday night, we were in the midst of a ton of Steelers fans watching the game, but we managed to find one other Browns fan in the craziness!

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For dinner before the concert, we went to Morcilla, a beautifully-appointed tapas restaurant in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Much like the AirBNB, a tapas meal allows for a more communal experience.

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Some of the favorites from our table were the Marcona Almonds (lavender sugar, sea salt, EVOO); the Roasted Pepper Conserva (habanada and sweet carmen peppers, sherry vinegar, olive oil, garlic); the Oxtail Montadito (caramelized onion, machon cheese, baguette); and the Crispy Fried Sunchokes (butternut squash romesco, za’atar).

Don’t skip the churros with chocolate hazelnut sauce for dessert!

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The food was flavorful, the service was spot-on, and the restaurant was just charming!

Speaking of food, we also grabbed a couple great breakfasts while we were in town. We couldn’t resist a trip to the famous Pamela’s Diner.

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Their crepe-style hotcakes are so good! I got the specialty ones with apples, walnuts, and caramel!

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We also checked out Cafe Moulin, a small creperie in the Shadyside neighborhood. Since we couldn’t decide between savory and sweet, Alicia and I shared the Tivoli (fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach, pesto) and the Cheese Cake (marscapone, chocolate chips, berry compote).

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This place is delicious and adorable!

Beyond that, we also explored the Strip District, which kind of feels like the West Side Market writ large.

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Lots of delicious food shops, as well as some kitschy stores, to explore.

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So, that was our trip. We certainly found a lot to enjoy in Pittsburgh, but more than that, we had such a great time just being away and having plenty of uninterrupted moments to laugh and talk and catch up.

Have you been to Pittsburgh? What are some of your favorite places there?

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Why? Nighttown!

Nighttown is a Cleveland classic, a celebrated jazz club that’s been open for more than 50 years. I’d been to a couple events there, but never just popped in for dinner, which I had the opportunity to do this week while celebrating my bestie Mariah’s birthday.

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The bar and restaurant have the feel of a neighborhood pub and you can tell that it’s frequented by regulars who are well-known by the staff. They have a great selection of cocktails, spirits, and wines to enjoy. I had an Old Fashioned that was simply made and simply delicious.

For dinner, I had the swordfish special with basmati rice, flash-fried cauliflower, and remoulade.

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Similar to the drink, the preparation was straight-forward and well-executed.

Mariah had the Halloumi Kebobs, with halloumi cheese, citrus couscous (Mariah substituted mashed potatoes), and chive oil.

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Delicious! I could serious live on halloumi.

Nighttown is participating in Cleveland Independents Restaurant Week through November 16, so you can get a three-course, prix fixe meal (only $33 for dinner) to try out something new. And you should definitely come for dinner and stay for the entertainment! Check out Nighttown’s awesome line-up of live performances here.

It might have been my first time dining at this Cleveland institution, but it won’t be my last. I loved being treated like a regular even on my first visit and look forward to actually making myself one at Nighttown!

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Why? The Best Party of the Year Giveaway!

The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland is throwing a party and they want you to know right up front that it’s going to be The Best Party of the Year!

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Held on Friday, December 6 at The Renaissance Cleveland, this party will take you back in time to the 1920s. You can dress as a flapper or someone dapper or just come as you are!

There will be food, cocktails, raffles and silent auctions, beer and wine pulls, and plenty of dancing and merriment. It will be one swanky affair!

Proceeds benefit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, which provides food and other health-related vital services to individuals and families in need in our community.

Tickets are currently on sale for $99 and can be purchased online. You can save $5 on tickets with code WHYCLE19.

Or you can enter to win two tickets to The Best Party of the Year 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 telling me your favorite decade for a theme party.

2. Visit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @hungernetworkgc 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 The Best Party of the Year with @hungernetworkgc and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/10/30/why-the-best-party-of-the-year-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 Sunday, November 3 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote The Best Party of the Year. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Jump Back Ball!

There are a lot of great fundraisers in Cleveland for a lot of great causes. But the one that is closest to my heart is Playhouse Square‘s annual Jump Back Ball.

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This event is put on by Playhouse Square Partners (I’m finishing up my sixth and final year on their board this year) and has everything you could want in an amazing party:

  • 2 bands, one rocking the Key Bank State Theatre stage and DJ Smoov rocking the late night party in the Key Bank State Theatre lobby
  • Unlimited cocktails and dinner and late-night eats from Driftwood Catering
  • Gaming tables, auctions, and activities throughout the theatre and lobby
  • Awesome decor created by Playhouse Square Partners
  • Dress like your favorite rock star from the past, like you’re going to the Grammy’s, or in your finest

All of this fun benefits Playhouse Square’s Community Outreach and Education initiatives, including Disney Musicals in Schools, the Dazzle Awards, and more.

This year’s Jump Back Ball theme is From Jukebox to Boombox and you’ll leap back on a musical journey through time on Leap Day, Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Tickets go on sale today at 10am. There are three ticket levels to fit your time and budget:

  • VIP tickets for $200, which includes an extra cocktail party at 6:30pm in the Connor Palace Theatre, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music from Sinatra CLE
  • General admission ticktes for $120 for Partners members and $155 for the general public
  • Late night admission tickets for $75, which include admittance at 9:30pm, the late night music and eats, and activities (limited number)

Ticket prices will increase as the event approaches (in fact, General Admission tickets increase by $10 tomorrow, October 30), so grab your tickets now to secure the best price!

I hope to see you at Jump Back Ball 29: From Jukebox to Boombox!

***Disclosure: I am the Communications Co-Chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? The Winchester Music Tavern!

Yesterday, Jeffrey and I kicked off our Sunday Funday with brunch at The Winchester Music Tavern. Located on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, The Winchester is a music venue, bar, and restaurant all in one.

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The dining area is small and relaxed. We grabbed a table and I started out with the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. For only $5, you can pick your mix, hot sauces, and create a fabulous skewer to enhance your drink.

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The Winchester also offers bottomless mimosas or brunch mules for brunch libations.

Jeffrey chose the Winchester burger, topped with American cheese on a brioche bun, with a side of fries. He declared both the burger and fries to be delicious!

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I had the unique breakfast ramen, with red miso broth, bacon, and poached eggs. The broth was flavorful, the eggs were perfectly poached, and it was fun to try a unique spin on ramen.

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The Winchester’s brunch menu also offers traditional favorites, like eggs benedict, French toast, and chicken and waffles.

The Winchester offers brunch on both Saturdays (11am-3pm) and Sundays (11am-4pm). There are also lots of fun weekly happenings, such as Vegan Mondays, Turntable Tuesdays, Boozy Bingo and Modern Kicks Comedy on Wednesdays, Taco Thursdays, and Angry Hour (Punk Rock Happy Hour) on Fridays.

And of course, The Winchester is a concert venue. You can check out the complete line-up of musical acts playing at The Winchester here.

For your next weekend brunch in a laid-back location with tasty food, look no farther than The Winchester!

***Disclosure: I was invited to a complimentary brunch at The Winchester Music Tavern. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? RetroMania Giveaway!

On Thursday, October 10, RetroMania invites you to grub, groove, and give at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.

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You can party like it’s 1969 to celebrate St. Augustine Health Ministries, which was founded in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood in 1969. Groove to the sounds of SHOUT!, Cleveland’s ultimate party band playing the music of the 60’s and 70’s.

Get your grub on with small bites from great local restaurants, including Tinman, Rocky River Wine Bar, Element 41, Parker’s Downtown, Berea Depot, and more.

And give, as proceeds benefit St. Augustine Health Ministries, which is a mission-driven, faith-based, not-for-profit organization founded by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, dedicated to providing a continuum of health care and social services within the community. The Health Ministries ensure that the needs of every individual are met with dignity, comfort and love.

Tickets are $100 for general admission, which includes food, 2 drink tickets, and valet parking and $150 for VIP admission, which includes a VIP reception, food, unlimited beer and wine, and valet parking. You can purchase tickets online. Or you can enter to win two tickets to RetroMania right here!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite 60’s or 70’s song.

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

The giveaway will close on Monday, September 30 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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Why? CIAO! Cleveland Giveaway!

The Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation is kicking off Italian Heritage Month with a free outdoor festival in The Flats on Saturday, October 5. CIAO! Cleveland is a celebration of Italian culture that is open to the public from 12pm to 10pm.

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There will be wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, fashion art, music, and of course food. Vendors for CIAO! Cleveland include Lago East Bank, Caruso’s Coffee Roasters, Orlando Baking Company, Miceli’s, Luca Italian Cuisine, Dante’s Inferno, Corbo’s Bakery, and more.

Enjoy live entertainment the Avanti Band, SPAZMATICS, and more. And check out the Medical Mutual Demonstration Tent with wine tastings, cooking demos, and a presentation from Angelo Petitti of Petitti Garden Centers.

This is sure to be a fun and delicious day celebrating the best of Italian culture in Northeast Ohio!

CIAO! Cleveland is free and open to the public, but the demo tent events are ticketed and I have your chance to win two tickets to an event in the Medical Mutual Demonstration Tent! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, or all three entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite Italian dish.

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

3. Visit my Instagram page and follow the directions with the CIAO! Cleveland image.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, September 29 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck! Hope to see you at CIAO! Cleveland!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NOIA Foundation to help promote CIAO! Cleveland. In exchange, I will receive a press pass to the events in the Medical Mutual Demo Tent. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Why? Weekends!

What a beautiful weekend in CLE! Here’s what we were up to:

Lola Bistro

On Friday night, Mom and I met up for dinner at Lola Bistro. It was the perfect night to sit outside and take in the great weather and the game night crowds on East 4th Street.

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Lola Bistro is in the process of unveiling a new menu. Our server told us Chef Symon was recently in town to help develop the new dishes. For our appetizers, we selected one new dish and one classic one.

The Beef Cheek Pierogi, with mushrooms and horseradish crème fraiche, is still on the menu and is so delicious!

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We also enjoyed the seasonally-perfect Tomato Salad, with fresh and pickled tomato, peaches, almonds, dill, and farm cheese.

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Mom had the Strip Steak, with stilton au poivre, frisee, pickled shallots, and chives. The steak was perfectly done, simple, and delicious.

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I had the Duck and Foie Gras Meatloaf, with celery root puree. The slices of meatloaf were thin, almost like terrine, and the flavor was smoky and rich, with just the right amount of foie gras.

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For dessert, I couldn’t pass up the 6am Special, another item I’m so glad stayed on the menu. This decadent dessert has brioche French toast, maple-bacon ice cream, and roasted apple.

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Mom had the My Dad’s Favorite Cake, with lemon cake, strawberry buttercream, lemon curd, raspberry jam, and vanilla bean ice cream. I love the combination of berries and lemon!

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It was a fantastic dinner! The new menu at Lola Bistro is definitely worth a visit or two!

House of Blues Foundation Room

Then we headed down the street to the Foundation Room at House of Blues Cleveland.

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The Foundation Room is a membership-based space at House of Blues, with a great menu of cocktails and food;

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a funky vibe, with lots of cozy spaces;

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and a gorgeous new flower wall from CLE Flower Walls on the patio overlooking East 4th Street.

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Foundation Room membership benefits range from food and beverage discounts to exclusive presale access to backstage tours. Click here to learn more about the various membership levels and elevate your House of Blues experience.

***I was invited to a complimentary event at the Foundation Room, with cocktails, food, discounted parking, and a swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Garlic Festival

On Saturday, Jeffrey and I had a stinkin’ good time at the Cleveland Garlic Festival.

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This annual event is a fundraiser for North Union Farmers Market and supports not only the markets around town, but also their Access Programs, Mighty Locavores, and more.

I had the cool opportunity to be a judge for the beef competition of the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. Chefs from Nomad Culinary, CLE Kraut, and EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute presented their beef and garlic creations.

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I was blown away by the creativity, plating, and downright deliciousness of all the food!

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Congratulations to Nomad Culinary, who won the competition. It was a tough choice picking a favorite, for sure!

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We also checked out all the varieties of garlic for sale, the live entertainment, and the kids area! There is so much to do at the Cleveland Garlic Festival! This is definitely an annual tradition for us.

***Disclosure: I was asked by North Union Farmers Market to help promote the Cleveland Garlic Festival and to judge the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. In exchange, I received four weekend passes to the Garlic Festival. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

We actually had a few other things this weekend, including another festival, stopping by Matthew’s regatta, and a baptism, so you get the picture…it was a busy weekend!

Since Jeffrey starts school this week, I’m glad we squeezed in so much fun! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Allison Rose Foundation Rascal Flatts Giveaway!

When Michael and Rebecca Suhy lost their daughter, Allison, to a food allergy reaction in 2017, they turned their tragedy into purpose by founding the Allison Rose Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to changing the lives of food allergy families through education, awareness, research, and advocacy.

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I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural ARF Founder’s Event, which drew more than 600 people and raised over $100,000.

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It was a powerful evening seeing the community come together to support the Suhy family and help make the Allison Rose Foundation’s goals a reality.

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In the past year, the Allison Rose Foundation has had national reach and is now educating teens and young adults in high schools and colleges, as well as school staff, on food allergy severity, signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to manage a food allergy emergency—especially as teens begin to transition to their own independence.

The Allison Rose Foundation has also granted a scholarship to an Independence High School senior who is starting her freshman year at Ohio University, begun work on changing legislation and created a video guide on how to set up and access the Medical ID on smartphones.

On Saturday, January 25, 2020, the Allison Rose Foundation will be holding its second annual fundraising event at the Embassy Suites in Independence: The Yellow Brick Road Celebration. You won’t want to miss this inspirational and fun evening. Stay tuned here for more details!

As a supporter of Allison Rose Foundation, I have the opportunity to give away two pavilion seats to the Rascal Flatts concert at Blossom Music Center on Friday, September 20! 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 telling me your favorite Rascal Flatts song (mostly because I cannot decide which one I love the most).

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

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

4. Follow @allisonrosefdn 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 @rascalflatts tickets from @allisonrosefdn and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/08/23/why-allison-rose-foundation-rascal-flatts-giveaway 

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

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, August 28 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Allison Rose Foundation. In exchange, I will receive two tickets to the Rascal Flatts concert for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? It’s Still Summer at Legacy Village!

While the stores are starting to stock pumpkin spice and Halloween decorations, there is still plenty of time to enjoy summer at Legacy Village.

Dine on a Patio

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to dine al fresco. Legacy Village has four great patio options surrounding their Lawn, where you can enjoy a meal outdoors, along with some people-watching and summer breezes.

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Stop in to Bar Louie, Brio Tuscan Grille, Wild Mango, or California Pizza Kitchen and snag a patio table to soak in the summery vibes of eating outside. Then pop over to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to cool down with some ice cream.

Bonus if you can do this on a night when Legacy Live is happening, so you can enjoy the live music, too!

Outdoor Events

Legacy Village’s outdoor events are a great way to hang on to that summer feeling. Legacy Live, a free outdoor concert series, continues every Friday and Saturday evening through Saturday, August 31.

Food Truck Mondays continue through Monday, August 26 to give you a tasty, picnic-atmosphere lunch option.

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Yoga in the Village has two more events this summer to get your downdog on outdoors: tonight (Tuesday, August 20) and Tuesday, September 17.

And the North Union Farmers Market continues its outdoor market packed with seasonal deliciousness at Legacy Village every Sunday through Sunday, September 29.

The Generous Pour

If you have never experienced The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille, don’t let your summer end without giving it a try!

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The event includes unlimited pours of seven wines that you can add on to your meal at The Capital Grille. It’s a perfect way to toast to the end of a fabulous summer! You can enjoy The Generous Pour through Sunday, September 1.

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer is the quintessential summer wardrobe, so stop by the store at Legacy Village to grab that perfect dress, romper, or accessories to end your summer in style!

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Get a Pedicure

Before you stash the flip-flops away, treat your feet to a pedicure at Anthony Vince Nail Salon, Ladies and Gentlemen Aveda Salon and Spa, or Sola Salon Studios.

No matter how you send out your summer, there are great ways to do it at Legacy Village!

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

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