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? Lindey’s Lake House!

It certainly felt like patio season this weekend, which is perfect timing for a new restaurant to open in The Flats. Lindey’s Lake House is taking over the former Coastal Taco location and opens to the public today.

Lindey’s has the same owners as Coastal Taco and Cedar Creek Grille and the menu brings together favorites from both those restaurants, as well as the Lindey’s location in Beachwood.

The vibe makes you feel like you’re relaxing on the patio at a friend’s vacation home, with a lot of white walls, vintage vacation photos, and cute decor accents.


As at Coastal Taco, the large bar that looks out to the water is the focal point. The cocktails are summery and delicious. We particularly enjoyed the Dockside Buzz (Bulleit Bourbon, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, ginger beer, and bitters) and the Farmers Market Rickey (Beefeater Gin, Domaine de Canton, lime juice, watermelon, and mint).


We shared the guac & house chips and the sweet & spicy calamari to start. The calamari was lightly breaded and the citrus Asian red chili glaze was so good!

For my entree, I had the Miso-glazed Outer Banks cod. The glaze was flavorful, without overpowering the delicate white fish.


Matthew had the crab cakes, which were very good. We both really enjoyed the vegetable hash that came with our entrees.


Do not skip dessert at Lindey’s! The homemade pies are truly something special. Matthew loved the Key Lime, which was not overly sweet and very creamy.


My blueberry pie was packed with real blueberries and didn’t have that artificial glaze filler.


The food and atmosphere are sure to make Lindey’s Lake House the place to be in The Flats this spring and summer!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Friends & Family Opening of Lindey’s Lake House with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? South Florida!

This weekend, Mom, Jeffrey, and I headed down to South Florida for a little spring break trip. The reason for our visit was to celebrate my Great Uncle Ray’s 80th birthday, but we also squeezed in some other South Florida fun.


We stayed at B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale, which was right on the beach. Jeffrey loved both the time on the beach and at the hotel pool.


We brought home lots of seashells (and sand!) The last time Jeffrey was in this part of Florida, he was just under 2 years old, so his excitement over the ocean was almost brand new.


While at B Ocean, we had a delicious lunch at the Naked Crab. The rock octopus was so smoky and good!


We also took a stroll down A1A…


…and found Bo’s Beach, a perfectly-situated beach front restaurant with delicious Frose cocktails and yummy churrasco steak.

Everything tastes better with beach breeze blowing through your hair!


By chance, we happened to be in Florida for a John Carroll Alumni Presidential Reception, so we had a chance to attend the luncheon at The Capital Grille.


Not only was the lunch so tasty, but it was a great chance to connect with some Florida alumni and hear what’s been going on at campus lately from the new president, Dr. Michael Johnson, and his wife, Jill.

Now, to the point of the whole trip: Great Uncle Ray’s birthday! We surprised him and he was truly shocked when he opened his door to the three of us standing there!


From a delicious birthday dinner at Cooper’s Hawk (get the gnocchi with roasted butternut squash)…


…to time spent at their house in the pool, it was a wonderful chance to catch up and celebrate!


And while we had lots of other fun on the trip, the whole point was the family time. There’s truly nothing like face-to-face connection and I’m so glad we had a chance to make it happen for this big birthday!


How was your weekend? Are you doing any spring break travels?


Why? Weekends, Part 1!

Holy goodness, it was a beautiful and busy weekend! So, we’re doing a two-part, mini-series Weekend Recap. Let’s get right to it…

TapeScape: Sticky Science

The Great Lakes Science Center has a brand new exhibit and we are totally stuck on it!


It’s called TapeScape: Sticky Science and it features a two-level, 1,300-square foot, all-ages playground made out of packing tape! The playground is lit with bright colors and is truly a fun climbing and sliding experience for the whole family!


It’s truly amazing that packing tape can support the weight of people and create an entire playground. Of course, TapeScape: Sticky Science explores the science behind the polymers at work in tape, as well as things like adhesion and cohesion, how geckos cling to class and more.


There are also some cool duct tape fashions to check out!

TapeScape is part of the Great Lakes Science Center’s movement toward creating their own exhibits, rather than bringing in traveling exhibits. In fact, Matthew volunteered one evening to help build TapeScape, so it’s as local as it gets!


TapeScape is open now through September 3 and has fun for the whole family, including a TotScape area for the smallest tape climbers.


Don’t miss it!

Wade Oval Walk Against Hunger

On Friday, we couldn’t pass up the chance to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! So, Jeffrey and I met up with friends Elizabeth, Mia, and Charlie for the Wade Oval Walk Against Hunger.


The walk was put on by University Circle Inc. and raised money for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Harvest for Hunger campaign. You could walk 1 or 2 miles (4 or 8 laps around Wade Oval) for $10 per mile. We intended to walk 2 miles, but the kids’ attention spans only let us get in 1 mile!

There was a lot of other fun on Wade Oval that day, too, from food trucks to lawn games to live music!

It was such a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon and we contributed to a great cause too!

Azure Rooftop Lounge

Does it feel like a switch got flipped and we’re all in summer mode?! It certainly feels that way to me! On Friday evening, Matthew and I attended the season opening of Azure Rooftop Lounge at The 9, which put me even more in summer mode.


Azure Rooftop Lounge is an expansive space, with bar seating, comfy couches, and high top tables. You can get views of everything from the skyline to Progressive Field to Playhouse Square to even snippets of Lake Erie.


Of course, you can also enjoy tasty cocktails while taking in these views. Azure’s build-your-own drink menu let’s you construct your perfect mule, margarita, or mojito, all just right for summer sipping!


There are also delicious menu items from Chef Nelly Buleje, including tuna tartar, bruschetta, burgers and chicken sandwiches, and custom-built bowls in styles like Mediterranean, sweet berry, and Pacific.

The food and the drink at Azure elevate this to more than just your average rooftop bar! Azure has lots of fun events planned for the summer season, including Rooftop Rose on Tuesdays, Rooftop Happy Hour from 4-6:30pm, and Summer Nights every Friday and Saturday night with a DJ.


Don’t miss the fabulous views, food, and fun at Azure this summer!

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

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of our weekend adventures!


Why? Weekends!

Oh my goodness, we could not have crammed more into this weekend if we tried! So, let’s get right to it:

#HamilFlow and Ginko (hey, that rhymes)

Friday night, I watched as one of my favorite people paired two of her favorite things and, boy, was the result magical! Alicia taught a 75-minute yoga class with the music of “Hamilton: An American Musical.” Much like the musical itself, the class was inspiring, fun, and fast-paced. This class sold out fast, so stay tuned because Alicia has promised a sequel!

After class, we headed downstairs to Ginko for what is always the finest sushi in Cleveland.


Ginko always has the freshest and most inventive sushi offerings. It’s so fun to sit at the bar and watch the chefs create, too!


Dessert that evening was a chocolate pot de creme, so who can resist that?


It was a perfect Friday night!

Seussical Jr.

On Saturday afternoon, we headed to St. Francis of Assisi School for their production of “Seussical, Jr.” My friend Melissa was the director of the show and I was so impressed with her work and the talent of the cast!


Plus, it’s a great musical for kids to enjoy! Jeffrey especially loved seeing his friend Dean (Melissa’s son) in the cast as one of the Whos!

Cleveland Monsters Purple Game

From there, we headed downtown for the Cleveland Monsters Purple Game. The Purple Game focused on raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.


There were opportunities to donate, to learn about community efforts to help those with cancer, and just generally show your support for those battling cancer.

The game also took place during the Monsters and Cavs ongoing food drive for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Harvest for Hunger program, so there were lots of ways to do good while taking in the hockey action.


This was Jeffrey’s first hockey game. From meeting the Monsters Girls and practicing his shot on the concourse to high-fiving the players before the game (check out my Insta for the video), he had a great time.

The Monsters games definitely have a family-friendly atmosphere, with lots happening on the ice in between the action and plenty to cheer about.


They also have a more family-friendly price-point than some other sports, making it easy to take your whole family (and in our case, some of Jeffrey’s godparents, too). You can check out the Monsters upcoming games and promotions online to get in on the icy fun for yourself!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Cleveland Monsters Purple Game. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to the game and the opportunity to participate in the pre-game high-five tunnel. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Playhouse Square Partners Brunch Around

Sunday Funday came and I decided to just keep the weekend fun going! I met up with fellow Playhouse Square Partners for a Brunch Around in the Gordon Square Arts District.

We had groups at 4 different restaurants in the area, then all met up for a cocktail together after our brunches. I had brunch at Luxe Kitchen and Lounge. Luxe has a Sunday happy hour from 11am-1pm with half-off bloody marys, mimosas, and bellinis. Talk about a Sunday Funday!

For my brunch, I chose the buttermilk fried chicken thigh, served with country gravy, braised swiss chard, and a biscuit.


This was savory brunch perfection! It had been way too long since I had been to Luxe. Now, I just need it to be warm enough for their fabulous patio to open!

***Disclosure: I am the co-chair of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend! Plenty to keep us busy for sure! How was yours?


Why? Weekends!

I wanted to hold off to do an evening edition of the Weekend Recap, so we could squeeze as much juice out of the unofficial end of summer as possible. So, here’s our weekend:

Memphis Kiddie Park

On Friday, Jeffrey and I met up with friends for a play date at Memphis Kiddie Park. This park is the perfect size for small kids, with just the right amount of rides to keep them entertained, but not overwhelmed.


Jeffrey’s favorite is the roller coaster, but I still managed to convince him to enjoy some of the “tamer” rides like the carousel and the train, too.

Downtown Willoughby Corn Roast

I love me a good festival and I also love me some good sweet corn. So, of course I couldn’t miss the Downtown Willoughby Corn Roast.


We enjoyed Mexican street corn and cheeseburgers from The Wild Goose/The Morehouse/Fiona’s Coffee Bar & Bakery folks. There was live music and bounce houses to enjoy, too.


And we snuck over to Fiona’s after our dinner for some Mitchell’s Ice Cream (try the sundae with Fiona’s homemade mini donuts…yum!) The Corn Roast is in its early stages and still small, but I’m hoping it will grow bigger each year!

Good Home Cooking

Between Friday night at home and Sunday at my mom’s, we enjoyed some yummy home cooking! On Friday night, I made this Cheesy Ham and Gruyere Bake (recipe here) but added in some hatch chiles from Heinen’s for some extra kick.


My mom made way too much delicious food when she had us over on Sunday, but my favorite was this tomato tart, which looks complicated, but is easy to make and so delicious (recipe here.)

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It’s tomato season, so don’t pass this one up!

Lake Metroparks Farmpark

On Sunday, we attended a birthday party for one of Jeffrey’s friends at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark.

We got to see lots of critters, as well as take a wagon ride through the Farmpark.


We also enjoyed the birthday party classics of pizza and cake, although the dirt cups were my personal favorite!

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The Farmpark is a great place for a birthday party (we had Jeffrey’s second birthday party there)! It gives your guests lots of things to do and see beyond just eating and opening presents and it makes a theme pretty fun and easy too (ours was Elmo on the Farm.) Stay tuned for some grown-up happenings at the Farmpark tomorrow…

Air Show Family Picnic

One of my favorite Cleveland summer traditions going back to when I was a kid is watching the Cleveland National Air Show.

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Last year, Jeffrey saw some of the planes from a downtown parking deck and really enjoyed it. So, this year, I wanted to find a fun way for him to see the Air Show, but realizing that he’s not ready to sit out at Burke Lakefront Airport yet.

Which is why I jumped at the Great Lakes Science Center‘s Air Show Family Picnic. You got admission to the Science Center, lunch on their outdoor deck, and a great view of the Air Show. When there was a break in the action (or Jeffrey just needed a break), we could pop inside and explore the Science Center. Plus, there were experiments and bubbles set up outside to keep kids entertained too.


The Air Show views were outstanding (including quite a few flyovers of the deck we were on) and it was the best way to experience the Air Show with a three year old!


So, that was our weekend! I think we sent off summer in style! How was your long weekend?


Why? Yoga Outside the Studio!

More and more, yoga is asking you to unroll your mat somewhere outside a studio. And while I love a good studio flow, I also can’t help but enjoy taking my practice out and about, especially in the summer.

Over the last week, I had a chance to practice in two awesome locations with amazing views that put a great angle on my practice.

Last week, Inner Bliss Yoga Studio hosted Bliss in the Ballpark, an hour-long vinyasa yoga practice at Progressive Field.


We got to unroll our mats on the right field deck and practice facing out to the field. I may have set my intention for another World Series appearance!

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After the practice, we could stay and enjoy a beer in The Corner and get to know some of the other baseball-loving yogis. I definitely find that, more than in a studio class, these out-and-about yoga classes offer the chance for fellowship and community after class. Don’t get me wrong: that happens at a studio, but it takes time to build. People tend to stick around and chat more right away at these classes.

This Monday, my dear friend Alicia taught a yoga class nearby to Luca Italian Cuisine on the Superior Viaduct.


With sweeping views of the city and Alicia’s wonderful teaching style, this is one of my favorite classes in recent memory. Alicia referenced the city and the views at the beginning, but wasn’t heavy-handed about it. She let her students find their own inspiration and meaning from the beautiful surroundings.

After class, we got to enjoy a glass of wine and appetizers at Luca Italian Cuisine. Again, everyone from the class gathered and had a chance to get to know each other better.

The yoga justifies the pasta and all the glorious Luca bread I ate, right?!

Yoga outside the studio can be fun, challenging, community-building, and an all around cool experience. Keep your eyes open for more such events like Alicia’s Yoga and Brunch series at Dante Next Door and Inner Bliss’ Believe in CLE event at the Rock Hall. And for my thoughts on other outside-the-studio yoga:

Where have you practiced outside the studio? And what did you think of it?


Why? Weekends!

This weather is glorious, although not quite August-like…but we certainly enjoyed every minute!

Lake Metroparks Farmpark

On Friday morning, Jeffrey and I met up with friends for a play date at Lake Metroparks Farmpark. The Farmpark is always one of our favorite spots to play. There are indoor and outdoor playgrounds, in addition to all the animals and hands-on farming fun.


The kids got to help groom a horse, as well as meet Bentley and Beau, the Farmpark’s newest baby calves.


I’m afraid Bentley might have picked up some bad habits from Jeffrey (or maybe it’s the other way around…he was born in a barn after all ;-))

The Farmpark is hosting a Corn Roast this Friday, August 18 to kick off the Grand Opening of their three-acre Corn Maze. The event includes an old-fashioned barn dance, games and activities, and a dinner with fresh-roasted corn, BBQ chicken, JoJo fries, and a beverage. Cost to attend is $16 for those over 12 and $12 for those ages 2-11. Click here to find out more and purchase tickets.

Nuevo Mod Mex

On Friday night, my dad’s business, Tireman USA, hosted a party for employees and business associates on the second floor of Nuevo Mod Mex. Not only could we enjoy fabulous margaritas (the spicy mango is my favorite) and delicious appetizers (OMG, the queso and chorizo) and tacos from a build-your-own buffet…

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…but we also got to take in gorgeous city views and lovely lake breezes too.

It was a great way to celebrate the business, summertime, and our beautiful city!

WRRA Summer Regatta

This summer, Matthew decided to join the Western Reserve Rowing Association summer league. Despite having never rowed before, he jumped in, went to practice weekly, and not only excelled at this new hobby, but also had a really great time!

On Saturday, WRRA hosted their Summer Regatta and Jeffrey and I went down to cheer on Matthew and the rest of the team.


The team ended up winning a silver medal in the novice division! I’m really proud of the whole team and especially of Matthew for throwing himself wholeheartedly into something new!

Saturday Dinner

Saturday night, while Matthew was out celebrating the rowing victory, I decided to make a delicious, light, fresh pasta dish packed with summer vegetables (recipe here.)


Usually when Matthew isn’t home for dinner, I make something for Jeffrey and grab some leftovers or a bowl of cereal for myself. But since I saw this recipe, I had been craving it and I’m so glad I skipped my Chex for this!

SUP Yoga

On Sunday morning, I decided to take the plunge into stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga.


Yoga Roots and SUP Cleveland partnered to offer a class the was part paddleboarding and part yoga flow. For me, getting over my nerves and being able to relax enough to practice yoga on my paddleboard seemed pretty insurmountable at first.


But my tapping into breath and focus, I was able to actually do more than I thought I could!

Thanks to my parents for being my cheering section and paparazzi

And while I don’t think SUP yoga is for me, I’m glad that I pushed myself to not only try something new, but something pretty far outside my comfort zone. There’s a lesson in that: not everything has to be your jam, but you’ll never know what you can do and what you will like unless you try!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?


Why? SoulConnect Tribe!

A few months ago, I told you about SoulConnect Tribe, helmed by the lovely Katie Kurtz.

Katie in her element: connecting and eating ice cream

I finally got a chance to attend one of the monthly SoulConnect gatherings, this time held at Mason’s Creamery.


I can never resist ice cream and when you pair that with a chance to connect with some like-minded, open-hearted ladies, you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect evening.


I ordered the affogato, because I feel like at Mason’s, while the ice cream can 100% stand on its own, you owe it to yourself to get a churro or an egg waffle or something out of the usual ice cream shop box. So take a scoop of their French Toast ice cream, pour some espresso over it and you have a creamy, dreamy breakfast-like treat.

But, I wasn’t just there for the affogato. Read the paper in the picture above. Or just focus on this: In our Tribe (you already belong.) How amazing is that? There was an instant comfort level among the ladies attending the event. And while we had some questions to help prompt conversation, I found the conversations immediately took deeper turns. There was not a lot of simply small talk. We dove into dreams of new jobs, hopes for the fate of relationships, and more.

And we took selfies…

Hey, Annie’s Sweet Shop!

It was open, real, honest connection, which can only happen when everyone comes to the table with a mind and heart that can accept and reciprocate that. And I think SoulConnect Tribe can serve a lot of purposes. It can be a way to find new friends. It can be a safe space to voice hopes, fears, and dreams. It can be a break from the grind of every day life, with a chance to do something purely for you. It can be a chance to connect with ladies in similar and entirely different life circumstances and all learn from each other.

As Katie said, it is not a support group, it is a supportive group. And can’t we all use a little more of that?

If this kind of connection sounds like your jam, sign up for the SoulConnect Tribe email newsletter to stay informed of the next gathering. They are held monthly at female-owned businesses in the Cleveland area. And while last night’s was my first meet-up, it most certainly won’t be my last!


Why? Weekends!

You guys. This weekend was glorious. We spent every moment possible outside. Please stay, summer.

Friday night, we met up with friends for Farm Fest at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark. We already know that the Farmpark is one of our favorite spots, but Farm Fest adds on to the normal good times with BBQ, live music, barrel train rides, pony rides, and more.

Plus, with free admission, it was the perfect way for our friends, who were Farmpark newbies, to explore all the offerings. I’m always so impressed by how well the Farmpark events are put together. They truly offering something for everyone and are tons of fun!

On Saturday, we decided to make it a family outing to check out the just-opened Margaritaville in the Flats East Bank.


From the bright decor to the Jimmy Buffet tunes to the beachy cocktails, this place was just perfect for summertime sipping and sitting.


The food offerings range from some island-inspired dishes like crab cakes and shrimp tacos to Cheeseburgers in Paradise.

I highly recommend the gigantic, very shareable Volcano Nachos.


We went early (like, senior citizen dinner early), so our wait for a table was only an hour. But by the time we left, it had climbed to closer to three hours. This is a hot spot for summer, so consider enjoying drinks and nibbles at the bar (and I will say the views from the rooftop bar are worth the wait.)


It’s amazing how alive the Flats East Bank is right now and Margaritaville is a great addition to the neighborhood. Their grand opening party is tomorrow, which is sure to be a beachy blast!

From there, Matthew and I headed to watch the Cleveland Indians take on the Detroit Tigers. We got to see a Tribe win, plus the Rock ‘n Blast fireworks were the perfect cap on a great night!


Sunday morning, I swung by Legacy Village for the super healthy combination of the North Union Farmers Market and a free Barre3 class on the green. Each Sunday through September, you can catch the Farmers Market plus free athletic classes at Legacy Village. What a great way to start your week!

From there, it was off to a birthday party for one of Jeffrey’s friends (yay for pool parties!)


Then, I had one more bit of weekend fun planned with taking in a Lake Erie Crushers game. Sunday’s game featured an appearance from the PAW Patrol characters. I can’t express how much Jeffrey loves PAW Patrol and how sweet his face was when he got to meet them!

Beyond the PAW Patrol, Jeffrey enjoyed the inflatables kid area (he went on the Ultimate Warrior Challenge Bounce House twice!)

Plus, we could sit so close to the baseball action that Jeffrey could actually follow what was going on with the game! This was such a great, affordable, family-friendly way to enjoy sports action plus some of Jeffrey’s favorite characters.

What a fantastic summer weekend filled with lots of our favorite things! How was yours?

***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.***