Why? The First Tee of Cleveland Upcoming Events!

As Spring is finally upon us, it’s time to start thinking about outdoor activities, like golf. The First Tee of Cleveland is getting ready for spring with two great upcoming events.

On Thursday, April 4, the organization is hosting Taste of the Tee. This event is a unique partnership between four non-profits: The First Tee of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Community College, EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, and the Music Settlement.

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Taste of the Tee will feature:

  • A wine tasting by Sommelier Brandon Chrostowski, Founder, President, and CEO of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute
  • Culinary creations from The First Tee of Cleveland’s Fit to a Tee participants along with Tri-C Culinary Arts students
  • Music performed by The Music Settlement students

Not only will you contribute to these great non-profits, but you will have a unique opportunity to see their work in action.

Tickets are $150 per person and are available online.

Then, on Saturday, April 6, join The First Tee of Cleveland for their Spring Open House. Families are invited to attend to learn about the programs offered, meet the coaches, and participate in fun golf activities. There will also be light snacks and beverages available.

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The First Tee of Cleveland offers programs for ages 6-18 that teach life skills, healthy habits, and core values through the game of golf. The Spring Open House takes place on Saturday, April 6 from 10am-noon at all of the First Tee of Cleveland locations: Washington Park, Meadowood Golf Course, Briardale Greens Golf Course, and Windmill Golf Center.

Support not only The First Tee of Cleveland, but other non-profits, then sign up for some of the First Tee’s amazing programs. Spring is here!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the First Tee of Cleveland to help promote their upcoming events. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to Taste of the Tee. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Cleveland Unites!

What happens when you combine Cleveland’s awesome music scene with a great non-profit cause? You get Cleveland Unites, a night of live entertainment at the Agora, hosted by the United Way of Greater Cleveland‘s Young Leaders.

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Held at the newly-renovated Agora on Saturday, April 13 from 7pm-midnight, Cleveland Unites brings together live music, networking, and philanthropy all in one event. You’ll learn more about United Way’s Young Leaders, as well as contributing through event proceeds to United Way’s efforts to give children living in poverty a better life.

Cleveland Unites is hosted by Mike Polk, Jr. and will feature music from Carlos Jones, The Sublets, DJ B, and The Whiskey Hollow.

Tickets for Cleveland Unites are currently on sale online and range from $50 to $75.

Then you can keep the fun going the next day, Sunday, April 14. Head to brunch at Lago East Bank between 11am and 3pm and a portion of the proceeds will benefit United Way of Greater Cleveland.

Cleveland comes together in music and fun for a great cause with Cleveland Unites! Don’t miss out!

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Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend, which is exactly what I needed after just returning from a trip (and traveling again this week!)

Yoga Roots 30+ Social

On Saturday evening, I attended a social for everyone who reached 30 or more classes in the Yoga Roots fall challenge. Of 186 people who participated in the fall challenge, 27 of us reached 30+ classes!

Held at the home of studio owners Scott and Kim, the social was a great chance to celebrate reaching 30+ classes, meet other yogis, and see each other in something other than yoga pants! I was surprised how many of us didn’t know each other, just from being on different class schedules!

There were delicious nibbles from the studio’s neighbors: Gigi’s on Fairmount and On the Rise. I could eat Gigi’s bruschetta and On the Rise’s raspberry bars all day! And there were custom cookies from Sarah, one of the Yoga Roots teachers.

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I’ve talked before about really finding a home at Yoga Roots and Saturday night was just another example of why that is so true. Yoga Roots is genuinely a community, not just a studio, which is what keeps me coming back (and has me geared up for the spring challenge, too)!

Family Yoga

Sunday morning, we attended the monthly Family Yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. This has become one of our favorite family activities. Each month, the class is a bit different, but always explores mindful movement, breath work, and meditation in a way that’s fun for all ages.

This month, the kids participated in an obstacle course that involved my friend Robin and I being bridges in both down dog and plank as the kids crawled under us!

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So, we got some exercise in too! The next Family Yoga class takes place Sunday, April 14, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Cost to attend is free for Mandel JCC members and $10 for non-members. You can sign up online.

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On Sunday, my dad took Jeffrey to the I-X Center for the Piston Powered Auto-Rama.

A love for cars is something Dad and Jeffrey have shared basically since Jeffrey was born and seeing the joy they both get from sharing car experiences is so fulfilling.

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Jeffrey got to sit in the world’s fastest car…

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…as well as see dragons and robots, so the afternoon was a total win for him!

St. Patrick’s Day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my parents’ house, with plenty of corned beef and Great Lakes Brewing Company Conway’s Irish Ale.

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It was a lovely, quiet weekend! How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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Why? St. Kitts!

I’m ba-a-a-a-ck. Literally at 1:30am today. And here I am, writing to you all. That’s true love, right?

Also, I figure the window on me talking about my vacation is closing, so here we go…

It had been awhile since Mom and I had traveled just the two of us. In fact, the last “girls only” trip was when we went to Scottsdale a couple months before Jeffrey was born. So the chance to get away together was much appreciated.

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Which means right off the bat, I have to give mad props to Matthew for holding down the fort (seriously, the literal fort is still standing) and my dear friend Mariah for helping out too.

So, now to the trip: As you may remember, my dad owns a tire business (Tireman USA) and this trip was part of an incentive program with Goodyear. When we first got to St. Kitts, we spent a day with the other Goodyear folks and incentive-earners working on clean-up and building projects at a local school.

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The group built picnic tables, re-tiled a kitchen, cleaned up classrooms, painted playground equipment, did landscaping, and packed nearly 200 bookbags stuffed with donated school supplies.

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It was surely a different way to kick off a vacation, but so worthwhile!

We stayed at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, which boasted amazing ocean and mountain views, beautiful pools, and delicious food and drink.

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Matthew and I honeymooned in St. Lucia and the topography of St. Kitts reminded me very much of that destination.

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Some of our favorite things we ate at the Marriott included the Chilean sea bass at Blu Seafood Restaurant, the St. Kitts BBQ Pizza from Pizza Shack, and the mushroom soup en croute at Royal Grill Steakhouse.

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We also explored St. Kitts and it’s neighboring island, Nevis, a bit. On St. Kitts, we went to a wonderful dinner at Marshall’s Restaurant.

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I had lobster jerk pasta and Mom had grilled local lobster tail, both of which were so fresh and delicious.

On Nevis, we saw the home where Alexander Hamilton lived as a child, which was a great piece of history and obviously much more popular because of the musical. They were actually playing the soundtrack at the house!

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We also had lunch at the world-famous Sunshine’s Bar.

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The walls are covered with celebrities who made their way to this beach shack restaurant for the Killer Bee cocktail, a rum punch that packs quite a sting!

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Nevis is a much quieter island than St. Kitts, with a smaller population and tons of wild monkeys running about.

We also went on a snorkel catamaran cruise off St. Kitts, which was a gorgeous way to see the island. The Caribbean waters are so clear that we could see tons of fish and turtles and coral, too!

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We ended the trip with a party on the beach with live music, a huge fire pit, and lots of fun!

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It was an amazing chance to get away, relax, do some good, and see a new place in the world! I am so glad to have gone, but also so glad to be back home in CLE!

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Why? Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest Giveaway!

Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside is one of my favorite annual fundraisers. I love a good appetizer and I love any reason to be at Progressive Field! And this year is sure to be even bigger and better, as the event celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

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Cleveland’s Finest creates a friendly chef competition between some of Cleveland’s best restaurants for who will be crowned as having the Finest Hors d’Oeuvre. The winners are voted on by attendees, who are the real winners, since we get to eat all the delicious appetizers!

The event takes place on Thursday, April 11 at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field. Participating restaurants include Corleone’s Ristorante and Bar, Cleveland Chop, Punch Bowl Social, Tartine Bistro, Mallorca Restaurant, and more.

Plus, there will be desserts from Cupcake Cravings, Simply Michele’s, and Simply Elegant Catering; wine tastes; beer samples from Saucy Brew Works; live music; hosts Tim Richards, Jen Toohey, and Desiray Cross from Star 102; a silent auction with awesome prizes; and lots more foodie fun!

Tickets are $80 and all proceeds benefit Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of supporting over 900 children and adults with developmental disabilities through a wide range of services from transportation to housing to employment.

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Tickets are available online or you can enter to win two tickets to the event right here! Here’s how to enter:

1.Leave a comment here letting me know which participating restaurant‘s hors d’oeuvre you’re most excited to sample.

2. Head over to my Instagram page at @whycle for more ways to win!

The giveaway will close on Monday, March 11 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 Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

Hey, hey, it’s March! We welcomed the new month with a fun weekend out and about in Cleveland.

Home Cooking

But before we were out and about, we were in and cozy. On Friday night, I made BBQ chicken mac ‘n cheese (recipe here).

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Before I made the mac, I cooked the chicken wrapped in foil packets at 250 degrees for 2 hours. This made the chicken tender and perfect to fork shred, which was the exact right consistency for the mac ‘n cheese.

Pair this with Matthew’s homemade Old Fashioned and you have a perfect little Friday evening meal!

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we had the third of four shows in the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square. This one was “Emily Brown and the Thing,” about a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who have many adventures after bedtime.

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We didn’t know the story going in and found the show to be engaging and funny. I love taking Jeffrey to see live theater, especially in the incredible theaters at Playhouse Square!

Lunch in Ohio City

From there, we headed over to Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch. I always enjoy going to the brewpub because, while you can find Great Lakes beer all over, there’s always something special on tap at the pub.

I tried the Imperial Buzzcut Nut Brown Ale, brewed with honey and hazelnuts, and Matthew had the same. We both really enjoyed this smoothy, nutty beer!

To eat, I had the Fitzgerald burger, with bacon, smoked cheddar, Edmund Fitzgerald BBQ sauce, and onion straws.

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Flavorful and juicy, this was one delicious burger! The fries were particularly good, too!

Matthew had the Sweet & Salty Pork pizza, with smoked pulled pork, cucumber, green pepper, onion, mozzarella, goat cheese, garlic oil, and orange lavender honey.

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He ate the entire pizza (!), so my guess is that it was quite tasty!

Jeffrey loved his chicken fingers, too! The brewpub atmosphere for a weekend lunch is wonderful for kids, too!

From there, we had to stop to get dessert at Mitchell’s Ice Cream!

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The Buckeye Sundae was the perfect sweet treat. Jeffrey is pretty much all of us when it comes to Mitchell’s…

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What a fun family day!

***Disclosure: I received a gift card from Great Lakes Brewing Company as part of my partnership with Lyft. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sprinkle

On Sunday, I attended a Sprinkle for my dear friend Mariah, who is expecting a little girl in May. While Mariah has two boys already, it was so fun to fete her new arrival with lots of pink clothes and toys.

I also had to snag her this adorable onesie from Anne Cate!

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We had a great ladies lunch, with bellinis, homemade pesto and chicken, salad, fruit, and pastries from Luna Bakery & Café.

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It was a lovely way to celebrate a lovely lady!

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So that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Weekends!

Aside from Jumping Back Across the Pond, we had some other fun things going on this weekend…

Lunch and a Movie

Jeffrey didn’t have school on Friday, so we met up with his best buddy and little brother for lunch and a movie. We started at Yours Truly at Shaker Square. It’s delicious diner-style food makes it a great choice for a wide age range.

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The kids enjoyed chicken fingers, cheeseburger, and grilled cheese. I had a most tasty tuna melt (my favorite sandwich) on grilled rye and my friend had the Tuscan chicken wrap.

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Quick, yummy, and friendly…Yours Truly is always a favorite stop.

From there, we took the kids to see “How to Train Your Dragon 3,” which we all agreed was our favorite of the series!

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What a fun little Friday afternoon!

Paczki Party

If you live in Cleveland, you’ve heard about paczki, a Polish donut-like treat that’s popular for Fat Tuesday. On Sunday, Michael Angelo’s Bakery and Winery hosted a Paczki Party that combined Polish paczki and pierogi and polkas with Mardi Gras-themed elements.

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The paczki were plentiful and delicious, with traditional flavors like apricot, prune, and poppyseed, as well as more modern flavors like strawberry mousse, custard, and peanut butter.

There were also kids crafts and face painting, which Jeffrey really enjoyed.

Michael Angelo’s has some of the tastiest paczki you’ll find and this was a great way to get a head start on enjoying them.

Cleveland Yoga

It’s not really a surprise that I spent time at a yoga studio over the weekend, but on Sunday night I ventured from my home studio to take a class at Cleveland Yoga in Beachwood.

Ylonda, one of my first yoga teachers, teaches there and had promised to play her electric cello during savasana at her classes this week. I couldn’t miss that combination!

Ylonda is an accomplished cellist, a challenging yoga teacher, and an all-around amazing soul. I always leave her classes feeling physically and emotionally charged up! It was the perfect way to end the weekend and get motivated for the week ahead!

How was your weekend? What do you do to recharge for the week ahead?

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Why? Tails and Cocktails!

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the animals, educational programs, and research being done both at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and beyond?

The Cleveland Zoological Society is launching a new speaker series called Tails and Cocktails that brings together experts from the Zoo and the Northeast Ohio community with, well, you for a fun and educational evening. Each event includes small bites, cocktails, and a speaker, themed on a certain subject.

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The first Tails and Cocktails takes place on Wednesday, March 20 from 6-8pm at the Zoo. The subject is “Gut Reaction.” The talk focuses on how scientists are working with sloth bear and orangutan diets to animal welfare and health, and how to apply these findings to human diets.

The speaker for Gut Reaction is Andrew Loudon, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Science Research Fellow. Guests will enjoy fermented food and drinks provided by Spice Kitchen and Bar and Terrestrial Brewing.

The other events in the Tails and Cocktails series are:

Tickets for each Tails and Cocktails event are $10 for Zoo members and $15 for the general public. You can purchase tickets online.

This fun and educational speaker series is a great chance to learn more about the work being done at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and its applications to our own lives, while enjoying cocktails and food and a relaxing evening out.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Tails and Cocktails. In exchange, I will receive complimentary tickets to two of the Tails and Cocktails events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week Bring on the All Stars!

We all know that there are tons of great restaurants in Downtown Cleveland and that this summer Cleveland is hosting the MLB All Star Game. So, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance combined these two things for their Restaurant Week kick-off event, entitled Bring on the All Stars.

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This 4th annual Restaurant Week kick-off event will be held on Thursday, February 28 from 5-7pm at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade. You will be able to sample dishes from over 20 restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, who will be competing for the Judge’s Choice Award that night.

There will also be live cooking demonstrations from restaurants like Adega, Johnny’s Downtown, and Hodge’s; Cleveland sports mascot appearances; a DJ; and fun giveaways.

Participating restaurants in the Bring on the All Stars kick-off event include Blue Point Grille, Luca Italian Cuisine, Pizza 216, and Southern Tier Brewing Company. Click here for a complete list of participating restaurants and a schedule of cooking demos.

Tickets are currently on sale for $35 early bird admission through this Friday, February 22 (the price goes up to $45 after that). You can also purchase VIP tickets for $100 for 1 ticket or $150 for 2 tickets. VIP admission includes valet parking, open bar, access to the VIP Lounge at the event, and access to the Jack Casino Library Lounge after the event. Click here to purchase tickets.

This is the perfect way to help narrow your choices for where to eat during Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week (happening March 1-10) and enjoying the All Star food and fun that downtown has to offer!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary general admission tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my  own.***

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Why? Cru Uncorked!

For Valentine’s Day, Matthew and I decided to enjoy a special, romantic dinner at a restaurant we’d been wanting to check out: Cru Uncorked.

Cru Uncorked is a French restaurant in a lovely chateau setting. The restaurant has multiple rooms, fireplaces, and a cozy, unique ambiance. For Valentine’s Day, Cru Uncorked had a special limited menu of appetizer, entrée, and dessert.

We started with cocktails: Different Light (sparkling wine and cranberry shrub) for me and Vixen’s Heart (Cynar, Glenlivet Nadurra, Amaretto, smoked grapefruit oil, and salt tincture) for Matthew. The cocktails were deliciously crafted!

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For our first course, I chose the Crab and Shrimp Louie with avocado, tomato and horseradish glaze, mustard crème, petite greens, and citrus red pepper oil.

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Light and fresh, this was a lovely way to start my meal.

Matthew went with a classic: Steak Tartare, with Parmesan fondue and salsa verde.

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For my entrée, I had the Heritage Pork Chop with lentil ragout, sunchoke, savoy cabbage, and sauce chasseur.

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Perfectly prepared, with lots of earthy, autumnal flavors, I really enjoyed this dish!

Matthew had the Sea Scallops Grenobloise, with brown butter, lemon, capers, parsley, butternut squash, and maitaki mushrooms.

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The delicate flavors all complimented each other perfectly on this dish.

With our entrees, we both enjoyed amazing glasses of wine: Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon for me and Cakebread Chardonnay for him. Cru Uncorked has a fantastic by the glass and by the bottle wine list and knowledgeable servers to help you pick the perfect pairing.

For dessert, I had the Mocha Crème Brulee, with was light, creamy, and so good!

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Matthew had the Baked Alaska, with pistachio ice cream, raspberry sorbet, and Chambord chocolate sauce.

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The meal, the service, and the atmosphere were truly something special from top to bottom. While the portions were small, everything was spot on in terms of preparation and we left feeling satiated without being overly full.

For a truly special experience, check out Cru Uncorked!

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