Why? Holidays at Table 45!

I’m not usually someone who goes all-in on Christmas before Thanksgiving. But when I walked into Table 45 last night and saw their beautiful holiday set-up for our tasting dinner, I let go of all my reservations and started singing “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

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Starting November 18 through January 1, you can indulge in the 12 Cocktails of Christmas at Table 45. Themed on the classic Christmas song, these martinis are unique, delicious, and festive.

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Each comes with a nutcracker glass charm and are priced at $13. My favorites were:

  • Seven Swans A-Swimming (Kahlua, RumChata, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Cream)
  • Nine Ladies Dancing (RumChata, Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Gingerbread Syrup, Gingerbread Rim)
  • Ten Lords A-Leaping (Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Chambord, Cranberry Juice, Fresh Raspberries)
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming (Bulleit Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters)

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Table 45 is also offering A Christmas Story Cocktail, with Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Baileys, Goldschlager, Cinnamon Schnapps, Butterscotch Schnapps, and Cinnamon. It comes with a Leg Lamp ornament for $30.

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Table 45 has your holiday merriment covered on the food side too. You can enjoy Thanksgiving Brunch or Thanksgiving Dinner on November 28. Both are prix fixe at $65 for adults and $35 for children ages 4-12.

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You can also let Table 45 do your holiday cooking for you with Thanksgiving-to-Go, which serves 8-10 guests and includes a 22-24 pound turkey, seven sides, and two desserts for $225.

Table 45 will be offering a Children’s Magical Tea on December 7 and 14 for $45 per person. There will be face painting, cookie decorating, and delicious tea-time nibbles. I sampled some of the tea offerings last night and the desserts from Pastry Chef Stephanie will blow your mind.

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They’re sweet without being overly sweet, inventive, and just downright delicious! My favorite was this macaron with vanilla bean cream.

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Table 45 will also host Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Brunch, and Christmas Dinner. I got to try the Bistro Steak, which is offered at the holiday brunches, and is tender and flavorful.

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We also sampled the pork, which will be offered for Christmas Dinner and is a pretty great present to give yourself!

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Don’t miss the traditional toffee pudding either!

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Oh, and Pastry Chef Stephanie will be creating a gingerbread village in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel, which will be revealed on November 29.

There is so much holiday merriment happening at Table 45 that you can’t help but be swept up in the spirit(s) of the season! Don’t miss out!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting of Table 45’s holiday offerings. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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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? Weekends!

It was a busy, fun, pre-Halloween weekend, so let’s get right to it…

Designer Dress Days

On Friday morning, I stopped by the 51st annual Designer Dress Days sale to benefit NCJW Cleveland.

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Held at the Mandel JCC, this sale has something for every fashionista, from exclusive designer labels to cashmere to furs to handbags.

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I scored an amazing deal on this stunning dress off the Celebrity/Influencer rack.

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It was donated by Kimberly of Modern Musings and I just cannot wait to wear it out on the town (perhaps to the event I’ll be blogging about tomorrow).

The sale is still on today, October 28, from 12-8pm and tomorrow, October 29, from 10am-7pm. And today, everything is 20% off the already amazing prices! So stop by and grab yourself some fabulous new finds for your wardrobe, all to benefit a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NCJW Cleveland to help promote Designer Dress Days. In exchange, I received complimentary admission to the preview day and compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Burntwood Tavern Dia de los Muertos

On Friday night, I met up with my friend Lisa for dinner at Burntwood Tavern to enjoy their limited-time Dia de los Muertos menu.

We both started with the Perfect Margarita, served on the rocks with Patron, Grand Marnier, lime, and a salted rim.

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We shared the Pacos Nachos, with smoked pork carnitas, colby jack cheese, crispy jalapenos, peppers and onions, avocado salsa, pico de gallo, and queso blanco.

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Hearty and filling, these were delicious nachos!

For my entree, I had the Baja Fish Tacos, with beer-battered cod, cole slaw, queso rico, chipotle aioli, and rice & beans.

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The rice & beans were not your typical Mexican rice & beans, but they were tasty. And the fish was tender and flaky, with a nice kick from the chipotle aioli.

The Dia de los Muertos menu is available at all Burntwood Tavern locations through Sunday, November 3, with options from tacos to burritos to chicken tortilla soup. Over on Instagram, I’m running a gift card giveaway for $50 to Burntwood Tavern to check it out for yourself. The giveaway closes on Tuesday, October 29 at 11:59pm, so hop over and enter!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Burntwood Tavern to help promote the Dia de los Muertos menu. In exchange, I received two complimentary entrees and two complimentary margaritas. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we kicked off our fourth season as subscribers to the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square.

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The first show was Jungle Book, a re-imagined version of the classic tale, with a great message about conservation mixed in. Every year, Jeffrey becomes so much more engaged in the stories taking place on stage!

While the season ticket packages are sold out for this year, stay tuned in March for when the 2020-2021 season is announced. This a great way to introduce children to live theater in a way that is friendly and accessible, while still challenging their imaginations.

Gesu Young Families Truck or Treat

Trunk or Treat events have become quite popular over the last few years with church groups and schools, where families can decorate their cars and let their kids trick or treat in an enclosed area.

The Gesu Young Families group hosted their Truck or Treat on Saturday night, but it turned into a Gym or Treat due to the weather!

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There was a DJ, pizza, and plenty of candy! Our Trunk or Treat design came from my friend Sarah who created this adorable Toy Story-scape and was kind enough to let me borrow it! It was definitely a hit with the kids!

Trunk or Treat was a fun night and a great precursor to all the Halloween action coming this Thursday.

Gesu Blue-Gold Game

On Sunday, we bundled up and headed to the last game of Jeffrey’s soccer season: the Gesu Blue-Gold game.

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All the Kindergartners played each other, enjoyed pizza and snacks, and generally celebrated the end of a fun season!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Flavors of Northeast Ohio!

I’ve been really fortunate throughout this blogging adventure to get to attend a lot of fabulous fundraisers. One that has been on my must-attend list for a long time was Flavors of Northeast Ohio to benefit the American Liver Foundation Heartland Division.

This unique event brings together several amazing local chefs, who are each given a table of guests for whom they create a multi-course dinner, paired with wine. The menus and tables are themed with the chefs’ creativity, making the evening a full sensory experience.

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But before you even enter the ballroom and take a seat at your table, you can nibble on delicious passed hors d’oeuvres from the participating chefs, enjoy a signature cocktail (this year’s was a painkiller from Porco Lounge & Tiki Room), and bid on auction items or participate in the wine pull.

My table was created and catered by Chef Chris Kafscak of Nomad Culinary. The theme was Game Night and the tablescape was filled with board game fun.

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For our first course, we slurped up some delicious game of Life “College Ramen,” which was much tastier than any ramen I ever made in my dorm room! This course was paired with Kendall Jackson Avant Chardonnay.

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Next up was “Professor Plum & Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen with the Salad,” a fun play on classic Clue characters in the name and a tasty salad too. This course was paired with Robert Mondavy Private Select Rye Barrel Aged Red Blend.

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Our next course was simply titled “Lox,” a high-scoring Scrabble word. In reality, the course featured salmon two-ways with a tasty faro, asparagus, and olive salad. This course was paired with Beringer Bros. Tequila Barrel Aged Sauvignon Blanc.

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From Candy Land, our next course was Gloppy’s Pierogi with Chocolate Red Wine Beef, paired with Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon. You had me at pierogi, but the tender, flavorful beef was delicious too!

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Our last course, themed on Sorry, was White Chocolate Cheesecake paired with Dark Horse Sparkling Brut. The game-board presentation of this dish made it almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

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All of this delicious food and culinary creativity helped to raise $116,000 for the American Liver Foundation Heartland Division and put the 15-year total for this Flavors of Northeast Ohio event at $1 million!

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I may have checked this off my must-attend bucket list, but I’ll certainly be attending this amazing event again!

***Disclosure: I was asked by American Liver Foundation Heartland Division to help promote Flavors of Northeast Ohio. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Progressive Dining at Legacy Village!

You probably know that Legacy Village is the perfect place to stroll and shop, but it’s also the perfect place to stroll and dine. Last week, I enjoyed a progressive meal at Legacy Village, taking advantage of three of their best restaurants.

I started with appetizers at The Capital Grille. The lounge is a great place to kick off your progressive meal with cocktails and appetizers. My favorite cocktail at The Capital Grille is the Blackberry Bourbon Sidecar, with Woodford Reserve, Cointreau, blackberries, fresh lemon juice, and thyme.

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My mom got The Bohemian, with Absolut Apeach, mixed berry cordial, champagne, and fresh raspberries.

For my appetizer, I chose the Tuna Tartare, with tuna stacked over fresh avocado with spicy sriracha. So delicious!

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Mom had the Lobster and Crab Cakes, served with corn salsa. Meaty, flavorful, and so good!

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After our appetizer course, it was a short walk to Wild Mango for entrees. Mom was feeling pretty full already, so she opted for the Spinach Salad, with strawberries, cucumber, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and strawberry vinaigrette.

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I had the Honey-Glazed Sesame Chicken, with dark meat chicken, steamed broccoli, and short grain rice. I would highly recommend this entree!

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For dessert, I swapped my dining companion for Jeffrey and we enjoyed the Pure Dark Chocolate fondue at The Melting Pot.

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Jeffrey loved dipping all the delicious offerings into the chocolate! Messy, but fun!

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I also enjoyed a Chocolate Raspberry Kiss, with Godiva Chocolate Liquor, Chambord, coffee, and whipped cream.

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I’ve always wanted to do a progressive dinner and Legacy Village was the perfect spot for it, with lots of restaurant options to suit your tastes, all in close proximity to each other. You can park once, easily reach all your destinations, and enjoy a diverse taste of 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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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? The Capital Grille Wagyu & Wine!

By now, I think you know that I love dining at The Capital Grille. The ambiance, service, drinks, and food are always top notch. But last night, I discovered a more relaxed, affordable side of The Capital Grille that made me love it even more!

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Wagyu & Wine is a promotion in The Capital Grille lounge area that runs now through November 17. For only $25, you get to choose one of three delicious Wagyu beef burgers, each expertly paired with a Napa Valley wine.

 

Seriously, this is a phenomenal deal, especially because the choices of both burgers and wine are out of this world!

I had a chance to sample mini versions of each of the burgers. The Wagyu Cheeseburger, with fried egg and Havarti cheese, is simply decadent, with the richness of the Wagyu and egg complementing each other so well.

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It was paired with my favorite wine of the night: Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros 2016, made specifically and exclusively for The Capital Grille.

The Wagyu Burger with Capital Grille steak sauce, grilled onions, and Vermont white cheddar was my favorite burger of the night. This tasted like French onion soup mixed with a burger.

It was paired with Beringer Knights Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.

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Finally, the Wagyu Mushroom Burger, with soy-braised shiitake, Jarlsberg cheese, and truffle aioli. Pro tip: order a side of the truffle fries and extra truffle aioli, at which point you actually turn into a truffle!

This burger is paired with Stags’ Leap The Investor 2014.

Wagyu & Wine is a great deal not only because of the delicious flavors and pairings, but because of the high quality of both the burgers and wine included in this promotion. Stop in to The Capital Grille at Legacy Village before November 17 to experience it for yourself!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary Wine & Wagyu tasting event at The Capital Grille with a guest. I also 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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Why? Crepes in the City!

Yesterday, I met up with my friends Robin and Amy at this charming little spot in Downtown Willoughby: Crepes in the City.

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Serving a selection of crepes, waffles, and ice cream, this is the perfect spot to indulge either your sweet or savory side (perhaps both!)

I chose the cannoli crepe, filled with cannoli cream with chocolate chips and strawberries and topped with strawberries and a chocolate drizzle.

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This was decadent without being over-the-top sweet. And the crepe was thin, crisp, and made to perfection.

Robin got the s’mores crepe, with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and graham cracker and upped the ante by topping it with chocolate ice cream!

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Holy indulgence!

Amy got the savory Greek crepe, with chicken, tomato, onion, green peppers, feta, olives, spinach, and Greek dressing.

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Hearty and satisfying, the savory crepes make for a great lunch option!

Crepes in the City also offers Belgian waffles, breakfast crepes, and ice cream sundaes, so there’s something for every time and taste.

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We discovered their cute little back patio, which was the perfect spot to eat and chat.

Crepes in the City is charming and delicious. Give it a try!

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Why? Weekends, Part 2!

So, here’s the second half of the weekend…

CIAO! Cleveland

On Saturday, I dropped by a new Cleveland festival: CIAO! Cleveland, put on by NOIA Foundation to kick off Italian Heritage Month.

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I described this festival to a friend as a smaller, less crazy version of the Feast of the Assumption and I stand by that description. Held on the East Bank of the Flats, there were tons of food vendors, music, merchandise, and beer and wine.

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I couldn’t resist a serving of Luca Italian Cuisine‘s amazing sacchetti appetizer, which is truffled perfection!

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Then, I headed over to the demo tent to watch Chef Fabio Salerno of Lago East Bank prepare their most popular pasta dish: lobster gnocchi.

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With lobster, heirloom tomatoes, corn, truffle sauce, and homemade gnocchi, it’s easy to see (and taste) why this dish is the restaurant’s most popular one.

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Chef Salerno made cooking it very approachable too…I may have to try making it myself one of these days!

CIAO! Cleveland was such a fun celebration of Italian food and heritage! I definitely hope it becomes an annual tradition!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NOIA Foundation to help promote CIAO! Cleveland. In exchange, I received a complimentary press pass to the demo tent events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

John Carroll Homecoming

This weekend was also John Carroll University‘s Homecoming weekend. I got to spend some time up on campus twice: for my first meeting as a member of the John Carroll Alumni Association Board

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…and for the Homecoming Mass and Brunch on Sunday.

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It’s always so nice to be back up on campus and especially when I can have Jeffrey there with me!

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends, Part 1!

It was a busy weekend, so I’m splitting up the weekend recap:

Firehouse Subs

On Friday night, we grabbed a quick and tasty dinner at Firehouse Subs. These subs aren’t your typical sub shop sandwiches. They are hot and tasty and substantial.

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We tried the new Nashville Hot Brisket, the Sweet and Spicy Meatball, and the Firehouse Steak and Cheese.

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All were packed with delicious meats and cheeses, served hot and fresh.

Plus, Firehouse Subs is a super fun place to bring the kids, with firefighters uniforms and all kinds of engaging décor.

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Firehouse Subs also collects money to support local fire departments by helping them purchase necessary equipment. Jeffrey donated $1 of his own money to the fund!

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And now, every Sunday at Firehouse Subs, you can get a kids meal for 99 cents with the purchase of an adult combo meal.

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So, not only are you getting a great meal, you’re getting a great deal too!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the kids meal deal at Firehouse Subs. In exchange, I received a complimentary meal. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Jurassic World Live Tour

On Saturday, we took Jeffrey to see Jurassic World Live Tour.

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From tons of giant, lifelike dinosaurs…

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…to an entertaining storyline with lots of scientific tidbits…

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…to, did I mention the really cool dinos?

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Jeffrey had a great time and really engaged with the story.

We also got to see the brand new Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, which is shiny and bright and so different from what you remember.

I can’t wait to spend more time there!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Jurassic World Live Tour. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our busy weekend!

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