Why? Weekends!

When your weekend recap is essentially three blog posts, you know it was a good time!

John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa

On Sunday morning, the John Carroll Alumni Relations Office hosted their annual Breakfast with Santa on campus.

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The Breakfast with Santa includes a Mass in St. Francis Chapel, a buffet breakfast in the Dining Hall, crafts, a donation drive for Bellefaire JCB, and of course a chance to visit with Santa.

Jeffrey made a list before we went and presented it to Santa, who promised to take it back to the North Pole with him!

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We also had a chance to visit with the President of the University, Dr. Johnson, and his wife Jill, who are such wonderful assets to the university.

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I always love this event because I can catch up with college friends and see how our kids have now become friends, too!

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It was a fabulous holiday morning!

Mean Girls

On Sunday night, Alicia brought me as her guest to see “Mean Girls” at Playhouse Square. Before the show, we grabbed cocktails and appetizers at Republic Food and Drink.

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We both love their selection of bourbon cocktails (I had the rye old fashioned). We also devoured the Warm Bavarian Pretzel Sticks with cheddar-beer sauce and the Warm Street Corn Dip, with sweet corn, white cheddar, cilantro, and lime, served with corn tortilla chips.

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Then it was over to the show. Alicia and I both had the chance last week thanks to Playhouse Square to interview the actors portraying “The Plastics,” so it was especially fun to see them in action after getting the chance to know them a bit off-stage.

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The show is energetic and hilarious and has all the best lines that you love from the movie version, plus updated jokes for 2019. And boy, can the cast sing and dance! I absolutely loved the performance! “Mean Girls” is at Playhouse Square through Sunday, December 22, so don’t miss your chance to get in on the fun!

So, that was my weekend in (three) nutshells. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

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?

jenclesig_pur

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!

It was a mostly nostalgic weekend around these parts…

Magnificat Reunion

I celebrated my 20-year (eek!) high school reunion this weekend. On Friday night, I met up with my Magnificat High School Class of 1999 classmates at Townhall.

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From old yearbooks to 90’s music to a montage of old pictures and memory books, it was a trip down high school lane.

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We were in the new upstairs room at Townhall, which was the perfect space for a group! From a private bar to plenty of seating and mingling space to cute decor, this is a great spot!

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The specialty drink for the evening was the Blue Streak, the Magnificat mascot (and a darn tasty drink, too).

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It was so fun catching up in person with everyone!

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On Saturday evening, I went back to Magnificat itself for the reunion weekend Mass. My dear friend Melissa was singing at the Mass and it was a wonderful chance to be reminded how much the mission of the school means to me still.

I also got to show Jeffrey around a little bit and he met some of my former teachers, which was really fun!

I was a bit ambivalent about attending reunion, especially since I’ve stayed so much more in touch with my college alma mater than my high school one. But I’m really glad I went and reconnected with that place and those women who meant a lot to me.

Patterson’s Fun Fest

On Sunday, Jeffrey and I went to Patterson’s Fruit Farm for their Fun Fest, which has become an annual tradition for us.

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From slides to pony rides to hay bale and corn mazes to buying pumpkins and the best apple cider on the planet, a trip to Patterson’s will leave you fully immersed in that fall feeling, no matter what the weather is going to be like this week!

Patterson’s Fun Fest is open daily through Sunday, October 27. Admission is $5 per person on weekdays and $8 per person on weekends. Don’t miss your chance for some good old fashioned fall fun!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Oh my gosh, you guys. It’s JULY! When did that happen?! Here’s how we closed out the last weekend in June…

John Carroll Alumni Volunteer Summit

I spent a good part of my weekend up at John Carroll University attending the inaugural Alumni Volunteer Summit, which was truly energizing and inspiring.

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Image Source: @jcualumni 

The Summit brought together alumni volunteers from various university departments and areas of the country to share ideas, learn about the university’s vision for the future, and eat ice cream overlooking our beautiful alma mater’s campus.

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We kicked off the Summit with a cookout outside of Murphy Hall, spent Saturday hearing from various departments within the university, and ended with a party on the Quad with a band and food trucks.

Matthew and I stuffed ourselves with pizza, mozzarella sticks, and truffle fries from Sauced Wood Fired Pizza (the firecracker chicken pizza is so good).

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As one of the incoming members of the Alumni Association Board, the Summit was a great chance for me to connect with other Board members and get ready to once again give back to a place that has given me so much.

Dear Evan Hansen

On Saturday night, Matthew and I attended one of the final Cleveland performances of “Dear Evan Hansen.”

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This deeply moving, funny, true, heavy, beautiful story made me laugh, cry, and think about loneliness, human connection, parenting, and so much more. I was so glad we had a chance to see it!

Cedar Point

On Sunday, we met up with our dear friends (and some of Jeffrey’s godparents) Amanda and Scott for a toasty, fun summer day at Cedar Point.

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Jeffrey is enjoying his new height and was able to ride Thunder Canyon for the first (and second and third) time this season.

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From rides to lunch at Famous Dave’s to ice cream at Toft’s to fun with some of our favorite people, it was a perfect summer Sunday!

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How was your weekend? Do you have big plans for the holiday week?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a fun, family-centric weekend! And how about this warmer weather?! We were definitely ready to get out of hibernation!

Hathaway Brown Heritage Dinner

On Friday evening, Jeffrey’s school hosted what has become one of our favorite traditions there: the Hathaway Brown Heritage Dinner. It’s essentially a giant potluck dinner, where people bring an appetizer, entree, or dessert representing their heritage.

We brought kielbasa, pierogi, and sauerkraut because Ancestry DNA confirmed I’m just as Eastern European as I thought I was!

But we also enjoyed hummus, samosas, cornbread, Mongolian beef, lasagna, and lots of other delicious dishes.

One of our favorite parts of the event is the selection of cookies and candies from around the world that you can take home. There are these delicious chocolate shortbread Scottie dogs that we just adore!

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There are also crafts, games, and music from different cultures, so the Heritage Dinner is about more than just good food. The students get to experience a little bit of the world and the different backgrounds of the student body.

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What a fun Friday evening!

Bowling Birthday Party

Saturday, we went to a bowling birthday party for one of Jeffrey’s friends at North Woods Lanes.

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Jeffrey loved the bumper bowling and got some strikes and spares!

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It’s so fun to see the kids grow up and get into different birthday activities.

Great Big Home and Garden Show

On Sunday, we stopped by the Great Big Home and Garden Show at the I-X Center.

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From testing out hot tubs…

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…to kids’ power tools…

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Jeffrey was definitely having fun checking out all the different booths.

We all loved the Garden Showcase, which gave us a real taste of spring.

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The gardens are all themed on fairy tales this year, with things like “Alice in Wonderland,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and a Magic Treehouse.

Jeffrey and Matthew also rode the giant ferris wheel, which is a must at the I-X Center!

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The Great Big Home and Garden Show continues through Sunday, February 10. You can purchase tickets online and save $3 with code CLE19.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Great Big Home and Garden Show. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend! How was yours? Did you get out and enjoy this mild weather?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Motogo Mobile Shop Class!

I love what a small world Cleveland can be and how you can reconnect with old friends in the most unexpected of ways. I had the opportunity to spend a morning touring Skidmark Garage last week and chatting about their new non-profit wing, Skidmark CLE. And I got my tour from my high school and college classmate, Molly Vaughan!

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Molly and Skidmark owner Brian have made a name for Skidmark Garage, a community garage where people can come to work on their motorcycles and share tools, space, and knowledge in a non-intimidating environment.

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From talking with Molly, Skidmark has made itself an active part of the St. Clair/Superior community where it’s located with community-based projects, a welcoming vibe, and a lounge space that hosts everything from photo shoots to comedy nights for comedians just getting started to nonprofit fundraisers.

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Which brings me to Skidmark CLE, the nonprofit arm of Skidmark Garage, which is seeking to expand Skidmark’s presence in the community. Skidmark CLE is supporting a mobile shop class concept designed by Molly and Brian called Motogo. Molly and Brian both have backgrounds working in education, so Motogo is a natural fusion of their skills.

Motogo encourages hands-on learning through motorcycle maintenance, teaching real-world problem solving, critical thinking, measurement, and calculations. Many schools no longer offer shop class or only do so in a vocational setting. Molly and Brian believe all students can benefit from this type of get-your-hands-dirty, work-as-a-team education.

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Motogo offers three options: a full semester program, a quarter-long program, and Motogo Light, a pop-up program for community organizations. All Motogo’s programs mirror STEAM objectives for learning.

To raise money to bring Motogo to more students, Skidmark Garage is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, February 9 from 6-10pm. There will be food stations, open bar, live music, and dancing, all in one of the coolest, funkiest environments you can find!

Tickets are currently on sale for $100. Don’t miss this chance to have a fun evening for a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Skidmark CLE to help promote the Motogo Mobile Shop Class fundraiser. I declined a complimentary ticket due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends, Part 2!

The rest of our weekend was family-fun focused, so here we go…

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Jeffrey had a parent/teacher conference day on Friday, so since he didn’t have school, we were looking for something fun to do. We went to the Children’s Museum of Cleveland to check out their two newest exhibits: Theater and Playlist.

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Theater and Playlist opened at the end of November and give children new ways to explore their creativity at the museum. Theater has everything you need to put on a play, from a ticket booth to a tech area that controls lights and sound effects to hair and makeup stations and costumes.

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Children can put on plays, musicals, puppet shows, or concerts. The creativity I saw in the different types of shows and costumes was awesome! What a cool spot for kids to explore!

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Playlist incorporates shadow walls and wooden “instruments” to let children express themselves in dance and instrumentation. Playlist has different musical themes, from Latin to African to Americana.

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Much like Theater, Playlist encourages individuality and creativity. It was so cool to see Jeffrey dance and perform (and not even want to leave those two areas).
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If you haven’t been to the Children’s Museum of Cleveland in a bit, you’ll find all the favorites you loved, plus new exhibits to spark the imagination!

***Disclosure: I received two complimentary passes courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we enjoyed the next show in the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square: “The Rainbow Fish.”

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Put on by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, this bright and engaging puppet performance was a wonderful way to enjoy a story that Jeffrey was well-familiar with from the children’s book.

Every time we take Jeffrey to the theater, I see him become more invested in the storytelling and it’s truly a wonderful experience for the whole family!

Open House

On Sunday, we took Jeffrey to an Open House to see where we applied for him to be in Kindergarten. I honestly can’t believe we’re at the Kindergarten application point!

He really enjoyed getting to see where his “big boy school” may be. Plus, we all enjoyed going out for pizza and pasta at Pizzazz on the Circle with his best friend afterwards.

 

So, a win-win all around!

That was our weekend, in two parts. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

This was Jeffrey’s last weekend of summer break, so we decided to continue a tradition we started last year by taking a weekend away as a family. It was a pretty easy choice where to go: Cedar Point, which is easily Jeffrey’s favorite place to go these days.

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Jeffrey had been requesting both beach time and to see the rides lit up at night, so we decided to stay at Hotel Breakers. This provided us some lovely beachfront access, as well as the chance to stay late at the park and be just a quick walk away from our beds.

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When we arrived on Saturday, the afternoon decided to be stormy, so we started out at Breakers’ indoor pool, then had lunch at TGI Friday’s there.

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By the time we finished lunch, the rain stopped and we were able to go enjoy the park.

Jeffrey is tall enough now to ride so many of the “bigger” rides, like the Matterhorn, Scrambler, Tiki Twirl, and Troika. He’s definitely a thrill-seeker!

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We spent Sunday at Cedar Point Shores, soaking up the last of the summer water sliding fun.

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It was so nice to get away as a family and celebrate the end of summer break together! This is definitely one of my favorite family traditions!

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And today, Jeffrey starts his last year at Hathaway Brown‘s Early Childhood program.

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I can’t believe he’s going into Pre-K! I’m so proud of him and excited for all the things this year will bring!

How was your weekend? Is your summer break winding down too?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was another busy and fun weekend in Cleveland, so let’s dive right in!

Mad for Plaid

The Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society recently opened a new exhibit, Mad for Plaid.

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This exhibit takes you through the history of plaid in fashion, starting in the time of Queen Victoria.

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Mad for Plaid takes you from the early days of plaid in fashion through iconic UK designers, such as Alexander McQueen and Burberry through plaid in grunge and rock (there are even pieces on loan from the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame) through 1970’s fashion to today.

 

There are even examples from plaid on the silver screen in the form of two costumes from “The Greatest Showman,” which were designed by a local costume designer and worn in the film by Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.

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Mad for Plaid is now open and is a visually elegant way to experience the history of plaid in fashion. Also, check out StyleMe Saturdays, with monthly free programming including exclusive curator tours, themed discussion, and hands-on demonstrations from Praxis Fiber Workshop.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary curator tour of Mad for Plaid. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

John Carroll Reunion Weekend

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since I graduated from John Carroll University (probably because I’m still up on campus so often). This weekend, John Carroll celebrated Reunion Weekend, bringing together graduates from class years ending in 3 and 8.

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Saturday morning, I attended a yoga class and the family picnic up on campus. The family picnic had great food, as well as face-painting, balloons, a bubble artist, and a sketch artist to keep everyone entertained.

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Saturday evening, I attended the Reunion Weekend Mass at Church of the Gesu, then headed to dinner and dancing on the Quad. My friends and I made it a girls night at Reunion and had so much fun reminiscing about people and places from our college days.

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We all met on our very first day at John Carroll, when we lived on the same floor in Dolan Hall. To be able to stay friends for all these years and celebrate Reunion together is truly something special!

The dinner, desserts, drinks, and DJ were all perfect! From toasting to National Rose Day to enjoying mini donuts from Donut Lab to catching up with friends, Reunion Weekend was filled with sweetness!

 

We’re already talking about our 20th Reunion, although no one quite wants to do the math on how old we’ll be for that!

Great Lakes Science Center

On Sunday, we met up with friends for a play date at the Great Lakes Science Center. Since we attended the member preview of TapeScape, Jeffrey has been asking to go back for more sticky, slide-y fun!

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In addition to TapeScape, we enjoyed classic Science Center favorites like the Polymer Funhouse and checked out the cool duct tape photo opp, too.

The Great Lakes Science Center always offers something fun and educational that captures Jeffrey’s imagination and attention. It’s a favorite play date spot for sure!

***Disclosure: I received four complimentary tickets, courtesy of the Great Lakes Science Center. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur