Why? Spice Spring Supper Club at Borrow Rentals!

Last night, Mom and I celebrated an early Mother’s Day with the best gift we can give each other: time together.

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We attended the Spring Supper Club at Borrow Rentals, with food and expertly-paired wine from Spice Kitchen and Bar. The setting was perfect, with Borrow’s eclectic, vintage decor fitting in perfectly with Spice’s seasonal, farm-driven cuisine.

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We were welcomed with Prosecco (the only way I like to be welcomed) and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

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Our first course was 3-Way Dandelion Kombucha Soup, with radish, snow peas, and dandelion greens, paired with Corvidae Riesling.

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I was so skeptical about this course and I just loved it. The soup was tangy and spicy, with just enough sweetness from the snow peas to balance it out.

The second course was Guinea Fowl “Caesar” Salad, with romaine, ramp croutons, Styx mountain cheese, and Lake Erie Caesar dressing, paired with The Curator White Blend.

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One of my favorite things about Spice is how hyper-local and seasonal their food always is. Ramps are a sure sign of spring in Ohio!

Our third course was Venison Sausage Pasta, with spring green pea pesto, whipped ricotta, Spice Acres mushrooms, and foraged nuts, paired with Farnese Montelpuciano d’Abruzzo Fantini.

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Rich, delicious, and creatively presented, this dish was a winner!

We ended our spring dining with Angel Food Cake, with Chantilly cream and rhubarb jam, paired with Marenco Moscato d’Asti.

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What a lovely evening of creative food in a creative atmosphere, shared with the lady who taught me to love both!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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Why? Roses and Rosé at Heinen’s!

It’s rosé season! Personally, I don’t think it ever stopped being rosé season, but this light, fruity wine certainly reaches it’s peak consumption during the spring and summer months.

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It’s perfect for patio drinking, day-drinking, and pairing with the lighter foods you’re cooking this season.

Last night, Heinen’s celebrated both rosé wine and roses, with an event that included a rosé and cheese pairing, as well as a flower arranging tutorial.

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When we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of Bacio della Luna Pinot Brut Rosé. This sparkling wine was vibrant, crisp, and one of my favorites of the evening.

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It was paired with a Caseificio Truf 3 Latti, a cow, goat, and sheep milk cheese with truffles. Creamy, dreamy, earthy yumminess!

We then sampled six non-sparkling rosés, each paired with cheese and all available at your neighborhood Heinen’s:

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  • 2018 The Palm by Whispering Angel, paired with Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper
  • 2018 Confidencial Rosé, paired with Mayfield Road Creamery Plain Havarti-Holstein
  • 2018 Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noir, paired with Saint Angel Triple Crème Brie
  • 2018 Alexander Vineyards Rosé of Sangiovese, paired with Ubriaco Prosecco Cheese (it’s bathed in prosecco, not unlike myself)
  • 2018 Viallet Rosé, paired with Beecher’s Dutch Hollow Dulcet
  • 2018 Diving into Hampton Waters Rosé (from Jon Bon Jovi’s winery), paired with Mackenize Creamery Chevre with Herbs de Provence

Of these wines, the Rodney Strong and Confidencial were my favorites. So, I learned I really like rosé of Pinot Noir! I also learned that rosé can be made from any red wine grape and that the trend as consumers is toward lighter-colored rosés, which does not necessarily mean better quality.

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I love that Heinen’s incoporated local cheese from Mayfield Road Creamery and Mackenzie Creamery into the tastings. The store does a wonderful job at stocking wines and cheese that range from hyper-local to around-the-world.

For our floral arranging demonstration, we learned to always keep your flowers in cold water, cut them once you bring them home from the store, and create your arrangements by looking at them from the side perspective, which is what your dinner guests will see when they are on your table.

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Of course, Heinen’s offers a lovely selection of fresh flowers to help you create the perfect centerpiece for your own Roses and Rosé party!

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Alicia is super excited about the wine and cheese

Spring has sprung, so if you need me, I’ll either be in the Heinen’s wine aisle or sitting on my porch sipping my rosé! Cheers!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Roses and Rosé event at Heinen’s with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a busy holiday weekend, filled with friends, family, and favorite traditions.

Cleveland Botanical Garden Easter Egg Hunt

I’m big on traditions, especially at the holidays. And as a parent, I love taking Jeffrey to the same event year after year because it really illustrates how much he’s grown.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden‘s annual Easter Egg Hunt is one of those holiday traditions for us.

From the egg hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden (luckily we were in the second hunt and the rain stopped)…

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…to seeing the gardens in spring bloom…

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…to meeting the Easter Bunny…

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…to fun games and crafts, there’s so much to enjoy.

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We also got to experience the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Amazing Butterflies, which is open through Sunday, April 28. Kids get to work their way through a maze and take a journey from caterpillar to butterfly, with tons of fun, hands-on elements.

This is definitely an annual tradition we will keep!

Easter Fun

The rest of the weekend was filled with more traditional Easter goodness, from dyeing eggs with friends on Friday…

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…to dinner with Matthew’s family on Saturday, to which he brought this sinfully good carrot cake (recipe here)…

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…to church and dinner with my family on Sunday…

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…it was a weekend full of good food, favorite traditions, and people we love.

Whether Easter, Passover, or just a regular weekend is what you celebrate, I hope you had a great one!

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.***

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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We also took a stroll down A1A…

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…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!

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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.

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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!

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

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

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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!

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

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Why? Weekends!

It was a wonderful holiday weekend, filled with family and friends! Here’s what was hopping:

Dyeing Easter Eggs

On Friday, Jeffrey and I had our friends over to dye Easter eggs. We dye eggs every year and I love how Jeffrey has gotten more interested in it as time goes by.

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Check out his masterpieces!

Cleveland Botanical Garden Easter Egg Hunt

Speaking of annual traditions, on Saturday we went to the Cleveland Botanical Garden Easter egg hunt. This is one of our favorite holiday events!

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You ticket includes an Easter egg hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden, which is filled with tons of candy-filled eggs, as well as fun spring decorations.

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There were also crafts and outdoor games like bean bag toss and giant tic-tac-toe to enjoy. Plus there was a visit from a very special bunny in a very special bunny car!

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You also got admission to the Cleveland Botanical Garden to check out their Spring Blooms event. Spring Blooms replaced Big Spring and has all the bright spring colors and flowers you’ve come to expect, but fewer children’s play elements.

We really enjoyed our morning at the Easter egg hunt! For an event that draws around 1,000 people, it is very well organized and always a lot of fun!

Dante and Justin Timberlake

On Saturday night, I celebrated my dear friend Kimberly‘s birthday with dinner at Dante, followed by the Justin Timberlake concert.

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Our meal at Dante was perfect, from the aptly-named Something Fun cocktail…

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…to the honey-roasted Brussel sprouts with goat cheese and polenta with pork belly (OMG, both were life-changing!)

From there, it was off to an awesome night of music with Justin Timberlake, with a special guest appearance from LeBron James, too!

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What a fun night!

Easter

The rest of our weekend was spent enjoying Easter with our families. On Saturday, I prepared a traditional and locally-sourced Polish Holy Saturday feast, with pierogi from Janka Meat Products and Pierogi, kielbasa from Pinzone Market Fresh Meats, and sauerkraut from Wholesome Valley Farm via Fresh Fork Market.

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On Sunday, we had Easter bunny treats to discover…

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…time with both Matthew’s and my families and lots of smiles and good memories!

It was a great weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Sears Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning!

It’s definitely time for spring cleaning! We’re having people over for Easter, plus it’s just time to get the house feeling fresh and clean again. Which is why I was so excited to partner with Sears Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning.

I know, I’m usually all about the locally-owned businesses, so I had a moment of hesitation too. But, then I learned that the Sears Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning franchises are locally owned and operated, right in Parma (hey, that’s my old stomping grounds)!

I met with Greg, one of the owners, and we chatted everything from carpet cleaning to the Cavs and I was sold on this local business! This week, we had the carpets cleaned and I am thrilled with the results.

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Not only did all the carpets get cleaned, but the area rugs too. Everything smells fresh and clean, thanks to the addition of the deodorizing spray (a must if you have fuzzy friends living with you.)

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With two dogs and one kid, our carpets can definitely get dirty and well worn. I didn’t even realize how much of a difference professional carpet cleaning could make until I had it done and stepped back to admire the results.

Plus, the crew (Monde and Mike) from Sears Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning was so professional and personable. They even found time to talk music with Jeffrey and still get everything done in no time!

In less than two hours, all the carpet in the house was clean! This is definitely a spring cleaning must!

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The Cleveland-area, locally-owned Sears Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning offers cleaning for tile, carpet, air ducts, and upholstery, as well as general handyman work. Give them a call and check a thing or two of your spring cleaning list!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Sears Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning. In exchange, I received a free carpet cleaning service. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Great Big Home and Garden Show Giveaway!

Are you craving spring as much as I am? Nothing gets you more in the mood for spring than seeing some beautiful gardens and starting to think about home projects to complete when the weather warms up. Which is where the ninth annual Great Big Home and Garden Show comes in!

From February 2-11, the I-X Center will be filled with exhibitors ready to inspire and help complete any home project, from the necessary and mundane to the fun and exciting.

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This year’s feature homes include a 2,100 square foot cabin from Weaver Barns that blends rustic and luxury living and a 1,500 square foot Xtend Technologies lower level that shows everything that’s possible for indoor/outdoor recreation and entertainment areas.

There is the Garden Showcase, which is sure to be creative, beautiful, and springy with the theme of “Music!”

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I can’t wait to see the creative ways the landscapers incorporate songs into their gardens. Plus, you can dine amidst the gardens at the full-service I-X Bistro.

There are also local and national celebrity guests on both the Main Stage and the Loretta Paganini Cooking Stage, including Clint Harp from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” and Kathy Ireland of kiWW brands.

There’s something for all ages at the Great Big Home and Garden Show, with the Playground World KidZone and Home Depot Kids’ Workshops to engage even the youngest home improvement enthusiast.

Tickets are on sale now. Adult tickets (ages 13+) are $12 online and child tickets (ages 6-12) are $5 online. You can also save $4 on your ticket order with code CLE18.

Or, you can enter to win two tickets to the Great Big Home and Garden Show, good for any day of the show, right here!

Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each entry):

1. Leave a comment here telling me what part of the Great Big Home and Garden Show you’re most excited to see.

2. Visit the Great Big Home and Garden Show and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @GreatBigShow and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win tickets to the @GreatBigShow from @WhyCLE #giveaway http://whycle.com/2018/01/17/why-great-big-home-and-garden-show-giveaway-7 

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

The giveaway will close on Monday, January 22 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Great Big Home and Garden Show. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary tickets for myself, as well as 2 tickets to give away and a discount code to share. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Legacy Village Food Truck Mondays!

It’s food truck season again! Food trucks have made grabbing a bite to eat outside not only fun, but really tasty. Which is why I’m so excited that for 8 Mondays over the summer, you can chase away your weekend-is-over blues at Legacy Village with the return of Food Truck Mondays.

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The inaugural Food Truck Monday takes place on Monday, May 22 from 11:30am to 1:30pm. There will be an expanded line-up of food trucks, with Orange Truk, Beachcomber, Barrio, Chef Grey Wolf, Proper Pig, Slyman’s, Wholly Frijoles, 216 Bistro, and Donut Lab participating in the opening event.

You’ll also be able to enjoy a variety of local bands performing at each Food Truck Monday to add to the fun, festival-like atmosphere.

Food Truck Mondays will take place on May 22, June 5, June 19, July 3, July 17, July 31, August 14, and August 28. Aside from the awesome line-up for opening week, other weeks will include food trucks such as KC & J Hawaiian, Manna Truck, Off the Griddle, and Smash Time. Food Truck Mondays are perfect for a lunch break, a lunch date, or a play date!

***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.***

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