From the egg hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden (luckily we were in the second hunt and the rain stopped)…
…to seeing the gardens in spring bloom…
…to meeting the Easter Bunny…
…to fun games and crafts, there’s so much to enjoy.
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!
The rest of the weekend was filled with more traditional Easter goodness, from dyeing eggs with friends on Friday…
…to dinner with Matthew’s family on Saturday, to which he brought this sinfully good carrot cake (recipe here)…
…to church and dinner with my family on Sunday…
…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!
It certainly felt like patio season this weekend, which is perfect timing for a new restaurant to open in The Flats. Lindey’s Lake House is taking over the former Coastal Taco location and opens to the public today.
Lindey’s has the same owners as Coastal Taco and Cedar Creek Grille and the menu brings together favorites from both those restaurants, as well as the Lindey’s location in Beachwood.
The vibe makes you feel like you’re relaxing on the patio at a friend’s vacation home, with a lot of white walls, vintage vacation photos, and cute decor accents.
As at Coastal Taco, the large bar that looks out to the water is the focal point. The cocktails are summery and delicious. We particularly enjoyed the Dockside Buzz (Bulleit Bourbon, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, ginger beer, and bitters) and the Farmers Market Rickey (Beefeater Gin, Domaine de Canton, lime juice, watermelon, and mint).
We shared the guac & house chips and the sweet & spicy calamari to start. The calamari was lightly breaded and the citrus Asian red chili glaze was so good!
For my entree, I had the Miso-glazed Outer Banks cod. The glaze was flavorful, without overpowering the delicate white fish.
Matthew had the crab cakes, which were very good. We both really enjoyed the vegetable hash that came with our entrees.
Do not skip dessert at Lindey’s! The homemade pies are truly something special. Matthew loved the Key Lime, which was not overly sweet and very creamy.
My blueberry pie was packed with real blueberries and didn’t have that artificial glaze filler.
The food and atmosphere are sure to make Lindey’s Lake House the place to be in The Flats this spring and summer!
***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Friends & Family Opening of Lindey’s Lake House with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
This weekend, Mom, Jeffrey, and I headed down to South Florida for a little spring break trip. The reason for our visit was to celebrate my Great Uncle Ray’s 80th birthday, but we also squeezed in some other South Florida fun.
We stayed at B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale, which was right on the beach. Jeffrey loved both the time on the beach and at the hotel pool.
We brought home lots of seashells (and sand!) The last time Jeffrey was in this part of Florida, he was just under 2 years old, so his excitement over the ocean was almost brand new.
While at B Ocean, we had a delicious lunch at the Naked Crab. The rock octopus was so smoky and good!
We also took a stroll down A1A…
…and found Bo’s Beach, a perfectly-situated beach front restaurant with delicious Frose cocktails and yummy churrasco steak.
Everything tastes better with beach breeze blowing through your hair!
Not only was the lunch so tasty, but it was a great chance to connect with some Florida alumni and hear what’s been going on at campus lately from the new president, Dr. Michael Johnson, and his wife, Jill.
Now, to the point of the whole trip: Great Uncle Ray’s birthday! We surprised him and he was truly shocked when he opened his door to the three of us standing there!
From a delicious birthday dinner at Cooper’s Hawk (get the gnocchi with roasted butternut squash)…
…to time spent at their house in the pool, it was a wonderful chance to catch up and celebrate!
And while we had lots of other fun on the trip, the whole point was the family time. There’s truly nothing like face-to-face connection and I’m so glad we had a chance to make it happen for this big birthday!
How was your weekend? Are you doing any spring break travels?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Our meal at Dante was perfect, from the aptly-named Something Fun cocktail…
…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!
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.
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.)
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!
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.***
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.
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!”
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.
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.***
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.
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.***
When you get invited to a “VIP Food and Wine Tour,” including an overnight stay at a lovely inn, spa time, and more food and wine than you thought anyone could possibly fit into two days, you do whatever you can to attend. Which is exactly what I did the last couple of days at The Lakehouse Inn in Geneva on the Lake.
With beautiful views of Lake Erie, cozy patios, and comfortable guest rooms, I immediately felt at home and relaxed there!
My experience started on Sunday evening with a delicious coursed wine-pairing meal at Crosswinds Grille, the restaurant attached to The Lakehouse Inn. I had dined at Crosswinds last summer and was excited to try a broader selection from their ever-changing menu.
The menu at Crosswinds is the height of seasonal deliciousness and will change as often as 6 times per year to keep up with the freshest bounty provided by local farmers. Crosswinds doesn’t just talk the farm-to-table talk. They continually source the freshest and most local produce and meats they can find. Two of Crosswinds farm suppliers were on hand at the dinner (from Red Basket Farm and Miller Grass Fed Farms), showcasing their products and the restaurant’s commitment to locally-sourced, quality food.
Our first course was a wilted kale salad with grilled onions, poached egg, and vinaigrette.
Chef Nate added some asparagus in to the salad at the last minute because it arrived fresh and was a perfect addition. Of note, all the items at our dinner are available in some form on Crosswinds current menu.
Next up, shrimp and grits with nduja and a bit of Chardonnay.
Salty, creamy, sweet, and delicious! I love me some shrimp and grits! Every course was paired with a Lakehouse Inn wine, my favorites of the bunch being the Riesling, the reserve Pinot Noir, and the Cabarnet Sauvignon. And the Pinot Rose will be perfect for hot summer days.
Our next course was grilled pork tenderloin with jasmine rice and mustard cream. Chef Nate told us he focuses more on food than on plating, but every dish not only tasted great, but looked lovely too!
Not realizing another meat course was on it’s way, I devoured every bite of this tender pork and then had to find room for the rich beef navel (think pork belly texture, but beef) served with potatoes and collard greens.
There were simply grunts of happiness all around the table with this dish!
Our dessert was the creatively-named Heavenly Kathy Joe, a scoop of house-made maple ice cream over a cocktail of Seven Brothers whiskey and maple. I’ve always thought I didn’t like whiskey, but this was delicious and I drank/scooped every drop!
After a restful night’s sleep, we were back to the hard work of eating and exploring The Lakehouse Inn, with breakfast at Crosswinds (the housemade sausage is to die for)…
My toes are now ready for spring/summer open-toed shoes! And I’m supremely relaxed!
From there, we took a little field trip to Na*Kyrsie Meats, run by Chef Nate of Crosswinds Grille. Chef Nate taught himself how to butcher and brings in beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and pigs for his cuts of meat and charcuterie.
We got to sample a variety of charcuterie and it was hard to pick a favorite, although I do confess I brought some of the lamb salumi home with me.
Na*Kyrsie meats are of course used at Crosswinds Grille, but you can also stop in at their retail monthly meat sale (where you can enjoy Lakehouse Inn wines too).
And you can also find Na*Kyrsie this season at the Tremont Farmers Market.
With a restaurant, spa, inn, winery, and tons of gracious hospitality all in one spot, you hardly need to go anywhere but The Lakehouse Inn any time of the year! That said, the entire area is rich with wineries, the Harbor with lots of shops and restaurants, The Lodge which is building a canopy tour experience to be completed by the end of the summer, and lots more to explore and enjoy.
The thing that impresses me the most about The Lakehouse Inn is there commitment to local products. From Crosswinds Grille’s sourcing of local meats and produce to the cocktail menu featuring local distilleries…
to the gift shop with tons of local items…
…supporting local businesses is not just a byline here. It’s a focus and you can tell how much respect and admiration these businesses have for each other. When you support local businesses that support each other, you do something amazing right in your own backyard! And you’ll likely have a fabulous, delicious, relaxing time doing it!
The next time you need a romantic getaway, a girls weekend, a family fun weekend, or maybe just a sip of wine and a delicious dinner, you can’t do better than The Lakehouse Inn.
***Disclosure: I was invited to a VIP Food and Wine Tour at The Lakehouse Inn. I declined part of the Sunday experience due to scheduling conflicts. My lodging, food, drink, and spa services were complimentary. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
The Kentucky Derby Party will take place on Saturday, May 6 from 4-8pm at Great Lakes Brewing Co. The party will feature a live showing of the Kentucky Derby on the big screen, horse betting, a hat contest, silent auction items up for bid, raffles (you could win up to $1,000), prizes, authentic Derby fare, and mint juleps and Great Lakes Brewing beers.
Tickets for the Kentucky Derby Party are $75 and raffle tickets are $5 per ticket or 5 for $20. Both admission and raffle tickets are currently on sale online.
Or you can enter to win two tickets to the Kentucky Derby Party right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):
1.Leave a comment and tell me what you would name a race horse.
***Note: Thoughts and prayers are with the Godwin family, our local and national law enforcement officers involved in looking for this man, and all those affected by his actions. Please be vigilant and safe. There are several reputable new organizations reporting reliable details on this story. I encourage you to select on your own and to stay informed.***
It was a lovely Easter weekend in Cleveland! On Friday, I took Jeffrey to Playground World for their Easter Egg Hunt.
While it was really (I mean, really) crowded, the staff at Playground World did a great job at sectioning the Egg Hunt by age groups and keeping everyone organized and safe. It was a really well run, although simultaneously crazy, event!
Friday evening, perhaps seeking some extra zen after the Easter Egg Hunt, I attended an Easter Yoga Workshop at Harmony Yoga. Harmony teacher Kanela led us through a challenging vinyasa flow, mixed with reflections on spirituality and the Easter season. It was a perfect way to center and remember what Easter is all about before the busy weekend ahead!
On Saturday morning, we took Jeffrey to the Cleveland Botanical Garden‘s annual Easter Egg Hunt. This is such a lovely event, from the chance to experience Big Spring (still open at the Garden through Sunday, April 23) to fun crafts to seeing the Easter Bunny to the Egg Hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden.
Jeffrey also loved seeing the Easter Buggy, a hot pink car complete with bunny ears, nose, and tail!
Saturday evening, we hosted our parents for a traditional Holy Saturday dinner of kielbasa, sauerkraut, and pierogi. So many family holiday traditions center around food and it’s wonderful (and delicious) to be able to keep them alive!
On Easter Sunday, we divided our time between the families, with brunch with my family and dinner with Matthew’s family. Of course, we took time at home first to inspect all the goodies left by the Easter Bunny!
Lots of candy and lots of Paw Patrol filled up Jeffrey’s basket this year! He’s understanding more and more about each holiday and really gets excited for each celebration!
I hope you had a great weekend, whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or simply the Indians and Cavs various victories!