Why? Zippity Zoo Doo!

Have you ever wanted to enjoy an elegant evening of food, drink, and fun, while surrounded by exotic animals? Then the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s annual Zippity Zoo Doo fundraiser on Friday, June 7 is for you!

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You’ll enjoy themed cocktails and food from The Driftwood Group, silent auction items, a wine pull, and lots of other fun.

I’ve attended Zippity Zoo Doo for the past several years and always have a great time, whether it’s bidding on overnight stays at the Zoo, playing life-sized board games, or sipping on frose.

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This year’s event takes place in the new Asian Highlands exhibit, which is a beautiful space for exploring the fantastic Cleveland Metroparks Zoo you will be supporting.

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The Cleveland Zoological Society is the Zoo’s nonprofit advocate and partner and is committed to:

  • Raising public awareness of the Zoo as a community priority and civic asset
  • Securing private support for the Zoo and its programs
  • Giving visitors, members and donors great value for their investment
  • Ensuring that the Zoo remains one of Northeast Ohio’s preeminent destinations

Which means a night of fun at Zippity Zoo Doo supports these great missions. Plus, Zippity Zoo Doo gives you the chance to mix and mingle with 500 business and community leaders, young professionals, and Zoo staff.

Tickets are currently on sale for $250 per person ($175 tax deductible) and can be purchased online. I hope to see you for this wildly fun evening!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Zippity Zoo Doo. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary ticket and one discounted ticket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

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.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

This weekend still felt like summer to me! So, despite the appearance of pumpkins later on in my post, I’m hanging on to the end of summer…

Brewnuts

On Friday morning, while the kids were in school, I went with my friends Mariah and Ashlie to Brewnuts for their Harry Potter-themed donuts that were available this weekend only.

Brewnuts not only makes gigantic, creative donuts, but they come up with lots of fun theme days to sprinkle even more magic on the donuts. I opted for a Sorting Hat donut, whose yellow buttercream filling told me I was a Hufflepuff.

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Add in a Butterbeer latte…

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and the cute, tiki-themed decor…

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and you have the makings of three very happy moms!

Bloggy Con

On Saturday, I attended Bloggy Conference, a conference for bloggers. Held at Cedar Point’s Hotel Breakers, the location was perfect for soaking in a bit more of summer.

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We heard speakers on everything from SEO to brand ambassadorships and had a chance to connect with other bloggers from around the country.

This was my first blog conference, despite how long I’ve been doing this, and I really feel like I came away with some valuable insights into things I can implement with the blog, as well as things that I don’t want to change.

Small City Taphouse

Since we were spending the night in Sandusky, I had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants out that way: Small City Taphouse.

This restaurant boasts 80 beers on tap, which obviously means you have to get a flight because it is impossible to choose just one.

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My two favorites from my flight were the Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing and the Haunted Hayride Pumpkin Ale from Masthead Brewing.

Small City Taphouse also has a full sushi and Asian cuisine menu. The TNT roll, with tuna and jalapeno was a great choice, as was the spicy egg noodles with beef.

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If you find yourself in Sandusky, definitely check out Small City Taphouse!

Cedar Point Halloweekends

On Sunday, my best guys joined me at Cedar Point for Halloweekends.

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From trick or treating through Kiddie Kingdom…

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…to trying out the new-this-year challenge course…

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….to catching the It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown parade…

…there was so much to do on top of the rides that Jeffrey always loves. It was a fall festival in summer-like weather!

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Halloweekends continue every weekend through October 28, so don’t miss this chance for some family-friendly thrills and treats!

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Weekends!

It was the unofficial end of summer and we sent it out in hot, sunny style!

Punch Bowl Social

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I got the long weekend rolling with lunch at Punch Bowl Social. The Watermelon Polo Bowl, with watermelon spearmint tea and tequila is a perfect sipper for these hot, end-of-summer days.

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And the lobster roll, packed with luscious poached lobster and a bright burst of citrus was also the perfect choice for a summer day, although I was certainly tempted by the breakfast offerings that you can order until 3pm.

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While we ate, we enjoyed some of the complimentary board games you can play at your table.There are so many ways to have fun at Punch Bowl Social!

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It’s a great spot for a lunch with your kid or a night out with friends!

***Disclosure: I was invited to a complimentary lunch at Punch Bowl Social. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland National Air Show

Nothing says Labor Day Weekend in Cleveland like the Cleveland National Air Show. I have such great memories of watching the Air Show with my grandpa, so I love being able to pass on the tradition to Jeffrey.

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We headed down to Voinovich Park to take in some of the high-flying action. It’s not just watching the planes, it’s also this sort of community picnic atmosphere that happens with people all packed in to watch the show.

If you want to see some truly cool pictures of the planes, check out Matthew’s Instagram page!

Indians Game

From watching the Air Show, I walked up East Ninth to meet up with my friend (and season ticket holder) Anne to take in an Indians game.

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And while they didn’t bring home a win, nothing says summer in Cleveland like spending time at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario!

The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying a couple backyard BBQ’s with friends and family. I can’t believe it’s September and we’re starting to look toward fall activities! How did you send out summer in CLE?

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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?

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Why? Incuya Music Festival Giveaway!

This summer, a new music festival is coming to Cleveland: Incuya Music Festival.

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Happening August 25 and 26 on the Malls in Downtown Cleveland, Incuya Music Festival will bring bands like New Order, The Avett Brothers, Cake, The Revivalists, Booker T. Jones, and more to the birthplace of rock ‘n roll. See the full lineup here.

There will be lots of other cool aspects to Incuya beyond just the music. Platform Beer Co. has brewed a special Tourbus Pilsner just for the festival, which can be enjoyed at Incuya’s beer garden or Platform’s tasting rooms in Cleveland and Columbus.

Incuya’s Foodland brings some of the best of Cleveland’s celebrated food scene to the festival, with selections from restaurants like Black Pig, The Plum, and Happy Dog, as well as food trucks such as Betty’s Bomb Ass Burgers, Smokin’ Rock and Roll, and Sauced Wood Fired Pizza.

There will also be cool photo opps from both Vitamix and Destination Cleveland available at Incuya, perfect for filling your Instagram feed.

Tickets are still on sale for Incuya Music Festival. Weekend General Admission is $135, Weekend VIP is $235, Weekend Prestige is $335, and Single Day General Admission is $85.

Or you can enter to win two Single Day General Admission tickets 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):

1.Leave a comment telling me which band you’re most excited to see.

2. Visit Incuya Festival and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @IncuyaFestival 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 rock at @IncuyaFestival thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway http://whycle.com/2018/08/16/why-incuya-music-festival-giveaway 

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, August 20 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Incuya Music Festival. In exchange, I will receive two Single Day General Admission tickets to give away. I declined my own tickets due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

As of today, we have two weeks left of Jeffrey’s summer break. Just two weeks! So, we’re going to get in every bit of summer goodness we can. Here’s what we were up to this weekend…

Lake Metroparks Farm Park

On Friday, we met up with friends Lane and Nolan for a play date at the Lake Metroparks Farm Park.

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Jeffrey is so sweet with Nolan! The Farm Park was the perfect way to bridge the age gap between the boys by giving them things to see and do that they could both appreciate.

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Photo Credit: Lane

It was a lovely little summer Friday afternoon!

First Watch

Saturday morning, Mom and I met up for brunch at First Watch. I really love the food at First Watch, plus any place that brings me a pot rather than a cup of coffee is speaking my language!

I ordered the Elevated Egg Sandwich, with bacon, Gruyere, avocado, mayo, and lemon-dressed arugula.

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I loved the freshness of the avocado and lemon paired with the richness of the bacon and Gruyere. So good!

Mom chose the seasonal Elote Mexican Street Corn Hash, with seasoned potatoes, roasted sweet corn, chorizo, Cotija cheese, and chipotle crema.

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Spicy, sweet, and satisfying! First Watch is a great breakfast spot!

Buckeye Beer Engine

Then it was off to our friend Kevin’s 40th birthday party at Buckeye Beer Engine. While Buckeye Beer Engine is known for their craft beer selection, I found myself enjoying their bourbon cocktails, including the bourbon ginger mimosa.

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We also chowed down on their boneless wings (the spicy garlic Parmesan are on point), crab cakes, and pierogi. It was a fun afternoon of good drinks and good food to celebrate a good friend!

Cedar Point

On Sunday, we found ourselves at Cedar Point once again, this time for our annual trip with Amanda and Scott.

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As Jeffrey’s godparents and huge Cedar Point enthusiasts, Amanda and Scott are the perfect folks for a day at the amusement park. They love going on the rides with Jeffrey and I can see their relationship with him deepen each time we go.

 

It was a beautiful day to be up at the park too! We’re squeezing in as many Cedar Point trips as we can before the summer is through!

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So, that was our weekend. How was yours? Are you feeling the back-to-school blues too?

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Why? Weekends!

Other than having a howling good time at Twilight at the Zoo, there was lots of other happenings this weekend. Here’s what we were up to:

AIA Cleveland Sand Festival

For the last four years, Matthew and some of his AECOM colleagues have competed in a sand castle building competition put on by AIA Cleveland. It’s always so cool to see the beach filled with sandcastles built by actual architects!

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This year, the AECOM team created a Harry Potter themed sand sculpture that looked incredible and took home the judges’ award for the fourth year in a row!

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The competition takes place at Edgewater Beach and there are awards from both judges and the public. You can follow along at @CleSandFest to vote for your favorite (cough, AECOM, cough.)

Babes and Babies Who Brunch

On Sunday morning, my friend Maria had Alicia and me over with our kiddos for a lovely brunch!

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Maria and I have been friends since a fateful English class (and living in the same dorm) in our freshman year at John Carroll.

It’s always so great when friendships stand the test of time and evolve to fit where we are in our lives now.

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Jeffrey took this, thus the finger photo bomb

And it’s even more fun to see our kids getting along too!

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I swear Brenna was having fun! We all had a lovely morning!

Blossom Music Festival

Sunday night, we found ourselves back at Blossom Music Center for another Cleveland Orchestra concert.

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This time, we brought Jeffrey and met up with friends who also brought their sons. From the “Under 18s Free” tickets to the Young Audiences guide, the Cleveland Orchestra goes out of its way to make these concerts accessible to all ages.

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Jeffrey enjoyed listening to the orchestra and picnicking outside just as much as we did! I love being able to expose him to culture in a way that is fun and accessible to him!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

When a fundraiser hits 25 years, you know it’s a party that has the fun figured out! Twilight at the Zoo celebrated 25 years of rocking the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo while raising money for the Cleveland Zoological Society.

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Twilight at the Zoo fills the Zoo with bands of every style from rock to country to swing. Some of our favorites include Billy Likes Soda

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…and Faction, who always do amazing mash-up sets, like their tribute to boy bands!

There is always plenty to eat and drink, from hot dogs and popcorn chicken to Sam Adams and Angry Orchard Cider.

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And we got to see some of the zoo critters, even if it was past their bedtime.

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We enjoyed the VIP area, which included mixed drinks and food from Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish, House of Blues Cleveland, and Texas de Brazil.

 

This year we also got to see the incredible Asian Lantern Festival as part of our time at Twilight at the Zoo, which definitely added to the festive atmosphere!

 

As always, Twilight at the Zoo was an evening of good friends, great music, and fun times!

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Cheers to 25 more years of howling at the moon at Twilight at the Zoo!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo. In exchange, I received four complimentary VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Ohio State Fair Giveaway!

I love summer fairs, so I was embarrassed to admit that I had never made my way down to the biggest one around: the Ohio State Fair.
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On Friday, Jeffrey and I corrected that and spent a packed day at the Fair. There is so much to see and do! Our hosts at the fair took us on a tour of the livestock and agricultural areas of the Ohio State Fair.

Of course, we had to start with the butter cow display, this year made to look like a scene from “A Christmas Story.”

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We started in the Voinovich Livestock Center, where we met with folks from the Ohio Beef Council. From learning about the different cuts of meat to taking a virtual reality tour of a beef farm to seeing the cows there to show, we got a taste of everything beef at the Fair!

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We also visited with the Ohio Soybean Council in the Donahey Ag & Hort Building, where we learned more about the impact of soybeans on Ohio’s economy.

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The virtual reality tours remained a favorite with Jeffrey!

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I typically think of fairs as being about rides, games, and fair food. While there is plenty of that at the Ohio State Fair, there is also the chance to learn more about Ohio’s agricultural community and support the farmers.

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The Taste of Ohio Café boasts delicious food and drink from Ohio’s beef, pork, poultry, sheep, dairy, grape, and craft beer industries. We got to sample the pork tenderloin sandwich and it is nothing short of delicious!

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Of course, there are plenty of games, rides, and traditional deep-fried fair food, too. Jeffrey got his (my) money’s worth and then some out of his ride wristband.

And while he was riding, I was chowing down on some philly tots from Tot Spot.

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Other fair highlights included seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales, feeding the animals at the petting zoo, and just generally experiencing an amazing cross-section of what Ohio is made up of.

The Ohio State Fair runs daily through Sunday, August 5. You can purchase admission tickets and ride wristbands online.

Or you can enter to win four admission tickets good for any day of the fair, as well as some food coupons (including a free funnel cake, because you can’t go to a fair and not get a funnel cake) 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):

1.Leave a comment here telling me what part of the Ohio State Fair you’re most excited to see (it better be the butter cow).

2. Visit Ohio State Fair and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @OhioStateFair 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 experience the @OhioStateFair thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway http://whycle.com/2018/07/30/why-ohio-state-fair-giveaway 

To maximize your opportunity to go, the giveaway will close on Monday, July 30 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was invited by the Ohio State Fair to attend an influencer tour of the agricultural areas of the fair. I received complimentary admission tickets, parking, and food vouchers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur