Why? PAW Patrol Live!

Front-row center seats. The performers looking you in the eye. Dancing with wild abandon right in front of the stage. Where else but at PAW Patrol Live?

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I joked that I’d never been front-row center before, but it’s true. Not for U2 or Billy Joel or any of the amazing acts I’ve seen live. But for how happy the show and the proximity made Jeffrey, it was absolutely worth it!

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The PAW Patrol Live show was themed “The Great Pirate Adventure” and it was filled with fun songs, upbeat dancing, lots of neat effects, and of course an adventure for the pups to save the day.

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We also had the VIP tickets, which gave us access to a meet-and-greet following the show with Ryder, Skye, and Chase.

The VIP area also included snacks, juice, books, and toys…everything you need to keep kids happy while they wait for their photo opp!

It was so fun to see Jeffrey’s reaction to some of his favorite characters being brought to life right in front of him.

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From Skye flying across the stage to Zuma scuba-diving in the ocean, all the pups had a part to play. No job is too big, no pup is too small!

If your kids love the PAW Patrol as much as Jeffrey does, there’s another chance to see PAW Patrol Live when it comes to Playhouse Square on February 9, 10, and 11. Tickets are on sale now!

PAWSOME!

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Why? Weekends!

Welcome to the time of year where every weekend is so packed with fun and festivities that they might burst. So, let’s get right to it!

Pajamas and Popcorn

On Friday night, Jeffrey’s school hosted Pajamas and Popcorn, a family movie night with pizza, popcorn, kids in PJs, and cookies.

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The movie was “Horton Hears a Who,” so there were also cute Dr. Seuss photo opps. It was a really cute idea and a fun way to ease Jeffrey into the movie theater experience.

The Capital Grille

On Saturday night, we met up with my parents to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with dinner at The Capital Grille.

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I started with the Blackberry Bourbon Sidecar, because apparently I like cocktails with bourbon now. I’m clearly growing as a person. Matthew and I also shared the lightly-breaded calamari with cherry peppers that give it a nice kick.

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For my entrée, I decided to be the only non-red meat eater at the table because I just couldn’t resist the evening’s fish special: grilled swordfish topped with crab gratin.

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Paired with a nice Sauvignon Blanc, this meal had lots of delicate flavors that were executed perfectly. Swordfish is one of my favorite fish and when you top it with crab…wow! My dad ordered the lamb chops, which received rave reviews!

For dessert, Matthew ordered the warm double chocolate cake with port-wine cherries and I had the apple crostada.

Each was the perfect compliment to our meal. We have never been less than totally impressed with the food and the service at The Capital Grille. And during the holiday season (until December 30), The Capital Grille will also be open for lunch from 12-3pm.

Breakfast with Santa

Sunday morning, we attended the John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa. The event includes a Mass, a toy collection for Bellefaire JCB, breakfast, and of course a visit with Santa!

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My favorite part of this event has been how my friends and I have used it as a chance to gather with our kids. I spent the morning with people I’ve known for 18 years (whoa) and got to see our kids forming friendships with each other too. It’s really special, especially being up on campus with our future Carroll students!

If you’re a John Carroll alum, you have another chance to celebrate the season on campus at the annual Christmas Reception this Wednesday, December 6. It’s truly one of my favorite events of the year, so don’t miss it!

Om for the Holidays Cleveland

While Jeffrey was napping away his Santa-induced exhaustion, I headed to Om for the Holidays Cleveland.

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The rainbow in this pic. I just can’t. @namastenik led an awesome flow!

Om for the Holidays was the brainchild of Angela from Universal Architect and Scare Your Soul. It brought together not only some amazing merchants for holiday shopping…

…but also live music, coaching, community-building, and yoga.

What better way to kick off the busy holiday month than with an opportunity to not only accomplish some holiday gift-buying, but also a chance to nurture your soul with like-minded folks?

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Merry Everything, indeed!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours? Is Christmas crazy starting to creep into your life yet?

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Why? Cleveland Christmas Events!

The turkey has been eaten and now it’s officially time to celebrate the Christmas season in Cleveland!

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Here’s a round up of some of our favorite holiday events going on around town to fete the holidays:

Winterfest and HoliDazzle

This Saturday, November 25, downtown Cleveland is the place to be for Winterfest and HoliDazzle. From Public Square to Playhouse Square, there will be holiday shopping, ice skating, crafts and character appearances, live entertainment, food trucks, and lots of sparkling holiday lights! Even if you miss Winterfest, head down to see the lights and skate at the Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink.

Magic of Lights

Pack the family in the car and head to Victory Park in North Ridgeville for the Magic of Lights. From the warmth of your car, you’ll enjoy incredible holiday lights displays, with proceeds benefiting Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

Candy Land Has Gone Wild!

From now through January 1, visit Penitentiary Glen Reservation in the Lake Metroparks to play Candy Land on a real life scale at Candy Land Has Gone Wild! Kids of all ages will enjoy this fun and magical game. There are also special holiday events on weekends, such as campfire s’mores!

Glow

Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden is one of the most aptly-named holiday events in town, happening now through December 31. You can check out trees decorated by local garden clubs, creative entries in the gingerbread house contest, ride on the Garden Express train, and lots more. You can also stop by The Rink at Wade Oval for ice skating and outdoor lights.

Kringle’s Inventionasium

Cleveland’s most original holiday offering has to be Kringle’s Inventionasium, a wacky, loveable twist on Santa’s workshop. You can take a complete tour or just enjoy a one-on-one visit with Mr. Kringle.

Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concerts

The world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra offers many ways to bring the music of the season to life at the gorgeously-decorated Severance Hall. There are the traditional Christmas concerts offered December 14-23, the PNC Holiday Rainbow concerts focused on kids ages 3-6 on December 9-10, and “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” with the live score played by the Cleveland Orchestra on December 19-20.

Deck the Hall

From now through December 30, the historic Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland at Deck the Hall 2017. Aside from lots of lovely lights, you can also enjoy live music, visits with Santa and Rudolph, gingerbread cookies, and unique holiday shopping.

Wherever and however you celebrate, there are so many great ways to get in the holiday spirit!

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Why? Weekends!

It was a busy and fun weekend! Here’s what we were up to:

All Aboard! The Science of Trains

One of my favorite things about the Great Lakes Science Center is that it allows Jeffrey to learn through hands-on exploration. When you combine that philosophy with something Jeffrey already loves like trains, you’re bound to have a great experience!

From the moment you arrive at the Great Lakes Science Center, you’re greeted in a way that lets you know what the latest exhibit is all about.

 

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All Aboard! The Science of Trains is open through February 19 at the Great Lakes Science Center. Jeffrey loved taking a ride on the Dominion Energy Train…

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…as well as checking out the model trains from the National Model Railroad Association Ohio Division 4.

There are also hands-on exhibits that allow you to explore things like friction, power…

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…rail safety, and even the history of trains in Cleveland.

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There’s even a real Plymouth Switcher on the front lawn of the Great Lakes Science Center!

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All Aboard! The Science of Trains not only brings trains to life, but takes them beyond Thomas the Tank Engine to teach the science behind them.

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Check it out at the Great Lakes Science Center before February 19!

Punch Bowl Social 

All that train time worked up an appetite, so we picked up Matthew and headed to Punch Bowl Social Cleveland for lunch. We kicked off our Fri-yay with a sampler of the namesake punches.

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My favorite was the King’s Cup, with two kinds of rum, pineapple fennel seed shrub, white pear fuji apple tea, and lime juice.

We selected some of Punch Bowl Social’s newest menu items to enjoy. We started with the lobster bacon fries, generously topped with real lobster, bacon, creme fraiche, green onions, and cheddar cheese.

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These fries were rich and delicious and more than enough to share (although you might not want to!)

For our entrees, we went with seasonal comfort food. Matthew had the golden chicken pot pie, with chicken, tasso ham, vegetables, and mustard cream, topped with puff pastry.

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This was packed with delicious flavors and was the perfect winter dish!

I had the autumn pot roast, with whipped sweet potatoes and seasonal roasted vegetables.

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The roasted vegetables and whipped sweet potatoes were the perfect compliment to the tender beef.

And Jeffrey enjoyed his grilled cheese in between pretending to bowl.

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Punch Bowl Social really is a great spot for the whole family, from family-friendly brunch and lunch to adult fun in the evenings with great cocktails, bowling, and karaoke. And if you haven’t been in awhile, be sure to check out the delicious new seasonal menu items!

barre3, Bites, and Blog

On Saturday, I co-hosted “barre3, Bites, and Blog” with barre3 at Legacy Village.

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We had an awesome turnout of strong ladies, many of whom had never taken a barre class before. Liz Ferrante, the studio owner, led us through a challenging and centering hour-long class that gave those new to barre3 a great sense of what the classes entail.

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We laughed, sweat, and generally had a great time together! After class, we enjoyed some delicious and healthy nibbles generously provided by Luna Bakery & Cafe and Whole Foods.

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Luna made granola and yogurt cups with fresh berries and gluten-free lemon zucchini walnut muffins, which were amazingly moist and yummy! We also got to try some tasty Health Warrior chia bars and sparkling water courtesy of Whole Foods.

We also had fun raffles for the class attendees, with shirts from barre3 and some great local items purchased at Banyan Tree and Merchant’s Mrkt at Legacy Village.

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This event combined so many things I’m passionate about: fierce and inspiring ladies, local businesses supporting each other, and finding fitness that makes you feel strong and centered.

Thanks so much to Liz and the whole team at barre3 Legacy Village for making this event happen and to all the awesome ladies who spent part of their Saturday sweating and shaking with me!

So, how was your weekend?

***Disclosure: I was invited by the Great Lakes Science Center to visit All Aboard! The Science of Trains and received two complimentary admission tickets. I was invited by Punch Bowl Social to a complimentary lunch featuring new menu items. I was asked by barre3 Legacy Village to co-host and promote an event and in exchange, I received a complimentary 5-class pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Terrestrial Brewing Company!

Last night, the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter hosted a happy hour at Terrestrial Brewing Company.

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Not only is Terrestrial Brewing a hot new brewery on the Cleveland craft beer scene, it’s also co-owned by Ryan Bennett, a John Carroll alumni from my class (you don’t need to know what year that is ;-)).

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Ryan partnered with Ralph Sgro, who worked at Platform Beer Co. previously, to open a small-batch, neighborhood brewery in the Battery Park Powerhouse. Terrestrial Brewing does very little distribution, but rather focuses on creating unique beers that draw people in to their bar for pints and conversation.

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For my libations yesterday, I enjoyed the Feisty, a Belgian blonde brewed with jalapenos that really had a kick. I also had the Space Chimp, a witbier with guava and passion fruit. The small-batch system at Terrestrial Brewing allows the brewer to be creative and experiment with different flavors and styles. Ralph even created a beer brewed with gummy worms!

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Terrestrial Brewing seeks to be a easy-going, neighborhood brewpub catering to the residents of the Battery Park area. It’s dog-friendly, as evidenced by the water bowl club (your pup can have his own water bowl with his name on it there).

It’s also a business that knows the value of partnering with other local businesses. The Terrestrial Brewing mug club features beautiful, hand-crafted mugs from The Glass Bubble Project. Terrestrial Brewing is also co-hosting Carnivore Christmas with Saucisson on Monday, December 11.

It was great to not only check out a cool new brewery, but also support another John Carroll alum. If you’re looking for unique beers in a relaxed atmosphere, head on over to Terrestrial Brewing!

***Disclosure: I  am the president of the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? AMP 150 Winter Harvest Dinner!

Remember how I was just saying how Cleveland hotel restaurants elevate the “hotel restaurant” to a true dining destination? Well, AMP 150 was always at the forefront of that trend in Cleveland. The Winter Harvest Dinner on Friday, prepared by new Executive Chef Joseph Dubbs was a bounty of seasonal deliciousness and showed the quality for which AMP 150 has become known.

We started our evening with a craft cocktail with Cleveland Whiskey that had been finished in a maple syrup barrel. This innovative take on a whiskey sour even had me enjoying whiskey!

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The courses at the Winter Harvest Dinner were all served family style, which allowed us to get to know our tablemates and gave the event the feel of a holiday dinner. The first course featured butternut squash soup with lump crab…

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…lamb meatballs stuffed with feta and served with tzatziki sauce (my favorite of the first course)…

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…and Belgian endive stuffed with bleu cheese and topped with crispy prosciutto.

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The second course featured lots of elements traditionally found in a Thanksgiving meal, but with a gourmet, AMP 150 twist. There were Brussels sprouts au gratin, with so much cheese and bacon…

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…couscous with surprisingly tart cranberries…

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…sweet potato gnocchi with sage brown butter (oh, yes please)…

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…smoked pork loin with delicious pears and mustard…

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…and a beer-brined turkey with crispy sage.

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And, just like any holiday dinner, you keep eating long after you’re full! The third course featured a trio of tasty treats: pumpkin roll, key lime tarts, and dark chocolate bark with pistachio, cherry, and candied pineapple.

We also enjoyed another Cleveland Whiskey cocktail: a grown-up chocolate milk.

The seasonal harvest dinners at AMP 150 are not only a bounty of great food, but are also a great deal! $50 per person gets you all that food, plus drink pairings with each course. Stay tuned for the next one in April!

And if you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a holiday dinner without cooking, AMP 150 has both Thanksgiving and Christmas reservations available!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the AMP 150 Winter Harvest Dinner. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets for myself and 2 tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Legacy Village Home District Showcases!

As you prepare your home for the holidays, Legacy Village‘s Home District stores are here to help with expert decorating advice.

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Home District Showcases, which happen at LV Home District retailers on select Wednesdays, give you access to home design experts sharing their knowledge, plus light refreshments, prizes, and more.

Here are the upcoming events to get you prepared for the holiday season:

These all sound perfect for putting on fabulous holiday gatherings for family, friends, co-workers, neighbors… Can you tell I just adore holiday entertaining?!

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At each event, there will be light refreshments from Legacy Village restaurants, as well as the chance to win gift cards from the merchants. The events are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is encouraged. The Home District Showcases are sure to be a great way to get ready for the new season with a home decor refresh.

***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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Why? barre3, Bites, and Blog!

As you might have noticed, I’ve kind of gotten hooked on barre3 classes. I’ve been an exclusive yogi for so long that when my friend Sara dragged me to a barre3 class (with the promise of wine after), I went for the wine, let’s be honest.

But what I found at barre3 is an awesome fusion of barre, yoga, and Pilates that felt at once familiar and challenging. A barre3 class is an hour-long workout that targets your legs, arms, seat, and core. It gets your heart rate up, but also works in lots of good stretches too.

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The instructors are supportive and offer tons of modifications throughout the class. The studio is bright, light, and inviting. The jams are pumping. And the workout leaves you feeling strong and centered.

Since I started taking barre3 classes, I’ve been able to increase my hand weight level by a pound each. I’ve also noticed that my balance poses in yoga are stronger and more balanced because my core and seat are stronger. The classes really make a difference!

And barre3 offers a Play Lounge during select classes, where Jeffrey can have fun while I take my hour to work and reboot. We both have a great time and leave feeling refreshed. What could be better than that?

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Now, I think all of this should sell you on trying barre3. But I get that sometimes it takes a friend and some wine to motivate you to try a new workout. Which is where barre3, Bites, and Blog comes in.

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On Saturday, November 18 at 1:30pm, join me at barre3 Legacy Village for a complimentary, hour-long Barre3 class taught by studio owner Liz Ferrante. Then stick around for some sips and nibbles, conversation with Liz and me, and some cool Cleveland-themed raffles.

I promise you that you’ll leave feeling great and you might even find a new workout to love! Space is limited, so register today! Click here to register for barre3, Bites, and Blog! I’m so excited to be partnering with a spot that I love. I hope you’ll join me and love it too!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Barre3 Legacy Village to partner on an event open to Why CLE? followers. In exchange, I will receive a complimentary class pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a fun and busy pre-Halloween weekend! Here’s what we were up to:

Story Time and Cupcakes

On Friday morning, Jeffrey and I attended a sweet event at White Flower Cake Shoppe in Solon. We were treated to two Halloween stories…

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…and instruction on how to decorate Halloween cupcakes with White Flower’s famous and fabulous buttercream icing.

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Each child attending received 4 cupcakes to decorate.

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And while ours didn’t quite look like the example cupcakes…

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…they were still VERY tasty!

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Story Time and Cupcakes was only $10 and was a fun and unique activity. The next Story Time and Cupcakes is scheduled for Friday, December 22 with a holiday theme. Click here to learn more!

Playhouse Square Children’s Theater Series: Hansel and Gretel

For the second year, we bought tickets for the Playhouse Square Children’s Theater Series. The Series includes 4 shows between October and May. The shows are age-appropriate in theme and length and are a great way to introduce children to live theater.

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The first show of the Series was “Hansel and Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat.” The show was fun and engaging, with lots of great musical numbers, creative costumes and sets, and a talented cast. This was Jeffrey’s first exposure to a true musical and he almost immediately asked if he could get up and dance during the show!

Tickets are still available for the other three shows in the series: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” in January, “The Gruffalo” in March, and “Guess How Much I Love You and I Love My Little Storybook” in May. If you have a child that you want to introduce to the theater, this is the perfect way to do it!

Willoughby Brewing Company

After the show, we stopped for lunch at Willoughby Brewing Company. Matthew and I always enjoy their in-house craft brews (he had the classic Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter and I had the Pumpkin Ale) and Jeffrey enjoys the trains and cheeseburgers!

Matthew ordered the BrewCo Burger, with bacon jam, fried egg, marinated tomatoes, and beer cheese.

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It was messy and delicious!

I had the lemon garlic parmesan shrimp pasta, with a generous amount of shrimp, red peppers, spinach, and pappardelle.

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It was light and flavorful! We all enjoyed our post-show lunch!

John Carroll University Homecoming and Family Weekend

On Sunday, we all headed up to my alma mater, John Carroll University for Mass and brunch as part of Homecoming and Family Weekend. I always love having Jeffrey up on campus running around my old stomping grounds! This time, he tried to open up my old mailbox.

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I had the worst mailbox location!

If you’re an alum in the Cleveland area, join the Cleveland Alumni Chapter for a social at Terrestrial Brewing Company on Thursday, November 16 starting at 5:30pm. Registration is free and there will be complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Click here to learn more and register.

Halloween Party

From there, we had more Halloween fun in store for Jeffrey. My grandfather recently moved into an assisted living facility, which hosted a Halloween party for the families of the residents. There was trick or treating, a piñata, and pizza, punch, and cookies.

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But the best part was seeing Jeffrey have quality time with his great grandfather! Jeffrey is lucky enough to still have two great grandfathers and time with them is so valuable and enriching.

So, that was our weekend! Are you ready for Halloween? Like us, are you already on candy overload?!

***Disclosure: I am the president of the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? AMP 150 Winter Harvest Dinner Giveaway!

AMP 150 has always been a restaurant committed to seasonal, farm-to-table offerings. The restaurant even has it’s own garden on site to maximize freshness. On Friday, November 10, AMP 150 will host it’s Winter Harvest Dinner, celebrating the tastiest of what the winter season holds.

This family-style meal includes three generous courses, all expertly paired with drinks, for just $50 per person.

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The Winter Harvest Dinner includes delicious food such as butternut squash soup with lump crab, maple-brined smoked pork tenderloin and glazed pears, sweet potato gnocchi with sage brown butter, and dark chocolate bark.

You can make reservations for the Winter Harvest Dinner now by calling AMP 150 at (216) 706-8787. Or you can enter to win two tickets to the Winter Harvest Dinner right here!

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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.Check out the Winter Harvest Dinner menu and leave a comment here telling me which item looks most tempting.

2. Visit AMP 150 and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @amp150cleveland and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @amp150cleveland 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 attend the @amp150cleveland Winter Harvest Dinner thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2017/10/27/why-amp-150-winter-harvest-dinner-giveaway-2 

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

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, November 1 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the AMP 150 Winter Harvest Dinner. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary tickets for myself and 2 tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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