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)…

IMG_0304

…to seeing the gardens in spring bloom…

IMG_0297

…to meeting the Easter Bunny…

IMG_0288

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

IMG_0291

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…

39205C42-1214-41FC-A060-5D21BFE1EAE1

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

IMG_0316

…to church and dinner with my family on Sunday…

IMG_0327

…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!

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It was another fun weekend, with checking out some small local businesses and catching some theater too…

Junie B. Jones

On Saturday, we had the last show in this season of Playhouse Square’s Children’s Theater Series.

IMG_0158

The show was “Junie B. Jones,” a musical version of the book series. The show followed the adventures of Junie B., an inquisitive first grader. The songs were fun and accessible for kids and the story was light-hearted with a lesson.

We love attending the Children’s Theater Series shows and are excited for next season!

Elegant Ice Creations

Saturday afternoon, we had a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Elegant Ice Creations workshop and handiwork.

Started by Aaron Costic, who began carving ice 25 years ago, the company has grown to an 8000 square foot studio that produces custom ice creations for special events, sports teams, business, and more.

IMG_0171

Aaron even won a gold medal for ice carving at the Turino Winter Olympics in 2006!

IMG_0167

Jeff Meyer, who gave us our tour, showed us some of the custom pieces waiting to be delivered…

IMG_0170

…as well as some of the custom ice cubes created there to make your cocktail just perfect.

IMG_0169

We also saw how the large blocks of ice are made…

IMG_0176

…and checked out a demonstration of the ice carving tools.

IMG_0183

What a cool (haha) local business!

Junker Fitness

On Sunday morning, I met up with a grade school classmate, Cindy, who invited me to check out a yoga class at Junker Fitness.

IMG_0196

Located in The Shoreway apartment building in Battery Park, Junker Fitness’s studio offers HIIT, yoga, and beach burn classes. They have a rooftop deck that overlooks Edgewater Park that is the perfect spot for summer yoga.

IMG_0198

Unfortunately, the weather kept our class inside on Sunday, but we still enjoyed a great flow, with lots of active stretching as well as vinyasa.

Junker Fitness also offers personal training that meets you where you are, both in terms of ability and location. Junker Fitness staff will travel to the gym close to you and work with you to build a program that suits your needs.

Plus, I had the opportunity to chat with the owners, Jack and his wife Stephanie, who are super personable, down-to-earth, and committed to becoming an active part of the community where the studio is located.

I can’t wait to head back to check out a rooftop yoga class…and I have some free class passes, so if you’re interested, hit me up in the comments!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a class at Junker Fitness. I received a complimentary class and class passes for a return visit. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Astoria

After our yoga class, I headed to brunch with the Junker Fitness team. We went to nearby Astoria, which was on my must-try list for awhile!

IMG_0201

While waiting for a table, we perused the market and wine shop and sipped mimosas, which is the best way to wait for a table ever!

IMG_0200

I had the seafood frittata, with a poached egg, potato and onion frittata, scallops, crab, and Hollandaise. Such a delicious brunch creation!

IMG_0202

I definitely want to go back and do a deeper dive into Astoria’s wine and charcuterie, too!

What a fun weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from breaking in the new Lindey’s Lake House, we had a very theatrical weekend, so let’s get on with the show…

Beck Center for the Arts

On Friday, Matthew and I went to see a performance of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” at Beck Center for the Arts.

IMG_0013

Held in the intimate Studio Theater, you felt as if you were in Emerson’s Bar and Grill in Philadelphia in 1959.

IMG_0016

The show dramatically recreates a performance given by Billie Holiday a mere four months before her death. Her classic songs are interwoven with funny and tragic stories from her troubled life.

Nicole Sumlin is brilliant as Billie Holiday and the practically one-woman show left us riveted.

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” continues at Beck Center for the Arts through April 14. You can purchase tickets online.

Community theater is a vital part of our arts community and Beck Center not only allows performers and audiences a chance to enjoy great shows, but it also furthers arts education.

IMG_0012

Beck Center for the Arts offers multiple theater experiences, from shows suited for adults and families alike. Check out their upcoming shows, including “King Lear” and “Matilda the Musical.” Beck Center also offers educational programs, with a full array of summer camps.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a performance of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” at Beck Center. I received two complimentary tickets to the performance. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sesame Street Live

From jazz and blues and tales of addiction to magic and sing-alongs and inspiration, we shifted gears and attended Sesame Street Live Make Your Magic on Saturday.

IMG_0029

Jeffrey felt like he might be a little big for Sesame Street Live, but as soon as the show started, he was transported and thoroughly enjoyed the songs and story.

IMG_0041

Elmo and Abby and friends learned not only how to perform magic tricks, but also how to find wonder if the every day happenings of life.

It was a fun, vibrant performance that we left singing.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Sesame Street Live. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets to the show.***

How was your weekend? Did you get outside and enjoy the glorious weather?

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.

IMG_9998

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).

IMG_9999

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.

IMG_0003

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

IMG_0004

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.

IMG_0006

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

IMG_0007

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!

Happy Home Opener, Cleveland! There may be snow on the ground, but the home opener means summer is just around the corner…

So, how did I fill the chilly last weekend of March? Let’s get to it…

Brewery Crawl

On Saturday, Matthew and I met up with our friends Ritch and Denise for a brewery crawl. Ritch has a goal of hitting a certain number of Cleveland breweries by a certain birthday (numbers withheld because we’re all getting older), plus it was just Denise’s birthday, so what a fun way to celebrate!

IMG_9857

We started at Saucy Brew Works, where we love the food just as much as we love the beer.

F407052F-9069-4D21-8621-817A613BACEA

We shared the Nashville Hot Chicken and Bees Knees pizzas and definitely couldn’t decide which we enjoyed more.

From there, it was a short walk to Bookhouse Brewing. This cozy, bookstore style brewery made us want to sit there all day. I had a sampler and really enjoyed all the (fabulously-named) beers I tried: Patio Season, Maybe Partying Will Help, River of Memories, and Reasons to be Cheerful.

IMG_9855

Next up: Brick and Barrel Brewing, where we played board games while enjoying our brews. I had a Roasted Out of My Gord pumpkin porter, because if this cold weather is sticking around, so is my love for porters and stouts.

Our final stop was Terrestrial Brewing Company, which was filled with great beer, but also with sweet fuzzes. I love bars that are dog friendly. I spent most of my time hanging out with the pets (sorry, friends).

IMG_9862

It was a fun afternoon and such a great reminder of how many awesome breweries we have in Cleveland, who are putting out creative, delicious beer! We also picked up a bunch of stamps in our Cleveland Brewery Passport!

Monsters Purple Game

That evening, we picked up Jeffrey and headed to the Cleveland Monsters Purple Game, to benefit the American Cancer Society, Ohio.

751DF8F3-C808-4DDD-8508-3542E9B336CD

We had so much fun (and amazing seats). The Monsters games are action-packed and really family-friendly, which make them a favorite sporting event choice for us.

IMG_9864

Plus, the Monsters commitment to the American Cancer Society was really touching and made it an even better night out.

The Monsters auctioned off a special commemorative purple jersey to raise funds, as well as showing videos throughout the game and having people make support signs for those in their life impacted by cancer.

When everyone waved their purple rally towels, it was a sight to see!

IMG_9878

Stay tuned for my on my growing involvement with the American Cancer Society…

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote the Purple Game. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets and a parking pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Superstar and Nuevo Modern Mexican

I had a Sunday Funday with my mom, when we attended “Superstar: The Songs. The Stories. The Carpenters.” at Playhouse Square. I got Mom the tickets for her birthday and have to admit to not being a huge Carpenters fan going in to the show. But, the music was great!

IMG_9897

I had no idea going in that Helen Welch, the lead singer, is a Cleveland resident who has performed at places like Nighttown, so the local connection had me enjoying the show even more.

After the show, we grabbed dinner at Nuevo Modern Mexican. There’s something about having guacamole and a margarita while it’s snowing that just makes you feel like you’re shaking your fist at the weather.

IMG_9899

Gosh, I can’t wait for patio season!

We shared the habanero jelly guacamole and then I had the Cuban sandwich, which was meaty and flavorful!

IMG_9900

For dessert, I had the manzana gallette because I seriously cannot pass up an apple dessert.

IMG_9901

It was a great way to end a great weekend! How was yours? What are you doing to celebrate the Home Opener?

jenclesig_pur

 

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.

IMG_9584

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.

IMG_9652

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.

IMG_9613

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

IMG_9575

We also took a stroll down A1A…

IMG_9594

…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!

IMG_9590

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.

IMG_9620

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!

IMG_9631

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

IMG_9641

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

IMG_9662

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!

IMG_9665

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

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend, which is exactly what I needed after just returning from a trip (and traveling again this week!)

Yoga Roots 30+ Social

On Saturday evening, I attended a social for everyone who reached 30 or more classes in the Yoga Roots fall challenge. Of 186 people who participated in the fall challenge, 27 of us reached 30+ classes!

Held at the home of studio owners Scott and Kim, the social was a great chance to celebrate reaching 30+ classes, meet other yogis, and see each other in something other than yoga pants! I was surprised how many of us didn’t know each other, just from being on different class schedules!

There were delicious nibbles from the studio’s neighbors: Gigi’s on Fairmount and On the Rise. I could eat Gigi’s bruschetta and On the Rise’s raspberry bars all day! And there were custom cookies from Sarah, one of the Yoga Roots teachers.

IMG_9415

I’ve talked before about really finding a home at Yoga Roots and Saturday night was just another example of why that is so true. Yoga Roots is genuinely a community, not just a studio, which is what keeps me coming back (and has me geared up for the spring challenge, too)!

Family Yoga

Sunday morning, we attended the monthly Family Yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. This has become one of our favorite family activities. Each month, the class is a bit different, but always explores mindful movement, breath work, and meditation in a way that’s fun for all ages.

This month, the kids participated in an obstacle course that involved my friend Robin and I being bridges in both down dog and plank as the kids crawled under us!

IMG_9419.jpg

So, we got some exercise in too! The next Family Yoga class takes place Sunday, April 14, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Cost to attend is free for Mandel JCC members and $10 for non-members. You can sign up online.

Piston Powered Auto-Rama

On Sunday, my dad took Jeffrey to the I-X Center for the Piston Powered Auto-Rama.

A love for cars is something Dad and Jeffrey have shared basically since Jeffrey was born and seeing the joy they both get from sharing car experiences is so fulfilling.

JV1A5916

Jeffrey got to sit in the world’s fastest car…

JV1A5929

…as well as see dragons and robots, so the afternoon was a total win for him!

St. Patrick’s Day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my parents’ house, with plenty of corned beef and Great Lakes Brewing Company Conway’s Irish Ale.

IMG_9424

It was a lovely, quiet weekend! How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Hey, hey, it’s March! We welcomed the new month with a fun weekend out and about in Cleveland.

Home Cooking

But before we were out and about, we were in and cozy. On Friday night, I made BBQ chicken mac ‘n cheese (recipe here).

IMG_9067

Before I made the mac, I cooked the chicken wrapped in foil packets at 250 degrees for 2 hours. This made the chicken tender and perfect to fork shred, which was the exact right consistency for the mac ‘n cheese.

Pair this with Matthew’s homemade Old Fashioned and you have a perfect little Friday evening meal!

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we had the third of four shows in the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square. This one was “Emily Brown and the Thing,” about a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who have many adventures after bedtime.

050A5A41-CA8F-4D64-86BA-D0A7D930E088.jpg

We didn’t know the story going in and found the show to be engaging and funny. I love taking Jeffrey to see live theater, especially in the incredible theaters at Playhouse Square!

Lunch in Ohio City

From there, we headed over to Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch. I always enjoy going to the brewpub because, while you can find Great Lakes beer all over, there’s always something special on tap at the pub.

I tried the Imperial Buzzcut Nut Brown Ale, brewed with honey and hazelnuts, and Matthew had the same. We both really enjoyed this smoothy, nutty beer!

To eat, I had the Fitzgerald burger, with bacon, smoked cheddar, Edmund Fitzgerald BBQ sauce, and onion straws.

IMG_9074

Flavorful and juicy, this was one delicious burger! The fries were particularly good, too!

Matthew had the Sweet & Salty Pork pizza, with smoked pulled pork, cucumber, green pepper, onion, mozzarella, goat cheese, garlic oil, and orange lavender honey.

IMG_9075

He ate the entire pizza (!), so my guess is that it was quite tasty!

Jeffrey loved his chicken fingers, too! The brewpub atmosphere for a weekend lunch is wonderful for kids, too!

From there, we had to stop to get dessert at Mitchell’s Ice Cream!

BC817865-91E4-4CC0-96A3-8F967BC12628

The Buckeye Sundae was the perfect sweet treat. Jeffrey is pretty much all of us when it comes to Mitchell’s…

IMG_9077

What a fun family day!

***Disclosure: I received a gift card from Great Lakes Brewing Company as part of my partnership with Lyft. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sprinkle

On Sunday, I attended a Sprinkle for my dear friend Mariah, who is expecting a little girl in May. While Mariah has two boys already, it was so fun to fete her new arrival with lots of pink clothes and toys.

I also had to snag her this adorable onesie from Anne Cate!

IMG_9094

We had a great ladies lunch, with bellinis, homemade pesto and chicken, salad, fruit, and pastries from Luna Bakery & Café.

IMG_9086

It was a lovely way to celebrate a lovely lady!

IMG_9108

So that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from Jumping Back Across the Pond, we had some other fun things going on this weekend…

Lunch and a Movie

Jeffrey didn’t have school on Friday, so we met up with his best buddy and little brother for lunch and a movie. We started at Yours Truly at Shaker Square. It’s delicious diner-style food makes it a great choice for a wide age range.

IMG_8920

The kids enjoyed chicken fingers, cheeseburger, and grilled cheese. I had a most tasty tuna melt (my favorite sandwich) on grilled rye and my friend had the Tuscan chicken wrap.

IMG_8921

Quick, yummy, and friendly…Yours Truly is always a favorite stop.

From there, we took the kids to see “How to Train Your Dragon 3,” which we all agreed was our favorite of the series!

IMG_8922

What a fun little Friday afternoon!

Paczki Party

If you live in Cleveland, you’ve heard about paczki, a Polish donut-like treat that’s popular for Fat Tuesday. On Sunday, Michael Angelo’s Bakery and Winery hosted a Paczki Party that combined Polish paczki and pierogi and polkas with Mardi Gras-themed elements.

IMG_8990

The paczki were plentiful and delicious, with traditional flavors like apricot, prune, and poppyseed, as well as more modern flavors like strawberry mousse, custard, and peanut butter.

There were also kids crafts and face painting, which Jeffrey really enjoyed.

Michael Angelo’s has some of the tastiest paczki you’ll find and this was a great way to get a head start on enjoying them.

Cleveland Yoga

It’s not really a surprise that I spent time at a yoga studio over the weekend, but on Sunday night I ventured from my home studio to take a class at Cleveland Yoga in Beachwood.

Ylonda, one of my first yoga teachers, teaches there and had promised to play her electric cello during savasana at her classes this week. I couldn’t miss that combination!

Ylonda is an accomplished cellist, a challenging yoga teacher, and an all-around amazing soul. I always leave her classes feeling physically and emotionally charged up! It was the perfect way to end the weekend and get motivated for the week ahead!

How was your weekend? What do you do to recharge for the week ahead?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Jump Back Ball!

Saturday was the annual Jump Back Ball put on by Playhouse Square Partners. This year’s theme was Jump Back Across the Pond and the guests came decked out as everything from royalty to musicians to wizards.

IMG_8961

 

The VIP Party had the royal family make an appearance…

IMG_8955

…including the Queen’s corgi (in reality, Murray, who belongs to Beard and the Broad).

IMG_8953

 

We also enjoyed specialty cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Pope’s Kitchen, high tea inspired appetizers from The Driftwood Group, and music from North Coast String Quartet.

IMG_8958

Then it was off to the main event, with more great food and drinks, music from Abby Normal & the Detroit Lean on the main stage and Faction on the late night stage, and tons of fun British-themed photo opps, all created by Playhouse Square Partners members.

IMG_8980

This was our eighth Jump Back Ball and I’m amazed how, every year, we have such an incredible time at this truly unique, fun, epic event!

IMG_8970

Oh, and did I mention it’s all to benefit Playhouse Square’s community outreach and education initiatives, such as the Dazzle Awards and the Disney Musicals in Schools program?

What a bloody brilliant evening! Stay tuned for next year’s theme announcement and ticket sales kickoff in Fall 2019!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. I am also the co-chair of the Communications Committee for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur