Why? Weekends!

What a glorious summer weekend! We had so much fun, so let’s get right to it…

Safety Town Graduation

Friday morning, Jeffrey graduated from Mentor’s Safety Town.

IMG_1459

The program was really well put together, with fun crafts and songs each day and great teen helpers. Plus, Jeffrey would come each day last week and be able to tell me exactly what he learned about fire, water, traffic, bus, stranger, and gun safety.

I’m so proud of our little graduate!

Zippity Zoo Doo

On Friday evening, Matthew and I attended the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s annual Zippity Zoo Doo fundraiser.

IMG_1489

The event not only raises money for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo‘s conservation efforts and educational programming, but it also puts a swanky cocktail party right in the middle of Wilderness Trek!

IMG_1506

We were able to explore Asian Highlands and the Rosebrough Tiger Passage while sipping cocktails and nibbling on small bites.

Driftwood Catering did a great job with the food, with everything from corn soup shooters and mini chorizo tacos passed around to lamb chop with couscous and chicken nachos to sit and enjoy.

The cocktails were delicious too…this Bourbon-y Arnold Palmer was my favorite!

IMG_1474

We also got to feel like a kid again with Art of Sucre‘s delicious and fun cotton candy cart (I had the pink lemonade and champagne flavors combined into light, fluffy goodness).

IMG_1493

From food to friends to fun to philanthropy, Zippity Zoo Doo had it all!

IMG_1469

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

LaureLive

On Saturday, we met up with friends for some fun and music in the sun at LaureLive.

I was a little apprehensive about taking Jeffrey to a music festival, but he had a rockin’ good time! Check out this awesome “air guitar” from the local Original Air Guitar!

IMG_1532

They had a promo giveaway at LaureLive and I don’t think Jeffrey has put the guitar down since.

The weather was perfect for sitting outside and listening to a lot of great local and even international bands. I was impressed with how the festival switched from stage to stage so there was almost no break in the music and you could easily hear and see all the acts.

IMG_1514

The food selection was awesome, with lots of food trucks and vendors to pick from. I grabbed lunch from Wok on the Wild Side and it was so yummy! And who can resist Luna Bakery and Cafe‘s macarons?!

When the kids got fidgety, there were bounce houses, face painting, and balloon artists to keep them happy.

And while we started too early in the day to make it all the way to Hozier, we did have an awesome time and were really impressed with the whole LaureLive experience!

Cedar Point Shores

The summer fun continued on Sunday with our first trip of the season to Cedar Point Shores, where Jeffrey went on water slides and I worked on my “mom tan” (you haven’t been laying out in the sun, you’re just outside chasing after someone).

IMG_1579

All in all, it was a busy, perfect summer weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend of celebrating the start of Jeffrey’s summer break and our seventh anniversary. Here’s how we acknowledged those special occasions:

Cedar Point

On Friday, Jeffrey and I kicked off his summer break by taking a trip to our favorite summertime spot: Cedar Point.

IMG_1266

This is the third year we’ve gotten season passes (Jeffrey has the awesome Pre-K Pass, which is such a good deal). I love the ability to go up there as many times as we want, stay as long as we want without feeling pressured to do everything in one trip, and save on food and merchandise purchases and parking.

Jeffrey loves the spinny rides and I did my best to hang in there with him!

IMG_1296

We also checked out the special Monster Jam Thunder Alley area, which is happening through June 30.

You can climb up into some of the trucks and even take a ride in a monster truck!

It honestly felt like summer as soon as we arrived and we can’t wait for lots more trips to Cedar Point this season!

IMG_1297

Art in the Village

Saturday morning, Jeffrey and I met up with friends to check out Legacy Village‘s annual Art in the Village.

We strolled through all the talented vendors from Northeast Ohio and beyond, listened and danced to live music, and let the kids run around the lawn. All in all, a pretty nice way to spend a couple hours!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

An Evening in Coventry Village

On Saturday, Matthew and I had a date night in Coventry Village. We started with dinner at Pacific East. We shared the massive and delicious Sushi Bridge, with sashimi, nigiri, a California roll, and a spicy tuna roll.

IMG_1326

We also shared the roti canai appetizer. Pacific East has a huge menu with both Japanese and Malaysian cuisine, so everyone can find something to suit their tastes.

From there, we headed to Grog Shop to hear my dear friend Melissa and her School of Rock classmates rock out in an awesome performance.

IMG_1334

Melissa started taking drum lessons at School of Rock earlier this year and she’s already a total pro on the drums! I was so proud of her for learning a new skill and totally killing her gig.

And if you haven’t been to Grog Shop, it is such a cool, funky place to see live music (with a killer local craft beer selection), so check it out!

IMG_1328

Seventh Anniversary

On Sunday, Matthew and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary.

61910914_2447052825325931_4268316555776884736_n
Photo Credit: New Image Photography

We spent the day doing yoga, playing with Jeffrey in the backyard, and making dinner at home, so it was pretty perfect!

I made this delicious paella (recipe here), which was packed with everything from chorizo to chicken to shrimp to clams to lobster.

B8EAE44A-6A50-4E82-90A4-E47ED3E298C2

It was a lovely, relaxed day and a wonderful way to celebrate seven great years!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a long holiday weekend and the unofficial start of summer, so of course there was lots of fun to be had…

Goldfish Swim School

Crazy early on Friday morning, Jeffrey and I headed to Goldfish Swim School – Cleveland East Side as part of a segment on WKYC on swimming safety.

Jeffrey got to spend an hour taking a swim lesson, while WKYC did various live shots. He had a great time just doing something he enjoys anyway (albeit usually not that early!)

IMG_1102

You can see Jeffrey swimming along here and here.

We’ve been so happy with his progress at Goldfish Swim School, not only in swim skills, but also in self-confidence! We definitely feel confident going into the summer season that he is ready for all the pool and water fun the season brings!

Luca West

On Saturday evening, my mom and I met up for a Girls’ Night Out at Luca West.

IMG_1136

From perfect cocktails to delicious food, this is a great spot to dine! We started with an appetizer course of the Sacchetti, white truffle and ricotta-stuffed sacchetti pasta with white truffle and aged fig balsamic.

IMG_1137

This is one rich dish, but so worth the indulgence! Pro tip: use the bread to sop up the extra sauce!

For our entrees, we both chose veal: grilled veal chop with truffle butter for Mom and veal piccata for me. Both were served with roasted potatoes and asparagus.

We both cleaned our plates! The veal was tender, the piccata sauce was bright and citrusy, and the sides were the perfect compliment.

For dessert, we went with a trio of traditional choices: crème brûlée (so smooth and creamy), cannoli, and tiramisu (light and fluffy perfection). All were delicious and left us with something to take home to our husbands, too!

IMG_1140

I am always so impressed with the food and the service at Luca West…truly a fabulous place to enjoy an Italian feast!

Tremont Greek Fest

On Sunday, we crossed another item off my 2019 Blog Bucket List at the Tremont Greek Fest.

IMG_1147

The festival offers lots of traditional Greek food prepared from family recipes, from gyros to souvlaki to lamb shank. You can grab a gyro to go or stay and enjoy a full dinner platter.

Matthew had the jumbo gyro and I had the souvlaki pita. Both were so flavorful!

IMG_1148

Of course, we couldn’t skip the pastry table. The baklava was nutty, sticky goodness!

There are also vendors, Greek music and dancing, and a couple carnival-style games.

IMG_1150

Festivals always say summertime to me, so it was great to spend the unofficial kick-off to summer at a festival that I’ve always wanted to attend!

Jeffrey’s Birthday

Monday brought Jeffrey’s 5th birthday!

img_1194

Since we had his big party last weekend, we spent the day with our parents and him, playing in the backyard, exchanging presents, and of course eating.

img_1183

I made grilled garlic tequila lime flank steak (recipe here), street corn (recipe here), guacamole, and salsa, so we could all build our own perfect platter of Mexican-style deliciousness.

img_1178

For dessert, we went with our go-to Mitchell’s Ice Cream for a build-your-own-sundae bar.

img_1188

It was a lovely, relaxed afternoon celebrating our favorite young man!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend of celebrating, so let’s get right to it…

Wedding

On Saturday, Matthew and I attended Jillian and Patrick’s wedding at the InterContinental Cleveland.

IMG_0896

Both the ceremony and the reception were held at the InterContinental and I was amazed at how quickly the room transformed from the ceremony venue to a beautiful reception venue.

The food was delicious!

IMG_0902

We had New York Strip, grilled shrimp, truffle risotto, and grilled asparagus, plus a grilled Caesar salad, yummy passed appetizers (we made very good friends with the ceviché server), and tasty cake.

And there were some surprise guests during the dancing: the Tribe Hot Dogs!

IMG_7747

Here you can see me not at all maintaining my cool while dancing with Mustard. And Mom and I had to get a snap with our favorite lady hot dog: Onion.

IMG_0921

It was a lovely ceremony and a fun reception! Jillian is my (step)dad’s daughter and so it was even more special to see the love and pride he had in walking her down the aisle, giving a toast, and dancing the Father-Daughter dance.

Jeffrey’s 5th Birthday Party

On Sunday, we hosted Jeffrey’s 5th birthday party at our house. Jeffrey would want me to tell you that he doesn’t officially turn 5 until this coming weekend, though!

IMG_1003

The party was “space” themed and we certainly blasted off to a good time.

My dad was the grill master and made up tasty hot dogs and hamburgers from Pinzone’s Market Fresh Meats. The cake, cupcakes, and pastry tray for the grown-ups came from the always spot-on Michael Angelo’s Bakery.

My high school and college classmate Holly of Cupcakes by Holly created adorable sugar cookies

for the treat boxes.

IMG_0928

And the pièce de résistance: we surprised Jeffrey with a visit from the Euclid Beach Rocket Car.

IMG_0982

He was so shocked and took every single ride the car made while it was at the party.

IMG_0977

Both kids and adults had a blast (haha) riding around in this piece of Cleveland history.

IMG_0990

The Euclid Beach Rocket Car has it so many things I love: Cleveland nostalgia, fun music, that summery festival feel, and public spectacle 😉

And our driver Jen was so sweet, both before and during the party. If you’re looking to add some serious star power (I can’t stop the puns) to your next party, check ’em out!

IMG_0999

Even better than the Rocket Car was the chance to spend time with friends who have all been such a huge part of Jeffrey’s life and a huge support in ours these last five years (and longer).

I think our future astronaut had an out-of-this-world day!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend filled with yoga and family time, so pretty much a perfect one for me!

Balance and Brews

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Anne for Balance & Brews at Saucy Brew Works. Balance & Brews is a one-hour, all-levels vinyasa class held at various breweries around town. After your class, you can stay and enjoy a beer (one beer included with your class) and mingle with your fellow yogis.

I always enjoy these classes, not only because I get a beer after, but because of the opportunity to practice in very different environments. At Saucy, we were right out on the brewery floor, with lots of noises, smells, and activity happening around us. It’s a great way to practice being focused and staying in the moment.

And your reward for all that focus is pretty great too!

IMG_0777

I tried the Don’t Stop Wit It Wit It, a Belgian Wit that is light, crisp, and perfect for summer sipping!

Check out Balance & Brews upcoming schedule, with classes at Masthead, Terrestrial, Great Lakes, Fat Head’s, CLE Urban Winery, and Market Garden.

Mother’s Day

The rest of the weekend was spent in various phases of Mother’s Day celebrating…

At school, Jeffrey made a Mother’s Day gift, themed on “Where the Wild Things Are.” Not only is it something I’ll treasure, but the pride he had in giving it to me was so sweet to see.

IMG_0770

Matthew and Jeffrey made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning and I even got a little treat from my “furry kids” too…

IMG_0774

Matthew found these adorable chocolate dogs at the Urban Farmer charity bake sale!

IMG_0775

Speaking of chocolate, he and Jeffrey also created a box of homemade treats for me: chocolate-covered strawberries and grapes! How sweet!

IMG_0782

We capped off our Mother’s Day celebrations with dinner at my parents’ house, complete with fabulous wine and some ridiculous triple crème brie.

IMG_0786

It was lovely and relaxed and a perfect weekend of feeling truly appreciated and loved!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

We weren’t about to let the chilly, damp, foggy weather get us down this weekend. Here’s what we were up to:

Azure Rooftop Lounge Summer Kick-Off

On Friday night, Matthew and I attended the Summer Kick-Off party at Azure Rooftop Lounge.

59532553_2703612152998745_4409374654850924544_o
Photo Credit: Orville McEachron Photography

Located on the 12th floor of The 9, Azure has stunning skyline views and an expansive outdoor space with bar seating, cozy couches, and some fabulous plant walls.

IMG_0610

We sampled some of the delicious food you can get at Azure, including Savory Ahi Tostadas, Shishito Peppers, Crab Cake Sliders, and delicious mini desserts.

We also sampled some of Azure’s signature cocktails, including boozy lemonade and strawberry mules.

IMG_0602

Azure Rooftop Lounge is now officially open for the season and is a fabulous spot for a summer cocktail (or two). Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 3-6pm and includes $2 off cocktails and sangria, $3 off wine, $1 off beer, and $9 starters.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Summer Kick-Off at Azure Rooftop Lounge with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Indians Game

Despite the weather on Saturday, we bundled up and headed to our first Cleveland Indians game of the season.

DB2BC15D-DDF4-4D5A-9AD4-A5E0D28CE1EE

We enjoyed the activities on the Family Deck and Jeffrey picked up his Tribe Town MVP kit, filled with fun Indians merchandise!

Even better, the Indians got a win over the Seattle Mariners! Despite the fact that it felt more like football weather, our first Tribe game of the season was a home run!

IMG_7683

Mommas and Margaritas

On Sunday, I hosted some of my mom friends for a Cinco de Mayo/Pre-Mother’s Day celebration. Appropriately titled, “Mommas and Margaritas,” we had margaritas, guacamole, salsa, hot corn chile dip (recipe here), and lots of laughs.

IMG_0642

I couldn’t do it without these ladies (and others in abstentia) and I was so glad we had a chance to celebrate an early Mother’s Day!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Oh, it was a weekend of eating! From Market at the Food Bank to our other weekend adventures, we enjoyed so much good food!

Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria

On Friday, we met up with Julia and Ben to help them get another entry in their Pizza Diaries series at Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria.

Biga is a favorite pizza spot for us. We love their selection of wood-fired, authentic pies, always focused on local, seasonal ingredients.

To make ourselves feel a little bit healthy, we started with the wood-roasted broccolini with lemon, parmesan, and garlic.

IMG_0405

Then it was into the pies. We shared the Biga Pesto (homemade pesto, roasted tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and mozzarella); the Cerino (house made sweet sausage, roasted artichokes, red sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil); and the Ramp (ramps, bacon, garlic, mozzarella, and rosemary cream).

IMG_0412

My favorite was the Cerino, which was well-balanced between toppings, sauce, and cheese and hit that “traditional pizza” taste on the head.

I’ll let Julia and Ben share more of our thoughts on the pizza, but suffice it to say, everyone left Biga feeling stuffed and happy!

Rosewood Grill 

On Sunday, I joined some fellow bloggers at a brunch at Rosewood Grill, which just rolled out their new brunch menu. We got an expansive taste of the menu and my biggest takeaway is how well-balanced it is.

There are plenty of sweet options, savory options, breakfast options, lunch options, salads, and decadent desserts. There’s something for every brunch taste, which is a tricky needle to thread.

IMG_0465

I started with the Good Morning Manhattan, with Watershed Private Barrel Bourbon, orange marmalade, and sherry. Who says bourbon isn’t for brunch?!

IMG_0452

Rosewood Grill treats brunch like a full meal, with appetizer and dessert options on the menu. Do not miss the Millionaire Bacon, crusted with brown sugar and cayenne!

IMG_0455

Or the Coo Coo 4 Cocoa Puffs, with boozy milk: a grown-up treat that will make you feel like a kid again!

IMG_0456

And I have two coupons to give away for a complimentary brunch appetizer at Rosewood Grill for the first two people to comment on this post!

If you’re into sweet brunch options, my personal favorite was the Brioche French Toast, with peanut butter mousse, bacon, strawberry, and Ohio maple syrup.

IMG_0464

The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with mixed berry compote will also satisfy your morning sweet tooth!

IMG_0463

On the savory side, the Fried Chicken Benny, with buttermilk biscuit, sausage gravy, egg, and hash browns…

IMG_0459

…the Sausage and Egg Tacos, with cheddar, peppers and onions, guacamole, and salsa roja, and the Short Rib Hash, with peppers, onions, sunny side up eggs, and creamy horseradish were all stand-outs.

IMG_0460

If you’re looking for something lighter, the Maine Lobster Chop, with asparagus, roasted corn, cucumber, tomato, scallions, and herb yogurt dressing is the perfect summer salad!

IMG_0476

And if you want decadence, look no further than the Chocolate Torte or Cherry Cobbler.

IMG_0479

Rosewood Grill’s brunch offers something for every taste (and you should taste all of it!) The food is flavorful, incorporates a lot of local ingredients, and is elevated while still being approachable. Brunch is offered at all three Rosewood Grill locations (Hudson, Strongsville, and Westlake) on both Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary brunch at Rosewood Grill. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So, that was our weekend: tons and tons of fabulous, local food. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Market at the Food Bank!

Last night was filled with food, philanthropy, and friends, as we attended the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Market at the Food Bank.

IMG_0491

Small bites from fabulous Cleveland restaurants fill the Greater Cleveland Food Bank warehouse. Some of our favorites included the brisket and pulled pork sliders from Landmark

…the Korean BBQ pork belly from Cleveland Marriott Key Tower

IMG_0484

…the sweet scoops from Mitchell’s Ice Cream

IMG_0501

…the spicy veggies from Townhall

IMG_0486

…and the cannoli from Mama Roberto’s.

IMG_0487

 

The event is always packed with some of our favorite chefs, as well as some of our favorite CLE-brities assisting as celebrity servers. It was great seeing John Selick from University Hospitals, Matt Fish from Melt Bar and Grilled, and Genevieve Larson from Strip Steakhouse. We also caught up with Jen Picciano from Cleveland 19 News and Leah Haslage from TV20 Cleveland.

IMG_0483

Of course, the real star of the evening was the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s Harvest for Hunger program. Being in the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s impressive warehouse helped to highlight the depth and breadth of the needs served by this organization. For every dollar raised last night, the Food Bank can provide 4 meals to the working poor, seniors, and children throughout our community.

IMG_0498

You can make a donation to the Harvest for Hunger campaign online.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help promote Market at the Food Bank. In exchange, I received two complimentary general admission tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

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