Why? Weekends!

There was lots of time with family and friends this weekend, which is just how a pre-holiday weekend should be…

#TWCChristmas

On Friday night, Alicia, Amanda, Kimberly, and I got together for my favorite grown-up holiday tradition: TWC Christmas (the name is a long story.)

We usually meet up at someone’s house, but everyone was feeling cooking-and-hosting overwhelmed this year, so we instead opted for dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants: Dante.

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From fabulous cocktails to delicious food, Dante is always a perfect spot for an evening out. I had the Wild Boar tenderloin, with honey roasted rutabaga & Brussel sprouts and chorizo potato hash.

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This dish was tender, flavorful, and plate-licking good.

We all shared desserts, but the favorite at the table was the Caramel Apple Walnut Blondie, with apple jam filling, streusel, cider caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream.

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After dinner, we walked over to The Spotted Owl for a Christmas nightcap.

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They have a special menu of holiday-themed drinks that are all guaranteed to make you merry. I had the Ginger All The Way and it was creamy, spicy perfection.

What a perfect night of fabulous food, drinks, and, most importantly, friends!

The Magic of Lights

On Saturday night, Jeffrey and I checked out The Magic of Lights at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

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There is a drive-through component, where you make your way through millions of dazzling Christmas lights, with themed areas like “Nativity,” “Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “Joy to the World.”

There is also Santa’s Holiday Village, where you can park and walk through the village with a light selfie tunnel…

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…inflatables…

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…”ice” bumper cars…

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…and lots of festive fun.

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The Magic of Lights takes place every day through Saturday, January 4. Tickets for a car are $20 in advance. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote The Magic of Lights. In exchange, I received a complimentary car ticket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Platform Pub Yoga

My Sunday started out on a funday note with Platform Pub Yoga. We enjoyed a great hour-long vinyasa flow taught by Alicia, then headed downstairs for a beer, a bagel sandwich, and lots of laughs.

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It’s so nice in this busy season to take a time-out for something that totally made me feel invigorated! Plus, part of the proceeds from the event benefited Providence House! The next Platform Pub Yoga happens on Sunday, January 26.

Neil Diamond Christmas

On Sunday night, Mom and I attended Neil Diamond Christmas at Music Box Supper Club.

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The Diamond Project Band did a fantastic job, playing both Christmas tunes and classic Neil Diamond hits.

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Mom and I had a blast singing along! What a fun way to end the pre-holiday weekend!

How was your weekend? Are you ready for the holiday week ahead?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend filled with holiday cheer, so let’s get right to it…

Country Lights

On Friday night, we went to Country Lights at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark. Country Lights quickly became one of our favorite holiday traditions.

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From the wonderful decorations both inside and out…

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…to the unique magic of building a toy with an elf helper in Santa’s workshop…

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Country Lights always delivers on the Christmas fun!

This event sells out quickly every year, so stay tuned for when tickets go on sale next fall!

Tannenbaum Trail

On Saturday, my friend Anne and I hit the Tannenbaum Trail, sponsored by the Ohio Wine Producers Association.

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For $65 per couple, you receive a small Christmas tree, as well as 2 wine tastes, a small bite, and an ornament at each of several Geneva-area wineries. You can even travel the Tannenbaum Trail over three weekends!

Anne and I were able to get to seven wineries on our adventure: Urban Vintner, Cask 307, Silver Crest Cellars, Stonegait Winery, Grand River Cellars, Debonné Vineyards, and South River Vineyard.

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The two tastes were just enough wine to allow us to experience the wineries, but still be able to get to a lot of different places. And the small bites were just the right amount of food!

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We ended our day at M Cellars, which was not on the Tannenbaum Trail, but is one of our favorite spots when we’re at the wineries.

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This is the second year that I’ve done the Tannenbaum Trail and I love growing my ornament collection and trying new wineries, plus seeing all the beautiful decorations in this festive season!

Kids Holiday Parties

On both Saturday and Sunday, we had kids’ holiday parties, with lots of Christmas crafts…

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…a Santa visit…

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…and lots of holiday cheer!

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It was a fun and festive weekend as we get ever closer to Christmas! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

When your weekend recap is essentially three blog posts, you know it was a good time!

John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa

On Sunday morning, the John Carroll Alumni Relations Office hosted their annual Breakfast with Santa on campus.

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The Breakfast with Santa includes a Mass in St. Francis Chapel, a buffet breakfast in the Dining Hall, crafts, a donation drive for Bellefaire JCB, and of course a chance to visit with Santa.

Jeffrey made a list before we went and presented it to Santa, who promised to take it back to the North Pole with him!

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We also had a chance to visit with the President of the University, Dr. Johnson, and his wife Jill, who are such wonderful assets to the university.

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I always love this event because I can catch up with college friends and see how our kids have now become friends, too!

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It was a fabulous holiday morning!

Mean Girls

On Sunday night, Alicia brought me as her guest to see “Mean Girls” at Playhouse Square. Before the show, we grabbed cocktails and appetizers at Republic Food and Drink.

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We both love their selection of bourbon cocktails (I had the rye old fashioned). We also devoured the Warm Bavarian Pretzel Sticks with cheddar-beer sauce and the Warm Street Corn Dip, with sweet corn, white cheddar, cilantro, and lime, served with corn tortilla chips.

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Then it was over to the show. Alicia and I both had the chance last week thanks to Playhouse Square to interview the actors portraying “The Plastics,” so it was especially fun to see them in action after getting the chance to know them a bit off-stage.

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The show is energetic and hilarious and has all the best lines that you love from the movie version, plus updated jokes for 2019. And boy, can the cast sing and dance! I absolutely loved the performance! “Mean Girls” is at Playhouse Square through Sunday, December 22, so don’t miss your chance to get in on the fun!

So, that was my weekend in (three) nutshells. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Legacy Village Sip, Shop, & Stroll!

On Saturday night, Jeffrey and I stopped up at Legacy Village for a holiday Sip, Shop, & Stroll. Legacy Village is festive anyway, with the big tree and the “Create Joy” sign, but they added even more merriment on Saturday night.

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There was an ice carving demonstration from Elegant Ice Creations

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…complimentary s’mores supplies, with fires for roasting the marshmallows…

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…Christmas carols playing and great photo opps, including the iconic #TheLand sign from Destination Cleveland.

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You can also grab a festive beverage from BRIO or Bar Louie in a to-go cup and then walk around the Lawn and shops with it!

I tried the Santa’s Reindeer Fuel from Bar Louie, with Bulleit Rye, maple syrup, lemon, apple puree, and candied bacon. Yummy!

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The next Sip, Shop, & Stroll happens on Saturday, December 21, just in time to help you get your last-minute shopping done! From 5-8pm, enjoy all the fun mentioned above, plus special discounts at select retailers like L.L. Bean, LOFT, White House Black Market, Banyan Tree, Merchant’s Mrkt, Lilly Pulitzer, and more.

There’s no better place for seasonal shopping (and sipping) than Legacy Village!

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

jenclesig_pur

Why? Best Party of the Year!

On Friday night, Mariah and I attended The Best Party of the Year. Any party that calls itself that out of the gate has got to deliver and the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland‘s fundraiser certainly did.

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This year’s theme was the 1920’s, so you saw people dressed as flappers and dapper dans, all living it up in a post-Prohibition world.

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There was fabulous food from great local places like Melt Bar and Grilled (the bacon and pesto on the mac and cheese was divine)…

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AMP 150

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Barrio

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Art of Sucre, Inca Tea, and more.

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There was fun music for dancing from TKO Entertainment. There was a great photo booth, a fully-stocked bar, and fantastic auction items.

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There was also the chance to help a wonderful community organization. The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland strives to help reduce hunger and enhance nutrition in the community by providing food and other health-related vital services. The Hunger Network has over 70 hunger centers throughout Cuyahoga County to serve the community.

So, a super fun and tasty and glamorous night all for a great cause? I think that has every right to be called The Best Party of the Year!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote The Best Party of the Year. In exchange, I received two complimentary general admission tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year!

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Epic turkey cake from Michael Angelo’s Bakery

Not only do I get to enjoy a delicious, traditional dinner with family, but I also get to officially kick off the Christmas season!

Great Lakes Brewing Co.

On Wednesday (it was a looong weekend), I met up with my oldest friend, Kevin, who was in town for the holiday. What better place to catch up than Great Lakes Brewing Co.?

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I always like going to the brewpub, because I can grab a brewpub-exclusive beer. This time I tried the Meow Meow Pumpkin Milk Stout, which was creamy and rich and specifically noted as being brewed by GLBC’s female brewers.

The Seared Salmon Salad, with pickled carrots, cabbage, sesame seeds, and herbed peanut dressing, balanced out the heavy beer and made for a great lunch.

It’s so great when folks come back to Cleveland for the holidays (and I get face-to-face catching up time!)

E5C4P3 Concert

Aside from all the traditional Thanksgiving fun, I also started a new tradition on Black Friday: attending the E5C4P3 Journey Tribute concert at Music Box Supper Club.

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My friend Lisa’s husband Troy is the keyboardist in this awesome band, who sound just like Journey and definitely know how to keep the crowd on their feet and rocking.

We had a gaggle of girls/Troy fans there and had a riot singing, dancing, and just generally partying the night away.

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E5C4P3 has an upcoming show on Saturday, December 14 at Legends Sports Bar in Parma, which is a fundraiser for Project Noelle. Check ’em out!

Christmas Decorating

It was also the weekend to deck the halls. Jeffrey picked out the perfect tree, as well as this festive Rudolph yard ornament.

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I got to bust out all my favorite Cleveland ornaments, which makes the house feel even more merry!

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Jeffrey made some ornaments for the “big tree” this year…

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…as well as decorated the tree in his room, too!

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So, that was the holiday weekend in this corner of the world. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

You guys, how are we at Thanksgiving week?! This year is just flying by! Probably because I keep filling my time with so much fun. Let’s get to the weekend recap…

Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast

On Friday morning, I got up bright and early as usual, but rather than yoga pants and school drop-off, I was off to The First Tee of Cleveland‘s annual Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast.

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The First Tee of Cleveland is a non-profit that teaches children core values and builds character through the game of golf.

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And while I am admittedly not a golfer, there is obviously something to their system. I have been continually impressed by the program participants I’ve met, who handle themselves with beyond-their-years poise and confidence.

 

I had the chance to attend with and meet some of the program volunteers, who get to pass on their love for golf, as well as their life experience to participants on a weekly basis.

There are so many wonderful non-profits in the Cleveland area doing a host of good works through sometimes unexpected outlets. If The First Tee of Cleveland speaks to you, you can learn more their programs, volunteer to help the organization, or donate.

***Disclosure: I was asked by The First Tee of Cleveland to help promote Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

The Winter Market

Friday night, I had the chance to attend the VIP preview of The Winter Market, a holiday-themed extension of the popular The Summer Market.

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Held at The Shipyards, this event was packed with fabulous local makers, most of whom I was fangirling over after following for so long on Instagram.

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I picked up some goodies from Paper Cutz Vintage, Hand Lettered Old Shit, and Suzy Q’s Redos.

Plus, Jeffrey got a donut from Big Mouth Donuts, I got some wine, and we both got a bit more into the holiday spirit.

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There’s nothing like shopping in-person and shopping local, with real people who care about their craft!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the VIP Winter Market event with two complimentary tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Monsters Game

From there, Jeffrey and I went to the Cleveland Monsters game, as part of their Monsters Monthly Pass (read more about our experience with the Monsters Monthly Pass here).

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Friday night’s game was dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Prayers from Maria Children’s Cancer Foundation, with the players wearing sunflower jerseys and attendees receiving sunflower remembrance cards.

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So, not only was it a fun night of hockey, but it was meaningful too!

Also, I think Jeffrey might be the newest member of the Monsters Top Line Dance Team!

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Our friend Maddie is on the team and was so sweet to stop to chat with Jeffrey and get this fun group shot!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote the Monsters Monthly Pass. In exchange, I received two complimentary Monsters Monthly Passes for November. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Girls Night Out

On Saturday night, I met up with some gal pals to celebrate my friend Stacey’s birthday at the Wild Eagle Saloon.

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From the pour-your-own-beer wall to the solid 80’s music choices on the jukebox to the tasty bar food (get the pulled pork quesedilla, trust), we had a great time.

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We also felt like we stepped back in time to college, as there was an intense game of beer pong happening while we were there!

From Wild Eagle, we headed over to Nano Brew. Apparently, this unassuming beer and burger joint turns in to quite the hot spot on a Saturday night!

After a lot of laughs, hugs, and drinks, we headed home…a perfect girls night out!

Platform Pub Yoga

I’m no stranger to Sunday morning yoga, but it gets even better when it’s Alicia teaching and when I get a beer after class!

I attended this month’s installment of the Platform Pub Yoga series. Taking place on the last Sunday of the month, this series pairs an hour-long vinyasa flow with a post-class beer, plus a donation to a local non-profit.

This month’s non-profit was the May Dugan Center, which provides a host of services to those in need from trauma counseling to a food pantry.

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There’s nothing I like better than starting my day with yoga, good friends, tasty beer (I had the Smores Yammy), and an everything bagel (not pictured, because I just ate it too damn fast).

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Pittsburgh!

This weekend, Alicia, Melissa, and I took a little girls weekend road trip to Pittsburgh. It started with plans to see Sara Bareilles (who wasn’t coming to Cleveland), but turned in to a great chance to get away and explore a different city.

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We’ll start with the original purpose of the trip: seeing Sara Bareilles perform. I hadn’t see her live since her show at House of Blues maybe 8 years ago. She was fantastic! Her voice is gorgeous, her lyrics are captivating, and her personality makes me think we would totally be besties (call me, Sara).

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She played lots of favorites, as well as a bunch of songs from the musical she penned, Waitress¬†and songs from her new album “Amidst the Chaos” (I am seriously hooked on “Fire” and “Poetry by Dead Men” from that album).

We stayed in an AirBNB, which is such a perfect way to travel, especially with a group. We saved money over a hotel, plus we had common area space for hanging out, ordering a ridiculous amount of Thai food which lasted us the whole weekend, and just generally getting more time together in a cozier environment.

We weren’t far from Carson Street, which has a ton of bars. The vibe/crowd is somewhat like the Warehouse District. We checked out Mario’s South Side Saloon, Carson City Saloon, and Local Bar & Kitchen.

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Carson Street is definitely a fun, young, busy place to be. When we were down there on Thursday night, we were in the midst of a ton of Steelers fans watching the game, but we managed to find one other Browns fan in the craziness!

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For dinner before the concert, we went to Morcilla, a beautifully-appointed tapas restaurant in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Much like the AirBNB, a tapas meal allows for a more communal experience.

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Some of the favorites from our table were the Marcona Almonds (lavender sugar, sea salt, EVOO); the Roasted Pepper Conserva (habanada and sweet carmen peppers, sherry vinegar, olive oil, garlic); the Oxtail Montadito (caramelized onion, machon cheese, baguette); and the Crispy Fried Sunchokes (butternut squash romesco, za’atar).

Don’t skip the churros with chocolate hazelnut sauce for dessert!

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The food was flavorful, the service was spot-on, and the restaurant was just charming!

Speaking of food, we also grabbed a couple great breakfasts while we were in town. We couldn’t resist a trip to the famous Pamela’s Diner.

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Their crepe-style hotcakes are so good! I got the specialty ones with apples, walnuts, and caramel!

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We also checked out Cafe Moulin, a small creperie in the Shadyside neighborhood. Since we couldn’t decide between savory and sweet, Alicia and I shared the Tivoli (fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach, pesto) and the Cheese Cake (marscapone, chocolate chips, berry compote).

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This place is delicious and adorable!

Beyond that, we also explored the Strip District, which kind of feels like the West Side Market writ large.

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Lots of delicious food shops, as well as some kitschy stores, to explore.

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So, that was our trip. We certainly found a lot to enjoy in Pittsburgh, but more than that, we had such a great time just being away and having plenty of uninterrupted moments to laugh and talk and catch up.

Have you been to Pittsburgh? What are some of your favorite places there?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a pretty relaxed weekend, so here’s what we were up to…

Prismatica

On Friday, Jeffrey and I stopped by Cleveland Public Square to check out Prismatica. These life-size prisms were created by Raw Design of Toronto and allow you to play with light and sound and reflection in a really unique way.

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We went around sunset, which lit up the prisms in a really beautiful way.

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You can check out Prismatica for yourself through November 15 on Public Square. It’s free, open to the public, and pretty cool at any time of day!

Cleveland Monsters Game

After our walk around Public Square, Jeffrey and I headed over to the Cleveland Monsters game. Jeffrey really gets into the games, as well as the fun in between periods.

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He (we) ended up on the Humongotron twice due to his dancing and cheering!

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We also ran into our friend Maddie, who we know from barre3, but is also a member of the Monsters dance team!

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More on our Monsters experience later this week, so stay tuned…

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote their subscription service. In exchange, I received a complimentary subscription. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Ghostbusters Birthday Party

On Saturday, we attended a birthday party for one of our favorite 3-year-olds. The party was Ghostbusters-themed and from the clothes…

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…to the cake…

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…to the treats…

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Mariah went all out on making this a super fun afternoon!

And that was about it for the weekend. Sometimes it’s nice to not have a ton of things to blog about, right? Don’t worry…that won’t last for too long, though! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

Can you guys believe it’s November already? I definitely can’t! Here’s what the first weekend of the month brought…

Grunge Party

On Friday night, my friend Anne invited me to her law firm’s 20th anniversary party. Since the firm was formed in 1999, they decided to have a 90’s grunge-themed party.

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Never one to miss the opportunity to enjoy a good theme party, I snagged a Nirvana tshirt and flannel off Amazon, found some chokers and dark lipstick at Target, and channeled my inner angst.

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It was a really fun night and I was impressed that a group of lawyers could host a party with such a laid-back theme!

Playing With Fire

Saturday morning, Jeffrey and I caught an advance screening of “Playing With Fire,” which opens nationwide on Friday, November 8.

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The movie is about a group of smoke jumpers who end up having to care for three kids after a daring rescue. Predictable antics ensue. The movie was funny and heartwarming and featured some awesome supporting actors, such as Keegan-Michael Key and Judy Greer.

It’s definitely a great movie to see with your kids!

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***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the advance screening of Playing With Fire In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the screening.***

Brenna’s Birthday Party

On Sunday, Jeffrey and I were transported to jolly old England at Brenna’s Peppa Pig-themed birthday party. Alicia did an amazing job with the theme and everything from the decor to the food was spot on!

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There were donuts from Brewnuts, cake from Michael Angelo’s Bakery, and gorgeous linens from L’Nique Specialty Linen.

Plus, good friends, prosecco, lots of laughs, and so much fun celebrating this very special three year old!

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So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur