Why? The First Tee of Cleveland Upcoming Events!

As Spring is finally upon us, it’s time to start thinking about outdoor activities, like golf. The First Tee of Cleveland is getting ready for spring with two great upcoming events.

On Thursday, April 4, the organization is hosting Taste of the Tee. This event is a unique partnership between four non-profits: The First Tee of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Community College, EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, and the Music Settlement.

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Taste of the Tee will feature:

  • A wine tasting by Sommelier Brandon Chrostowski, Founder, President, and CEO of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute
  • Culinary creations from The First Tee of Cleveland’s Fit to a Tee participants along with Tri-C Culinary Arts students
  • Music performed by The Music Settlement students

Not only will you contribute to these great non-profits, but you will have a unique opportunity to see their work in action.

Tickets are $150 per person and are available online.

Then, on Saturday, April 6, join The First Tee of Cleveland for their Spring Open House. Families are invited to attend to learn about the programs offered, meet the coaches, and participate in fun golf activities. There will also be light snacks and beverages available.

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The First Tee of Cleveland offers programs for ages 6-18 that teach life skills, healthy habits, and core values through the game of golf. The Spring Open House takes place on Saturday, April 6 from 10am-noon at all of the First Tee of Cleveland locations: Washington Park, Meadowood Golf Course, Briardale Greens Golf Course, and Windmill Golf Center.

Support not only The First Tee of Cleveland, but other non-profits, then sign up for some of the First Tee’s amazing programs. Spring is here!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the First Tee of Cleveland to help promote their upcoming events. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to Taste of the Tee. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest Giveaway!

Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside is one of my favorite annual fundraisers. I love a good appetizer and I love any reason to be at Progressive Field! And this year is sure to be even bigger and better, as the event celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

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Cleveland’s Finest creates a friendly chef competition between some of Cleveland’s best restaurants for who will be crowned as having the Finest Hors d’Oeuvre. The winners are voted on by attendees, who are the real winners, since we get to eat all the delicious appetizers!

The event takes place on Thursday, April 11 at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field. Participating restaurants include Corleone’s Ristorante and Bar, Cleveland Chop, Punch Bowl Social, Tartine Bistro, Mallorca Restaurant, and more.

Plus, there will be desserts from Cupcake Cravings, Simply Michele’s, and Simply Elegant Catering; wine tastes; beer samples from Saucy Brew Works; live music; hosts Tim Richards, Jen Toohey, and Desiray Cross from Star 102; a silent auction with awesome prizes; and lots more foodie fun!

Tickets are $80 and all proceeds benefit Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of supporting over 900 children and adults with developmental disabilities through a wide range of services from transportation to housing to employment.

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Tickets are available online or you can enter to win two tickets to the event right here! Here’s how to enter:

1.Leave a comment here letting me know which participating restaurant‘s hors d’oeuvre you’re most excited to sample.

2. Head over to my Instagram page at @whycle for more ways to win!

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

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Cru Uncorked!

For Valentine’s Day, Matthew and I decided to enjoy a special, romantic dinner at a restaurant we’d been wanting to check out: Cru Uncorked.

Cru Uncorked is a French restaurant in a lovely chateau setting. The restaurant has multiple rooms, fireplaces, and a cozy, unique ambiance. For Valentine’s Day, Cru Uncorked had a special limited menu of appetizer, entrée, and dessert.

We started with cocktails: Different Light (sparkling wine and cranberry shrub) for me and Vixen’s Heart (Cynar, Glenlivet Nadurra, Amaretto, smoked grapefruit oil, and salt tincture) for Matthew. The cocktails were deliciously crafted!

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For our first course, I chose the Crab and Shrimp Louie with avocado, tomato and horseradish glaze, mustard crème, petite greens, and citrus red pepper oil.

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Light and fresh, this was a lovely way to start my meal.

Matthew went with a classic: Steak Tartare, with Parmesan fondue and salsa verde.

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For my entrée, I had the Heritage Pork Chop with lentil ragout, sunchoke, savoy cabbage, and sauce chasseur.

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Perfectly prepared, with lots of earthy, autumnal flavors, I really enjoyed this dish!

Matthew had the Sea Scallops Grenobloise, with brown butter, lemon, capers, parsley, butternut squash, and maitaki mushrooms.

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The delicate flavors all complimented each other perfectly on this dish.

With our entrees, we both enjoyed amazing glasses of wine: Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon for me and Cakebread Chardonnay for him. Cru Uncorked has a fantastic by the glass and by the bottle wine list and knowledgeable servers to help you pick the perfect pairing.

For dessert, I had the Mocha Crème Brulee, with was light, creamy, and so good!

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Matthew had the Baked Alaska, with pistachio ice cream, raspberry sorbet, and Chambord chocolate sauce.

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The meal, the service, and the atmosphere were truly something special from top to bottom. While the portions were small, everything was spot on in terms of preparation and we left feeling satiated without being overly full.

For a truly special experience, check out Cru Uncorked!

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Why? Local Valentine’s Day Gifts!

Nothing says love to me like shopping local, female-owned businesses. So, since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I thought I’d round up some of great gift ideas, whether to help you complete your shopping or just round out your own personal wish list!

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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Chocolates

Two of my favorite female-owned chocolatiers can be found in Lakewood: Fear’s Confections and Sweet Designs Chocolatier. You can also find Fear’s Confections at Merchant’s Mrkt at Legacy Village.

Flowers

As for flowers, Lush & Lovely Floristry makes unique and, well, lovely bouquets. Or stop in to Blossom Cleveland‘s flower bar and build your own personal bouquet.

Sweet Treats

If cookies or other dessert treats are more your speed, put in an order with Annie’s Signature Sweets (her lemon lavender cookies are unique and the perfect shape for Valentine’s Day) or stop in and check out the wide selection of dessert deliciousness at Luna Bakery & Café.

Jewelry

Want to give (or get) something sparkly this Valentine’s Day? Both Bombay Taxi Boutique and Oceanne Jewelry are local and female-owned with beautiful, unique pieces to choose from.

Wine

What lady wouldn’t like a little vino for Valentine’s Day? CLE Urban Winery is female-owned and makes award-winning wines (I really enjoy the C-Town Cabernet Sauvignon).

Bags

For a lot of gals, it’s all about the bag. So, where can you find a perfect purse from a local, female-owned business? Go for the modern classic leather bag from Fount or grab a city-pride wristlet or tote from Anne Cate.

This Valentine’s Day, there are lots of ways to get the presents you or your significant other want, while supporting local, female-owned businesses! You’ll be showing some creative Cleveland ladies the love too!

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Why? Weekends, Part 1!

We had a busy weekend, so I decided to split it up into two posts. On Thursday and Saturday evenings, we attended wonderful fundraising events, so I’ll fill you in on those first…

Red & White on Thursday Night

On Thursday, we headed down to Akron for Red & White on Thursday Night, a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, Ohio.

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I always enjoy this event because it gives me a chance to experience so many of Akron’s great restaurants in one spot!

We noshed on delicious short ribs and parsnip puree from Crave

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…artichoke D’Agnese from D’Agnese’s at White Pond

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…mini Galley Boys from Swenson’s Drive In

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…lobster mac ‘n cheese from The Galaxy Restaurant and lobster rolls from Bistro on Main

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…and sweet treats from Chocolates by Erin and West Side Bakery.

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Everything was delicious and we washed it down with lots of wine! There were lots of great silent auction items up for bid, too, like a Baker Mayfield autographed football, jewelry from Kendra Scott, and more.

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Great food, great wine, and a great time, all for a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation, Ohio to help promote Red & White on Thursday Night. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Allison Rose Foundation Founders Event

On Saturday night, Mom and I attended the Allison Rose Foundation Founders Event.

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The Allison Rose Foundation was started after Allison Suhy’s life was tragically cut short due to anaphylaxis brought on by a food allergy. Out of this loss, Allison’s family decided to start a foundation to educate families about food allergies, help children transition to safe independent living with food allergies, and research new treatments and cures for food allergies.

The Founders Event was a celebration of how much Allison and her family mean to their community. The room was packed with family, friends, and fellow firefighters (Allison’s dad is the fire chief in Cuyahoga Heights).

Speaking of firefighter support, I got a chance to meet UFC Champ and Valley View firefighter Stipe Miocic, who was there to support the event.

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There were tables packed with awesome raffle prizes, plus a silent auction and 50/50 raffle.

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We also heard from Dr. Sandra Hong of the Cleveland Clinic, who spoke about developments in treatments and potential cures for food allergies.

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What really struck me about this event was how many people have been touched both by Allison and her family and the issue of food allergies. The Allison Rose Foundation may just be kicking off, but they are starting with a huge amount of community support. I can’t wait to see the impact they’ll make for food allergy families.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Allison Rose Foundation to help promote the Founders Event. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

This weekend, Matthew and Jeffrey traveled to Texas to celebrate Matthew’s grandma’s 90th birthday.

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Since we weren’t sure how I’d be feeling post-surgery, we decided I would skip this trip. And while I definitely missed seeing the family and celebrating Grandma and eating lots of brisket…oh, wait, I actually ate lots of brisket here (but more on that tomorrow)…

I did manage to scare up some fun around here, even with my best guys gone.

Disney on Ice

On Friday night, I took my dear friend Mariah and her son to see Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party.

Before the show, we got to attend an exclusive meet-and-greet with the main mouse himself (speaking of 90th birthdays)…

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…and enjoy a delicious fajita bar dinner catered by Aramark.

Then it was off to the show! What an amazing spectacle!

 

From the costumes to the acrobatics to the chance to see so many favorite characters, Disney on Ice really delivered on the magic and fun.

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I’m so glad I was able to enjoy the show with two of my favorite people and see the wonder and excitement that it brought!

Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party is in Cleveland through Sunday, January 20 at Quicken Loans Arena, with evening shows on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18 and three shows a day on Satuday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20. You can purchase tickets online.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets, a meet-and-greet character dinner, and Disney on Ice swag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Girls Night In

Saturday evening, I hosted a Girls Night In, because what else is a lady to do when she has the house entirely to herself?

We enjoyed lots of food and wine and girl talk, which was just good for my soul. You know when I only took one picture that it was a good night!

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Oh, and that is a gigantic bottle of rose, which I found at Heinen’s (and is actually quite good, not just impressively sized.)

One of the things I knew I had to have on my table (especially with a vegetarian and a vegan coming) was Mama Mary’s Hummus.

You may have heard of Mama Mary’s as the “gas station hummus,” which has garnered tons of local press attention and even a spot on Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland list.

I have to tell you, the hype is warranted. This is truly the best hummus I’ve ever tasted. For the party, I chose the traditional, roasted red pepper, and jalapeno. They were all fantastic! Mama Mary’s Hummus is now available at 7 different locations: click here to find the one near you!

Spa West

Another key component of a weekend of “me time” was spa time with my mom. We went to Spa West, which is truly such a lovely and relaxing environment.

From the welcome tea to the calming music to the cozy relaxation room, you immediately feel more zen just walking in.

I had a signature pedicure with a hot stone leg massage and not only do my toes look ready to return to my yoga mat, but my legs feel soft, smooth, and stress-free.

The next time you want to treat yourself or have a perfect girls day out, check out Spa West!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my BBQ-eating adventures, but for now, I’m off to get ready to welcome Matthew and Jeffrey home! What would you do with a weekend to yourself?

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Why? Weekends!

Hey guys! How was your weekend? Ours was a nice balance of time out and time at home, so let’s get right to it…

Michael Angelo’s Winery

On Friday night, I met up with my friends Anne and Kim at Michael Angelo’s Winery.

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The winery is huge and beautifully decorated, with lots of seating options from at the wine tasting bar to tables to cozy chairs and couches.

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I started with a wine flight, which let me sample four different wines. I chose the Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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I really enjoyed all my selections, except for the Pinot Noir (which, admittedly, I don’t have as much experience with in general.)

We decided to share a couple appetizers: the crispy Brussel sprouts with maple aioli, mint, and lemon and the confit chicken wings with soy garlic sauce.

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Both were quite tasty! The pizzas coming out of the kitchen all looked amazing, too!

In addition to the food and wine, you can snag yourself some of Michael Angelo’s well-known bakery items, from bread to macarons to paczki. There is also a shop with coffee, candy, and bottles of wine for purchase.

The winery quickly filled up on Friday evening and is clearly deserves it’s new “hot spot” status with food, wine, and atmosphere that are all on point.

Yoga and Oils

Saturday morning, I went to an event that combined something I know really well (yoga) with something I don’t know as well (essential oils.)

Held at Borrow – Curated Rentals & Design, the event started with a presentation on doTERRA Essential Oils, with a sample of their Balance oil to take home.

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Then, Alicia led us through a Slow Flow and Yoga Nidra combination that left us feeling refreshed and intent on the year ahead.

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Alicia graciously let me just hang out in my own restorative poses in the back, but I was definitely able to reap the benefits of the relaxation and the chance to set a mantra for 2019.

Mine? “I am at ease.”

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Plus, Borrow was just a lovely environment for this event, with lots of beautiful lighting and vintage items all around. I want one of these swings at home, stat!

The Rest of the Weekend

We spent most of the rest of the weekend taking down the Christmas decorations. It was definitely time to do it, but I also just don’t like that job, except when it’s done.

Since we were all working so hard around the house, we needed some sustenance, so I made a winter time favorite: hatch chile and chorizo mac ‘n cheese.

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I use this recipe, but add in some loose chorizo that I brown and mix in. When you can get hatch chiles from Heinen’s next summer, grab as many as you can and freeze them. That way you can enjoy these smoky, spicy peppers all year!

We also went to a 10th birthday party for Iain, who Jeffrey calls “my big friend Iain.” Pizza, cake, and lots of chances to play made for a perfect Sunday Funday for these guys!

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So that was our weekend. Hope you enjoyed the very not-January-like weather!

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Why? 2019 Blog Bucket List!

Hey there, 2019! I’ve been thinking about this new year from a blog perspective in terms of where I’d like to go that I haven’t been.

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So, here’s my current 2019 places-to-go bucket list:

1.Il Rione Pizzeria – How have I not been to this place yet?! I’m pretty sure I could house one of those pizza solo.

2. Flight Cleveland – While I’m in the neighborhood for Il Rione, obvs. I like my Bucket Lists to be efficient.

3. Affogato Cat Café – OK, this is on Jeffrey’s bucket list. And we’re going today. So I mostly like just being able to already check something off.

4. Marble Room Steak and Raw Bar – See my reasoning for #1. How have I not been here yet?!

5. The Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art – Georgia O’Keefe is a sorority sister of mine. And I’ve heard the exhibition is a stunner.

6. More general day trip/small trip exploration. Jeffrey is getting to be a great road trip buddy. We’ve had a blast on our Columbus drives. Currently on my list to get to: Toledo, Pittsburgh, Amish Country, and Cincinnati.

7. Nell and Rose – This just looks like a great place to shop!

8. The Van Aken District – In the same vein, I want to get some more local boutique shopping on at this new spot.

9. The Lake Erie Bluffs in the Lake Metroparks – Spectacular views of our Great Lake? What’s not to love?!

10. The Tremont Greek Fest – I live for summer fairs and festivals and this is somehow one I’ve never been to. Is it less crazy than Taste of Tremont?

What’s on your 2019 bucket list?

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Why? Red & White on Thursday Night Giveaway!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get out more? Or maybe to try a new restaurant or two? Then I’ve got the event for you: the 22nd annual Red & White on Thursday Night to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio.

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Happening Thursday, January 24 at Quaker Station at the University of Akron, this event brings together the winners of Akron Life Magazine‘s 330 Flavor Awards, wine and craft beer samples, silent auctions, and an exclusive VIP lounge for a evening filled with food, fun, and philanthropy.

You will get to enjoy both savory and sweet small bites from Bistro on Main, Cilantro Thai and Sushi Restaurant, Gervasi Vineyard, Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill, Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar, The West Side Bakery, and more.

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VIP guests will enjoy exclusive tastings from The Galaxy Restaurant & Banquet Center, high-end wines tastings, and specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman, as well as access to all the general admission food and drink.

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Plus, all the proceeds from the event benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio, which is working to help the over 2.6 million people in Ohio living with arthritis.

Tickets are $85 for general admission and $125 for VIP admission. Tickets are available online.

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Or you can enter to win 2 general admission tickets to Red & White on Thursday Night right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Check out the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment here telling me from which you’re most excited to sample food.

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

3. Hope over to my Instagram page and complete an additional entry there.

4. Follow @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend #akronredwhite thanks to @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/01/02/why-red-white-on-thursday-night-giveaway-3 

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, January 6 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio to help promote Red & White on Thursday Night. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary VIP tickets for myself and two general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? 2018!

2018 was, well, a year. To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve on a good year and this year was more challenging than most. I’m having a hard time separating the bad from the good, so I’m mostly just ready to welcome a new beginning.

But when I look back on it, there were certainly fun moments in 2018, along with a lot of growth, strengthening of relationships, and deepening of commitments.

In 2018, we ate…

…we drank…

…we traveled…

…I yoga-ed and barre-d…

 

…we sported…

 

…we got cultured…

 

…and we got to the Point.

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We loved…

 

…and lost.

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And my kid grew into even more of an extraordinary, funny, smart, inquisitive human.

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It’s been a hell of a year and while I’m honestly not sad to see it go, I do hope the lessons, the growth, and the friendships stay with me into 2019.

May the New Year land softly, however you may feel about 2018. XO

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