Why? Cleveland Candle Co.!

Last night, I got to hang out with some fabulous fellow blogger babes while getting hands-on with making candles, bath bombs, and lip balms, which was really a fantastic way to spend a Thursday night.


Cleveland Candle Co. invited us in to not only check out their amazing pre-made products, but make our own too. Cleveland Candle Co. has a huge selection of fun, delicious, lovely smelling candles, with seasonal favorites, food and drink scents, and specialty scents (the Black Tie, trust me).

All of their products are produced with local ingredients (90% of the waxes used are sourced from Ohio) and all USA-made glass. Plus, Cleveland Candle Co.’s candles are soy wax and use all-natural ingredients, so they burn clean and smell wonderful.

To create our own custom candle, we started by exploring the scent wall and choosing scents we liked. Then the girls at Cleveland Candle Co. helped us create a blend based on the scents that worked for us. They could help make our candles fresher, sweeter, spicier…whatever our preference.


My perfect blend, which I titled “Fall AF,” includes Apple Orchard, Mulled Cider, Crackling Firewood, and Orange Spice. So fall. I can’t wait to cozy up with it.


Then we got to mix custom bath bombs, choosing our own scent and color. My blue Spa Day bath bombs will make for a relaxing soak, if I can use them before Jeffrey does! He loves bath bombs!


We also created our own custom lip balms, getting to choose the perfect oil, butter, and scent to make our lips luscious. My blend included cocoa butter, blood orange and vanilla infusion essential oils, grapeseed oil, and Vitamin E.


My balm’s name? Orange You Glad You Kissed Me 😉

It was so fun to not only support a local small business committed to quality products, but to feel like part of the process in creating our own items. I am NOT a crafty person, as we know, but the team at Cleveland Candle Co. made everything easy and fun.

Plus, we could bring in our own beverages and snacks, so we definitely had a party with wine, stuffed peppadews, and Reese’s cups, which is the trifecta of an amazing meal.

For pre-made products perfect for treating yourself or those you love or for a totally fun and unique party idea (birthdays, bachelorettes, any given Thursday), be sure to check out Cleveland Candle Co., with locations in Mentor, Coventry, and Ohio City.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary candle, bath bomb, and lip balm workshop at Cleveland Candle Co. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? L’Amour du Vin Giveaway!

L’Amour du Vin. The love of wine. Goodness knows I love me some wine. So, I always enjoy the L’Amour du Vin fundraiser to benefit the Arthritis Foundation on Wednesday, September 26 at the Avon Oaks Country Club.


L’Amour du Vin features small bites from some of the area’s best restaurants, like Bistro 83, Heck’s of Avon, Noodlecat, Emerald Necklace Inn, and Market and Wine Bar, Rocky River.

All of this delicious food will be paired with unlimited tasty wine samplings from a variety of vineyards representing wines from around the world. Plus, you’ll have a chance to bid on some fabulous silent auction items.

There is also a VIP Lounge, with exclusive wines, Brown-Forman cocktails, and special tastings from Gertz Culinary.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Arthritis Foundation, working to help conquer and cure arthritis, which impacts people of all ages.

Tickets are $75 for general admission and $95 for VIP admission and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets to L’Amour du Vin 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 which you’re most excited to try.

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

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

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

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

I want to attend #LAmour2018 to benefit @ArthritisFdn thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/09/06/why-lamour-du-vin-giveaway-7

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

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

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote L’Amour du Vin. In exchange, I will receive two general admission tickets to give away. I declined my own tickets due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Yoga in the Village!

Fall in Northeast Ohio is such a wonderful time for outdoor activities! Which is why I’m so excited for Yoga in the Village: Flow into Fall!


Head to the lawn at Legacy Village on Thursday, September 20 at 6:30pm to enjoy a 60-minute, all-levels yoga class taught by Alicia Hansen, one of my favorite yoga teachers. For $15, you get the yoga class, plus a $5 Legacy Village gift card and swag bag with goodies from Legacy Village merchants.

Plus, you’ll not only be doing something good for you, but for the fuzzes, too! A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village.

I hope to see you at Flow into Fall. You know I can’t resist a yoga class!

***Disclosure: I have a standing agreement 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.***


Why? Weekends!

It was the unofficial end of summer and we sent it out in hot, sunny style!

Punch Bowl Social

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I got the long weekend rolling with lunch at Punch Bowl Social. The Watermelon Polo Bowl, with watermelon spearmint tea and tequila is a perfect sipper for these hot, end-of-summer days.


And the lobster roll, packed with luscious poached lobster and a bright burst of citrus was also the perfect choice for a summer day, although I was certainly tempted by the breakfast offerings that you can order until 3pm.


While we ate, we enjoyed some of the complimentary board games you can play at your table.There are so many ways to have fun at Punch Bowl Social!


It’s a great spot for a lunch with your kid or a night out with friends!

***Disclosure: I was invited to a complimentary lunch at Punch Bowl Social. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland National Air Show

Nothing says Labor Day Weekend in Cleveland like the Cleveland National Air Show. I have such great memories of watching the Air Show with my grandpa, so I love being able to pass on the tradition to Jeffrey.


We headed down to Voinovich Park to take in some of the high-flying action. It’s not just watching the planes, it’s also this sort of community picnic atmosphere that happens with people all packed in to watch the show.

If you want to see some truly cool pictures of the planes, check out Matthew’s Instagram page!

Indians Game

From watching the Air Show, I walked up East Ninth to meet up with my friend (and season ticket holder) Anne to take in an Indians game.


And while they didn’t bring home a win, nothing says summer in Cleveland like spending time at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario!

The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying a couple backyard BBQ’s with friends and family. I can’t believe it’s September and we’re starting to look toward fall activities! How did you send out summer in CLE?


Why? Force of Habit!

One of my favorite things about the yoga community in Cleveland is the multi-talented the teachers who make it up. Tamsin Astor, who teaches at Yoga Roots, holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, as well as her RYT500 yoga teacher certification.

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Tamsin just released a book called “Force of Habit: Unleash Your Power by Developing Great Habits.” The book blends Tamsin’s scientific background with yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation principles to help you cultivate habits that serve you.

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The book’s foundation is tools to build good habits – sleeping, eating, exercising, and working on your relationships with yourself and others. From everything to sleep patterns to healthy eating, Tamsin addresses ways that modern life makes us stressed, tired, and unhappy.

But rather than suggesting we flee to a desert island, Tamsin suggests ways to improve our habits within the construct of our modern life. With lots of practical tips on sleep schedules (they’re not just for Jeffrey apparently), meditation, recipes, and even journal pages and prompts, the book is filled with helpful, easy-to-implement takeaways.

The book is also peppered with quotes from philosophers and authors, letting you know that these ideas aren’t really all that new. But Tamsin presents the ideas in her book in a fun, playful, accessible way (much like her yoga classes, by the way.) Her goal is to help you find your overarching “why,” so that you can cultivate habits that support it.

I’m someone who struggles to keep it all balance (we all do, right?) and would love to find ways to reduce my stress and not just by throwing out the baby with the bathwater. “Force of Habit” is a fabulous way to incorporate some of the yoga philosophies beyond the mat and cultivate healthier, less stressful habits.

“Force of Habit” is currently on sale online and Tamsin teaches regularly at Yoga Roots, so check her out both in her book and on the mat!

***Disclosure: I was asked to review Force of Habit and received a complimentary copy of the book. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Local West!

A couple weeks ago, I met up with friends to celebrate my pal Robin’s birthday. We kind of worked the dinner backwards. Robin knew she wanted to go to Sweet Moses for dessert, so we wanted to pick a restaurant in Gordon Square.

Robin chose Local West, a casual burger and sandwich joint that served up some serious delicious sammies. Local West is all counter-service, but you can certainly sit and enjoy your meal there, along with beer or wine from their surprisingly expansive and diverse menu.

I was torn between about five different menu items (which means I have to go back), but ended up ordering the 50 Shades of Spice, a patty of 1/2 beef, 1/2 spicy pork, bacon, and orange peel goat cheese.


This burger definitely brought the spice, but it was nicely balanced by the citrusy, creamy goat cheese.

Robin chose the mac and cheese burger, topped with a brick of mac and cheese (I got some as a side dish and it is delish), crumbled bacon, and (more) cheddar.


Whoa! This is like two meals in one!

Our friend Amy chose the Italian Beef, with sliced local beef dipped in au jus and topped with peppers and onions.


So tender and flavorful!

We pretended that we walked off our dinners on our way to Sweet Moses and then ate it all back and then some with our sweet, decadent desserts.

For a casual dinner or great take-out spot, Local West is a great choice! The sandwiches are thoughtfully crafted to be familiar, but chef-driven and elevated to a foodie level too.


Why? P&G Fabric Care at Big Lots!

Jeffrey went back to school this week, which means we’re getting back into a routine after a summer of not much routine at all. For me, that means spending time getting things done around the house as efficiently as possible, including laundry.


Luckily, Procter & Gamble makes that easier with their “Better Together” line of laundry products, now available at Big Lots.


⦁ Wash with Tide: Tide works in the wash cycle to help remove everything from things can see – like dirt and grime to things you can’t see – like oils and perspiration. Jeffrey is already having that boyhood sweaty, stinky thing going on, so this is a lifesaver!
⦁ Rinse with Downy: Downy works in the rinse cycle to help protect fibers from getting frayed and fuzzy, keeping your clothes smooth and soft.
⦁ Freshen with Downy Unstopables: With just a shake, pour, and toss, you can fresh up laundry day (and beyond) in a bold way. Downy Unstopables In-Wash scent Boosters give your laundry up to 12 weeks freshness (from wash until wear). Before adding clothes, simply shake as many Downy Unstopables scent beads as desired into the cap and then toss into the washing machine. I can wash clothes, towels, etc. now and they’ll still be fresh when we’re ready to use them!
⦁ Dry with Bounce: Bounce works to control static, repel pet hair (you know we have plenty of fuzz around here) and give your laundry a fresh clean scent.


These products all work well individually, but are better together, because you hit every step in the process from cleaning to softening to freshening.


And now that you can find these products at your local Big Lots, you can save time and money in your shopping too. One stop shopping for less?! Count me in!

So, as you’re getting back into the routine of school and sports and general #MomLife, don’t forget to stop by Big Lots (find your local store here) and pick up Tide, Downy, Downy Unstoppables, and Bounce. Not only are these products better together, but P&G and Big Lots are better together too!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote P&G Better Together products at Big Lots. I was compensated for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Tavern of Little Italy!

On Friday night, Matthew and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Tavern of Little Italy. We may have missed the Feast of the Assumption, but we more than made up for it with this feast!

Tavern of Little Italy has a relaxed vibe, an adorable courtyard for outdoor seating, and a more diverse menu than a lot of Little Italy restaurants (think, burgers and flatbreads, as well as pasta).


Matthew and I started by sharing the angry mussels and the beet salad. The angry mussels were served with bacon, garlic, hot peppers, and crumbled bleu cheese in a white wine broth.


The broth was delicious, especially when soaked up with the bread! And a bite that included all the elements of this dish was just about perfect!

The beet salad had roasted beets, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, goat cheese, balsamic glaze, crispy garlic, and pistachios.



We decided to get a burger and a pasta entrée and share. The burgers are from Betty’s Bomb-Ass Burgers, which makes award-winning burgers. Matthew chose the Boeing Fortress burger, with bacon jam, chunky peanut butter, peppered strawberry preserves, and Tillamook cheddar.


The combination may sound unusual, but it was totally delicious! It was like a burger snuck into a PB&J sandwich!

I chose the gnocchi ala primavera, with handmade gnocchi, peas, and shallots in a spring pesto with lemon and mint gremolata.


This dish was fresh and delicious!

The next time you’re in Little Italy and looking not only for delicious pasta, but also some killer burgers and a fun vibe, look no further than Tavern of Little Italy!

***Disclosure: I was invited to Tavern of Little Italy and received a complimentary dinner. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***


Why? Weekends!

This was Jeffrey’s last weekend of summer break, so we decided to continue a tradition we started last year by taking a weekend away as a family. It was a pretty easy choice where to go: Cedar Point, which is easily Jeffrey’s favorite place to go these days.


Jeffrey had been requesting both beach time and to see the rides lit up at night, so we decided to stay at Hotel Breakers. This provided us some lovely beachfront access, as well as the chance to stay late at the park and be just a quick walk away from our beds.



When we arrived on Saturday, the afternoon decided to be stormy, so we started out at Breakers’ indoor pool, then had lunch at TGI Friday’s there.


By the time we finished lunch, the rain stopped and we were able to go enjoy the park.

Jeffrey is tall enough now to ride so many of the “bigger” rides, like the Matterhorn, Scrambler, Tiki Twirl, and Troika. He’s definitely a thrill-seeker!


We spent Sunday at Cedar Point Shores, soaking up the last of the summer water sliding fun.


It was so nice to get away as a family and celebrate the end of summer break together! This is definitely one of my favorite family traditions!


And today, Jeffrey starts his last year at Hathaway Brown‘s Early Childhood program.


I can’t believe he’s going into Pre-K! I’m so proud of him and excited for all the things this year will bring!

How was your weekend? Is your summer break winding down too?


Why? University Circle Inc. CirclePass!

Cleveland is home to so many fabulous museums! It can be hard to choose which to visit or where to purchase a membership. The University Circle Inc. CirclePass is the perfect choice to allow you to check out a lot of museums for one price, making school breaks, staycations, or entertaining visitors a breeze!

CirclePass saves you 25% off adult admission to four University Circle institutions: the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland History Center, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. For one price, you get a single admission to each museum. You must complete your CirclePass use within 10 days of your visit to the first of the museums.

Last week, Jeffrey, my mom, and I spent a day exploring all four of the museums included in CirclePass.

We started at a long-time favorite: the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.


And while Jeffrey refers to it as the “dinosaur museum,” the Cleveland Museum of Natural History offers a lot more than dinosaurs to explore. The geological area has captured Jeffrey’s interest lately.


The recently-remodeled Perkins Wildlife Center and children’s Smead Discovery Center are favorites as well.

When we headed outside to walk to the Cleveland History Center, we of course had to take a picture with the iconic “Steggie” statue.

Next stop was the Cleveland History Center, part of the Western Reserve Historical Society.


From the awesome Cleveland Starts Here exhibit chronicling Cleveland’s storied past, to the airplanes and cars of the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, there is a lot to see that captivates both adults and children.


Of course, the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel is everyone’s favorite part of the Cleveland History Center, as you literally get to take a ride back into Cleveland’s past.


We could easily walk between the CirclePass locations, getting to take in the sights in the Circle while we walked. We kept walking around University Circle until we reached our third stop: the Cleveland Botanical Garden.


No matter the weather, it always feels like summer in the Garden’s glasshouse, with beautiful butterflies, turtles, and other native critters.


You can also explore acres of outdoor gardens when the weather is right! The Hershey Children’s Garden is a whimsical stop, even if you don’t have a child!

We were able to walk between three of the four CirclePass museums, but we hopped in the car to head over to the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.


Not only is the outside of MOCA stunning, but the artwork housed within is thought-provoking and interesting.


Through September 30, MOCA is hosting exhibitions as part of Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. So, it is the perfect time to get to MOCA and see these unique exhibitions!


After all that culture, we worked up an appetite. Luckily the Uptown area, where MOCA is located, offers plenty of options. We landed at Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern and enjoyed some delicious and creatively-topped hot dogs in a fun, dive-bar atmosphere.


CirclePass gave us the opportunity to explore four of Cleveland’s coolest cultural attractions for one great price. While we were familiar with most of the institutions already, the savings on admission made it easier for us to not have to choose which to go to. Plus, any chance to hang out in University Circle just makes for a cool day!


And while we chose to make a day out of our CirclePass adventure, you can spread out the culture over a 10-day time span if that better suits your schedule.

CirclePass can be purchased online for $35 for adults age 13+ and $19.50 for children ages 3-12. This is a great way to experience a lot of culture for one low price!

***Disclosure: I was asked by University Circle to help promote CirclePass. In exchange, I received one complimentary adult and one complimentary child CirclePass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***