Category Archives: Charity

Why? Holiday Activities!

It’s December and the holiday season is upon us! Still can’t believe it’s here? Having a hard time feeling festive? Never fear! There are plenty of great holiday happenings to get you in the spirit. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Cleveland during the holiday season:

Check out holiday lights

Image Source - cleveland.com

Image Source – cleveland.com

From Public Square to Playhouse Square to Holidays at the Higbee, from downtown Willoughby to Lakewood, there are plenty of places to see beautiful light displays on any side of town.

Looking for something a little more structured (or indoors)? Go see Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. From now through January 5, the Garden is filled with twinkling lights, holiday music, festive trees, creative gingerbread houses, a train for kids, and much more. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children.

I dare you not to feel festive when you see all that sparkle!

Catch a show

Image Source - greatlakestheater.org

Image Source – greatlakestheater.org

As I mentioned on Monday, it’s the 25th anniversary of the Great Lakes Theater production of “A Christmas Carol” and what better time to reintroduce yourself to this classic Christmas tale? The show runs now through December 22 at the Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square and tickets range from $28-$60.

If dance is more your style, the Ohio Dance Theatre is putting on a limited engagement of the classic Christmas ballet: “The Nutcracker” at the Stocker Arts Center. The show runs December 20 though December 22 and tickets range from $18-$32.

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the holiday classic filmed in Cleveland by seeing the Cleveland Play House production a “A Christmas Story” at the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square. The show runs now through December 22 and tickets range from $25-$72.

Go shopping

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Every weekend from now through December 15, Shaker shops and pop-ups in the Van Aken District along Chagrin Boulevard will be open for your holiday shopping needs. Whether looking for the perfect gift or just something to complete your own holiday needs, this is a fun way to shop unique, local merchants. Click here for more information.

If you’re looking for what to get me for Christmas (and I know you are), you can probably find it at Banyan Tree. I never fail to want just about everything in the shop! So head over to their annual Hot Toddy Party on December 7 from noon until 9 to take advantage of the chance to get your holiday shopping done with booze (and appetizers)!

The Republic of Artists is holding a very cool themed marketplace called Carnival Couture from December 13 through December 15. Tons of great exhibitors, wine, appetizers, and live music make this a holiday shopping event not to be missed. Admission is $2 and proceeds benefit the Geauga Humane Society. Click here for more information.

Sip a holiday drink

Image Source - growler-station.com

Image Source – growler-station.com

The best known Cleveland holiday beverage is no doubt Great Lakes Brewing Co.‘s legendary Christmas Ale. But there are plenty of other tasty locally-made seasonal options, such as Fat Head‘s Holly Jolly Christmas Ale or Pimp My Sleigh Belgian-Style Chrismtas Ale; Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.’s 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale; and Willoughby Brewing Co.‘s Wenceslas Spiced Ale.

If beer isn’t your style, pick up some Hartzler Family Dairy eggnog, add a bit of spiced rum, and have yourself a merry little evening!

What are some of your favorite things to do in Cleveland at the holidays?

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary tickets to Glow. I attended the Social Media Night performance of “A Christmas Carol” with 1 complimentary ticket. I was invited to attend the media preview night for Carnival Couture, but declined due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Thankfulness, Part 1!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win 4 tickets to the I-X Christmas Connection? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

This November, I decided to take the “Thankfulness” challenge. Every day, I share on my personal Facebook page one thing for which I am thankful. What I’ve discovered so far is that, whether it’s a big thing or a little thing, I have so much to be thankful for and starting each day thinking about that puts me in a pretty good mindset for the rest of the day.

Since we’re right at the middle of the month (November, where are you going?!), I thought I’d share my first 15 days of thankfulness:

1. Today I am thankful for a warm, snuggly bed when it’s cold and windy outside.

2. Today I am thankful for my friendship with Beth, which has lasted through college craziness, distance, and lots of life changes and is still strong, vibrant, and relevant in our lives.

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3. Today I am thankful that I got most of my chores done yesterday, so I can have a day to relax before the work week starts again.

4. Today I am thankful for my graduate degree. It’s been a long strange trip figuring out how best to use it and what to do with it, but it’s always been what I really wanted for my career.

5. Today I am thankful for the ability to occasionally work from home, with the pups as my office mates and pajamas as my suit.

6. Today I am thankful for the “Tri-County Wives Club” (Alicia, Amanda, and Kimberly). We are somehow the perfect fit of four very different, yet very similar women. I am daily inspired, strengthened, and cheered by their presence in my life.

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7. Today I am thankful for being a member of Playhouse Square Partners. We have a lot of fun and do a lot of good at the same time!

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8. Today I am thankful for the interesting and diverse people I have met and become friends with through blogging. I never would have anticipated it, but it’s been a source of amazing connections.

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9. Today I am thankful for the relationships that didn’t work out, teaching me what was really important and clearing the way for those that endure.

10. Today I am thankful for the John Carroll alumni community and the opportunity to stay involved with a place that means so much to me.

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11. Today I am thankful for our veterans, who bravely and selflessly made our freedom possible.

12. Today I am thankful for warm sweaters, coats, gloves, and hats when it’s cold and snowy. Stay toasty, my friends.

13. Today I am thankful for Book Club. We’ve been meeting in various forms for over 4 years and haven’t read one of the books in at least 3 years. But I’ll take the monthly excuse to see these ladies!

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14. Today I am thankful for Tobey. Four years ago today, I adopted him from a high-kill shelter and it’s the best decision I could have made. He is truly the sweetest, most loving, most neurotic perma-pup!

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15. Today I am thankful for the weekend ahead with absolutely no plans. There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody every now and then!

Are you taking the Thankfulness challenge? What are you thankful for?

***Disclosure: I am a member of Playhouse Square Partners and am on the Board of the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Jump Back Ball Tickets!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win tickets to Beachwood Place’s Compassion from Fashion event? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet once per day for additional entries!***

Last night, at Cibreo Privado (the very cool event space at Cibreo Italian Kitchen), tons of Clevelanders were getting shaken and stirred about Playhouse Square’s Jump Back Ball 0023. From snagging the first wave of tickets to be sold to playing Bond-style casino raffle games, this evening provided just a hint of the fun that awaits at this year’s JBB.

IMG_3203We even started to get some fun costume ideas, thanks to the props and photo booth area.

IMG_3204Even Cleveland.com knows this is going to be Cleveland’s Hottest Party! So, what makes JBB so great? A fun theme (who doesn’t want to be a Bond girl or Bond himself?), great music, delicious food (with Dante Boccuzzi at the healm for VIP this year), cocktails, games, prizes, and arguably one of the biggest see-and-be-seen crowds. Top that all off with the fact that Jump Back Ball benefits Playhouse Square, keeping the arts scene in Cleveland at world-class levels.

Tickets are on sale today (Friday, November 8) at 11am online or by phone. Last year, Jump Back Ball sold out in about a month, so grab your friends, get your tickets, and don’t miss JBB 0023!

IMG_3206***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange for blogging and purchasing one JBB ticket, I will receive one complimentary JBB ticket of similar value. I am also co-chair of the Jump Back Ball Raffle Committee and a member of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Compassion from Fashion Giveaway!

Want to get some great ideas for holiday shopping, save some money, and help out two wonderful local non-profits? Then look no further than Beachwood Place’s Compassion from Fashion event happening Saturday, November 23.

This event benefits The Gathering Place and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and includes an evening of holiday shopping and fashion fun, including a fashion show with celebrity models and cancer survivors.

CFF 2013 Logo (2)

There will be delicious food from Maggiano’s Little Italy and Sixth & Pine, along with a cash bar (shopping always goes better with a little cocktail, I think). Your exclusive shopping discounts start at 5pm – click here for a full list of available discounts – and the fashion show takes to the catwalk at 7pm, with celebrity models such as Glenn Anderson from Fee’s Kompany and his adorable daughter Madeline, Chris Van Vliet, and Maureen Kyle.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. You can purchase tickets online or you can enter to win two tickets right here!

Here’s how to enter: you can do one, two, three or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each.

1. Check out the list of retailers offering discounts and leave a comment telling me at which you’re most excited to shop.

2. Leave a comment if you like Beachwood Place and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @BeachwoodPlace and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you’re following both.

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

I want to get my holiday style on at @BeachwoodPlace’s Compassion from Fashion with @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1Mw

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

The giveaway will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, November 10 and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck! And for another chance to win, head on over to Clue Into Cleveland!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Compassion from Fashion. In exchange, I will receive 2 tickets for myself and 2 tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Jump Back Ball Kickoff Party!

Can you believe it’s time to start thinking about Jump Back Ball?! The hottest party in Cleveland is set for Saturday, February 22, 2014. This year’s theme is Jump Back Ball 0023: Shaken, Not Stirred and is sure to be a swanky, glamorous, not-to-be-missed evening!

Tickets sold out very early last year, so how can you make sure you’re in for this wonderful evening?

JBB2014-SavetheDate (2)

On Thursday, November 7 from 5:30-7:30pm, join Playhouse Square Partners for a Jump Back Ball Kickoff Party at Cibreo Privado (the private dining space at Cibreo Italian Kitchen). Not only will you get to check out the newest dining destination on Playhouse Square, but you’ll be able to purchase Jump Back Ball tickets at a discounted price before they go on sale to the public the next day!

At the Kickoff, tickets for Jump Back Ball will be $150 for general admission (the price goes up $15 plus handling charges the next day) and $200 for a limited number of VIP admission tickets. You are limited to two tickets per person at the Kickoff.

Are you a member of Playhouse Square Partners or have you been thinking about joining? Tickets for Partners are $115 at the Kickoff and Partners have exclusive access to purchasing tickets from 5:30-6pm that night.

Besides scoring the hottest tickets in town at a great deal, there will also be Kickoff souvenirs and fun raffles and prizes, plus complimentary appetizers and drink specials. I hope to see you at the Jump Back Ball Kickoff, as we get excited for another year of JBB fun!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange for blogging and purchasing one JBB ticket, I will receive one complimentary JBB ticket. I am also co-chair for the Jump Back Ball Raffle Committee and a member of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Upcoming Events!

It’s a busy fall in CLE! Here are some great upcoming events:

Cleveland Beer Week

Now through Saturday, October 26

Image Source - clevelandbeerweek.org

Image Source – clevelandbeerweek.org

From special brews to beer dinners to cask tappings, there are a ton of great events happening to celebrate Cleveland’s love of beer. Click here for all the details and a complete list of events.

Tulibaluganda: A snarky gay Jew’s journey in rural Uganda

Wednesday, October 23 at 7pm

Capitol Theater

Image Source - clevelandcinemas.com

Image Source – clevelandcinemas.com

This original travelogue reflects Dr. Ken Schneck’s transformative experience illustrated by stunning images he captured during his part-comical, part-insightful, part-heart-breaking and completely eye-opening adventures in Uganda. 100% of proceeds will be split between the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland and AIDS LifeCycle. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.

Boo at the Zoo

Thursday, October 24 – Sunday, October 27, starting at 6pm each day

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Image Source - clemetzoo.com

Image Source – clemetzoo.com

Check out Halloween fun at the Zoo at night, with animal exhibits, a dance party, musical entertainment, treats, a hay maze, and much more! Everyone is encouraged to wear fun (not scary) costumes. Tickets are $8 for attendees 2 and older and free for children under 2. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

Treasury Wine Estates Dinner

Tuesday, October 29 at 6pm

Pier W

Image Source - selectrestaurants.com

Image Source – selectrestaurants.com

Join Pier W and Treasury Wine Estates for a delicious four course meal, expertly paired with wines. The wines will explore Napa, Sonoma, and Carneros. And the menu will feature scallops, short ribs, and more. Cost per person is $75 plus tax and gratuity. Call 216-228-2250 for reservations.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis Kickoff & Open House

Tuesday, October 29 at 5:30pm

Bar Louie Legacy Village

Image Source - facebook.com

Image Source – facebook.com

The Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio is gearing up for their Jingle Bell Run/Walk on Sunday, December 8 with an open house. Enjoy Bar Louie‘s happy hour specials, including $1 burgers, prizes from the sponsors, and save $5 on race registration. For more details and to RSVP, click here.

The Magic Flute

Wednesday, November 6 – Saturday, November 9

Cleveland Institute of Music

Image Source - cim.edu

Image Source – cim.edu

Check out Cleveland Institute of Music‘s re-imagining of this classic Mozart piece. The production is sung in German, but includes projected English text and dialogue. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Pier W and Cleveland Institute of Music events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? L’Amour du Vin!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win 2 tickets to the Bourbon Street Ball? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

Last night, Matthew and I attend L’Amour du VIn, a strolling wine and food fundraiser to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio. It was a night filled with food, friends, and fun!

IMG_7338We started our evening in the KeyBank VIP Lounge, where we sipped barrel-aged cocktails from Brown-Forman.

IMG_7339We also enjoyed tasty bites from Bistro 83, including thinly-sliced beef on a truffle pancake and pork on top risotto.

IMG_7341Exhale: the Spa at EMH was also in the VIP Lounge, giving chair massages. When I headed over, they were on break, but luckily Alicia‘s husband and event volunteer extraordinaire Hans was able to help me out!

IMG_7352Then it was time to head into the main room, which was packed with delicious wine varietals, lots of food, silent auction items galore, and a wine pull raffle that also got you entered to win a Caribbean cruise (big congrats to my giveaway winner Mike T. for continuing his lucky streak and winning the cruise)!

IMG_7350Some of our favorite bites of the night were the arancini (fried balls of risotto and mozarella) from Fazio’s, which were not only delicious, but a very generous size;

IMG_7344the sliders from Jammy Buggars, which were the tastiest meat of the evening, but had too much bun;

IMG_7346the butternut squash ravioli from La Campagna and the pumpkin pierogi from Gatherings Kitchen, which were both pillows of fall deliciousness;

IMG_7347and the sweet treats from Little Devil Cupcakery and Kiedrowski’s Bakery, which finished the evening off on just the right note! Mmm, snoogle.

IMG_7349It was a great night for a great cause! Big congrats to Alicia for organizing another wonderful fundraiser! Next up for the Arthritis Foundation is the Jingle Bell Run/Walk on Sunday, December 8 at Legacy Village. To find out more and register for this fun 5K, click here.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote L’Amour du Vin. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Bourbon Street Ball Giveaway!

There are a lot of great parties in Cleveland, but the Bourbon Street Ball is sure to be fabulous! Happening at the House of Blues of Sunday, October 27, the Bourbon Street Ball is a trip to the Big Easy, complete with delicious Cajun food, live entertainment, awesome auction items, and of course, lots of beads!

LGBT Community Center_BSB Sharable Image_100913

You’ll be entertained by hosts Kory from Cleveland’s New 102 and Veranda L’Ni, the tallest drag queen in Cleveland, along with live entertainment from Suzanne Westenhoefer and Elec Simon.

The best part is that all the fun and frivolity benefits the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community of Greater Cleveland, which works to advance the rights, respect and diversity of the LGBT community.

Image Source - lgbtcleveland.org

Image Source – lgbtcleveland.org

Tickets are $250 for VIP admission, $95 for general admission, and $60 for low-income seniors and students. For a complete list of what each ticket level includes and to purchase tickets, click here. Or, you can enter to win two general admission tickets right now!

Here’s how to enter: you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each.

1. Leave a comment telling me what you’re most excited for at the Bourbon Street Ball (the food, the entertainment, the beads, etc.).

2. Leave a comment if you like both Bourbon Street Ball and Why CLE? on Facebook. You can like Bourbon Street Ball here and Why CLE? here.

3. Follow @BourbonStBall and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you’re following both.

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

I want to head down to the Big Easy at @BourbonStBall thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1Kg

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, October 13 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Bourbon Street Ball. In exchange, I will receive 2 general admission tickets to give away. I was offered and declined 2 general admission tickets for myself due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Locavore!

***A bit of blogkeeping: While I was off gallivanting in Texas, Julie from Am I There Yet? was kind enough to attend the MS Society’s Locavore fundraiser in my place and recap all the food and fun. Take it away, Julie and thanks for the great recap!***

Last Friday I was given the exciting opportunity to attend the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Locavore event put on by the MS Ohio Buckeye Chapter. I could not have been asked to attend better event, Locavore was right up my alley. Thanks Jen!

A locavore is a person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally. When it comes to restaurants and businesses in Cleveland, this describes me to a T.

Locavore_6

Locavore was held at Cleveland’s Windows On The River in the Bridge View room. It was the perfect set up with beautiful views and plenty of space to roam and socialize. I carted my boyfriend Justin with me to check out the event and local fare. The night promised delicious chocolates, hors d’oeuvres, and wine. All from local vendors.

We arrived at Windows and scoped out the scene. Upon check in we were handed a wine glass for tasting and directed in to the Bridge View room. We waisted no time stopping at Valley Vineyards to sample their best red. We carried our glasses over to the raffle table to check out some of the graciously donated prizes. Raffle packages included everything from spa gifts to a night on the town which included orchestra tickets and tickets to A Christmas Story at Playhouse Square. There was a raffle prize for even the biggest sports fan and a chance to win a one week vacation in the Outer Banks. The donors for this event were beyond generous!

Locavore_Collage

Justin and I ate a little bit of something from every vendor. Local Cleveland restaurants and businesses donated their food and services to the evening. Many of them were even willing to spoon a meatless version of their dish just for me. A few of my favorites had to be the tuna tar-tar from Red Steakhouse with the gorgonzola drenched nachos from Momocho coming in close second. Justin was a fan of the sliders from Jammy Buggars which looked amazing as well. Nothing beat Mitchell’s famous homemade ice cream however. I tried some of their caramelized chocolate and Justin had their carmel covered apple. I think he might have made the better choice, it was really good!

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We tried a wine or two from each of the wineries and it was fun talking to the vendors about their best sellers. I even purchased two bottles from Barrel Run Crossing right at their table. Justin and I both are pretty big wine drinkers… ok I’m the wine drinker, but he helps. We decided to check out the Blind Wine Pull and see what that was all about. For $35 we got to pull two bottles of a wine with all proceeds going to the MS Ohio Buckeye Chapter. We walked away with a really nice Chardonnay and a Malbec. A red and a white.

At 7:30 the crowd took a moment to hear Mark Zinni of Fox 8 News announce the committee members who presented the annual Inspiration Award. This year’s recipient, Susie Zimmer, was given this honor for her ability to inspire and motivate others, her dedication to the MS cause, and for her community involvement. Some of her biggest supporters told stories and gave congratulations to support and thank Susie for her service.

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I absolutely loved this event. I am so lucky that I got to go and check it out. Justin and I both had fun, got to leave with 4 bottles of wine, made a donation to a great cause, and met some really nice people. It’s an event that I will be looking forward to next year because I would definitely go again!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the MS Society to help promote Locavore. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets to the event. Due to scheduling conflicts, Julie attended with my tickets. For today, all opinions are 100% Julie’s.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? L’Amour du Vin Giveaway!

Ain’t no party like an Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio party! While that may sound like a curious mouthful, from Silver Spoon Awards Party to Jingle Bell Run, the Arthritis Foundation puts on top-notch events.

AF LOGO 2012 USE THIS ONE NOW

Coming up on Thursday, October 10 is another fabulous fundraiser to benefit the Arthritis Foundation: L’Amour du Vin. This event takes place at the Avon Oaks Country Club and is a heady mix of great wine and great food.

In the main room, restaurants from Aladdin’s Eatery to AMP 150 to Parker’s Grille & Tavern will be serving up great eats. But the Key Bank VIP lounge takes the party up another notch. The VIP lounge will feature food from Bistro 83 (which I just told you about yesterday – blogging synergy at its finest), which is sure to be delicious.

There will also be barrel-aged cocktails from Brown-Forman featuring bourbon, whiskey, and vodka. And if that doesn’t relax you, Exhale: The Spa at EMH will be providing mini spa treatments throughout the evening.

L'Amour du Vin new logo

From the main room to the VIP lounge, L’Amour du Vin is sure to be a night not to be missed. Tickets are $60 for general admission and $90 for VIP and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win 2 general admission tickets right here!

Here’s how to enter: you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each.

1. Head over to the Arthritis Foundation website and leave a comment here telling me something new you learned about the organization.

2. If you like the Arthritis Foundation NEO and Why CLE? on Facebook, leave a comment letting me know you like both pages. You can like the Arthritis Foundation NEO here and Why CLE? here.

3. Follow @ArthritisFouNEO and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you’re following both.

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

I want to win tickets to #LAmourduVin from @ArthritisFouNEO and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1I1

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

The giveaway will close at 11:59pm on Thursday, September 19 and the winner will be announced 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 2 VIP tickets for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. Images provided by the Arthritis Foundation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur