Category Archives: Holidays

Why? Weekends!

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! Wasn’t the weather just perfect?! Our weekend was busy with lots of cookouts and friends and family time, as holiday weekends tend to be.

On Thursday evening, our friends Jeff and Erin, who are married AND share a birthday, had a dual birthday cookout. This was Jeffrey’s first cookout and, seeing as he slept through most of it, I’m not sure how impressed he was.

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Matthew and I were very impressed with Erin’s cooking, however. From ribs and chicken on the grill to an orzo salad to a variation on The Greenhouse Tavern‘s “devils on horseback,” the food was quite tasty!

On Friday, we celebrated the Fourth with my family, which always involves plenty of good food, good margaritas, and good times.

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Saturday brought the third annual Poise in Parma cookout/birthday celebration. Any excuse to spend the day with these fine folks is alright with me!

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There was the usual grilling, eating, chatting, Honey Hut Ice Cream devouring, and Cards Against Humanity playing. I was so excited because Hans saved me a Great Lakes Brewing Christmas Ale to enjoy as my adult beverage of the day.

photo4 (4)This was one of the drinks I particularly missed this past holiday season and Hans was kind enough to remember and save me one! And it was as good as I hoped it would be!

So, all in all, a fabulous Fourth of July weekend! How did you celebrate the Fourth?

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Why? Happy 4th of July!

Whether it’s a cookout, fireworks, or just a chance to relax, here’s hoping you have a fun, safe, and happy 4th of July!

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“Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.” – Albert Camus

“As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.” – George Washington

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to itsahero (Comment #27), randomly-selected winner of 2 Big Kahuna VIP tickets to the Shoes and Clothes for Kids Luau on the Lake! Please check your email for more details. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online. When you purchase your tickets, enter Why CLE in the comments section for a chance to win a social media prize pack at the Luau on the Lake.***

It was a weekend filled with celebrations with some of our nearest and dearest. On Friday evening, Alicia, Kimberly, Amanda, and their husbands made dinner for Matthew and me to fete our second wedding anniversary.

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From baked brie to steaks from Pinzone’s and lobster tails from Lobster Brothers on the grill to a decadent chocolate cheesecake, the food was delicious! But what was even nicer was the time with friends.

Cheers! With a Scott and Jeffrey photo bomb...

Cheers! With a Scott and Jeffrey photo bomb…

The evening was my Mom’s idea and I can’t thank her enough for setting the wheels in motion. We’re also so grateful to our amazing friends for pampering us with an incredible meal! Even Jeffrey found this an occasion worthy of getting all dressed up…

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Saturday and Sunday saw back-to-back Father’s Day celebrations. On Saturday, Matthew’s family came over for a traditional hot dogs and hamburgers cook-out. The weather was perfect and the kids had a great time running around the back yard. Matthew’s Dad was in his glory, surrounded by kids and grandkids!

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On Sunday, Jeffrey and I had some surprises up our sleeves to celebrate Matthew’s first Father’s Day, starting out with Jeffrey’s outfit for the day…

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After the three of us celebrated in the morning, my parents came over for the third cook-out of the weekend (tequila lime marinated flank steak FTW). Our grill certainly got a work-out this weekend! It was a lovely weekend celebrating lots of special moments, made all the more so with the new little man in our lives. This picture pretty much says it all…

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How was your weekend? How did you celebrate Father’s Day?

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Why? Father’s Day!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win 2 Big Kahuna VIP tickets to the Shoes and Clothes for Kids Luau on the Lake? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet once per day for additional entries.***

This year, Father’s Day has taken on a new meaning and significance. In just two weeks, I’ve seen Matthew become such a wonderful and loving father to Jeffrey.

Image Source - etsy.com

Image Source – etsy.com

I had no doubt he would be a great dad, but to see it happen has been more amazing than I could have imagined. Happy first Father’s Day, Matthew! Jeffrey and I love you so much!

Photo Credit - Rich Jeschelnig

Photo Credit – Rich Jeschelnig

And, of course, Happy Father’s Day to my dad and my father-in-law, who are fully embracing their grandfather roles and who taught us so much about the love of a father.

Photo Credit - New Image Photography

Photo Credit – New Image Photography

I hope all the dads out there have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!

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Why? Memorial Day!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Paul Rosenberger (Comment #8), randomly-selected winner of 2 tickets to Our Lady of the Wayside’s Grapes and Ale fundraiser! Please check your email for further details. If you did’t win, you can still purchase tickets by clicking here.***

I hope everyone is enjoying the unofficial kickoff to summer! Mother Nature gave us some gorgeous weather this weekend! In the midst of the cook-outs, festivals, and other Memorial Day fun, it’s important to remember the true meaning of the day.

Image Source - memorialday-quotes.com

Image Source – memorialday-quotes.com

“A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.” – George William Curtis

With gratitude to all those who have served, particularly those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

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Why? Mother’s Day!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win a 4-pack of tickets to the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off? You have until Sunday to enter to be one of three lucky winners. Check it out!***

Yesterday at work, my friend Nicole surprised me with my first ever Mother’s Day card, which of course made me cry! This year, Mother’s Day has a different meaning for me and I’m sure that feeling will only intensify with Mother’s Day 2015.

As I figure out this new and developing role in my life, I am so lucky to have great role models around me to show me what being a mother is all about. And none can even compare to my own Mom.

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She has provided the best example of how to be a loving, supportive, fun parent and friend. So, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! As I celebrate my Mother-to-Be Day, I can’t thank you enough for giving me the confidence to become a mom myself!

And to all the other moms and moms-to-be, enjoy your special day!

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Why? Weekends, Part 1!

This weekend, Matthew and I decided to have a “staycation babymoon,” if only to see how many made-up words we could use to describe one weekend. We did so much great stuff, I have to break it up into two posts! Not only was it a fun and relaxing weekend, but it was a great reminder that you don’t have to leave home to find plenty of new and different things to do.

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Friday evening, we went on the Grape Escape wine train on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. This was the first time on the Scenic Railroad for both of us and the sold-out Valentine’s event seemed like a great way to check it out.

All aboard!

All aboard!

The menu consisted of five Italian wines, paired with small bites supplied by Moe’s Restaurant. This proved a particularly good deal for Matthew, since he got to have all my wine! Our first course was prosecco paired with garlic and herb cheese and crackers.

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All the appetizers were cold to make serving/transporting easier. Our second course was pinot grigio paired with a mixed greens salad with cranberries, nuts, and goat cheese.

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All of the servers and trainmen on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad are volunteers. You can tell they just really enjoy and have a passion for the railroad. Unfortunately, since it was winter, our ride took place in the dark and we didn’t get to appreciate much of the scenery. We did get a glimpse of the Boston Mills/Brandywine ski areas and downtown Peninsula, though.

Our third course was “broken-heart” pasta salad, served with a light red wine (the varietal escapes me now).

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Our fourth course was a chicken salad croissant, served with the first of two chianti wines. And the sweet finish to the evening was chocolate mousse with strawberries and shortbread cookies, served with a fuller-bodied chianti.

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It was a fun and unique way to spend Valentine’s Day and I always enjoy crossing something off my Cleveland to-do list. There are monthly Grape Escape and Ales on Rails rides on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (click here for more information), along with many other special events for everyone from adults to families. Hop on board and explore the beauty of our area’s national park, as well as the neat throw-back feeling of riding the rails.

How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

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Why? Upcoming Events!

As we head toward Valentine’s Day and even beyond, there are lots of great activities to enjoy around town, whether with your sweetie, your friends, or yourself!

Orchid Mania

Now through Sunday, March 9

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Image Source - cbgarden.org

Image Source – cbgarden.org

Come see the beautiful Cleveland Botanical Garden filled with sensuous and mysterious orchids. There is also an Interior Design Showcase, Ask the Orchid Doctor, and programs for all ages. Admission is free for Garden members and $11 for non-member adults. Click here for more information.

Go With Me!

Friday, February 7 at 7pm

MOCA Cleveland

Image Source - mocacleveland.org

Image Source – mocacleveland.org

MOCA Cleveland wants to make connecting with people fun and easy. Come to the museum for a fun night of schoolyard games like dodgeball, parachute, and musical chairs. All are welcome, singles and couples alike! Tickets are free for MOCA members and $10 for non-members. Click here for more information.

Mother-Daughter Tea Social

Sunday, February 9 at 2pm

Willoughby Hills Community Center

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Image Source – eventbrite.com

Have a lovely ladies afternoon, complete with tea, lunch, desserts, favors, and activities. Proceeds benefit Operation Shower, which throws baby showers for pregnant women whose husbands are deployed in the military. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Click here to purchase tickets.

Lago Valentine’s Dinner

Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15

Lago

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There are a lot of great places to go for a romantic Valentine’s meal, but dining in one of Cleveland’s newest hot spots, Lago, is sure to be a win! Treat your senses to a delicious prix fixe Valentine’s meal, with amuse bouche, entree, appetizer and dessert. Cost is $125 per couple and includes a prosecco starter and a rose. Click here for more information and to make reservations.

The Nature Conservancy Dinner Meet-Up

Wednesday, February 19 at 6:30pm

Tommy’s Restaurant

Image Source - meetup.com

Image Source – meetup.com

Tommy’s Restaurant is the winner of the 2013 Nature’s Plate Award for Cleveland and the Nature Conservancy is gathering to celebrate the win. All dinner checks for those attending will be discounted by 10% and there will be a discussion of how the Nature Conservancy is bringing together unexpected partners to help the environment. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

All About the Bag

Wednesday, February 26 at 6pm

Executive Caterers at Landerhaven

Image Source - hungernetwork.org

Image Source – hungernetwork.org

Come out for an evening of fashion and fun to benefit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland. There will be a fashion show, local celebs, an auction, and a raffle! Tickets are $55 for general admission and $125 for premier admission. Click here for more details.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a preview of the Lago Valentine’s Dinner and the Go With Me event at MOCA Cleveland, both with complimentary media passes. Due to scheduling conflicts, I declined both invitations. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Hello! Friday night, I was supposed to attend the MIX: Celebrate happy hour at the Cleveland Museum of Art, but was unable to go. Luckily, giveaway winner (and occasional Why CLE? roving reporter) Katie provided me with some fabulous pictures from the event.

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This month’s MIX celebrated the completion of the expansion and renovation project at the Museum. Katie reported that the newly-opened galleries look fabulous!

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I can’t wait to get to the Museum and see the new galleries. Make plans to check them out for yourself, perhaps at next month’s MIX, happening Friday, February 7.

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On Saturday, most of the day was spent out and about shopping. Matthew and I picked out and ordered our nursery furniture! We absolutely love what we chose and can’t wait to get started making the nursery look cute and homey.

We purchased our furniture from Berg’s Baby and Teen Furniture, which has a great selection and really good service. There was something about placing that order that made things feel very real!

My Saturday night plans fell through, so I spent the evening curled up on the couch, binge watching episodes of “Gilmore Girls,” which I was perfectly happy to do. Matthew, on the other hand, had a busy evening helping out with a wedding photo booth!

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The very talented Lane Baldwin Photography has expanded her services to offer photo booths for weddings, parties, and other events. Her husband Nathan runs the booth and Matthew has helped out twice now with the printing and logistics. There’s props and lots of silliness, as well as great pictures! For more info on the photo booth services, click here.

Sunday was spent de-Christmasing the house, which is truly one of my least favorite tasks. I also made this tasty supper using some leftover holiday ham and Brussels sprouts we got from Fresh Fork Market. All in all, it was a low-key weekend, but a good one!

How was your weekend? Are you prepared for the upcoming snow and cold?

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Museum of Art to help promote MIX: Celebrate. In exchange, I received 2 tickets to the event, which I was unfortunately unable to use. Matthew was compensated for his time assisting with the Lane Baldwin Photography photo booth. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Happy New Year!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win 2 tickets to MIX: Celebrate at the Cleveland Museum of Art? Check it out! Today is your last day to enter. Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

Happy New Year! Now, let me confess that I’ve always dreaded (OK, kind of hated) New Year’s Eve. It’s always just seemed like a lot of hoopla and a lot of money and for all the house parties, hotel parties, dinners, and bars that I’ve spent various New Year’s Eves in, I’ve never had that great of a time. The one thing I do appreciate about New Year’s, though, is a chance to reflect on the year gone by and the year to come.

Image Source - freepik,com

Image Source – freepik,com

Without taking you down the recap road, I’ll share one of my biggest realizations from this year: I’ve been lying to myself and about myself. My whole life, I would tell you and myself that I hated change. Yet, the course of my life would show you a whole lot of change and anything but a miserably unhappy person. I was a gypsy in a lot of ways for a long time: I changed addresses constantly, I switched jobs somewhat frequently, and most of my friends didn’t bother learning the latest guy’s name. And I had a great time.

So, now that I’m in the 30-year house and a job that I like, married to the man of my dreams, and having the time of my life with life, maybe this whole hating change thing is becoming more accurate? Um, no. Because at the end of May, we’re going to shake up our world again in a momentous way (not that being pregnant hasn’t already started the shift).

In reflecting on not just 2013, but my life in general, I’ve come to the conclusion that I definitely do not hate change. I’m willing to shake things up, in big and small ways, all in pursuit of what I most want: fulfillment. As I’ve gotten older, with things like a mortgage and a baby-to-be, maybe that shaking up is a little less seismic. But it’s still there: the knowledge that if something isn’t serving me, isn’t growing me, I’m not afraid to change the situation to find something that does serve me and grow me.

As we enter 2014, I resolve to embrace the changes (I love ‘em, after all) and to continue to reflect upon and be honest with myself, about myself. It’s the only way I can be honest about myself with others, after all.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

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