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!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Luau on the Lake Giveaway!

It’s summertime in Cleveland and what better place to enjoy this season than Wendy Park at Whiskey Island? On Saturday, July 12, the park will be turned into a luau fit for a Tiki god for the Shoes and Clothes for Kids Luau on the Lake.

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There will be food, drinks, music, a limbo contest, sand volleyball, and, new this year, a 24-team cornhole tournament. The winner of the cornhole tournament will receive a cornhole set and 4 Indians tickets. All this lakeside luau fun benefits Shoes and Clothes for Kids, which provides no-cost shoes and clothes to children in need.

To help get you ready for the luau, there will be a kick-off happy hour on Thursday, June 12 at The Clevelander. Your $20 admission gets you unlimited drinks and an appetizer bar, plus you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a Big Kahuna package for the Luau on the Lake and be able to purchase Luau on the Lake tickets at the lowest price.

Tickets for Luau on the Lake are $40 for general admission/$50 for Big Kahuna VIP admission through June 13, when the price for each goes up $10. General admission includes unlimited food, beer, wine and soft drinks. VIP admission includes all that, plus three island cocktails, a lei, souvenir cup, and tote bag.

You can purchase tickets online or you can enter to win two Big Kahuna VIP 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. Leave a comment telling me your favorite beach/island destination.

2. Leave a comment if you like Shoes and Clothes for Kids and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both.

3. Follow @SC4K 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 be a Big Kahuna at the @SC4K Luau on the Lake thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1Z2 #SC4KLuau14

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, June 15 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Shoes and Clothes for Kids to help promote the Luau on the Lake. In exchange, I will receive 2 Big Kahuna VIP tickets for myself and 2 Big Kahuna VIP tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? #EatatPRV Pop-Up!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Mike Tetreault, winner of two tickets to see Ernie Krivada at Tri-C Jazz Fest. Please check your email for more details. Tickets are still available for the Tri-C Jazz Fest concerts by clicking here.***

Friday night was the fourth anniversary of Matthew’s and my first date, so it seemed fitting that we ventured out for our first date as parents.

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We’re very lucky to have family nearby who are all clamoring to watch Jeffrey, so it was no problem to find someone to watch the little man for a couple hours. Our destination was the monthly MIX happy hour at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

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The atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art is fast becoming one of my favorite spaces to be. Just look at that beautiful sunlight! The theme for this month’s MIX was Fete, celebrating all things French and summery, with music and bright decorations.

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In addition to the usual MIX fun and frivolity, there was an added element with a pop-up restaurant from Provenance, the restaurant at the Art Museum. Chef Katz presented a small bites menu packed with interesting and flavorful choices.

We started with the Chicago Cuts Cheese and Charcuterie, accented with purple mustard and local honey.

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We also tried two of the specialty cocktail offerings: the Lavender 75 (gin, lavender syrup, lemon and prosecco) and the Thyme & Ginger (vodka, ginger, thyme, and lime juice). I had just a taste of each, but both seemed like perfect summertime sippers.

Matthew and I also shared the grilled octopus, served with pickled fennel, vanilla crumble, and mustard greens with a lavender vinaigrette.

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For our non-shared small plates, I had the pan-seared pork belly, served with fava beans, peach puree, kale, and housemade apple chips.

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The pork belly melted in my mouth and the apple and peach flavors were the perfect compliment.

Matthew had the LVP (lamb, veal and pork) burger, topped with lemon garlic aioli, kohlrabi slaw, and pickles.

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The bite I snagged of the LVP was juicy and flavorful and I could eat a ton of the housemade chips!

Tasty food, generous portions for small plates, creative cocktails, and a beautiful and festive atmosphere? I’d say our first date night as parents went pretty well!

Provenance is open for brunch on Sundays from 11am to 3pm, for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 3pm, and for dinner Wednesday and Friday from 5pm to 9pm. Make a meal there part of your next stop at the Cleveland Museum of Art! And stay tuned for more information on the next MIX happy hour, happening the first Friday of each month.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the #EatatPRV pop-up with a guest. I received two tickets to MIX, as well as vouchers for four small plates from the pop-up. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Tri-C Jazz Fest Giveaway!

Tri-C Jazz Fest, now in its 35th year, has become a fixture in the Cleveland cultural scene. But this year, Jazz Fest is making some exciting changes. While there will still be tons of great jazz music, there’s a new location and a new feel to the event.

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Playhouse Square will host this year’s three-day Jazz Fest, putting jazz into one of Cleveland’s most celebrated neighborhoods. In addition to the scheduled concerts in the theaters, there will be free concerts on Star Plaza, with food trucks and Great Lakes Brewing serving up tasty treats to go along with the music.

Tri-C Jazz Fest runs from June 26-28. The line-up includes:

  • The Sean Jones Quartet plus the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra with Christian McBride
  • The Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra
  • Trombone Shorty plus John Scofield Uberjam
  • Bassist Marcus Miller plus the Dave Koz Summer Horns Tour
  • Dave Holland Prism (with Kevin Eubanks)
  • The Christian McBride Trio
  • Jamey Haddad’s Global Drums
  • Ernie Krivda’s Fat Tuesday Big Band playing the music of Oliver Nelson and Jimmy Smith
  • Vocalist Gregory Porter
  • Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington
  • Singer/pianist Eliane Elias

Click here for more information on the artists and to purchase tickets. Or you can enter to win two tickets to Ernie Krivda’s Fat Tuesday Big Band on Sunday, June 28 right here!

Ernie Krivda Tri-C JazzFest

Tri-C Jazz Fest describes Krivada: Esteemed as a legend of the Cleveland arts scene, Krivda has a distinctive improvisational style and unique compositions that have been documented on more than 30 recordings under his name and as a guest artist. Performing selections from Bashin’: The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith and other Oliver Nelson/Jimmy Smith collaborations, Krivda and his big band will blow the roof off the Ohio Theatre. This concert will swing and swing hard. 

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 your favorite Cleveland cultural event.

2. Leave a comment if you like Tri-C Jazz Fest and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @TriCJazzFest 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 swing to the music at @TriCJazzFest with @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1YL #TriCJazzFest

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, June 8 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Tri-C Jazz Fest. In exchange, I will receive 2 tickets to the concert of my choice for myself and 2 tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Happy Anniversary!

Today is Matthew’s and my second wedding anniversary. We pretty much agreed that remembering to say “Happy Anniversary” to each other was a victory and that we’d have to make time to celebrate once we have an older-than-six-day-old baby.

Matthew and I tend to have all of our milestones around this time of year:

June 6, 2010 – First Date

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Not from our first date, but close enough

June 3, 2011 – Engagement

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June 2, 2012 – Married

Image Credit - New Image Photography

Image Credit – New Image Photography

May 27, 2014 – Birth of our son

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It’s been a whirlwind four years and there is absolutely no one else I would rather take this journey with. I love you with all my heart, Matthew, and can’t wait to see what our next Junes (and every other month) bring.

jenclesig_pur

Why? Welcome and Thank You!

Welcome to the world, Jeffrey Alan!

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Matthew and I are ecstatic to have you here and overwhelmed by our love for you, even when you look at us like we’re crazy!

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I now live in a house full of boys…whoever would have thought it?!

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I have so many more pictures, but you can see Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for all of that. What we wanted to say, other than “welcome” to Jeffrey, is “thank you” to all of you. Matthew and I are blown away by how many congratulations and well wishes we have received.

The power of social media to share wonderful news and to allow those near and far to connect is really pretty awesome! We wish we could thank each of you individually, but for the moment, please accept this mass thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts!

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jenclesig_pur

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.

jenclesig_pur

Why? Grapes and Ale Giveaway!

What do you get when you combine over 200 different varieties of wine samples, loads of craft beer samples, nibbles from some fabulous BBQ joints, and live music, all at Progressive Field? It’s Our Lady of the Wayside‘s summertime fundraiser, Grapes & Ale, happening Friday, June 27.

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This event continues to grow and will be spread across expanded space at Progressive Field this year. Also new this year will be the Cupcake Vineyards wine truck. I find their white wines particularly refreshing on a hot summer day, so I’m excited for this addition to the event!

Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project will be back this year, playing great dance-able tunes. There will also be BBQ to sample from restaurants including Famous Dave’s, Hot Sauce Williams, and Battery Park Wine Bar.

Tickets are $50 for the premiere grand tasting, which includes wine samples, BBQ samples, admission to the beer garden with craft beer for purchase, and a souvenir glass. VIP tickets are $125 and include all of the above, plus admission an hour early for a special private wine blind tasting. You can purchase tickets online or you can enter to win 2 premiere grand tasting 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 time):

1. Leave a comment, telling me your favorite summer wine or beer to sip.

2. Leave a comment if you like Our Lady of the Wayside and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @OurLadyWayside 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 sip and get saucy at Grapes & Ale with @OurLadyWayside and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1Yp

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, May 25 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 Grapes & Ale. In exchange, I will receive 2 premiere grand tasting tickets for myself and 2 premiere grand tasting tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? One Last Pregnancy Post!

Don’t take this as an indication that I’m in labor, although if writing “One Last Pregnancy Post” helps spur that along, that’s just fine with me. Since my due date is one week away and since my doctor seems to think that “anytime” is the time when I can have this baby, I thought I’d try to wrangle my thoughts into one last pregnancy post.

Am I so ready to be done with being pregnant? Yes and no. I am so ready to meet this little guy, that’s for sure. I’m dying to know how’s he going to look. Our last ultrasound was at 18 weeks. So, he had all his parts, but what he’s actually going to look like is a total mystery.

Image Source - memefun.com

Image Source – memefun.com

There’s also nothing to do at this point but wait for him to be born. The nursery is done, the bag is packed, every medical test has been taken. If I was a patient person, maybe having nothing to do but wait would be easier. But I am not a patient person.

That said, being pregnant has been pretty amazing, aside from feeling less than stellar throughout the first trimester. I feel generally great. Walking has turned into waddling and rolling over in bed has turned into a 3-point turn, but really, I have no major complaints. I’ve really tried to cherish this time, rather than wish it away.

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So, whenever our little man wants to show up, we’re ready for him, but know that his momma has really treasured the nine months leading up to his actual arrival.

A few more random scattered thoughts:

1. My last-minute root beer float craving that kicked in a couple weeks ago led to me sampling some fine root beer float specimens from East Coast Original Frozen Custard, Malley’s, Sweet Moses, and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. I have to give the win to Mitchell’s, whose ice cream is just top notch and who also gives you extra IBC root beer to refill your cup.

2. Over the weekend, I had a manicure, pedicure, hair cut, and highlight refresh. So, this baby should come soon, while I’m still looking all spiffy.

3. I have an amazingly wonderful husband, who has been so supportive and who is going to make just the best father in the world.

4. I have amazingly wonderful parents, who have been so supportive and who are going to make just the best grandparents in the world.

5. I had a moment last week, when I was hanging out with the usual suspects, of feeling really sad about the “end of an era,” the last time we all hung out kid-free. I’m hopeful for a balance between everything changing and nothing changing. I know navigating that leap can be hard on friendships, but there are no people I’d rather navigate it with (or for).

As for all of you, dear readers, thank you for your excitement and well wishes throughout this journey! OK, now it’s back to staring at my belly and waiting for this kiddo to make his appearance!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party!

Wednesday night, Matthew and I went to one of the hottest foodie events in a town that is pretty flush with foodie events! Of course, I’m talking about Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards Party to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio.

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We met up with the usual suspects, including event-planner extraordinaire, Alicia. The VIP area was a wonderful palate of of chevron linens and candles and white leather couches: very plush! Society Lounge was whipping up cocktails, including gin fizzes and Manhattans.

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Not only were the drinks a big hit, but the awesome bartenders made ordering a cocktail a show to behold. I also have to give Society lots of credit for whipping two different mocktails on the fly that evening! Also in VIP were Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen, which was named Best New Restaurant, and Red, the Steakhouse, serving up some tasty nibbles.

Downstairs on the main floor was so much delicious food, you couldn’t possibly take it all in! Blue Point Grille served up raw oysters.

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Continuing on the “food that looked delicious, but I couldn’t eat” theme was Driftwood Restaurants deconstructed tuna roll, which got a lot of rave comments.

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I spent most of my evening sitting upstairs while Matthew was the world’s best food runner, picking out lots of tasty treats for me to try. Some favorites of mine included the mini reubens from Lucky’s Cafe, the szechuan beef from Pearl of the Orient, the shrimp tempure sushi from Pacific East, the cannoli from Mama Roberto’s, and the ropa vieja from Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar.

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Aside from the delicious food, there was great entertainment from the St. Edward Trash Talkers and silent auctions and raffles galore.

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In it’s 20th year, the Silver Spoon Awards Party outdid itself once again! It was a fabulous night and we can’t wait for next year!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur