Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Lemonia K (Comment #45), Julie (Comment #11), and Geargoyle (Comment #5), randomly-selected winners of $50 gift cards to Door to Door Organics. Please check your email for details. Remember, all readers can save $10 off their first Door to Door Organics order by using this dedicated link to sign up.***

It was a busy weekend to kick off the summer season! On Friday, Mom, Jeffrey, and I checked out the new Heck’s Cafe in Avon. The sister restaurant to the Ohio City classic serves up the same high-quality burgers that I’ve long enjoyed from the flagship location. I had the Ohio City burger, served with an herb pesto, mozzarella, and mushrooms. Mom and I also shared the baked brie en croute appetizer, with fresh berries, honey, and bread. And I highly recommend the grilled pineapple and jalapeno margarita!

While this new Heck’s is just getting on its feet, the burgers that we had show the same quality for which Heck’s is know. I also have to commend Heck’s for their kids’ menu, which includes grilled chicken tenders and grilled salmon, with steamed vegetables as a side dish. So often, you only see fried items on kids’ menus! And Jeffrey found it so tasty he had to share with me!

IMG_3024

On Saturday evening, Matthew and I headed to Blossom Music Center to see Zac Brown Band. It was the first concert of the season at Blossom and the weather was just perfect for it!

IMG_3041

Zac Brown Band has been on my “concert bucket list” for awhile and the show did not disappoint. It was high energy, with plenty of long jams that showed off the band’s considerable music chops. Plus, there were fun cover songs thrown in among ZBB’s own songs, including “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Enter Sandman,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

IMG_3056

Whether it’s for a rock concert or to see the incomparable Cleveland Orchestra, a summer show at Blossom is always on the must-do list!

Sunday evening, it was another late night, as we headed downtown to watch the Cavs take on the Hawks. The John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter has been fortunate enough to get a block of tickets to each playoff round thus far. Our group continually supported the Cavs over the past years and the team has been similarly loyal, which really speaks to how highly the organization regards the fans.

Matthew and I started with a beer at Butcher and the Brewer, enjoyed on the patio to take in the great weather and people-watching on East 4th Street.

IMG_3084

I love how inventive the beers are at this new hot spot (I tried the Stuffed French Toast Milk Stout, which really tastes like French toast)! The beer list was completely different from the last time I was there, with lots of great new options.

Then it was time for the game. The energy and excitement even walking up to the Q were palpable. And once inside, the best fans helped carry the best team to a nailbiter of a victory.

IMG_3090

As we left the game, we saw all of downtown lit up in wine and gold to celebrate the Cavs.

PicMonkey Collage

What an exciting time for our home team! I can’t wait to watch the game tonight!

Monday morning, we met up with the always-fabulous Lane Baldwin for Jeffrey’s one-year photo shoot. Lane is so sweet and easy to work with, I just know we’ll have some wonderful pictures of our little man. We did the photo shoot at Squire’s Castle in the Cleveland Metroparks, which is a pretty magical location for photos or a picnic or just a walk in the park.

So, all in all, a pretty sensational start to summer for us! How was your long weekend?

***Disclosure: I am the VP of Educational, Cultural, and Spiritual Events for the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? #AllinCLE!

I have to admit that basketball was never my sport. It might go back to the season I played CYO basketball in sixth grade. I was wretched. The coach had to put every player in at some point during every game and, without fail, we’d get told at the last minute that our team would forfeit if they didn’t put me in.

I was always a baseball girl. I love the sport, I love everything about attending a game, I love my Cleveland Indians.

But there’s something about this Cavs team. They’re making me into a basketball girl. Their energy, passion, and enthusiasm are contagious. The city is alive with hope and excitement. We’ve earned this national spotlight and we’re damn proud of it.

And this…this doesn’t just feel like a great marketing ploy. These guys really are for us and we’re for them.

I haven’t felt this way about a team since the mid-90’s Indians. I yell at the TV; I’m anxious; I’m tweeting about sports for heaven’s sake. Wednesday night, Matthew got home late and said he was surprised I was still up. All I could do was sort-of squeak and gesture at the TV. The Cavs were on…of course I was still up.

So, we’re #AllinCLE! Let’s go Cavs!

11150622_10152824524968693_240713669280751319_n

Why? Door to Door Organics Giveaway!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Tristan (Comment #8), randomly-selected winner of a $50 gift card to Petitti’s Garden Centers. Please check your email for details.***

You know you’ve reached a certain maturity level when the hot new company in town that has you all excited delivers your groceries. But, seriously, delicious organic food, delivered right to my doorstep? Sign me up!

DoortoDoor Short Stack LogoDoor to Door Organics just began service in the Cleveland area and are rolling out their first deliveries this week. As a great community outreach and a way to check out what they have to offer, Door to Door Organics stopped in three Cleveland locations last week to hand out free “Bitty Boxes” of products.

IMG_2962

The Bitty Box is Door to Door Organics most popular item (perfect for 1-2 people) and comes in fruit, vegetable, or mixed. I sent Matthew out in the rain at Playhouse Square to get us our own Bitty Box and I was impressed with the fruits, vegetables, corn snack chips, and salad dressing I found inside.

Not our Bitty Box because I forgot to take a picture of it

Not our Bitty Box because I forgot to take a picture of it

Door to Door Organics doesn’t just make getting your fresh fruits and vegetables super convenient. They also make ordering a snap! The website is easy to navigate and you can choose options like size, contents, and delivery schedule (we’re doing a bitty fruit-only box every other week) quickly and simply.

And here’s the best part: you get a sneak peek at what your delivery contains and you can make substitutions if you want. You can also add on everything from meats and fish to dairy products to snack foods, too. For our first order, I tacked on some Hartzler Chocolate Cream Top Milk (because it’s the most insanely amazing chocolate milk ever), some Gunthorp Farms boneless skinless chicken breasts, some Hope Organic Original Recipe Hummus, and some Kaleb’s Katch Alaskan Wild-Caught Sockeye Salmon. Grocery shopping, accomplished!

Door to Door Organics carries a wide variety of organic foods, with a lot of local farmers and producers represented in the mix. I’m really excited to get our first Bitty Box and put these items to use!

If having good food show up at your doorstep with just a click of your mouse sounds like something you want to try, I have a great deal and giveaway for you! All first-time customers who use this dedicated link will save $10 off their first order with Door to Door Organics.

I also have three $50 Door to Door Organics gift cards to give away! 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 wide selection of items that Door to Door Organics offers and tell me what you’d most like to order.

2. Visit Door to Door Organics and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @dtdorganics 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 have my #joydelivered by @dtdorganics thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2nA

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 24 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Door to Door Organics to help promote their Cleveland-area launch. In exchange, I received an account credit for Door to Door Organics, as well as 3 $50 gift cards to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Itsahero (Comment #1), randomly-selected winner of a four-pack of tickets to the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival! Tickets are available now and you can save $2 off admission with a coupon from your local Marc’s store.

Also, today is your last chance to enter to win a $50 gift card to Petitti’s Garden Centers, so check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

It was a relatively quiet weekend around here, which was nice, because the next few weeks promise to be quite busy! On Saturday, Matthew, Jeffrey, and I headed up to the Downtown Willoughby Rib Burn Off, which was a lot bigger than in past years. There were more vendors, more beer and alcohol options, two stages with live music, a kids’ area with face painting and bounce houses, and lots more!

IMG_2976

There was a huge crowd, despite the occasional rain showers. We snagged some tasty pulled pork and brisket from Detroit BBQ Company and sought some respite from the busy street with a martini at Olivor Twist (made by Alex, our favorite bartender and Twitter buddy).

IMG_2975

It was great to see the downtown Willoughby businesses well-represented at the Rib Burn Off. We also found out about some new places coming to the area, including The Morehouse, which had their patio open and will be serving up food soon. I also bought a new Cavs-themed shirt from the GV Artwork truck and found out they have a brick-and-mortar store coming to downtown Willoughby as well!

All in all, it was a fun kickoff to the summer festival season, which I always love! The rest of the weekend was spent doing stuff around the house, including constructing Jeffrey’s first swing set. He seems pretty happy with the end result!

PicMonkey Collage

Also, congratulations to all those who participated in any part of the Cleveland Marathon weekend! Hope you enjoyed well-deserved rest and relaxation after the race!

How was your weekend? Were you busy of laying low to rest up for the holiday weekend ahead?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Petitti Garden Centers Giveaway!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win a 4-pack of tickets to the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival? Today is your last chance, so check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

I have a black thumb (and not just the one I burned on the hot glue gun while volunteering at the International Children’s Theater Festival). I’ve never been good with plants and, while I like our yard to look bright and pretty, I usually leave the how it gets that way to Matthew.

So, when Petitti Garden Center asked if I would be interested in checking out one of their stores and doing a giveaway, I was a little trepidatious. But after my recent visit to the Strongsville location, even I feel confident in my planting abilities.

The store is laid out to help you easily find whatever you may need. I focused on annuals and hanging baskets to add pops of color around the yard.

PicMonkey Collage

These pretty hanging baskets are currently buy two, get one free! I also loved the selection of fresh herbs; there’s nothing like adding some super-fresh basil to a homemade pizza or homegrown mint to a mojito!

IMG_2946

I was also impressed with the large selection of patio furniture, yard decor, and other items to make your backyard a true oasis.

IMG_2939

These glass ornaments were some of my favorite pieces.

IMG_2940There are nine Petitti locations around the Cleveland area to help you give your yard, patio, or window sill a great pop for summer. And to help you out even more, I have a $50 gift card to Petitti Garden Centers to give away!

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 and tell me what you would want to add to your garden from Petitti’s.

2. Visit Petitti Garden Centers and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @Petittis 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 spruce up my garden for summer with @Petittis and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2mX

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

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to attend a blogger tour of Petitti Garden Center. Due to scheduling conflicts, I was unable to attend. I received a $100 gift card for myself and a $50 gift card to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Taco Local!

On Cinco de Mayo, Matthew and I decided to check out Taco Local, the new neighborhood Mexican restaurant. I was excited for a new Mexican restaurant option, that promised food that was more contemporary and flavorful.

The vibe inside Taco Local is casual and beachy, but don’t be deceived: the food packs serious flavor, too!

IMG_2864We started with a margarita for me, a Corona for him, and an order of guacamole, salsa, and chips to share.

PicMonkey Collage

Taco Local only has frozen margaritas in original, mango, raspberry, or rainbow (all three flavors). I found my drink to be sweet for my taste, so I’m hoping for some on-the-rocks, salt-on-the-rim options in the future. We liked the balanced sweet heat of the pineapple serrano salsa and the variety of styles of chips, too.

Taco Local has both “street tacos” (served three to an order) and specialty tacos (served two to an order). We tried some of both and found the tacos to be generous with the protein of your choice, as well as flavorful and original.

IMG_2870Some of our favorites included the chili-lime chicken, the chronic shrimp, and the wicked tuna. There are several vegetarian taco options, too.

Taco Local is open for lunch and dinner and has a take-out counter, for taco cravings on the go. It’s a nice addition to the downtown Willoughby scene and I can definitely see it being a new summer haunt for us.

Where’s your favorite local spot for margaritas and tacos?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival Giveaway!

Summer is almost here, which means plenty of fun summer festivals to enjoy! One that always kicks off the festival season with tons of food and fun is the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival.

GARCO_500x500

From May 22-25, Jacob’s Pavilion in the Flats will be bustling with national and local rib vendors, an acoustic music dining tent, an up-and-coming artists stage, an amateur grilling competition, and performances from bands like America and Michael Stanley and the Resonators. My personal favorite performer is Disco Inferno!

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, admission is free until 3pm and on Monday, adult general admission is only $1! Also, all attendees can save $2 on admission with a coupon available at your local Marc’s store. Adult general admission is $8 at all other times and without a coupon. Food and beverage are purchased separately from individual vendors.

To help you kick of your Cleveland summer, I have a four-pack of tickets to the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival to give away! 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 and tell me your favorite thing about summer in Cleveland.

2. Visit Marc’s and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @MarcsStores 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 letting me know you tweeted:

I want to kick off my summer at @MarcsStores Great American Rib Cook-Off thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2mI

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

The giveaway will close on Friday, May 15 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival. In exchange, I will receive a four-pack of tickets for myself and a four-pack of tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

What a wonderful weekend! I’m just going to jump right in…

On Friday, Mom, Jeffrey, and I had lunch at Bomba Tacos and Rum. Lunch was the perfect time to go, as it wasn’t as crowded and we could take advantage of the lunch special (3 tacos + a side for only $9.95). But first, I started with a pomegranate ginger margarita and some guacamole and pineapple salsa.

PicMonkey Collage

The guacamole was delicious, especially with our chosen additions of corn, spicy peppers, and goat cheese. And we all enjoyed the plaintain chips!

IMG_2886

For my tacos, I chose the slow braised duck, the spicy shrimp, and the chorizo and potato. The tacos were very flavorful and fresh, but some were a bit heavy on the toppings.

IMG_2888

Overall, though, the atmosphere, food, and drinks at Bomba are fantastic and this will be a must-visit summer locale on the west side!

On Saturday, I volunteered with other members of Playhouse Square Partners at the International Children’s Theater Festival. Our task was helping the kids make sock puppets, with googly eyes, pom-pom noses and more. I was so impressed with the kids’ creativity in making their puppets. Also, never underestimate my non-craftiness…I definitely burned myself on the hot glue gun!

After my volunteering shift, Matthew and Jeffrey met up with me to take in some of the Festival. One of the best parts of the International Children’s Theater Festival is that there are activities for all ages. Jeffrey is young for the theater performances, but he loved the balloon artists, the performance by the Okee Dokee Brothers, and the strolling puppeteers.

PicMonkey Collage

Sunday was my first Mother’s Day! I was kind of overwhelmed thinking about how much has changed in a year! Matthew made a wonderful dinner for my Mom and me, with the help of my Dad, the grill master. One of the many fabulous things on the table was this goat cheese and sun-dried tomato tart, which is on the list of best things I ever ate (recipe here).

IMG_2916

Jeffrey made me a deconstructed roll of toilet paper (it’s ART, my friends) as possibly the funniest Mother’s Day present I’ll ever receive.

IMG_2912

And Matthew created this amazing framed photo for our playroom: a collection of special things from Jeffrey’s first year, shaped into a heart. I truly am a lucky lady to have these two guys in my life and to have had such a nice day to share with my own amazing Mom!

How was your weekend?

***Disclosure: I am a member of the board of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? My First Mother’s Day!

Dear Jeffrey,

Today is supposed to be “my” day, but I find myself with so much that I want you to know on my first Mother’s Day. As I started seeing signs and ads for Mother’s Day, part of me still had a hard time believing I was now part of the group this day is meant to celebrate. But I am. I’m your mama.

10341700_10152131355098693_7320289041443278156_n

I have to thank you for opening my heart to a whole new world of love; for being the sweetest, smartest, funniest little man; for allowing me the privilege of having a role in shaping the already extraordinary person that you are.

1899871_10152417429783693_3367540466277788280_n

On my first Mother’s Day, I am overwhelmed and so excited for the lifetime of not only Mother’s Days, but special every days that you bring into my life. I love you with my whole heart.

11127818_10152792023378693_7945698669114464522_o

Love,

Your Mama

Why? Zippity Zoo Doo!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Lori Augustine (Comment #7), randomly-selected winner of a family four-pack of tickets to see Timber! at the Children’s International Theater Festival at Playhouse Square. If you didn’t win, you can purchase tickets for any of the shows and get details about Festival activities here.***

One of the Cleveland institutions that I’m so proud to help support each year is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Not only does the Zoo provide education and fun for all ages, but their fundraisers are always some of the best parties of the summer.

Coming up on Friday, June 5 is the 42nd annual Zippity Zoo Doo, hosted by the Cleveland Zoological Society to benefit the Zoo’s mission and education programs.

IMG_2652

The theme of this year’s event is Serengeti Sunset. Guests will enjoy a delicious African-inspired dinner, as well as visit the Zoo’s herd of Masai giraffe in the new Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter.

IMG_2684

Zippity Zoo Doo has not only a total fundraising goal, but also a goal-within-a-goal to raise $50,000 for education scholarships by filling the Giving Tree. The table with the highest total contribution by 9pm that night will win an immediate behind-the-scenes experience with the giraffe herd.

IMG_2699

So, let’s review: a delicious dinner, a fabulous setting, an exclusive look at the new giraffe encounter, and did I mention the live music, dancing under the stars, cocktails, a silent auction filled with unique Zoo experiences, and being able to attend one of the top-rated fundraisers in Cleveland?

Tickets for Zippity Zoo Doo are on sale now. Individual donation levels start at $250 and table champion levels start at $3,500. Click here for more details. I hope to see you under the Serengeti Sunset!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Zippity Zoo Doo. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary ticket and one discounted ticket to the event. Matthew and I are members of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur