October 30, 2014

Girls' Weekend at Put-In-Bay.

So!  Last weekend some friends and I hopped on the Miller Boat Line and headed to Put-In-Bay for a much anticipated girls' weekend:

ferry to put in bay

It was Halloween weekend at PIB so there were lots of shenanigans.  That .... we had no interest in, honestly.  Instead our weekend looked more like this:

cheers to put in bay
Relaxing in front of a fire with good wine, good conversation, and noone needing anything from me?  PERFECT.
I wouldn't have thought of Put-in-Bay as the spot for a trip like this.  I know the island is fantastic with families (we took ours there last year and had a ball).  But for an adults only trip?  Mainly I picture bars and  well... shenanigans.  But my friend was certain it would be perfect and she was right.  We stayed at a "cottage" owned by her family.  Her descendants have been vacationing on PIB for 104 years.  Yes.  104.  Completely amazing and interesting.  I was fascinated.  So she took us on a little tour of the west side of the island:

walking tour of the island
The yellow house was her great-grandparents.  It's down the street from her grandparents' house, her cousin's house, and her parents' house.

It was the perfect day for a walk.  Fall on the lake is so beautiful!

Lake Erie is beautiful in Fall

We went out to dinner and ate the best fish fry on the island (it was good but nothing can compare to how my dad does a Lake Erie fish fry.  I'm spoiled on that one.):

PIB weekend

We went to the Put-In-Bay Winery and tasted delicious wines with a fantastic view of the harbor and lake:

PIB weekend

I liked the "Red Witch" wine in particular.  Interestingly it's a white wine.

I like girls weekend. #winetasting
It's one of these.
 We shopped the "junk store" aka the Antique Store where all of the proceeds benefit the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society:

Put-in-bay atiques shop
And we enjoyed a fantastic Lake Erie Sunset:

PIB weekend

 And caught the ferry home on Sunday in time to watch football with our families:

Headed home
Sunday steelers watching at the bar. #stevensonpartyoffive #steelers
I missed them even if they are Steelers fans.
All in all it was a perfect, relaxing weekend.  We're talking about making it a bi-annual tradition.


Disclosure:  The Miller Boat Line provided me with round-trip tickets to the island.  All opinions and photographs are my own.

October 23, 2014

Girls' Weekend Tote.

So.  We're 8 days out from Halloween.  And I should be making costumes.  My sewing table is covered with blue and yellow felt and I have a whole task list of things to make and I just.... MEH.  BLAH.  BLERG.  I don't know.  Maybe I burned out last year after making Twilight Sparkle?  Or maybe I still have trauma from the Maleficent Debacle?  Maybe it's just crafting ADD?  Whatever the reason I just can't get into it this year.  Instead I made this:

Girls Weekend Bag
Because given the choice between making something my kids will wear for a day or making myself a kicky new tote bag for an upcoming girls weekend, well...

Girls Weekend Bag

I mean, really.  I haven't been on a girls weekend in.... ever?  And we're leaving for Put-In-Bay tomorrow and obviously I needed something fun to bring my knitting in:

Girls Weekend Bag
The bag is made out of some grey denim that I snagged from my grandma's fabric stash.  The pink polka dot fabric is leftover from my mom's SuperTote.

Girls Weekend Bag
The "pattern" is inspired by Dana Made It's Boxed-Out Tote Tutorial.  I actually had the denim part made already as it was supposed to be the Dude's school bag.  But then I decided I liked it too much to give to a 3.5 year old.  I made him a cars one instead:

First Day of Preschool!
Cars on the outside?  Green on the inside?  BEST MOMMY EVER.
The pockets are lined, interfaced, and piped, because details like that make a bag oh so much better:

Girls Weekend Bag

Girls Weekend Bag
I thought about adding a magnetic closure but didn't.  Because without it the entire thing is reversable:

Girls Weekend Bag
The gray pocket was repourposed from the Tote for Teacher.  I made the pocket and decided I didn't like it on the chevron fabric.  It found new life here:

Girls Weekend Bag
The pink pocket was supposed to go into my mom's SuperTote.  But I decided not to use it - the rectangle is a bit bjiggity and gifts need to be perfect.  For a tote for me, though?  Totally good enough:

Girls Weekend Bag
Yay for reusing something I already had finished!  And super yay for girls' weekends!

October 21, 2014

Patterson's Fruit Farm.

So!  How about some more FALL?  Last weekend we took the kids to Patterson's Fruit Farm for their Family Fun Fest:

family pic at pattersons
It was a lovely, if a bit chilly, fall day:

We went with the Near West Family Network so the kids got to hang out with their friends:


 We did all of the fall things:

The dude in a treehouse, Matt on stilts, the dude on a tractor, walking through the woods to the slides.
Even Tiny got in on the action! And by action I mean mud.  SO MUCH MUD.

Very happy and muddy toddler running down a hill in the woods. #stevensonpartyoffive #pattersons #fall
Toddler running downhill in the woods.  Happiness personified.
The pumpkin patch was pretty picked over but Tiny still had fun toddling through it:

The big kids wanted to do the corn maze but Matt took one look inside it, saw all the mud, and said "Sorry, kids!  We can't go in there because ALLIGATORS!" scooped up Tiny and ran.  I... yeah.  If you tell kids there are alligators somewhere?  THEY ARE GOING TO WANT TO LOOK FOR THE ALLIGATORS.  So I braved the mud and took the big kids on an alligator hunt. 

Surprisingly we didn't find any.
Sadly the apple picking was over for the season.  So unlike last year we didn't get to sample all of their varieties.  But I still bought a bunch to make some Apple Raspberry Sauce.

Making apple raspberry sauce
They were super helpful.

October 20, 2014

Rosby's Berry Farm.

So it's full on FALL.  And a couple of weekends ago we took the kids on my favorite fall tradition:  Rosby's Berry Farm for pick your own raspberries:

Tiny loved berry picking at Rosby's! #stevensonpartyoffive #THISISCLE

 This was Tiny's first year there as someone eating solids.  He LOVED it.

Rosby's Berry Farm
We went with some of our friends so there was lots of running between the aisles and pretend play about berry monsters and I don't even know.  OUTSIDE FALL FUN:

Rosby's Berry Farm
I tried to get a group picture of the kids but well...

Rosby's Berry Farm
The two wonderful children who are not my own are smiling at the camera.  AND YET NOT A SINGLE ONE OF MINE IS AT ALL WHYYYYYYY.
Everyone had a great time:

Rosby's Berry Farm
Tiny and my grandpa. 4 generations of berry pickers.

When we got home the Dude - my sweets loving kid - helped me make a raspberry crisp.  I used some random recipes for the filling and the Burghbaby Blueberry Crisp recipe for the topping.  It was quite delicious served warm over vanilla ice cream.

My baker man just helped me make a raspberry crisp from today's Rosby's haul. Kid loves his sweets! #stevensonpartyoffive #THISISCLE
I froze the rest.  There will be quite a few smoothies made with Rosby's berries over the winter!  And with our trip to Pattersons yesterday this is happening tomorrow.

Apple Raspberry Sauce

October 16, 2014

Nice to Meet You!

So!  Because of my Cedar Point Halloweekends Giveaway (which you can still enter for a couple more hours) it seems I have a whole bunch of new followers.  Hi, new friends!  I"m Jeanne:

This is my family:

Photo session

You can learn all about us on my About Me page (which I just updated!) here.  This blog is mainly about our adventures as a family of 5 living in the city of Cleveland, Ohio.
AHA! Cleveland
At AHA! Cleveland

At the Westpark Independence Day Parade
So nice to meet you and welcome to Life in Cleveland!

October 13, 2014

WIN 4 Tickets to Halloweekends at Cedar Point!!!!

So last month I had SO much fun at Halloweekends at Cedar Point:

091414 017

And now you can go, too!  I'm giving away a family 4 pack of tickets!!!  That's nearly a $200 value. 
091414 046
The tickets are only valid this year, and the lucky winner only has three more weekends to use them. Cedar Point is open on Friday nights (after 6 p.m.), Saturdays and Sundays now through Nov. 2, 2014.

Cedar Point! 
This competition only runs until 11:59 PM on Thursday, October 16.  I will email a winner on Friday morning.  Yay Cedar Point!

Cedar Point!

I also have some news.  I changed my Twitter name. And my Instagram name

I changed my Instagram handle to match my blog Life in Cleveland.  I am @LifeinCle on twitter now, too. Yay consistency!

I'm hoping for more consistency across social media platforms.  LifeInCle makes sense with the blog Life In Cleveland.  Although I have to admit.  It was sad to say goodbye to Sourire11.  The name  originated as my AOL name back....when AIM was still a thing....in the mid '90's....20 YEARS AGO AAAAH I AM SO OLD.
Cedar Point!
Haaaahahahahaha my mommy remembers the '90's.
Anyways!  Follow me at my shiny new name LifeinCle for a chance to win!

 4 tickets to Halloweekends at Cedar Point

Disclosure: I am a Cedar Point Blogger and have an ongoing relationship with the park. However I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are always my own.

October 12, 2014

Target Napkin Gingham Totes.

So!  Arugh.  A lot of time just flew by there.  We are still very much adjusting to the new school schedules and activities and ALL OF THE THINGS.  Between that and a busy last couple of weekends I feel like I'm just trying to keep this crazy ship afloat.  So rather than try to catch up all at once how about a quickie post to shake the cobwebs out?

Look!  Tote bags!

Target Napkin Totes
Yup.  I made them.  I saw these adorable gingham napkins on end-of-summer clearance at Target way back in July.  Summer clearance in July?  Yeah I wasn't going to question the insanity of it I just rolled with the discount.


I sewed up 3 sides, added some cotton twill tape handles, and BOOM.  Adorable new bag:

Pictured:  a high degree of difficulty sewing project.
I added a red pocket to the front.  It's just two pieces of red fabric sewn together, turned right side out, and sewn onto one of the napkins.  I added a line of stitching down the middle based on the size of my phone.  Easy solution to the problem of forever trying to locate my phone in the bag of kid nonsense I have to lug around.

Target Napkin Totes
I used it CONSTANTLY at the end of summer.  This bag took us to the pool, to Wade Oval Wed, to Edgewater Live, the zoo, the park, etc, etc.  There's something just so refreshingly summer about  red gingham:
Target Napkin Totes
For the orange bag I layered one of the green napkins on top of one side to make pockets.

Target Napkin Totes
I pinned it all in place, sewed 2 lines down the front to make 3 pockets, and then sewed the whole thing together.  Super quick and now I have lots of places to put my junk:

Target Napkin Totes
All the right junk in all the right places...
It also means that there are a few, small, interior pockets as well:

Target Napkin Totes

And the extra napkin layer adds a nice weight to the bag:
Target Napkin Totes
I haven't had a chance to use the orange bag yet since Fall is upon us.  But it's kindof pumpkin-y, right?

Target Napkin Totes
Target - true to form - sucked me in again a few weeks later when they marked down another set of colors:

I couldn't resist. Yay Gingham!

And for a bonus picture here's my dog. 
Target Napkin Totes
Remember me?
As a dog in a 3 kid household she has to resort to drastic measures to get notices. Like crashing my photo shoot:

Target Napkin Totes
 Poor pooch.
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