#FamilyTRAVEL | Where to Stay in ATL,GA – Loews Atlanta @Loews_Hotels #LoewsLovesFamilies + Family Road Trip Package

This past weekend my family took a road trip to Atlanta from our home in Raleigh. After a 6 hour drive, we were happy to have the comforts of luxury accomodations at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. I was in town working as media to cover the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, and Loews Atlanta Hotel was the official host hotel for the event! It had been about 3 years since our last stay at Loews Atlanta, so returning here felt familiar yet still inviting.

Located in the heart of Midtown, this sleek, modern 26-story tower offers 414 guest rooms and 44 suites, more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space, the state-of-the art exhale Spa & Fitness Center and on-site restaurant, Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar (which I will share more delicious details later in this post). Besides these wonderful amenities, there are 2 more reasons why families should stay at Loews this summer: Loews Loves Families program and the Family Road Trip package.

Loews Loves Families

The launch of the new “Loews Loves Families” program focuses on kids of all ages, from infants to teens. For the last two decades, The Loews Hotels brand is known for catering to children but now has revamped their program to elevate the experience for the entire family. The “Loews Loves Families” will focus on the three pillars of Comfort, Imagination, and Exploration, aiming to provide engaging experiences that can be shared among different generations. It can now be enjoyed in the Southeast at Loews Atlanta, Loews Vanderbilt (Nashville) and Loews New Orleans Hotels.

Check out this video to see how Loews Loves Families here⤵️
https://bcove.video/2W23tEe

One of the program perks in Atlanta was Milk & Cookies as a special welcome amenity when kids arrive at their hotel. This undoubtedly was a sweet way to be welcomed to Loews Atlanta.

Family Road Trip Package

Starting from today until September, 30, 2019 families can save money when they book a stay and experience the Family Road Trip package. When you stay 3 or more nights, you get:

•Complimentary parking
•Free breakfast for up to 2 kids
•$30 food and beverage credit per stay
•2nd guest room at 50 percent off

My husband appreciated the convenience of complimentary parking and valet especially after our road trip!

We were met at the driveway by the valet and bell hop who promptly took our luggage and showed us to registration. Check in was efficient and we were warmly welcomed. We stayed in a Premium Double type room on the 17th floor. Looking out of the floor-to-ceiling windows at the gorgeous views of Midtown Atlanta was something we all enjoyed!

Modern, and stylish is how I would describe our room. It had ample seating areas and a spacious bathroom with both stand alone shower and tub with a tv in there as well. I had a fun yet busy day at The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, so it was very nice to come back, wrap myself in a cozy Loews robe and relax in a comfortable room such as this. Watch my brief room reveal video to see for yourself! ⤵️

Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar

After a wonderful night in their comfortable beds, all three of us were ready to enjoy breakfast at their restaurant, Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar. They have a Saturday & Sunday brunch that is amazing! Order a la carte from the menu or for $30, the unlimited buffet option has so many tasty choices including made to order omelets, salad bar, assorted pastries, carving station and more!

While I got a little bit of everything off of their brunch buffet, the little one chose pancakes and fruit + whipped cream from their kids menu. Crayons were given as well which always are a great idea to encourage kid’s creativity.

Hubby ordered a la carte off the breakfast menu and went with the Saltwood Burger. We all were drooling when it arrived to the table hot, fresh and topped with an egg. So yummy! No matter if you want something sweet or savory for breakfast, brunch lunch or dinner, Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar at Loews Atlanta hotel offers locally-inspired food for everyone!

For reservations or more information about Loews Hotels, call 1-800-23-LOEWS or visit: www.loewshotels.com.

Like Loews Hotels on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LoewsHotels

Follow Loews Hotels on Twitter: www.twitter.com/loews_hotels

Watch Loews Hotels on YouTube: www.youtube.com/LoewsHotels

Read our Wish You Were Here Blog at www.loewshotelsblog.com

Thanks again to our friends at Loews Hotel Atlanta for hosting me and my family! Your hospitality and committment to quality service will have my #HeighPartyof3 coming back again & again. Until next time…..

Jumpstart summer family travel and celebrate #LoewsLovesFamilies | photo credit: SobeSavvy.com

Where are you planning to travel this summer? Have you ever stayed at Loews Atlanta, Loews Vanderbilt or Loews New Orleans before? Let me know in the comments below ❤


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Event Recap |9th Annual @ATLFoodandWine Festival #AFWF19 @Old4thWardPark #LoewsAtlanta #KnowTheSouth

Food and Wine, Wine and Food. Has there ever been two things that go together better? If you think the answer is no, than take a look at The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, now in it’s 9th year, the festival is an ode to southern cooking and libations. It took place this past weekend, May 30-June 2, 2019, at the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown and at the Historic Old 4th Ward Park.

👀 TAKE A LOOK at their preview video⤵️

This festival truly has it all… from special dinner presentations, informative learning seminars and the epic tasting tents where you can indulge in an all you can taste experience! The Midtown community of Atlanta served as the perfect backdrop for the festivities and the mother nature gave us all beautiful weather to enjoy ourselves at the festival! The event was well organized and put together with such detail and care that it really felt like a fun, family affair!

OFFICIAL HOTEL | LOEWS ATLANTA

One of the many unique features of this world class festival is the fact that the vast majority of events take place all under the roof of the gorgeous Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown. This was the official host hotel and the festival basically does a weekend takeover. All of the event rooms, spaces and lounges are occupied by various tasty seminars, beverage mixing classes and much more. We made the Loews our base camp for the weekend and it was the best decision ever. *Stay tuned for our review of our stay at the Loews Atlanta Hotel soon!

TASTING TENTS | HISTORIC OLD 4TH WARD PARK

The tents were located at a new location at Historic Old Fourth Ward Park, which is adjacent to the Ponce City Market Food Hall and the Beltline. Crowds arrived early and stayed until closing. They came to eat, drink, explore the south and party! Guests got to enjoy live music, a DJ, fun photo booths, and gift swag. The thoughtfully curated Tasting Tents allowed guests to take a culinary road trip through the South and discover new food/beverages to enjoy.

FOOD | #PNCBestoftheFest

When guests arrived at the Tasting Tents, they received a tasting glass and a chip to vote for their favorite bite (or sip) at the festival. The entire food lineup was impressive, so it was really hard to chose just one! Oysters on the half shell and lobster rolls were my favorite seafood choices. Hot chicken sliders were amazing as were the prime rib tacos. The Visit Mississippi tent had an amazing beef and mushroom burger topped with a fried oyster. It was so good! I also loved the fresh tuna from the Visit Aruba exhibitor. There also were dessert options to satisfy your sweet tooth. With so many delicious choices, both regional and global to try, the festival is designed to take your tastebuds on an epicurean journey.

LIBATIONS | Wine, Spirits, Beer, etc.

Cheers to the Atlanta Food &Wine Festival for having libations of every sensation: Bourbon, Vodka, Gin, Whisky, Tequila, Beer, and Wine for all to enjoy! Guests who have chosen not to consume alcohol could still enjoy creative drinks thanks to The Mocktail Project, which celebrates and allows an inclusive drinking culture. There also was an effort to support sustainability by using AARDVARK paper straws!

Some of my favorite sips were from Bedlam Vodka and Knob Creek, who not only served craft cocktails but both had great vendor setups. Bedlam had a lounge and Knob Creek were actually “smoking” their Old Fashion cocktail. We even got to witness how the smoke was infused with the drink! (I captured a snippet of the process for you and uploaded in my YouTube video below). Every varietal of wine was on hand from whites to reds and of course rosé were available to enjoy each festival day!

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

More than 50 learning experiences, dinners and events were offered by #AFWF19 for guests to get Off the Eaten Path and get to #KnowtheSouth. Dozens of food and drink topics were covered at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, where guests could choose between which hour long seminar to attend throughout the weekend. I attended the Cast Iron Chronicles: Evolution Of Soul Food sponsored by Butter Pat Industries and presented by Tiffanie Barriere[@thedrinkingcoach], Jennifer Hill Booker, and Deborah Vantrece.

These three women not only educated guests on the true history of soul food but also prepared communal dishes for us in the ‘smooth’ cast iron pan from Butter Pat Industries. Did you know that the seed of black eyed peas were smuggled from Africa by slaves who then grew them here and from that a dish called “Hopping John” was born?! We got to try an updated and elevation version of that dish. The Chefs reminded us that soul food is more than grease and gravy and should be celebrated! We also were served two cocktails ( one was rum based, the other is named Cab Calloway made with sherry) and as a bonus, we got to try some of the best peach cobbler I ever had!

I also enjoyed The Other Cuts sponsored by Big Green Egg, which was held on the beautiful outdoor terrace at Loews. Chefs served samples of lesser known meat cuts from Porter Road, a meat delivery service, and how to best grill them for maximum flavor and tenderness. There were so many other interesting seminars but alas I could only be in one place at a time. Where was my clone when I needed her?!

👀 WATCH my video recap of The Ninth Annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival below and hope to see you there next year MAY 28-MAY 31, 2020!! Follow @atlfoodandwine for details

🎉🎉🎉🎉CONGRATS to Chef Kristian Wade of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino as this year’s winner of the #PNCBestoftheFest competition! The ‘Landmass Burger’ satisfies both burger fans & seafood lovers with it’s combination of beef + fried oyster!


The 9th Annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival took my tastebuds on a fun, foodie journey that I will never forget! I got to sip & savor, discover amazing flavors, and taste cuisine from the South and beyond. I also enjoyed the education received from culinary talent and the celebration of community during the entire weekend. Can’t wait until next year!

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Blogger Event Recap| #ScentandSipEvent Part II Cheers To Mom|Hosted by SobeSavvy.com

Back in March, in honor of International Women’s Day/Women’s History Month, SobeSavvy.com hosted an invite only event in Raleigh, NC called #ScentandSipEvent [in case you missed it, catch the recap >>here]. This time for Mother’s Day, I wanted to host a few Mom friends, Bloggers, Influencers in the Triangle and beyond [Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest, Fayetteville, NC] and celebrate  our motherhood journey. It was a great opportunity to network and toast to us Moms!

We are Blessed to be Moms! |         Photo Credit: Photography by Write Productions @write_productions

 

INVITE + SWAG BAGS



The “ScentandSip” idea came after receiving an exclusive Galentine’s Day invite to an event being held in Miami,FL. I notified the event organizers/PR my desire to collaborate/host an intimate event in my home. I was able to include the diptyque “Scent and Chambord “Sip in the SWAG BAGS for my guests.Meka H. of @hwthblog shows off her swag | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


WELCOME COCKTAIL



This event was held in the comfort of my home, where guests were greeted with a hug of course and a welcome cocktail The featured cocktail was the Chambord Royale [see the recipe above] and it was the perfect way to get the celebration started!

PHOTO FUN


Hostess, Leslie H. of @SobeSavvy reps being a Mom | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


I created a photo station to give everyone a chance to take a welcome picture. All it took was some items from the Dollar Tree , a nice smile and a talented photographer [shout out to Lanette L. of Write Productions] to capture the fun.

Tiffany H. of @themrstee strikes a pose! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


Jovhanna T. of @thespirituallovehealer is all smiles! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

Carla W. of @glamourandglue is truly blessed! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

Marcia S. of @keechiibags is too blessed to be stressed! |

Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

My daughter, #outandaboutAva, even joined in on the fun by being the flower girl and throwing rose petals for us Queens!

Forever My Flower Girl ! Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


FOOD| CATERING BY SASSOOL



May is not only a time to celebrate Moms but did you know that is is also Women’s Health Month?! It was very important to me to serve something nutritional and delicious to my guests.

Thanks to Sassool Mediterranean Cafe, I was able to give my guests a beautiful taste of homemade lebanese and mediterranean food, which is a cuisine known for its health benefits. This family-owned restaurant has locations in Raleigh, Cary and also a third location which offers a limited menu of their most popular items at Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh. I learned that the Sassool brand was launched on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014 to honor the owner Mounir Saleh’s mother, Cecilia, for the authentic recipes that she brought with her when she immigrated from Lebanon with her family to Raleigh in the 1970s. The name of the restaurant, Sassool, is the nickname that Cecilia was called by her father when she was a child. What a great way to honor some Moms in the blogging community by having the opportunity to feature a brand that honors their Mom!
We enjoyed the following catering options: 

* Oven Specialties (this is an assortment of baked pita flatbreads, sliced into bitesize wedges)
* Mini Kabobs (same menu item as regular kabobs, just smaller size–you can choose Chicken, Beef or Lamb).
* Caprese Kabobs are an excellent choice too (fresh mozarella balls, grape tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic drizzle)
* Fruit Sal
ad … such a great variety of fresh fruit garnished with mint
* Cilantro jalapeno hummus, tatziki and pita chips 
* Sassool Corn Salad


WINE|TERLATO WINES


Ever heard the saying..”Wine taste better when shared with friends” ?
That was indeed the case with these two featured wines that were served at my event:

Terlato Vineyards 2017 Friuli Pinot Grigio | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

2018 Côtes de Provence Mathilde Chapoutier “Grande Ferrage”| Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions



My husband served as our informal CSW and shared some of the wine facts with us! We learned the Terlato Vineyards 2017 Fruili Pinot Grigio is from NE Italy and tastes of peach pear with some mineral.It is America’s highest rated and fastest growing Pinot Grigio! It is superb with oysters or shellfish.The 2018 Cotes de Provence Mathilde Chapoutier Rosé is made from 4 grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Rolle. It tastes of strawberry, grapefruit and apricot. Aged for 5 months, we tasted the quality the rosé in every sip.Both of these Terlato Wines were enjoyed but the ladies loved the rosé!  Check out my photos to see why you should serve these wines at your next gathering. Mark your calenders, National Wine Day is May 25. These two wines would be a great way to celebrate! Cheers!

DESSERT | HEAVENLY CAKES BY TANYA

Chambord, is a mainstay at top shelf bars and is made in the Loire Valley of France. This liqueur uses red and black raspberries with Madagascar vanilla, citrus peel, honey and cognac. This combination can be traced back to the 1600’s when Louis XIV drank Cognac with dinner. This versatile liqueur is used to make cocktails from many different spirits. The liquer was featured in the welcome cocktail, given to guests, a mini bottle was gifted in their swag bags but the Chambord was also infused into these amazing chocolate cupcakes made by Raleigh-based premier bakery, Heavenly Cakes by Tanya

From cupcakes, to special occasion cakes and keto friendly sweets, Tanya is someone I trust and recommend for delicious desserts. Not only are her creations visually appealing but it tastes as good as it looks!

PARTY GAME


Everyone loves games at a party right?! I picked up one from Target Dollar spot. For just $3, for 10 in a pack, the “This or That” game was the perfect icebreaker. Each guest received a card to fill out and we compared/shared the categories that we have in common. We had to think and reflect on how we are now as mothers because it defintely played a part in how questions were answered. All in all, everyone had fun with the “This or That” game!




I am very thankful to these Moms who came out to join me in celebrating Mother’s Day weekend. I think we all appreciated the Mommy Break and I learned so much more about these women who are amazing Mompreneurs as well. Be sure to follow them to see what awesome things they are doing. I am so grateful for partnerships with brands and businesses who participated in my event. Many thanks to Write Productions for doing such a wonderful and professional job capturing the event!


WATCH my YouTube Video recap of the #ScentandSipEvent Part II ‘Cheers To Mom’ moms mixer.

https://youtu.be/JLbb2sv4zYM

Cheers!

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SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ROSÉ PISCINE WINE | #rosepiscine #wine #roséallday

Hello May! Time to celebrate Moms, Grads, and patio season with rosé all day! I recently tried a new wine that is meant to be served on the rocks called Rosé Piscine. I personally had never tried wine [not including Sangria] over ice before. As everyone knows as the ice melts the wine would become watered down but that’s just not the case with this wine that has already sold over two million bottles in France and Brazil, and now it’s available in the U.S! It has been created specifically to be served with ice. From its sleek, uplifting bottle appearance, to the one-of-a-kind over ice concept Rosé Piscine is not your average bottle of wine, here’s Seven Things To Know About Rosé Piscine Wine

  1. The wine has been selling in France and Brazil and just recently has been released in the United States. It’s available at select stores around the country, and can be ordered online.
  2. It’s uniquely a wine that has been created to be served over ice. Rosé Piscine is made by Pascal Nacenta in southwest France.
  3. The French rosé is 100 percent destemmed, fermented for 20 days with cold stabilization at 60 degrees and then filtered.
  4. The Rosé Piscine tasting notes include being pale salmon in color, with a light to medium body. On the bouquet, it offers hints of Meyer lemon, skin of peach, vanilla, kiwi and McIntosh apple. Mineral quality to the bouquet. On the palate, it offers rounded, well-balanced tannins and acidity, with a long finish.
  5. Rosé Piscine is made with an indigenous varietal of southwest France: Négrette, which is a small, very dark and tough-skinned grape known for its powerful aromatic qualities. The fruit is sourced in Côtes du Frontonnais, which is located just southwest of Gaillac and just north of the city of Toulouse, on the western bank of the Tarn river. Rosé Piscine is one of very few French rosés made with the Négrette grape, mainly due to the limited geographic availability of this unique varietal.
  6. Wine Enthusiast named Rosé Piscine’s region in France the Wine Region of the Year 2017.
  7. Rosé Piscine was originally created by Jacques Tranier, the president of Vinovalie, a group of producers in the French Southwest. In 2003, he was on a vacation in Saint Tropez when he saw many women drinking rosé wine over ice in large wine glasses. He ordered one to give it a try, only to be disappointed in the diluted taste of the wine. This set him on a mission to create a rosé wine that could maintain its integrity while being served on ice.

My mom recently visited and we enjoyed some of this wonderful rosé out on my patio! We loved how easy it was to drink… not too dry, not too sweet..just right! With mother’s day just around the corner, this wine would be the perfect pour to toast to your mom. Make Mom feel like a Queen for the day, and celebrate with Rosé Piscine!

To find a store near you or to order online, visit the site at: www.rosepiscine.com or follow on Instagram @rosepiscine. CHEERS!

Spring Break Staycation Family Fun Ideas For Raleigh,NC |#Travel #Raleigh #NC #FamilyFun

It’s Spring Break for my 2nd Grader and we are kicking it off by playing tourist in our own backyard! Our staycation in Raleigh,NC ..where ALL ARE WELCOME..will be filled with simple pleasures, plus mother and daughter bonding time. We’ll be having fun while hanging in Downtown Raleigh in the Glenwood South neighborhood, and some other favorite ‘Random Raleigh‘ spots. I am excited to share these Spring Break Staycation Family Fun Ideas For Raleigh,NC with you! Enjoy!

Downtown Raleigh/Glenwood South

Raleigh,NC consistently ranks in the top 5 in quality of life index of American Cities and since living here for the last 4 years, it is easy to see why! There is access to so much and the cost of living is pretty good. Downtown Raleigh puts locals and visitors in the center of it all. One of Raleigh’s Downtown neighborhoods, Glenwood South, is known locally as the premier entertainment district where restaurants of every budget and cuisine coexist with nightclubs. However if you arrive on a Sunday like we did, you’ll find a quieter side of Glenwood South with locals walking their dogs and offerings for the entire family. Check out my photo gallery from our stay in Downtown Raleigh/Glenwood South full photo gallery >>here.

EAT | La Santa Modern Mexican Food

My idea of a great staycation involves having time to siesta, fiesta and enjoy good food! We found that we could do all that just blocks away from our hotel at La Santa Modern Mexican Food, located at 222 Glenwood Avenue #107. From their house made guacomole, tasty dishes created using recipes from the owner’s mother, margaritas featuring fresh juices and craft cocktails, everything here is done so deliciously! The décor is eclectic with a laid back upscale cantina vibe. Their carnitas tacos are incredible and they have a great ninos {kids} menu also. Great service, fresh food and amazing drinks is why families would enjoy dining at La Santa.

STAY | Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown

In a previous post about Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown, located at 600 Glenwood Ave, I shared a list of my favorite features about this hotel property, which included convenient location, clean and spacious rooms, free breakfast, fitness center/pool. During that stay with my husband, we did not get a chance to use the pool due to maintanence. However, I learned that the indoor pool was heated and getting new patio furniture for the Spring. So here we are back with our daughter, who came ready to to get her mermaid on! The pool area was clean, intimate, and relaxing enough for me to sit poolside and read while they had fun in the pool! This hotel is ideal for families looking to enjoy some poolside fun no matter what season it is!

PLAY | North Carolina Museum of History

Did you know that Raleigh is often called the “Smithsonian of The South”? We have world class museums downtown, one of them being the North Carolina Museum Of History, located at 5 E. Edenton St.! Admission is FREE and it offers so much for the entire family to enjoy! Our favorites were the special art exhibition by Durham, NC native Ernie Barnes and a gallery dedicated to children that allows them to have interactive fun learning and listening from the oral history of North Carolinians.There were also lots of hands on areas so my daughter could actually touch some things in a normally hands off kind of place! We even made a souvenir penny in the shape of North Carolina.

EAT | Demo’s Pizzeria and Deli

Strolling the shops of Glenwood Ave can work up an appetite and we knew just the place to stop for a casual bite! DeMos Pizzeria and Deli, located at 222 Glenwood #121, offers NY style thin crust pizza and also a full service deli offering Boars Head Products. My husband/daughter shared a cheese pizza [read my full review of DeMo’s >>here] and I had a specialty sandwich called the San Fran, made with turkey, avocado, bacon, tomato and pepper jack cheese. It was so good! Great family-friendly environment and attentive staff makes DeMo’s Pizzeria and Deli one of our local favorites.

Random Raleigh

The City of Raleigh has earned the reputation of being one of the best places to live in the USA. There is a celebrated food scene, we have the largest research park [RTP] in the nation, and the diversity of culture and art that I can expose my child to is why we are happy to be here in the state capital. During Spring Break, we had the opportunity to visit a dairy farm

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My daughter and I had the opportunity to visit Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum and got a private tour of NC State Dairy Farm. This unique agritourism experience allowed us to have some educational fun while learning how a typical North Carolina dairy farm operates. Some of what we learned: *how milk is made *what cows eat *how they raise the cows *what kind of cows are there ———— We loved seeing the baby cows and how they are cared for. We left knowing that milk is obtained in a clean, safe environment and that is is good for you. Especially in the form of Howliing Cow ice cream, which we got to enjoy at the end of the tour! ————— ***Interested in going on a GROUP Tour? To get more info, contact Alex Ives at awives@ncsu.edu

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and enjoyed admiring art around town, like the Raleigh ArtBeats Sidewalk Murals

..plus, had fun discovering many of the IG worthy murals we have in Raleigh!

Our main goal for this Spring Break Staycation was to simply have family fun with each other outdoors and teach our girl how to ride her bike without training wheels. Mission complete! We have many biking trails and beautiful parks here. We utilized Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department as a guide for fun and free things to do like the Pop-Up Studio Free Art for Kids Program and where to go for outdoor recreation like bike riding or simply blowing bubbles in the park!

I hope you enjoyed reading my Spring Break Staycation Family Fun Ideas For Raleigh,NC and will consider visiting if you are a tourist or revisiting some places like a tourist if you are a local. Whether your kid is on Spring Break, Track Out or you are curious what to do on a weekend, take the time this Spring to get outside and explore Raleigh, NC ….where all are welcome!

3 Easy Easter Basket and Gift Ideas for Ages 7 and Up #easter #easterbasket #eastergifts #eastergiftguide

Do you like to make, create or buy Easter Baskets for your child? I still do! But I will say this year, with my 7 year old, I found myself needing to think out [and inside] the box for Easter Basket/Gift Ideas. My daughter is no longer into what she calls a “baby” basket filled with a plush bunny, toys, and candy. So I came up with 3 Easy Easter Basket and Gift Ideas for Ages 7 and Up to share with you!

For The Aspiring Chef/Kid Foodie

Does your son or daughter love to help you cook? Or maybe you have an aspiring Chef or young food critic in your home then do what I did, fill a basket filled with items any kid cook would love! I went to the Dollar Tree and got one of those stackable bins and filled it up with kitchen tools like a timer, veggie brush, portatoe masher, a pizza pan, ingredients like olives, pepperoni, chocolate chips for making homeade cookies and a fun Easter egg towel. My daughter is going to love this and she can keep all her new kitchen tools in the bin!

This basket was inspired by this book I recently was gifted, a new title from Prestel Junior that is perfect for spring break/summer activities: 20 Recipes Kids Should Know by Esme Washburn and photographer Calista Washburn (ISBN: 978-3791385075; Hardcover $16.95). The perfect book for children, this fun and engaging cookbook is written and photographed by a pair of young sisters for budding chefs.

Whether they’re helping stir cake batter or producing their own YouTube cooking channel, kids of all ages are getting increasingly busy in the kitchen. This cookbook features twenty classic recipes that are fun, healthy, adaptable and easy to prepare. From banana bread and the perfect grilled cheese to breaded chicken and apple pie, each recipe is written in a clear, accessible style that young cooks of every level will be able to follow. The author is a young chef whose love of cooking developed from her own family’s food traditions like baking popovers with her grandmother and Sunday-night pizza making. By teaching kids basic recipes that can be adapted in endless ways, this book is the perfect launching pad to finding their way around the kitchen–or launching their own cooking careers.

For The Kid Who Loves Unboxing

Looking for something stunning, affordable for many budgets, and very different than a traditional basket for Easter? Check out the brand new Easter Care Package from GourmetGiftBaskets.com, a leading online gifting site, which has released its 2019 collection of new Easter baskets and other treats.

This very colorful care package has blue bunny Peeps, jelly beans, a chocolate bunny, gourmet popcorn, cookies, and even carrot-shaped chocolates to match the bunny theme. Super fun, this package will really make recipients “HOPPY.” 🙂 Lol! To see the rest of the Easter offerings at GourmetGiftBaskets.com, go here.

👀WATCH #outandaboutAva Unboxing Video of this Easter Care Package from GourmetGiftBaskets.com

For The Kid Who Would Enjoy A Customized Basket Filled With Their Favorite Things

I customized my daughter’s Easter Basket based on her current likes and faves. One of the things that she enjoys doing is doodling/journaling. I recently was gifted a new journal by Jess Volinski that Quiet Fox Designs has released titled Notebook Doodles Peace Love. This journal is fun, positive and perfect for tween girls! The pages are filled with inspirational writing prompts designed to build confidence and self-esteem. I can’t wait to give this to my girl!

I recycled her Easter Basket that I got from Ross last year and filled it with items found at Dollar Tree, Tuesday Morning, and Walmart. Because she likes bright colors, I got glossy plastic eggs and filled it with polish, lip balm, bath bomb and a lil cash was put in her Golden Egg! I found some slime, sunglasses, a windchime craft and cilantro herb growing kit just in time for Spring! I got the cello wrap from Dollar Tree and voila, a customized Easter Basket tailored to her likes!

SobeSavvy Tip: Add some of your child’s favorite snacks in their customized basket as an extra special treat! Check out these 4 Easter Treats for your child :

1. Welch’s Easter Fruit Snacks

The limited-edition Welch’s Easter Fruit Snacks box and pouch have custom Easter-themed graphics with festive egg, bunny, and chick shaped pieces – perfect for egg stuffing, egg hunts or to simply snack on all season long! Welch’s Mixed Fruit Easter Fruit Snacks are available online at welchsfruitsnacks.com as well as in-store at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Dollar General, Family Dollar, BJ’s, and other local retailers.

Here is what we like about this treat:

•Made with REAL Fruit
•Fruit is our first ingredient
•Gluten-free
•No preservatives
•Fat-free

2. OREO THINS BITES

OREO THINS BITES cookies, a 2019 Product of the Year award winner, are thin and crispy bite-sized OREO THINS cookies made with OREO cookie’s distinctive rich cocoa and signature crème that are covered in a smooth, thin coating of fudge. The delicious combination of a thin crispy cookie, signature OREO crème and a thin coating of fudge make OREO THINS BITES cookies the perfect bite-sized treat to munch on and enjoy. They are available on Amazon.com in delicious varieties like fudge dipped Original and Mint. I must admit these are my favorite to snack on too!

3. Kinder Joy

KINDER JOY™, a 2019 Product of the Year award winner, is all about creating special bonding moments between parents and children through the elements of surprise and joyful play. Their mission is to inspire parents to spark, share, and celebrate the simple joys of childhood with their kids, every day. KINDER JOY™ is a two-in-one treat: half smooth cocoa and sweet cream topped with crispy wafer bites, half mystery toy. To enjoy, simply pop, peel, scoop, and play!

4. Butterfinger

You’ve gotta get your fingers on the better Butterfinger – a 2019 Product of the Year award-winner! The recipe for one of America’s most iconic candy brands, Butterfinger, has been improved and it’s BETTER! A richer, chocolatey coating with more real milk provides a creamier mouth feel, better quality Georgia Jumbo peanuts deliver robust flavor, and new packaging to provide improved freshness. It’s the crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery Butterfinger beloved by consumers, now even better!

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I hope you enjoyed reading my Easter Gift Guide and found my ideas for basket stuffers to be helpful. My final suggestion is to have fun,get creative, keep it simple and save those baskets and plastic eggs to remix/refill next year! ARE YOU GIFTING OR MAKING A BASKET FOR A CHILD THIS EASTER? Tell me something that is going in your basket!

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3 Books That Celebrate Strong Women | Book Review + Giveaway @MangoPublishing #books

Hello Readers and Hello April! Can you believe how quick March went?! I can not, but I am always happy for a new month to arrive and to share new books that I have read. Since March is National Reading Month and Women’s History Month, I thought I would share with you 3 Books That Celebrate Strong Women, which is something we should do no matter what month it is, right?! Plus, I have a gift for you to win and keep the celebrations going! Stay tuned..but first, let me tell you about these three phenomenal books from Mango Publishing.

STILL I RISE

STILL I RISE- THE PERSISTENCE OF PHENOMENAL WOMEN- by Marlene Wagman-Geller

You may recognize the title Still I Rise from a poem by Maya Angelou. The Author’s Note shares that this book is a tribute to that poem and dedicated to the women who helped her rise. STILL I RISE, [which was #1 New Release on Amazon] is a paperback book that answers the questions— Who are the great women leaders in history? Who are the women heroes who personify “girl power”?
STILL I RISE embodies the strength of character of the inspiring women profiled. Each chapter will outline the fall and rise of great women heroes who smashed all obstacles, rather than let all obstacles smash them. There are so many unknown stories of women who quietly and courageously changed the course of history! I can guarantee there will be stories in this book that will not only resonate with you but leave you inspired to lead a life well-lived!

SobeSavvy.com Book Review | STILL I RISE- THE PERSISTENCE OF PHENOMENAL WOMEN- by Marlene Wagman-Geller

DEAR WOMAN

DEAR WOMAN by JUST MIKE THE POET- Michael E.Reid

I have heard so much about this author [@justmikethepoet] via social media and hearing how empowering this book has been for women that I was excited to read DEAR WOMAN. This hardcover book is poetry+self help+inspirational all wrapped up into one dope read! This book was respectfully written by Michael E. Reid aka Just Mike The Poet to encourage all women to:

Stop cutting yourself short: You must wear your crown at all times. Every woman is a queen, and you don’t have to wait for someone to give you your crown. 👑

Take a journey: No one has just one page in their life story. That’s why DEAR WOMAN has everything—quotes, letters, short stories, and poems to educate, motivate, encourage, and provide a little tough love.

Want the best for yourself: Michael E. Reid wrote this book and started with these encouraging words “Dear Woman, This is YOUR book. With it comes the responsibility to be a better woman.” This is more than a self-help book, more than just relationship advice for women—though it does include both of those things. No, this inspirational open letter, full of poetry and wisdom, is life advice just for you.

Do it for you: You are an amazing woman. Deep down, you know that. DEAR WOMAN isn’t here to tell you that you need to improve. Rather, it’s here to tell you that you can be your true self—for yourself.

Filled with great advice and written to shed some love and light, DEAR WOMAN is a great read and reminder for every woman to Be Confident, Know You Deserve The Best and Love Yourself!

SobeSavvy.com Book Review | DEAR WOMAN by JUST MIKE THE POET- Michael E.Reid

THE FEMINIST FINANCIAL HANDBOOK

THE FEMINIST FINANCIAL HANDBOOK •A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Wealthy Life• Brynne Conroy

I start a new, full time job in a couple of weeks and this time around I want to be smarter about saving and investing my earnings as well as paying off debt. I was attracted to THE FEMINIST FINANCIAL HANDBOOK to help me with these goals. I plan to start reading this book this week and can’t wait to learn more about general financial planning principles. THE FEMINIST FINANCIAL HANDBOOK provides actionable tips for overcoming obstacles and explores financial issues with anecdotes and perspectives of women of different races, sexual orientations and abilities. I look forward to reading the stories and learning from the advice of women who have worked through the struggle, and achieved their goals.

SobeSavvy.com Book Review | THE FEMINIST FINANCIAL HANDBOOK •A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Wealthy Life• Brynne Conroy

***SobeSavvy Giveaway: ENTER to WIN all 3 BOOKS THAT CELEBRATE STRONG WOMEN!

1.SHARE this SobeSavvy.com post via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest by clicking option below ………….AND…………

2. Leave a COMMENT sharing one of your greatest strengths!

One Winner will be chosen at random on April 10, 2019 at 12pm/noon EST.

***Plus, earn an EXTRA ENTRY by entering via Instagram ⤵️

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvzNr5SHmqW/

SobeSavvy.com Book Review + Giveaway | 3 Books That Celebrate Strong Women

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Concert Review |7 Fave Moments That Happened at #TheMillenniumTour #PNCArena #RaleighNC


The Year 2000 was memorable for 2 reasons. Unfounded Y2K fears and awesome music. If indeed 1999 was going to be the end, it was going to end on a high musical note. R&B music had alot of fresh new artists who topped the charts over and over again. These artists have now joined forces for The Millennium Tour! All of my favorites from back in the day were on stage at the PNC Arena here in Raleigh,NC on Friday, 3/29/19.

B2K, Mario, Lloyd, The Ying Yang Twins, Pretty Ricky, Bobby Valentine and Chingy owned the music charts during that time. So many of us was excited to see them all and relive some good music memories. The arena was packed and the energy was on 10! Overall, I thought the concert was incredible and here are 7 Fave Moments That Happened At The Millennium Tour:

1. Doing The “Chickenhead” Dance When Chingy Performed ‘Right Thurr’


Chingy got the party started as the first act that hit the stage at The Millennium Tour. In addition to performing his classic hits like ‘One Call Away’, ‘Balla Baby’ and ‘Holidae Inn’, fans in the audience got a special visual treat when they showed thw videos from back in the day that go with the songs. What really got the crowd hyped was his hit “Right Thurr”. Raise your 🙋🏽‍♀️ if you used to do the ‘chickenhead’ dance!

2. Seeing The Romantic Side Of Bobby V

Bobby V or you may remember him as Bobby Valentino came ready to sing and remind us all to “Slow Down” and enjoy some good R&B music. You could tell he is still very passionate about performing and his voice, songwriting and piano skills is missed. The ladies got a special treat at the end of his set with a romantic gesture of roses given to some of the women in the audience. Awww 🌹🌹 so sweet of you Bobby V!

3. Singing A Duet Of ‘You’ With Lloyd From My Seat

Hi, my name is Leslie and I ❤ Lloyd.  Recently I watched him on the TV show “Unsung” and learned even more about this artist, so I was hyped to see him perform live! He made his appearance to the stage from the audience which made for a nice entrance! He not only sang his hits like  “Southside”, “Get It Shawty” but he also played the guitar while singing his latest song “Caramel”. But my favorite song to sing along with him as a duet (in my head) is “You”. So when that jam came on, me and everyone else was happy to sing right along with him.

4. Getting Crunk With The Ying Yang Twins

The Ying Yang Twins brought some energy (and laughter) to the stage. You can just tell they were ready to move the crowd and have a good time. Nobody was scared to “shake it like a salt shaker” and everybody kept the party going from “the windows to the wall”! The Ying Yang Twins surprised us with the remix version of “Right Thurr” and brought Chingy back out to the stage. They showed up and showed out and reminded us Ying Yang in this thang!

5. Seeing The Freaky Side Of Pretty Ricky

Warning! Parental Discretion should be advised when Pretty Ricky hits the stage. Fellas get ready to take notes and Ladies make sure you have something cold to drink for this part of the concert because things are about to get hoooootttttt🔥!  When Pretty Ricky and their dancers came on stage and performed “Grind With Me” you knew this part of the show was for the Grown and Freaky and I loved every bit of it! Took me back to when I lived in Miami, Fl from 1996-2015 and every club, radio station would play “Your Body”, “On the Hotline” and of course “Grind On Me”.

*******SobeSavvy Tip: Pretty Ricky Fans can have the opportunity to enjoy a VIP Meet & Greet in select cities during the tour. Here are the dates:

6. Witnessing the Evolution of Mario

Like Mario, I was born and raised in Baltimore, so I am always routing for the hometeam! Moving to Miami at the age of 23 did not make me forget where I came from but just gave me two places to love. To hear Mario perform and see his career evolve from singer to being in the live production remake of “Rent” and his current acting role on the popular tv show, “Empire”  is a proud Baltimorean moment for me!
His sharp stage presence, and precise dance moves, along with his amazing dance moves gave his show a polished feel. He obviously hits the gym very often and it showed when he “lost” his shirt to the delight of all the women in attendance. When he sang his biggest hit “Let Me Love You”, so many of us women screamed to take him up on his offer to be more than “Just A Friend”.

7. The Reunion of B2K

What we all had been waiting for but never thought we would see….the reunion of all of the original B2K members! For a 3 year stretch, this popular boy band group was hot on the charts, they filmed a movie and won lots of awards. Their music videos, style and dance moves had millions of people on their journey to a successful and long career. After 15 years, Raz-B, (Lil)Fizz, (J)Boog, and Omarion came back to “Bump,Bump,Bump” like they never left!

Fans got served at The Millennium Tour with amazing vocals, and choreography from B2K as well as solo performance from Omarion, who had a string of hits like “Touch”, “Ice Box” and “Supposed to Be” as a solo artist.  I was not familiar with the song “Distance” by Omarion and have now added that tune to my Afro/ Tribal beats playlist. Nothing like going to a live concert and discovering new music to enjoy. If you haven’t heard it..get into it y’all! And definitely get your tickets to see history remade with the reunion of B2K!
*******SobeSavvy Tip: Fans can get a chance to enjoy #B2KVIPExperience during The Millennium Tour! Check it out>>> here!

*******👀 WATCH my YouTube Video >>here
and check out #TheMillenniumTour hashtag to see more favorite moments from the concert!

Have you seen the tour or do you plan to go in your city? Let me know in the comments below what was your favorite moment of the concert or favorite memory of any of these performers and their music when you were growing up!

*******For more tour information, visit www.gsquaredevents.com

Event Recap | @VidrioRaleigh #Wine Market & Tasting |#VidrioRaleigh #SavorLife #Raleigh #NC #Events

🍷 Raleigh, Get ready to enjoy a fun evening discovering great wines and tasting savory hors d’oeuvres! See. Swirl. Smell. Sip. And Savor over 25 wines from around the world at Vidrio on Thu, Mar 28 at 6pm-9pm! [The first 50 guests in attendance will receive an exclusive Vidrio bottle opener!] In case you missed it, I hosted a giveaway and created a video sharing details for this event:

SHOP |For just $30, guests in attendance can shop for a new favorite wine and order bottles to take home!

There will be a wide range of options for all tastes. Whether you are new to wines and want to expand your palette, or an experienced wine connoisseur looking to get your hands on small production and esoteric labels, all kinds of wines, * New World * Old World * Back Vintage, will be available!

SNACK | Guests will also have a range of savory, light hors d’oeuvres prepared by Vidrio’s culinary team to snack on while you stroll around the Fiera Bar & Lounge, located on the 2nd Floor.

This restaurant is known for it’s delicious Meditteranean cuisine, so I personally was looking forward to enjoying their tasty bites!

SIP | Wine Tastings are always a great way to discover something new and learn more about wine. It is also fun date night idea or girls night out!

Also included with the ticket price is the chance to try 25 wines from around the world! What a great way to experience other wines you may not have tried before. No passport needed.

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SEE•SWIRL•SMELL•SIP•SAVOR That's what I'll be doing tomorrow night-March 28- @vidrioraleigh WINE MARKET & TASTING 🍷 Looking forward to sharing highlights from this fun evening, discovering great #wines and tasting savory hors d’oeuvres! There are still a Few Tickets left for the event, so why not treat yourself this #WineWednesday ?! . .🍷What was the last #glassofwine you enjoyed? . . #SobeSavvy #vidrioraleigh #SipandSavor #downtownRaleigh #dtr #RaleighEvents #Wine #WineTasting #SavorLife #RaleighNC #RaleighNights #soNCsavvy #winelovers #winedown #blackgirlswine #womenwholovewine #redwine #wineselfie #wineselection #winestagram #RaleighBlogger #Lifestyleblogger #WineBlogger #FoodBlogger #SobeSavvySips

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SobeSavvy Tip: If you are missing this event, no worries because they have a lot of these types of events! I encourage you to SIGN UP to receive updates >> here. The next event happens Friday,April 5th for their First Friday Cocktail Roundtable Series! *[Read my recap of the first round of this monthly event>> here.]

So come out and get ready to have a wonderful night! Follow me @SobeSavvy on Instagram to see highlights via my instastories plus, WATCH >>here for my full event recap of this event on YouTube.

*Tell me about a recent wine you discovered or your favorite wine below? 🍷

VIDRIO
500 GLENWOOD AVE.
RALEIGH, NC. 27603
919-803-6033

https://www.vidrioraleigh.com

Event Recap | 7th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience @BullCityEXP @DPAC #Durham #Food #Beer #Fun

On March 24, 2019, 30+ of Durham’s Finest Restaurants Paired with 30+ Fantastic Breweries at the 7th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience! This event was held at DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) in Durham, NC and presented by Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to benefit the ELLERBE CREEK WATERSHED ASSOCIATION.

Last year, I had the opportunity to cover the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience>>read recap here<< and can assure you it’s a great time for foodies and beer lovers alike!
The event features restaurants paired with breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Stella Artois Onstage Experience showcasing live music & local food trucks.

Admission into the Bull City Food & Beer Experience includes:

  • Souvenir Glass
  • Food Sampling from 30 of Durham’s finest restaurants in addition to local food trucks and food vendors
  • Beer Sampling from local and national breweries
  • A limited number of VIP Experience Ticket Holders will enjoy all elements of regular admission PLUS 30-minute early event access, a private entrance and restrooms, specialty food tastings, exclusive T-shirt, private access to VIP tasting lounge with specialty spirit, rare beer and wine tasting only available to VIP experience ticket holders.

Take a look at the 2019 List of Restaurant/Breweries:

Here are some of my Favorite Pairings and Highlights:

Harvest 18 – Tröegs Independent Brewing

Alley Twenty Six – Golden Road Brewing

The Pit – Bold Rock Hard Cider

Bleu Olive – Compass Rose Brewery

Qspresso – Stem Ciders

Stella Artois Onstage Experience featuring Live Music

Check out more of my favorite bites from the night:

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Swipe 🔙 to see some of the tasty bites from last night at the 7th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience! Over 30+ local restaurants were paired with breweries and some of the Chefs created dishes using whichever beer,ale,cider,stout,mead it was paired with! The yummy variety at @bullcityfoodandbeerexperience is what I most enjoyed about the event! ********* See my YouTube video recap + Read more about this event #ontheblog, SobeSavvy.com! *********** #bullcityfoodandbeerexperience #BullCity #Food #Beer #Durham #NC #DurhamEats #919eats #DurhamFoodies #NCeats #DurhamRestaurants #NomNom #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #yum #Lifestyleblogger #EventBlogger #FoodBlogger #RaleighBlogger #DurhamBlogger #TriFoodies

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This event was simply wonderful. The variety of food vendors on 3 floors allowed for our tastebuds to never get bored. Most dishes were presented in the perfect bite size so my beer samples never spilled! Some chefs chose to incorporate their beer pairing as an ingredient in whatever dish they created. I also loved how most beer vendors took the time to educate guests on various beer backstories and fermentation methods. It was simply the perfect way to spend a beautiful early spring afternoon!

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As The 7th Annual @bullcityfoodandbeerexperience comes to a close, I would like to raise my #beersampling glass to @tylersrestaurant + @samsquikshop and everyone who came out to @dpacnc for this #Durhamevent benefitting @ellerbecreeknc! There were so many delicious local #Durham #NC #restaurants, paired with #breweries from across the nation. Stay tuned for more highlights from the #bullcityfoodandbeerexperience on the blog, SobeSavvy.com! ————— #SobeSavvy #Foodblogger #Raleighblogger #eventblogger #Durhamblogger #durhamfoodie #ncblogger #beer #food #bullcity #durham #yum #chefs #foodfest #sundayfunday #ipa #beerfest #foodandbeer #foodies #ncbeer #trifoodies #durhameats #event #eatlocal

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👀Watch my YouTube Video event recap here>> https://youtu.be/XByGcmJptZo

For more information about participating Restaurants & Breweries, how to donate to Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association or if you want to sign up for details of their next event in 2020, please visit – BULLCITYEXPERIENCE.COM