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

#FamilyFun | 5 Reasons To See UniverSoul Circus @UniverSoulCirc | March 20-31,2019 in #RaleighNC

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to attend opening night as a blogger in the Raleigh/Durham area. All opinions are 100% my own.

Hey Raleigh, NC, Get ready for the triumphant return of America’s No. 1 Circus! Universoul Circus is back, now in its 26th year, to give you live family entertainment extravaganza! If you have never been before, or maybe you are a returning fan like me, I am here to share 5 Reasons To See Universoul Circus with your family and friends!

1. DIVERSITY

FACT: There are 13+ Countries Represented at UniverSoul Circus! Enjoy one-of-a-kind performances from around the world – all coming together as one under a single ring big top. Led by Ringmaster Lucky from South Africa and his long time Sidekick Zeke, the 2019 edition of UniverSoul Circus features contortionists from Guinea, Skaters from Cuba, Daredevil Motorcyclists from the United States, a High Wire Act from Colombia and Gabon, Trampoline Acrobats from Cuba and Ethiopia, Teeterboard Drillers from Mongolia, Solo Trapeze from Brazil, Trick Rescue Pooches from Colombia and Russia, a Cossack Horse Act from Kazakhstan, Cuba, Guinea and Mexico, Fresh the Clownsss from the United States, and many more surprises!

Teeterboard Drillers from Mongolia | Photo Credit: UniverSoul Circus

2. SIGHTS

UniverSoul Circus is rated as one of the top two circuses in America along with Cirque du Soleil and one of the reasons is because of all the exciting and electrifying acts! This once in a lifetime thrill-a-minute spectacle comes at you like a high-speed rollercoaster! If you like thrills and live entertainment, UniverSoul Circus has all of that!

Daredevil Motorcyclists from the United States | Photo Credit: UniverSoul Circus

3. SOUNDS

Celebrating 26 amazing years in 2019, UniverSoul Circus is a highly interactive combination of circus arts, theater, and music that spans genres including Pop, Classic R&B, Latin, Hip Hop, Jazz and Gospel. It embraces and celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of pop culture globally by bringing them center stage with a cast of international performers. FACT: There are over 11+ Performing Acts!

Photo Credit | UniverSoul Circus

4. SOUL

Celebrated around the world for spreading a soulful dose of unity, inclusion and diversity under its red and yellow striped big top, UniverSoul Circus was created in 1994 by a man named Cedric Walker who had a vision of creating a circus with an inclusive, jovial and soulful atmosphere. Participants are immersed into a global dimension, drawing multicultural, multinational, and multigenerational bonding through performance art for all people to enjoy and be entertained.

5. FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN

The last time my family and I attended was the Summer of 2017 and we had so much fun! [You can read my 2017 recap>>>here]. UniverSoul’s fresh approach to family friendly live entertainment has garnered it a coveted spot as one of Ticketmaster’s top ten most requested family events. When people ask me how is it? I simply say it’s a good time for all ages and encourage them to see for themselves why UniverSoul Circus is the #BestCircusEver!

Me and my family at UniverSoul Circus, 2017

*SobeSavvyGiveaway: I hosted a flash giveaway on Instagram and the winner(s) are…drum roll..Congrats to Meka H. and Kiara R. of Raleigh,NC

GET TICKETS on sale now via: www.ticketmaster.com

CONNECT:

@universoulcircus (Instagram)

@universoulcirc (Twitter)

www.facebook.com/universoulcir

www.youtube.com/universoulcircus

*Be sure to visit website to signup and become an insider and get updates for your city tour stop/dates at: www.universoulcircus.com

FOLLOW my highlights from opening night on Instagram @SobeSavvy and check out my video recap on YouTube! >> https://youtu.be/iZ_6pQQdtkU

RALEIGH:

Wednesday, March 20 thru Sunday March 31, 2019

Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek

3801 Rock Quarry Rd

Raleigh, NC 27610

* Next City >>Newark,NJ on 4/3/19

HAVE YOU BEEN TO UNIVERSOUL CIRCUS BEFORE? WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT? Let me know in the comments below! See you under the Big Top!🎪

Blogger Event Recap| #ScentandSipEvent in #Raleigh|Hosted by SobeSavvy.com

On Sunday March 3, SobeSavvy.com hosted an invite only event in Raleigh, NC called #ScentandSipEvent. It was a great opportunity to toast to our womanhood, a chance to network with other female Bloggers/Influencers in the Triangle [Raleigh/Durham,Chapel Hill,NC] and celebrate the spirit of female friendships, just in time for International Women’s Day/Women History Month!

We are making Herstory! | Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

INVITE

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. Despite the weather, I was happy to have the support of Girl Bosses who are making herstory in Raleigh,NC and beyond!Leslie Heigh ~ SobeSavvy.com, @SobeSavvy
Anna Haddock ~ @annakhaddock thecoffeetableblog.com | Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

VENUE

I bought some decor from home to customize event space at AC Hotel Raleigh | Photo Credit: Barry Heigh, SobeSavvy.com


This event was held at the very stylish AC Hotel Raleigh in North Hills [Read about my staycation there>>here]. The AC Hotel has quickly become THE place to stay and play. Beautiful public spaces, awesome guest rooms and a now iconic rooftop bar, Level 7, is what most know about them. What you may not realize is that the AC Hotel also has four meeting/conference rooms that can be booked for your next event! My event was held in the Corella room and which came set up with 4 round tables covered in black tablecloths and 5 chairs per table. The room had plenty of lighting and gorgeous artwork on the walls.

Cheers to the weekend! | Photo Credit: Niki McNeill ~ singlebubblepop.com @nikimcneill


Whether you need a room with audio/visual setup or a traditional corporate setup, they do it all. Our event room also had great floor to ceiling windows with wonderful views of the North Hills area. Another selling point is that you can have catered food and drinks included with your event space booking/contract. We had small bites selected by the Chef at AC Hotel Raleigh and conveniently set up in the room. Everything was so very tasty and paired well with our sips.Bruschetta, Crabcakes, & Bacon Wrapped Scallops ~ Oh My! Delicious Small Bites from AC Hotel Raleigh| Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

SCENT

Known for their signature scents, diptyque is the Art of Fragrance  | Photo Credit: Barry Heigh, SobeSavvy.com


Many years ago hubby and I were fortunate enough to have spent a month living in Paris. It is there that we discovered diptyque. We had never heard of this unique brand nor were aware of their amazing and exotic scents of candles. Our favorite ended up being Jasmine. We brought a few home and all our friends asked “what kind of candle smells THAT nice? Fast forward and now diptyque is world renowned for not just their high quality candles but for all of their fragrance based products for the home and body. Each guest received a gift bag which included the fragrance/shower oil called L’Ombre dans L’Eau. I would describe the scent and floral,fruity and exquisite!

#ScentandSipEvent gifts from diptyque | Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

SIP

Sips by Chambord | Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt


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 featured cocktail was the Chambord Royale and here is the recipe for you to enjoy!

Sips and Smiles with Danae Edmonds, ~ aspiringco.com, @aspiring_co | Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt


Vilarnau Brut Cava Reserva & Vilarnau Cava Rosé is a stunning pair from Barcelona with a sleeve inspired by the artist, Gaudi


Vilarnau Cava, a spanish sparkling wine, was also introduced to guests.

Made near Barcelona,Spain, Vilarnau provided two types of wine: Brut Reserva and Rosé Delicat. Both are aged over 15 mos in bottle, not tanks. This part of the fermentation method also guarantees the bubble to be more effervescent for a much longer time in your flute than other sparkling wines. I recently shared Five Things to Know about Vilarnau Cava and have found a new bubbly to celebrate with!

Vilarnau Cava is best served chilled | Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

I was honored to have Maxine Lee, CSW {Certified Specialist of Wine} to present the wine and chat with us about sparkling wines. She shared with us the difference between Champagne and sparkling wines is the orgin. Champagne comes from Champagne, France anything else from anywhere else is sparkling wine.  To learn mpre wine fundamentals, follow her @drinkgoodwithmax for her Wine Q & A on Monday nights.

Maxine Lee, Your Favorite Wine Specialist @drinkgoodwithmax |  Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography

#SobeSavvyGiveaway

Everyone loves a giveaway, so I had every guests drop their business cards into a box and at the end of the evening I drew 3 of them as winners. They all won various giftcards from three businesses in North Hills: Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Kings Bowling and The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. All places that I enjoy going to with my family!Congrats to Jen Lawrence ~www.jenoni.com, @JenOni_Inc , Kiara Ruth @KiaraRuth, Anna Haddock @annakhaddock | Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography

SobeSavvy Tip: Hit up the Dollar Tree and create your own DIY Selfie Station. String up some garland for a backdrop, grab some wall decals as signs, bring your own fun and strike a pose!

#ScentandSipEvent DIY Selfie Station | Photo Credit: Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt


I am very thankful to guests, grateful for partnerships with brands and businesses who participated in sponsorship of giveaway. Special thanks to the staff at AC Hotel Raleigh who made my guests and I had everything we needed. Many thanks to Sam Holt of Samuel Holt Photography for doing such a wonderful and professional job capturing the event!

#ScentandSipEvent Sam Holt @samuelholt | Photo Credit: Barry Heigh, SobeSavvy.com

WATCH my YouTube Video photo recap of the #ScentandSipEvent. Photos by Sam Holt. Video Edit by Leslie Heigh, SobeSavvy.com

https://youtu.be/mv1B_4IU9F0

Cheers! Thanks for reading!

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Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds takes you on a Musical Adventure thru March 24 @RLT1936 #ThreeLittleBirdsRLT

Tonight is opening night of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, presented by Raleigh Little Theatre. Join Ziggy and Nansi on a worldly adventure, enlivened by the fantastic songs of renowned Reggae artist, BobMarley. If you’re visiting Raleigh,NC, this is one musical you don’t want to miss. Now thru March 24, you can take your family to see Jamaica come to life and enjoy a night of theatre!

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It's #openingweekend of Bob Marley's Three Little Birds, @RLT1936! Take your family on a trip to Jamaica and join Ziggy & Nansi on a worldly adventure, enlivened by the music of #Reggae artist, #BobMarley. Now playing in #Raleigh #NC thru March 24! • Our favorite part was the interaction between cast and audience and the message to encourage children to explore the world beyond the tv [something we've always done with #outandaboutAva] Read more about this amazing production, #ontheblog, SobeSavvy.com! There was so many of my fave songs in this play. What's YOUR favorite Bob Marley song? • #musicaltheatre #ThreeLittleBirdsRLT #familyseries #familyfun #theatre #performingarts #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #lifestyleblogger #raleighblogger

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ABOUT THE PLAY

Meet Ziggy, a shy boy who would rather stay at home and watch television than explore the island of Jamaica. Over the course of his onstage journey, with some help from his friend Nansi, he realizes that the real adventures can be found outside, amid the birds and jungles and beaches. The wonderful music of Bob Marley helps bring their wordly adventure to life!

Ziggy-Jireh Ijeoma and Nansi- Seanna Osborne |Photographer- Jeannine Borzello

“It’s really teaching our kids that no matter what their troubles or fears, there’s still a little bit of sunshine out there. It’s up to the parents and the village, the Bible will tell you. You have to surround yourself with good people so you can grow into great people. I think the lyrics, the music, and performance will entertain everybody, young and old,” said Cedella Marley on the show’s message in an article by the Wall Street Journal.

SPECIAL DATES

Enjoy fresh milk & cookies after the Thursday, March 14 show of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds provided by Insomnia Cookies!

Enjoy the sounds of Jamrock in between Saturday, March 16 performances. Jamrock was founded in 1995 through the desire of a few Jamaicans to hear authentic music, featuring true “yard style” reggae rhythms, reggae standards, and an authentic Jamaican sound.

On Saturday, March 30 at 1 pm, RLT will present a sensory-friendly performance of “Three Little Birds.” A sensory-friendly performance is modified for families and friends with children or adults who have difficulty with sensitivity. Sensory-friendly seating is general admission allowing individuals extra space if needed.

The Cast of Three Little Birds | Photographer- Jeannine Borzello

REVIEW

I am seeing the show on Saturday, March 9th at 5pm with my husband and our 7 year old daughter, #outandaboutAva. I am so excited to review this production because we got married in Jamica in 1999 and I am a huge Bob Marley fan. When our daughter was a newborn and my husband had to travel for work, I was a stay at home Mom who relied on the songs of Bob Marley to get me thru the day. Songs like “No Woman No Cry“, “Is This Love” and “Three Little Birds” helped me to remember to …don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright!

Cedella- India Williams and Ziggy-Jireh Ijeoma | Photographer- Jeannine Borzello

Me and my #HeighPartyof3 loved the play. This one hour play had such a special vibe and awesome message. Go outside and see the world around you no matter where you reside. I also loved the live music, the dance and the brief Jamaican history lesson that weaved together all the cultures that make up Jamaica. The creative storytelling was full of fun and the set was simply beautiful.

The Cast of Three Little Birds | Photographer- Jeannine Borzello

“Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds” is on stage March 8 –24. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 919-821-3111, Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., or by visiting the theatre’s website at www.raleighlittletheatre.org.

WHICH BOB MARLEY SONG IS YOUR FAVORITE?

Raleigh Little Theatre

301 Pogue Street

Raleigh, NC

#WineWednesday Feature|5 Things to Know About Vilarnau Cava #Vilarnau #VilarnauCava #GonzalezByass @Vilarnau_UK

Vilarnau Cava Brut and Vilarnau Cava Rose

This past Sunday, I hosted a bloggers/influencer event called the #ScentandSipEvent (stay tuned for full recap) in honor of National Women’s Month in March. The event was to not only celebrate women who have made herstory before us but to toast to ourselves and the history we are making! I thought what is a celebration without a proper toast with bubbles?! Thanks to some PR friends, my guests were able to sample a wonderful Spanish Cava producer — Vilarnau. For this #WineWednesday Feature, here are 5 Things To Know About VILARNAU CAVA:

1.Environmentally Friendly

I was happy to learn that Vilarnau uses no herbicides and utilizes a nearby lake and rain water to irrigate their vineyards. All this makes for a great tasting,organic wine.

2. Made in Barcelona, Spain

They are located outside of Barcelona Spain so on your next visit, you can book a tour of the entire vineyard complex. The use of indigenous Spanish grapes gives it a wonderful taste and a distinct,bright, crisp finish. In 1982, Vilarnau was purchased by thr Gonzalez Byass family of wines.

The bottles are very photogenic — very Gaudi-esque

3. Very Fresh and Fruity

The Brut is complex, made from 3 separate wines and has the primary aromas of grapes. The rosé is intense with red berries and subtle violets. The rosé uses two types of grapes: Gamacha and Pinot Noir and pairs well with dishes like paella, pizza or pasta. Enjoy both as an aperitif or anytime!

Vilarnau Cava Rose | Photo Credit @nikimcneil @sobesavvy #ScentandSipEvent

4. Suitable For Vegans

Vegans are very limited to drinking wine due to the fact that part of most winemaking processing includes gelatin or animal by product. Vilarnau wine uses none of these so Vegans can now raise their glass with assurance!

5. Aged in bottle for over 15 months

Vilarnau Cava has a second fermentation in the bottle(same method as Champagne) where it is in contact with yeast for at least 15 mos. This gives it’s bubble their slow and long lasting effervescence.

Maxine Lee of @drinkgoodwithMax presents the perfect pour of Vilarnau Cava Brut | photo credit Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

Everyone enjoyed the brightness of the flavors and of course the fantastic bubbly. The beauty of the bottles added to the celebration. As Vilarnau would say.. “life is full of little moments worth celebrating, so #makeitsparkle” with these spanish sparkling wines from Vilarnau!

Have you ever tried Vilarnau Cava Brut or Vilarnau Cava Rosé before? Let me know in the comments below! CHEERS 🥂

Celebrate @FoodNetwork#TheBestThingIEverAte Rugby Crepe at @SimplyCrepes #RaleighNC @LafayetteVil

Disclaimer: Thanks to our friends at Simply Crepes Raleigh for hosting SobeSavvy.com and inviting us to try their Rugby Crepe!

Since moving to Raleigh almost 4 years ago, I have managed to find a few of my favorite restaurants here. One of them is Simply Crepes. Located in the fashionable Lafayette Village, Simply Crepes is a family owned homage to everything crepes. Savory and Sweet rule the day here. I have always told all my friends and family about the place. I am glad to announce they will soon be known to millions more. Simply Crepes will have their own featured segment on the iconic Food Network show called “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on April 8!

Entering it’s 10th season, this show highlights what and where celebrity chefs and hosts of Food Network Programs like to eat on their off time and on their own dime. Chef Fabio Viviani (whom I had the pleasure to meet/interview in Miami in 2015 and dine at his restaurant Siena Tavern Miami), is the breakout star of the reality show Top Chef who now owns various eateries and restaurants nationwide! He stopped by Simply Crepes in NY while on a business trip in the area and was impressed by the food to say the least. There was one crepe in particular that he fell in love with. It is called The Rugby Crepe.

Simply Crepes ‘Rugby Crepe’ Voted “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” by Chef Fabio Viviani to be featured on Food Network in April 2019 | Photo Credit SobeSavvy.com


Simply Crepes calls this their homage to the Big Mac. Shaved Angus Steak , crisp lettuce, cheddar cheese, pickles, sauteed onions on a sesame seed crepe! Chef Fabio Viviani approached the owners to be on the show. They agreed and as they say, the rest is history. I had a chance to try this crepe with the option of adding applewood bacon and agree with Chef. It is amazingly good! The best part was the Russian dressing. I could seriously put that on everything!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuSAoIUn2hQ/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=pphrswzur4nn

Simply Crepes also has some incredible sides to go with this now famous item. Their Brussell Sprouts are something to behold. Crispy, with balsamic and goat cheese crumble.You may also want to try their loaded potatos as tasty side or one of their delicious soups. I recommend the Creamy Potatoe and Bacon Chowder.No matter which starter or side you choose, save room for dessert. The Bananas & Creme Crepe is the perfect sweet ending to your meal.

SobeSavvy Tip: Visit Simply Crepes on Mimosa Monday’s and you get half price mimosa’s and also $20 Mimosa Carafe’s. They offer 4 different flavors for your choosing. It is the perfect way to celebrate with Simply Crêpes!

Make sure you tune into ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate‘ on the Food Network on April 8 to see the Simply Crepes feature. Better yet come through Simply Crepes today and try it for yourself. It may end up the best thing YOU ever ate!
•Have you dined at Simply Crepes before?
•What is the best thing you ever ate?
Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

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5 Zen-Tastic Books To Read For Your Wellness From @MangoPublishing

According to Forbes list of 10 Wellness Trends You Have To Try In 2019, “finding big meaning in small rituals”, “unplugging from the digital world” and “workouts for the soul” are just some of the ways you can add some Zen to your life.

In my opinion, you can never have too much Zen. For example, I recently created a meditation space for myself that I call the “Zen Spot“…

…..as well as a little “Zen Den” for my daughter to read/relax in.

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After creating a little Zen Spot of my own (see last post), I was motivated to give our 7 y/o daughter one. She is going to be so surprised to see this relaxing #readingnook I created in her room! I just moved some things around (like the dollhouse she hardly plays with), hit up a few of my fave neighborhood stores for some sale items(see instastory to see from where) and VIOLA!💫 ——————– Do you have a dedicated reading space in your home for yourself or child? 📚 —————– #SobeSavvy #Lifestyleblogger #MomBlogger #raiseareader #reading #readingspace #kidsroom #kidsroomdecor #girlmom #girlroomdecor #DIY #happyhome #organization #readingismagic #diversebooks #readingisfun #mondaymotivation #booklover #momlife #RaleighBlogger #Raleighmoms #bookstagram #childrensbooks #outandaboutAvareads

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Did you know reading is a key wellness practice? It is proven to reduce stress, build empathy, and even lessen sugar cravings! It’s nice to have these peaceful nooks at home to which I recently added these 5 Zen-tastic Books To Read For Your Wellness from Mango.

THE MAGIC OF CRYSTALS & GEMS

As someone who has been gifted stones and have always admired the beauty of crystals, I was intrigued by this book. I wanted to learn more and discover what lies behind or shall I say within these gems. This book is a fun, entertaining and enlightening guide to the magical uses of crystals and the powers of stones.

GODDESS POWER

What is the divine feminine? Who is the goddess Oshun? Why is “herstory” an essential part of our cultural legacy? Goddess Power is a book that will answer those questions and more! Informative, Inspiring , Insightful and Important~ these are just four words that I would use to descibe why I enjoy this book.

WOMAN’S BOOK OF PRAYER

No matter when or how you pray, this book was written to show you the way thru words of encouragement, inspiring quotes, poems and meditations. Becca Anderson has done an amazing job at gathering a year’s worth of prayers by and for women for every occasion. I have found that reading from this devotional each day has impacted my spirit in a positive way.

ZEN DOGS

Our daughter wants a dog but since that is not happening anytime soon, she was happy to receive this book filled with adorable photos of mindful mutts and dharma dogs! Zen Dogs offers key lessons on how to live in the now. Dog lovers will enjoy reading the timeless teachings of Buddhism, meditations and eternal truths while enjoying the pictures of so many cute canines.

SUPER AGER

As a 45 yr old Mom of a 7 year old, it is important for me to prepare for my second half of life. I want to do everything I can to not only age with grace but to live long and prosper. It’s every parents wish to be here for as long as we can to see the growth of our children. Super Ager is a ‘how-to’ book that compiles a comprehensive look at what others are doing to be healthy at age 100 and beyond! I’m ready to increase my lifespan and my healthspan with this book.

📚SobeSavvy Tip: Find these great books and more from amazing authors at >>>> Mango.

I am so looking forward to curling up with these books and learning from each of them. So if you don’t hear from me, I’ll be somewhere reading. Which one of these books would you add to your collection or gift to someone?

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My Top 8 Day Date Ideas in Raleigh, NC | SobeSavvy.com

Time like money doesn’t grow on trees. Finding time to date can be challenging as parents, however creating “couple” time is something I have become good at. While having a date night out can be rare for us, going on day dates have become something we enjoy. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share My Top 8 Day Date Ideas in Raleigh,NC :

Admire Art while on a Museum Date at NCMA

Art and nature are two things I love and NCMA has a wonderful way of celebrating the beauty of both. We have not only enjoyed the exhibits inside but have spent time walking along their grassy pathways adorned with public sculptures. A memorable day date for me was during Art in Bloom, which pairs works of art with floral bouquets. This 4 day fundraiser returns March 21–24. Tickets available at ncartmuseum.org/bloom or (919) 715-5923

Relax with a Couples Mani/Pedi Spa Date at POLISHED NAIL BAR

If you read my previous post about treating your Valentine to some pampering time, then you know why I love treating myself and my loved ones to a mani/pedi at Polished Nail Bar. It’s a great place to meet your girls, take your man, treat your Mom or even have some alone time. The mimosas along with their great service and comfy throne chairs will leave you and your date relaxed!

Treat yourselves to something sweet and go on an Ice Cream Date at RALEIGH ROLLS

We scream for ice cream and now have a special place that makes me wanna shout! That place would be Raleigh Rolls, located at the new Morgan Street Food Hall. This is more than a mere ice cream place. It is a unique way to enjoy an age old favorite. Instead of “scooping” they “roll” up ice cream into your own customized concoction. They start with a base and you build on from there with your choice of toppings. This Valentine’s Day ❤ they are offering a special Red Velvet ice cream & a bottle of champagne for $15! Share with your date and let the good times “roll”!

Go on a Movie Date and get a drink/bite to eat right at your seat at ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE

Anytime we want to catch a movie in a special setting we head down to Alamo Drafthouse. This is a retro moviehouse experience. Full bar and delicious menu items are at your disposal. You can even eat at your seat. Alamo has it all. They have a real movie rental store in the lobby. How retro and fun is that !? Did I also mention they have “bottomless” popcorn? Read more about my Alamo experience >>>here.

Have a Breakfast with Bae Coffee Date at MORNING TIMES

Every city needs that classic coffee shop where you can have a great breakfast in a nice atmosphere with amazing coffee. Morning Times would be THAT spot in downtown Raleigh. Read my post to see why locals love their vibe. Look carefully at that latte, it just may have a foam heart in it .

Spice up your life and have a Lunch Date at CURRY IN A HURRY

Spicy and mild is how some folks describe my husband and myself! The perfect lunch for us is Curry In A Hurry. Most people know them from their amazing food truck here. Last year, they decided to open their first brick and mortar store at the Morgan Street Food Hall. Indian/Asian curries are their specialties. Their most popular dish is their butter chicken. If that is too mild, go for something like their Green Chicken Curry which definitely has more of a kick. Read my full review>>here and make plans to spend your lunch hour at Curry In A Hurry.

Grab a cocktail or two from the NEW Social Hour menu at ORO

Do you enjoy good conversation and cocktails? Head to the bar at ORO Restaurant & Lounge in Downtown Raleigh for their new Social Hour. On Mon -Thurs, 5pm-7pm items like Truffle fries, lobster crab bites and sliders along with wine and ” The Social Butterfly” cocktail are just $5 on their bar menu. The amazing flavors in such a gorgeous space will leave you and your date impressed!

Enjoy an early Dinner Date for 2 at DRIFTWOOD

Whenever hubby and I want a taste of southern hospitality, we make our way to Driftwood Southern Kitchen in Lafayette Village in North Raleigh. Pork Rinds awaits at the table for you and your date to enjoy! They have daily drink specials and delicious food that is locally sourced when possible. My suggestions would be to start with the Brussels Sprouts and end with the Vanilla Cheesecake. Their brisket is some of the best and the Blackened NC Catfish is fantastic! You and your date will no longer be hungry but happy after dining at Driftwood.

SobeSavvy Tip: Just a few steps away from Driftwood in Lafayette Village is Watkins Flowers of Distinction. Why not surprise your date with flowers or a beautiful candle. They have so many unique gifts that would add a bit of wow to any date!

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Look at this gorgeous #feelingfelineforValentines floral arrangement created by @watkinsflowers , located in @lafayettevillage in #Raleigh ! If you have a unique theme or looking for any distinct flowers, gifts, jewelry and more for your Valentine, let #WatkinsFlowers create magic for you! . . Swipe 🔙 to see more of this beautiful #floralarrangement Check out my #instastories to see more of what they offer, visit the store or shop their website and support this family owned, local business! ❤ Do you like to give/receive flowers for #Vday? . . #watkinsflowersofdistinction #LafayetteVillage #northraleigh #nc #flowers #roses #floral #leopardprint #wild #flowers #ValentinesDay2019 #uniquerose #floraldesign #vdayflowers #love #feelingfeline #leopardprintlover #raleighflorist

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There are so many more places to explore in Raleigh. No matter what you or your date like to do, I hope this post can be a resource for you. I plan to update it as I discover other faves but these are just 8 that we feel are great!

Where is your favorite place to go on a Day Date in Raleigh, or your city? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading! ❤

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❤ Make a Heart Healthy Dinner at Home for your Valentine with Ungraded Produce @ungradedproduce

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary box of goodness from Ungraded Produce in exchange for my honest review.

Did you know that February is Heart Healthy Month? Time to focus on keeping our hearts healthy through exercise and healthy eating habits. You know the saying..Happy Wife,Happy Life. Well this month, we’ve remixed that saying to ..A Healthy Husband and Wife leads to a Happier & Healthier Life. So I’ve partnered with Ungraded Produce to share a healthy husband and wife meal idea just in time for Valentine’s Day! ❤

Ungraded ProduceWho Are They?

They are a produce delivery service that provides customers with an easy way to fight against food waste. Fact: 1.2 million tons of food go to waste in NC each year! Founded in June 2015 by Courtney Bell, Ungraded Produce saw an opportunity to connect consumers with a supply of delicious but imperfect looking produce at 30-50% cheaper than supermarket alternatives!

■ What Do They Do?

Fact: 20% of the produce grown in the US gets left in the field or tossed for being “ugly”.

Ungraded Produce is working to fight these statistics by rescuing produce, packing/delivering it to the customer’s door and making an edible impact against food waste!

■ How Does It Work?

Fact: 40+ million Americans lack access to a convenient and affordable source of fresh produce.

With Ungraded Produce you get farm to door service when you get a subscription. Boxes ranges from 5-15 pounds and you have the option of weekly or biweekly delivery options. At any time you can cancel,pause or change products at any time!

*SobeSavvy Tip: New Customers SAVE $5 on your first box with promo code (HEALTHYNC)

Register at www.ungradedproduce.com

With your subscription, you are joining in the fight against food waste! Note: They deliver to most towns that border Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill only.

■ Why Should You Subscribe?

Make your health your wealth and priority this year. Treat yourself and family to affordable, easy, sustainable fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also very convenient to receive this special delivery right to my door! In my Large Mixed Produce Box, I received 15 lbs of FRUIT|honeydew melon, apples, tangerine mandarin oranges, bosc pears + VEGETABLEs|vidalia onions, spaghetti squash, poblano peppers, carrots, brocolli, tomatillios

■ How do I plan to use my box?

So far, I have made fresh juice from carrots and oranges in the morning!

My husband has entertained us with his Ungraded Produce juggling pre-dinner show…

…and together we have made a romantic dinner at home using all the unbelievable goodness from Ungraded Produce. Want to make a heart healthy dinner for your Valentine? ❤ Check out what we made using Ungraded Produce.

SANGRIA | Red wine in moderation is healthy right?! I added pears,apples,honeydew melon and voila..you are ready to raise a glass and toast to your Valentine.

DINNER | With the help of my friend Google, I mashed up a couple of recipes and came up with a delicious and healthy entreé to serve for our romantic dinner at home. First the sauce…

ITALIAN GREEN TOMATO SAUCE..inspired by this recipe>>here. After roasting the tomatillos, I added them to a blender to make a sauce to use for my spaghetti squash pasta.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PRIMAVERA inspired by this recipe>>here. First let me say thank you to whomever came up with idea to put the directions on how to make spaghetti squash in the microwave right on the label! Such a time saver.

After washing, dicing, slicing, sauteing, seasoning the veggies, it was time to add the green tomato sauce, the parmesean cheese, the spaghetti squash and L-O-V-E ❤!

The table was set for a night and meal he’ll never forget. I took a cue from Johnny Gill and ..🎶 put on my red dress, slipped on some high heels, and some of that sweet perfume 🎶..and My, My, My our meal was so good tonight! We enjoyed our romantic dinner at home made with Ungraded Produce. I hope you are inspired to subscribe and make something healthy and special for your Valentine too! ❤

■ Do you plan to dine in or out for Valentine’s Day?

■ Have you used Ungraded Produce service before?

Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading! ❤

#TRAVEL | Take A Staycation at the Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown +Valentines Day Giveaway

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of leaving the kiddo with Nana and checking into a hotel for an overnight staycation. I had a blog assignment to cover an event at a restaurant and chose a place that ended up being just over 100 steps away (yep, I counted for fun). The Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown proved to be an ideal stay and here are my favorite features of this hotel:

Convenient Location


Located at 600 Glenwood Avenue, this property makes the ideal base camp for a night out. Being the middle of all the action means parking our car for the evening and simply strolling. Glenwood South is one of Raleigh’s premiere entertaining and dining areas. This half a mile stretch features over a dozen restaurants, bars and nightclubs. I had the pleasure of dining at VIDRIO and attending an event there, which made an overnight stay in the neighborhood at the Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown the perfect idea!

Welcoming Lobby Area

As soon as we walked into the hotel we were greeted with the hotel’s mantra… “MAKING YOU HAPPY MAKES US HAPPY”. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?! We were greeted warmly in their bright lobby. Next to check in is a very neat little snack shop for those late night cravings. Plenty of information, maps and guides to give you some ideas of what to do in downtown Raleigh. On the way to the elevator we noticed quite a bit of comfy seating areas where guests can relax. I loved the silver pineapple which is the symbol of hospitality/welcome.

Spacious Rooms

Having that famous Hampton Inn comfort awaiting us made our night that much more special. We had a spacious studio suite with a microwave, mini fridge and a huge 43 Inch HDTV for our viewing pleasure. I also appreciated the amount of workspace available and the vanity area was big enough for both of our toiletries. The studio also had a sofabed. Take a look at my YouTube video for an inside look of the room.

Free Breakfast

We awakened hungry and lucky for us all we had to do was go downstairs. That is where Hampton Inn’s “On The House” Breakfast was being served. Everything from self serve waffles to omelettes were on the menu Saturday morning. I really loved the healthy choices that they offered like oatmeal and yogurt. Their Robust coffee in bed is a must every time I stay at any Hampton Inn.

Fitness Center + Pool

When I travel, I attempt to get in a workout and this property made it easy. They have cardio machines, free weights, and more to help keep you healthy and fit. In addition to the fitness center, this location has an indoor heated pool.

Hotel Information

Check-in: 3:00 pm

Check-out:12:00 pm

Smoking: Non-Smoking

Parking: Self parking: $8.00

Valet: Not Available

Service animals allowed: Yes

Pets allowed: No

SobeSavvy Tip: Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown is hosting a giveaway just in time for Valentine’s Day! Win one FREE night of your choice between February 14-17! Click here to enter. See details on the hotel’s Instagram.

Thanks for reading and Good Luck!

Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown
600 Glenwood Ave

Raleigh, NC 27603