#outandaboutAva Celebrates National Poetry Month + April News from @American_Girl #NPM17 #Poetry

Hey American Girl Doll fans….

  • Roses are Red,                                  
  • Violets are Blue,                 
  • SobeSavvy.com                                 
  • has exciting news for YOU! 

April is National Poetry Month, and to help celebrate American Girl is debuting a series of Gabriela-inspired videos, featuring real girls who use their passion of spoken word to let their voices be heard, while encouraging girls how to get started if they’ve never created spoken word poetry before.

In February, I shared a fun blog feature about #outandaboutAva and her new doll, the 2017 Girl of the Year, Gabriela McBride

 In case you missed it, here is a quick update on Gabriela:

·        Gabriela expresses herself through spoken word poetry. To help celebrate National Poetry Month (April), 

·         To connect boys and girls with Gabriela’s inspiring message and bring awareness of the strength in poetry, American Girl has partnered with Scholastic to create and distribute Express Yourself , a custom curriculum program that teaches 3rd-5th grade students how to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. The program features a poetry contest for students that will run throughout the month of April.

After watching the videos, my daughter was inspired to get out a pencil and paper to write her very own poem called “Math” because she loves numbers.  I guess her and Gabriela will be doing a little spoken word performance after dinner!

One plus Two…..I Love You

I have more exciting news for American Girl fans. American Girl will be launching Z Yang on April 27!

“Z” (short for Suzie) is Korean American and the latest character to join this series of contemporary characters, representing more diverse backgrounds, creative interests, and experiences for girls today.  As part of “More Characters To Love,” Z Yang will join Gabriela McBride, Tenney Grant and Logan Everett as AG newest doll in 2017. 

To celebrate Z’s launch, AG is hosting Z debut events at its retail locations nationwide the weekend of April 28. And on May 6, American Girl’s stores in NYC, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, and DC will host meet-up events to introduce fans to real girls who, like Z, have gained popularity and a strong online following based on their creative passion for photography and stop motion videos. They are:

 

o   NYC: Basilmentos https://www.youtube.com/user/basilmentos

o   Chicago: AGSmiless https://www.youtube.com/user/AGsmiless

o   Seattle: FiveHensandaCockatiel https://www.instagram.com/5hensandacockatiel/

o   Dallas: Mixie Pixie https://www.youtube.com/user/mixiepixie7

o   DC: FiveDollStars https://www.youtube.com/user/FiveDollStars

 

 

For more information, go to www.AmericanGirl.com

Remember Create, Dream BIG, and Celebrate your Inner Star!

In honor of National Poetry Month, feel free to drop a poem below in the comments. You never know who you might Inspire! 

#Raleigh, Plan your Mothers Day Brunch NOW @Seasons52 @shopcrabtree #Seasons52 #SundayBrunch 


This past Sunday, although rainy outside, my family and I found sunshine and the flavors of Spring inside Seasons 52. Located at Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall, SobeSavvy.com was invited to review their Sunday Brunch menu. Disclaimer: My husband and daughter joined me for this complimentary dine, however the opinions are our own.

Since we arrived after 12pm, we thought we’d start off trying their “Brunch Sips” Seasons 52 is well known to be a top notch spot for creative craft cocktails, so we were not surprised by how refresing their Sangria is..(yes it is as good as it looks)

…and how unique their Bellinis are. He ordered the white peach and I tried the rasberry Bellini for the first time. It was really good. Cheers!

Our daughter had her own kid’s brunch menu to review. Take a look at all these tasty choices for children under 12!

I am glad she chose the Brick Oven Brioche French Toast because that meant we could taste as well. She opted to have the pecans on the side and even ordered extra as those brown sugar pecans were so good, so addictive!

Before our brunch entrees came out, the Chef sent out an amuse bouche of their housemade orange marmalade, greek yogurt mousse with granola. It’s available also a mini starter and a great way to get your tastebuds ready for more amazing flavors.

On the Sunday Brunch Menu, there’s an array of creative entrees suited for anyone. Whether you choose sweet or savory, breakfast fare or lunch, Seasons 52 has one of the best gourmet menus that is very health conscious. I like how they actually list the calorie content of their dishes. Its good to know that the dishes we had not only taste good, but were good for us too! Here’s what we ate at Seasons 52 during their Sunday Brunch.

STARTERS

Hi my name is Leslie and I love Shrimp & Grits. So when I saw this listed on the menu, I knew I had to order it. I was not disappointed. The combination of cheesy grits, chorizo sausage and large shrimp were amazing! Warning it is not a shareable if you really love shrimp and grits. You are gonna want it all to yourself!

If you are looking for a shareable try the Meditteranean Hummus …Duck Lollipops (my least fave of the 3 only because it is a bit too gamey for me)

…or one of their flatbreads.  Lox on bagel lovers should definitely order the Smoked Salmon Flatbread. Our server Amy advised that it was one of her favorites and I really enjoyed Seasons 52 remix of this classic dish.


ENTREES

Even though Sunday Brunch starts at 10 am and ends at 1pm, dishes from the regular menu are available to order. My foodie family loves variety and Seasons 52 definitely serves up an array of “whats good now” emphasizing on fresh, seasonal ingredients. We tried two of their recommended egg based dishes. First up was their S52 Eggs Benedict. They put a new twist on this classic dish by replacing the traditional ham/canadian bacon with..wait for it..poached lobster ! Yup, it tasted BETTER than it sounds!!

Next we tried a beautiful dish served in a  ceramic dish called ShakShuka . This is a arabic middle eastern breakfast recipe of  of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, spiced with cumin. They added chorizo and feta cheese. It was so flavorful and just such a pretty dish to look at {prior to eating it !}

Seafood lovers must try the seabass. Mine was cooked to perfection. It’s served on “Forbidden Rice”  which I had for the first time. I don’t forbid you in trying this sticky black rice at all. It went well with snap peas and other asian flavors used to prepare this entree. Absolutely loved it!

Another fave dish that all of us enjoyed is the Lamb Chops. You get a nice sized rack of lamb that my daughter called the rack of love because she loved the lamb chops. We all agreed that it was tender, well seasoned and simply delicious. Just check out the pic below that I shared along w/others via InstaStories on my IG @SobeSavvy

DESSERT

We were full but still had room for dessert. They serve dessert in shot glass sized portions. Little glasses of heaven. Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie, Red Velvet Cake..got your attention yet. Pick your favorite. All made in house daily. Incredible ending to an incredible brunch experience.

SobeSavvy Tip: At some of their locations, they have a secret cocktail that is not advertised, nor is it on any menu but can be made upon request. But here in Raleigh, it is listed and goes by the name “Botanical Buzz”. We tried it and I will say its for the bold and not the faint of heart. After enjoying it, join the fun by sharing your reaction on Twitter and Instagram using #BotanicalBuzz

Still looking for a unique place to take mom on Mothers Day then look no more. Seasons 52 is the kind of place any mom would love to spend time at on her special day. Make reservations now to reserve your spot.

Seasons 52
4325 Glenwood Avenue
Crabtree Valley Mall
Raleigh, NC 27612

Disney Princess Pleybox by @MyPley|Unboxing with #outandaboutAva #Disney #BeautyandtheBeast #pleybox 

Disclaimer: We received the introduction box complimentary for review, however all opinions are my own.

April Showers bring May Flowers but it also brings lots of indoor play time for my daughter. With her being an only child, she has found creative ways to use her imagination and make indoor playtime fun. However, sometimes even #outandaboutAva gets bored with the same toys. So when I heard PLEY.com had launched Disney Princess Mystery Box service, I knew we had to try it! 
As the leading subscription toy company,  Pley.com is expanding its popular toy service by introducing a Disney Princess mystery subscription box line. The Disney Princess PleyBox subscription service will magically arrive every two months and includes a mix of toys, t-shirts, accessories and other goodies. The service is kicking off with a one-of-a-kind package inspired by Disney’s animated classic film Beauty and the Beast.

My daughter was very excited to unbox her very first Disney Princess Pleybox and couldn’t wait to explore the activities and discover the many fun surprises inside. Here is what you get for just $24.99:

  • a mystery box containing between 4-8 Disney Princess toys
  • activity book
  • fashion accessories (The Beauty and the Beast box includes a t-shirt, and role play item..this gorgeous gold crown!)
  • Each bi-monthly box tells the story of a new princess and, like a rags-to-riches princess story, the shipping box magically transforms into a castle, boat, or tower that can be decorated and played with, both reducing waste and increasing play value

Earth Day was just this past Saturday, so I appreciated this innovative, eco-friendly packaging that turned into a castle. I also liked the convenience of having cool toys delivered to our door without the  expense, waste,mess or stress. My husband was happy to have some Daddy -Daughter time by helping to put the castle together!

“Instead of throwing the packaging away, our physical shipping boxes become a part of the princesses’ story. Each box has instructions that transform the shipping box into a playable toy such as a castle, boat or a carriage that can be decorated and played with,” explains Pley CEO Ranan Lachman. “We call it ‘Pleycycle,” and are proud to be a leader in reducing the environmental footprint of toy packaging.”

Available now, the Disney Princess PleyBox subscription service will bring the stories of the brave, kind and adventurous Disney Princess characters to life in a unique and interactive way. Designed to empower girls, this mystery box is an ideal gift for kids who love the Disney Princess characters and their unique stories. The Disney Princess PleyBox delivery service can be ordered at https://www.pley.com/disney-princess. This box will be offered at a limited quantity, so make sure you order yours for your favorite little princess today! 
For more information visit: http://www.pley.com

Want to see more of  #outandaboutAva ‘s unboxing? Check out video slideshow here.

Do you use toy subsription box servives or subscribe to any subscription services? If so, share below!

Photo Recap @GreatGrapesFest 4/22 in #CaryNC @drinkeatrelax @BoothAmp by SobeSavvy.com #soNCsavvy

On Saturday, April 22, 2017 Wine Lovers & Foodies came ready to “Uncork the Fun” at the 14th Annual Celebration of Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival in Cary, NC. Thanks to our friends at Drink Eat RelaxSobeSavvy.com attended the festival in order to give you an inside look of the sips, sights, the people, the pours and more! Here is my photo recap of some of what you missed…Cheers!

SIPS

Upon entering the event, we each got to take a souvenir tasting glass and stroll from tent to tent and table to table, tasting and sampling the rich heritage of North Carolina vines. Guests got to taste HUNDREDS of wines available from over 22 wineries…and even more were available for VIP ticketed guests.

If you wanted more after a sip or two and really loved the wine tasting, wine bottles were available for purchase to enjoy at the festival or later at home. 

SIGHTS

With plenty to see and lots to do, how much fun to be had at this festival totally depends on you! There was a free kids area, great live music,

 fun festival eats,

*shoutout to my hometown of Baltimore where we all are raised on Old Bay

Arts and crafts….

and gourmet items to buy. 

Sights in the The VIP Area included the following:

 
The VIP Ticket option offers you early entrance into the event, a souvenir glass & bag and access to all the show tastings.  Plus you have access to the VIP area which features specialty higher-end wine selections not available elsewhere, free water and soft drinks, and featured food tastings (served Noon – 3pm). 

 

PEOPLE

Who goes to the Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival? Everyone. Babies, Kids, Moms & Dads, Friends, Family, Guys Day Out, Ladies Meetup, anyone celebrating life. Even non drinkers are welcome to enjoy the festival and can purchase a ‘designated driver’ ticket. I even saw a bride to be enjoying her bachelorette outing with her bridesmaids. How fun!

Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the lawn. Bring the family, bring your friends and take a day to UNCORK THE FUN!

ITEMS ALLOWED
Lawn chairs & blankets
Sealed Bottles of water (1 per person) cameras
all bags are subject to seach

POURS

Line up to your choice of winery and explore a new wine and learn more with each pour. I really enjoyed talking to the vendors and hearing the passion behind their product. 

In case you missed it..check out my photos of last year’s festival HERE !

It’s a fun event that is family friendly, so be sure not to miss in 2018! For more information please visit www.uncorkthefun.com

#FashionFriday |My #Beyonce Inspired Lemonade/Hold Up Primrose Yellow Dress for #YellowBatDay

When I saw that today was National “yellow bat ” Day, I immediately thought I can finally get my Beyonce’s “Hold Up” video on and do a fun shoot using my daughter’s plastic yellow bat. Well friends, after further research, see here >>>https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-yellow-bat-day-april-21/ , today is not about that kind of yellow bat. However, I did not let that stop me from playing dress up and showing you this cute dress.(which happens to coordinate with the bat..get it!?) 

I love Beyonce. I think she has amazing talent, I respect her artistry and admire her ability to balance family and work. I have had the chance review her concerts ( ICYMI opening night of Formation World Tour in Miami review) and share with you here on the blog how iconic she is as an entertainer. When I saw this dress at Burlington Coat Factory at the low price of $16.99, I immediately thought Hold Up.. Beyonce ..Lemonade..let me buy this and pay homage to Queen B! I know, I know..it’s not Halloween and I’m no biter ( that’s 80’s slang for copying someone’s style) but this dress was a great price! Plus, I’ve always loved the color yellow, which happens to be one of the top colors of Spring Fashion 2017.  

PANTONE 13-0755 Primrose Yellow

By contrast, Primrose Yellow sparkles with heat and vitality. Inviting us into its instant warmth, this joyful yellow shade takes us to a destination marked by enthusiasm, good cheer and sunny days.          

 

Next step in my Beyonce ‘Hold Up’ Lemonade transformation was the makeup. I found this easy to follow tutorial on You Tube and voila… I was transformed.

Jealous/Crazy Face on..Ready..Now lets go smash some windows, shall we!

My hubby grabbed the camera and we hopped in the ride and started bumpin that Jay Z +Bey ’03 Bonnie & Clyde’..🎵Uhh uhh uhh….You ready B? Let’s go get ’em..

Look for me! Young, B

Cruisin down the westside – highway
Doing what we like to do – our, way 🎵

Lol..oh gosh , dont let my wig fall off before we get to location😂

I just required a few things to get this fun photo shoot started: 

  • BAT✔ 
  • Yellow Dress✔
  • Mean Mug✔
  • Sunshine✔
  • a Car to destroy✔
  • Fire Hydrant✔ 

Let’s Go!

As you can see, like Bey says in the “Hold Up” song, I like to keep it sexy and fun in my almost 18 yr marriage and I’m always down to ride.

Check out my fun video montage here on my You Tube channel! Comment below if you have ever been inspired by Beyonce style and do you have Primrose Yellow in your Spring Fashion Wardrobe✌💛🍋😁😚

#Twinning with #outandaboutAva for #LookAlikeDay in #LulaRoe #MommyandMe Leggings

April 20th is Look Alike Day , so I decided to have some fun with my little one by dressing alike in one of our favorite brands for Mommy & Me fashions, LulaRoe. Last time, I shared in a Fashion Friday post about how simply comfortable and stylish LulaRoe leggings are and today I feel the same way! This time we are trying a pair in a fun print perfect for Spring!

Leggings size S/M-her, Tall &Curvy-me

My LulaRoe Fashion Consultant, Kim Breton provides great customer service and surprises me & my lil one with special notes on the packages. Kim, like LulaRoe, combines fashion and fun perfectly! When her mail comes it feels like Christmas since we are always pleasantly surprised. I love the personal touch. Thank you Kim 💗

I hit up Old Navy to find matching tanks for me and #outandaboutAva ‘s new Lularoe leggings because I knew they would have something affordable and cute. I found a “Girls Rule” graphic tee for her and was looking for a “Moms Rule” tee because that’s the real deal in our house but alas there was no graphic tee for me. I did find this matching color tank that was fine for our look alike look. 

Enjoy the twinkle in our eyes-no filter, just sparkle and love 💖

Ever since my life has changed from being a Sahm to working full time and returning to school, I miss the frequency of our Mommy and me moments. Now that she is in kindergarten, I know the time is ticking of when the whole dressing alike will not be cool anymore. At this moment, she still finds it fun to dress like Mom. I’m thankful that LulaRoe provides these stylish leggings like these that we can enjoy together!

If you are looking for LuLaRoe matching looks for Moms and little girls, be sure to contact Kim Breton , 978-732-4530 lularoekimbreton@gmail.com                     IG @lularoekimbreton

GIRL MOMS – do you wear LuLaRoe with your mini me? What other ‘Look Alike’ brands do you wear with your little one? 

Please share below..and Thanks for reading!

Celebrate #EarthDay with #LiveCleanUSA and more Eco-friendly Bath-Beauty Products + Giveaway

Earth Day , which is celebrated on Saturday April 22, 2017, is all about lightening your footprint with upcycled and reusable items and keeping waste out. We all focus on spring cleaning our homes, but I wanted to share some products you should keep in your home when its time to spring clean YOU! The following are some amazing eco-friendly brands that are bringing clean, natural, organic beauty and skincare products to the masses. 
 Live Clean


Founded in 2006, Live Clean has a simple vision: to create high performance products that celebrate natural beauty while honoring the earth. Live Clean evokes the beauty in plant -based ingreients to create gentle and effective products that are safe for the environment at an extremely affordable price. Making a small contribution such as eco-friendly hand soap has a large impact on the environment, which is why more and more people are concious of the products they use in their home. My family loves the Argan Oil Restorative Liquid Hand Soap because not only does it gently cleanse our hands but leave them feeling moisturized, soft and smooth!  This exotic nectar fragrant hand soap is: 

  • Enriched with 100% pure Argan Oil
  • Certified organic botanical blend of grape seed and olive oil
  • 98% plant derived, SLS and Paraben Free

Live Clean also offers other varieties of hand soaps such as  Fresh Water Hydrating Liquid Hand Soap & Coconut Milk Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap.  These are perfect in the kitchen, bathroom or anywhere you chose to wash your hands and keep a clean environment. 

Other products my family uses by Live Clean that you must try is the

Live Clean Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner

Its gentle and cleanses while adding hydration to the hair. I especially like it for my daughter’s natural hair because it has nourishing ingredients like Vitamin C, E and rice protein in it. It not only strenghtens the hair but leaves it feeling soft. It smells good too, which is always an added benefit.

Live Clean Fresh Water Hydrating Body Wash

This body wash is infused with certified organic botanicals and also is gentle on the skin. It doesn’t leave you feeling dry, in fact my skin felt smooth and soft, refreshed and moisturized! I like that it has Vitamin E in it which helps give the skin a radiant appearance. 

Live Clean is available for purchase at Whole Foods, Walgreens, BedBathandBeyond.com and Target.com. Follow @LeaveCleanUSA #LiveCleanUSA to learn more about helping the environment one Hand Soap-Shampoo/Conditioner or Body Wash at a time!

Nailah’s Shea


In a previous post, I raved over how much I love Nailah’s Shea natural beauty products and why they are great for healthy & naturally glowing skin. Now that Spring has sprung, it is time to emerge from layers of winter clothing and show some skin. Yay warmer temps are here, but before you celebrate, you must exfoliate. Rejuvenate your skin by treating it to Nailah’s Shea Exfoliating Sugar Scrub ! I tried the Lemongrass Tabasam scent and its luxurious. Its gentle, it feels healing and it leaves my skin refreshed, smooth, and soft with a subtle glow. Like all of the products, it’s:

  • All Natural
  • No Parabens
  • No Sulfates
  • No Mineral Oil
  • No Animal Testing
  • Vegan Friendly
  • Certified Fair Trade & Organic Ingredients 

Before using the body scrub, wash with any of their Organic Hand-Crafted Shea Butter Soaps ( the French Green Clay is my new favorite) and afterwards, finish with your favorite Nailah’s Shea Organic Whipped Body Butter. Everytime I use any of the products, it’s like treating myself to a spa experience at home. All products are available at http://www.nailahsshea.com

Kneipp Bath and Body Care 

Looking for some go-to essentials to keep your skin in full bloom for the new season? Well Kneipp has some wonderfully scented, plant-based, natural bath and body care products that have beneficial ingredients that do way more than just smell great! This brand has been around since 1891 and as stated on the packaging are ‘Nature’s Expert’ when it comes to powerful results for your skin. I took a bath using Kneipp’s Red Poppy & Hemp Aromatherapy Bubble Bath-‘Pure Bliss’  and it felt wonderful. The red poppy seed oil is known to ease pain as well as act as a sedative to reduce stress. After a long day, a relaxing aromatherapy bath nourishes the skin leaving it feeling soft and supple but is also good for the soul! Don’t forget after you relax, relate and soak to seal in the moisture with Kneipp’s Body Oil. They have a variety of products that will suit the needs of the entire family and you can customize your purchases by skin type. This brand’s holistic approach to its products is what I enjoy most.

  • No paraffins
  • No preservatives
  • No silicone oils
  • No mineral oils

Sebastian Kneipp said it best “Nature has provided us generously with everything we need to remain in good heath” . Since nature has been so good to us, I think it’s only right to be good to it on Earth Day and everyday! Kneipp products are available at Kneipp retail locations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., and on http://www.kneipp.com

Beard Guyz

If the man in your life is bearded and looking for a true organic grooming experience, look no further than Beard Guyz products. These ultimate essentials are for the well groomed man who likes to use natural products on his beard. And since my husband is clean-shaven, I plan to Giveaway:Beard Guyz Daily Wash 35 and Beard Guyz Deep Conditioner 25 to 1 lucky ‘beard gang’ winner ! *Just comment below why you love your Beard Guy or why you love being a Beard Guy and I will choose a winner randomly on MCM-Man crush Monday, 4/24.* Here’s what you get:

  • Beard Guyz Daily Wash 35 gently cleans and conditions facial hair and the sensitive skin
  • A blend of 35 natural and organic botanical and fruit extracts combined with Keratin and Protein to clean and moisturize
  • Provides antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Helps improve blood flow for maximum growth
  • For all hair and beard types
  • Beard Guyz Deep Conditioner 25 helps soften and condition the beard while adding shine
  • A blend of 25 natural and organic oils, butters,extracts,vitamins and conditioners chosen for their benefits to the hair and skin
  • No parabens, alcohol or harsh chemicals

What all these brands have in common is that they demonstrate sustainability research and value the importance of helping the environment while providing quality products. I hope this Earth Day you celebrate by going green, living clean and treating yourself to some selfcare and wellness goodies.

 ~What eco friendly products do you use daily…SHARE BELOW! ~Good luck to all who enter the giveaway and HAPPY EARTH DAY !