Easy Organic Spiced Rum Cake Recipe Ft. @TOPOdistillery

Whenever there is any type of potluck party or request for guests to bring a dish, I know what I am bringing: RUM CAKE. It is a crowd pleaser especially around the holidays! This year, I am spicing things up a bit and using TOPO Organic Spiced Rum.

What makes Topo Organic? TOPO has the distinction as the only Green + Certified distillery in the country. Environmentally friendly and 100 % organic ingredients go into their award winning line of spirits, which include whiskey, vodka, gin and moonshine. Exclusively made from North Carolina-grown wheat and US-grown sugar cane. Every product is USDA-certified Organic. 100% Fermented and distilled in Chapel Hill, NC.

What is the difference between rum and Topo’s Spiced Rum?
Per their website, the rum… “has flavors of the coastline: allspice, vanilla, orange peel, peppercorns, cinnamon and clove. It’s a marriage of the finest organic botanicals with an incredibly smooth rum. We make a tasty white rum and then use a mortar and pestle to grind spices to add more flavor. You can smell and taste the difference.”

I absolutely enjoy TOPO Organic Spiced Rum in various cocktails also such as the Rum Cider, Colony Records and even a cocktail recipe that I shared here on my blog that was inspired by the popular Disney Dole Whip Drink. This is the first time I am trying it in the following Easy Rum Cake Recipe (that is shared all over Google).

Easy Rum Cake RECIPE

Rum Cake
___________
1 cup chopped pecan or walnuts
1 pkg. (2 layer size) yellow cake mix (I used Dunkin Hines)
1 pkg. Jello vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rum ( TOPO Organic Spiced Rum)

METHOD:
1. Sprinkle nuts evenly in bottom of 10 inch fluted tube pan that has been greased & floured ,or sprayed with non stick vegetable cooking spray.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in large mixer bowl.
3. Blend and beat at medium speed for 4 minutes
4. Pour batter into pan. Do not under-bake
5. Cool in pan 15 minutes
6. Prepare glaze
7. Invert cake into serving plate, prick over with cake tester or wooden pick.
8. Pour warm glaze over warm cake

GLAZE: combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1/4 cup water in saucepan.
Stir until mixture comes to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup TOPO Organic Spiced Rum, bring just to boil. Remove from heat .

**SobeSavvy Tip: Make this cake a day or two before serving. DO NOT TRY TO MAKE THE SAME DAY AND SERVE THE SAME DAY. While it’s true the vanilla pudding keeps the cake moist, and rum goes in the cake and in the glaze, you need a day or so to let the rum sink in. Cover it with aluminum or plastic and if you like, mist it with more rum daily or right before serving. Don’t like nuts? Try it with toasted coconut.

Voila! You now have a moist, yummy, delicious, Organic Spiced Rum Cake to enjoy with family and friends! I can’t wait to share at a Friendsgiving party I am attending this weekend and hope you are inspired to bake one yourself this holiday season.

Have you tried Topo Organic Spiced Rum before? Do you plan to make a rum cake for the holidays?

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5 Reasons To See ‘HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS @nctheatre #NCTHavingOurSay

Do you know the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany? I did not but I have since learned that their remarkable story has gone from a New York Times bestselling book to the Broadway stage. Now NC Theatre is bringing this Tony award-nominated adaptation of the real-life sisters’ memoirs to the stage in Raleigh, NC at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater from November 8-17, 2019 and I can not wait to see it! Why am I excited? Let me share with you Five Reasons To See HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS!

1. IT IS A TRUE STORY

If you enjoy non-fiction like me, then get ready to hear the two sisters give an account of their trials and tribulations in their lifetime. Born to a father who was a former slave, they lived in Raleigh,NC and was raised on the campus of St.Augustine. Now that I live here in Raleigh, I am interested in learning about what their childhood was like back then.

2. BOTH WOMEN LIVED TO BE OVER 100 YEARS OLD

Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany (born 1889), the eldest of the 2 sisters lived to the age of 109. Her sister, Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany (born 1891) died at the age of 104. After the popularity of their book Having Our Say, which this play is based on, the two sisters became internationally known after the Guinness Book of World Records recognized them as the world’s oldest authors with the publication of their second joint book The Delany Sisters’ Book Of Everyday Wisdom. The sisters were 105 and 103 at the time of publication.

3. LEARN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & WOMEN’S HISTORY

Trailblazers, activists, sisters, and best friends Sadie and Bessie Delany- both over 100 years old- take audiences on a journey as they recount the triumphant stories of their lives. They overcame both racism and sexism and forged careers in education and dentistry respectively while living in New York. NC Theatre provides a Study Guide to learn about the history of the Delany family, the HAVING OUR SAY director (who is also an African American woman), and more!

4. GET INSPIRED

The more I learn about these sisters and what they must have endured, I find it remarkable that despite it all they lived a longer, fuller life than most. They never married and say because they did not have husbands to worry them to death was the secret to living a long, happy life! I just know I am going to leave feeling wiser than before and inspired by these two women after seeing this play.

5. BE ENTERTAINED AND SUPPORT THE ARTS

Per NC Theatre, the story of the Delany sisters will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on our journey as Americans. The funny and heartfelt family drama, starring Gayle Turner as Sadie Delany and Lakeisha Coffey as Bessie Delany, is one you won’t want to miss! Reviews that have already been shared say that you will be entertained by the heartfelt performances.

Click here to purchase tickets to see NC Theatre Presents Having our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years Tickets at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts! Tickets start at just $30 so claim your seats today!

SobeSavvy Tip: There will be an *Encore Series: Post-Show Panel Discussion Saturday, Nov. 16 immediately following the 2PM performance in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater. Panelists which consists of influential members of the community and individuals closely tied to the production, will analyze the themes and history of HAVING OUR SAY. This series is FREE and open to the public!

*I am looking forward to going to the matinee performance on Saturday at 2pm on 11/16. You can also join the conversation and follow @nctheatre #NCTHavingOurSay!

**UPDATE: Just saw @nctheatre ‘s production of Having Our Say | The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years and appreciate how much detail was put into bringing their real story to life. From the intimate portraits, to the smells of real food cooking in the kitchen, the actors made the audience feel like we were right there in the living room having a conversation with those amazing trailblazing sisters who were proud Americans and Survivors! Enjoyed seeing art and history come together with #ncthavingoursay

Leslie, @SobeSavvy
Founder SobeSavvy.com

Have you seen the movie, play or read the book HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading!

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Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC @koan_cary @Il_Palio @DriftwoodRDU

Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC | Cary * Chapel Hill * Raleigh

Hello November! ‘Tis the season to indulge in some good eats and treat yourself to memorable dining out experiences. I recently got to try 3 different restaurants and each one while different in cuisine share the same passion of bringing you an array of flavors on their new Fall menus. Take a look and discover where to eat in the Triangle at these TOP 3 RESTAURANTS TO TRY THIS FALL!

kō•än | Cary, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

🆕️ Restaurant Alert! The most exciting place for food right now is kō•än in Cary,NC, which opened November 1, 2019 with great anticipation! I got a chance to experience the restaurant and its menu at a media preview dinner and enjoyed everything from its innovative cocktails to their delicious small/large plates meant for sharing!

The new restaurant, located at 2800 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513, brings Executive Chef Drew Smith’s [ formerly of Raleigh’s bu•ku and so•ca, and winner of 2019’s Cooking for a Classic dining competition] vision of Southeast Asian cuisine in a zen-like atmosphere. Check out my Facebook post>>here for a look at some of the tasty menu.

For more info on kō•än, follow #koancary @koan_cary on Instagram and Twitter or visit www.koancary.com

Il Palio|Chapel Hill

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

Transport your mind, body and tastebuds to Italy when you experience world-class dining at Il Palio, located in The Siena Hotel at 1505 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! *[see here for recipe]

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It's #WorldPastaDay ..and there are so many delicious pasta-bilities on the menu at @il_palio, located in @thesienahotel in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! Swipe 🔙 for a look at some of the amazing culinary artisanship and fantastic dishes served at Il Palio! . . . . #IlPalio #TheSienaHotel #ChapelHill #NC #Italiancuisine #Italiancooking #ravioli #pasta #seafood #steak #dessert #nceats #foodtalk #ncfoodfinds #chapelhillrestaurants #diningout #f52grams #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #foodblogger #lifestyleblogger #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #chapelhillblogger #foodwomenwine #foodiefriday #nomnomnom

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If you enjoy Italian cuisine along with a lovely wine selection, and amazing culinary artisanship, then you will savor the fantastic dishes served in a warm and inviting Tuscan villa atmosphere at Il Palio!

For more information, follow @thesienahotel #TheSienaHotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow @il_palio #IlPalio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Driftwood Kitchen & Bar | Raleigh, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

All my lovers of chicken and waffles [….and really good comfort food] make your way to DRIFTWOOD KITCHEN AND BAR (formerly known as Driftwood Southern Kitchen), located in Lafayette Village at 8460 Honeycutt Road, Suite 112, Raleigh, NC 27615 for a taste of the 🆕️ delicious menu revamped by Chef Nunzio which also includes tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken & biscuits (made from scratch), plus great craft cocktails, like the “Black -Eyed Rye made with Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey.

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Are you #teamsyrup or #gravy on your #chickenandwaffles? 🤷🏽‍♀️ Well at @driftwoodraleigh you can enjoy both, now available on the 🆕️ delicious menu at Driftwood Kitchen & Bar located inside @LafayetteVillage. ———— Chef Nunzio has revamped the previous menu to include exciting new additions like chicken and waffles, tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken and biscuits. Invited #raleighinfluencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new private room for events and parties. ———— Follow #driftwoodraleigh on my #instastories to see some highlights from the #medianight ! Swipe 🔙 to see our tasty experience at Driftwood! . . . #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #RaleighBlogger #lifestyleblogger #raleighfood #trianglefoodies #raleighrestaurant #lafayettevillage #visitRaleigh #Raleigheats #NCfood

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Invited Raleigh influencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new, communal style private dining room for events and parties. The restaurant’s unique open kitchen concept and scratch made menu showcases the best ingredients from as many regional and local farmers and producers when possible. Feast your eyes on some of the highlights from our media tasting experience on my Facebook page>>here.

For more info, follow Driftwood Kitchen & Bar #DriftwoodRaleigh, @driftwoodraleigh on Instagram and Facebook

Thanks for reading! I hope this post has made you hungry and ready to make reservations. Any of these restaurants would make a great dining out date option or a place to meet friends for small bites and cocktails! Cheers!

Have you dined at any of these restaurants? If not, which one are you checking out first?

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Tips for Hosting a Happy Halloween Wine Tasting ft. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Wines and Casillero del Diablo

This past weekend, I combined my love of wine and a good time by hosting a “Hallowine” happy hour at my home. I had a Hallowine Party before and it was such a success I decided to do it again! What exactly is “Hallowine”, you ask ? It’s a halloween themed party where wine tasting is the main event. This year I partnered with Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Wines and Casillero del Diablo.

THE INVITE–

I customized an invite via Canva and created a FaceBook invitation. Wine loving guys and gals were invited to come over to enjoy. My Halloween decor was kept fun, frightening and frugal. For example I found plastic spiders that I used for glass charms at the Dollar Tree. This way people can keep track of their wine glass all evening by their colored spider!

I also picked up some fun “Witch Don’t Kill My Vibe” napkins from Walmart. I came across a dozen plastic “Witches Brew” tumblers for $2.99 from Ross that I used to serve my guests a welcome drink. I firmly believe that a welcome drink when entering a party sets up a festive mood! This year we had Sangria from Wegmans for just $6 a bottle. Put it in a pitcher with some fruit and VOILA..Witches Brew is served!

THE WINES —

Member’s Mark Chardonnay {SRP $7.98}
Member’s Mark Pinot Noir {SRP $8.98}

Did you know…Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark has a full fleet of highly-rated, delicious, award-winning wines at low prices… We’re talking under $10! I was very excited to be able to preview these two Sonoma Valley wines prior to their public availability at Sam’s Club starting in mid-November. I started the tasting of these wines from white to red. Everyone liked the Chardonnay but if you love Pinot Noir, this one is pretty good for just $9! Here is some additional info:

I created a cheese and charcuterie board using a variety of soft and hard cheeses, from goat cheese to brie, to cheddar and gouda, that paired well with both wines!

Member’s Mark Zinfindel {SRP $7.98}

Did you know…Member’s Mark wine is currently available in 37 states, and the wines are sourced all across the globe – everywhere from California to Spain to Germany, to name a few. There are 11 other existing wines in the line, including Champagne, Rosé, Moscato, Prosecco, Bordeaux and more. This Zinfandel wine is an intense, full-flavored Zin made in Lodi from some of the oldest vines in California. A glass gives off blackberry and black cherry aromas and jammy fruit flavors with a hint of peppercorn. Pair with your favorite meat for summer grilling. Pizza and pasta also work well with this wine. With the holidays upon us, bring this one anywhere for the perfect hostess gift!

SobeSavvy Tip: Have your guests download Vivino app before arrival to keep track of their fave wines from the evening! Already use Vivino? Let’s be friends..find our wine reviews under “SobeSavvy” on the Vivino app! Salud!🍷

Casillero del Diablo Carmenere & Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir {SRP $12.00}

I first learned about Casillero del Diablo when the winery invited me to a special event with Head sommelier, Massimo Leonori, was there to discuss the new wines from the 2018 vintage, deemed an Extraordinary Vintage. Unfortunately I was not able to attend but thankfully able to try this brand known as the official wine of Halloween!

About Casillero del Diablo:
Born from a 140-year-old Chilean legend, Casillero del Diablo has emerged as a global powerhouse. The legend began in the late 1880s with Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, one of Chile’s most revered winemakers. Many thieves coveted his precious wines, so Don Melchor spread a rumor the Devil himself guarded his cellar. Although never confirmed nor disproved, the tale protected his prize and spawned a legend spanning generations. The cellar where those bottles rested nearly 140 years ago still stands today in Chile’s Maipo Valley, home of Casillero del Diablo’s illustrious portfolio under the Concha y Toro banner. Casillero del Diablo, twice named the #2 most powerful wine brand in the world, leads the Chilean 750ml segment in dollar sales and volume sales in the United States.1 2 Since 2009, Casillero del Diablo wines have garnered 170 Gold and Silver medals at international competitions and 19 Best Buy/Best Value designations; the wines have earned 50 scores of 90 or above in the past five years. The rugged topography of Chile’s winemaking regions reflects the country’s thirst for exploration; Casillero del Diablo is at the forefront of the world’s attention on this South American gem, sparking a uniquely Chilean sense of adventure in every glass.

The 2017-2018 season in Chile had unbeatable climatic conditions that resulted in an “Extraordinary Vintage” for Casillero del Diablo. The winemaker was able to create incredible flavors using the perfectly ripened fruit from the harvest. The varietals include a Cabernet Sauvignon,Carmenere, and Pinot Noir. Here are some tasting notes regarding the Carmenere and Pinot Noir:

Remember, these wines are not just good for Halloween but for enjoying anytime! For additional information about Casillero del Diablo and the Extraordinary Vintage, follow on @CasillerowineUS on Instagram or go to the website at http://www.casillerodeldiablo.com/en

Do you plan to enjoy some HalloWINE this Halloween? What are you doing to celebrate?

Cheers🍷and Happy Halloween 2019!

5 Date Ideas To Enjoy The Arts This Fall In The Triangle |@nctheatre @ncsymphony @ncartmuseum @UnscriptedDurm @AlamoRaleigh

Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill aka The Triangle is a tri-city region in North Carolina that has a thriving art scene! If you are a lover of any of the seven categories of arts: painting, architecture, sculpture, music,literature,performing and cinema, then there is always something interesting and fun to do in the area. I made this list of date ideas inspired by a conversation with a mom friend who asked me for recommendations of places to go.

Performing Arts|See A Production by NC Theatre

If you or your loved one enjoys musicals or plays, then take them to see a production by North Carolina Theatre, the region’s nonprofit professional theatre. NCT kicks off their 2019-20 season opening production of the timeless musical, WEST SIDE STORY, running Oct. 15-20. With a cast including talent straight from Broadway plus some of the best regional talent, North Carolina Theatre opens their season by telling such a poignant story with the best artists in the industry. Learn more about this production here, which takes place at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

For more info go to North Carolina Theatre‘s website at www.nctheatre.com and find them on all social platforms @nctheatre, and the show hashtag is #NCTWestSideStory! I look forward to attending Sunday’s matinee at 2pm, and check out more of what is coming this season!

Painting, Architecture, Sculpture|Day Date at North Carolina Museum of Art

Ok art lovers, my favorite place to go on an artsy day date in Raleigh is at NCMA. Whether you are sitting outside and admiring the architecture of the building, taking a stroll while enjoying sculpture in the park or admiring paintings inside, there are many ways to immerse yourself in art. Mark your calenders for a special exhibition: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, opens October 26- January 19, 2020 at North Carolina Museum of Art.

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism showcases the couple’s portraits, murals, politics, and personal lives. Kahlo is best known for her strikingly honest self-portraits, often depicting her dreams. Rivera worked as a large-scale muralist in Mexico and the United States, taking a larger look at history and cultural revolution. Both artists pursued their distinctive visions while forging the way for Mexican artists in the 20th century and beyond. Few artists have captured the public’s imagination with the force of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, the Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera. The myths that surrounded them in their lifetime arose not only from their significant bodies of work, but also from their friendships (and conflicts) with leading political figures and their passionate, tempestuous personal relationships. There are so many interesting events surrounding this series such as film screenings of Frida, a special dinner and coffee with the curator. Check out the calender for the exhibition events: here.

For more info, go to NCMA‘s website: http://ncartmuseum.org/ and get your tickets for October 26, 2019–January 19, 2020, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism and Scott Avett: INVISIBLE are ticketed together. October 12–24, 2019, and January 20–February 2, 2020, Scott Avett: INVISIBLE will be open on its own. Tag your photos when you visit #NCMAFrida #ArtNaturePeople

Music|Enjoy a Night Out at the NC Symphony

Plan a perfect ‘parents night out’ or date night and attend a concert performed by the North Carolina Symphony. That is what hubby and I did recently when we stepped out to see Broadway Mega-Hit Hamilton Star Leslie Odom, Jr. join the North Carolina Symphony with Broadway and Jazz Hits on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. This highly anticipated show, which opens the Symphony’s 2019/20 Pops Season, was the perfect way to spend time together and experience the power of live music! Whether you are into classical, Broadway, movie music, rock, or swing or whether you live in the Triangle, Wilmington, Southern Pine, pick a date or two and plan a night with NC Symphony.

For more info go to North Carolina Symphony‘s website at www.ncsymphony.org and find them on social @ncsymphony. I look forward to attending Saturday’s night show, and congrats again to the winner of my Instagram giveaway who will also enjoy a night out at the NC Symphony!

Music|Sounds of the Studio Early Saturday Date Idea at Unscripted Hotel

Saturdays are a popular date night and here is an idea for someone who loves LIVE MUSlC, SMALL PLATES, and COCKTAILS. Check out UNSCRIPTED HOTEL| Sounds of the Studio every Saturday from 5:30-7:30pm. Go jam out to diverse music brought to you by local performers in the Durham community featuring Hip Hop Instrumental, Jazz, and Latin.

All small plates are buy one get one free, and free parking will be offered to those with a food or beverage purchase (must show receipt).

This is a FREE event that takes place in the hotel lounge every Saturday until Nov. 2nd. Here is the upcoming music schedule:

OCT 19 (SAT) – Wiley Fosters

The Wiley Fosters (instrumental hip-hop quartet edition)

Jay Parker – Turntables
Luis Rodriguez – Guitar
Jack Fleishman – Bass
William Dawson – Vibraphone

OCT 26 (SAT) – Alexandra Valladares & Viajeros Melodiosos

NOV 2 (SAT) – Jazz Harp Trio

Be sure to follow @unscripteddurham for more exciting events! And follow my IG instastories @SobeSavvy where I will give you an inside look of Sounds of the Studio at Unscripted Hotel. #livelifeunscripted #unscripteddurham

Cinema|Drinks+Dinner, Movie Date at Alamo Raleigh

I love one stop shop dates. That’s when you can go to one place and have like 3 dates in one! Want to enjoy a good cocktail and coversation, have dinner before or while watching a movie? You can do all that at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh! I recently went to one of their speciality screenings for HUSTLERS starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Lizzo,etc and had a blast! We got to enjoy a special themed menu and even had play money to make it rain in the movie theater!

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DATE NIGHT | ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE @drafthouse Opening weekend for HUSTLERS Why choose @alamoraleigh to see this movie? They offer: * A Special Menu * Special "Rowdy" Screenings in the evening ** Also, the ladies from @aradiafitnessnc are here this evening Friday 9/13 & Saturday 9/14 from 7pm-11pm providing on pole fitness classes and doing demonstrations Swipe 🔙 to get a peek 👀, Plus check out my #instastories for more! **DO YOU PLAN TO SEE THIS MOVIE?** . . . #alamodrafthouse #Hustlersmovie #alamoraleigh #rowdyscreening #openingweekend #nowshowing #moviedate #atthemovies #datenight #datenightideas #polefitness #thingstodoinRaleigh #SobeSavvy #LifestyleBlogger #RaleighBlogger #blackgirlsblog @hustlersmovie

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From game nights, to free events, to rowdy screenings, Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh will turn an ordinary movie date into a full cinematic experience!See the list of all the fun events happening at Alamo Raleigh>>here and be sure to follow @alamoraleigh.

I hope you are inspired to plan a fun date while supporting the arts this fall! Tell me in the comments below, which one would be your ideal date to support the arts?

Here Is Why You Should Get Your Next Eye Exam & Eyewear At MyEyeDr.

Here Is Why You Should Get Your Next Eye Exam & Eyewear At MyEyeDr.

Here Is Why You Should Get Your Next Eye Exam & Eyewear At MyEyeDr. | By SobeSavvy.com

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by MyEyeDr. ALL opinions and reviews expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

Hi, my name is Leslie. I am a 46 year old mom and wife, who shares the savvy of life here on my lifestyle blog, SobeSavvy.com. One thing I love to do is share with you savvy tips as well as real life experiences that can help you too. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Grand Opening of MyEyeDr. located in the Midtown East shopping center near the new Wegmans Food Market in Raleigh.

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When was the last time you had an eye exam and fun at the same time? For me it was TODAY at the GRAND OPENING of @MyEyeDr at @visitmidtowneast * [near the 🆕️ Drybar, Wegmans] #MEDMidtown #midtowneastraleigh ———– To celebrate its first #Raleigh luxury office, they had a family friendly tailgate-style event with a lemonade bar, free food, a photobooth, games and prizes! Check out my #instastories to see more of the #fun and help me choose a new pair of #eyeglasses. Cast your VOTE for your favorite #eyewear collection 😎 ————- This location is accepting WALK-IN appointments and offers exclusive eyewear collections by Versace, Tiffany + stop by to preview Reese Witherspoon’s 2019 Fall Collection @DraperJames and more. I will be sharing more about my eye exam experience and reveal which glasses I chose soon! Stay tuned!

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It had been too long since I had my last eye exam, so I decided to have one at MyEyeDr. after learning that location accepts walk-in appointments. Overall, it was a truly wonderful visit and the best experience I have ever had at an optometry and eye care center! Here Is Why You Should Get Your Next Eye Exam & Eyewear At MyEyeDr.

PATIENT-FOCUSED

As a blogger, content creator and someone who uses the computer daily working remotely as a medical coder, I must admit I spend a whole lot of time in front of a screen. At MyEyeDr., their whole patient centric approach allowed me to talk about my lifestyle. Learning my daily uses for glasses and contacts helped them determine my needs as well as wants. That was refreshing in a world where usually “the experts” do all the talking! MyEyeDr. asks the question to each patient ..”What do your eyes need to do today?” and then provides the solution based on your answer!

QUALITY EYECARE SERVICE

MyEyeDr. utilized amazing technology during my comprehensive eye exam, however a doctor will still perform a thorough exam just to make sure all is well plus fine tune your prescription as needed. But before seeing the doctor, you will be seen by a technician who will perform various diagnostic and sight testing. They will also ask about any medical conditions or medications. This is very important since so many different conditions can affect eye health and eye sight. I was very comfortable during my exam so much so that I felt like I was getting a pampering service for my eyes!

Part of the cutting edge technology that MyEyeDr. uses to obtain the best and most accurate data to determine eye health is their digital Retinal Screening. This allows the doctor to actually see the veins and blood flow in the eye and cornea. It is like something from a Sci-Fi movie! To actually see my eyeball like never before had me in awe.

STYLISH EYEWEAR BRANDS

As soon as you walk into this bright and airy office, frame choices galore adorn most of the walls with all the trendy and recognizable brands but they also have a wide range of exclusive frames for those seeking more high end eyewear.

This new MyEyeDr. location differs from the other locations in the Triangle because it is the first Raleigh luxury office! This means they have an expanded selection of designer eyewear collections by Michael Kors, Burberry, Tiffany, Versace and more! They even have a new exciting line of eyewear called Draper James, an eyewear brand that is the brainchild of actress Reese Witherspoon. Stop by to get a peek of her new Fall 2019 collection. So many cute styles but I have my eye on pair with pearl details.

With so many stylish frames, I was happy to have MyEyeDr.’s Eyewear Consultants available to provide a one-on-one styling session. They helped me decide on the best frames for my lens size and face shape. It was so much fun being apart of my very own eyewear fashion show!

CONVENIENT,AFFORDABLE

MyEyeDr. has eye doctors in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest United States. They offer personalized service and care for patients of all ages and they ACCEPT ALL INSURANCES. Since eye care is an ongoing need (the doctor reminded me an eye exam is needed once every year) they also accept Care Credit, which is a healthcare personal credit card that allows you to make monthly payments as you would on any other credit card. MyEyeDr. also offers a special Contact Lens Reward Program. Free Shipping of new contact lenses and free replacement of torn/lost contact lenses are just a few of the perks.

Although I wear contacts more frequently, I can not wait to get my new eyeglasses next week. I did a fun poll on my Instagram page and asked viewers to select their favorite frames for me. Which is your fave for me …A…B..or C?

My experience with MyEyeDr. was such a pleasure and everyone I encountered was not only kind to me and my family but passionate about eyecare. No matter your style and budget, MyEyeDr. is the name you can count on for all of your vision health needs. I won’t neglect my eyes again and neither should you. Book your appointment>>here TODAY!

Have you tried MyEyeDr.? Share your experience in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

MyEyeDr.

(984) 204- 6754

Website:

https://locations.myeyedr.com/nc/raleigh/1100-mercantile-drive

RECAP| Art of Cool Festival 2019 @AOCFest Ft. Jill Scott, Ari Lennox, Big Daddy Kane, RUN-DMC and more! #AOCFest

Art of Cool Festival 2019 | Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Art of Cool Festival 2019 | Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Durham, NC was the place to be this past weekend (Friday, September 27-Sunday, September 29) for the 6th Annual Art Of Cool Festival also known as the AOCFest! This festival, which features great music, good food trucks,community engagement and sponsor activations, has quickly become the premiere late summer cultural experience that should not be missed!

PLAN YOUR STAY

Since SobeSavvy.com was there to provide local media coverage for the weekend, I decided to make it a workcation and checked into one of the official hotels of the AOCFest. The Aloft Durham Downtown proved to be an excellent choice with its urban style and comfort amenities PLUS it is the closest hotel to the festival’s main venue, Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Guests attending the festival were provided a special group rate if booked in advance. I definitely would plan ahead to stay here next year or anytime you want to Stay & Play in Durham!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B27LTcWn-oO/?igshid=turue3rlqx73

2019 LINEUP

Produced by The Dome Group LLC, AOCFest 2019 featured 20+ R&B, Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop, Jazz, alternative and spoken word artists at multiple venues in Durham.

FRIDAY

The Masonic Lodge is where various DJ parties were being held all weekend in one of their event rooms. DJ RNB was spinning and there was also a bar sponsored by Durham’s own Bedlam Vodka, who I had the pleasure of reviewing and sharing recipes >> here on my blog!

Later that evening, “Cooligans” were seen at the 2019 AOCFest Urban Vendor Market being held on Blackwell Street. Food Trucks along with a variety of vendors lined the closed down area. We had a few delicious shrimp tacos from @shrimptrucknc to fuel us up for the headliners at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park stadium next door.

We also did a little shopping at the 2019 AOCFest Urban Vendor Market and I purchased some organic Shea Butter products from Nailah’s Shea. I also ate chicken and waffles from Big C’s Waffles food truck. We also spotted “Thelma” from Good Times, Bernadette Stanis who had her books for sale and was taking pics with fans!

We arrived in time to see the group Black Violin were on the stage. A duo from Florida, this group takes classical violin training and combine it with a hip-hop twist.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B272CFWHcSW/?igshid=1hg7apvp2u5s5

Next up was artist Ari Lennox. She is the first female signed to J.Cole’s record label. Fans got to hear and see her perform hits from her successful album entitled “Shea Butter Baby”. Her creative singing style and bold lyrics energized the crowd. Her future is limitless and as bright as her smile!

Up next was the the incomparable Miss Jill Scott. She has been an entire industry upon herself over the past almost 20 years. Album upon album of iconic poetry tinged R&B songs captured the attention of an entire generation. Her catalog is deep and she did not disappoint. Her stage presence is simply unmatched. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand. We sang the songs with her and just showered her with love and affection for all her music means to us. Great night to kick
off the festival.
https://www.instagram.com/tv/B3DlpUVnDKt/?igshid=1x3mddvoqahze
SATURDAY
A stay at the Aloft Downtown Durham allowed for me to wake up to an awesome view of Diamond View Park at the American Tobacco Campus where Power Yoga, a free community engagement event hosted by The Art Of Cool Festival, was held at 10am & 11am on Saturday. Such a great way to start the day!

DJ Fatz took us back with a “2Pac vs Biggie” during a day party at Masonic Lodge. He did an awesome job blendiing two titans of rap by mixing their hits back to back. Every lyric to every hit record was sung by the festive crowd. Realizing how we lost both so young was sobering but celebrating their music was inspiring.

https://youtu.be/oO966ZzVbZY
We headed back to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park stadium for a night full of legendary hip-hop featuring
Big Daddy Kane, Whodini and RUN- DMC. Before they took the stage DJ
Skillz showed some amazing work on the 1’s and 2’s. He played everything from old school hip to new school R&B. This man truly is in a league of his own in the DJ world.

Big Daddy Kane feat. The Symphony took the stage looking and sounding amazing! Back like he never left, he
performed as if he has not lost a step. His rapping skills go from fast to slow and he rocked the mic no matter the tempo. He was joined on stage by his Bboy dancer, his little son showed of his moves too, and the legendary Cool G Rap was there for an epic performance of The Symphony. If you ever get a chance to see Big Daddy Kane live you will see there Ain’t No Half Steppin EVER with him!

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B2-kFNQnAJ6/?igshid=cs8y664hxoo5

Next up was the group Whodini, who blazed the stage performing hit after hit such as “Big Mouth”, “One Love”, “The Freaks Come Out At Night” and “Friends”. Lead rapper Jalil did come out in his signature Zorro style hat and the ladies went wild!

By the time RUN-DMC took the stage, the electricity of anticipation was in the air. Rap was still in it’s infancy during the mid 80’s and RUN-DMC almost single handidly was responsible for rap crossing over to
mainstream America. Every successful rapper owe them a debt of gratitude. Time stood still during their set. It was as if they transported all of us back to the 80’s. Their catalog of hit records is immense. They only performed a sampling of them with “King Of Rock”, “It’s Tricky”, “Peter Piper”, “Run’s House” and many more! The crowd showed their love by coming dressed in Adidas, or rocking RUN DMC tees. Even AOCFest was selling “RUN AOC” tshirts to honor the group and he festival. RUN DMC are true icons that are rightly revered as some of the founders of Hip-Hop.

The festival ended on Sunday with a VIP Brunch featuring The Hamiltones that took place at the Durham Convention Center.

If I had one word to describe the Art Of Cool Festival 2019 it would be DOPE! Amazing weekend and phenomonal performances. The AOCFest once again proved that with the right mix of artists and audience, you can expect a dope cultural experience. 👀 Watch my full recap video for more fun highlights

For more information on the 2019 Art of Cool Festival (AOCFest), visit aocfestival.com.

Twitter: @AOCFest #AOCFest

Instagram: @AOCFest #AOCFest

Facebook: Facebook.com/AOCFest

Spotify: AOCFest Playlists

********Read previous AOCFest recap coverage >>>here

Did you attend AOCFest this year? If YES, who did you enjoy most? If NO, which artist would you have been most excited to see?

My #HeighPartyof3 Family Visit to @NMAAHC


As the newest jewel on the National Mall, The National Museum of African American History and Culture stands as a beacon of hope and pride to not just African Americans but to our nation as a whole. Opened on September 24, 2016 by President Obama, this Smithsonian Institution owns a collection of over 40,000 pieces. With almost 2 million visitors a year it has enthralled domestic and international visitors from all over the planet. Years later since its doors opened to the public, my family and I came here to celebrate its 3rd year!

Let us Rejoice! NMAAHC and its 3rd year | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com with #outandaboutAva

My family and I visited here in March 2017 during our stay in Arlington, VA and we were just as amazed as others upon visiting this special place for the first time. My little one was just 5 1/2 yrs old then, so this weekends visit opened up the history of Africans in America a little more to her than the last time we came. To quote Beyonce’s latest song “Bigger“..I wanted my daughter to leave the museum knowing that…

If you feel insignificant, you better think again
Better wake up ’cause you’re part of something way bigger
You’re part of something way bigger
I’ll be the roots, you be the tree
Pass on the fruit that was given to me
Legacy, ah, we’re part of something way bigger

Mother and Daughter visit NMAAHC ~ Legacy! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

This beautiful museum takes visitors on a journey started in West Africa in the lower 3 levels to Barack Obama and beyond on the upper 3 levels. In between we are fed the wonders of our people. We started at 10 am and stayed until about 2pm with a lunch break in between. Even though we explored all 6 levels, here are just some of the hightlights from our #HeighPartyof3 Family Visit to NMAAHC!

#HeighPartyof3 Visits NMAAHC | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

C1-C3 | History Galleries

During our previous visit with our daughter, we chose to move swiftly through the 3 levels in the history galleries as it includes more graphic and violent past history {almost 400 years of that right?}. However, this time, I wanted her to have deep questions and comments and appreciate her 8 year old mind attempting to process what human beings are capable of doing to other humans, It was sobering and yet ultimately hopeful.

The opportunities for modern virtual interaction throughout this facility are endless. You can sit at a mock Greensboro, NC diner counter and use the touchscreen and pick from a ” join a movement” menu, which gives you all sorts on facts regarding sit in demonstrations and videos.

This museum also has docents {museum guide experts} stationed in some of the more emotionally difficult areas to give out facts and perspective. I truly appreciated one taking my daughter under her wing and explaining to her 8 yr old level what being sold “on the block” meant to families being torn apart and never seeing each other again. At 8 years old some of these facts still seem like science fiction to her and in a way that is progress. The inhumanity of slavery is quickly coming into focus for her and that is a good thing. History is not to be sugarcoated, it is simply fact.

Lunch | Sweet Home Cafe

When you come up the final 3rd ramp of the History Galleries, you will arrive to the Concourse level where you will find a wonderful cafeteria dining area called “Sweet Home Cafe“. Get ready to feast on all major foods credited to African Americans. Ribs, catfish, greens, red velvet cake just to name a few. Great place to take a break and fuel up to continuing your visit to this world class facility.

SobeSavvy Tip: Be sure to stop by the NMAAHC Museum store on L1-Heritage Hall. You will find free fact cards about the museum, books, jewelry and more! Plus, your purchase helps support the educational mission of the Smithsonian Instituition. Shop Online at smithsonianstore.com and join maiing list for special discount offers!

L4 | Culture Galleries

We rode the escalator to the very top level where the culture galleries are. On this level you will find the many contributions African Americans have made as artists. From music, theater, tv, dance, film, we have created and shared our cultural expressions to the world! Much of American culture is owed to the African Americans. Whether clothing, music or food, African Americans have always been the trend setters and the golden standard in the experiment of a nation we call America.

The music section is it’s own black rock and roll hall of fame. Chuck Berry’s Cadillac, Parliament’s Mothership and clothing/artifacts from almost every major artist in every genre is represented. You can also be a sound engineer or DeeJay if you like! We particularily enjoyed the “Neighborhood Record Store“, where we explained to our daugter about a time when music was not digital and you went to the store and found your favorite artists’ album.

This museum ultimately stands for triumph against all odds that African Americans have not only survived but we have been examples of excellence in every manner shape of form for the world to see just how unbreakable our spirits and indeed souls truly are.

L3 is where you can find the Community Galleries featuring The African American Military Experience and our contributions to Sports. Here is where we took a nice break to sit down and watch a film about Baseball Intergration.

L2 , the second floor is where you can Explore More! Get interactive in the gallery and have fun by taking a “stepping” lesson in HBCU fashion in a virtual reality dance game.

You could easily spend an entire day here and not see it all. I have found multiple visits of a few hours each time is a wonderful way to digest all that it has to offer. I look forward to coming back again in a few years and doing it all over again!
👀WATCH highlights from my #HeighPartyof3 Family Visit to @NMAAHC here⤵️

Have you been to the National Museum of African American History & Culture yet? Share a memory from your visit below!

Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of African Americn History & Culture

1400 Constitution Ave NW

Washington, DC 20560

Top 3 Reasons to Travel to DC and Stay in VA at Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza

I am back from a wonderful weekend in DC where I covered a food festival event (The 9th Annual Chesapeake Oyster, Wine and Beer Festival) at Dock 5/Union Market DC, revisited the National Museum of African American History and Culture (which I shared our family visit highlights>>here ) and enjoyed some family fun at the only attraction in DC where you can see all 45 US Presidents, Madame Tussauds DC!

Although my agenda mostly involved being in DC, I opted for our lodging to be in VA, which is just a 4 hr roadtrip from NC. Since hubby and our 8 yr old daughter were with me, the hotel of choice had to be somewhere comfy, clean(..of course!), in a convenient location, and with a free breakfast to fuel our fun days exploring Washington,DC. So, we decided to return to a hotel property that was featured in my Family Travel Guide to Arlington, VA, which is the Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse. Although our last stay was in 2017, my hope was that everything that was excellent then had remained the same in 2019. Indeed it was!

Here are my Top 3 Reasons to Travel to DC and Stay in VA at Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza!

1. PROXIMITY

Less than 4 miles from the National Mall, The Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza has all the advantages of staying in Washington DC with non of the cons like traffic, noise and lack of parking. A short drive on 66 East brings you straight to the Capital. Visitors often name traffic and congestion as their main gripes when finding a lodging, this property has neither. After 6pm Arlington reverts to a mostly residential area devoid of tour buses and tourist traps.

2. PRICE


Hotels in Arlington are on average almost 25% less per night than staying in Washington D.C. proper. Snag a great price being a World Of Hyatt member. This allows them to offer you exclusive member rates and discounts over the normal rack rate.

3. PERKS

The Hyatt Place Brand means casual comfort and smart places to work and play. This property does both very well. Large modern guest suites come with a sofabed and endless television choices. They also have a USB connector island for today’s multi-device charging needs. This Hyatt Place also has a business center and a 24 hour fitness center.


Their morning breakfast has quickly become legendary. Rotating daily choices of farm fresh eggs, steel cut oatmeal and all natural bacon just to name a few. Become a World Of Hyatt Member and the breakfast is complimentary.

Whether you are visiting Arlington, VA or planning a next trip to Washington DC, I recommend this property for all the reasons listed here. There are a variety of restaurants/bars within walking distance and we enjoyed the cozy comforts of this hotel especially after a day of sightseeing in our nation’s capital.

HYATT PLACE ARLINGTON/COURTHOUSE PLAZA

2401 Wilson BoulevardArlington, VA 22201

Arlington, VA 22201

http://arlingtoncourthouseplaza.place.hyatt.com

Event Recap | 10th Annual Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival at National Harbor @drinkeatrelax

On Saturday, August 24, 2019, SobeSavvy.com joined over 35,000 people at the 10th Annual Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival at National Harbor, MD. featuring live music, food, and “all you can taste” crab, beer and wine. Because I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD., I am a Maryland Blue Crabs lover. I like them hot,fresh,steamed & seasoned and this event by Drink.Eat.Relax serves them up just the way I like it!

If you’ve never been to the Chesapeake Crab,Wine,Beer Festival, here is what you can expect at either of the two ticketed four-hour sessions [ 11am-3pm or 5pm-9pm] :

Summertime fun for everyone!

Over 30 beers and wines and a few spirits.

A souvenir BEER MUG

ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE CRABS. Enjoy all the crabs you can handle during the four hours of the show. Both female/male crabs were served and varied in size from medium to large and will be offered at 6 crabs at a time, per person.

Other GREAT FOOD options as well available for purchase. There are no vegetarian options available.

A LA CARTE CRABS option will be SOLD 6 CRABS (1/2 dozen) AT A TIME PER PERSON FOR TBD (while supplies last)

LIVE MUSIC. Enjoy fun summer sounds from area bands.

THOUSANDS OF TABLES AND CHAIRS AND HUGE TENTS for crackin’ to your heart’s content. They even ordered enough crab paper to stretch all the way across the Harbor and back.

👀WATCH my YOUTUBE video to see more recap highlights from this wonderful event! ⤵️

Follow @drinkeatrelax for future event details and information!

Thank you for reading and I hope you are inspired to go next summer!