#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

January is #NationalTeaMonth! Want to Celebrate & Host A Tea Party? Here’s 5 Quick Tips +Book Giveaway

5 Quick Tips for Hosting A Tea Party |SobeSavvy.com

Disclaimer: Thanks to our friends at Honey Smoked Fish Company and Mango Publishing for sending product for review to facilitate this blog post. Opinions are 100% my own.

Hi, my name is Leslie. My favorite color is purple, I like to dance like no one is watching and I am a tea lover. I decided to start a new tradition to celebrate the holidays and welcome the New Year by hosting a tea party in my home. You can find me enjoying tea anytime of the day not only for wellness but it also it provides me with moments of serenity. Sipping a cup of tea encourages you to focus, slow down and relax because you don’t want to drop hot water on you, right?! This time, I wanted to catch up with a couple of friends and invited them over for an intimate gathering of just ladies enjoying tea together. The holidays/New Year and the fact that January is National Hot Tea Month are just some of the many reasons to celebrate! Throwing a holiday tea party was so fun and easy to do. Here are my 5 Quick Tips for Hosting a Tea Party:

1. SEND THE INVITE

Facebook is a great way to make a quick invite to guests, track RSVPs, set reminders and communicate with invited guests. I sent the following customized invite:

The mug exchanges were so much fun! Everyone got a chance to take home a new mug to enjoy during tea time. My friend who loves to shop local, gifted me a beautiful, handcrafted mug from Gather. I just love it!

2. CHOOSE A THEME/BUY DECOR

I chose to do a holiday theme as it paired well with the time of year. Also, I love being festive and spreading cheer! My local thrift store was the perfect place to buy decor like matching tea sets, mugs, saucers, cloth napkins, tier stands, a red table runner and this cute sleigh which served as something to hold some of my tea bag selections.

3. PLAN YOUR TEA MENU

Although, I planned to have a variety of tea on hand (along with Mimosas), I created a poll on the Facebook invite page to ask guests: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF TEA(s)?

Since I received a variety of answers, I decided to serve an assortment of teas like earl grey, english breakfast, mint tea, lemon lift, hibiscus tea and more. My personal fave of the day was Ginger Tea from NC’s own KimBees !

4. SERVE SAVORY & SWEET EATS

Sandwiches and Desserts are mainly what I served to nibble on while we sipped our tea. I also had a crab balls and coconut shrimp from BJ’s as an appetizer. World Market is my jam for entertaining especially when you want foods that are quick and delicious. For the tea party, I grabbed the last Amaretto cake (another customer put me on to how amazingly good these are..and she was right!) and I randomnly found these macaroons while in line at Ross. I served it on a cupcake stand along with some crackers, cream cheese and pepper jelly.

For my savory bites, I was excited to partner with Honey Smoked Fish Company and introduce guests to their delicious and nutritious Honey Smoked Salmon! It is perfect for entertaining because it is fully cooked & ready to eat, fresh and flavorful straight out the vacuum sealed package. Serve it with olives,cheeses, peppers, capers, toast points and you have the makings of a perfect charcuterie board.

There are so many ways to enjoy this superfood protein which comes in four delicious flavors: Original, Cracked Pepper, Chipotle & Lime, and Cajun Honey. One of my favorites for entertaining is using it in a deviled eggs recipe. It was a crowd pleaser when I served it as an appetizer for my last Get Hooked on Honey Smoked Salmon at home tastings. After realizing I did not have enough eggs to pull it off this time, I made an egg salad instead and combined it with Honey Smoked Salmon to make a Honey Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwich.

Here is my recipe:

INGREDIENTS | Chopped hard-boiled eggs, Original Honey Smoked Salmon, flaked with a fork, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, onion powder, paprika,salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS | Mix ingredients together. Spread on whole wheat or rye bread. Cut into 4 squares. Enjoy!

SobeSavvy Tip: Visit their online website >>HERE to see recipes and all the benefits of getting creative using the Superfood ingredient of Honey Smoked Salmon! Take a look at these fun facts!

5. GIVE “TEA-SPIRATION”

No matter what I am hosting at home, I like to give guests a thank you gift. Just a little something to take home and remind them of the wonderful time we had together. This time everyone received a book from award-winning blogger of The Cup of Life, Lu Ann Pannunzio, titled TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational Words for Tea Lovers.

This book is “steeped in wisdom” and aims to create a quiet movement where one can experience devotions, comfort, inspiration and the simple joys of life while reading and sipping a warm cup of tea. It is such a unique gift for women as we all need to be reminded to slow down and relax from the daily grind.

My friend and tea partner in crime has already made TEA-SPIRATION book a part of her daily ritual! Love it!

#SobeSavvyGiveaway | Do you love tea or know someone who does? I would like to gift you a book of your own to keep or share!

•Enter to win (1) TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational words for Tea Lovers book. Comment below in this blog post your favorite tea! Bonus entry if you comment on this Instagram post also! ⤵️

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Raise you hand if you are a #tealover 🙋‍♀️ like me?  I decided to start a new #tradition over the holidays and welcome the #NewYear by hosting a #teaparty in my home. You can find me sipping #tea anytime of the day not only for #wellness but it also it provides me with moments of #serenity. Throwing a #holidaytea party was so fun and easy to do. We did a #teamug gift exchange and I received a lovely handmade one from local store @gathergoodsco ! I served a variety of teas including NC's own @kimbeestea and made sandwiches using Honey Smoked Salmon from @honeysmokedfish Get the recipe and more today #ontheblog, I am sharing 5 Quick Tips for Hosting a Tea Party + Giveaway. ——– #SobeSavvyGiveaway | Do you love tea or know someone who does? I would like to gift you a book of your own to keep or share! •Enter to win (1) TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational words for Tea Lovers book • Follow @SobeSavvy • Tag a tea lover • Bonus entry if you comment with your fave tea on the blog post also. LINK IN BIO! Winner chosen by random.org on Wed. JAN 9, 2019 at Noon. Good Luck! ———– #hottea #hotteamonth #nationalhotteamonth #teatime #theteacupoflife #tealove #instatea #wellnesswednesday #winitwednesday #teas #teabook #bookstagram

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Winner chosen by random.org on Wednesday Jan 9, 2019 at noon/EST!

Good Luck!

@CarolinaBallet Presents The Nutcracker Review + Giveaway! Win 2 Tix 12/29 @DPAC #NC #FamilyFun #Arts

On Sunday December 16, SobeSavvy.com celebrated the 18th annual performance of Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker presented by PNC with magic sponsored by WRAL-TV. This family friendly show, performed at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium has become a Mommy & Me tradition for us. We both love performing arts and enjoyed seeing magic combined with ballet in this wonderful show featuring Tchaikovsky’s incredible music. Choreographed by Robert Weiss, Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker is not only “Magical.Magnificent.Mysterious”, but Unique because it features grand illusions by world renowned magician Rick Thomas as well as a live music by the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle!

My daughter, fondly referred to as #outandaboutAva, first saw this perfomance in 2016 when she was 5 years old. Now that she is 7 and has read The Nutcracker story, seen the Disney movie: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and learned the music in school, she was so excited to see this holiday classic! Carolina Ballet does an outstanding job working with the children from ballet schools across the Triangle as well as their own, The School of Carolina Ballet to perform this magical tale of holiday adventure based on a novel by E.T.A. Hoffman. The Nutcracker is one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire and definitely a performance the whole family should see because it appeals to the child in everyone!

What is The Nutcracker about?

This enchanting tale, in which toys come to life and treats dance with delight, follows young Clara and her prince as they journey to the Land Of Sweets. It begins when young Clara receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, she suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a pitched battle between the toys and an army of mice. After saving the nutcracker with a well-thrown shoe to the Mouse King’s head, Clara and her now-living prince venture into the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets to celebrate. Throughout their adventures, Tchaikovsky’s dazzling inventiveness propels the dances of nimble flowers and regal fairy queens. The “Waltz of the Snowflakes” floats weightlessly whereas the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” tiptoes to the haunting, music-box chimes of a celesta. A medley of exotic national dances—including a Spanish bolero and Russian Trepak—add to the phantasmagoric celebration before the whole dream ends, as all dreams must.

When and Where is it playing?

Dates: December 14, 2018 – December 23, 2018 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Raleigh at 3401 Atlantic Ave., Raleigh, NC 27604

Dates: December 29, 2018 – December 30, 2018 at DPAC- Durham Performing Arts Center in Downtown Durham at 123 Vivian St., Durhan, NC 27701

*See website>> CarolinaBallet.com or call 919.719.0900 for dates/times/prices

SobeSavvy Tip: Before/After the show or during intermission, you can get some holiday shopping done at The Nutcracker Boutique. You’ll find a variety of things like ornaments, socks or even a nutcracker of your very home to take home to be apart of your family traditions for years to come!

Enter to WIN 2 Tickets !!

Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker and SobeSavvy.com have teamed up to share a #SobeSavvygiveaway with you and give one winner a holiday memory that you will never forget!

Enter for a chance to be awed by the magic and choreography of Carolina Ballet and win (2) tickets to Carolina Ballet: The Nutcracker at DPAC on Sat 12/29 at 7pm.

To Enter:

💥 Like this post

💥 Leave comment below why you’d like to go

💥💥 Bonus entry if you leave comment on the Instagram post below + Follow @SobeSavvy

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❄GIVEAWAY❄ How about a #SobeSavvyGiveaway to go with this #NCsnowday !! Enter to win (2) tickets to @carolinaballet : The Nutcracker at @dpacnc on Sat 12/29 at 7pm. . Enjoy this holiday classic story set to Tchaikovsky's score, featuring a live symphony orchestra, magical illusions, magnificent sets & costumes. It is a family tradition of ours that I am happy to share with one lucky winner! ❄ . . To Enter: 💥 Like this post + 💥 Follow @SobeSavvy +💥 Tag a friend who would enjoy a journey to the Land of Sweets = (1) entry ….tag more friends for more entries 💥💥 Bonus entry if you leave comment on upcoming 12/17 blog post of recap of The Nutcracker ..stay tuned! Winner will be chosen at random on Dec.19, 2018 at 12pm EST. Good Luck! ———————– #SobeSavvy #CarolinaBallet #TheNutcracker #Giveaway #DPAC #Wralsnow #ncwx #winterfun #snowfun #snow #snowday #ncsnow #ncsnow2018 #ballet #performingarts #RaleighNC #DurhamNC #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #LifestyleBlogger

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Winner will be chosen by random.org on Dec.19, 2018 at noon.

Good Luck!

Update: Contest Closed. Congrats to Valerie Contreras, @hellominimama ! Have a wonderful time!

#GiftIdeas|Giveaway @Root7products G & T Cocktail Set, Books from @DrinkLikeLadies @CherylCharming + @TopoDistillery Gin Recipes

Tis the season of celebrations, traditions and holidays. Raise your hand, or glass if you enjoy a good cocktail to kick off the festivities? 🙋‍♀️ Well today I have something for you or the cocktail lover in your life!

I am hosting a #SobeSavvygiveaway for this really stunning gift set. It’s an amazing invention by leading drinkware brand Root7. It allows at home mixologists to make their own gin & tonic creations.

Root 7 G & Tea Cocktail Set | photo credit www.Root7.com

The Root 7 G & Tea set is a fun, stylish and uber-unique way to mix and serve a cocktail for two. With a spectacularly chic design it’s ideal for master mixologists and fashionistas.

Root 7 G & Tea Cocktail Set | photo credit www.Root7.com

The set is made of high-quality rainbow tinted borosilicate glass with a shimmering gold pattern, which enhances any table setting and balances beautifully with your lighting.

Root 7 G & Tea Cocktail Set | photo credit www.Root7.com

The teapot comes with a filter basket keeping fruity lumps and pips out of the tea cups. If gin isn’t your cup of tea, then it can be used with real tea, so little fingers up and drink in class. It’s also perfect for any other cocktail and certain to be the centerpiece of any gathering.

Root 7 G & Tea Cocktail Set | photo credit www.Root7.com

Available on Amazon.com, this is a wonderful gift idea for a cocktail/tea lover and makes a great hostess gift! Or maybe you want to keep for yourself to make a ‘hot toddy’ to keep you warm. Watch this YouTube video for more info about Root7’s G & Tea set:

If that doesn’t inspire the mixologist in you, then perhaps these next two items (that I am also including in this #SobeSavvygiveaway) will. Check out these cocktail books both written by women authors who are passionate about sharing their cocktail knowledge.

Drinking Like Ladies | website

What I like about this book is how it pays homage to the accomplishments of women in history while giving you creative cocktails crafted by female bartenders. Cheers to the authors, Kristen Amann and Misty Kalkofen who sought out to dismantle the patriarchy one cocktail at a time!

The Cocktail Companion |website

What I like about this book is the fun facts about each type of alcohol. For example did you know that Gin is just vodka after its first distilling? The herbs and botanicals are added during the second distilling. It is fair to say that gin is flavored vodka! The photography in this book is beautiful also.

We love to make cocktails at home using TOPO Organic Spirits, which is locally distilled in Chapel Hill,NC. Their award winning TOPO Piedmont Gin is made from 100% North Carolina wheat and well balanced, which makes it easy to drink.

Here are some G & Tea Time recipes from the website that I plan to make using TOPO Piedmont Gin :

Photo Credit Root7.com

GIN & TONIC
All you need to do is put the ice into the bottom of the teapot, fill with gin and tonic and then place ingredients into the filter compartment and leave to steep for 5 – 10 minutes depending on how strong you want the flavours to be.
Easy:
‘Gin’gle Bells
  • Earl Grey Tea – 1 bag (scoop)
  • Lemon Zest – 1/2 Lemon
  • Cinnamon Stick – 1 stick
  • Cloves – 6
  • Tonic- 500ml
  • Gin – 100ml
  • Orange Zest – 1/2 Orange
  • Ice – handful

Medium:

Gin & Apple Pie
  • Green Tea – 1 bag (scoop)
  • Tonka Beans – 5
  • Vanilla Pod – 1
  • Gin – 100ml
  • Apple – 1/2 cut into slices
  • Cinnamon – 1 Stick
  • Muscovado Sugar – 3 teaspoons
  • Tonic – 500ml
  • Ice – handful

Harder

Vesper Mar’tea’ni
  • Breakfast Tea – 1 bag (scoop)
  • Gin – 100ml
  • Lemon Grass – 1 stick
  • Lillet – 50ml
  • Hibiscus – 2 flowers
  • Lime Zest – 1/2 a lime
  • Tonic – 500ml
  • Ice – handful
    Follow @Root7products for more recipes and cocktail ideas.

    #DrinkDifferently

    Enter my #SobeSavvyGiveaway for your chance to win:

    • a G&Tea cocktail set from Root7

    • ‘Drinking Like Ladies’ book

    • ‘The Cocktail Companion’ book

    Comment below your favorite cocktail or tea! BONUS entry- Follow @SobeSavvy on IG. Winner will be chosen randomnly Dec.6, 2018 at noon. Good Luck!

    4 #Books To Make Holiday #FamilyTravel Easier + #ChildrensBook Giveaway

    *Disclosure: This content uses some affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more info: here

    Do you pack books for yourself or family when you travel? I do. No matter if it’s by plane, train or automobile each member of my #HeighPartyof3 will have some type of reading material or activity book. We are heading up to Charlotte, NC for Thanksgiving weekend and I have already started packing up what books my daughter will read on the roadtrip and keep her entertained during our hotel stay. Sure she has a tablet and my husband has his kindle, but there is still something special about having and holding a book. Here are 4 Books To Make Holiday Family Travel Easier:
    Football Freddie and Fumble Dog by Marnie Schneider, Goldie Grace, Illustrated by D.Moore

    Description: Football Freddie and Gameday in the Carolinas is a book that follows Football Freddie, a football loving girl who also loves to learn, as she travels around the Carolinas taking in the sights, ending her trip at a Carolina Panthers game in Charlotte.

    This book is beautifully illustratrated and includes dome fun facts about the Carolinas and even some Charlotte stops, which is right on time since we will be visiting there in a few days! Our daughter is including this book in her #outandaboutAvareads series to enjoy along the way.

    *Available at Amazon.com >here
    Color My Washington DC by Elina Diaz

    Description: Color Washington, D.C., the way you want to see it… Color your journey through the capital of the United States. Color elaborately hand drawn pen and ink illustrations of some of the most iconic destinations in the District—from to the White House, down through the National Mall and across to the Washington Monument, enjoy all the treasures this city has to offer. Each page contains facts about the District of Columbia, so regardless if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or a first time visitor to Capitol Hill, you’ll have your own relaxing coloring experience for years to come.

    I am from the DMV area and enjoy traveling back to DC to see family, friends and share our #soDMVsavvy highlights. With this book, I get to learn more about the city while coloring. When my daughter pulls out her coloring books in the hotel, this is the one I will use!

    *Purchase at Amazon.com >here

    48 hours in North American Cities

    Description: 48 Hours In…North American Cities | How to Enjoy the Perfect Short Break in 20 Great Destinations By Simon Calder

    Every Saturday in The Independent’s award-winning Traveller section, our “48 hours” stories explore new and exciting city-break itineraries. Now, 25 years after the series was first launched, we’ve produced this special, designed to help you get the most from a visit to a selection of 20 key North American cities. Among them, you can choose from New York’s dizzying nightlife, the rollercoaster thrills of Orlando, the Hollywood glitter of Los Angeles or Vancouver’s great outdoors. We’ve also included a range of accommodation options to suit your budget.

    We love weekend getaways! While my husband and I both have a background in working in a Travel agency (it’s how we met actually), we still like referring to books on what to do in certain cities. Our family just came back from a 3 Day Vacation in Orlando and this book gave us some ideas outside of the Disney box!

    *Get your copy on Amazon.com>here

    BigFoot Fun Book!: Puzzles,Coloring Pages, Fun Facts! by D.L.Miller

    Description: The idea of the book brainchild of Pennsylvania artist D.L. Miller, was to marry fun activities along with learning. “Children have the opportunity to have fun while learning about the world around them with BigFoot,” says Miller.

    The activity book is a treasure trove of engaging activities such as mazes, word search games, dot-to-dot pictures, coloring, and of course his classic seek-and-find activities. As with his other BigFoot books, the activity book is intended to help children learn about the world in an engaging and exciting way. As an added bonus, the book also includes animal stickers.

    This book, which is recommended for children ages 5-12 years old, grade level:4-6 , is 136 pages of fun for my 7 yr old 2nd grader. The variety of educational, fun and interactive activities is why we parents love this book for our daughter. It keeps her engaged and gives a good balance between playing with apps on the tablet doing an activity in a book. She enjoys the Bigfoot seek and find series, which you can find out more information at IFoundBigFoot.com

    *Available at Amazon.com >here

    SobeSavvy Tip: Enter my #SobeSavvyGiveaway to recieve a copy of the BigFoot Fun Book!: Puzzles, Coloring Pages, Fun Facts for a child in your life! Comment below in blog comments with ” I Found BigFoot” to enter. One winner will be selected randomnly. Contest ends Monday, Nov 26, 2018 at noon. Additional entry if you comment in this IG post also ⤵

    CONNECT WITH ME Facebook |YouTube| Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

    Enter to Win 2 Tix @GreatGrapesFest on May 5 + @drinkeatrelax ‘s Beer & Bacon Fest May 19 @BoothAmp in #Cary #NC

    Springtime here in the Triangle means the beginning of outdoor festival season and there are two ‘drink.eat.relax‘ events coming up in May that you don’t want to miss! Koka Booth Amphitheatre in the Town of Cary is where all the fun is happening on May 5, 2018 at the GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL and again on May 19, 2018 at the BEER & BACON FEST. Tickets to both of these fun festivals are ON SALE NOW and I have two tickets to giveaway for each event! Two lucky readers will have a chance to win a pair of tickets to enjoy the fun! Here are the details about both festivals:

    TWEET THIS:

    Follow @SobeSavvy and Enter to Win Tix to 2 @drinkeatrelax events happening in May @boothamp!🍷🍴🍺🥓 Details at https://www.SobeSavvy.com

    Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival

    Spring is Here and It is Wine Time! Join us for the largest and most fun casual NC wine festival in the Triangle with HUNDREDS of wines available from over 22 wineries. As you enter…take your souvenir tasting glass and stroll from tent to tent and table to table, tasting and sampling the rich heritage of North Carolina vines. As you sip and savor the afternoon, relax in the beautiful green setting of the Town of Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre.

    •200+ Wines from 22+ Wineries
    •Great Live Music
    •Fun Festival Eats
    •Arts and Crafts and Gourmet Items
    •FREE Kids Area

    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!

    TICKETS

    VIP SESSION TICKET: $49.00 IN ADVANCE: $55.00 ON THE DAY OF EVENT
    VIP Session: 11am – 6pm.

    REGULAR SESSION TICKET: $33.00 IN ADVANCE…..$35.00 ON THE DAY OF EVENT
    Regular Session: 12-6pm.

    Designated Driver Ticket: $20 ONLY AVAILABLE ONSITE! Includes admission into the event ONLY.

    For more information go to www.boothamphitheatre.com.

    PLEASE NOTE: Photo ID IS REQUIRED as proof of age & proof of identity.

    KIDS 12 & UNDER ARE FREE!

    PARKING
    GENERAL PARKING: Parking is free of charge in Amphitheatre owned lots. Some local businesses may charge a fee to parking in their lots. A limited number of PREFERRED parking space are available for $10.00 per car in advance or $15 on the day of event (cash only).

    A limited number of accessible parking space are available on a first come first served basis with the proper hang tag or license plate. If using *Uber, I’m giving you $5 off each of your first 4 Uber rides. To accept, use code ‘2ackv’ to sign up. Enjoy! Details: https://www.uber.com/invite/2ackv

    Please follow the signs & our Parking Staff to the pick up & drop off area.

    ALL EVENTS WILL GO ON AS SCHEDULED RAIN OR SHINE, however in the event of severe weather please check website and social media for any updates or changes to the event.


    ITEMS ALLOWED
    •Lawn chairs
    •Sealed Bottle of water (1 per person)
    •Cameras
    •All bags are subject to seach

    PROHIBITED ITEMS
    •Pets
    •Drones
    •Alcohol
    •Weapons of any kind

    For more information please visit www.uncorkthefun.com. Please drink responsibly.

    BEER & BACON FEST

    The BEER & BACON TASTING SESSION offers an exclusive tasting experience. Each guest will enjoy 15+ restaurant tasting stations (until 2pm) and fresh griddled bacon (until 3pm), a souvenir glass and boundless portions of over 75 craft beers and wines, plus 2 extra hours of alcohol sampling and all live entertainment. These tickets are limited and will SELL OUT!

    Bottoms Up, Bacon Down
    75 Craft Beers
    15 Restaurants
    10 Bacons From Across the US
    LIVE MUSIC… and lots of Piggy Love

    Cary’s Porkiest Playtime Returns and this time it will be even better. The ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE extravaganza comes complete with the best craft beers for your tasting pleasure… and of course the food of the Gods: BACON.

    TICKETS
    VIP Beer & Bacon Ticket Advanced Price: $59.00 Feb 9-March 18TH (midnight),
    $69.00 March 19-May 18 (midnight), $79.00 DAY OF EVENT. Beer tasting session 12-6pm.

    Regular Beer & Bacon Ticket Advanced Price: $39.00 Tickets are $45.00 DAY OF EVENT. Beer tasting session 2-6pm.

    Designated Driver Ticket: $20 ONLY AVAILABLE ONSITE! Includes admission into the event ONLY.

    For more information go to www.boothamphitheatre.com.

    PLEASE NOTE: Photo ID IS REQUIRED as proof of age & proof of identity.

    Kids 12 & under are FREE.

    PARKING
    GENERAL PARKING: Parking is free of charge in amphitheatre owned lots. Some local businesses may charge a fee to parking in their lots. A limited number of PREFERRED parking space are available for $10.00 per car in advance or $15 on the day of event (cash only).

    A limited number of accessible parking space are available on a first come first served basis with the proper hang tag or license plate. If using *LYFT, Download LYFT app and you get 10$ off your first ride with code: BESAVVY1

    Please follow the signs & our Parking Staff to the pick up & drop off area.

    ALL EVENTS WILL GO ON AS SCHEDULED RAIN OR SHINE.


    ITEMS ALLOWED
    Lawn chairs
    Sealed Bottle of water (1 per person)
    Cameras
    all bags are subject to seach

    PROHIBITED ITEMS
    Pets
    Drones
    Alcohol
    Weapons of any kind

    For more information please visit www.beerandbacon.com. Please drink responsibly.

    Mandatory #SobeSavvyGiveaway Entry– Please answer the following question below in the comments:

    Which festival would you like to attend:

    a) Great Grapes Wine & Food Fest on May 5

    or

    b) Beer & Bacon Fest on May 19

    **For more chances to win, click 👉a Rafflecopter giveaway to ENTER.

    *One winner will be chosen to win 2 general adult admission tix for option a: Great Grapes Wine & Food Fest Valid Noon – 6pm. Includes a souvenir wine glass, unlimited wine samples, and all performances

    *One winner will be chosen to win 2 Beer Only Tasting session admission tix for option b: Beer & Bacon Fest Valid 2pm – 6pm. Your admission includes a souvenir glass and boundless portions of over 75 craft beers and wines, and all live entertainment. Bacon/Food is a la carte.

    Contest ends April 26, 2018 at noon. Winners will be chosen at random and have until 4/27/18 to claim prize. Good luck!

    Enter #SobeSavvyGiveaway and #Win ‘THIS IS IT’ by @DariaPeoples @HarperChildrens #newrelease #book

    I am excited to tell you all about a new book from author Daria Peoples-Riley, titled ‘This Is It‘ and even more excited to offer you a chance to win this book!

    This Is It ,which released on February 6, 2018, is published by Harper Collins and written/illustrated by Daria People-Riley. It is the author’s picture book debut and was inspired by her daughter. My 6 yr old daughter, fondly referred as #outandaboutAva on the blog, loves to dance and has practiced ballet which made me interested in learning more about this book. I also believe in supporting diverse books and authors because representation matters. This book, recommended for ages 4-8 yrs old, celebrates the joy of dance and shows how confidence can be gained from within.

    For those of us who live in North Carolina, there is a special connection. Take a look at this lovely trailer + interview for This Is It ….

    BOOK TRAILER INTERVIEW

    Tell us a little bit about the trailer. It’s not the average book trailer for a picture book.

    I know, right? Well, I’ve always been interested in making films, so when THIS IS IT was
    acquired, I knew I wasn’t going to do an animated book trailer. Creating a live action book trailer
    would be the perfect opportunity to try filmmaking. I thought the idea of bringing my heroine to
    real life would be more impactful. To be honest, as a child, I wasn’t very interested in cartoons. I
    liked shows and movies with real people. It’s hard for me to believe there aren’t more kids out
    there like that. The book trailer is the prologue to the book, and you have to read the book to
    find out what happens next. It was a wonderful opportunity to create my first experience as a
    filmmaker.

    Who was some of the talent behind the scenes of the trailer?

    I enlisted the expertise of Patrick Lascu, a Los Angeles based filmmaker, and he put together a
    crew of amazing talent. He really went out of his way to involve me in the creative process. I
    learned a lot from him, and hope we can work together again in the near future.

    And in front of the camera, who plays the shadow?

    The shadow is played by my daughter, Jonah Marie. She is an aspiring ballerina who inspired the poem in THIS IS IT.

    Jonah, can you tell us a little bit about your ballet training?

    I train in Vaganova Ballet, a style of Russian ballet. I train about ten hours a week right now, and
    in the summer I attend summer intensives. Last summer, I attended Los Angeles Ballet School
    and next summer I will attend UNCSA’s classical ballet intensive.

    What was it like dancing as the shadow?

    It was really fun because I didn’t have to worry about being on the camera, but I was still a part
    of the trailer.

    Besides ballet, what are some of your other interests?

    I like fashion and baking.

    What are some of your dreams for the future?

    I would love to become a professional ballet dancer.

    The mom and the daughter—who plays those roles?

    The mom is played by Tanya Hill, and her daughter Jalyn Noelle. They are real mom and
    daughter, so the connection was natural.

    How did you go about finding Tanya and Jalyn?

    It was pretty unconventional actually. We call it a God story—one of those acts of Providence
    only God could orchestrate. Patrick and I were looking for actors, and reached out to a few casting directors, but we hadn’t found anyone who looked quite like the character in THIS IS IT.
    However, after a couple of weeks of unsuccessfully finding anyone, I was leaving a hotel in Buena Park, California when I drove by Tanya and Jalyn who were standing along the street at a crosswalk. Immediately, I was amazed at how much Jalyn looked like my heroine, so I pulled over. It wasn’t until I got out of my car to approach them, I realized Jalyn and Tanya were holding a homeless sign and asking for money.

    What did you do next?

    Truthfully, it caught me off-guard a little and probably out of nervousness, I commented on
    Tanya’s t-shirt, a North Carolina Panther’s shirt. I don’t really watch football, but I am a Cam
    Newton fan because of all the wonderful things he does for kids, so the first thing I said was
    something like “I’m a Cam Newton fan!” Awkward, right? So funny. But she said, “I am too!”
    Then, we Cam-dabbed together.
    Once the ice was broken, I told her I was an author/illustrator who wrote a book, and her
    daughter looked a lot like the character in my story. I asked her if she was interested in acting in
    my book trailer, and that was when Jalyn told me,“Of course, I’m an actor.” Tanya told me she was struggling after relocating to California from North Carolina. She cried tears of joy when I offered Jalyn the role. Then, I cried. Then, we celebrated by taking a selfie.

    We exchanged information, and Jalyn became my real life heroine. The best thing about it was I was
    able to compensate Jalyn for her talent.

    How are Jalyn and her mom doing now? Can you give us an update? Do you still keep in touch?

    Absolutely! We keep each other updated. Jalyn and her mom will be in my heart forever. They are doing wonderful. Shortly after our first meeting, I reached out to my aunt who lives in the LA area to find Tanya and Jalyn housing. She
    enlisted the help of Boys II Men singer, Nathan Morris who has a heart for helping the homeless.
    Together, we raised $9,000 in three days on GoFundMe. Jalyn and her mom moved back to the Carolinas. Jalyn is acting and attending school and mom is working as a manager of an optical gallery.

    Jalyn, what did you think about Daria asking you to be in her trailer?

    I felt excited because I wanted to be an actress and she just came in my life and helped me fulfill my dreams, and well, it was the first time I was on onset with cameras. I did NarroWay, A Christian theater in South Carolina, but it wasn’t like that.

    How was your experience? What was your favorite part?

    I loved the experience. It was a lot of fun doing it. My favorite part was learning ballet. It was the
    first time I ever tried it, but now I actually want to do ballet.

    What are you doing now?

    Well, I went back to NarroWay and now I’m doing a show called Not Just Another Love Story.

    What are some of your dreams for the future?

    One of my dreams is becoming a veterinarian. I love animals and I really want to help the homeless. I’ve been in that situation before, and it’s not fun.

    I am happy to host a book giveaway for one winner (who must be a US or Canadian resident) to receive a copy of THIS IS IT! Winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, February 23 at noon. Leave a comment below and answer the following:

    Why would you like to win this book? 📚

    Remember this book is not only good for little girls or aspiring dancers, you could gift this book to a child in your life or even a homeless shelter. Thank you for reading and entering. GOOD LUCK!

    “Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair” @ncartmuseum Upcoming Events + Giveaway #NCMAEbony

    Have you seen the new exhibition at NCMA yet? Recently, I shared with you my Top 5 Reasons To Visit North Carolina Museum of Art Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair Exhibition and I wanted to follow up with some related events you do not want to miss! I also have a #SobeSavvyGiveaway for one lucky reader to win a girls night out to a special event that I will share at the end of this post. 

    Here are some upcoming events that I wanted to make sure you had on your radar to go check out. These popular ticketed events sell out quickly, so reserve your spot early! Visit mcartmuseum.org/ebony for more details.

    NCMA Fashion Show Ensembles on Display at Crabtree Valley Mall ~ Opening Reception Sat. Nov 11, 12-2pm

    Opening Event-Runway Fashion Show in Celebration of Inspiring Beauty | Photo Credit : NCMA

    The 12 ensembles from the opening night fashion show event in celebration of the NCMA’s fall exhibition Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair is on display from November 5th thru 17th at Crabtree Valley Mall.

    You’re invited to an opening reception to celebrate this pop-up on Saturday, November 11 from noon to 2 pm, where the designers will be floating around to talk and answer questions, as well as representatives from the NCMA.

    Shoppers will have the chance to see the ensembles and snap a photo in front of a life-size magazine cover. You’ll be able to get an up-close look at the looks, including the three winners of the evening, in a pop-up fashion show! Whether you missed the opening event or were able to attend, this is a great way to see those fabulous ensembles from North Carolina’s rising designers again.

    Located on Lower Level A near H&M, the looks will be on view each day during mall hours (Monday through Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday 12pm-7pm). This is a FREE EVENT and open to the public.

    Desiree M. Hendrick, North Carolina A+T State University – first place winner | Photo Credit : NCMA        

    Family Fun Saturday: Ready to Wear Art ~ Workshop Sat. Dec 9, 10 am-12p, 1-3pm  

    #outandaboutAva enjoys Family Fun Saturday: Couture Cloth workshop at NCMA

    There is something for everyone to enjoy and themes to explore while viewing this exhibit. Because I am a mom of a young fashionista, I was happy to see that NCMA had youth/family programming and workshops developed for Inspiring Beauty. On November 4th, my husband and our daughter enjoyed a Daddy-Daughter date at NCMA for Family Fun Saturday: Couture Cloth. Inspired by the colors and patterns found in the clothing on view in Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair, families with children ages 5-11 created their own patterned and printed fabric to make a dynamic work of art! Our little one had so much fun using materials to stamp, write, iron and paint onto her own masterpiece.

    In December 9’s workshop, participants will cut, shape, and build a wearable artwork fit for the runway. This family friendly workshop is $5 for Members, $8 Nonmembers and held in the East Building, Education Studios.

    Young Artists at Work – Family Fun Saturday at NCMA

    SobeSavvy Tip: Let your college student know there is a Free College Night on Friday, November 17, 7-10pm. Admission is free with college ID. No ticket required. This event will pay homage to the five decades of fashion on view in Inspiring Beauty and will feature student work, contemporary dance, and a DJ. Students are encouraged to dress for the runway!

    Behind the Seams–Girls in Gowns in the Gallery ~ Special Event 

    Girls in Gowns in the Gallery at North Carolina Museum of Art exhibition ‘Inspiring Beauty’

    Grab your girls and get ready to twirl in your best gowns on Thursday, November 30 at 6:30 pm in the East Building for a special event~ “Behind the Seams–Girls in Gowns in the Gallery”.  You’ll have a chance to stroll the galleries, enjoy a cocktail, have your lip print analyzed, tour Inspiring Beauty and much more! . Cocktail and treats included. Event ends at 9pm.

    #SobeSavvyGiveaway: Behind the Seams–Girls in Gowns. One lucky winner and her guest will enjoy an ultimate girls night out! Enter SobeSavvy Giveaway>>>HEREWinner will be chosen randomnly on November 16, 2017. GOOD LUCK! 

    Be sure to follow @SobeSavvy, @NCartmuseum and share your experience on social media using hashtag #NCMAebony. I am excited to attend the ‘Behind the Seams–Gurls in Gowns in the Gallery’ and will be sure to share some highlights with you. Stay tuned and remember to support the arts!

    *UPDATE-CONGRATS TO MARTAMIQUE A. WINNER OF THIS #SobeSavvyGiveaway!*

    North Carolina Museum of Art

    East Building

    Meymandi Exhibition Gallery

    October 28, 2017- January 21, 2018

    #Raleigh, Win Tix To See @RLT1936 ‘s #GraceForPresident @NCmuseumofhistory #FamilyFun

    Grace for Presidenta play based on the book by Kelly S. DiPucchio, with illustrations by LeUyen Pham, is coming to the North Carolina Museum of History as part of the Raleigh Little Theatre Family Series. The book, music and lyrics for this production are by Joan Cushing and will run from October 13 thru October 22, 2017. *One lucky SobeSavvy reader will have a chance to win a family 4 pack of tickets to see the play on Friday Oct. 20, 2017, 7:30pm Entry details will be at end of this post.*

    If you are not familiar with this childrens book, it is an inspiring tale that empowers little girls! The whole family can enjoy this musical experience and follow Grace’s ambitions as the story unfolds. Here is the plot: 

    One day in class, Grace Campbell discovered that there has never been a female president. “Where are the girls?” she asked, as her third-grade teacher rolls out a poster of all 44 U.S. presidents. Frustrated by the lack of female faces in the White House, Grace decides she wants to be president and inspires a school election. She seems the likely winner until the most popular boy runs against her. Through the throes of campaigning and pep rallies, service projects and posters, Grace and her classmates discover what it takes to be the best candidate and find the fun and hilarity in the wonderful world of politics!

    Tickets are available for purchase online or from box office at 919.821.3111 *Seating is General Admission

    SobeSavvy Tip: Go one hour before the show for a “Grace” inspired gallery hunt in the Museum, to create your own campaign button to take home and pose for a selfies as a future North Carolina Hall of Fame-er!

    #SobeSavvyGiveaway Details: In partnership with Raleigh Little Theatre, I am giving away 4 tickets for 1 winner to enjoy this family friendly show on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 7:30pm . To enter, click >>>HERE. Winner will be chosen randomly on October 13. 

    Good Luck!   (..and be sure to stay tuned of my review of this show. I can’t wait to see this play with #outandaboutAva)

    North Carolina Museum of History

    Daniels Auditorium 

    5 East Edenton Street

    Raleigh, NC 

    *UpdateContest has ended. Congrats to Rada Mills! Thank you all for entering !*

    #Raleigh Event |10/18 @Whiskey_Kitchen #SupperClubNumber2 + Giveaway 🍴

    Whiskey Kitchen | Supper Club No. 2 | SobeSavvy.com

    What’s the first country that comes to mind when you hear the word Whisky?Ireland? Scotland? How about Japan?! Yes, the Japanese have quietly been making and distilling top notch whisky now for almost 100 years. The Japanese brand Yamazaki has a single malt that actually won “World Whisky of the Year” in 2014. 

    Got your attention yet? Good! As I have a special announcement about a fun foodie event you do not want to miss! The renowned Whiskey Kitchen is holding their second large scale celebration of whisky and food with a curated selection of rare Japanese whisky. Here are some additional details:

    YOU’RE INVITED ~

    WHERE: Whiskey Kitchen , Raleigh

    WHAT: Supper Club No. 2 |An Evening of Whisky, History, Food and Celebration

    WHEN: October 18, 2017  | 7:00 – 10:30 pm

    Purchase Tickets >>>> Here 

    SobeSavvy Giveaway:  One lucky SobeSavvy reader will be randomnly selected to win a pair of tickets to this exclusive one night only event. Click on this link >> here << and follow the instructions to enter. Contest ends on Monday October 9, 2017. 

    * There is a chance to enter via social media as well. Be sure to follow @SobeSavvy on Instagram for details as well as during the event photos and recap! * 

    Whiskey Kitchen | Supper Club No. 2 Event

    Join me and others as we raise our glasses to Japan’s finest offerings at Whiskey Kitchen! I am excited to learn more about Japan’s reinterpretation of a spirit I enjoy at a restaurant that always serves inspired cuisine with a southern flair. Hope to see you there! 

    Gannbatte Kudasi“..that means Good Luck in Japanese !

    *Contest has ended. Congrats to Andrea Bates ! Hope you enjoy !*

    WHISKEY KITCHEN

    201 W Martin St.

    Raleigh, NC 27601