3 Summer Break Books to Intrigue, Inform, Inspire Your K-2nd Grader #outandaboutAvareads #books

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

Can you believe Summer’s here? I have been asking myself where has this year gone and what shall I do to keep my child from being bored during Summer Break? While my daughter is ready for some time off, I know the importance of keeping her mind active. Ever heard of the “summer slide” where kids lose some of their academic gains from the school year? Well, I plan to avoid that by encouraging my child to read. However, because my daughter loves to read, I really don’t have to do much encouraging. In fact, you may have seen her #outandaboutAvareads series on my Instagram!

Recently, some authors/publishers have contributed to her summer reading list and she is excited to read these books at home, by the pool, or in the car during our family roadtrips!If you are looking for things for your child to do this summer, remember reading is a great way to keep kids engaged over summer break!

Today on the blog, SobeSavvy.com, I am sharing some new children’s books to add to your child’s summer reading list that will Intrigue, Inform and Inspire! Take a look at these three books:

*INTRIGUE | THE CASE OF THE PINCHED STRADUVARIUS by Elaine Loeser

#outandaboutAvareads

The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is a unique whodunit – a mix of television script and comic book presented in a fun way! This picture book shows kids how using their brains and working together can solve problems. Miles and Fargo are your average turtles. They swim, lounge around and fight over the one rock in their tank. But Miles and Fargo are different in one major way: like Jimmy Stewart’s character in the iconic 1954 film “Rear Window” or Dr. Anna Fox in “The Woman in the Window,” they witness a crime from the window of their NYC apartment and manage to solve it – without leaving their tank.

The story is told in an all-dialogue format, with icons representing the characters in the story so kids can identify with them more closely. It’s written by Elaine Loeser – former writer for the long-running NBC drama “Law & Order” – with wonderfully vibrant illustrations by Greg Arvanitakis. Elaine’s husband acquired the real-life turtles while they were living in Los Angeles and they spent their first months living in their tank in Pasadena, overlooking Dodger Stadium.

In The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius, while looking out the window one day, Miles and Fargo witness a little girl’s violin stolen by a bad man, who snatches the instrument and runs away. After watching carefully, the turtles enlist the services of Bogie and Bandit, the dogs who live in the apartment with them, to do the investigative legwork during their walks. The dogs get all the credit when the violin is found. But that’s ok with Miles and Fargo. They did the thinking. The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is the story of how they manage to solve the crime and bring the thief to justice, thus becoming: Miles and Fargo, Turtle Detectives!

For kids, parents and teachers alike, it’s a fun story that introduces readers to Miles and Fargo, their background and how they become the Holmes and Watson of the reptile world. It also teaches kids about introverts (the turtles) and extroverts (the dogs.) The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is ideal for readers ages 3-10 and is available on Amazon.* Learn more about the book on turtledetectives.com, Facebook and Instagram.

*INFORM | LIKTOON’S BOAT by Radha Rai

Liktoon’s Boat is an endearing and educational book to help promote financial literacy among children. Written by North Jersey financial expert, blogger, mom and author, Radha Rai, this book provides introduction to basic mathematical and financial concepts. Liktoon’s Boat takes children of all ages to a make-believe world of adventure, entrepreneurship and challenges, where dreams are accessible with the right financial planning.

For more information on Liktoon’s Boat visit Liktoon.com, or visit Rai’s blog at Missfingy.com/. Liktoon’s Boat is available at Amazon* as well as other fine booksellers.

*INSPIRE | JUST BE YOURSELF by Karen Stone

Just Be Yourself: A Ladybug’s Journey is a new children’s book written by Karen Stone to inspire kids to be happy with who they are and build a positive perception of self. As children grow up, they will face various challenges and struggles, author Karen Stone wants to make sure a negative self-image will not be one of those issues.

In “Just Be Yourself,” Stone introduces readers to a unique story that follows an unsure ladybug in the Happy Peaceful Forest. The ladybug questions why she is the only one in her family without a special crown and sets out to reach the shiny purple castle to find her answers.

Along the way she meets various animals that impart lessons of self-assurance and empowerment. At the end of her journey, she realizes that to receive her crown, she simply needs to find confidence and happiness in her own heart.

“I want to enable children to build a foundation to be happy with who they are for the rest of their lives,” Stone said. “Just Be Yourselfteaches children to be confident with their own attributes, skills and appearance so they can build a positive self-image.”

For more information, please visit www.kstone11.com. “Just Be Yourself: A Ladybug’s Journey” by Karen Stone is available at Balboa Press, Barnes and Noble and Amazon*.

📚What Books Are You or Your Child Reading This Summer?📚

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@ALAMORaleigh Launches Summer of #FAMILYFUN + Get FREE #Incredibles2 Activity Sheets for your little ones!

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE LAUNCHES AN INCREDIBLE(S) SUMMER OF FAMILY FUN
Kids are in command this summer with the return of Disney/Pixar’s first family, classic family film screenings, and free milkshakes, tattoos, & pizza!

Hey Raleigh! Are you ready for a summer of film and family fun? How about some FREE Incredibles 2 activity sheets for your little ones? Keep reading and I will share how you can enjoy all the above this summer!

Alamo Drafthouse is celebrating Disney/Pixar’s long-awaited animated sequel INCREDIBLES 2, TODAY Saturday June 16 with a fun The Incredibles 2 Family Party! If you are not able to make this event, check out what other family fun activities you can enjoy this summer at Alamo Drafthouse:

Summer Family Fun Card

The cinema-eatery is debuting their Summer Family Fun Card. The program is free, and

available now at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh or online.

What a fun way to encourage kids to track the new and classic movies they see at Alamo Drafthouse,

including the just-announced lineup of affordably priced Kids Camp and PBS Kids screenings

, plus they earn prizes!

Every film a child 12 or under sees between June 1st and August 31st is eligible for a sticker and a cute (and temporary) tattoo. The more stickers kids collect, the more prizes they’ll win, like milkshakes, pizza, free movies, and more. Plus, if it’s a child’s very first time at a theater, parents can pick up a free keepsake “My First Movie” certificate.

Kids Camp and PBS Kids
Each summer Alamo Drafthouse programs daily Kids Camp screenings of classic films that parents grew up with like THE NEVERENDING STORY and recent favorites like the recent animated musical SING for a super-affordable price — just $1, $3, or $5 — your choice! Ticket proceeds go directly to benefit local nonprofits, with an expected goal of raising $100,000 nationwide.
June

TROLLS

•HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

THE NEVERENDING STORY

THE LEGO MOVIE
July
MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN

THE LAND BEFORE TIME
MONSTERS VS. ALIENS

SING
August

PADDINGTON 2

PRINCE OF EGYPT

KUNG FU PANDA

DESPICABLE ME
But that’s not all. Alamo Drafthouse’s continuing partnership with PBS KIDS gives families a unique opportunity to watch their favorite shows on the big screen, with proceeds going to benefit local PBS affiliates. This summer’s offerings include presentations of WILD KRATTS, NATURE CAT: SUMMER OF ADVENTURE, and a BACK TO SCHOOL compilation.
Kids Camp screenings take place every day (with occasional exceptions) in matinee time-slots, at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh from the beginning of June through August. PBS KIDS screening dates vary so be sure to check drafthouse.com/raleigh for a full schedule and to get tickets.

“We’ve seen generations of future cinephiles get their start at Alamo Drafthouse,” says Alamo Drafthouse Senior Director of Marketing Chaya Rosenthal. “And with our beloved Kids Camp and PBS Kids series and awesome new films on the way this summer like HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3, TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES, and INCREDIBLES 2, there are so many choices for parents and kids of all ages.”

INCREDIBLES 2 (#Incredibles2)

Speaking of INCREDIBLES 2, (now playing in theatres everywhere!!), families have long known that Alamo Drafthouse pulls out all the stops for Disney/Pixar titles, and the return of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, Jack-Jack and Frozone is no exception. In addition to both 2D and 3D screenings of the film, families can attend special INCREDIBLES 2 Family Parties, with photo booths, crafts, games and more. And exclusively at Alamo Drafthouse, Pixar devotees can add two limited edition Mondo designed collectibles to their order: an INCREDIBLES 2 juice glass and a one-of-a-kind sketchbook with a gorgeous cover designed by Mondo artist Dave Perillo. Both are available with INCREDIBLES 2 ticket purchases only at participating Alamo Drafthouse box offices, drafthouse.com, and the Alamo app for iOS and Android.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.

Watch Teaser Trailer https://youtu.be/i5qOzqD9Rms

SobeSavvy Tip: Print out these FREE activity sheets which include coloring pages, recipes,and a matching card game for more INCREDIBLES 2 fun!

Like INCREDIBLES 2 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarTheIncredibles/

Follow INCREDIBLES 2 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheIncredibles

Follow INCREDIBLES 2 on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theincredibles/

Visit the official INCREDIBLES 2 website here: http://disney.com/incredibles2

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INCREDIBLES 2 is now showing at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh and theatres everywhere! I plan to check it out this weekend with my incredible family. What makes my #HeighPartyof3 incredible is that we work hard, play hard and love hard! That’s our superpower.

Do you plan to see Incredibles 2?

•Share below something incredible about your family!

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#FiveForFriday | 5 Bargain Finds To Put In A #Disney Goodie Bag For A Girls Party

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

Today is our daughter’s last day of 1st Grade. Where did the time go? She is a little sad because not only will she miss her first grade teacher/friends but because her birthday is in August, she does not get the opportunity to celebrate her special day in class. So I decided to throw her an ‘End of School Year Celebration~Disney Dance Party‘ for her and a few friends at our home. Here’s a peek of the invite I made online:

INVITE | End of School Year Celebration for #outandaboutAva

Since this was a sort of a last minute decision, I had a very small budget to throw this party at home. The plan is to keep it simple: polish their nails, put on *Just Dance Disney Party 2 – Wii Game, order pizza and have some Disney themed refreshments like the *Pepperidge Farm Mickey Mouse Special Edition! Cheddar Baked Snack Crackers and *Good2Grow Juices.

Ready to serve these Disney inspired refreshments

There will be two hours of fun and a Disney goodie bag for everyone! Here are my suggestions of 5 Bargain Finds To Put In A Disney Goodie Bag For A Girls Party:

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1. *Minnie Mouse Party Favor Cup

Found this Minnie Mouse Party Favor cup at my local Dollar Tree

2. *Disney Mickey Mouse Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly is The Original Gourmet Jelly Bean candy that kids/parents love because it’s fat free, gluten free, peanut free, and has a variety of fun flavors.

3. *Disney Headband

I picked up these Disney mouse ear headbands from Target and added some gems in case the girls wanted to bedazzle them!

4. Disney Mickey Mouse & Friends Lollipop

I found this Disney Sweet Treat at my local Target in the seasonal 4th of July section. So pretty and pink!

5. Disney Family Crafts Mirror Kit

Just a few days ago, I caught a BOGO sale at Michael’s on all their Disney Family Crafts items. I also used Retailmenot.com for a 50% off regular priced item at Michael’s Arts & Crafts

SobeSavvy Tip: Now that you have these budget friendly items, what should you put them in? The Disney Store sells these small Reusable Bags for only .25 cents each! They are only allowed to sell 5 max per customer. So take a friend or make several trips if you need more.

Did you know the Disney Store sells these adorable reusable bags?!

The bags can be used for both a girl or boys party but since it is a girls party, I will add some pink tissue paper for fun!

All the Disney themed Goodies ..Before and….

After! The Disney Goodie Bags are all filled with fun bargain finds!

I like living conveniently close to Dollar Tree, Target and Michael’s Arts and Crafts but if you don’t, you can always find bargains shopping online at Amazon.com. When the party is all done, I am going to enjoy a Disney Dole Whip Inspired Rum Cocktail (see my recipe here) because this Disney Mom deserves it!

PS..I’m happy to have another reason to rock my Disney Mom ears that I received at #DisneySMMC, but my daughter has already requested that I please don’t wear them all day long at her party. 😂

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Will you be doing any end of school celebrating ? When was the last time you did anything Disney related? Please let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

Shop, Eat, Play, Explore|Celebrate with a ‘Day in DC’ Family Date @American_Girl Store #charactercounts

Shop, Eat, Play, Explore | Celebrate with a ‘Day in DC’ Family Date at American Girl Store #charactercounts

Disclaimer: Thanks to American Girl for hosting my #HeighPartyof3, which consists of my husband, our daughter and me! All opinions expressed here are my own.

It’s been quite the school year for our daughter, #outandaboutAva. Besides doing so well in first grade and receiving an award for perfect attendance, she has had a busy year with after-school activities such as bowling league and gymnastics.

#outandaboutAva celebrates #GIRLPOWER with American Girl of the Year 2018, Luciana Vega

Now that the end of school year is here, there’s more time to enjoy quality time as a family. So I planned a ‘Day in DC’ family date at the American Girl store. It’s a great place to celebrate time together and I knew it would be a memorable experience for us all!

SHOP

More than just a girls’ day…Dad and Daughter get ready to shop, have fun and explore the American Girl Store

This was our first visit to the American Girl Store located in Tysons Corner Center. The first thing we noticed is that it has two floors! Compared to the Charlotte and Atlanta location, it was HUGE to us.

The American Girl Store Washington,DC has two levels!

The moment you step inside an American Girl store, you realize that everything inside has been designed with girls in mind. From dolls, accessories, outfits, and books, it’s worth it to stop by an American Girl store even if it’s just to have a look! You can plan to buy later and shop online at americangirl.com.

#outandaboutAva is an only child so she uses her imagination of having a sister American Girl Bitty Baby doll!

EAT

If you worked up an appetite after shopping in the store, I highly suggest making reservations at the American Girl Bistro. The food here is really good and I learned that while the bistros offer similar menus, they are not exactly alike.

American Girl Bistro- Washington,DC Lunch Menu

I am a fan of their ‘Design How You Dine’ format which allows you to choose a starter & a main course all for one price. This location offers cocktails and wine on their drink menu for the adults to enjoy as well as speciality drinks for the girls. Even Luciana Vega, American Girl of the Year 2018, gets a cup in case she wants a beverage!

Sip, Sip, Hooray..Parents, Girls and Dolls, too can enjoy hot or cool beverages at American Girl Bistro

More favorite moments from our dining experience at this American Girl Bistro….

Every table has a box of conversation starters on it. It’s a great way to learn more about each other!

Great customer service and dining suggestions from the staff at American Girl Bistro

Salmon for Him, Pasta for Her and for me, Asian Chicken Salad. It was all pretty tasty and filling especially after having scrumptuous starters. Can you believe we had no room for dessert!?

PLAY

Dad watches his daughter swaddle a Bitty Baby and is reminded of her own swaddling days! Time flies!

Children are so used to being told to not touch things in stores, don’t play with that, or put that toy down. But at American Girl store it’s different. They want to inspire your childs’ creativity thru play and let little girls be girls. Our daughter enjoyed learning how to swaddle a Bitty Baby doll, made silly faces like the Wellie Wishers and shared a fun secret with her Dad! Even at the Bistro there were activities to play while we waited for our meal. Check out americangirl.com/play to take play online too!

So many ways to encourage endless imagination and creativity thru play at the American Girl Store

EXPLORE

Luciana Vega, Girl Of The Year 2018, inspires girls to explore and shoot beyond the stars!

Our ‘Day in DC’ Family Date was inspired by American Girl 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega, whose dream is to be an astronaut and land on Mars. We encourage STEM learning and feed our daughter’s interest in science, specifically space travel. So I thought a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum would be cool, especially since its only about 20 mins from the American Girl store and entry is FREE!

After a visit to the American Girl store, check out the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum!

It was fun to see the real space suits worn by the astronauts and compare just how much attention to detail American Girl has added in Luciana’s Space Suit. In fact, have you noticed how all of Luciana’s accessories are quite realistic? Stay tuned, #outandaboutAva will share more about Luciana Vega and her fun accessories in an upcoming post!

SobeSavvy Tip: Explore more of the American Girl world with augmented reality, exclusive videos, and activities at American Girl Stores. Be sure to download the American Girl app before you go!

If you are planning a visit to DC, I recommend going to the American Girl store, dining at the Bistro and enjoy your time together. Life is busy and kids grow up so fast, so it is so important to spend quality time and make memories that last! Remember, “Time together is a gift. Make it count.” ~American Girl

Plan your visit at americangirl.com/stores

American Girl Washington, D.C.
8090 Tysons Corner Center
McLean, VA 22102

My #HeighPartyof3 enjoyed our time together at DC/Tysons Corner American Girl Store/Bistro

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#TRAVEL | Visit #WilmingtonNC & Island Beaches to Enjoy Nature and Discover What’s In Bloom🌹

TRAVEL | Visit Wilmington NC & Island Beaches to Enjoy Nature and Discover What’s In Bloom! Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

You all know the saying ..”April Showers Bring May Flowers“,well my #HeighPartyof3 decided to put the theory to the test and headed to Wilmington NC & Island Beaches to discover What’s In Bloom! In the past, we have visited during the summer as a fun, “Family Travel” destination and also spent a “Daycation” in Wilmington NC & Island Beaches because for us it’s just a 2 hour roadtrip from Raleigh, NC.

This was our first time traveling to Wilmington NC in the Spring and I thought instead of flowers as a gift for Mother’s Day, why not experience botanical gardens and more in this beautiful city! With just 24 hours to explore, there is so much to get outside and do here. Take a look at our weekend itinerary filled with nature-theme activities the whole family can enjoy!

DAY 1 Arrive Saturday

Wilmington + Wrightsville Beach

Before you explore, make your first stop at the main Visitor Information Center, located at 505 Nutt Street in Downtown Wilmington. It opens on Saturday at 9am and is open daily except for Thanksgiving/Christmas. You can get any questions answered by staff, pick up maps, guides and vacation coupons!

Pick up an Official Visitors Guide and more at the main Visitor Information Center | SobeSavvy.com

Take a self-guided walking tour at Airlie Gardens , a 67 acre historical garden in Wilmington. We took advantage of the complimentary tram ride and learned so much about the lush gardens and its rich history. Go and see a 468 yr old Airlie Oak, Azaleas, and the Butterfly House. Learn about Minnie Evans, an African American woman who was a domestic who sold her artwork at Airlie. She once said ” God has some 600 shades of green, and He dressed the world with them.” She died in 1987 and local artists created the Bottle Chapel, a memorial sculpture garden, in 2004 in her honor. It was such an amazing sight to see!

Walk thru Airlie Gardens and learn about history while enjoying nature | SobeSavvy.com

All that walking will surely work up an appetite! Sweet & Savory Café is close by and offers a Saturday Brunch. This farm to fork restaurant in Wilmington is known for its variety of menu choices and fresh baked goods at their bakery.

Dine at Sweet and Savory for Saturday Brunch for a variety of Farm to Fork dishes | SobeSavvy.com

SobeSavvy Tip: Short on time or rather have a quick bite to go? Grab something at Port City Java. I enjoyed an iced coffee for a caffeine boost before our next activity!

Port City Java uses the Japanese Iced Coffee method for a more flavorful,bright,complex brew and its oh so good| SobeSavvy.com

We checked in at the Hampton Inn Wilmington/Downtown and got changed into our bathing suits for some fun in the sun at Wrightsville Beach, located just 15 mins away from Downtown Wilmington. It’s a spacious, clean beach with clear blue waters and is one of the most environmentally friendly beaches in the state. We collected shells to take home as a souvenir and our daughter played by the shore until it was time for dinner at Oceanic Restaurant attached to Crystal Pier. *Be sure to check back here for my #FoodieFriday review of our dining experience at this restaurant. Wrightsville Beach is a walkable beach town with the beauty of nature all around!

Play, Relax and Start a Seashell Collection at Wrightsville Beach | SobeSavvy.com

The Arboretum at New Hanover County closes at 8pm which made it a great last stop of our day. It happened to be prom night and many people were there to capture the perfect photo. Visit the 7 acres of nature trails and gardens, which include a Japanese tea house, gazebo, children’s cottage, ability garden and water garden for FREE!

See the beauty of blooms for free at The Arboretum at New Hanover County | SobeSavvy.com

DAY 2 Depart Sunday

Kure Beach+ Carolina Beach

Sunday,Mother’s Day..all I want to do is sleep in but when you have a six year old daughter who’s motto is ‘Carpe Diem’, you get up early and seize the day! We enjoyed brunch with a view in Wrightsville Beach at Bluewater Waterfront Grill (which you can see a few of my photos here + stay tuned for my #FoodieFriday feature) before our visit to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach. It’s worth the short drive from Wilmington to see more than 2500 animals and the 2 special exhibits: Dinosaurs! and Butterfly Bungalow. The cherry on top of our Sunday Funday at the Aquarium was when one of the butterflies landed right on my husband’s hand! My whole family had a fin-tastic time at this attraction learning just how much animals and nature are connected to each other.

Visit the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher to be inspired by nature and all its wonder | SobeSavvy.com

We did not plan to have another beach day but our daughter’s pleas and the call of the ocean breeze encouraged us to stop at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. It is right down the road from the Aquarium so it really was a convenient stop. This public beach is great for bird watchers because alot of nature is unspoiled here.

Kure Beach is a pure and natural playground for beach goers, bird watchers and nature lovers | SobeSavvy.com

Did you know that one of the only places in the world where you can see the Venus flytrap growing in its native environment is at Carolina Beach State Park? See the rare Venus Flytraps for FREE and learn about one of the world’s most unique carnivorous plants!

Head to the Carolina Beach State Park for a tour along the Flytrap Trail | SobeSavvy.com

SobeSavvy Tip: Ranger-Guided tours of the park’s Venus flytrap trail are available Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am. I recommend the guided tour, as the flytraps can be hard to find on your own. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes with socks for this guided tour. Insect repellent is highly recommended as are long pants. You can always change back into shorts and sandals in the park’s visitor center bathrooms. The hikes meet at the flytrap trail head and depart promptly at 10am so be sure to arrive in time to park and meet. If you gey hungry after hiking the nature trails, go a half a mile to dine at Michael’s Seafood and enjoy fresh seafood dishes like loaded oysters and snow crab legs!

Dine at Michael’s Seafood, conveniently close to Carolina Beach State Park | SobeSavvy.com

Thank you to Wilmington and Beaches CVB and the attractions who welcomed my family and I to experience nature-theme activities and feature them in my 24 hour itinerary. I hope you and your family will review this travel guide and take the opportunity to visit Wilmington NC & Island Beaches soon to see What’s In Bloom!

Plan a #MommyandMe Lunch Date at @American_Girl Bistro + Enjoy Interactive Shopping Fun with American Girl App! #charactercounts

I recently traveled to Atlanta to visit family and friends during my daughter’s Spring Break. It coincided with Easter as well, so there was a whole lot to celebrate! We enjoyed a fabulous Easter Brunch at the Mandarin Oriental, a fun dinner/show at Medieval Times, and a family-friendly dining experience at The Cowfish during our stay.

While all of these were amazing foodie fun experiences, I knew that planning a visit to the American Girl store would be just the place to make #outandaboutAva’s Spring Break extra special. I was happy to find out there was one in Alpharetta,GA that included a bistro and even happier that I could turn this into a double date with mom/blogger [Ashley of @MommyWeek], her daughter and of course the Girl of the Year doll, Luciana Vega!

Mommy and Me Lunch Date with Ashley of MommyWeek, Leslie of SobeSavvy, their daughters + American Girl dolls!

The Bistro

As soon as you walk into the bistro, you know you are in for a girly good time with all the pretty pink decor. From the pink table, pink menu, pink daisy centerpiece and pink napkin holder (which your child gets to take home as a pony tail holder keepsake), the American Girl Bistro is… “soooo cute” per my little girl. All are welcomed to have a seat at the table, including your doll! They will bring a pink dining chair (with a doll if you don’t have one) right to you for your little one to enjoy. Here is a fun pic from my Instagram instastories showing what the American Girl Dolls look like sitting at the table too!

The Menu

Memories are always on the menu at the American Girl Bistro. Expect to have a delicious dining experience that you can create all on your own! Lunch included an appetizer, entreé and choice of dessert. We ordered speciality Luciana Vega drinks and said a toast to new friends and new memories!

For starters, I had the mozzarella cheese sticks while both girls ordered the fruit fondue, which came with muffins, a fruit skewer and yogurt. We all thought the presentation of the yogurt served like a flower pot was so fun! Our main entreés came quickly and were cooked perfectly. I highly recommend the salmon dish if you are looking for a healthy seafood option. My daughter loved customizing her bowtie pasta by sprinkling as much parmesan cheese on it as her heart desires! Everyone became a member of the clean plate society since we finished every bite. It was that good.

Be sure to save room for the scrumptious sweets to enjoy at the end of your meal. The delicious desserts range from cookies, cupcakes, brownies, ice cream or if you really wanna go all in, get a brownie ice cream sundae!

SobeSavvy Tip: Wanna make your dining experience more fun? Play the the conversation starter game, which you can find at the center of the table. It’s a great way to learn about yourself and everyone else!

The Boutique

After our delicious lunch, we headed into the American Girl boutique store to explore what’s new. Did you know you can search for exciting augmented reality experiences throughout the store simply using your smartphone? That’s right, you can bring magic to life and unlock interactive experiences, stop-motion videos, behind-the-scenes content, and more!

SobeSavvy Tip: Download the American Girl app for FREE, scan the pages of the catalogue and look for special icons in the stores. Get ready to go beyond the stars with Luciana and discover all of the interactive ways to play at americangirl.com/luciana. Overall our Mommy and Me lunch date was more than just a girls day out, it was a day to remember and a trip we’ll never forget! Just watch this video and wait for the happy dance moves from my little one after all the fun:

Make plans to head to your nearest American Girl store and check out all the fun, new happy spring experiences to share. Check out MommyWeek’s blog post giving her perspective of this fun day! Be sure to stop in American Girl store soon and leave with your smiles in full bloom! Thanks again to our friends at American Girl for hosting us and giving all of us a Spring Break date we will cherish.

All smiles for #outandboutAva and her mom, Leslie, Founder of SobeSavvy.com during their visit to the American Girl Boutique and Bistro in Alpharetta,GA

American Girl Atlanta Bistro

1202 North Point Circle

Alpharetta, GA 30022

Looking for the Best Sips & Sushi in #Atlanta that the whole family can enjoy? Check out @TheCowfishATL Sushi*Burger*Bar #TheCowfish

Atlanta has become one of the great food cities of the world in the last 15 years. Name a cuisine and odds are you will find it there! Because my family and I are traveling foodies, one of our things to do is to seek out good food wherever we go. Sometimes it is best to revisit a place where you have dined before because the food, service and quality is consistent. That place for us is The Cowfish.

My daughter, fondly referred to as #outandaboutAva, is always ‘heads over heels’ to dine at The Cowfish. They currently have 5 locations, including this one at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta. She enjoys the fun yard games on the outside as much as we enjoy the Sushi, Burger, Bar on the inside!

DINING ROOM VIBE

Although there is outside patio seating, my family and I had dinner in their casual dining room. We sat at a booth that gave us a view of the beautiful aquarium behind the bar. There is also a smaller one by the hostess stand which has a sole yellow cowfish swimming in it! My little one was amazed at it’s peculiar shape and unique look. That is not the only unique thing about this restaurant. I think The Cowfish has some of the Best Sushi and Sips on their menu, which is why we came here for dinner. But first this Mom & Dad need…..

DRINKS

It was almost 84 degrees outside so we were ready for a few cocktails. I tried a Sake sampler, which offered both cold and warm sake pours. The Fuji Apple cold sake was my absolute favorite! I loved the presentation on a board with each name. Matter of fact I loved it so much I ordered a bottle of the Fuji Apple! Hubby is a bourbon/scotch man so he ordered one of the handcrafted cocktails which they called a “new fashioned”. SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy half off Martinis every Tuesday and discover your favorite Martini on the menu!

MENU

We started off with an appetizer of Blackened Tuna Nachos. Seared tuna slices on Wonton Chips over their crab Rangoon dip. It was delicious and enough to share with my #HeighPartyof3.

My soon to be 7 year old ordered the grilled chicken kids entrée. It came with fries and edamame and is served in a bento box. Also included is a fun cowfish tatoo and rice crispy treat with a swedish fish on top for dessert!

Hubby ordered from their “Burgushi” section. The Cowfish finds ways to merge a tasty burger with fresh sushi in different dishes. His Fusion Specialty Bento Box came with a mini burger, a sushi roll, fries and Thai cucumbers. I must admit I was picking off his plate, I mean bento box as I enjoyed the variety of his dish.

I ordered “The Prime Time” Filet and Lobster Roll which is a creative and tasty sushi roll version of the classic Surf & Turf. Guests can order strictly sushi or strictly burgers from other areas of the menu, but The Cowfish offers the best of both worlds!

DESSERT

Thinking of dining here soon? I have just one piece of advice SAVE 👏ROOM👏 FOR 👏 DESSERT! We split a very BIG slice of their Chef Dave’s Not Factory Made Cheesecake. This creamy, almond coconut cheescake is beyond good and everyone enjoyed it!

See what else we enjoyed here on my Instagram post:

Here are some fun things coming up at The Cowfish in Atlanta:

• Offering half priced Skinny Gonzales Margaritas on Cinco de Mayo

• Offering complimentary chocolate dipped strawberries on Mother’s Day

Be sure to stay up to date

Visit The Cowfish at www.thecowfish.com

Follow on Twitter: @The_Cowfish

Instagram: thecowfishsbb

Facebook: @thecowfishatl

Thanks again to our friends at The Cowfish in Atlanta for hosting our dining experience. My daughter left with big smiles and lots of fun, foodie Spring Break memories.

#outandaboutAva visits The Cowfish in Atlanta for a fun, family-friendly dining experience | SobeSavvy.com

Enjoy Royal #FamilyFun at @MedievalTimes + Special #SpringBreak Savings now thru April 30th!

Parents have you heard? Medieval Times is ready to entertain you and your little ones for Spring Break and I am excited to share some discounts and events that are going on at the castle!

Use this CODE: SB18 (Adults $38.95, Kids & Students $30.95) and get ready to have some Royal Family Fun during your Spring Break! *The kid and student pricing is open to all students including those in college. Ends April 30, 2018.

My #HeighPartyof3 were hosted to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Atlanta, located in Sugarloaf Mills mall and let me tell you our family date night was a “KNIGHT to remember”! It was the perfect place to celebrate and kickstart #outandaboutAva’s Spring Break week.

We have experienced the excitement of the live show at Medieval Times before but thought it would be fun to upgrade this visit to the Royalty Package (over $20 retail value). For only $12 additional per person, add this package and receive the following:

  • Priority Castle Access
  • VIP Seating
  • Priority Seating Access
  • Cheering Banner
  • VIP Lanyard

If you have never been to Medieval Times before, here is what you can expect:

* An 11th century-style castle complete with a King, his Princess, six armor-clad Knights on valiant horses and more!

* A live show on a “stage”, which is a custom made sunken equestrian course with sand.

* Amazing Knights who perform all sorts of competitions and games like pluck the ring and horse relay racing.

* A hollywood worthy showdown of what can only be called a “knight fight”. Swords and swinging hammers were everywhere while the actors played stuntmen with flips and falls.

* Entertainment provided by various acts. Our favorite is the Falcon!

* A feast to enjoy during the show. We were served a set menu of garlic bread, tomato soup, roasted chicken,potatoes and corn on the cobb. No forks or knives allowed. Eat like the knights of old. WITH YOUR HANDS! Dessert and select beverages are also included. A full-service bar is also available.

* Be prepared to be addressed as my Lady or my Lord from your server. Our server provided excellent customer service and addressed any special needs that we had.

* If you yell loud enough for the Knight, you may get a flower like my daughter did!

SobeSavvy Tip: Party like a Prince or Princess on your birthday for FREE when you sign up for the birthday club >>HERE !!

If you ever want to do something unique on your next visit to Atlanta, make sure you take the whole family to have dinner and a show at Medieval Times.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 517 Lawrenceville,GA •30043

Recap of the #Easter Festivites at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta @MO_Atlanta #EventsbyMo #EasterBrunch #Atlanta

Yesterday my family and I attended the Easter Festivites event at the fab Mandarin Oriental in Atlanta. Last week I wrote about what to expect there on Easter Sunday and as always, they delivered on their promises. It was a warm and beautiful spring day in Atlanta for Easter. Picture perfect for my family to spend the afternoon with Floppy the Bunny, who was a special guest at the Mandarin Oriental.

This luxury haven had so many special Easter events wrapped in a few hours. But first we ate. Ate very well actually. We were seated in their bright dining room looking out at their English Garden courtyard. They had every imaginable food choices at station after station. Omelette station, Assorted Pastries,Salads,Charcuterie & Cheeses, a Carving station and chilled Seafood Station featuring an Easter Egg Ice Sculpture in the center of jumbo shrimp, raw oysters, crab legs and claws.

An enormous ice Easter Egg along with a roaming Easter Bunny are just some of the whimsical touches that could be found everywhere. My 6 year old stated she wanted to eat fast so she could start on their incredible dessert station! When is the last time you’ve seen a macaron Ferris Wheel?

We also loved the Champagne Cart making the rounds serving premium brunch cocktails tableside. The servers were on their “A” game. That is standard for the Mandarin Oriental but it allowed us to relax and simply be taken care of.

The English Garden was where the Easter Egg Hunt and Petting Zoo took place. All the kids seemed to have fun looking for the eggs as well as petting the adorabe sheep. It was a toss up deciding who had more fun, the kids or us parents watching!

There were so many awesome Easter memory made at this beautiful luxury hotel. Watch this video for more highlights of the Easter Festivities at Mandarin Hotel Atlanta and see why we are #MOFoodies + #FansofMo!

Thanks to our friends at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta for hosting my #HeighPartyof3 for Easter. It was truly an experience we will never forget!

MANDARIN ORIENTAL ATLANTA

3376 PEACHTREE RD. NE

ATLANTA, GA 30326

Hey #Atlanta, Looking for fabulous foodie fun with your little ones this #Easter ? Check out #EasterSundayBrunch at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta @MO_Atlanta #MOFoodies #pettingzoo #EasterBrunch #egghunt #EventsbyMO #SundayBrunch

Every year at Easter many families like to celebrate this holiday with a special brunch. Although there are a myriad of brunch choices in the great city of Atlanta, there is only one that stands above them all. That my friends would be the Easter Brunch event at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta.

Having stayed at quite a few of their properties (including our luxury family travel stay at their Atlanta location last Spring), what brings me back time and time again is their consistency of a high level of service. Somehow this brand excels at anticipating needs, sometimes before I even realize a need exists. Last visit to this property we were heading out to the mall and the valet suggested he get their house car to take us instead of walking in the summer heat. See what I mean? Their restaurant is no different. Mouth watering farm fresh dishes of every type and a wine list to envy. Located in the upscale Buckhead area, this world renowned luxury hotel pulls out all the stops Easter Brunch on Sunday April 1, 2018.

Besides incredible food and service, we are looking forward to seeing our little one and all the children enjoy their special Easter Egg Hunts. They have one at 12:30pm and another at 2pm. From 3-5pm there will be a visit from Floppy the Easter Bunny! If that is not enough, they will be having an actual petting zoo too from 3pm to 5pm. Our daughter loves animals and will be so surprised to see the petting zoo on Easter Sunday!

This Easter Brunch event is from 11am to 3pm. For one price, guests enjoy a buffet of appetizers, entrées and scrumptious desserts. Prices are $75 per adult and $38 per child up to age 12. To make your reservations, call (404) 995 7500 or you can email to moatl-restaurants@mohg.com. We plan to hop over to the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta and share with you some highlights from this event. Stay tuned for more and hope you are there to make some great family memories this Easter at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta.

MANDARIN ORIENTAL ATLANTA

3376 PEACHTREE RD. NE

ATLANTA, GA 30326