Celebrate #GirlDay2018 + National #EngineersWeek with @American_Girl ! #EWeek2018 #Stem

Did you know that its National Engineers Week? February 18th thru 24th is a week dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of engineers and their work. With two uncles that have careers as electrical engineers, my 6 year old daughter may just become one herself when she grows up! She has an increasing desire to know how things work and when they don’t, she wants to know what can be done to fix it.

Learning, Building, Creating with #outandaboutAva

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, women represent 50.6% of the US population yet make up only 11.7% of all engineers. Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on February 22, 2018 (part of the larger observance of National Engineers Week) is all about changing that forever and American Girl is inspiring young girls with their 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega.

Luciana’s first book unlocks behind-the-scenes storytelling

Luciana shows what it can mean to be a girl of strong character today, where creative thinking, collaboration, and STEM literacy provide opportunities for meaningful growth and development. Technology continues to revolutionize what we do and what we know, and Luciana is a character that can bring visibility and valuable lessons to girls at a time in their lives when they’re learning about their infinite potential to change the world.

Saturn V, the rocket that was built to send people to the moon and used in the Apollo program in the 60’s and 70’s, is just one part of the journey to create Luciana’s character

This doll and her story inspires young girls to be curious, courageous, and determined. Bringing this story to life is an all-star advisory board that includes: Dr. Ellen Stofan, former NASA Chief Scientist, Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Maureen O’Brien, Manager of Strategic alliances at NASA, and Dr. Megan McArthur Behnken, NASA Astronaut.

Luciana’s Mars Habitat unlocks space missions

I love how American Girl sparks a passion for science and problem-solving in our girls while developing toys, books, accessories that complement STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum. Take a look at this video sharing Luciana’s development and story theme:

More than just one day, Introduce a Girl to Engineering is a national movement that shows girls how creative and collaborative engineering is and how engineers are changing our world. Read more about the #GirlDay February 22 observance on American Girl’s Explore site. Here is a link to that article which is filled with information on how/where to celebrate and more :

http://www.americangirl.com/explore/articles/introduce-a-girl-to-engineering-day/

Thanks American Girl for inspiring girls to learn and be creative thru play. This helps in developing a child’s mind and lays the foundation for a great engineer one day! Be sure to visit americangirl.com/luciana to explore bonus content and discover all the interactive ways to play.

#OutandaboutAva meet Luciana Vega, American Girl of the Year 2018

What ways are you celebrating engineering week? Do you have a girl that creates and play with an American Girl doll?

Need #Superbowl Sips for the Big Game? Try @Beetology #CocktailRecipes + @RoyalWineCorp🍷

Recently I learned about some handcrafted juice mixers from Beetology and a berry different Sangria by Joyvin and how they would be great game day drinks to serve on Superbowl Sunday. Although that day is known for beer, assorted dips and wings, it’s always a good idea to serve cocktails, mocktails or even wine for guests who are non-beer drinkers.

Beetology blends are handcrafted from organic beets,veggies,fruits and offer versatile mixers that are good for you. Rich in antioxidents, Beetology packs vitamin C, iron, fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients essential for good health. Therefore you can enjoy the beet juice blends by themselves as mocktails or can be mixed into cool cocktails like the following refreshing recipes:

Cocktail/Mocktail Super Bowl Recipes

Beetology Zinger

3 oz. Beetology Beet + Lemon + Ginger

1.5 oz. Gin

Candied ginger and lemon peel garnish

Directions

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add Beetology and gin.

Shake until chilled, strain and garnish with a lemon peel and candied ginger.

Bourbon Beet-It

3 oz. Beetology Beet+Cherry

1.5 oz. Boondocks Bourbon

1 dash bitters

Spiced Cocktail Cherry (recipe below) or your favorite store bought maraschino cherries

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add Beetology and Boondocks Bourbon. Shake until chilled, strain and garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Cocktail Cherry Recipe

½ cup sugar

½ cup Beetology Beet + Cherry

1 stick cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

Pinch of salt

1 cup Boondocks Bourbon

1 pound stemmed and pitted cherries

Directions

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, Beetology, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a low simmer, stirring until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and add bourbon, and stir to combine. Add cherries and stir until coated with syrup. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate before serving.

Berry-Beet-a-rita

3 oz. Beetology Beet + Berry

2 oz. Silver Tequila

½ oz. lime juice

Directions

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add Beetology, lime juice and tequila. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, and serve in a glass with or without salt.

Beety Bloody Mary

4 oz. Beetology Beet + Veggie

1/2 tsp. grated horseradish

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 dash hot sauce (more if you want it extra spicy!)

2 oz. LVOV Vodka

Celery stalks for garnish

Directions

In a tall glass, add Beetology, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, stir to combine. Add ice to fill the glass, LVOV vodka and stir. Garnish with celery stalk.

Tropical Beet-a-colada

4 oz. Beetology Beet + Tropical Fruit

2 oz. coconut cream

2 oz. dark rum

2 oz. coconut rum

1½ cups ice

Pineapple slice for garnish

Directions

Put the ice, Beetology, coconut cream and rums into a blender. Blend until smooth and frosty. Pour the drink into 2 glasses and garnish with pineapple slices. Makes 2 drinks.

Look for Beetology in the refrigerator section at health food, specialty, grocery, and kosher food markets in five varieties. For additional information about Beetology visit beetology.com.

Joyvin Sangria, from Royal Wine, is another Superbowl Sip to serve for guests who aren’t into mixed drinks. It’s a crisp, satisfying sangria with just a touch of fizz to go with fresh citrus and berries. Garnish with a few pieces of fruit for a refreshing, light Super Bowl beverage sure to please game time guests. You can learn more about Royal Wine on FaceBook.com/RoyalWineCorp/, and instagram.com/royalwinecorp/, and twitter.com/royalwinecorp

I hope you enjoy Superbowl Sunday and have a toast to your winning team with one of these cocktails! Thanks for reading and please leave a comment below …

Which one of the above cocktail recipes from Beetology would you try? Have you tried any Royal Wine such as Joyvin Sangria before?

Must Have ‘New Year,New You’ #Skincare from @Belli_Beauty @DesertHarvest & @KneippUSA

We are one month into 2018 and I have been doing alot of studying as well as adapting more selfcare habits and updating my skincare routine. In the winter when skin tends to get dry and flakey, I take the necessary steps to treat my skin (and hair) with these Must Have Natural ‘New Year, New You’ Bath & Beauty Products from Belli BEAUTY, Desert Harvest and Kneipp!

Belli BEAUTY

The New Year is all about out with the old and in with new right?! Belli has physician-formulated skin care products like exfoliating scrubs for sweeping away dead skin cells and debris to reveal the fresh new layer beneath. This skincare line focuses on ingredient safety giving expectant and new mothers piece of mind. It’s pure and planet-friendly approach is something we all can benefit from.

Did you know that it is important to prep the skin to absorb hydration and nutrients from moisturizers and other treatments? The practice of exfoliating is a necessary step that often gets skipped. Using Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub, an invigorating scrub for face and body, is the key to smooth, healthy skin. It helps prepare skin for the application of other products and the ideal start to any skin care regimen. Made with antioxident-rich green tea and ginseng, and the essential oil of peppermint. I found their micro-scrub formula to be invigorating and gentle.

Follow this by applying the Belli Fresh Stretchmark Minimizing Cream as the treatment to decreasing the appearance of existing stretchmarks. No matter the age or cause of your stretchmarks, Belli is offering a premium, at-home solution for diminishing the appearance of stretchmarks and help restore the look of smooth, healthy skin. Key characteristics include ginseng to help even out skin tone and avocado oil to soften and moisturize. I enjoyed its light citrus scent and intend to apply this twice daily for 4 weeks, then once daily as recommended until desired results are achieved. Available for purchase at BelliSkincare.com, buybuyBaby, Ulta, Ulta.com.

Desert Harvest

I recently learned about Desert Harvest, a family owned and operated company based in the state I now call home..North Carolina. Their unique Aloe Vera Gele skin care is a much healthier option than traditional skin care products that include chemicals and additives that can damage your skin making it great to use for the entire family.

Did you know that Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating blemishes, acne, minor cuts or wound, a burn or a rash? It also softens dead skin cells and makes the skin smooth. It gets rid of signs of aging like fine lines and appearance of wrinkles and relieves itching too. Desert Harvest’s Aloe Vera is at the top of the line, and here’s why: •Gele is 80% concentrated Aloe Vera
•No added chemicals •Non-comedogenic

In addition to the gele, herbal shampoo/shower gel, herbal conditioner and hand & body lotion can be purchased just in time for February 14th. Make it an Aloe Vera Valentine for yourself and show love to your skin! Check out www.desertharvest.com for info.

Kneipp

No matter the season, moisturizing bath products are essential. Kneipp aids in leaving your skin feeling soft and supple and offers vegan products to soothe the mind and body by using aromatherapy. From the enchanting scents and blends of nature’s best plants, Kneipp offers a holistic shower/bath experience that I love. I am currently using the Kneipp Evening Primrose Body Wash “Calming” and Kneipp Sandalwopd Fruit & Grapeseed Oil Body Scrub “Beautiful Shape”, which are both gentle and beneficial to healthy skin. For a bath oil, I recommend Kneipp’s Mandarin & Orange Herbal Bath Oil “Stress Free” which uses natural essential oils to help you unwind! But honestly, any of their Body Wash, Body Scrub and Bath Oil products would be a great addition to your bathing routine as they have quite a variety to choose from!

SobeSavvy Tip: Head over to Kneipp.com for the #KneippLife sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Vermont for you & 3 friends + Kneipp gift baskets. All entrants will receive 20% off their next purchase. Sign up: http://bit.ly/TheKneippLife

As an over 40 yr old mom and wife, I have always cherished the little things in life. I am pleased with these products so far and they have found there way into my #selfcareSunday routine!

Let me know below if you have used any of these products before and do you have a selfcare skincare routine?

#BestNine of 2017 + Welcome to 2018 #SobeSavvy #LifestyleBlog

Happy New Year everyone! In my opinion, 2017 flew by which is why its so important to value time, cherish moments and  capture memories because before you know it a new year is here. I have enjoyed sharing the savvy of my life and inspiring others to be savvy via my lifestyle blog, SobeSavvy.com. In case you missed it, here are the BEST NINE 2017 (from left to right in photo above):

1. Family Travel Guide to Arlington,VA Read this #soTravelsavvy post about where to eat, stay, play for a weekend of fun in Arlington,VA

2. Jill Yoga Girls and Ladies Activewear  ~ Thru my #getLovelyfit fitness journey, my daughter and I had the opportunity to collaborate with a company that combines two of our interests: yoga + fashion. Check out our Mommy & Me moves and learn more about JillYoga.com  >>here.

3. Whispering Angel Rosé Wine       ~Hello, my name is Leslie and I love wine. Not only did I share how to host your own wine tasting at home tips on the blog, but started a #SobeSavvySips series where I share recipes and reviews for not only wine but spirits/beer too. In honor of National Rosé Day, I featured this wine on Instagram. It has been one of my favorite wines to introduce to others. Read wine review >>here.

4. ‘808 Converstion Starters for Couples‘ ~ This book featured on my Instagram and later reviewed on the blog sparked an interest amongst singles that were dating and couples who have been married for awhile. The art of conversation is a dying art with all the texting and ‘sexting’ going on, so I believe this book was refreshing and fun to explore. This book is available to buy >>here.

5. Polished Nail Bar’s Grand Opening      ~ I had a blast at this VIP event for media/bloggers here in Raleigh,NC and have since returned to get my nails ready for the holidays. I highly recommend you treat yourself and a loved one to a mani/pedi for Valentine’s Day (which is right around the corner). Read more about Polished Nail Bar >>here.

6. Our Visit to the North Carolina Zoo       ~My husband ,daughter and I planned a Sunday Funday to the North Carolina Zoo and shared a recap of the visit. Our daughter, fondly referred to on the blog as #outandaboutAva, loved the experience. I also shared some #SobeSavvyTips on why a visit to the zoo during the Fall season should not be missed!

7. Luxury Family Travel to Atlanta,GA    ~ We have enjoyed several family trips to Atlanta because there is so much family fun to be had there. In 2017, we road tripped to the ATL for our daughter’s Spring Break and stayed at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta. That was a delightful (and relaxing) experience where we enjoyed making many family memories.

8. NC Farm Tour in Asheville,NC        ~This mom got a chance to getaway for a few days and joined other food and travel writers on an agritourism trip to Asheville,NC to get a true farm to table experience. We all left with a greater appeciation of our NC Farmers. That was my first visit to Asheville and staying at a bed and breakfast. I gave readers a #soNCsavvy full recap of the trip on the blog and also shared an inside look of the Sweet Biscuit Inn

9. byKikisol in store Fashion Event with Torrid + Groupon Promo                              ~if you ever had the pleasure of attending a byKikisol blogger event here in the Triangle, then you know it’s going to be a fun time for creatives, influencers , bloggers and fashionistas. I got my model on in the dressing room at their Torrid Fall Fashion event and shared a Groupon Promo encouraging readers to grab a deal!

For 2018, as always I do a detox ( which I have shared online in the past..you can read posts here). However, this year I will take the whole month of January to unplug, reset and prepare to bring you more Lifestyle|Food|Travel|Fun stories on the blog! 

Thank you for a wonderful 2017..here’s to all the best in 2018!

Get ‘Glam In Grey’ for the Holidays with #BeautyFinds from @SallyHansen + @RimmelLondonUS

On Sunday, I had a date night with Hubby and this Mom got a chance to step out in some heels and get glammed up a bit for a night of fun at the Xscape concert! This female group had alot of hits in the 90’s, so I went for a 2017 version of a grunge look. That night, I got quite a bit of compliments on my lippie of choice and thought I’d share with you how you can get ‘Glam in Grey’ for the holidays with the most beautiful nail and lip colors from Sally Hansen and Rimmel London!

Grey is the perfect must have neutral for the season and was one of the top colors seen on the runways as the must have autumn shade. Both Rimmel London and Sally Hansen have adorable holiday offerings and I thought the following items would be great as stocking stuffers for the beauty in your life. Take a look at how you can easily access the grey color trend with these products: 
 

RIMMEL LONDON

Get ready for a bold, matte lip-look that stays on. Rimmel London introduces Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour, a new liquid lipstick with high-intensity colour, a velvety matte finish and a long-lasting, comfortable wear. 

Creamy, soft blendable formula, easily sharpened tip and high impact lasting color. 

This beautiful shadow is silky smooth and has high impact colour for all day wear. The ultra-blendable formula comes in a range of finishes from mattes, shimmers, to high glitter. 

SALLY HANSEN

The #1 no light gel system!* In just two easy steps get up to 14 days of color and shine. More chip-resistant than regular nail polish!

Insta-Dri® fast-dry nail polish is formulated with a base and top coat for extended wear and stunning shine all in one coat! Features a unique brush that contours to the nail for a smooth, easy application

I hope you are inspired to treat yourself or someone else with these beauty finds so you too can be ‘Glam in Grey’ for the holidays! Thanks for reading!

Disclosure: Products were provided for review purposes. Opinions are my own and this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of the links in my post, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. 

#FiveForFriday | 5 Childrens Books to Gift this Christmas #holidaygiftguide

Disclosure: This post is sponsored and contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of the links in my post, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

It’s almost Christmas and when it comes to shopping for our 6 year old or any other young children in our lives, I prefer to give the gift of reading. BOOKS make great gifts because no matter what your child enjoys, there is nothing like a new book to read to themselves, to you, to their favorite stuffed animal, for you to read to them at night, to take along on a trip..the ways to enjoy a book are endless! If you are ready to rebuild your home library with the best books for your little ones, ages 4-8, then this Amazon list is a great place to start! 

  • ELI’s 1st WINTER CARNIVAL by Lisa Bowen 

 This book will have you excited for Winter, as Little Eli enjoys making snow angels, and helping his family make a silly snowman at his first winter carnival! The joys of winter fun and quality time with family are wonderfully illustrated in this 36 page book for recommended for age level: Birth-8, grade level: preschool – 5.

       

  • Smarty Locks and the Unforgettable Zoo by Marilyn Harary

This rhyming book inspired our recent trip to the NC Zoo and my latest hair do..lol! Smarty Locks is so excited for her class trip to the zoo, but when plans change she comes up with a clever plan of what to do! The lesson of ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ is loud and clear for young readers ages 5-8 and their parents to hear! 

  • I Just Kept Spinning by Destini Berry

As a young black girl who enjoys ballet herself, my daughter was thrilled to receive this diverse book. The author, who is 18 years old, retells an inspirational story based on true experiences of overcoming discrimination when she was 7 years old. I Just Kept Spinning relays an important message that no matter how you wear your hair, or what you look like, to have self-love and always follow your dreams!

    • No Chimney? No Problem! by Jodi Wojtowicz

    If you ever had a child ask, “If our house has no chimney, how will Santa get in?” ..this book will answer the question! Prior to Christmas Eve, give this boxed gift set which includes a hardcover, dust jacketed copy of the book and keepsake key and ribbon. We plan to start a new family tradition of hanging this decorative Santa key on the door and unlock the magic this year! This book gift set is available for purchase at www.nochimney.com. Use discount code  ‘NOCHIMNEY10BT’ from 10/23-11/30. 

    • Rice & Rocks by Sandra L. Richards

    We loved this picture book which not only spoke to our love of travel and food but celebrates culture and diversity! When Giovanni learns his grandmother is serving ‘rice and rock’ to his friends who are coming over for Sunday dinner, he worries they will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. However, he discovers other places where people eat rice and rocks too and that its these delicious similarities that bring us all together!

     

      There are so many amazing books our daughter read this year that I would recommend to give as a gift but these were her favorite five. On #outandaboutAva ‘s Christmas wish list this year is Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vasht Harrison (avail for pre-order now on Amazon).

      So if you are reading this Santa, she has been a good girl and would love this book! Check out a sneak peek of the book >>here.

      Be sure to follow along on social media at #outandaboutAvareads to see what books she has reviewed + stay tuned for giveaways!

      Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

      WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU GIFTING TO A YOUNG READER OR YOURSELF THIS HOLIDAY? Comment Below 📚


      Hosting a #Hallowine Party on #Halloween ? Try wines @MercerEstates @santacristina46 + more🍷

      Happy Halloween everyone! This past weekend, I thought it would be fun to combine my love for wine and good times by hosting a HalloWINE tasting party! Costumes were optional but having an open mind to trying new wines was a must. Thank you to the wineries who provided free samples to facilitate and share my review with you. 

      THE INVITE–

      I sent a simple text with the above graphic to my wine loving girlfriends to come out and enjoy. I picked up some fun Halloween decor from Dollar Tree and Walmart, like these “Don’t Be A Basic Witch” cocktail napkins for just .99 cents !

      THE WINES —

      • Barrymore by Caramel Road Pinot Grigio 2015 (SRP: $13.99)
      • Barrymore by Caramel Road Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016 (SRP: $17.99)

      Carmel Road winery partnered up with Drew Barrymore {Yes, THAT Drew Barrymore} to produce some delightful light and crisp wines known as Barrymore Wines. We tried their Rosé and Pinot Grigio. On their website, Drew speaks of growing up in California with some of her fondest memories were around the table.
      The Pinot Grigio (with flavors of lemon drop, Asian pear, honeydew melon alongside the “wet stone” minerality) was fantastic with a mixed greens salad and vinagrette dressing. The Rosé (with flavors of fresh red fruits, notes of peach and apricot with floral and light citrus aromas) went perfect with spicy shrimp cocktail. It was perfectly balanced; not sweet and not dry. This wine was an instant hit with everyone there. Final thoughts: Barrymore Wines by Carmel Road are a match made in vineyard heaven!

      #SobeSavvySips HalloWINE Tasting 2017

      •  Santa Cristina 2015 Rossa Toscana IGT (SRP: $13.00)

      Four cheese ravioli with red sauce was served with Santa Cristina 2015 Rosso Toscana IGT. This Italian wine is a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah. Soft and approachable, the Rosso (with flavors of cherries,plums and notes of spice) is the perfect everyday house wine! I can’t wait to try it with fall-inspired dishes like Slow Cooked Pork Loin with Apples and Prunes.

      • Mercer Estates 2015 Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills Reserve
      • Mercer Estates 2014 Syrah Horse Heaven Hills 

      Two wines from the popular Washington State winery, Mercer Wine Estates, also was shared amongst my girlfriends {and my hubby who was our official somellier for the evening !} I thought a deep,dark mysterious red wine such as their RESERVE Syrah and a “Shining” {..get it} white wine like RESERVE Chardonnay would be great with our Halloween theme.

      We could not wait to see what mysterious wine our HalloWine Sommelier would present & pour next!

      Hubby served up the Chardonnay (with aromas of lemon cream pie, caramel apple and toasted butterscotch) while we had some crackers, cream cheese and speciality jams. This wine had the right amount of oak and butter, which went well with this party snack. Angus meatballs paired well with this Syrah (with aromas of blueberry preserves and complex notes such as tea tree,coffee,sage,rosemary). Wine often changes on the palate when paired with food and this wine is deep and dark. It has many complex layers to enjoy. If you enjoy a red with great body and weight, this is one to enjoy!

      • Mommy’s Time Out Prosecco 
      • Mommy’s Time Out Moscato      (SRP for both $9.99)

      It was wonderful learning about and tasting some amazing wines. Sharing it with my husband and a couple of friends made this intimate HalloWINE gathering even more special! However, today on Halloween, after getting my lil one in her costume and going trick or treating, this Mom plans to have a moment to relax by myself with Mommy’s Time Out Wine. I’m gonna grab a few pieces of chocolate from our daughter’s trick or treat stash, and pour me a glass of either Mommy’s Time Out Moscato or Mommy’s Time Out Prosecco. All of their wines are made from grapes grown in Italy and have fresh, fruity, well balanced undertones. 

      For more information on any of these wines, please visit:

      Mommy’s Time Out www.mommystimeoutwine.com

      Mercer Estates          www.MercerWine.com                  Facebook: MERCERESTATES             Twitter: @MercerEstates

      Santa Cristina         www.Santacristina.wine

      Barrymore by Caramel Road www.barrymorewines.com

      Remember, these wines are not just good for Halloween but for enjoying anytime! 

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

      Cheers🍷 and Happy Halloween !!