Event Recap | sip + savor A Wine, Food and Music Experience #sipsavor18

On Sunday, October 14, 2018, SobeSavvy.com joined wine and food lovers for an experience known as Sip + Savor, which was held at DPAC in Durham, NC. Good Food, Good Wines, and Good Times is how I would summarize this event! It was quite the experience for foodies, wine lovers and anyone who enjoys learning and discovering more about culinary scene in the Triangle.

Last year I attended their inaugural event and was pleased to see this event return and sell out! This year in addition to food sampling from 30 of the area’s finest restaurants, paired with wine from around the world, guests could also attend a wine seminars.

Each year, Sip+Savor helps to raise funds and awareness for a local non-profit. The 2018 festival helped to raise funds for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Band Together partnership. Band Together is a Raleigh-based nonprofit that uses live music to raise $1 Million dollars for a different nonprofit each year. Their 2019 fundraising partner is Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. The Food Shuttle’s mission is to “pioneer innovative, transformative solutions designed to end hunger in our community”.

New this year was the Lexus Lounge, which included plush seating, cigar rolling station and a Mixology Bar with Sean Umstead. I tried the ‘Bee Amazing’ made with Durham Beeswax, honey roasted NC Squash, Svedka and local ginger soda! Very refreshing!

This event was well organized and gave guests the option of taking wine notes and placing an order from the Wine Feed to pick up and pay for it later. How convenient!

Many of the Chefs used locally sourced ingredients to create some delicious dishes to pair with some amazing wines. The following Restaurant and winery pairings were found on the Second /Third Floors:

18 Seaboard + Bear Flag/Sonoma

Acme Food & Beverage Co. + Orin Swift Cellars/Napa and Sonoma

La Residence + Louis Martini/Sonoma

City Kitchen + Votto Vines/Mediterranean

Clouds Restaurant + Napa Cellars/Napa Valley

COPA + Viña Pomal/Rioja

Counting House + Kim Crawford Wines/Marlborough

Crossroads Chapel Hill + Saint Clair Family Estate/Marlborough

Cuban Revolution Restaurant & Bar + Le Morette/Italy

Elements + Domaine Saint Landor/Loire Valley

The Fearrington House Restaurant + Jermann/Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Glasshalfull + J Vineyards/Russian River Valley

Gocciolina + LaMarca/Prosecco DOCG, Italy

Guglhupf + DAOU Vineyards/Paso Robles

It’s A Southern Thing + Chalk Hill/Sonoma

Pickle Jar Cafe + Freemark Abbey/Sonoma

Kipos Greek Taverna + Pascual Toso / Argentina

Local 22 + Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard/Santa Barbara

Locals Seafood + The Hess Collection/Napa Valley

Lula & Sadie’s + Robert Hall Winery/Paso Robles

Mandolin + The Prisoner Wine Company/California

Mateo Bar de Tapas + Browne Family/Columbia Valley

Nanasteak + Banfi/Italy

Old North Meats & Provisions + Hope Family Wines/Paso Robles

Parizade + Elouan/Oregon

Pittsboro Roadhouse + B.R. Cohn Winery/Sonoma Valley

Saint James Seafood + Gérard Bertrand/Languedoc-Roussillon

Tylers Restaurant & Taproom + Biltmore Winery/North Carolina

Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe + Talbott Vineyards/Monterey

Washington Duke Inn & JB Duke Hotel + Franciscan Estates/Napa and Monterey

Live Music, cheese, desserts, bubbly and coffee were found at the On-stage experience, which featured the following vendors:

Carrboro Coffee Roasters (Official Coffee Sponsor)

Saladelia Café

The Mad Hatter’s Cafe & Bakeshop

Durham Toffee

Boxcarr Handmade Cheese

Afters

Rise Biscuits Donuts

Neomonde Mediterranean

👀WATCH my recap video of sip + savor and make sure to visit their website and follow on Facebook and Instagram. Here are some of my favorite moments from #SipSavor18! Hope to see you there next year!

Event Recap | Brunchfest in #CaryNC @drinkeatrelax @BoothAmp #Brunch #SobeSavvy

On Saturday, October 6, 2018 , SobeSavvy.com joined Brunch Lovers in Cary at Booth Amphitheatre for an ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE Brunch Extravaganza known as BRUNCHfest!

From 11am-3pm, here is what guests experienced:

• A souvenir glass that will facilitate their ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE drinks

Brunch samples from 15+ of the Triangles hottest brunch spots + taste the sausage and bacon griddles (food served until 2pm).

The Almost Famous Bloody Mary Bar featuring all of your favorite toppings and fixin’s to build your own masterpiece!

The Boozy Coffee Bar, where attendees enjoyed hot and iced coffee drinks!

• Dueling Mimosa Bars featuring fresh squeezed juices and lovely sparkling bubbles for your pleasure.

Rosè Wine Garden featuring Rose’s from around the World.

• Great selection of 60+ beer, spirits and wine.

• Hot beats from one of the Triangle’s best DJ

Lawn activities and games

If you believe that “Brunch Is Love” then this is your kind of event. Here is where BRUNCHfest is coming to next:

For more information, please visit www.drinkeatbrunch.com and WATCH MY VIDEO to see more of the fun!⤵️

What is your favorite thing about Brunch..the boozy cocktails or food?

Top 25 Ways to have Fall #FamilyFun at @HubbsCornMaze #VisitNCFarms

Disclaimer: Although I received complimentary admission tickets from Hubb’s Farm to share my review with you, the opinions are 100% my own.

Looking for some great family fun to enjoy this season? Check out Hubb’s Farm for the Largest Fall Festival in Eastern NC & 10-Acre Corn Maze! Now open thru Nov.10, a visit to Hubb’s Farm should be on your to do list for Fall traditions that is fun for the whole family!

Last year I went to the 2017 Media Day at Hubb’s Farm and got a taste of what they had to offer. This year, Hubb’s is celebrating 11 years of growing crops of fun! They have added some new attractions like Tin Roof Rally Ball Toss and Themed Character Traits Trail to their amazing list of fun things to enjoy.


Hubb’s Farm is open to the public on weekends but offers educational tours Tues-Fri. Fall tour options include: the Pumpkin Power Tour, Golden Harvest Tour, and Gem Dandy Tour. Fall Home School and Small Group Tours are also available. Parents, teachers and students can enjoy classroom lessons and hands-on learning activities at Hubb’s Farm.

I went during opening weekend and had a blast with my hubby and our 7 yr old daughter #outandaboutAva. Check out YouTube Video here⤵️

There are so many ways to spend a fun filled day there but here is my list!

Top 25 Ways to have Fall Family Fun at Hubb’s Farm

1. Feed the farm animals at Animal Acres (Sat. & Sun., Daytime Only)

2. Make your way thru the Giant “Corn” Maze

3. Enjoy Unlimited Hay Rides

4. Try your skills at Human Foosball

5. Be a sport star at Ball Toss (New)

6. Cool off with tasty Cider Slushies

7. Embrace your inner child at Luke’s House of Corn (Corn Crib)

8. Learn a new joke at the Singing Chicken Show

9. Fun Weekend Themes (like a chance to meet/thank First Responders!)

10. Go up high on the Hubb’s Mountain Rope Climb

11. Go Pumpkin Shopping at the Farm Store

12. Find your way thru the Straw Bale Maze

13. Got a child under age of 3? Head to Toddler Town

14. Play Corn Hole Games

-15. Pick your own pumpkin in the Field of Pumpkins

17. Crawl and Climb your way thru Tire Mountain (Sat. & Sun., Daytime)

18. Say Cheese for the Fun Photo Ops

19. Show off your Steer Roping skills

20. Jump for Joy on the Jump Pillow

21. So fun going down the Giant Slide

22. All aboard the Barrel Train

23. Fly thru the sky on the Mini Zip Lines (up to 100 lbs.)

24. Enjoy a game of Laser Tag

25. Enjoy a ride on Cranky Combine (Sat. and Sun., Daytime Only)

Fall Festival Fun awaits for everyone at Hubb’s Farm. It’s a great place to go and begin to check off everything on your Fall Bucket List! Make plans now to visit the Field of Dreams and see why they are the 2018 Top 25 Corn Mazes in the U.S. and so much more !!!For more info, visit www.hubbsfarmnc.com

Have you ever been to Hubb’s Farm? What’s on your 2018 Fall Bucket List?

Event Recap | The Art of Cool Festival 2018 – 5th Yr Anniversary @aocfest #AOCFEST | by SobeSavvy.com

The Art of Cool Festival 2018 has come to a close, but we here at SobeSavvy.com was fortunate to attend and share with you some of the magical moments from #AOCFEST. There has been so much growth since we attended the Art of Cool Fest in 2015, and I am so glad to be apart of highlighting this amazing festival. This past weekend, we celebrated the 5th Anniversary of this great music festival that brings jazz-inspired music, artists and all the Cooligans together in Downtown Durham, NC. Trust me, you don’t want to miss next year!

This year the AOCFEST experience was expanded to include Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop and Soul performances by renowned artists from around the world! 20+ artists, 6 venues, 1 price to enjoy: Live Music Concerts, shop from local vendors at the Urban Street Market, dance, mingle and network at the various Day Parties, savor Durham cuisine from the featured Food Trucks and quench your thirst at the Beergarden. The AOCFEST 2018 truly had something for everyone. It’s an amazing sensory experience you must see, taste, hear, and feel!

DAY 1- SEPT 28

The fun began on Friday with the arrival of music lovers to Downtown Durham. Festival goers could shop for some official merch at Wristband City, grab a cocktail, and listen to live music at various pop ups and attend free Innovate Your Cool seminars / workshops focused on Innovation, Music and Culture. I caught at DJ set on the rooftop at Unscripted Hotel where The Lux Blog held a meet-up mixer to welcome everyone including bloggers/social media influencers to the Art of Cool festival. It was a vibe!

Downtown Durham is a walkable city and the perfect place to host the AOCFEST because all the venues are conveniently within walking distance to each other. Just a couple of blocks over from Unscripted, I was able to catch MeShell N’degeocello at the Carolina Theater. She is a talented singer and musician who reminded us in the audience that although the lighting was not ideal, MUSIC. IS. SOMETHING. YOU. FEEL. She took us down memory lane by singing her funky smooth renditions of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam “I Wonder If I Take You Home”, Al B. Sure “Night & Day” and TLC ‘s “Waterfalls” along with her classic song “Grace” from her album Bitter.

Maxwell headlined at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which is new on this list as an official AOCFEST stage. Everyone who was either seated in the stadium watching his concert from the jumbo screen or on the field could see his moves and feel his groove! There were so many favorite songs by the incomparable male singer that turned into a sing-a-long, such as “Pretty Wings”, “Bad Habits” and “Fortunate”.

Watch Video Highlights of Photo Recap from Day 1 As Seen on the Scene by SobeSavvy.com! ⤵️

Day 2 – SEPT 29

Downtown Durham was the place to be for the second and last day of music and festivities. Even if you were not going to the concerts, there were so many ways to support the community and enjoy the amazingly cool city of Durham. A 90’s style vintage pop up party hosted by The Key to Style was my first stop before heading to the heart of the Bull City. CCB Plaza, near the iconic bull statue, is where emerging artists performed cyphers and Hip Hop radio station K97.5 held a block party showcasing local talent.

From there, I took a short walk to Pinhook, an iconic live music venue in Durham perfectly sized for intimate performances. Durham’s own Zoo Cru were up first. This quartet of musicians jammed out to their own unique sounds that is really beyond description. Not electronica and not R&B but a subtle blend of both. I love to support local, so I enjoyed my first listen from this popular band.

Next up at Pinhook was renowned trumpeter Keyon Harrold. He has done music and horns for A listers such as Beyonce and JayZ over the years. In addition, Mr. Harrold did the music for the hollywood movie “Miles”, so his resume is unmatched. Wynton Marsalis has called him “The Future of the Trumpet”. He did not dissapoint. His breath control and range were simply amazing. He was paired with a female vocalist which added a different angle to his horn. Unique and dynamic music is just one of the many things you will always experience at AOCFEST.

What’s a festival without the opportunity to shop from a variety of vendors? The Urban Market, set up on Blackwell Street, was the answer for those of us who like to shop local. Vendors were on hand selling quality products such as clothing, artwork, accessories and natural body care products, like my favorite Nailah Shea. Enthusiastic and stylish crowds took advantage of the warm, sunny afternoon in the Bull City. It was fun for the whole family!

My AOCFEST experience ended with seeing the one and only Erykah Badu, who is the first female to headline the Art of Cool Festival. Nas had just rocked the mic and said goodnight as i was entering the stadium. Before Ms.Badu came to the stage at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the crowd heard from the new President and VP of The Art of Cool Festival, Sulaiman and Lesleigh Mausi, Founders of The DOME Group, LLC. They thanked the sponsors and all the fans for a fabulous Art of Cool Festival weekend.

Ms. Badu came to the stage with her big hat, her big hair to match her big voice and asked..”Brothers, how y’all feel? Sistahs, y’all alrite” ? She really needed no introduction because her energy fills up any atmosphere. Erykah Badu almost single handidly created the genre called “Neo Soul”. Her music, style and delivery of colorful lyrics has made her one of the most unique talents of our time! Fans filled up Durham Bulls Athletic Park and joined together to celebrate her greatness which like her song, goes “On and On”.

Watch Video Highlights of Photo Recap from Day 2 As Seen on the Scene by SobeSavvy.com! ⤵️

Electric ending to another exciting and informative Art Of Cool Festival. The AOCFEST is one of the best music festivals that gets better every year. Be sure to check out aocfestival.com • #AOCFEST and make plans to visit Durham, NC to experience the Art of Cool Festival next year! Congratulations again to Art of Cool Festival for 5 years strong!

Event Recap | Tacos ‘N’ Taps @DrinkEatRelax @BoothAmp in #CaryNC 🌮 #Tacos #Beer #Fun 🍻

🌮 Tacos and Beer🍺? They go together like, well Beer and Tacos! You know the saying..if you don’t like TACOS, then I’m NACHO type!? Well all the taco and beer lovers found their tribe this past Saturday at the first annual “Tacos N Taps” held at the Booth Amphitheatre in Cary,NC. This one of a kind event gave foodies a chance to experience over 60 Craft Beers, Mezcals, Tequilas along with tasty Mexican Tacos.

SobeSavvy.com hosted a #SobeSavvygiveaway on Instagram as well as attended this fun,foodie event where guests enjoyed the following:

Souvenir Glass for an All You Care To Taste Experience of Craft Beers, Mezcals, Tequilas, Ciders and Wine

Taco Trucks, Taquerias and some of the best Mexican Restaurants, like Cantina 18 were featured along with all you can taste chips & salsa!

VIP Taco & Beer Tasting session ticket holders got a chance to experience exclusive food and beverage tasting in the VIP area for the first 2 hours. Advance entry allowed guests to get a jump on lines!

Music from the Mariachi Bands and Triangle’s hottest DJ’s kept the mood festive.

Fun and prizes at the Pinata Playground and lots of Lawn activites and games gave guests something to do in between eating a drinking.

Tacos n Taps was a day of sunshine, great people, great food and great fun! It was super hot out but the festival event planners had a nice treat for us to cool off with…an Exotico Tequila Snowcone!

👀 Watch more highlights as seen on the scene by SobeSavvy.com here ⤵️

SobeSavvy Tip:

If you missed the Tacos N Taps event this past weekend, fret not. It moves on to Wilmington, NC on April 27, 2019. Coming up next to Koka Booth Amphitheatre is BRUNCH FEST on October 6th. Get 15% off tickets by using code “EGGS”. For more details go to drinkeatbrunch.com

Do you like attending food festivals? What’s the next foodie event on your list? Find one to go to near you at www.drinkeatrelax.com

Food|Celebrate #NationalCheesePizzaDay @DemosPizzaDeli in #Raleigh #NC #SobeSavvyEats #Pizza

Give me a P- I- Z- Z -A, foodies let’s celebrate #NationalCheesePizzaDay! If you live in Raleigh, hands down, DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli is a great place to enjoy some amazing cheese pizza and more! Here’s why:

✔ Fresh, not Frozen crust

✔ Dough made in-house

✔ Homemade Sauce

✔ Quality Mozzarella Cheese

But that’s not all they do great.

Pizza, Hot & Cold Sandwiches, Award Winning Chicken Wings and Delicious Desserts are all on the menu for the whole family to enjoy!

THE MENU

DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli on Glenwood Avenue in Downtown Raleigh has some of the best wings and pizza to be found anywhere.

Founded by two Raleigh natives, DeMo’s serves up everything fresh not frozen. House made dough, sauces and even the vanilla cannoli cream fillings!

But before I jump to dessert, I went there with my family in search of the best cheese pizza to have on National Cheese Pizza Day. We noticed they had comfy booth seating and our favorite foodie show ‘Chopped’ was playing on one of their flat screen tvs, so we felt right at home. We started with hot and fresh garlic rolls that was served with their house made marinara. They were soooo goood! Order these and get ready to dip, baby, dip!

A fresh Ceasar Salad is a great way to ensure you eat your veggies with your pizza and their salad was crisp, tasty and big enough for my #HeighPartyof3 family to share.

I highly suggest ordering some wings to start. Not just any wings but DeMo’s offer Jumbo Wings that are seasoned, baked to perfection and fried to order perfection. They are then tossed in one their many amazing sauces or you can get the sauce on the side.

It comes served with double batch ranch sauce and blue cheese for dipping. In addition to their award winning Buffalo IPA beer sauce, DeMo’s has some other sauce choices also like Mild, Honey Chile, BBq and Teriyaki. These wings are definitely a crowd pleaser!

Our medium Cheese Pizza came piping hot out of their oven! It had the right amount of gooey, ooeey cheese that our daughter loves, the perfect amount of sauce for me and my husband, who I call a pizza crust snob (since his first job was making pizzas) gave it his pizza lover stamp of approval.

In my opinion there is nothing worse than an unbalanced cheese to sauce ratio! But DeMo’s does not disappoint and there was goodness in every bite. Their pizza is thin NY style pizza. In other words you can hold or fold. The choice is yours! My little one aka #outandandaboutAva commented it was the best pizza she has ever had!

As the pizza was disappearing we made sure to save room for dessert after learning from co-owner Anthony DeMarco that the cheesecake (my daughter’s favorite) is not only homemade but has a bit of a unique twist in its recipe that my young foodie tasted right away! Also on the dessert menu are cannolis made with their house made vanilla cream filing. Both desserts were so good and the perfect sweet ending to our meal.

SobeSavvy Tip: If you just want to order a slice of pizza from DeMo’s , check out this daily combo’s special ⤵️

We left Demo’s feeling like everyday should be National Cheese Pizza Day! Our daughter waved goodbye to ‘Fat Tony’ outside of Demo’s and I grabbed a menu because you can dine in or order take out. DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli also offers delivery which I will be using since this place is now our new favorite pizza spot in Raleigh!

DEMO’S Pizzeria & Deli
222 Glenwood Ave #121 Raleigh, NC 27603

Event Recap |#NCWineMonth September 2018 Kickoff, A Celebration of #NCWine + Featured Wineries To Try!

North Carolina Wine and Grape Month | 2018 Kick Off Event | Norris House-Raleigh,NC | August 28,2018

Hey Wine Lovers! It is time to raise a glass and support your favorite NC wineries because September is North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. This is the time of year vineyards and local wine makers are celebrated and recognized for helping North Carolina become the 7th highest wine producer in the nation!

Leslie H., Founder of Lifestyle Blog- SobeSavvy.com with hosts NC Wine Guys! Follow NCWineGuys.com as they share their knowledge of all things NC Wine

The NC Wine Guys hosted their invitation only kickoff event at the famous Norris House in downtown Raleigh. This historical home was the perfect venue to promote the upcoming month and feature some regional wineries.

Norris House | Raleigh,NC – Beautiful location for the North Carolina Wine and Grape Month 2018 Kickoff Event

After the presentation of the Governor’s Proclamation which officially sanctioned the month of September, guests had the chance to network, and eat from a spread of spectacular breads, cheese and meats provided by local favorite La Farm Bakery.

La Farm Bakery eats are the perfect pairing to NC Wines!

Guests also had an opportunity to taste wines from different wineries across the state, showcasing what North Carolina Wine is all about. Got To Be NC wine glasses were provided to sample over 25 wines from 8 wineries. Want to know how to effectively taste a number of wines and appreciate them all at an event? Here is a Pro Tip to Wine Tasting provided by NC Wine Guys!

Pro Tip

Swirl – take a moment to swirl the wine in your glass to get some air into it.

Smell – stick your nose right into the glass and sniff.

Sip – take the wine into your mouth, swish it around, and see how it tastes.

Spit – this is important as you’ll be tasting about several wines. *Spit cups, dump buckets, and water were provided.

I was quite impressed by the variety of the wineries that we had the pleasure of tasting yesterday. Most have tasting rooms and winery tours on their property that I look forward to visiting! Be sure to check out their websites for more details.

Banner Elk Winery, Banner Elk, NC http://www.bannerelkwinery.com/

One of my favorites was the High Country Rosé~a dry seasonal wine that would go great with baked salmon. Their use of French-American hybrids of grapes and the elevation to which they are grown is what gives thwir wines a unique taste!

Childress Vineyards, Lexington, NC http://www.childressvineyards.com/

I just loved their Starbound Dessert Wine. This blueberry wine is fortified with Brandy and aged in Oak Barrels for at least a year. It was my first time trying it but will not be my last. It retails at $19.99 at selected Harris Teeter.

Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Thurmond, NC https://www.jonesvondrehle.com/

Their Petite Manseng wine is simply fabulous. Grown on their 85 acre vineyard, this award winning white is something to behold. If you like dry, European styled wine, then I would recommend wines from this family owned winery. As reviewed by Epicurean Magazine in Charlotte, watch my video and hear more about why red wine lovers enjoy this full bodied white!

Biltmore Wines, Asheville, NC https://www.biltmore.com/visit/village-winery

Located on the iconic 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate grounds, their Chardonnay is aged in both steel and oak barrels which gives it a distinct finish that I enjoyed. Their winery is mostly self sustainable. So much that the winery vehicles actually run on used oil from their operations instead of gas!

Raylen Vineyards, Mocksville, NC https://www.raylenvineyards.com/

No matter if you are a wine expert or novice, I find there is always something to learn from sales/marketing managers and tasting room managers of wineries. We spoke with Micah Habershaw, Assistant Tasting Room Manager of Raylen Vinyards, who gave us ideas for food pairing choices with their fruit forward wines. For example, their 2016 Petit Verdot would be great with lamb chops and grilled salmon with 2017 Rosé of Cabernet Franc.

Laurel Gray Vineyard, Hamptonville, NC https://www.laurelgray.com

I tried their Scarlet Mountain Red Table Wine, which is their best seller. If you like a red that is not too sweet and straight down the middle, this would go well with any red sauce dish you could think of!

Also in attendance was Cybress Bend Vineyards from Wagram,NC , Junius Lindsay Vineyard from Lexington,NC and Sanctuary Vineyards of Jarvisburg,NC. From the mountains to the coast, wines from every region were represented at this kickoff event. These featured wineries truly exemplify the diversity of wines found here in our great state of North Carolina.

This was the 2nd year of this event hosted by NC Wine Guys and North carolina Wine and Grape Council. What a great introduction and celebration for North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. Help spread the word about North Carolina wines and be sure to go check out these wineries and buy their wines for yourself or as a gift! Follow #NCWine and #NCWineMonth on social media for information and to join the conversation about North Carolina Wineries throughout the month of September and beyond!

Do you have a favorite NC Wine that you enjoy? I ❤ 2017 Pearl Albariño from Santuary Vineyards as it pairs well with seafood. Share in the comments below your faves!CHEERS 🥂🍇🍷

Cheers to North Carolina Wine And Grape Month – September 2018

Shop Luxury Items for Less @NationalPawnNC in #Raleigh #NationalPawn #Pawn #PawnShop

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post courtesy of National Pawn. Photos and opinions are 100% my own.

You see that picture above? Yep, that is me walking out of a pawn shop with my daughter. A few years ago, I would have never thought to stop in a pawn shop or even think to take my kid with me just based on misconceptions of what a pawn shop is like. One trip to National Pawn and it will dispel any misconceived notions. Who knew National Pawn could be such a great place to find luxury items!?! Read on to see why National Pawn is ranked #1 Pawn Stores….

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

SobeSavvy.com was recently invited to shop at National Pawn to see how they are “changing the perception of the pawn business“. It was quite a pleasant experience for my whole family and I am writing here to tell you all about it! Pawn shops have traditionally gotten a bad rap. Dim unkept stores with less than stellar customer service. NOT here.National Pawn has 16 locations throughout North Carolina and we shopped at their “Raleigh 1” location off of Glenwood/Rt 70 conveniently located on Glenwood Boulevard between Crabtree Mall and Brier Creek. The pawn and jewelry store “On the Hill” is a bright and airy storeroom that has something for everyone!

AFFORDABLE FINDS

When looking for electronics, musical instruments, luxury items or piece of jewelry, the first place most people think of is a big box store or going to the mall. Did you know you could find those things and more at deeply discounted rates at National Pawn? We saw everything from luxury items to Keurig Coffee makers to the latest and greatest electronics like the Apple Watches and to high end Italian purses. We were amazed at how most
these items were in very good to new condition. Diamonds, electric guitars, rare coins and unique items like this autographed chair from the Broadway Play ‘The Color Purple’!

MY SHOPPING HAUL

Having a good camera is an essential for every blogger. Our camera had recently died and we were on the look out for a new one. Luckily for us, Lindsey was there to not only provide us with great customer service but to give us her expertise on cameras since she studied photography. She helped us compare a few models and we settled on a great Nikon Coolpix w/a zoom lens for under $70. They had a great variety to choose from and no matter your budget, National Pawn does offer layaway.

My daughter loves her Nintendo WII and after we got her off of a bike and a scooter she found a fun looking racing game for under $10. If
you know anything about video games then you realize just what a great deal that was! I immediately told my Mom friends of all the awesome finds for kids at National Pawn. I was so surprised!

I wanted something in the jewelry section and was delighted to see that had a pretty big selection of Pandora bracelet charms. Lindsey is indeed a Jill of all Trades because she used to be a manager at Pandora! She pointed out that alot of the Pandora charms were rare or discontinued. I spotted a
gorgeous wooden charm that would pair well with my other wood accessories. It was priced around $30 and I am now the proud owner of this beautiful gem.

GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE

Everyone was quite friendly at this National Pawn location and Lindsey went above and beyond to answer any of our questions.

Great customer service always makes for a great and memorable shopping experience in my opinion. Our purchases were kindly wrapped up and we were informed of their 3 day no questions asked money back guarantee if we needed to return any item for any reason. This alone is almost unheard of in the pawn shop business. Most places have a “final sale” policy, but not at National Pawn.

SobeSavvy Tip: Sign up 👉 HERE to Join Rewards Program and Get Special Deals & Discounts !!

Next time you are looking for luxury items for less, shop at National Pawn.

Odds are they not only have it but they have it at a price that will keep more of your money in your pocket!

NATIONAL PAWN |Raleigh

6740 Fleetwood Dr.

Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 390-7622

info@nationalpawnshops.com

A Family Guide to Happy Thrills at #Carowinds | #AmazingLooksLike @Carowinds #FamilyFun

Thanks to Carowinds for hosting SobeSavvy.com to a day of summer fun and “happy thrills”! Complimentary media passes were received in exchange for marketing purposes. Opinions and photos used in this review of my experience are 100% my own.

Recently my #HeighPartyof3 which consists of my husband, daughter and me, traveled from Raleigh,NC for a short 2.5 hour drive to Carowinds. This 400 acre amusement park, with 13 roller coasters, seven water rides and the new Camp Snoopy, was the perfect place to enjoy some end of summer fun and to celebrate #outandaboutAva turning 7 years old!

#outandaboutAva gets a birthday hug from Sally and Schroeder from Peanuts at Camp Snoopy in Carowinds

I asked my daughter to give me two words to describe our family fun day at Carowinds to which she replied: “Happy and Thrilling”. So from the mouth of babes, I present to you “A FAMILY GUIDE TO HAPPY THRILLS AT CAROWINDS”. While this was not our first visit as a family to the amusement park, this was our first time experiencing the Carolina Harbor Water Park, checking out the new County Fair rides and seeing what’s new at Camp Snoopy. I have some mom friends who have children 7 and under who have not visited Carowinds yet, so my hope is that they will read this and be inspired to go and learn from our family experience.

Arriving at CAROWINDS

Upon arrival the first decision to be made is where to park. One thing folks like to complain about is parking. Yes Carowinds is a huge park that has thousands of daily visitors. These visitors also need thousands of parking spots. Parking is plentiful and visitors have two parking choices , General and VIP. VIP sections tend to be closer to the entrance than general.

Entrance in the water park is also entrance into the main park. You can purchase all the same tickets and passes there that can be bought at the main entrance. It is also smart to start here if you want to purchase a cabana for the day because they usually sell out in the first hour or two also.
We started our day at the Water park first and then enjoyed the main park.
The order you choose needs to only make sense to you !

SobeSavvy Tip:

For this trip, we found that if you drive around to the Carolina Harbor Waterpark entrance in the first hour or two of opening parking spots can be found that do not require a long walk.

Waterpark Fun in the Sun at CAROLINA HARBOR

Nestled right between the two states of North and South Carolina is Carolina Harbor Waterpark at Carowinds. There are so many splash adventures to be had at this 27 acre waterpark, including Blackbeard’s Revenge, a six story water slide, two wave pools and a two-acre family area. We are water lovers and really enjoyed staying cool by the pool, soaking up sun and relaxing on the lazy river ride. It’s no wonder Carolina Harbor Waterpark was one of the top winners of USA TODAY “Best Outdoor Waterpark” because of it’s themed water rides and one of a kind attractions for all ages.

SobeSavvy Tip: Now that you know that Carolina Harbor is the coolest place to slide,splash,chill and dine (BTW…the pulled pork Carolina BBQ sandwich is so good!), you should definitely consider renting a cabana. Cabana Life is the way to go to have your own private shaded haven. It comes with a flat screen tv, a mini fridge with half of dozen cold waters waiting for you, a table with 4 chairs, 2 lounge chairs, and menu service. It fits up to six people. So if you come with another small family, you can split the costs!

Love, Peace and Water Tubes at Tidal Wave Bay | Carolina Harbor

Happy Days Are Here Again at the COUNTY FAIR

The all-new County Fair themed area features 3 acres of timeless fun for all ages. There are 4 retro rides like the Zephyr swing ride, go round in a circular motion while enjoying music and spectacular lighting on the Rock ‘N’ Roller, flip upside down 63 ft above the ground on the Electro-Spin and don’t miss the twists and turns of Do-Si-Do, which glides guests up, down and around on three giant arms!

SobeSavvy Tip: Save room for some traditional fair food to eat! Here is wherr you can find hot dogs, cotton candy and my favorite..funnel cake!

Go back in time to 1959 County Fair and ride the Do-Si-Do Ride

Enjoy Kid Sized Thrills at the New CAMP SNOOPY

The former kids’ area known as Planet Snoopy has been completely transformed to the newly expanded Camp Snoopy, which includes six new attractions, a new wilderness theme and parent-friendly enhancements. There were lots of fun photo ops especially for fans of The PEANUTS and you may even get a chance to see your favorite characters. There is so much for young children to see and do here and great memories to be made at Camp Snoopy!

SobeSavvy Tip: Ride the Woodstock Express rollercoaster and choose a FunPix souvenir photo to take home. FunPix is a way to capture and share your memories of Carowinds with unlimited digital photo downloads! Its just one of the many great amenities at Carowinds.

This photo magnet of my daughter with her Dad on her first roller coaster ride at Carowinds is priceless!

Be sure to download the Carowinds mobile app from the App Store or Google Play and Follow Carowinds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or head to Carowinds.com for more information.

Check out more ‘happy and thrilling’ moments at #Carowinds, plus WATCH my video recap of our family fun experience here ⤵️

What “Happy Thrills” did you experience this summer? Have you ever been to Carowinds? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

#HeighPartyof3 at Carowinds Aug. ’18

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Treat Yourself To Oysters for #NationalOysterDay (or any day) in Raleigh & Wake Forest NC!

Sunday,August 5th is one of my favorite food holidays because it is National Oyster Day! The seafoodie in me loves to eat these beauties from the sea. Whether you like them raw on the half shell, roasted, charbroiled, topped off with cheese or fried in a po boy sandwich, there are so many places to enjoy fresh oysters in the Triangle. Here are some of my favorite places to enjoy oysters in Raleigh & Wake Forest!

18 Seaboard

NC oysters from Core Sound topped with pimento cheese and proscuitto

18 Seaboard, the brainchild of Chef Smith and his wife Laura,winner 2018 Best of Downtown restaurant for a business meeting, is best known for its locally sourced seafood dishes. Here is where I made my first stop to celebrate National Oyster Day!

Pair the oysters with a glass of Rosé or 18 Seaboard’s Prosecco cocktail

Chef Jason Smith, who was recently featured in the IndyWeek top 100 dishes, gets his oysters fresh from Locals Seafood and serves Core Sounders topped them with pimento cheese brulee +prosciutto +crystal cane syrup ! They are raw but torched at the end to melt the cheese just a little. You get 5 to an order, but you may want more after tasting the hot sauce sugar syrup. It is literally the icing on the oyster!

Chef-Proprietor Jason Smith was recently featured in Indy Week! 18 Seaboard serves delicious local NC seafood dishes!

18 Seaboard

18 Seaboard Ave
Raleigh, NC 27604

Whiskey Kitchen

Oysters, fried to perfection at Whiskey Kitchen

Whiskey Kitchen..winner of 2018 best of Downtown Bar Food, known for best outside patio and an all around great vibe. I recently was here enjoying a girls night out and the fried oysters were such a memorable bite!

The Drink Menu is extensive at Whiskey Kitchen. No matter the celebration, they have plenty of libations!

During the day, Whiskey Kitchen still has a great atmosphere but it is more kid friendly and even dog friendly on the patio. If you are a fan of day drinking, head to Whiskey Kitchen for the best place to enjoy fried oysters on the patio for and pair is with prosecco, a glass of wine, a Bloody Mary, beer or just ask Johnny to make something special!

Whiskey Kitchen

201 W Martin St
Raleigh, NC 27601

bu*ku Wake Forest

If you read my review of bu•ku Wake Forest, then you know I could never say nada to their

~

….

These oysters are on their menu everyday so I can celebrate my love for oysters anytime and so can you!

bu*ku Wake Forest

1228 Heritage Links Dr suite 100 Wake Forest, NC 27587

National Oyster Day may be coming to an end but lucky for us we have quite a few restaurants here in Raleigh that serve up these delicacies from the sea. Hummingbird features Chef Coleen Speaks’ oyster dishes (she does an amazing oyster po’boy, along with smoked marinated oysters and charbroiled oysters), as well as Mandolin, who offers delicious local NC oysters on the half shell with Chef Sean Fowler’s house-made sauces. Another restaurant in Wake Forest that I have enjoyed is Shuckers. Remember, The World Is Your Oyster, go out there and enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of Mandolin

Do you like oysters? Did you celebrate National Oyster Day? If so, leave your favorite oyster spot below!