Here’s how I hosted my #Gals for #GalentinesDay with a @dunkin Brunch Board + a ‘Hey! It’s Your Day’ @mangopublishing Book Review/Giveaway! Enter to Win ♥️

My #Gals + Galentine’s Day Book Swap × Dunkin’ Brunch Board x Hey! It’s Your Day Book Giveaway

Galentine’s Day falls on February 13th and it’s a day to let your gals know how much you appreciate them. Last year I hosted a “Galentine’s Day” party and shared How to Host a Fun Book Swap with my readers. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to host another #GalentineBookSwap this year!

THE INVITE

#GalentineDayBookSwap Invite | SobeSavvy.com

#GalentineDayBookSwap Invite | SobeSavvy.com

What do you do when it’s a pandemic among us but you still want to get together with some girlfriends? You take the necessary precautions, send an invite to a chosen few and mask up! I used a group pic from the last book swap and created a collage invite to send. Between the cold rain and Covid-19, I was thankful to still celebrate Galentine’s Day!

SIPS

Now Pouring ..Shoe Crazy Wine | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

Now Pouring ..Shoe Crazy Wine | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

I received a wine gift from Shoe Crazy, which is owned by a African American female. So I was happy to serve their Peach Mango Sparkling Wine as a welcome cocktail. This fruity, sweet wine was the perfect blush color to cheers to Galentine’s Day!

EATS by Dunkin’

Dunkin' Brunch Board | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

I made a Dunkin’ Brunch Board! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

Feast your eyes on my Dunkin’ Brunch Board! Since I was hosting the ladies late morning/early afternoon on a Saturday, I thought why not share some of my favorite snacks from Dunkin’! With charcuterie and cheese boards being all the rage, I hoped my guest would enjoy the presentation and they did! I added items from the Dunkin’ Snacks menu : hash browns, snackin’ bacon, stuffed bagel minis, munchkins and their speciality heart-shaped Valentine’s donuts (Cupid’s Choice & Brownie Batter)! It was all so delicious!

Leslie of SobeSavvy.com serves up a Dunkin' Brunch Board

Leslie of SobeSavvy.com serves up a Dunkin’ Snacks Board for Brunch!

I also got a Box of Joe to go from Dunkin’ with their Original Blend of coffee and a shot of Hazelnut. It serves 10 ppl and comes with cups, kids, sugars, creams,and stirrers. It was convenient and brewed to perfection. Definitely order one for your next gathering!

Box of Joe to go from Dunkin

Enjoy a Box of Joe from Dunkin’ at your next gathering! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

Book Swap + Review + Giveaway

Book Swap Ready!

Book Swap Ready | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

After we sipped, snacked and shared stories, it was time to swap books. Guests are welcome to bring whatever type of literature they want to exchange. As a thank you gift, I gave each guest an uplifting book from Mango Publishing titled Hey! It’s Your Day written by June Cotner.

Hey ! It's Your Day  by June Cotner - Review/Giveaway by SobeSavvy.com

Hey! It’s Your Day by June Cotner – Review/Giveaway by SobeSavvy.com

Hey! It’s Your Day! is a collection of quotes, personal essays, and aspirations for anyone to live by, making it the perfect reminder of how valuable these life events are. June Cotner is an author well equipped in helping people rediscover excitement in life, with millions of books sold on momentous occasions such as marriage in Wedding Blessings and special events in Graces. Featuring multicultural lessons, thought-provoking compositions, and gorgeous pages, Hey! It’s Your Day! will remind readers that life isn’t just living in the moment, it’s also about looking forward to the future.

This book provides so many inspirational reminders to live your best life! I enjoy reading positive affirmations and quotes from some of my faves such as Rumi, Oprah, The Obamas..just to name a few. There is an eclectic mix of people as well as nearly 50 topics that cover subjects like love, friendship, family, growth, happiness, success, creativity and more! Hey! It’s Your Day! would be a great gift for anyone at anytime but I can see me gifting this for some upcoming celebrations such as Mother’s Day or Graduation. But I don’t want to wait that long…I am excited to partner with Mango Publishing to host a giveaway and gift someone this wonderful book! Head to my Instagram @SobeSavvy to enter there:

*No instagram.. no worries..leave a comment here on the blog and share a favorite quote!

RECAP

For this to be my first time having guests over inside the house since the pandemic, I think it went well. I made everyone feel safe, comfortable and we all had fun! Take a look at my video recap, here:


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How To Host A Fun Book Swap | Event Recap #GalentineBookSwap ft. @mangopublishing @sassoolcafe @nothingbundt @loveblockwine

Hey ladies! I am back with another cool way to celebrate Galentine’s Day. If you read my last post, I went out with some friends for a wine tasting and hosted the event I decided to name: #GalentinesandWine. This past Saturday, I decided to do something at home with my bookish gals. If you love to read and want a creative way to share (or get rid of) the too many books you may have, here’s How to Host a Fun Book Swap Party:

THE INVITE

Inspired by a hair product swap party I attended in 2019 and a convo I had with a bookish friend, I decided to host a book swap party with a Galentine’s Day theme and used the hashtag #GalentineBookSwap. What is a #GalentineBookSwap? It’s a fun way to celebrate female friendships and our love of reading!

I sent an invite out via Facebook (and a countdown reminder via Instagram) as follows:

Hey Ladies..Let’s get together to celebrate Galentine’s Day and our love for reading at my first ‘GALENTINE BOOK SWAP PARTY’
There will be wine, small bites and books to exchange. You may have some books that you have read, given as a gift and will never read, but would like a chance to get a book that you want to read! Please read the following on how it will work.

6:00 -7pm: Eat,Drink,Be Merry
7:00-8pm: Will start drawing numbers for swap order to choose your selection

You are allowed to bring up to 3 books. You will receive a number for each book you bring in and I will draw number to see the order that you will pick a book (for fairness).

*RSVP closed at 10 guests*

WHERE: MY PLACE
WHEN: SATURDAY FEBRUARY 8, 2020
6PM-8pm

Hope to see you there! 📚🍷💕
#GalentineBookSwap

A WARM WELCOME

I like having an element of surprise, some festive decor and a welcome drink to set the tone when guests arrive. For the #GalentineBookSwap, I showered guests with rose petals as they came in the door and hit them with my own rendition of “She’s Your Queen To Be” from the classic movie “Coming to America”. Red Sangria was the welcome drink for this occasion. I simply set up a self serve Sangria bar along with some cute cocktail napkins that said #GALS which I got from Target dollar spot.

FUN PHOTO PROPS

Walmart was the place to shop for some cute photo props. I found a heart wreath and door fringe, which made for a cute backdrop for all the selfie lovers. The light up heart box came from Tuesday Morning some years ago and hangs up in my daughter’s room, but I borrowed it to make a #GalentineBookSwap sign and placed some red coiled chocolate Hershey’s Kisses nearby. I also picked up some heart shaped balloons from the Dollar Tree, and Viola! We had fun photo props to give the guests choices for photo ops!

DELICIOUS FOOD

When you want less mess and no stress, catering is the way to go for me when I host at home. I was very excited to introduce my guests as well as my own tastebuds to something new being offered by Sassool Cafe. All February long, Sassool Cafe will be offering a delicious and nutritious Heart “Beet” Hummus! This beautiful pink dip is the perfect side dish to all of your favorites at Sassool. This “lovely” hummus will be available at the Cary, Raleigh, and Sassool Select locations.

On the menu of heart healthy bites, we enjoyed:

-hummus

-Heart “Beet” hummus

-tatziki

-pita chips for all

-assorted mediterranean cheeses + grapeleaves + olives

-Spanakopita Triangles

-Mini Chicken and Beef Kabob Skewers

-Root Salad

-Assorted Baklava

Not only does Sassool Cafe provide the food, the platters but also the serving utensils. How convenient, how delicious!

For more information on their catering packages, go to sassool.com!

PRESENT A 🆕️ WINE

My husband likes being an at home Sommelier and presenting new wines to our guests by sharing tasting notes. I’ve even shared on the blog, tips on hosting a wine tasting at home, if you’d like to get some ideas for that as well. This always adds a level of intimacy to my at home events. After his presentation, we all get to enjoy our very own wine tasting! For this event, I partnered with Terlato Wines, who sponsored two varietals from LoveBlock.

We started off with the white and served the LOVEBLOCK Sauvignon Blanc,which was just released in Dec. 2019. LoveBlock SB is a classic example of New Zealand’s most famous varietal. Tasting Notes: Lots of grass and just the perfect amount of acid.

Next, we tried the LOVEBLOCK Pinot Noir, which went great with the grilled steak skewers. Tasting Notes: Deep finish and notes of berries on the palate.

PULL NAMES FOR BOOK SWAP

Everyone was instructed to write down their name and the # of books that they bought to swap. I advised to bring up to 3, but next timeI will say u limited. Any kind if books were allowed.

Everything from non-fiction, to fiction, self-help, children’s books, thrillers, devotionals…you name it, there was something for everyone! We all got a new book to dive into.

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#AboutLastNight…. these ladies and I got together to celebrate #GalentinesDay2020 and our love for reading at my #GALENTINEBOOKSWAP party! 💕📚💕📚💕📚💕📚💕📚💕 We enjoyed : •🍷wine from @terlatowines @loveblockwine • ❤ Heart Healthy catering from @sassoolcafe #tastetheyummus ..and lots of books to exchange! •Plus, every guests received a special "thank you" gift from: • 💕 @nothingbundtcakes • 📚 @mango.books.and.authors Thank you to all my guests and sponsors who helped make last night a fun time for all! #HappyGalentinesDay 😘 to all the #womenwholovebooks #blkcreatives Do you attend or hosts #bookswaps? Stay tuned for tips on how to host your own party on the blog, SobeSavvy.com . . . #SobeSavvy #SobeSavvyCelebrates #SobeSavvyPresents

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THANK YOU GIFTS

Although gifting is not my love language, I enjoy giving some type of swag or goodie bag for every guests to remember the special occasion. Everyone received a special “thank you” gift from:

• Mango Publishing @mango.books.and.authors |If you read my February Reading List blog post, then you may recognize these two amazing books:

❤ Say It Now – 33 Creative ways to say I Love You to the most important people in your life by Sherry Richert Belul

❤ Friendship Isn’t A Big Thing,It’s A Million Little Things- The Art of Female Friendship by Becca Anderson

• Nothing Bundt Cakes @nothingbundtcakes | no matter the occasion they offer moist, delicious, AMAZING, tasty, bundt cakes for any occasion in a variety of flavors. Vanilla, Chocolate and Red Velvet are the flavors I gave as a choice for the guests to take home.

This was my first time hosting/ attending a book swap and I had so much fun combining it with a Galentine’s Day theme! And although it was all about the ladies, I had help from my husband in having my event go smoothly.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO or HOSTED A BOOK SWAP PARTY BEFORE? Share your comments below!

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Tonight, I hosted a group of ladies for my 1st #GalentineBookSwap event, but if it wasn't for this man, my better half, who says I'm his better half, none of it would have gone as smooth as it did. 💕 Thank you all for fun, laughs, books, wine and good times! Pics coming soon 😘 Goodnight. Special thanks to 📸 @thegreenteablog for capturing us being us! Extra special thanks to my always and forever love, @btech1 est. 9.6.99 ❤ . . . #valentinesdayiseveryday #mrandmrs #loveofmylife #SobeSavvy #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #lifestyleblogger #blacklove #blacklovedoc #blackmarriage #blackloveisdope #relationshipgoals #marriageisbeautiful #marriedmybestfriend #discoverunder5k #blackcouple #heighpartyof3 #blackandmarried #ourlove #blackloveexists #couplegoals #blackloveisbeautiful #love #blackmarriedcouple #marriedaf

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Enjoy the Tastes of Summer with #wines from @wineawesomeness + #recipes with @neomega3 #avocadooil 

I love to entertain at home. The formula is simple: Good Food + Good Wine = Good Times. So when I had the chance to review 2 wines from Wineawesomeness.com and pair it with recipes using four speciality Neomega Avocado Oils , I took the opportunity to invite a couple of friends over for a tasting. 

THE INVITE~

Well what was meant to be held outside on my redecorated patio ended up being done indoors due to the rain.  I believe part of being a good hostess is always having a plan B so that not even a storm can rain on your parade!

THE MENU~

  • Roasted Shrimp and Grits appetizer with Chili Pepper Infused Avocado Oil
  • Watermelon, Arugula, and Red Onion Summer Salad with Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette

Paired with 2017 LEKKER, ROSÉ Wine

  • Steak Skewers marinated with Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil
  • Roasted Garlic Potatoes made with Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil

Paired with 2013 LA PINOT, PINOT NOIR

THE WINE~

If you want to experience what summer tastes like in a glass, try Lekker ROSÉ handcrafted by South African winemaker, Nico Grobler. It is the first 2017 rose on the market, making it the freshest, most easiest drinking wine possible. We all enjoyed the tanginess of this wine and how it was balanced with hints of fruit like strawberries, guava, orange, lemon,grapefruit and watermelon. No, it is not sweet but indeed refreshing and memorable! 

We also tried a Pinot Noir out of California named La Pinot, which is WA’s first ever wine collaboration! I was so excited to try it with friends and talk about our own wine notes. Some of us smelled rasberries, wood, mushrooms, caramel. We all had different thoughts and did not think it would be any of our favorites but agreed that: The best wines are the ones we drink with friends! 

Did you know the WA (wineawesomeness) journey kicked off just 4 years with the mission to make it easier than ever to explore wines from around the world? You can drink, discover and learn about wine by becoming a wine club member to receive a curated set of bottles and a customized magazine, called theblacklabel, which is filled with tasting notes, recipes and more! Be sure to follow @wineawesomeness #wineallthetime for member reviews and wine news.

THE RECIPES & Review of Neomega Avocado Oils

I was excited to learn of Neomega Avocado Oils created by Judit Beres and made right here in North Carolina! So yeah eat and support local y’all! She offers regular avocado oil as well as infused oils perfect for trying in your favorite recipes as a healthier alternative. Whether you are vegan, following the Whole 30 or Paleo diet, in search of gluten free options or just enjoy clean eating, these versatile culinary oils are something every cook and foodie needs to have in their home as a pantry essential!

Roasted Shrimp and Grits appetizer with Chili Pepper Infused Avocado Oil

Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Oven Roasted Shrimp with Toasted Garlic and Red Chile Oil  , I decided to make an appetizer version of shrimp and grits. I used japanese spoons to serve it in, making it the perfect one bite! It was simple, quick and delicious! I followed the recipe but made it my own by eliminating some ingredients like the toasted garlic chips (opted to use minced garlic instead). I replaced the olive oil and substituted it with the Avocado Oil infused with Chili Pepper. It had just the right amount of heat. Not too over powering but just enough for you to enjoy the flavors. 

Watermelon, Arugula, and Red Onion Summer Salad with Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette

 Inside wineawesomness.com ‘s magazine called ‘thebacklabel’, which is included with the monthly wine club membership, are tasting notes and recipe pairing suggestions. Lekker Rose wine went well with the suggested recipe from Food52.com : Watermelon, Arugula and Pickled Onion Summer Salad. However, I decided to make a DIY salad dressing, a Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette. We all thought it had a nice, light, citrusy, flavor that was perfect for the watermelon salad.

  1. Combine 1/8 cup of champagne vinegar ( can use red wine or apple cider vinegar, balsamic..your choice) 
  2. 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  3. 1 tsp of salt
  4. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of  Ginger Tumeric Orange Infused avocado oil  (or any of Neomega Nutritionals Avocado Oils..I bet this would be good with the Basil Infused Avocado Oil too!) 
  5. Taste, Toss and Serve with your favorite summer salad 

Steak Skewers marinated with Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil + Roasted Garlic Potatoes made with Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil

You can’t have a summer gathering without kabobs right! So easy to make and enjoy without the use of utensils. I would normally marinade my meat and veggies for skewers using olive oil, but this time I used Neomega’s Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil and roasted some potatoes using the Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil. So how does avocado compare to olive oil?  Per neomega ‘s website

Here are 3 main differences 1. TASTE : our avocado oil has a light neutral taste. Because of that it has a wide use of application: baking, frying, grilling, every day cooking. 2. SMOKE POINT: Extra Virgin Olive oil is 425 F . Our avocado oil is 550 F, safe for high or continuous heat. Once an oil begins to smoke and burn it creates free radicals which are harmful to your health. 3.VITAMIN E: Due to its high vitamin E content, avocado oil is a winner in this category compared to olive oil and is widely used in skin care as well.

After experiencing these flavors, we all commented on how the mild flavors would be delicious to use in so many dishes while providing us with optimal nutrition. In other words, not only did these speciality oils taste good but it is good for you too! If you’d like to get your hand on a bottle or two or four, follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and shop at neomega3.com. SobeSavvy Tip: Save 10% on orders $23.99 & up with code: 10OFF

THE GIVEAWAY

Whenever possible, I like to give my guests something to go home with as a ‘thank you’ for coming. This time in addition to goodie bags with wine scented candles and a wine guide, one lucky guest got to go home with a bottle of Avocado Oil infused with Chili Pepper, courtesy of Neomega! Congrats to Interior Designer/Blogger Niki McNeill for winning my #SobeSavvygiveaway ! I can not wait to see what she makes with it. 

Tell me what are your favorite wines/recipes this Summer? Have you ever tried or cooked with avocado oils? Share you experience below⤵ 

Thanks for reading ! CHEERS 🍷