Part II #MyVioletValentine Shopping + #ValentinesDay Gift Ideas ~ University Place NC @UPlaceNC #chapelhill

Hey there! I am back for Part II of #MYVIOLETVALENTINE series (click here if you missed Part I). Today, I am sharing my UNIVERSITY PLACE shopping fun and finds with the Pantone Color of the Year- Ultra Violet in mind. My daughter #outandaboutAva (aka my favorite shopping partner) and I headed back to the mall where we did most of her back to school shopping, University Place. Located in Chapel Hill, this mall is known as …”THE place for shopping, dining, entertainment & the arts, fitness & beauty.” This visit, we are on a mission to find purple purchases and Violet themed gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. Here’s what we found:

•Accessories for Girls at Glee Kids

From hair accessories, like bows and headbands to adorable (and adjustable) rings, Glee Kids had some items that I think any little girl would love for a Violet Valentine!

• Fun Gifts for Girls at The Red Hen

The Red Hen always has unique items and great prices, so I was not surprised that we found something for a Violet color themed gift. If you are making a gift basket for your kid on Valentime’s Day, fill it with little toys from The Red Hen. We left with this Girl Bat Cape because my daughter said it was going to activate her shopping powers and help with finding more #MyVioletValentine items!

• Women’s Apparel & Accessories at Dina Porter

Dina Porter is a classic boutique for shoppers interested in one of a kind quality items. Looking for a unique scarf or sweater? Dina Porter has it all! There were all shades of purple in that store and many eclectic selections, like the ultraviolet polka dot raincoat with matching tote bag!

• Food Speciality Items, Flowers & more at Southern Season

Plan to wine and dine your Valentine at home? Is your special someone a foodie? Then a gourmet gift and flowers from Southern Season would be appreciated. I absolutely love that store, especially the organization of their wine section. Surprisingly, I found lavender caramel chocolate which is going to be perfect for #myVioletValentine theme, don’t you agree?!

• Greetings and NoteCards from The Frame & Print Shop

Art galleries always catch my eye, which made me stop in The Frame & Print Shop. I found the most delightful violet Valentines Day card as well as some great Monet inspired note cards. Nothing says pure romance like a handwritten love note!

• Health & Beauty Finds from BE PURE BEAUTY

Be Pure Beauty sells natural products made of clean, non-toxic ingredients. At this store, you’ll find the best of green beauty brands that are conscious of keeping people, the planet, plants and animals safe. They sell makeup, skincare products, bath bombs and more! I found some lavender scented bath bombs and eyeshadow (color ‘Soiree’) that would make great #myVioletValentine gifts!

• Scented Candles & Fragrances from Bath & Body Works

You may be familiar with Bath & Body Works for their fragrant personal care products. You can always find flavorful indulgences, including shower gels, lotions, candles and accessories. I am a big fan of gifting candles for any occassion and for #myVioletvalentine, a lavender scented or any violet purple candle would be a great choice!

• Jewelry at Goldworks

Did you know you can create jewelry at Goldworks in North Carolina? This store specializes in custom jewelry designs, in yellow, white and rose gold, platinum, silver, Mokume gane, and much more. You will find a variety of designs from traditional to truly original and artistic designs. Visit Goldworks jewelry store and gallery to have one of the professional jewelry designers create a unique and original gift for your special Valentine. Jewelry is always a great gift idea and right now for the month of February, the gemstone is Amethyst! It’s the perfect violet hue and fits #myVioletValentine theme. Goldworks is also currently having a 50% off sale on select items you don’t want to miss.

SobeSavvy Tip: Check out this fun Galentine’s event happening TONIGHT, 2/8/18 7pm-9pm at Kidzu Children’s Museum inside UNIVERSITY PLACE.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I did creating a fun way to be on trend this Valentine’s Day with the Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet. At University Place, shopping all shades of purple was such a fun time and we found some great choices for #myVioletValentine 💜!

Leslie, Lifestyle Blogger & Founder of SobeSavvy.com and daughter, #outandaboutAva enjoy a day of shopping fun for #MYVioletValentine at University Place in Chapel Hill

UNIVERSITY PLACE
201 S. ESTES DRIVE CHAPEL HILL, NC 27514 919.945.1900
www.universityplacenc.com

Celebrating #MyVioletValentine with a Romantic Dine at #18Seaboard in #Raleigh ! #seafood #creativecuisine

A few days ago I introduced a series on SobeSavvy.com called #MyVioletValentine. I encourage all of you to think about putting the color red aside and consider celebrating with the Pantone color of the year in mind which is “Ultra Violet”! Beautiful shades of violet and purple can be found everywhere in nature and also in food. One of those food instances can be found at 18 Seaboard.

Located at Seaboard Station near downtown Raleigh, this restaurant opened its doors in 2006 and is owned by Chef Jason Smith and his wife Lauren. 18 Seaboard serves contemporary Southern inspired dishes with over 60% of ingredients sourced from North Carolina farms, ranches, fishmongers and dairies. We were there recently to enjoy a romantic pre-Valentine’s Day date. They have a wonderful lunchtime menu which featured alot of dishes that satisfied the seafoodie in me! But first…

COCKTAILS/STARTERS

After being promptly seated at a nice table for two we began with two Kir Royale cocktails. Again, I had #MyVioletValentine in mind when we ordered these but alas they photograph more of a blush color. Nevertheless, still a great champagne cocktail to kickoff a romantic dine.

We ordered two starters of Sneads Ferry She-Crab Soup with sherry reduction and a Purple Sweet Potato Bisque. Now this bisque arrived to the table looking too good to eat! Not only did it look pretty and purple, but the taste was pretty amazing.You know what they say, you eat with your eyes first, but I had to close mine and just savor each spoonful!

My favorite out of the two starters was the she crab soup. It had a generous amount of crab meat and just the right touch of sherry. We both are from Maryland and agreed that this soup was not only flavorful but reminded us of our hometown.

CHEF’S ENTREÉS

While there are various choices for lunch we chose two seafood entreés. My husband ordered the Cornmeal-Crusted Carolina Classics Catfish w/champagne tarragon butter and a unique pecan grit cake. It was fresh, flaky and delicious. Oh and the sauteed spinach and apple collard slaw offered not only a brightness to the dish but paired well with the fish.

I went with the Bo Bromhal SafeChild Shrimp & Grits. The restaurant donates 10% of all proceeds from ordering this dish to this amazing Wake County Child advocacy Program. Besides a great cause this was a GREAT.GREAT.DISH. I have had innumerable Shrimp & Grit dishes over my lifetime and I vote this dish as one of the absolute best interpretations of this southern iconic dish! Amazing is really an understatement.

We got a chance to speak with both the General Manager (Brandy, who can suggest a great dry white wine to pair with the seafood dishes) and Chef-Proprietor Jason Smith, whom I had a chance to hear speak at Feed the Dialogue dinner event. He is very personable, talented and passionate about the food served at his restaurants. Also our waiter, who advised to call him “D”, provided excellent service and added to our delightful dining experience.

DESSERTS

We ended our wonderful afternoon on a sweet note by trying the Pecan Pie Creme Brulee and a Mug of Hot Chocolate Cake. Both are creatively made desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth. I mean how cute is this cookie of our state of North Carolina?!

I highly recommend you take your special someone to this restaurant to celebrate life, love or just the color Violet on Valentine’s Day. Anytime you want fantastic food served with love, make reservations to dine at 18 Seaboard!

18 SEABOARD

18 Seaboard Ave

Raleigh,NC 27604

#VisitBrio for #ValentinesDay and enjoy delicious made-from scratch risotto dishes and more! @BrioItalian

Having spent time in Europe I realized quickly that risotto is to Italy what rice is to Asia! An Italian staple for centuries, risotto done right is now available at Brio Tuscan Grille for all! Located in Crabtree Valley Mall, this restaurant is a great place to enjoy lunch, bar bites, dinner or weekend brunch.

Per their press release, “It’s a Risotto Celebration” menu, available now until Sunday, March 25, 2018. This limited-time selection includes four chef-inspired risotto entrées, which all feature high-quality ingredients and are made from scratch. In addition, the menu includes three original cocktails, created to compliment BRIO’s new risotto dishes, and a decadent dessert.

The ‘It’s A Risotto Celebration’ Menu

I am a big fan of this restaurant because although a chain, it never feels like cookie cutter cuisine and this limited time only special should inspire you to make plans to dine there soon! We went at lunchtime and entered their bright and airy dining space. Only fresh good food comes out of their open kitchen and it shows. But before I get into how great the food is, let me tell you about their amazing cocktails!

Left to Right: Maple Bourbon Smash, Bulleit Rosa

There are three distinctive cocktails that are included on this special menu. My husband and I tried The Maple Bourbon Smash (Maker’s Mark, Monin Maple, lemon juice, rosemary simple syrup, dash of bitters, orange garnish) and Bulleit Rosa ( Bulleit Rye whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, 19 Crimes Red Blend, lemon twist garnish). They were the perfect start to what was to come.

Of their four risotto themed dishes, we had the following:

Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail: mushrooms, red peppers, asparagus, and basil

Sea Scallop Risotto: pan seared sea scallops, ratatouille vegetables, basil, and red peppers

Although hard to choose among four great dishes, we opted for the Sea Scallop Risotto and the Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail because we are seafood lovers. WOW is the word that comes to mind when speaking of these dishes. Risotto is all about the cooking method. Not cooked well enough and it is hard. Overcooking risotto and you end up with nothing but mush. Brio got it exactly right! The scallops were in a red sauce and the shrimp & lobster in a light oil sauce. We actually exchanged plates halfway through because neither of us could decide which one was best! Only YOU can be the judge, but the shrimp & lobster was my fave.

We ended lunch with the featured dessert, a molten chocolate cake with mascarpone cream, white chocolate raspberry gelato. It was as good as it looks too and wonderful to share with that special someone!

SobeSavvy Tip: BRIO Tuscan Grille’s tempting Valentine’s Day menu features this decadent dessert, along with enticing cocktails, delicious starters and entrees. This offer is available during lunch/dinner, Friday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb.18.

Brio Tuscan Grille

4325 Glenwood Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27612

4 Reasons To Have a #DayDate for #ValentinesDay at @iPOLISHED Nail Bar #Raleigh #GetPolishedRDU

Hello February! Did you know it was Creative Romance Month? That’s right, you don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day to celebrate your love or show off your romance skills, you can start now! If you are in NC, I have just the place you should go: Polished Nail Bar! In a previous post, I shared highlights of the Grand Opening event of Raleigh’s newest premier nail and waxing salon located in downtown’s hip Glenwood South District. I have been back on my own and with a good friend but today I surprised my best friend/husband with a visit to Polished Nail Bar for a pampering day date. While there are so many reasons to come here for a date, take a look at my Top Four:

1. LUXURY PEDICURE THRONES

Sit back, relax and enjoy your luxury pedicure on a throne fit for a King and Queen! Those chairs, along with the decor, are not only appealing to the eye but you can set it to massage your back while you receive your services.

2. COMPLIMENTARY MIMOSAS

Wine, Beer, Soft Drinks..and Mimosas are available for free with your services. While relaxing on your pedicure throne, imagine sipping on mimosas and then a hand appears to refill your glass! Refills are complimentary too…just remember to drink responsibly.

3. GREAT VARIETY OF OPI COLORS

As soon as you walk in take notice of the variety of colors from nail polish brands such as OPI and Essie. You can find the latest in OPI nail polish colors, like the new Lisbon Collection. I can definitely see me selecting any of those in the Spring but today I chose a purple color for #MyVioletValentine series (that I’ll be sharing more about soon..so stay tuned!)

4. COUPLE-FRIENDLY

Just like us, this lovely pair was there enjoying a pampering moment. Women, as well as Men (and little divas too) are welcomed. My husband commented on how comfortable he was and appreciated the cleanliness. We definitely will be coming back to Polished Nail Bar!

SobeSavvy Tip: Looking for Valentine’s Day gift idea? Gift Certificates are available. For a complete list of services, visit ipolished.com. Follow on Facebook at Polished Nail Bar RDU, Instagram @polished_nail_bar, and Twitter @iPolished.

Polished Nail Bar

222 Glenwood Avenue Suite 105

Raleigh,NC 27603

919.615.0092 | www.IPOLISHED.com

Open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.