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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Host A Holiday Tea Party With Wissotzky Tea

A stress-free holiday is all I want for Christmas 2019 and so far it has been so good! I spent this past weekend spreading cheer, seeing folks and staying far away from the malls. I am done shopping and now it is is time to unwind and cruise into the new year. But first, I had one more party to host just for the ladies: a Holiday Tea and Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!

It was easy to create and send the following facebook invite:

Hey LADIES!

Join me for HOLIDAY TEA at my home
* 3pm-5pm *

Enjoy Hot Tea + Small Bites + Cheer
in a casual, comfortable setting!

🎁 Please bring a gift wrapped MUG for a fun exchange 🎁

But first some selfies/usies :

Party set up was simple. In addition to the wrapped gift/mug exchange, I had a Mimosa Bar,

….a buffet style spread of Sweet & Savory Bites,

..we played a fun “Sips Tea” game, (similar to the Have You Ever drinking game and if your answer is yes then you would sip tea!)

… and there also was an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest!

👀Watch the participants model their sweaters below⤵️

Thanks to all who participated and Congratulations to Rada @simplysoutherngirlcharm for winning the contest! She received a book from award-winning blogger of The Cup of Life, Lu Ann Pannunzio, titled TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational Words for Tea Lovers courtesy of Mango Publishing and was also gifted some Wissotzky Tea‘s Simply Nana Mint Teas, which was the featured tea of the party!

I was excited to introduce my guests to Wissotzky Tea’s Simply Nana Mint Teas, an exotic mint variety that is an all-natural, delicious tea with Mediteranean origins. Nana is unlike any other variety of mint because it unleashes a subtle layer of earthiness and invigorating minty flavor in every tantalizing cup. Nana Tea is sure to awaken the spirit whether served hot or icy cold!

Here are some recipes to try with Simply Nana Mint!

Nana Mint Iced Green Tea & Honeydew

Green tea pairs perfectly with Honeydew Melon and the refreshing & invigorating finish of exotic Nana Mint and just a little touch of honey makes this an iced adventure you won’t want to miss.

How to make:

Brew two Nana Mint Green tea bags per 16oz of water

Let steep for 3-5 minutes

Remove tea bags and let chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours

Dice Honeydew and lightly coat with honey

Add to a glass and muddle slightly to release its sweetness

Top with ice and chilled tea and enjoy!

Nana Mint Iced Simply Black Tea Half & Half Sparkle

The rich and refreshing taste of our premium Black tea and exotic Nana Mint are artfully paired with sparkling lemonade to create a refreshing twist on the traditional half & half. Add fresh lemon and mint and you are ready to sip back and enjoy the warm weather.

How to make:

Brew two Nana Mint Simply Black tea bags per 16oz of water

Let steep for 3-5 minutes

Remove tea bags and let chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours

Add lemon slices and fresh mint to a classic Highball glass

Fill each glass halfway with chilled tea

Top with sparkling lemonade

Garnish with a lemon wedge and fresh mint

SobeSavvy Tip: Did you know January is National Tea Month? Celebrate and host a tea party with these easy tips that I have shared here in my previous post! ⤵️

Host A Tea Party With These 5 Quick Tips! By: SobeSavvy.com

We all had a refreshing good time and enjoyed sipping tea, celebrating sisterhood, the holidays and slowing down for a couple of hours! Hope you enjoyed my party recap & introduction to Wissotzky Tea’s Simply Nana Mint Teas. For more info, follow @wissotzkyteaofficial @wteananamint!

Let me know in the comments below which one of the Simply Nana Mint teas would you sip first?

  • Simply Nana Mint Black Tea
  • Simply Nana Mint Green Tea
  • Simply Nana Mint Herbal Lemon Tea
  • Simply Nana Mint Herbal Ginger Tea
  • Simply Nana Mint Herbal Chamomile Tea

Happy Holidays!

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Holiday Drink Recipes Guide| Featuring Festive Cocktails For Your Next Party

It’s the most magical time of year and what better way to embrace the festive season than to create some cocktails and share with friends. This year, I am hosting a #Drinksgiving2019 party and will enjoy some laughs and libations with others! I have partnered with some spirits brands to give you some holiday drink recipes to enjoy this season! Take a look at these festive holiday cocktails to serve at your next party:

Welcome Cocktail | Prosecco DOC

In my opinion, having a cocktail ready for guest upon arrival sets the mood for a fun time! Welcome your guests and say hello holidays with a bubbly glass of Prosecco DOC. From Northeastern Italy, Prosecco DOC is a high quality sparkling wine that is versatile, well-balanced and dog-friendly. I served the Extra-Dry version with a splash of Chambord and named this drink #fancyanother, inspired by some fun cocktail napkins I picked up at Tuesday Morning store! You can enjoy Prosecco DOC by itself of course to cheers to the holidays! Find out more about these two brands @cadirajo.wines & @masottina_wines

Moscow Mule | Bedlam Vodka

Want a simple, tasty cocktail for your next party? Making a Moscow Mule is easy! Just squeeze a lime into a copper mug, add 2-3 ice cubes, then pour in Bedlam Vodka, which has been named as one of the Top 5 Vodkas in the world by Bartender Spirits Awards, and fill with cold ginger beer. Serve with a stirring rod for guests to mix themselves and you will have a highly refreshing cocktail!Read my past review of Bedlam Vodka and check out more Bedlam Vodka cocktail recipes >>here. No matter the occasion, make sure to #bringthebedlam to your next party!

East Indian Gimlet | Jaisalmer Gin

Rosemary-Garnished Cocktails provide visual flare to creative cocktails don’t you agree? So reserving a few sprigs from the dinner prep to pair with worldly cocktails was a great idea to wow our guests. We served Jaisalmer, an Indian gin with regal roots and explosive notes of coriander, and made this East Indian Gimlet recipe:

Ingredients:

1.5oz Jaisalmer Gin

1.5oz lime juice

.75oz Ginger Simple Syrup

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup chopped peeled ginger

.25oz St. Germain

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish

Method:

For the Ginger Simple Syrup: Bring sugar, ginger, and ¾ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let sit 20 minutes. Strain into a jar, cover, and chill.

For the Cocktail:
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the gin, lime juice and ginger syrup. Shake until well chilled. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Prepare to be Empressed | Empress 1908

Here is another recipe featuring rosemary from a Canadian gin, Empress 1908, which is infused with Butterfly Pea Blossom. At first glance you may think it comes in a blue bottle but the gin is actually a beautiful indigo hue! Serve this and all of your guests will Prepare to be Empressed!

Ingredients:

1.5oz Empress 1908

.25oz Italicu

.5oz lime Juice

.5oz rosemary-infused simple syrup

Method:

Shake ingredients on ice, strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Bees Knees | Empress 1908

My hubby found this simple, yet classic cocktail recipe made with just 3 ingredients called Bees Knees on Empress 1908‘s website and decided he wanted to try it next time ( but I’ll share recipe with you now). All you need is lemon, honey syrup and Empress 1908! Be sure to check out www.empressgin.com to discover more recipes and info about this gin.

Thanksgiving Ginger Diplo | Diplomatico Mantuano Rum

In this next recipe, a dainty sprig of rosemary is added to a Venezuelan rum, Diplomático, whose molasses is sourced from the foothills of the Andes, to make a wonderful and festive cocktail that is great to serve at Thanksgiving! Here’s what you need t make a Thanksgiving Ginger Diplo.

Ingredients:

1.5oz Diplomático Mantuano Rum

3oz ginger ale

Dash of cocoa bitters (optional)

Cranberries, for garnish

Rosemary, for garnish

Method:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the rum, ginger ale and bitters. Shake until well chilled

Strain into rocks glass. Garnish with fresh rosemary and cranberries

SobeSavvy Tip: Want a festive drink you can serve right out of the bottle? Try Evan Williams Original Southern Egg Nog! It is made with Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Blended Whiskey, Rum and Brandy. This is a special drink you can pour into a punch bowl and garnish with nutmeg. Just hill and enjoy this easy and delicious egg nog for the holidays!

I am looking forward to shaking things up this weekend for my first #Drinksgiving2019 party! I’ll be featuring some of these fun,festive cocktails with friends and hope you will try any of these Holiday Drink recipes at your next gathering!

Cheers to the holidays! 🎉🍸🎉🍸🎉🍸

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I am looking forward to shaking things up this weekend for my first #Drinksgiving2019 party! 🎉🍸🎉🍸🎉🍸🎉🍸🎉🍸🎉🍸🎉🍸🎉🍸🎉 I am featuring some fun,festive cocktails and sharing some Holiday Drink recipes #ontheblog **** [link in bio] that I will be making and tasting with some friends! Stay tuned on which drink was the #Drinksgiving favorite! Until then…Alexa play "Gin and Juice" by Snoop Dogg Leave a 🍸 in the comments if you love sippin' on jolly juice (or a good cocktail) too! . . #SobeSavvy #SobeSavvySips #sobesavvypresents #SobeSavvyCelebrates #drinksgiving #cocktails #cocktailshaker #drinks #fun #festive #holidaydrinks #jollyjuice #ginandjuice #happydance #martini #mixology #craftcocktails #igdrinks #drinkstagram #entertaining #hosting #cocktailblogger #cocktailtime #lifestyleblogger #foodblogger #raleighblogger #ncblogger #sequinsjacket

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Tips for Hosting a Happy Halloween Wine Tasting ft. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Wines and Casillero del Diablo

This past weekend, I combined my love of wine and a good time by hosting a “Hallowine” happy hour at my home. I had a Hallowine Party before and it was such a success I decided to do it again! What exactly is “Hallowine”, you ask ? It’s a halloween themed party where wine tasting is the main event. This year I partnered with Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Wines and Casillero del Diablo.

THE INVITE–

I customized an invite via Canva and created a FaceBook invitation. Wine loving guys and gals were invited to come over to enjoy. My Halloween decor was kept fun, frightening and frugal. For example I found plastic spiders that I used for glass charms at the Dollar Tree. This way people can keep track of their wine glass all evening by their colored spider!

I also picked up some fun “Witch Don’t Kill My Vibe” napkins from Walmart. I came across a dozen plastic “Witches Brew” tumblers for $2.99 from Ross that I used to serve my guests a welcome drink. I firmly believe that a welcome drink when entering a party sets up a festive mood! This year we had Sangria from Wegmans for just $6 a bottle. Put it in a pitcher with some fruit and VOILA..Witches Brew is served!

THE WINES —

Member’s Mark Chardonnay {SRP $7.98}
Member’s Mark Pinot Noir {SRP $8.98}

Did you know…Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark has a full fleet of highly-rated, delicious, award-winning wines at low prices… We’re talking under $10! I was very excited to be able to preview these two Sonoma Valley wines prior to their public availability at Sam’s Club starting in mid-November. I started the tasting of these wines from white to red. Everyone liked the Chardonnay but if you love Pinot Noir, this one is pretty good for just $9! Here is some additional info:

I created a cheese and charcuterie board using a variety of soft and hard cheeses, from goat cheese to brie, to cheddar and gouda, that paired well with both wines!

Member’s Mark Zinfindel {SRP $7.98}

Did you know…Member’s Mark wine is currently available in 37 states, and the wines are sourced all across the globe – everywhere from California to Spain to Germany, to name a few. There are 11 other existing wines in the line, including Champagne, Rosé, Moscato, Prosecco, Bordeaux and more. This Zinfandel wine is an intense, full-flavored Zin made in Lodi from some of the oldest vines in California. A glass gives off blackberry and black cherry aromas and jammy fruit flavors with a hint of peppercorn. Pair with your favorite meat for summer grilling. Pizza and pasta also work well with this wine. With the holidays upon us, bring this one anywhere for the perfect hostess gift!

SobeSavvy Tip: Have your guests download Vivino app before arrival to keep track of their fave wines from the evening! Already use Vivino? Let’s be friends..find our wine reviews under “SobeSavvy” on the Vivino app! Salud!🍷

Casillero del Diablo Carmenere & Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir {SRP $12.00}

I first learned about Casillero del Diablo when the winery invited me to a special event with Head sommelier, Massimo Leonori, was there to discuss the new wines from the 2018 vintage, deemed an Extraordinary Vintage. Unfortunately I was not able to attend but thankfully able to try this brand known as the official wine of Halloween!

About Casillero del Diablo:
Born from a 140-year-old Chilean legend, Casillero del Diablo has emerged as a global powerhouse. The legend began in the late 1880s with Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, one of Chile’s most revered winemakers. Many thieves coveted his precious wines, so Don Melchor spread a rumor the Devil himself guarded his cellar. Although never confirmed nor disproved, the tale protected his prize and spawned a legend spanning generations. The cellar where those bottles rested nearly 140 years ago still stands today in Chile’s Maipo Valley, home of Casillero del Diablo’s illustrious portfolio under the Concha y Toro banner. Casillero del Diablo, twice named the #2 most powerful wine brand in the world, leads the Chilean 750ml segment in dollar sales and volume sales in the United States.1 2 Since 2009, Casillero del Diablo wines have garnered 170 Gold and Silver medals at international competitions and 19 Best Buy/Best Value designations; the wines have earned 50 scores of 90 or above in the past five years. The rugged topography of Chile’s winemaking regions reflects the country’s thirst for exploration; Casillero del Diablo is at the forefront of the world’s attention on this South American gem, sparking a uniquely Chilean sense of adventure in every glass.

The 2017-2018 season in Chile had unbeatable climatic conditions that resulted in an “Extraordinary Vintage” for Casillero del Diablo. The winemaker was able to create incredible flavors using the perfectly ripened fruit from the harvest. The varietals include a Cabernet Sauvignon,Carmenere, and Pinot Noir. Here are some tasting notes regarding the Carmenere and Pinot Noir:

Remember, these wines are not just good for Halloween but for enjoying anytime! For additional information about Casillero del Diablo and the Extraordinary Vintage, follow on @CasillerowineUS on Instagram or go to the website at http://www.casillerodeldiablo.com/en

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

Cheers🍷and Happy Halloween 2019!

Blogger Event Recap| #ScentandSipEvent Part II Cheers To Mom|Hosted by SobeSavvy.com

Back in March, in honor of International Women’s Day/Women’s History Month, SobeSavvy.com hosted an invite only event in Raleigh, NC called #ScentandSipEvent [in case you missed it, catch the recap >>here]. This time for Mother’s Day, I wanted to host a few Mom friends, Bloggers, Influencers in the Triangle and beyond [Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest, Fayetteville, NC] and celebrate  our motherhood journey. It was a great opportunity to network and toast to us Moms!

We are Blessed to be Moms! |         Photo Credit: Photography by Write Productions @write_productions

 

INVITE + SWAG BAGS



The “ScentandSip” idea came after receiving an exclusive Galentine’s Day invite to an event being held in Miami,FL. I notified the event organizers/PR my desire to collaborate/host an intimate event in my home. I was able to include the diptyque “Scent and Chambord “Sip in the SWAG BAGS for my guests.Meka H. of @hwthblog shows off her swag | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


WELCOME COCKTAIL



This event was held in the comfort of my home, where guests were greeted with a hug of course and a welcome cocktail The featured cocktail was the Chambord Royale [see the recipe above] and it was the perfect way to get the celebration started!

PHOTO FUN


Hostess, Leslie H. of @SobeSavvy reps being a Mom | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


I created a photo station to give everyone a chance to take a welcome picture. All it took was some items from the Dollar Tree , a nice smile and a talented photographer [shout out to Lanette L. of Write Productions] to capture the fun.

Tiffany H. of @themrstee strikes a pose! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


Jovhanna T. of @thespirituallovehealer is all smiles! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

Carla W. of @glamourandglue is truly blessed! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

Marcia S. of @keechiibags is too blessed to be stressed! |

Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

My daughter, #outandaboutAva, even joined in on the fun by being the flower girl and throwing rose petals for us Queens!

Forever My Flower Girl ! Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


FOOD| CATERING BY SASSOOL



May is not only a time to celebrate Moms but did you know that is is also Women’s Health Month?! It was very important to me to serve something nutritional and delicious to my guests.

Thanks to Sassool Mediterranean Cafe, I was able to give my guests a beautiful taste of homemade lebanese and mediterranean food, which is a cuisine known for its health benefits. This family-owned restaurant has locations in Raleigh, Cary and also a third location which offers a limited menu of their most popular items at Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh. I learned that the Sassool brand was launched on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014 to honor the owner Mounir Saleh’s mother, Cecilia, for the authentic recipes that she brought with her when she immigrated from Lebanon with her family to Raleigh in the 1970s. The name of the restaurant, Sassool, is the nickname that Cecilia was called by her father when she was a child. What a great way to honor some Moms in the blogging community by having the opportunity to feature a brand that honors their Mom!
We enjoyed the following catering options: 

* Oven Specialties (this is an assortment of baked pita flatbreads, sliced into bitesize wedges)
* Mini Kabobs (same menu item as regular kabobs, just smaller size–you can choose Chicken, Beef or Lamb).
* Caprese Kabobs are an excellent choice too (fresh mozarella balls, grape tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic drizzle)
* Fruit Sal
ad … such a great variety of fresh fruit garnished with mint
* Cilantro jalapeno hummus, tatziki and pita chips 
* Sassool Corn Salad


WINE|TERLATO WINES


Ever heard the saying..”Wine taste better when shared with friends” ?
That was indeed the case with these two featured wines that were served at my event:

Terlato Vineyards 2017 Friuli Pinot Grigio | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

2018 Côtes de Provence Mathilde Chapoutier “Grande Ferrage”| Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions



My husband served as our informal CSW and shared some of the wine facts with us! We learned the Terlato Vineyards 2017 Fruili Pinot Grigio is from NE Italy and tastes of peach pear with some mineral.It is America’s highest rated and fastest growing Pinot Grigio! It is superb with oysters or shellfish.The 2018 Cotes de Provence Mathilde Chapoutier Rosé is made from 4 grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Rolle. It tastes of strawberry, grapefruit and apricot. Aged for 5 months, we tasted the quality the rosé in every sip.Both of these Terlato Wines were enjoyed but the ladies loved the rosé!  Check out my photos to see why you should serve these wines at your next gathering. Mark your calenders, National Wine Day is May 25. These two wines would be a great way to celebrate! Cheers!

DESSERT | HEAVENLY CAKES BY TANYA

Chambord, is a mainstay at top shelf bars and is made in the Loire Valley of France. This liqueur uses red and black raspberries with Madagascar vanilla, citrus peel, honey and cognac. This combination can be traced back to the 1600’s when Louis XIV drank Cognac with dinner. This versatile liqueur is used to make cocktails from many different spirits. The liquer was featured in the welcome cocktail, given to guests, a mini bottle was gifted in their swag bags but the Chambord was also infused into these amazing chocolate cupcakes made by Raleigh-based premier bakery, Heavenly Cakes by Tanya

From cupcakes, to special occasion cakes and keto friendly sweets, Tanya is someone I trust and recommend for delicious desserts. Not only are her creations visually appealing but it tastes as good as it looks!

PARTY GAME


Everyone loves games at a party right?! I picked up one from Target Dollar spot. For just $3, for 10 in a pack, the “This or That” game was the perfect icebreaker. Each guest received a card to fill out and we compared/shared the categories that we have in common. We had to think and reflect on how we are now as mothers because it defintely played a part in how questions were answered. All in all, everyone had fun with the “This or That” game!




I am very thankful to these Moms who came out to join me in celebrating Mother’s Day weekend. I think we all appreciated the Mommy Break and I learned so much more about these women who are amazing Mompreneurs as well. Be sure to follow them to see what awesome things they are doing. I am so grateful for partnerships with brands and businesses who participated in my event. Many thanks to Write Productions for doing such a wonderful and professional job capturing the event!


WATCH my YouTube Video recap of the #ScentandSipEvent Part II ‘Cheers To Mom’ moms mixer.

https://youtu.be/JLbb2sv4zYM

Cheers!

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January is #NationalTeaMonth! Want to Celebrate & Host A Tea Party? Here’s 5 Quick Tips +Book Giveaway

5 Quick Tips for Hosting A Tea Party |SobeSavvy.com

Disclaimer: Thanks to our friends at Honey Smoked Fish Company and Mango Publishing for sending product for review to facilitate this blog post. Opinions are 100% my own.

Hi, my name is Leslie. My favorite color is purple, I like to dance like no one is watching and I am a tea lover. I decided to start a new tradition to celebrate the holidays and welcome the New Year by hosting a tea party in my home. You can find me enjoying tea anytime of the day not only for wellness but it also it provides me with moments of serenity. Sipping a cup of tea encourages you to focus, slow down and relax because you don’t want to drop hot water on you, right?! This time, I wanted to catch up with a couple of friends and invited them over for an intimate gathering of just ladies enjoying tea together. The holidays/New Year and the fact that January is National Hot Tea Month are just some of the many reasons to celebrate! Throwing a holiday tea party was so fun and easy to do. Here are my 5 Quick Tips for Hosting a Tea Party:

1. SEND THE INVITE

Facebook is a great way to make a quick invite to guests, track RSVPs, set reminders and communicate with invited guests. I sent the following customized invite:

The mug exchanges were so much fun! Everyone got a chance to take home a new mug to enjoy during tea time. My friend who loves to shop local, gifted me a beautiful, handcrafted mug from Gather. I just love it!

2. CHOOSE A THEME/BUY DECOR

I chose to do a holiday theme as it paired well with the time of year. Also, I love being festive and spreading cheer! My local thrift store was the perfect place to buy decor like matching tea sets, mugs, saucers, cloth napkins, tier stands, a red table runner and this cute sleigh which served as something to hold some of my tea bag selections.

3. PLAN YOUR TEA MENU

Although, I planned to have a variety of tea on hand (along with Mimosas), I created a poll on the Facebook invite page to ask guests: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF TEA(s)?

Since I received a variety of answers, I decided to serve an assortment of teas like earl grey, english breakfast, mint tea, lemon lift, hibiscus tea and more. My personal fave of the day was Ginger Tea from NC’s own KimBees !

4. SERVE SAVORY & SWEET EATS

Sandwiches and Desserts are mainly what I served to nibble on while we sipped our tea. I also had a crab balls and coconut shrimp from BJ’s as an appetizer. World Market is my jam for entertaining especially when you want foods that are quick and delicious. For the tea party, I grabbed the last Amaretto cake (another customer put me on to how amazingly good these are..and she was right!) and I randomnly found these macaroons while in line at Ross. I served it on a cupcake stand along with some crackers, cream cheese and pepper jelly.

For my savory bites, I was excited to partner with Honey Smoked Fish Company and introduce guests to their delicious and nutritious Honey Smoked Salmon! It is perfect for entertaining because it is fully cooked & ready to eat, fresh and flavorful straight out the vacuum sealed package. Serve it with olives,cheeses, peppers, capers, toast points and you have the makings of a perfect charcuterie board.

There are so many ways to enjoy this superfood protein which comes in four delicious flavors: Original, Cracked Pepper, Chipotle & Lime, and Cajun Honey. One of my favorites for entertaining is using it in a deviled eggs recipe. It was a crowd pleaser when I served it as an appetizer for my last Get Hooked on Honey Smoked Salmon at home tastings. After realizing I did not have enough eggs to pull it off this time, I made an egg salad instead and combined it with Honey Smoked Salmon to make a Honey Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwich.

Here is my recipe:

INGREDIENTS | Chopped hard-boiled eggs, Original Honey Smoked Salmon, flaked with a fork, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, onion powder, paprika,salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS | Mix ingredients together. Spread on whole wheat or rye bread. Cut into 4 squares. Enjoy!

SobeSavvy Tip: Visit their online website >>HERE to see recipes and all the benefits of getting creative using the Superfood ingredient of Honey Smoked Salmon! Take a look at these fun facts!

5. GIVE “TEA-SPIRATION”

No matter what I am hosting at home, I like to give guests a thank you gift. Just a little something to take home and remind them of the wonderful time we had together. This time everyone received a book from award-winning blogger of The Cup of Life, Lu Ann Pannunzio, titled TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational Words for Tea Lovers.

This book is “steeped in wisdom” and aims to create a quiet movement where one can experience devotions, comfort, inspiration and the simple joys of life while reading and sipping a warm cup of tea. It is such a unique gift for women as we all need to be reminded to slow down and relax from the daily grind.

My friend and tea partner in crime has already made TEA-SPIRATION book a part of her daily ritual! Love it!

#SobeSavvyGiveaway | Do you love tea or know someone who does? I would like to gift you a book of your own to keep or share!

•Enter to win (1) TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational words for Tea Lovers book. Comment below in this blog post your favorite tea! Bonus entry if you comment on this Instagram post also! ⤵️

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Raise you hand if you are a #tealover 🙋‍♀️ like me?  I decided to start a new #tradition over the holidays and welcome the #NewYear by hosting a #teaparty in my home. You can find me sipping #tea anytime of the day not only for #wellness but it also it provides me with moments of #serenity. Throwing a #holidaytea party was so fun and easy to do. We did a #teamug gift exchange and I received a lovely handmade one from local store @gathergoodsco ! I served a variety of teas including NC's own @kimbeestea and made sandwiches using Honey Smoked Salmon from @honeysmokedfish Get the recipe and more today #ontheblog, I am sharing 5 Quick Tips for Hosting a Tea Party + Giveaway. ——– #SobeSavvyGiveaway | Do you love tea or know someone who does? I would like to gift you a book of your own to keep or share! •Enter to win (1) TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational words for Tea Lovers book • Follow @SobeSavvy • Tag a tea lover • Bonus entry if you comment with your fave tea on the blog post also. LINK IN BIO! Winner chosen by random.org on Wed. JAN 9, 2019 at Noon. Good Luck! ———– #hottea #hotteamonth #nationalhotteamonth #teatime #theteacupoflife #tealove #instatea #wellnesswednesday #winitwednesday #teas #teabook #bookstagram

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Winner chosen by random.org on Wednesday Jan 9, 2019 at noon/EST!

Good Luck!

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 http://www.mommystimeoutwine.com

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

Santa Cristina         http://www.Santacristina.wine

Barrymore by Caramel Road http://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 !! 

#TastyThursday Review on @HoneySmokedFish #Superfood #HoneySmokedSalmon + Recipes !

Recently I went to the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Expo held at the Raleigh Convention Center and had the opportunity to sample “The World’s Finest” Honey Smoked Salmon. I was not only hooked on this healthy, delicious protein but inspired to share some recipes and prepare some dishes for friends to taste and experience this amazing superfood themselves! 

Before I share the menu, recipes and feedback from my #SobeSavvyEats Lunch, let me give you THE FACTS (courtesy of Skyler Mason, owner of Honey Smoked Fish Co.) on what makes the Honey Smoked Salmon different, why you should add “the Protein of the Future” to your dishes and why fully-cooked, ready-to-eat Honey Smoked Salmon is one of the most versatile, nutritious products on the market today:

  1. Honey Smoked Salmon is delicious on its own, but is best used as an ingredient to compliment any dish.
  2. Our proprietary firing system incorporates honey into the smoking process without ever touching the salmon directly, making it diabetic-friendly. When the honey hits the flame, it causes a combustion explosion that seals the salmon, locking in 3x the omega-3s than other comparable products.
  3.  The result is a highly concentrated SUPERFOOD Salmon. Our unique process also makes Honey Smoked Salmon more cost efficient than other proteins — allowing smaller portions to be used while still remaining filling, energizing, and packing a high concentration of nutrition.  
  4. Longer shelf life! Honey Smoked Salmon has a 90 day refrigerated shelf life before breaking the vacuum seal, and will remain fresh and tasty 10-12 days after opening. 


THE INVITE

THE MENU + Recipes

Honey Smoked Salmon is vacuum sealed for long-term freshness. Fresh out of the oven and never frozen. 

I served 3 of the 5 flavors: Original, Chipotle & Lime, and Cracked Peppers at ROOM TEMPERATURE so the salmon could soften, which brings out its natural juices and flavors from the rich moisture of the Omega-3’s! This is what stands them out from any other smoked salmon. It is also diabetic friendly, gluten free and certified kosher. Here is what the ‘Original’ flavor looks like out of its packaging:

Honey Smoked Salmon is fully cooked, lightly smoked, ready to eat & 99% boneless. No preservatives, coloring, artificial flavors ,nitrates or MSG added.

Serve this easy appetizer recipe at your next party! Because the salmon is highly concentrated in taste, a little goes a long way to flavor any dish.

In this recipe, I combined both the Original flavor of Honey Smoked Salmon and the Chipotle & Lime together to create a light, pasta dish with a hint of spice and citrus.

This is the dish that got me hooked in the first place at the expo! It is loaded with spinach, Honey Smoked Salmon, mandarin oranges, almonds, tomatoes..and more!

Honey Smoked Salmon | Five Superfood Salad Recipe

 

Not only is it tasty but has so many health benefits, and is easy to make. Check out the video >>here<< showing how simple it is to make this energizing superfood salad! I used the Cracked Peppers flavor for this and had it flaked for guests to top their salads themselves.

Honey Smoked Salmon ‘Cracked Peppers’ flavor

THE FEEDBACK

Guests enjoy wine before lunch time for #SobeSavvyEats Honey Smoked Salmon Tasting

The Honey Smoked Fish Company’s All Natural Honey Smoked Salmon was Voted Best Smoked Salmon and my guests loved the fish and the recipes they tried. Here is some of what they had to say: 

  • The cracked pepper flavor was my favorite! I loved how it was spicy with a hint of sweet. ~   Nicki McNeil, Blogger at SingleBubblePop
  • I was so impressed with the Original Honey Smoked Salmon but fell in love with the cracked pepper. This salmon is delicious and I enjoyed trying the different recipes. ~ Jovanhanna , The Spiritual Love Coach
  • The cracked pepper on the salad was a great combination of flaky, peppery and creamy. I’d definitely make this salad at home. ~ Erica Santos , #ericasantosphotography
  • All 3 were delicious in it’s own served dish deviled egg, pasta salad and tossed salad. My fave: cracked pepper salmon/tossed salad with rasberry vinegrette/ranch dressing. Great spicy and sweet combo! ~ Mom
  • Loved the Chipotle Lime Salmon! The versitility of the smoked salmon was the most impressive. Great idea to show us the video of their process and to provide all of the possible recipes by scanning the QR code provided. ~T.Hedley

    See more Video Recipes on You Tube from Honey Smoked Salmon

  • I loved how Leslie incorporated the salmon into every dish we tried. My favorite was the deviled eggs topped with salmon. Definitely some good, quality salmon. ~Kiara , @kiararuth

I am so happy everyone enjoyed themselves and loved the Honey Smoked Salmon. No one left hungry or unsatisfied. The number one thing everyone wanted to know was where can we buy this locally?! It can be found at Sam’s Club and if you don’t see it there, Demand It! It can also be ordered online. For more information and recipes, please visit their website http://www.honeysmokedfish.com.