Looking for a #HappyHour to celebrate #FoodieFriday ?! @YardHouse has new #cocktails !

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Yard House recently announced FIVE NEW HANDCRAFTED COCKTAILS to their drink menu, so I knew I had to make plans to stop in and try one or two. During a recent trip to South Beach, I caught up with a good friend over cocktails. Located off Lincoln Road, the Yard House Miami Beach location was the perfect place to meet over good food, good conversation and innovative libations. One of the NEW handcrafted cocktails that caught my eye was The Refresher. Its made with house-made citrus agave blend and fresh-pressed watermelon juice and like it’s name is truly refreshing!
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Quality drinks deserve to be paired with quality food. One of the reasons I enjoy dining at Yard House is because of the variety of choices at a great price. Whether you are ordering appetizers at the bar, enjoying happy hour /late night happy hour, or having a full meal Yard House has something for everyone. Here are just some of the deliciousness I enjoyed during my recent visit:
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If you ever wanted to elevate your macaroni and cheese experience, try the house favorite and my personal go to: Mac & Cheese made with chicken, bacon, wild mushrooms, cheddar, parmesan, truffle oil. Our waiter suggested to try it with some buffalo sauce for a customized treat.
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Blue Crab Cakes made with fresh mango & papaya, passion fruit beurre blanc, tomato oil satisfied my seafood cravings.
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Vampire Taco comes with a cheese crusted tortilla, carnitas, bacon chorizo, chipotle salsa, roasted garlic, cumin crema, and more. It’s a force to be reckoned with.
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Cheers!
Be sure to sign up for the Yard House e-club to stay updated on news and specials!

#TastyThursday : #Breakfast +Beach=Bliss! #PrestonsMarket #LoewsMiami @Loews_Hotels

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Last Saturday, after my wonderful morning at Exhale spa, I decided to dine at Loews Hotels Miami Beach because of convenience of location (right next door, same property) and to check out their brand new terrace while eating real ‘good for you’ food for breakfast.
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What do I mean by real good for you? On the menu there are plenty of healthy options to choose from such as fresh cold pressed juices, gluten free dishes, and quality organic food . Our waitress assured us that “nothing is fake, everything is real, including her.” Ha!

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Although the dining area was beautiful, my guest and I were happy to sit on the covered terrace with a view of the pool, and ocean. After being offered morning beverages such as coffee and freshly squeezed Florida orange juice, we headed inside to feast our eyes on the breakfast buffet. Almost all of my favorite morning indulgences were featured on the spread. Even a special little buffet for children was available because “Loews Loves Kids“.
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While the buffet choices looked amazing and the made to order omelet station seemed to be calling my name, I did not indulge (but my guest did and she enjoyed the variety of options and the quality of food on the buffet). I opted to get an egg benedict dish because Saturday April 16 was National Eggs Benedict Day ! Preston’s Market offers a unique twist on a traditional Eggs Benedict called the Market Eggs Benedict. Its served on country bread toast, made with organic eggs, avocado, braised short ribs, and mustard hollandaise.
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We had great service, a terrific view, delicious food and quality time. I left with my stomach full and my heart happy! If you are planning a visit to South Beach or live in South Florida and planning a Staycation, Book Now thru 7/10/16 for the Rise & Dine Special! To take advantage of Loews Best Rate and daily complimentary breakfast buffet for two, enter promo code LBRDIR when booking.
Now that’s SobeSavvy!

#TransformationTuesday, On #EarthDay Transform your Mind and Treat yourself to a Facial @ExhaleSpa

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Earth Day 2016 happens this Friday April 22. It is a world wide movement to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Just as the earth needs protection from the environment so does your skin!

Exhale offers environmentally-friendly facials to help reduce the effects pollution and the sun may have on your skin. Did you know our skin is the perfect target for pollution because it easily absorbs environmental pollutants? We are exposed day after day to all manner of environmental pollutants from smoke to chemicals, so it’s very important to protect it and cleaning and moisturizing your face is one of the best ways to do that.
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I tried the True Facial as per the website: ” Tried and true! A thorough cleansing and application of a custom enzyme exfoliation perfectly preps the skin for complexion detox. Careful extractions follow — made as painless as possible by our skilled estheticians — and then a soothing mask, selected specifically for your skin type is applied. Your face will feel refreshed and restored, and you’ll feel ready to face the day. It’s “truly” amazing!” Take advantage of their special offer to try a facial plus massage for just $199.00 !
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My facial experience was beyond amazing thanks to esthetician, Audrey Thorne who works at the Miami/South Beach location. I visited an Exhale in Atlanta,GA earlier this year (read here) as I do enjoy the variety of classes and quality services offered but never had a facial. I thought Audrey provided an in-depth cleaning as well as gave valuable customized information about how to care for my skin. Products recommended for me and available for sale at Exhale were the Warm Honey Cleanser , Pro Heal Serum and SPF 30 .
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Prior to my facial, I enjoyed a 9am meditation class on the rooftop, also known as the exhale zen terrace, of the oceanfront St. Moritz building of Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Alessandra Cornet, Founder of Hardcore Meditation, guided us thru an analytical meditation 30 minute class to benefit the mind and body! She also provided us with handouts full of information about meditation techniques. Meditation simply involves a process of transforming yourself and your thoughts. The focus of the class is to release tensions and set your intentions, deepen the breath, increase concentration, relax and rejuvenate the soul. Anyone can benefit from meditation because it is an energy-saving practice in which you can take a moment to center yourself while connecting with the universe.
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I felt totally relaxed after my meditation class and facial at Exhale and recommend anyone visiting or local to visit this spa. If you are in Miami this Friday April 22, set your intentions at this Exhale Earth Day event
Namaste!
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#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 11: @YBSouthern @50EggsInc #SundayBrunch #MiamiBeach #SouthBeach #Miami

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The great jazz musician Charlie Parker’s nickname was ” Bird”. Shortened from “Yardbird”. He once said of his nickname; “I got the name Yardbird because I was crazy about eating chicken: fried, baked, boiled, stewed, anything. Down there in the South, all chickens are called yardbirds. Every house has some.”

Something so ubiquitous as chicken may seem to some to be a plain bland boring staple of a food choice. These naysayers have NEVER stepped foot in Yardbird Southern Bar and Grill restaurant in Miami {and now also in Las Vegas} http://runchickenrun.com/ They take their chicken so serious that their website states:

“Our chicken is 100% natural with no steroids or hormones and is American Humane Association Certified. Our labor of love begins with a 27-hour brining process, then we dredge it in our secret recipe of spices and flour, followed by the final step of frying to perfection.”

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They have turned chicken into, well.. REALLY good chicken ! My family and I decided to see how they did Sunday brunch this past week. I knew how popular they were so we arrived by 10am and were seated promptly. They have terrace tables on the side of the restaurant but September heat in Miami is still stifiling so we opted to sit indoors. Their interior is best described as a beautiful huge country kitchen/dining room. Just like Miami’s denizens, it is stylish and attractive.

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We had a window seat and I ordered a mimosa and the hubby ordered one of their signature cocktails. They has a bourbon selection like no other. It is REALLY extensive, but he wanted something with whiskey. So he got the Watermelon Sling.It was served in a old fashioned mason jar. White whiskey, fresh pressed watermelon juice and lemon . Served with a rosemary stalk. Nice touch and it was refreshing on such a warm Sunday morning.

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Carlos, the general manager came over to assist with breaking down their brunch menu. Certain items are available for brunch and lunch/dinner, but some specific items are brunch only. We were famished so we decided to have some fun and order a number of different dishes.

We started with something I was very familiar with…brisket. We had the :

Smoked Brisket
pickled onion & cucumber
smoky tomato jam, house-made

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Having spent time in Texas, I know brisket and I know the pretenders pretending to make brisket. This is no pretender ! Brisket so tender it just dissolves in your mouth. The tomato jam and pickled onion went great on it. This was addictive so you have been warned.

Our palate now fully online, we ordered their signature entrée :

Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles
honey hot sauce, chilled spiced watermelon
vermont sharp cheddar cheese waffle, bourbon maple syrup

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Ladies and gents this is chicken unlike ANY other. Beyond description. Uber juicy, bursting with herbs and spices. The cheese infused waffle is uniquely tailored to be the Bonnie to the chicken’s Clyde. The bourbon maple syrup is divine. Watermelon was the cool side to both of these.

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Our next entrée victim was off of their “Mama’s Biscuits” portion of the menu. We had the multi layered gargantuan

Egg & Sausage Biscuit
fried egg, house-made sausage
‘merican cheese, heirloom tomato

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I found it impossible to take a civilized bite out of this. I have a feeling it was designed to be a “improper” kind of dish. Too big to properly bite so you just dive in wherever you see an opening !! So I deconstructed this behemoth and indulged in good ole fashion slicing and dicing. Sausage is obviously not mass produced but hand made. This dish is like when all different players come together for perfection. It took me back to my Grandma’s kitchen in Maryland when she pieced together breakfast favorites to make a meal. Incredibly good.

Next up was one of my favorite dishes when I am visiting south of the Mason Dixon Line. We had :

Shrimp n’Grits
seared shrimp, roasted tomatoes, virginia ham, nora mill grits, pbr chicken jus

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Reminded me of being in low country around Savannah, Ga. Subtle flavors that just meshed together well. A really well thought out dish done with country flair.

As if all of that food was not enough , we finished our tour of the south with :

Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies
house-made vanilla bean ice cream

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I describe it as really small empanada like pastry puffs filled with apple delights ! Served still warm with their homemade vanilla ice cream. Delightful end of our culinary journey .

Usually very popular restaurants end up not living up to diners’ inflated expectations. Yardbird is the exception. They deserve all the praise and almost cult like following of their return guests. Not resting on their laurels seems to be their key to long term success..

I hope this YARDBIRD manages to fly for a long time to come.

#Miami, Dine #RosaMexicano ,Elevate Your #TacoTuesday ! ~ @RosaMexicano Review by #SobeSavvy .com

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Taking up the ground floor of the iconic 1111 Lincoln Rd garage building sits Rosa Mexicana. http://www.rosamexicano.com/miami

Adjacent to the movie theatre, it is the perfect place to have dinner or lunch prior or post movie. Is it a “chain” restaurant? Yes, but you would never know it by the quality of food and service. It feels more like a high end independent restaurant in Ciudad Mexico. Inviting décor..not too dark and not too bright. Their menu runs the gamut, from Mexican street food to dishes curated to perfection by their executive chefs.

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Their long bar with views of various flat screens makes this the perfect place to watch the game on Sunday or the news after work at their renowned Happy Hour. The tequila choices here are quite expansive. It is a sort of tequila hall of fame. Some are great with cocktails and some high end ones are what I call sippin tequilas. Complex as any wine. Their bartenders go through a vigourous vetting process prior to being hired. They can educate any novice on tequila choices that fit your mood. We had a pitcher of sangria and the pomegranate margarita. Both were awesome.

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Their guacamole is iconic. It is made tableside from scratch right in front of your own eyes. In the processed bottle and canned world we inhabit, this was refreshing. Hass avocados are peeled and tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices are hand blended. You can request mild, medium or hot. We decided one medium and one mild. Both were mouth watering and went great with the warm tortilla chips. In Oct they are celebrating an event called “Guactoberfest”. So if you are a “guac” lover be sure to stop by.

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We decided to get a broad spectrum of their most popular dishes. Pork carnitas, Tacos camarones, Pollo with plantains and Mexican corn. Each choice stood out as individual perfection. It helped to soak up all that Sangria !! My daughter loved to cherry pick out the fried shrimp so she was ecstatic. The hostess gave her a kids packet of coloring book and crayons. Rosa Mexicano loves kids and families and it showed .

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We “forced” ourselves to try some dessert. The churros were out of this world. With a trio of dippin sauces we ended up fighting over the last one !! The raspberry tres leches and peanut butter/chocolate molten cake was rich and divine. Our visit to Rosa Mexicano was apleasurable one to say the least.

Viva La Mexico !!

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#OutandAboutAva Goes on an #Easter2015 @Loews_Hotels #LoewsMiami Daycation~Recap by #SobeSavvy !

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Easter in Miami usually involves the easter bunny, candy and a easter egghunt on the beach ! Loews Miami Beach has all 3 of those prerequisites covered. Some people know Loews as a large convention size hotel. As big as this luxury hotel appears there is one place where intimacy, service and exclusivity merge.That place is an exclusive pool area they call “soak”.

https://www.loewshotels.com/miami-beach/services-amenities/soak

Think sumptuous daybeds, stellar personal service and drink surprises {gratis} served throughout the day in this VIP area. Guests of Soak get a welcome basket of freshly cut fruit and bottled smoothies. Plush towels and face misters. Pampering and peace rule the day at Soak. Cabanas and private butler/waiter service are at your disposal. Have drinks, lunch or both !! I loved it, my hubby loved it and most importantly my little one had a blast. Soak it up at Soak.

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@ExhaleSpa ‘s #Massage..Just what I Kneaded ! ~ #SobeSavvy .com Recaps #ExhaleSpa #southbeach #miami @Loews_Hotels

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Stress….We’ve all experienced it. It’s something that I as a mom, wife, woman, have to manage on the daily.

Yesterday was a day I needed or shall I say “kneaded” some me time, some breathing room and some relaxation.

So I took a deep breath and headed to : Exhale Spa .

Located inside the Loews Hotel Miami Beach Hotel, in the resort’s historic St. Moritz tower, exhale features 16 spa therapy rooms, large full-amenity changing rooms with a steam room and whirlpool, a mani-pedi lounge, Glam & Go express blow dry bar hair services and an expansive gym with a mind body studio, where guests can experience exhale’s transformational Core Fusion and yoga classes.

Exhales’ full menu of spa therapies allow guests to revive and restore with signature restorative massages, award-winning rejuvenating facials, nail care, waxing and eastern healing therapies. Additionally, exhale South Beach’s Well-being Boutique carries the best of the best in fitness and yoga apparel, face and body products, well-being goods and gift items. Both hotel guests and local Miami residents alike are welcome to enjoy exhale South Beach. Memberships to exhale’s mind body studio classes are also available. 

Upon arrival, I received a warm welcome from the front desk reception. After filling out the necessary forms, I was escorted past the Buddha decor to the changing room where a robe and slippers awaited me. Once changed, I lounged in the zen room where the have a variety of hot teas, juice, fruit, and magazines to enjoy.

My therapist Clemencia led me to her room for my 5:30pm appointment for a 60 min DEEP TISSUE massage. This massage focuses on those overworked muscles living well below the surface with this intensely therapeutic massage and is designed to relieve pain associated with muscle knots, heavy physical activity, and everyday stress. This therapy is deliberate and customized, targeting specific areas in need of relief and is also available as a couples massage in select locations.
I really enjoyed the heated bed, the smell of the room, the spa music selection and the product used during the massage. Clemencia was very thorough and kind which made me feel comfortable throughout my entire service.

See here for a List of Exhale Spa Therapies/Massages and to book your next appointment!

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#DespanaPoolSidePaella hosted by @ChefJoseAndres @SLSSouthBeach @MasterCard #SOBEWFF #PricelessMiami ~ Recap by #SobeSavvy .com! 

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On Thursday, February 19 at the SLS, 1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, I attended an exclusive South Beach Wine and Food Festival MasterCard Event (for cardholders only) called Despana presents Paella by the Pool hosted by Jose Andres

This new event focused around Paella seemed like a natural fit for South Florida and naturally sold out! It was recommended by Ocean Drive as a can’t miss event and I was fortunate to have Won two tix by participating in a MasterCard Twitter Giveaway called #PricelessSurprises. 

Known as the eccentric king of Spanish Cuisine, James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of The Bazaar José Andrés brought the quintessential Spanish dish to South Beach at the swank SLS.  He , along with other chefs succeeded in transporting our taste buds to the streets of Sevilla and the coastline of Málaga, all while enjoying the classic rice dish that is paella. the sandy shores of South Beach, no one can deny themselves the classic rice dish that is paella. 

It was a pleasure to join them poolside at the boutique luxury SLS Hotel as they created that certain, ineffable combination of textures and flavors that add up to something both creamy and crunchy and all around delicious.

Needless to say I enjoyed Paella by the Pool and hope you enjoy these pictures from this tasty event! 
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Photographs of 27th Annual #YachtandBrokerageShow in #Miami #MYBS2015 @boatshowupdates – Recap by #SobeSavvy

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The 27th Annual Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach took place from
February 12 – 16, 10am-7pm – Indian Creek Waterway at Collins Avenue (S.R. A1A), 41st to 54th Street, Miami Beach

Miami’s premier in-water luxury yacht show, was held across from the legendary Fontainebleau and Eden Roc Hotels. The show attracts thousands of people from around the world to a spectacular display of yachts and marine products, including more than 500 new and brokerage yachts and a wide array of the latest marine technology and accessories, valued at more than $1 billion. In addition to the remarkable display of yachts, the free show offers floating cocktail lounges, food and live musical entertainment. Enjoy these photographs from the event !

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Photo Credit: Aaron Powell

#SobeSavvy Basks in The “LIGHT” presented by #Miami #ContemporaryDance Company #MiamiCDC @MiamiCDC @ColonyTheatreMB @LincolnRoadMall

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Moving
Seek for it
Run to it
Love it
Embrace it
Feel it
“Light”
A celebration of the music of Kevin Keller and the creative relationship shared with Ray Sullivan, Miami Contemporary Dance Company’s Artistic Director.

On Friday, Feb. 6 at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road, I joined other dance performance art lovers to the premiere of Miami Contemporary Dance Company Presents

 LIGHT

 Miami Contemporary Dance Company (MCDC) presented their first production of the year, Light , featuring three original choreographies by Artistic Director Ray Sullivan, with music by New York composer Kevin Keller: Shadow Light and the WORLD PREMIERE of Luz x 3. The evening highlighted the collaboration between Choreographer and Composer, and will take you on a journey through three performances. The lyrical choreography of Shadow Light explored shadow and light through movement, Not in My Name sheds light on the unconquerable human spirit and Luz x 3 examines the abstract path that light illuminates, as it intertwines with the captivating movements of MCDC’s stellar dancers. The costumes and sets were designed by internationally acclaimed designer, Jorge Gallardo and light design by the renowned Carla Iparraguirre.

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The performances brought the almost sold out house to their feet. Treat yourself or sweetheart with a early Valentines Day surprise. It is guaranteed to Light up not only your eyes but your spirit as well!  Be sure to check out their final performance on Saturday, February 7, 2015, 8:00 p.m.Tickets are $25, $35 and $40, and are available online at miamicontemporarydance.net or call 305-434-7091, Tuesdays through Saturdays,12 p.m. – 5 p.m. For group rates and special discounts, contact JohnM@MIamiContemporaryDance.net.

Enjoy my IG Video Short below :