Top 3 Reasons to Visit @NCZoo this Fall! #FamilyFun #NCZoo #VisitNC

Leslie Heigh, Founder of SobeSavvy.com and daughter, #outandaboutAva enjoy their first visit to the NC Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo has been on our list of family fun things to do since we moved here a couple of years ago. It is located in Asheboro, NC., which is just a short one and half hour ride from Raleigh, making this the perfect place to spend a Sunday Funday with my husband and our 6 yr old daughter. Take a peek at our visit to the zoo on YouTube here. We had a blast!

North Carolina Zoo | Grab a map ~Get ready to explore! 

Before you go, know that this zoo is HUGE! This conservation park has 500 acres to explore making North Carolina Zoo the World’s Largest Zoo. The map showed us that there were two areas to see- North America and Africa and it was suggested that it would take two to three hours to tour each region. In total, your trip to the zoo could be 4 to 6 hours of fun! We did not see everything, but that’s ok since we do plan to return in the spring when the zoo hours are longer and the seasonal attractions are open daily from April-October. The Park is open all year except for Christmas Day.

North Carolina Zoo | The World’s Largest Zoo!

Besides the obvious reasons of lesser crowds and cooler weather, here are my Top 3 Reasons to Visit NC Zoo this Fall ~

  • Gorgeous Fall Foliage and over 52,000 plants throughout the zoo!Not only am I an animal lover but I love nature. The autumn leaves were a sight to see when we arrived at the zoo! I was really impressed with the upkeep of the grounds and enjoyed the beautiful environment. With hiking trails thru swamp-like areas, streams, prairies, gardens, and grasslands, North Carolina Zoo in the Fall is such a scenic experience.

    North Carolina Zoo | Tropical Plants – Aviary

North Carolina Zoo| 52,000 plants throughout the 500 acre conservation park

  • Discover more than 1,600 animals ..and maybe take a selfie with one! This zoo has major animal habitats and you can find animal feeding schedules posted on the website, at the plazas or even at the animal habitats. Meet the keepers and find out about conservation efforts. This zoo’s mission is to help protect animals around the world and a visit here supports efforts to save endangered species. There are such a variety of animals here that you are sure to see your favorite! 

    North Carolina Zoo | Elephants

    North Carolina Zoo | Giraffes & Zebras 

  • Learn and Play ..all in one day! This zoo is definitely kid-friendly and educational, which makes this a great activity to do in the Fall because your child may reflect on this for school assignments. With a dedicated Kidzone and playground, there were many opportunities for my 6 year old to enjoy just being a kid. Inside the Forest Aviary, we enjoyed stopping by the cart and learning about birds. Did you know that birds bones are hollow?! It’s one of the reasons they can fly and we can not. There were many interactive areas, hands-on activities and informative fun for everyone! Check out more photos on my Facebook page.

    North Carolina Zoo | #outandaboutAva enjoys Playdoo fun in the KidZone

    North Carolina Zoo | Stop by the NC Zoo Smart Cart

​SobeSavvy Tip: In celebration of Veterans Day, NC Zoo is offering Veterans & Military free admission Nov. 10-12.

Be sure to visit NCZoo.org for a complete listing of family-friendly weekend activities and find out how to become a member of the NC Zoo Society! We had so much fun and look forward to more future trips. Tell me…

Have you ever been to the NC ZOO? 

NORTH CAROLINA ZOO

4401 Zoo Pkwy

Asheboro, NC 27205

#NationalAestheticianDay Spotlight on Aesthetics by Aleah in #Raleigh #SkinCare #HealthySkin

Did you know October 15 is National Aesthetician Day? Time to shine the spotlight on the skincare professionals who keep us looking our best! I recently found an Aesthetician here in Raleigh, NC and wanted to share all about my wonderful experience with Aesthetics By Aleah

Aleah Pinder offers many treatments from facials, microdermabrasion to microblading eyebrows and hair removal services via waxing.  During my visit, I chose to get the ‘Back Purifier’ services. If you are wondering what that is, it’s like a facial for your back. This treatment is decribed as follows per her website: 

I must say I fell asleep on her warm massage table as I found this treatment to be very relaxing. Aleah loves what she does and it shows in not only the care she provides for skin but the extra relaxation techniques she provides as an add on to your service. For example, I chose lemongrass aromatherapy scents to enhance my treatment. I loved her choice of relaxing spa music and her gentle massage strokes during my back purifier service put my body and mind at ease. We all consider putting our best face forward and often neglect other areas, like our back. She thouroughly cleansed, exfoliated and massaged my back during this unique service. I would tell anyone to treat themselves to this experience!   

 

With specialized training and personalized attention, aestheticians bring out the most radiant skin in each of us. Their knowledge and skills often go unrecognized and yet they deliver superior services every day in spas and medical clinics across the country.  Addressing the complex needs of their clientele, aestheticians rejuvenate and polish even the most sensitive skin. So I am happy to celebrate with Aesthetics by Aleah on National Aesthetician Day and recognize all the care and attention she gives to her clients.

SobeSavvy Tip: Check out these Spa Week specials Aesthetics by Aleah is offering! 

🔸$40 Signature Facial

🔸$50 Microdermabrasion Facial

🔸$50 Back Purifier 

* Deals are ONLY valid October 16 – 21

*All discounts will be applied at checkout 

*Call or book your appointment online 

Aesthetics By Aleah

8368 Six Forks Rd Suite 102

919.696.2494

www.aestheticsbyaleah.com

The skin you want is only an appointment away.  Book your service and treat yourself or a loved one today!  


    #Raleigh, Grab Your Tribe & Get Ready to Run the @colorvibe5k on 9/16 + GIVEAWAY for 2 #ColorVibe Tix! 

    Disclaimer:  SobeSavvy.com is partnering with The Color Vibe, who is providing 1 lucky reader TWO FREE tickets to participate in the most #VIBErant 5K run!

    Hey Raleigh! It’s time to lace up your running shoes and get ready to bring your coloful spirit to the Color Vibe 5K, Good Vibes Tour 2017!  Me and my #HeighPartyof3 plan to join others for this 5K Fun Run/Walk taking place on 9/16/17. 

    For a limited time (expires soon), you can REGISTER early and get 60 % off tickets NOW. You don’t want to miss out on this fun running event that inspired people to live a more active life! 


    Here’s why you should do THIS run :

    • It’s for the entire family. toddler and grandparents are all welcome. Kids 1 to 12 run for FREE !
    •  A portion your registration fee goes toward local charities and non profit organizations.
    •  The only competition is who can have the most FUN ! There are no shoe race timing chips or checking your stop watch. This is for FUN FUN FUN.
    • Free Hair coloring ! End the race looking like a rainbow or a purple people eater. You will literally LOL when you look at yourself when it is over.


    #SobeSavvyGiveaway Details: One Lucky Reader will get a chance to win 2 FREE Tickets to this years’s
    Color Vibe 5K held at the Triangle Town Center Mall on Saturday Sept
    16. Just comment below why you want to go for (1) entry and head over to Instagram and Follow @SobeSavvy for details on how to get an additonal entry. Look for this picture and leave comment there also! *winner will be chosen at random on Sept 12 at noon*

    Good Luck and see you at the Color Vibe!

    Looking for a #SundayFunday #Staycation in #Raleigh ? Visit #NorthHills + @RenRaleigh #renhotels

    Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel, however the opinions/photos 100% are my own.

    People like to ask the question: If you could pack up and go on a mini vacation, where would you go? For me, sometimes the fun can be found right in your own city! I shared in a previous post that North Hills is a great place to Stay, Eat, Play when looking for a staycation getaway. Well last Sunday, I revisted North Hills and checked into the newly renovated Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel.

    SUNDAY FUNDAY + Things to Do 

    If you follow my Instagram @SobeSavvy and checked out my Instastories, you may have seen the shopping and dining fun I had in North Hills. My family and I strolled along before picking up my birthday freebie at Sephora. We then made a lunch stop at one of our favorite pizza spots, Pielogy before checking in. There are just so many ways to spend the day in North Hills and Renaissance Raleigh is conveniently close to all of the exciting things to do!

    Renaissance Raleigh is just steps away from endless shopping, dining and exciting entertainment in the coveted North Hills

    In addition to family fun options, there are plenty of date nights spots and places to go with your girlfriends in North Hills.  I met 
    up with 2 friends to enjoy Level 7 Rooftop Bars latest cocktail, FrosĂ© which is Frozen RosĂ© Wine. It left a great impression on us ladies which I shared on video>>here

    Say FrosĂ© ! @Level 7 Rooftop Bar                                          

    I also met up with some fellow NC Bloggers for a “Bloggers and Bar Bites” sampling event at BoneFish Grill which I had the pleasure of hosting. They have new menu items on their hand-crafted Happy Hour (which is EVERYDAY) that you can read more about >>here. After all the Sunday Funday was had, it was nice to not have to drive home but to enjoy an overnight stay right there at Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel.

    STAY

    The Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel is a four star property with 229 rooms, meeting spaces and a new bar/restaurant/lounge named 41Hundred. In case you missed it, read about the Grand Opening >> here and the many reasons you should drink and dine there.
    The entire hotel recently went through a renovation, so I thought it would be great to feature and share with my local SobeSavvy readers who want to know where to go for staycation. I had a chance to experience their luxury hospitality with my husband and our daughter and it was such a wonderful stay!

    Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel Lobby | Photo Credit: Barry Heigh, SobeSavvy.com

    The bright and airy lobby had flowing ceiling artwork and this beautiful spiral staircase that was ideal for a fun mini-photo shoot before my night out with the girls!

    The lovely staircase at the Renaissance Raleigh is the perfect place to make a Grand Entrance

    Lobby Level of Renaissance Raleigh

    Check in was quick and friendly. Our room, a 2 Queen + sofabed type, was very spacious and our daughter, who is fondly referred to on the blog as #outandaboutAva, made herself right at home! 

    Our Princess, #outandaboutAva , enjoys a Queen size bed !

    Sofabed + 7th Floor Views at Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

    The room decor had a style that while modern was still classic. My husband realized that we did not have to tune into our daughtet’s tablet for her favorite shows because their state of the art flat smart TV screen allowed us to sign into our Netflix account just as if we were home! There was also plenty of connectivity throughout the room for all of our laptops, tablets and cellphones. 

    In room work space at Renaissance Raleigh

    So our daughter liked the beds, my husband was fond of the technology, as for me my favorite thing was the bathroom shower. It was A-MAZING! Besides the normal showerhead, it had two separate horizontal water jets which basically gives you a back massage while showering. Pure bliss.Their Aveda products were just the icing on the cake for me as far as amenities.

    WORK + PLAY 

    The second floor of the lobby is what I like to refer to as their ‘living lounge’. It’s part contemporary living room, part modern lounge with an open space which includes plenty of comfy couches, a ping pong table and a couple of connect five board games set up for anyone to use them while socializing and having a few drinks. Another reason this refined lounge area represents ‘living” to me is because of the use of outdoor elements for indoor decor. 

    Lounge Area | Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

    Family Fun Spaces at Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

    My daughter turned to Disney Channel and we played a few games of connect four +ping pong! This use of space is fun and creative. They also have various size boardroom and conference areas for you to book your corporate needs.

    Exterior of Pavane Boardroom at Renaissance Raleigh

    DINE

    After a restful night, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast buffet in their unique lobby restaurant, 41Hundred

    Breakfast Buffet at 41Hundred Restaurant | Renaissance Raleigh Hotel

    There were plenty of choices on the buffet which includes the option of made to order omelettes, pancakes or french toast from the a la carte menu.  The variety of fresh fruit and pastries on the buffet caught our eyes as well. Everything was delicious! My husband who is a breakfast enthusiast, said their “Breakfast was fit for a King” ! Yep, my King’s breakfast stamp of approval means alot. Dining here was a great way to start the day prior to check out. 

    Rise & Dine ! Enjoying the Breakfast Buffet at 41Hundred Restaurant,Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

    My #HeighPartyof3 enjoyed our staycation here. Good Food âś” Comfortable Bedsâś” Great Serviceâś” Awesome Amenitesâś” Convenient Locationâś”…they had all the bases covered and hit a home run in our minds! When seeking a local staycation hotel, make Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel one of your top choices.

    Exterior View Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

    Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

    4100 Main St at North Hills

    RALEIGH, NC 27609

    #Raleigh, Plan your Mothers Day Brunch NOW @Seasons52 @shopcrabtree #Seasons52 #SundayBrunch 


    This past Sunday, although rainy outside, my family and I found sunshine and the flavors of Spring inside Seasons 52. Located at Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall, SobeSavvy.com was invited to review their Sunday Brunch menu. Disclaimer: My husband and daughter joined me for this complimentary dine, however the opinions are our own.

    Since we arrived after 12pm, we thought we’d start off trying their “Brunch Sips” Seasons 52 is well known to be a top notch spot for creative craft cocktails, so we were not surprised by how refresing their Sangria is..(yes it is as good as it looks)

    …and how unique their Bellinis are. He ordered the white peach and I tried the rasberry Bellini for the first time. It was really good. Cheers!

    Our daughter had her own kid’s brunch menu to review. Take a look at all these tasty choices for children under 12!

    I am glad she chose the Brick Oven Brioche French Toast because that meant we could taste as well. She opted to have the pecans on the side and even ordered extra as those brown sugar pecans were so good, so addictive!

    Before our brunch entrees came out, the Chef sent out an amuse bouche of their housemade orange marmalade, greek yogurt mousse with granola. It’s available also a mini starter and a great way to get your tastebuds ready for more amazing flavors.

    On the Sunday Brunch Menu, there’s an array of creative entrees suited for anyone. Whether you choose sweet or savory, breakfast fare or lunch, Seasons 52 has one of the best gourmet menus that is very health conscious. I like how they actually list the calorie content of their dishes. Its good to know that the dishes we had not only taste good, but were good for us too! Here’s what we ate at Seasons 52 during their Sunday Brunch.

    STARTERS

    Hi my name is Leslie and I love Shrimp & Grits. So when I saw this listed on the menu, I knew I had to order it. I was not disappointed. The combination of cheesy grits, chorizo sausage and large shrimp were amazing! Warning it is not a shareable if you really love shrimp and grits. You are gonna want it all to yourself!

    If you are looking for a shareable try the Meditteranean Hummus …Duck Lollipops (my least fave of the 3 only because it is a bit too gamey for me)

    …or one of their flatbreads.  Lox on bagel lovers should definitely order the Smoked Salmon Flatbread. Our server Amy advised that it was one of her favorites and I really enjoyed Seasons 52 remix of this classic dish.


    ENTREES

    Even though Sunday Brunch starts at 10 am and ends at 1pm, dishes from the regular menu are available to order. My foodie family loves variety and Seasons 52 definitely serves up an array of “whats good now” emphasizing on fresh, seasonal ingredients. We tried two of their recommended egg based dishes. First up was their S52 Eggs Benedict. They put a new twist on this classic dish by replacing the traditional ham/canadian bacon with..wait for it..poached lobster ! Yup, it tasted BETTER than it sounds!!

    Next we tried a beautiful dish served in a  ceramic dish called ShakShuka . This is a arabic middle eastern breakfast recipe of  of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, spiced with cumin. They added chorizo and feta cheese. It was so flavorful and just such a pretty dish to look at {prior to eating it !}

    Seafood lovers must try the seabass. Mine was cooked to perfection. It’s served on “Forbidden Rice”  which I had for the first time. I don’t forbid you in trying this sticky black rice at all. It went well with snap peas and other asian flavors used to prepare this entree. Absolutely loved it!

    Another fave dish that all of us enjoyed is the Lamb Chops. You get a nice sized rack of lamb that my daughter called the rack of love because she loved the lamb chops. We all agreed that it was tender, well seasoned and simply delicious. Just check out the pic below that I shared along w/others via InstaStories on my IG @SobeSavvy

    DESSERT

    We were full but still had room for dessert. They serve dessert in shot glass sized portions. Little glasses of heaven. Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie, Red Velvet Cake..got your attention yet. Pick your favorite. All made in house daily. Incredible ending to an incredible brunch experience.

    SobeSavvy Tip: At some of their locations, they have a secret cocktail that is not advertised, nor is it on any menu but can be made upon request. But here in Raleigh, it is listed and goes by the name “Botanical Buzz”. We tried it and I will say its for the bold and not the faint of heart. After enjoying it, join the fun by sharing your reaction on Twitter and Instagram using #BotanicalBuzz

    Still looking for a unique place to take mom on Mothers Day then look no more. Seasons 52 is the kind of place any mom would love to spend time at on her special day. Make reservations now to reserve your spot.

    Seasons 52
    4325 Glenwood Avenue
    Crabtree Valley Mall
    Raleigh, NC 27612

    Photo Recap #BeerandBacon Fest in #CaryNC @drinkeatrelax @BoothAmp @TownofCary by SobeSavvy.com

    On Saturday April 4, 2017, SobeSavvy.com joined beer lovers at a festival that celebrates the perfect pair: BEER and BACON! The Beer and Bacon Festival is known for being the Best Bacon Bash in The Triangle. If you love bacon and enjoy beer, this fest is for you! Drink Eat Relax, organized this fun event held at Town of Cary’s Booth Ampitheatre. Mother Nature was on our side because it was a gorgeous, sunny day…perfect for an outdoor beer festival!

    The Beer & Bacon Tasting Session was from Noon-6pm with a Beer Tasting Session from 2pm – 6pm. Attendees got a chance to enjoy:

    • 75 Craft Beers
    • 15 Restaurants
    • 10 Bacons From Across the US… and lots of Piggy Love

    This fun event has sold out for 3 years in a row! The ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE extravaganza comes complete with the best craft beers for your tasting pleasure… and of course the food of the Gods: BACON . I tasted a gourmet bourbon bacon fresh off the grill that I really enjoyed! Each guest got a souvenir glass and boundless portions of over 75 craft beers and all live entertainment, which was a 90’s cover band. The band was great..I mean who doesn’t love the 90’s ?!

    This year the festival’s event planners changed their tickets up a bit based on guest feedback and suggestions. For instance, the early BEER & BACON TASTING SESSIONreduced the amount of tickets sold by over 20%. This allowed for less lines. Also there were NO THIRD PARTY TICKET SELLERS: Living Social, Groupon or whatever your favorite coupon site did not feature any of these tickets for sale.

    It was the perfect day for listening to live music, enjoying the fun foodie exhibits, playing games or just relaxing on the grass with your lawn chair or blanket while having some beer and bacon! For more info go to  www.beerandbacon.com Check out my photo recap video at the Beer and Bacon Fest >>>here<<< along with these fun pics as seen on the scene by SobeSavvy.com!

    Amazing Eats @SimplyCrepes #Raleigh for Best Chicken-Waffles, Patio Dining & NEW Spring Menu ! 

    Disclaimer: Thank you Simply Crepes for inviting us to feature your new Spring Menu. Although the restaurant hosted us, all opinions are 100% my own, courtesy of my tastebuds.

    Spring has sprung and here in the triangle that means alot of things. Robins are singing, bumblebees return and most of all , IT’S PATIO AL FRESCO DINING AGAIN TIME !!

    We can think of no better place to kick off outside eating than a trip to Simply Crepes, located in beautiful Lafayette Village in North Raleigh.

    They invited SobeSavvy to sample a few items off of their brand new Spring seasonal menu. We visited pre sunset on a gorgeous Sunday late afternoon and took advantage of their outside space adjacent to the grass courtyard.

    Once seated we started with their “spring fling” Wine Flight. Rose’, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay were served.

    We had an order of their now iconic brussell sprouts served w/bacon and goat cheese. The Chardonnay complimented this dish well. This dish is the ONLY brussel sprouts that my husband EVER EVER eats. It is THAT good !

    Next up was their Le Cordon Bleau crepe. Filled with ham and chicken in a scrumptious sauce, this dish was superb with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

    Simply Crepes decided to do their own new unique twist on a old time favorite. CHICKEN AND WAFFLES ANYONE ? The “waffle” is a crepe of course and the chicken is crispy fried chicken tossed in their maple bourbon sauce served over smoky apple wood bacon. THIS.WAS.PAST.GOOD.

    I have had a myriad of this staple dish over the years. Had it up north, had it down south and frankly it was played out in my mind. Not anymore ! The flavors all combined to make a heavenly dish. The chicken was so tender and the maple bourbon sauce is incredible.

    The crepe at the bottom just soaks up all this goodness. Oh, it also comes with a side of bacon creme sauce !!

    Our little one wasn’t that hungry and opted for their great creme brulee oatmeal. Yes. It tastes as good as it sounds !

    Mimosa Monday and Wine Wed are always great times to enjoy their wine deals

    Simply Crepes make it a point to always local source when they can and openly list their suppliers for all to see

    Don’t forget to check the board for their specials !

    The sun was setting and our meal was over. Great dinner on a great early evening enjoying the warm breeze. Make simply crepes a must do dinner choice and ask for an outside seat!