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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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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