EAT |Lunchtime in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants @CHWinery

LUNCHTIME in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 


During our recent family visit to Tampa Bay, we worked up quite an appetite when visiting some of the top family fun attractions. While fast food for lunch can be convenient for some, we wanted quality food and after dining at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants in Orlando last year, we were happy to find a location in Tampa. Known for their upscale dining in a casual setting along with wonderful wines and food pairings, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is a dream for food and wine lovers alike.

COCKTAILS & APPETIZERS


Select Cocktails at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | American Mule | SobeSavvy.com


Not a wine lover? No problem. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has a great selection of cocktails on the menu as well as non-alcoholic beverages. The specialty cocktail that caught my eye was the American Mule made with Tito’s Vodka, lime, simple syrup, ginger beer, mint and candied ginger. Not only did I like the presentation of this cocktail, but I also enjoyed the taste!


APPETIZERS at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants |  Asian Pork Belly Tostadas | SobeSavvy.com


For appetizers, we had the award-winning Asian Pork Belly Tostadas. You get five of the most divine tostadas that combine so many amazing flavors in one bite. Sharing is caring, but these are so good you may want to order one for yourself.


KIDS MENU


Healthy and Delicious options on the Kids Menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com


While some may think this sounds like a restaurant for adults only let me assure you they are family friendly. Not only do they have a special Kids Menu, but they even have dedicated restroom for families. My kid enjoyed her chicken parmesan and pasta with a side of fresh fruit. She got her some extra cheese to sprinkle on top and was pleased! Prior to her meal arriving to the table, she enjoyed coloring and playing the brain games on the menu while having a favorite of everyone at our table: the pretzel bread. It comes out to the table warm and fresh and just seeing the picture below makes me wish I had some now!

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants serves warm pretzel bread and butter and it is my kid’s favorite! | SobeSavvy.com


WINE


Try exclusive wines like John Legend’s LVE wines available at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


Wine lovers like myself would enjoy dining here and discovering a new favorite wine. Handcrafted Wines are what sets this restaurant apart from others. Beside each dish on the menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a wine “bin” number is listed for the suggested pairing. Order it by glass or bottle and feel free to request a taste prior to ordering. Their “no risk policy” allows you to ask for a taste before ordering a glass to challenge you to order something new. Still not sure what to order? The staff is well versed in all of their wines and before you know it you may find yourself in an extended conversation about all things wine and food!


With such a vast variety of wine, choosing one is made simple with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants  “no risk” tasting policy | SobeSavvy.com


LUNCH


White or Red Wine, Salad or Burger..there’s something for everyone on the Lunch Menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


After reviewing the Lunch Menu, which is available daily from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, we decided to each get something that would pair with a white wine for me and red wine for my husband. He decided on their RoadHouse Burger and pretty much devoured it before I could get a foodie pic..lol. It came with Bourbon👏🏽Bacon👏🏽 Jam👏🏽 y’all so I can’t blame him. It also had triple cheddar cheese and caramelized onion ranch aioli. I managed to get a bite and *correction…he did snap this photo below. His burger did taste as good as it looks!

Feast your eyes on the Roadhouse Burger at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com

Feast your eyes on the Roadhouse Burger at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


I ordered from the Chef Recommendations menu and got the Cilantro Lime & Crispy Shrimp Salad. Again a great choice. Plenty of salad greens dressed with fresh ingredients,  a nice portion of shrimp, and an amazing dressing. It was paired with the November wine of the month, a glass of Gewurtztraminer Savignon Blanc. If you like white wines with sweet notes, try this one. Even though it is December now, the wines of the month are available all year long.


Chef’s Recommendation Lunch Menu and Wine Pairing at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com 


SobeSavvy Tip:  Stop by the Artisan Market for unique wine gifts and wine to go. There is also a tasting room where you can stop in and enjoy wine only if you choose not to stay and dine. Join Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Wine Club for exclusive membership perks that are incredible and unique. Cheers 🍷!


Handcrafted Wines, Wine Tasting in a Napa Style Tasting Room, Artisan Market, Casual Dining..enjoy it all at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com 


The next time you are in Tampa or any of the cities where Cooper’s Hawk  Winery & Restaurants are  **[as of 2018, there are more than 30 establishments nationwide, found in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia], I hope that you are inspired to stop in for lunch with your family. The Founder & CEO said it best in his statement below as to why you should.  Thanks Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants for the Good Food, Good Wine, and Great Memories!


Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
4110 W Boy Scout Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607
www.chwinery.com
Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 

Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com 



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101 Ways To Have A Family Fun Day in @VisitTampaBay

101 Ways To Have A Family Fun Day in Tampa Bay | SobeSavvy.com

Disclaimer: To facilitate this post, complimentary CityPASS were provided, however the opinions are 100% my own.

Are you planning to travel to Tampa Bay with your family soon? Recently me and my #HeighPartyof3 visited South Florida during the Thanksgiving weekend and took the easy 4 hr drive from Miami to Tampa to spend the day. We did our research by looking on the website VisitTampaBay.com and learned about the Tampa Bay CityPASS. It is a great way for families to see some of the most popular attractions at a 50%+ discount! I definitely found it helpful to not have to stand in line to purchase a ticket. Just walk up, show your Tampa Bay CityPASS and get ready to explore! With so much to see and do I thought I’d share with you 101 WAYS TO HAVE A FAMILY FUN DAY IN TAMPA BAY with the Tampa Bay CityPASS:

1-25 ZooTampa at Lowry Park

ZooTampa fun with #outandaboutAva | SobeSavvy.com

  • 1. Feel the rush of a macaw soaring overhead
  • 2. Meet animals and ask questions at the many animal mingles
  • 3. Watch an educational show
  • 4. Get a closer look and connect with wildife
  • 5. Witness a live animal feeding
  • 6. Stay cool & have fun in the water play area
  • 7. Love Penguins? See them swim and play
  • 8. Visit Lorikeet Landing in Asia to get up close and personal with the birds
  • 9. See the Primates swing and play
  • 10. Enjoy strolling thru beautiful tropical wildlife settings
  • 11. Go behind the scenes on an Expedition Africa safari ride
  • 12. Feel the rush of a three-story splashdown on the family water adventure ride: Roaring Springs
  • 13. Not feeling adventurous? Hangout at Lookout Landing to just watch and enjoy the splash
  • 14. Take an #elfie and other fun photo ops throughout ZooTampa
  • 15. Have a stare off contest with an Emu
  • 16. Touch & Feel the skin of a snake..if you dare!
  • 17. Experience unforgettable moments at their seasonal events like Christmas in the Wild
  • 18. Ooh and Ahh over the cute Koala Bears
  • 19. Ride the Tasmanian Tiger coaster
  • 20. Go round and round on the Jungle Carousel
  • 21. When was the last time you saw a Zebra, Giraffe and Elephant all at the same time? So cool!
  • 22. Learn how you can join in taking action to protect and preserve wildlife
  • 23. Upgrade your experience and add on an up-close signature encounter
  • 24. Go shopping at the gift shop
  • 25. Don’t forget to have your photo taken to have as a souvenir

👀WATCH recap video of our fun day at ZooTampa here ⤵️ Learn more at ZooTampa.org

26-50 The Florida Aquarium

Did you watch #outandaboutAva @SobeSavvy IG Takeover at The Florida Aquarium? She had a fin-tastic time! | SobeSavvy.com

  • 26. See thousands of sea creatures, including sharks, alligators, otters, sea turtles and more!
  • 27. Enjoy the Florida Wetlands Trail and see 30 different species of free-flying birds
  • 28. Have amazing close encounters with a colony of penguins when you get a Penguins Backstage Pass
  • 29. Experience visual drama with special sensations in the 4-D Theater
  • 30. Play at The Splash Pad, a rainforest-themed outdoor wet and dry play area
  • 31. Take in terrific views of scenic Tampa Bay
  • 32. Make a reservation to go on an unforgettable Wild Dolphin Cruise and receive 10% off with special savings CityPASS perk
  • 33. Get special VIP access to view exciting creatures
  • 34. Go on a Behind the Scenes Adventure and meet experts to further explore the Aquarium
  • 35. Discover what sea turtles eat
  • 36. Touch a real live jellyfish at the new Moon Bay exhibit
  • 37. Watch a daily dive show
  • 38. Learn about the Aquarium’s vital conservation efforts
  • 39. Dive into another world and make reservations for the Heart of the Sea Swim program, Shark Swim or Dive with the Sharks
  • 40. Enjoy delicious dining at Café Ray or Fins Cantina
  • 41. Journey to Madagascar and view incredible creatures like endangered long-tailed lemurs
  • 42. Kids can crawl inside viewing bubbles for a fun immersive experience
  • 43. Buy an amazing souvenir at the gift shop
  • 44. Stop by Bays and Beaches gallery where touching experiences are offered
  • 45. Do fish sleep? Find out the answer and learn more when you explore The Florida Aquarium
  • 46. Love Seahorses like me? Make sure to visit the Dragons Down Under exhibit
  • 47. Touch and learn about sea creatures who have no backbone in the No Bones Zone
  • 48. Find Nemo aka a clownfish in the Waves of Wonder exhibit
  • 49. Snap a pic with their mascot turtle before you go
  • 50. Go for yourself and experience why The Florida was voted Top 3 Aquarium in North America By USA Today readers

👀WATCH recap video of our fin-tastic time at The Florida Aquarium here ⤵️ Learn more at flaquarium.org

51-75 MOSI

A visit to a museum always makes our must do list when we travel. Here is a look at our visit to MOSI= Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, FL.| SobeSavvy.com

  • 51. Get hands-on with over 100 fun indoor activities
  • 52. Explore space science in the NASA-funded Mission: Moonbase lunar colony
  • 53. Love Dinosaurs? Then be sure to explore the Dinovations Lab, a Jurasic-themed exhibit
  • 54. See how cool Engineering is
  • 55. Spark your curiosity with Physics
  • 56. Peak into the Human Body and discover a look inside of you
  • 57. Expand your mind by doing lots of STEAM activities
  • 58. Learn about planets and our solar system in the Saunder’s Planetarium
  • 59. Experience how science and technology is used in everyday life
  • 60. Get creative and draw some art
  • 61. See the art exhibit made by CDS Art & Design students
  • 62. Get inspired to become an inventor, astronomer, chemist or engineer
  • 63. Solve brain puzzles
  • 64. Build amazing structures
  • 65. Check out new Space Walk exhibit and learn about the history of Space Travel
  • 66. Use your imagination and innovation in The IdeaZone and have fun making a project
  • 67. Go on an outdoor adventure and climb the Ropes Course
  • 68. Play at the outdoor playground
  • 69. Feel the power of wind in the Hurricane simulator
  • 70. Enjoy free play in an autism-friendly environment
  • 71. See what your hand looks like under a microscope
  • 72. Build a robot
  • 73. Explore optical illusions
  • 74. Touch the future in Connectus
  • 75. Lie on a bed of nails..if you dare!

👀WATCH this video for a recap of our experience at MOSI ⤵️ For more info, visit mosi.org

76-100 Busch Gardens Tampa Bay| Christmas Town

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Christmas Town was such a great way to kick off the holiday season with my #HeighPartyof3 family | SobeSavvy.com

  • 76. Start a new family tradition and see why USA Today voted it as 10Best Theme Park Holiday Event
  • 77. See millions of twinkling lights
  • 78. Hop aboard the Sing-Along Train and jam to your favorite Christmas Carols
  • 79. Watch a spectacular holiday show like Christmas on Ice
  • 80. Visit with Santa and take photos with him and his elves
  • 81. Meet & Greet with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends
  • 82. Drink a festive beverage or eat a culinary treat at the Christmas Town Village (our kid loved the churros)
  • 83. Experience the thrill of rides and roller coasters at night
  • 84. Shop for the perfect holiday gifts
  • 85. Explore the new Merry Mint Lane and get up close to animals
  • 86. Take a photo with a Peppermint Pal
  • 87. Make plans to enjoy special holiday dining and savor a selection of seasonal offerings
  • 88. Take advantage of the many photo ops in front of Christmas trees, light displays and festive decor
  • 89. Meet the Sugar Plum and Ice Princesses
  • 90. Journey through Luminosity Lane, a beautiful tunnel filled with Christmas lights
  • 91. Got a girl who loves pink? Then make sure you visit Flamingo Way to see the festive flamingos and palm trees decorated in twinkling pink lights
  • 92. Choose holiday upgrades like priority access, holiday samplers and special dining offers to upgrade your experience
  • 93. Enjoy a live band and vocal performances at The Most Wonderful Time show
  • 94. Visit Sesame Street Safari to join Elmo and friends as they learn the meaning of Christmas in Elmo’s Christmas wish
  • 95. See Christmas lights choreographed to seasonal music at Carol Of The Bells light show
  • 96. Watch an elephant dance or an alligator relax
  • 97. Twirl yoursrlf in faux snow
  • 98. Meet the Poinsettia Princess
  • 99. Enjoy extended hours in the park for more festive fun
  • 100. Before you go, make the most of your visit by adding the Busch Gardens app to your smart phone

👀WATCH this video for a recap of our experience at Busch Gardens Christmas Town (open every night from Nov 16 2019 – Jan 6. 2020 ⤵️ For more info, visit BuschGardensTampa.com

101 Get a Tampa Bay CityPASS

“Spend Less and Experience More” by purchasing a Tampa Bay CityPASS! You get access to a total of FIVE attractions and can save 50% or more on admission. Visit the 4 on my list plus the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and you can choose either MOSI or the Chihuly Collection Presented By The Morean Arts Center. You make one simple purchase to get the CityPASS which is valid for 9 days. My favorite perk is that you can skip most lines and just show your CityPASS. There are also more special savings,coupons and discounts inside the CityPASS also. Here are two easy ways to purchase:

  • Ask for CityPASS at any attraction
  • Buy mobile tickets now at citypass.com | (888) 330-5008

I hope you enjoyed this list of 101 WAYS TO HAVE A FAMILY FUN DAY IN TAMPA BAY. We are already making plans to Visit Tampa Bay again and experience more sun, fun and culture found in this city. Thanks for reading!

***Have you been to Tampa Bay before? Share your travel memory of Tampa in the comments below.


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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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Guys Gift Guide For The Man Who Loves Simple Pleasures

In T-minus 9 days, my husband will be turning FIFTY years old! I am excited to be on this journey of life and love with him and have enjoyed seeing him evolve over the last 26 years. Gift giving for him has been easy because although his age and the years may change, most of his adult interests have remained the same. He loves his family and simple pleasures!

So I decided to put together a Guys Gift Guide {inspired by my soon to be husband who is turning 50 on Nov 27th} with potential gift ideas for any guy who feels like he has everything, doesn’t really want gifts, and prefers the simple pleasures in life! Take a look at this list for some ideas for any guys you may be getting gifts for soon.

Accessories from Execsocks

Looking for unique gift ideas for men? 👔 Watch this unboxing Video ft. ExecSocks, a Raleigh, NC-based subscription service delivering new pairs of fresh, stylish socks & men’s accessories to members across the U.S. every month!

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Need a #giftidea for the #MCM in your life? Check out @execsocks a Raleigh-based subscription service delivering new pairs of fresh, stylish socks to members across the U.S. every month! They have expanded its offerings into men’s accessory boxes, which contains FIVE hand-picked items ranging from business professional attire like cufflinks, laser cut bowties, belts, watches and pocket squares, to meticulously designed accessories, such as fountain pens, technology cases and sunglasses. ———- Everything is made with quality and style in mind and designed to help take business attire to the next level! The best part? For every sock subscription or accessory box purchased, Exec Socks donates a pair to @HealingTransitions, a recovery center in Raleigh for homeless, uninsured and underserved individuals with alcoholism and other drug addictions. ———- If your guy likes to use bold accessories to express his personality and build out a flexible wardrobe while giving back, then Exec Socks is a great gift option for birthdays, holidays and special occasions, such as groom or groomsmen gifts for a wedding party. ———– Exec Socks continues to offer its original sock subscriptions with plans starting at $10 per month. For more information about the new Exec Socks Accessory Box subscription,visit execsocks.comand follow Exec Socks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. . . . #gifted #execsocks #unboxing #menssocks #mensaccessories #guysgifts #giftsforguys #giftsformen #menstyle #mancrushmondays #mancrushmonday #businessattire #socksformen #carolinablue #phibetasigma #subscriptionbox #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #RaleighBlogger #NCblogger #Lifestyleblogger

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Bedlam Vodka + Swag

How’s that holiday shopping list coming? 🍸 If you want to get ahead of the game, Bedlam Vodka had got you covered! Visit Graybeard Distillery in Durham,NC and get some merch to go along with this smooth tasting vodka.

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Tis the season to gift Bedlam! 🍸 @bedlamvodka, which is distilled from rice offers a smooth, quality taste and is perfect for the vodka loving guy or gal in your life! ——— Pair a bottle of Bedlam vodka with some swag like: shot glasses, pints and a T-shirt! These merch items can be purchased from Graybeard Distillery in Durham,NC, Bedlam Vodka is available in all ABC stores and the 750s come with a FREE white Bedlam T-shirt! ———— Add on: 📓 The Cocktail Companion by Cheryl Charming, made avail by @mangopublishing Put it all in a basket and Viola…. a great #giftidea for any #cocktaillovers! . . . #bedlamvodka #bringthebedlam #durham #nc #ncdrinkfinds #guysgiftguide #giftsforguys #giftsformen #giftideas #vodka #vodkadrinks #fridayreads #cocktailbook #igcocktail #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #lifestyleblogger #drinkblogger

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Get Him Books Based On His Interests

Are you putting together a books gift list for a special guy in your life? 📚 Here are some great books from Mango Media that any guy (or girl) would love! Books make great gifts when catered to ones interests, plus every man could use a 🆕️ book! All books are available on Amazon or on Mango Media’s website.

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Are you putting together a books gift list for a special guy in your life? 📚 Here are some great books from @mangopublishing that any guy (or girl) would love! Books make great gifts especially when catered to ones interests. Every man could use a new book, whether they're looking for ways to learn more photography skills, try a new cocktail or food recipe, laugh at some political satire or want to read history. Check out these amazing books & swipe 🔙 and pick out a few you think he will love this holiday season! 📚 Books featured: BLACK MAN ON THE TITANIC | By Serge Bile THE SECRETS TO CREATING AMAZING PHOTOS | By Marc Silber THE BOOKLOVERS' GUIDE TO WINE |By Patrick Alexander JIM MORIN'S WORLD | By Jim Morin THE COCKTAIL COMPANION | By Cheryl Charming EATING WELL TO WIN | By Richard Ingraham *****Which book would you choose for your guy or yourself? *******

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☕My husband loves coffee so I am excited to introduce him to the newest trend in specialty coffee from Steeped Coffee. The innovative startup is committed to premium coffee, convenience, and saving the planet with their eco-friendly coffee that comes in single-serve bags much like tea. No machines or brewing equipment required makes for a uniquely “unplugged” coffee experience.

Best of all, each Steeped Pack contains hand-roasted, ethically-sourced, Direct Trade coffee that’s precision ground to showcase the distinctive flavor profile of every crafted blend. Whether you’re looking for light, medium, dark, French roast, or even decaf, there’s something for every coffee lover! Visit the Steeped website to see some of the one of a kind gift items like mugs, The Steeped Coffee Subscription or order The Steeped Lineup Sampler which includes five alluring blends ranging from Light, Medium, Dark, and French Roasts to the Swiss Water Processed Decaf. I am filling up his christmas stocking with the sampler and who knows, we may just get the subscription! For more info about STEEPED, check them out on Instagram, here ⤵️

https://instagram.com/steepedcoffee?igshid=9n7bnnemitxm

I hope I have helped you in deciding what to gift the guy who loves simple pleasures this year! What would your guy (or you) choose from this list to enjoy? Please share in the comments below and thanks for reading!

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Easy Organic Spiced Rum Cake Recipe Ft. @TOPOdistillery

Whenever there is any type of potluck party or request for guests to bring a dish, I know what I am bringing: RUM CAKE. It is a crowd pleaser especially around the holidays! This year, I am spicing things up a bit and using TOPO Organic Spiced Rum.

What makes Topo Organic? TOPO has the distinction as the only Green + Certified distillery in the country. Environmentally friendly and 100 % organic ingredients go into their award winning line of spirits, which include whiskey, vodka, gin and moonshine. Exclusively made from North Carolina-grown wheat and US-grown sugar cane. Every product is USDA-certified Organic. 100% Fermented and distilled in Chapel Hill, NC.

What is the difference between rum and Topo’s Spiced Rum?
Per their website, the rum… “has flavors of the coastline: allspice, vanilla, orange peel, peppercorns, cinnamon and clove. It’s a marriage of the finest organic botanicals with an incredibly smooth rum. We make a tasty white rum and then use a mortar and pestle to grind spices to add more flavor. You can smell and taste the difference.”

I absolutely enjoy TOPO Organic Spiced Rum in various cocktails also such as the Rum Cider, Colony Records and even a cocktail recipe that I shared here on my blog that was inspired by the popular Disney Dole Whip Drink. This is the first time I am trying it in the following Easy Rum Cake Recipe (that is shared all over Google).

Easy Rum Cake RECIPE

Rum Cake
___________
1 cup chopped pecan or walnuts
1 pkg. (2 layer size) yellow cake mix (I used Dunkin Hines)
1 pkg. Jello vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rum ( TOPO Organic Spiced Rum)

METHOD:
1. Sprinkle nuts evenly in bottom of 10 inch fluted tube pan that has been greased & floured ,or sprayed with non stick vegetable cooking spray.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in large mixer bowl.
3. Blend and beat at medium speed for 4 minutes
4. Pour batter into pan. Do not under-bake
5. Cool in pan 15 minutes
6. Prepare glaze
7. Invert cake into serving plate, prick over with cake tester or wooden pick.
8. Pour warm glaze over warm cake

GLAZE: combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1/4 cup water in saucepan.
Stir until mixture comes to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup TOPO Organic Spiced Rum, bring just to boil. Remove from heat .

**SobeSavvy Tip: Make this cake a day or two before serving. DO NOT TRY TO MAKE THE SAME DAY AND SERVE THE SAME DAY. While it’s true the vanilla pudding keeps the cake moist, and rum goes in the cake and in the glaze, you need a day or so to let the rum sink in. Cover it with aluminum or plastic and if you like, mist it with more rum daily or right before serving. Don’t like nuts? Try it with toasted coconut.

Voila! You now have a moist, yummy, delicious, Organic Spiced Rum Cake to enjoy with family and friends! I can’t wait to share at a Friendsgiving party I am attending this weekend and hope you are inspired to bake one yourself this holiday season.

Have you tried Topo Organic Spiced Rum before? Do you plan to make a rum cake for the holidays?

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5 Reasons To See ‘HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS @nctheatre #NCTHavingOurSay

Do you know the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany? I did not but I have since learned that their remarkable story has gone from a New York Times bestselling book to the Broadway stage. Now NC Theatre is bringing this Tony award-nominated adaptation of the real-life sisters’ memoirs to the stage in Raleigh, NC at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater from November 8-17, 2019 and I can not wait to see it! Why am I excited? Let me share with you Five Reasons To See HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS!

1. IT IS A TRUE STORY

If you enjoy non-fiction like me, then get ready to hear the two sisters give an account of their trials and tribulations in their lifetime. Born to a father who was a former slave, they lived in Raleigh,NC and was raised on the campus of St.Augustine. Now that I live here in Raleigh, I am interested in learning about what their childhood was like back then.

2. BOTH WOMEN LIVED TO BE OVER 100 YEARS OLD

Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany (born 1889), the eldest of the 2 sisters lived to the age of 109. Her sister, Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany (born 1891) died at the age of 104. After the popularity of their book Having Our Say, which this play is based on, the two sisters became internationally known after the Guinness Book of World Records recognized them as the world’s oldest authors with the publication of their second joint book The Delany Sisters’ Book Of Everyday Wisdom. The sisters were 105 and 103 at the time of publication.

3. LEARN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & WOMEN’S HISTORY

Trailblazers, activists, sisters, and best friends Sadie and Bessie Delany- both over 100 years old- take audiences on a journey as they recount the triumphant stories of their lives. They overcame both racism and sexism and forged careers in education and dentistry respectively while living in New York. NC Theatre provides a Study Guide to learn about the history of the Delany family, the HAVING OUR SAY director (who is also an African American woman), and more!

4. GET INSPIRED

The more I learn about these sisters and what they must have endured, I find it remarkable that despite it all they lived a longer, fuller life than most. They never married and say because they did not have husbands to worry them to death was the secret to living a long, happy life! I just know I am going to leave feeling wiser than before and inspired by these two women after seeing this play.

5. BE ENTERTAINED AND SUPPORT THE ARTS

Per NC Theatre, the story of the Delany sisters will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on our journey as Americans. The funny and heartfelt family drama, starring Gayle Turner as Sadie Delany and Lakeisha Coffey as Bessie Delany, is one you won’t want to miss! Reviews that have already been shared say that you will be entertained by the heartfelt performances.

Click here to purchase tickets to see NC Theatre Presents Having our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years Tickets at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts! Tickets start at just $30 so claim your seats today!

SobeSavvy Tip: There will be an *Encore Series: Post-Show Panel Discussion Saturday, Nov. 16 immediately following the 2PM performance in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater. Panelists which consists of influential members of the community and individuals closely tied to the production, will analyze the themes and history of HAVING OUR SAY. This series is FREE and open to the public!

*I am looking forward to going to the matinee performance on Saturday at 2pm on 11/16. You can also join the conversation and follow @nctheatre #NCTHavingOurSay!

**UPDATE: Just saw @nctheatre ‘s production of Having Our Say | The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years and appreciate how much detail was put into bringing their real story to life. From the intimate portraits, to the smells of real food cooking in the kitchen, the actors made the audience feel like we were right there in the living room having a conversation with those amazing trailblazing sisters who were proud Americans and Survivors! Enjoyed seeing art and history come together with #ncthavingoursay

Leslie, @SobeSavvy
Founder SobeSavvy.com

Have you seen the movie, play or read the book HAVING OUR SAY, THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading!

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Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC @koan_cary @Il_Palio @DriftwoodRDU

Top 3 Restaurants To Try This Fall In NC | Cary * Chapel Hill * Raleigh

Hello November! ‘Tis the season to indulge in some good eats and treat yourself to memorable dining out experiences. I recently got to try 3 different restaurants and each one while different in cuisine share the same passion of bringing you an array of flavors on their new Fall menus. Take a look and discover where to eat in the Triangle at these TOP 3 RESTAURANTS TO TRY THIS FALL!

kō•än | Cary, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

🆕️ Restaurant Alert! The most exciting place for food right now is kō•än in Cary,NC, which opened November 1, 2019 with great anticipation! I got a chance to experience the restaurant and its menu at a media preview dinner and enjoyed everything from its innovative cocktails to their delicious small/large plates meant for sharing!

The new restaurant, located at 2800 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513, brings Executive Chef Drew Smith’s [ formerly of Raleigh’s bu•ku and so•ca, and winner of 2019’s Cooking for a Classic dining competition] vision of Southeast Asian cuisine in a zen-like atmosphere. Check out my Facebook post>>here for a look at some of the tasty menu.

For more info on kō•än, follow #koancary @koan_cary on Instagram and Twitter or visit www.koancary.com

Il Palio|Chapel Hill

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

Transport your mind, body and tastebuds to Italy when you experience world-class dining at Il Palio, located in The Siena Hotel at 1505 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! *[see here for recipe]

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It's #WorldPastaDay ..and there are so many delicious pasta-bilities on the menu at @il_palio, located in @thesienahotel in Chapel Hill, NC. Chef Adam Rose and his team uses the best local and Italian ingredients to prepare fresh, homemade pastas like this signature Butternut Squash Ravioli! Swipe 🔙 for a look at some of the amazing culinary artisanship and fantastic dishes served at Il Palio! . . . . #IlPalio #TheSienaHotel #ChapelHill #NC #Italiancuisine #Italiancooking #ravioli #pasta #seafood #steak #dessert #nceats #foodtalk #ncfoodfinds #chapelhillrestaurants #diningout #f52grams #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #foodblogger #lifestyleblogger #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #chapelhillblogger #foodwomenwine #foodiefriday #nomnomnom

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If you enjoy Italian cuisine along with a lovely wine selection, and amazing culinary artisanship, then you will savor the fantastic dishes served in a warm and inviting Tuscan villa atmosphere at Il Palio!

For more information, follow @thesienahotel #TheSienaHotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow @il_palio #IlPalio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Driftwood Kitchen & Bar | Raleigh, NC

Photo Credit | Tabletop Media Group

All my lovers of chicken and waffles [….and really good comfort food] make your way to DRIFTWOOD KITCHEN AND BAR (formerly known as Driftwood Southern Kitchen), located in Lafayette Village at 8460 Honeycutt Road, Suite 112, Raleigh, NC 27615 for a taste of the 🆕️ delicious menu revamped by Chef Nunzio which also includes tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken & biscuits (made from scratch), plus great craft cocktails, like the “Black -Eyed Rye made with Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey.

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Are you #teamsyrup or #gravy on your #chickenandwaffles? 🤷🏽‍♀️ Well at @driftwoodraleigh you can enjoy both, now available on the 🆕️ delicious menu at Driftwood Kitchen & Bar located inside @LafayetteVillage. ———— Chef Nunzio has revamped the previous menu to include exciting new additions like chicken and waffles, tacos, meatloaf with tasso ham gravy, pulled short ribs, and chicken and biscuits. Invited #raleighinfluencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new private room for events and parties. ———— Follow #driftwoodraleigh on my #instastories to see some highlights from the #medianight ! Swipe 🔙 to see our tasty experience at Driftwood! . . . #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #RaleighBlogger #lifestyleblogger #raleighfood #trianglefoodies #raleighrestaurant #lafayettevillage #visitRaleigh #Raleigheats #NCfood

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Invited Raleigh influencers got to experience the new flavors and take a tour of the refreshed restaurant space including a brand new, communal style private dining room for events and parties. The restaurant’s unique open kitchen concept and scratch made menu showcases the best ingredients from as many regional and local farmers and producers when possible. Feast your eyes on some of the highlights from our media tasting experience on my Facebook page>>here.

For more info, follow Driftwood Kitchen & Bar #DriftwoodRaleigh, @driftwoodraleigh on Instagram and Facebook

Thanks for reading! I hope this post has made you hungry and ready to make reservations. Any of these restaurants would make a great dining out date option or a place to meet friends for small bites and cocktails! Cheers!

Have you dined at any of these restaurants? If not, which one are you checking out first?

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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!

5 Date Ideas To Enjoy The Arts This Fall In The Triangle |@nctheatre @ncsymphony @ncartmuseum @UnscriptedDurm @AlamoRaleigh

Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill aka The Triangle is a tri-city region in North Carolina that has a thriving art scene! If you are a lover of any of the seven categories of arts: painting, architecture, sculpture, music,literature,performing and cinema, then there is always something interesting and fun to do in the area. I made this list of date ideas inspired by a conversation with a mom friend who asked me for recommendations of places to go.

Performing Arts|See A Production by NC Theatre

If you or your loved one enjoys musicals or plays, then take them to see a production by North Carolina Theatre, the region’s nonprofit professional theatre. NCT kicks off their 2019-20 season opening production of the timeless musical, WEST SIDE STORY, running Oct. 15-20. With a cast including talent straight from Broadway plus some of the best regional talent, North Carolina Theatre opens their season by telling such a poignant story with the best artists in the industry. Learn more about this production here, which takes place at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

For more info go to North Carolina Theatre‘s website at www.nctheatre.com and find them on all social platforms @nctheatre, and the show hashtag is #NCTWestSideStory! I look forward to attending Sunday’s matinee at 2pm, and check out more of what is coming this season!

Painting, Architecture, Sculpture|Day Date at North Carolina Museum of Art

Ok art lovers, my favorite place to go on an artsy day date in Raleigh is at NCMA. Whether you are sitting outside and admiring the architecture of the building, taking a stroll while enjoying sculpture in the park or admiring paintings inside, there are many ways to immerse yourself in art. Mark your calenders for a special exhibition: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, opens October 26- January 19, 2020 at North Carolina Museum of Art.

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism showcases the couple’s portraits, murals, politics, and personal lives. Kahlo is best known for her strikingly honest self-portraits, often depicting her dreams. Rivera worked as a large-scale muralist in Mexico and the United States, taking a larger look at history and cultural revolution. Both artists pursued their distinctive visions while forging the way for Mexican artists in the 20th century and beyond. Few artists have captured the public’s imagination with the force of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, the Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera. The myths that surrounded them in their lifetime arose not only from their significant bodies of work, but also from their friendships (and conflicts) with leading political figures and their passionate, tempestuous personal relationships. There are so many interesting events surrounding this series such as film screenings of Frida, a special dinner and coffee with the curator. Check out the calender for the exhibition events: here.

For more info, go to NCMA‘s website: http://ncartmuseum.org/ and get your tickets for October 26, 2019–January 19, 2020, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism and Scott Avett: INVISIBLE are ticketed together. October 12–24, 2019, and January 20–February 2, 2020, Scott Avett: INVISIBLE will be open on its own. Tag your photos when you visit #NCMAFrida #ArtNaturePeople

Music|Enjoy a Night Out at the NC Symphony

Plan a perfect ‘parents night out’ or date night and attend a concert performed by the North Carolina Symphony. That is what hubby and I did recently when we stepped out to see Broadway Mega-Hit Hamilton Star Leslie Odom, Jr. join the North Carolina Symphony with Broadway and Jazz Hits on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. This highly anticipated show, which opens the Symphony’s 2019/20 Pops Season, was the perfect way to spend time together and experience the power of live music! Whether you are into classical, Broadway, movie music, rock, or swing or whether you live in the Triangle, Wilmington, Southern Pine, pick a date or two and plan a night with NC Symphony.

For more info go to North Carolina Symphony‘s website at www.ncsymphony.org and find them on social @ncsymphony. I look forward to attending Saturday’s night show, and congrats again to the winner of my Instagram giveaway who will also enjoy a night out at the NC Symphony!

Music|Sounds of the Studio Early Saturday Date Idea at Unscripted Hotel

Saturdays are a popular date night and here is an idea for someone who loves LIVE MUSlC, SMALL PLATES, and COCKTAILS. Check out UNSCRIPTED HOTEL| Sounds of the Studio every Saturday from 5:30-7:30pm. Go jam out to diverse music brought to you by local performers in the Durham community featuring Hip Hop Instrumental, Jazz, and Latin.

All small plates are buy one get one free, and free parking will be offered to those with a food or beverage purchase (must show receipt).

This is a FREE event that takes place in the hotel lounge every Saturday until Nov. 2nd. Here is the upcoming music schedule:

OCT 19 (SAT) – Wiley Fosters

The Wiley Fosters (instrumental hip-hop quartet edition)

Jay Parker – Turntables
Luis Rodriguez – Guitar
Jack Fleishman – Bass
William Dawson – Vibraphone

OCT 26 (SAT) – Alexandra Valladares & Viajeros Melodiosos

NOV 2 (SAT) – Jazz Harp Trio

Be sure to follow @unscripteddurham for more exciting events! And follow my IG instastories @SobeSavvy where I will give you an inside look of Sounds of the Studio at Unscripted Hotel. #livelifeunscripted #unscripteddurham

Cinema|Drinks+Dinner, Movie Date at Alamo Raleigh

I love one stop shop dates. That’s when you can go to one place and have like 3 dates in one! Want to enjoy a good cocktail and coversation, have dinner before or while watching a movie? You can do all that at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh! I recently went to one of their speciality screenings for HUSTLERS starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Lizzo,etc and had a blast! We got to enjoy a special themed menu and even had play money to make it rain in the movie theater!

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DATE NIGHT | ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE @drafthouse Opening weekend for HUSTLERS Why choose @alamoraleigh to see this movie? They offer: * A Special Menu * Special "Rowdy" Screenings in the evening ** Also, the ladies from @aradiafitnessnc are here this evening Friday 9/13 & Saturday 9/14 from 7pm-11pm providing on pole fitness classes and doing demonstrations Swipe 🔙 to get a peek 👀, Plus check out my #instastories for more! **DO YOU PLAN TO SEE THIS MOVIE?** . . . #alamodrafthouse #Hustlersmovie #alamoraleigh #rowdyscreening #openingweekend #nowshowing #moviedate #atthemovies #datenight #datenightideas #polefitness #thingstodoinRaleigh #SobeSavvy #LifestyleBlogger #RaleighBlogger #blackgirlsblog @hustlersmovie

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From game nights, to free events, to rowdy screenings, Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh will turn an ordinary movie date into a full cinematic experience!See the list of all the fun events happening at Alamo Raleigh>>here and be sure to follow @alamoraleigh.

I hope you are inspired to plan a fun date while supporting the arts this fall! Tell me in the comments below, which one would be your ideal date to support the arts?

RECAP| Art of Cool Festival 2019 @AOCFest Ft. Jill Scott, Ari Lennox, Big Daddy Kane, RUN-DMC and more! #AOCFest

Art of Cool Festival 2019 | Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Art of Cool Festival 2019 | Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Durham, NC was the place to be this past weekend (Friday, September 27-Sunday, September 29) for the 6th Annual Art Of Cool Festival also known as the AOCFest! This festival, which features great music, good food trucks,community engagement and sponsor activations, has quickly become the premiere late summer cultural experience that should not be missed!

PLAN YOUR STAY

Since SobeSavvy.com was there to provide local media coverage for the weekend, I decided to make it a workcation and checked into one of the official hotels of the AOCFest. The Aloft Durham Downtown proved to be an excellent choice with its urban style and comfort amenities PLUS it is the closest hotel to the festival’s main venue, Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Guests attending the festival were provided a special group rate if booked in advance. I definitely would plan ahead to stay here next year or anytime you want to Stay & Play in Durham!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B27LTcWn-oO/?igshid=turue3rlqx73

2019 LINEUP

Produced by The Dome Group LLC, AOCFest 2019 featured 20+ R&B, Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop, Jazz, alternative and spoken word artists at multiple venues in Durham.

FRIDAY

The Masonic Lodge is where various DJ parties were being held all weekend in one of their event rooms. DJ RNB was spinning and there was also a bar sponsored by Durham’s own Bedlam Vodka, who I had the pleasure of reviewing and sharing recipes >> here on my blog!

Later that evening, “Cooligans” were seen at the 2019 AOCFest Urban Vendor Market being held on Blackwell Street. Food Trucks along with a variety of vendors lined the closed down area. We had a few delicious shrimp tacos from @shrimptrucknc to fuel us up for the headliners at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park stadium next door.

We also did a little shopping at the 2019 AOCFest Urban Vendor Market and I purchased some organic Shea Butter products from Nailah’s Shea. I also ate chicken and waffles from Big C’s Waffles food truck. We also spotted “Thelma” from Good Times, Bernadette Stanis who had her books for sale and was taking pics with fans!

We arrived in time to see the group Black Violin were on the stage. A duo from Florida, this group takes classical violin training and combine it with a hip-hop twist.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B272CFWHcSW/?igshid=1hg7apvp2u5s5

Next up was artist Ari Lennox. She is the first female signed to J.Cole’s record label. Fans got to hear and see her perform hits from her successful album entitled “Shea Butter Baby”. Her creative singing style and bold lyrics energized the crowd. Her future is limitless and as bright as her smile!

Up next was the the incomparable Miss Jill Scott. She has been an entire industry upon herself over the past almost 20 years. Album upon album of iconic poetry tinged R&B songs captured the attention of an entire generation. Her catalog is deep and she did not disappoint. Her stage presence is simply unmatched. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand. We sang the songs with her and just showered her with love and affection for all her music means to us. Great night to kick
off the festival.
https://www.instagram.com/tv/B3DlpUVnDKt/?igshid=1x3mddvoqahze
SATURDAY
A stay at the Aloft Downtown Durham allowed for me to wake up to an awesome view of Diamond View Park at the American Tobacco Campus where Power Yoga, a free community engagement event hosted by The Art Of Cool Festival, was held at 10am & 11am on Saturday. Such a great way to start the day!

DJ Fatz took us back with a “2Pac vs Biggie” during a day party at Masonic Lodge. He did an awesome job blendiing two titans of rap by mixing their hits back to back. Every lyric to every hit record was sung by the festive crowd. Realizing how we lost both so young was sobering but celebrating their music was inspiring.

https://youtu.be/oO966ZzVbZY
We headed back to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park stadium for a night full of legendary hip-hop featuring
Big Daddy Kane, Whodini and RUN- DMC. Before they took the stage DJ
Skillz showed some amazing work on the 1’s and 2’s. He played everything from old school hip to new school R&B. This man truly is in a league of his own in the DJ world.

Big Daddy Kane feat. The Symphony took the stage looking and sounding amazing! Back like he never left, he
performed as if he has not lost a step. His rapping skills go from fast to slow and he rocked the mic no matter the tempo. He was joined on stage by his Bboy dancer, his little son showed of his moves too, and the legendary Cool G Rap was there for an epic performance of The Symphony. If you ever get a chance to see Big Daddy Kane live you will see there Ain’t No Half Steppin EVER with him!

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B2-kFNQnAJ6/?igshid=cs8y664hxoo5

Next up was the group Whodini, who blazed the stage performing hit after hit such as “Big Mouth”, “One Love”, “The Freaks Come Out At Night” and “Friends”. Lead rapper Jalil did come out in his signature Zorro style hat and the ladies went wild!

By the time RUN-DMC took the stage, the electricity of anticipation was in the air. Rap was still in it’s infancy during the mid 80’s and RUN-DMC almost single handidly was responsible for rap crossing over to
mainstream America. Every successful rapper owe them a debt of gratitude. Time stood still during their set. It was as if they transported all of us back to the 80’s. Their catalog of hit records is immense. They only performed a sampling of them with “King Of Rock”, “It’s Tricky”, “Peter Piper”, “Run’s House” and many more! The crowd showed their love by coming dressed in Adidas, or rocking RUN DMC tees. Even AOCFest was selling “RUN AOC” tshirts to honor the group and he festival. RUN DMC are true icons that are rightly revered as some of the founders of Hip-Hop.

The festival ended on Sunday with a VIP Brunch featuring The Hamiltones that took place at the Durham Convention Center.

If I had one word to describe the Art Of Cool Festival 2019 it would be DOPE! Amazing weekend and phenomonal performances. The AOCFest once again proved that with the right mix of artists and audience, you can expect a dope cultural experience. 👀 Watch my full recap video for more fun highlights

For more information on the 2019 Art of Cool Festival (AOCFest), visit aocfestival.com.

Twitter: @AOCFest #AOCFest

Instagram: @AOCFest #AOCFest

Facebook: Facebook.com/AOCFest

Spotify: AOCFest Playlists

********Read previous AOCFest recap coverage >>>here

Did you attend AOCFest this year? If YES, who did you enjoy most? If NO, which artist would you have been most excited to see?