12 Books To Read For A New Year, New You In 2020 @MangoPublishing #FridayReads #Booksof2020

Happy New Year! Can you believe it is the year 2020?! One of the things I am committing to is reading more as well as putting my selfcare back on my to do list as a priority. I plan to take this whole month off from writing on the blog/social media to reset, refocus and READ! I have a goal to finish a book a month and have picked out 12 BOOKS TO READ FOR A NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! Here are some books (in no special order) that spoke to me either because of the inspiring title or the subject matter is relatable, it aligns with goals I have for the year or for no rhyme or reason, it just looked interesting. All these books can be found on the Mango Publishing website >>here and are also available on Amazon!

๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“”๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“—๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“˜๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“™๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ““

1. Women Who Launch: The Women Who Shattered Glass Ceilings by Marlene Wagman-Geller

Features true stories of women who made history in their lives and careers and changed the world!

2. Heart, Sass & Soul: Journal Your Way to Inspiration and Happiness by Greta Solomon

Provides tips on how to develop a writing practice by journaling and freewriting to bring you a deeper level of self-awareness.

3. Gratitude With Attitude: How Journaling Thankfulness For Just 5 Minutes A Day Can Change Your Life by Ronnie Walter

Use this 5 minute journal to create a space to grow in gratitude.

4. 20 Things I Know For Sure: Principles For Cultivating A Peaceful Life by Karen Casey

Life lessons and a collection of essays shared by a much loved self-help author.

5. The Lighten Up Book: Affirmations and Insights to Inspire Health and Happiness by Allen Klein

Inspirations Words and endless encouragement from this collection of quotes.

6. Real Life Mindfulness: Meditations for a Calm and Quiet Mind by Becca Anderson

Sharpen your senses, find serenity and make room for life by practicing real life mindfulness.

7. Getting My Bounce Back: How I Got Fit, Healthier, and Happier (And You Can, Too) by Carolee Belkin Walker

Learn how to make time for exercise and get inspired to get fit, healthy and happier.

8. The Joy Of Minimalism: A Beginner’s Guide to Happiness with Less by Zoey Arielle Poulsen

This book teaches you how to live with less and rediscover the freedom of having less is actually having more!

9. Happy Healthy You: Your Total Wellness Toolkit for Renewing Body, Soul and Mind by KJ Landis

Includes tangible strategies and simple techniques for reclaiming ultimate wellness

10. Every Day Thankful: 365 Blessings, Graces and Gratitudes by Becca Anderson

Daily Reflections and Inspirational Prayers. See why this is the #1 Amazon New Release!

11. 8 To Your Ideal Weight: Release Your Weight and Restore Your Power In 8 Weeks by MK Meuller

Learn how to Reboot, Restore, Release, Reshape, Regain, and Reach your ideal weight.

12. Tea-spiration: Inspirational Words for Tea Lovers by Lu Ann Pannunzio

A great gift for tea lovers or anyone who can appreciate the simple Joy’s in life.

Do you have your reading list for 2020 yet? If not, I hope you are inspired by something on this list. Is there a book that spoke to you? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks and Happy Reading!๐Ÿ“š

PS..if you are looking for me, my head will be in a book! See ya in Februaryโค
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Winter Family Travel |Plan a 3 Night Stay in Alexandria VA

Did you and your family stay home or travel for the holidays? With our daughter being out of school for 2 weeks for her winter break, it was the perfect time to plan for a quick getaway. On Christmas morning, after opening presents, we took a road trip from Raleigh, NC to Alexandria, VA. It took us less than 4 hours and was an easy drive especially since not many were on the road! After visiting family in MD, we checked into our hotel Wednesday night and our mini family vacay began.

STAY | Embassy Suites Old Town Alexandria

Looking to visit Alexandria,VA soon? My #HeighPartyof3 enjoyed a three nights stay at Embassy Suites by Hilton Old Town Alexandria. It was comfortable, convenient, clean and you can choose to start the day off right with an omelet made just the way you like! That’s what makes a hotel stay at Embassy Suites Alexandria Old Town unique! Since we enjoyed our previous stay, it was nice to come back to this familiar property and all of it’s wonderful offerings like:
โ€ข SPACIOUS two-room suites
โ€ข FREE drinks & snacks at Evening Reception every night from 5:30p-7:30pm
โ€ข Complimentary made to order breakfast

๐Ÿ‘€ WATCH this YouTube video for a tour of the hotel room and more!

SobeSavvy Dining Tip: We love having a Whole Foods within walking distance from the hotel. If you love ramen noodle soup, I recommend ordering from Genji Ramen. My daughter and I shared the featured ramen noodle soup: Truffle Butter Miso and it was delicious! She gave it the #outandaboutAva ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ thumbs up!

Day 1 -Thursday | Visit Alexandria

During our last visit to Alexandria, VA , we kept seeing The King Street Trolley and vowed we would ride it next time. Well this time we had a chance to get aboard and enjoy this free system of trolleys that run every 15 minutes with stops throughout Old Town. Stop 1 for anyone planning a trip to Alexandria, VA should be a stop by Visit Alexandria, located at the Ramsey House at 221 King St. for info, maps, deals and more! The employees are very helpful with tips and suggestions. That’s where I learned about the Key To The City Museum Pass.

Did you know you can save money on admission to museums and purchase a “Key To The City Museum Pass“. Purchasing this booklet gives you access to 9 historic Alexandria museum sites and also you get a 40% admission discount if you chose to travel to Mt Vernon. This $44 value will only cost you $15. We had time to enjoy two museums: Gadsby’s Tavern and Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. Both of these showed different parts of colonial Virginia life and learned quite a bit of history after going to some of the museums and historical sites. We attempted to go to George Washington Masonic Masonic National Memorial Observation Deck but it was closed for the holidays. However, it was still quite a wonderful view of Alexandria from the steps of this attraction.

๐Ÿ‘€ WATCH this YouTube video for some highlights of our day exploring Old Town Alexandria!

SobeSavvy Dining Tip: Our niece, whose husband used to live in Alexandria, gave us the recommendation to eat at Mai Thai. So when I saw the menu also on the wall in the dining section at the visitor’s center, I was like, that’s a sign! We were sold and everything from the cocktails to the appetizers to the flavorful entrees. If you live Thai food, check out this restaurant.

Day 2 – Friday | Gaylord National’s Christmas on the Potomac at National Harbor

A day of fun was on the agenda when me and my HeighPartyof3 spent the day at Gaylord National’s Christmas on The Potamac– OPEN November 15 – December 30, 2019. Alexandria,VA is just across the bridge and National Harbor is just 6 miles from the hotel! It only took ten minutes by car to get there.

What is Christmas on the Potomac?

A holiday tradition where every year National Harbor and the Gaylord National Resort transform into a Christmas Village complete with holiday decorations and activities like:

โ–ช๏ธŽ Feast with the Grinch

โ–ช๏ธŽ Reindeer Rush

โ–ช๏ธŽ Gingerbread Decorating

โ–ช๏ธŽ Cirque Dreams Unwrapped

โ–ช๏ธŽ Christmas Village

โ–ช๏ธŽ Winter Square

โ–ช๏ธŽ ICE! – Featuring Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
..and more !

SobeSavvy Tip: Everyone who goes to the ticketed ICE! exhibit must be ready for fun in 9 degree temperatures! Bring hats & gloves and be ready to see the amazing skill and artistry put into this ice exhibit. Everyone from infants to adults received a heavy #BlueParka to wear before going in the exhibit.

๐Ÿ‘€ WATCH this YouTube video for some highlights of our fun day at Gaylord National’s Christmas on the Potomac!

We had hoped to unlock more of Alexandria’s history and visit more museums but we checked out on Saturday because the one thing that sometimes comes with winter travel is catching a cold! We all got some bug and picked up some meds from a nearby CVS (which is also walking distance from the hotel) before getting back on the road. Although our visit was short and sweet, we know we will be back to stay in this area and explore more of Alexandria, VA!

Have you ever visited Alexandria, VA before? Please share with me a place I should check out during my next visit.


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Host A Holiday Tea Party With Wissotzky Tea

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

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

Hey LADIES!

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

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

๐ŸŽ Please bring a gift wrapped MUG for a fun exchange ๐ŸŽ

But first some selfies/usies :

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

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

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

… and there also was an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest!

๐Ÿ‘€Watch the participants model their sweaters belowโคต๏ธ

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

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

Here are some recipes to try with Simply Nana Mint!

Nana Mint Iced Green Tea & Honeydew

Green tea pairs perfectly with Honeydew Melon and the refreshing & invigorating finish of exotic Nana Mint and just a little touch of honey makes this an iced adventure you wonโ€™t want to miss.

How to make:

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

Let steep for 3-5 minutes

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

Dice Honeydew and lightly coat with honey

Add to a glass and muddle slightly to release its sweetness

Top with ice and chilled tea and enjoy!

Nana Mint Iced Simply Black Tea Half & Half Sparkle

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

How to make:

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

Let steep for 3-5 minutes

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

Add lemon slices and fresh mint to a classic Highball glass

Fill each glass halfway with chilled tea

Top with sparkling lemonade

Garnish with a lemon wedge and fresh mint

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays!

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8 Wines For Gifting And Gatherings During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to stock up on your favorite wines for gifts, holiday gatherings and cozy nights in. I keep a variety of wines at home for any occasion and I love sharing and discovering new wines. Here are 8 Wines For Gifting And Gatherings During The Holiday Season!

WINTER WHITES

Enjoying white wines in the summertime are a no-brainer but did you know there are some rich, full-bodied white wines that are bold, warming, and pair beautifully with winter dishes? There is truly a wine out there for any occasion and time of year! Here are some of the best white wines to drink in cold weather and toast to the winter season recommended from Vineyard Brands:

Four recommended white wines from the Vineyard Brands portfolio to enjoy this winter! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

From left to right:

1. Famille Perrin Cรดtes du Rhรดne Blanc 2018 (SRP $13.99)

Made by the legendary Famille Perrin, producers of Chรขteau de Beaucastel, this Cรดtes du Rhรดne is made from traditional varietals including Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. The Perrin family are masters in blending, and these particular Rhรดne varietals offer richer tastes. Round and supple in the mouth with minerality, this wine pairs beautifully with spicy dishes.

2. Umani Ronchi Vellodoro Pecorino 2018 (SRP $16.99)

Not only does the Pecorino grape grow well in cooler setting, it also is a varietal that is perfect for drinking in cooler settings. Produced by Umani Ronchi in the Abruzzo region of eastern Italy, this wine has high aroma concentration, good alcohol content, and wonderful acidity. Itโ€™s food friendly while maintaining fullness on the palate.

3. Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Blanc 2017 (SRP $28.99)

A family-run Domaine in the heart of Burgundy in the Cรดte dโ€™Or, Domaine Matrot vineyards are farmed and harvested organically. This 100% Chardonnay is fruity and round, but still with the rich taste for which Chardonnay is known. With fruit sourced near Meursault, this unoaked wine is not only an excellent value but a great representation of Burgundian Chardonnay.

4. Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2017 (SRP $45.00)

The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Tablas Blanc is a blend of five estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Chรขteau de Beaucastel estate. With core richness provided by Roussanne, anise flavors and a lush mouthfeel from the Grenache Blanc, and a saline minerality from the Picpoul Blanc, this blend has spicy notes and rich texture that make it ideal for cooler temperatures. Certified organic and biodynamic, this wine is a beautiful example of the heights Cรดtes du Rhรดne varietals can reach in the United States.

Here’s a tip per Vineyard Brands: When choosing a white wine to drink in cold temperatures look for a wine that is weightier on the palate to stand up against hearty dishes.

VIBRANT REDS

No matter how crazy your holiday shopping gets, here is one thing to have on your shopping gift list: a bottle of Montecucco from Tuscany! It is the ideal gift to surprise everyone, from the most curious wine geek to the longtime Italy aficionado or simply the wine lover searching for the best wine buys. Crafted with extreme care and dedication by small family-owned wineries, these hidden gems represent an undiscovered treasure, a perfect gift and holiday meal companion, thanks to their high quality and affordable price.

5. Parmoleto Montecucco Rosso DOC (SRP $20)

Montecucco, a small region nestled in the Maremma area, between the Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano appellations, is the new star of Tuscan wine. Considered one of the best rising expressions of Sangiovese, Montecucco Rosso DOC is a blend of three grapes: 70% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Notes about Montecucco’s wines: Their vibrant acidity, medium to full-bodied profile with hints of dark fruits, tobacco, vanilla, elegant tannins and a flavorful long finish, make them great pairings with grilled meats like veal and pork, game, black and white truffles, mushroom soup, pasta with meat sauce or Raguโ€™ and Pecorino cheese.

SOMETHING SWEET

In the not so far past Moscato was an obscure niche wine that was not well known. Those days are over. This grape has seen it’s popularity soar over the past 20 years. Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark, offers a beautiful Moscato that is very accessible for all.

6. Member’s Mark Moscato D’Asti (RP $9.98)

The grapes from the Member’s Mark Moscato d’Asti are hand-harvested and grown in a combination of limestone and sandstone soils from the cool, hilly Asti region. Moscato d’Asti is fresh, fragrant, and frizzante with vibrant flavors and aromas of ripe stone fruit, tangerines and honey. The wine is concentrated and flavorful, but not overly rich or heavy; sweet, yet balanced.

Did you knowThe Moscato dโ€™Asti appellation is located within the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. In 1993, it earned Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status, Italyโ€™s highest wine classificationโ€”reserved for the countryโ€™s most classic, expressive wines.

BUBBLY CELEBRATIONS

As the year comes to an end, there is one thing that comes to mind when celebrating: Sparkling Wine. It’s so lovely sipping on bubbly anytime but especially this time of year!

7. Member’s Mark Champagne (RP $19.98)

Most people use the term “Champagne” as a generic word for any sparkling wine. Some may be surprised to know that it is actually illegal to label any product Champagne unless it comes from the French region called Champagne and it must produced under the rules of that appellation. This king of grapes does not have to always break the bank either. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark label has a Brut that is both delicious and reasonably priced. Notes of apple and pear are found in this wonderful wine. Champagne has a unique neutral taste that goes with, well almost any dish whether cheese or chicken. December 31 is National Champagne Day so make sure to raise your glass this New Year’s Eve or any eve with a flute of Member’s Mark Champagne!

8. Member’s Mark Prosecco (RP $7.98)

Often thought of as Champagne’s first cousin, Prosecco has a life all of it’s own! The grapes are from a particular region in Italy called Veneto. Prosecco is meant to be consumed young and once it is bottled, no aging necessary. Member’s Mark ASOLO-PROSECCO D.O.C. hails from the Aslo Appellation of Italy within Veneto. With low residual sugar this Prosecco is vibrant and refreshing to the palate. Having spent time in Italy, I can attest that Prosecco is the main sparkling wine of choice that native Italians enjoyed quite often and now we can too!

Quick Refresher: Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark brand has a full fleet of highly-rated, delicious, award-winning wines at low prices..many under $10! 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.

Now that you have learned about these great 8 wines, which one or more are you most interested in gifting or taking to a gathering this holiday? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh NC

Hello December! We’ve officially kicked off our holiday season in our home and ready to spread some cheer. The Christmas tree is up, we’ve already started drinking eggnog and Motown Christmas songs are on repeat on Spotify. My #HeighPartyof3 (which consists of my spouse, our daughter and me) are in the Heigh-liday spirit {get it๐Ÿ˜‰} and have began some of the holiday traditions that we enjoy.ย So today I am sharing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh,NC ~


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES


๐ŸŽ„ RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL


๐™๐™ช๐™™๐™ค๐™ก๐™ฅ๐™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™™-๐™‰๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™š๐™ง: ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ˆ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ž๐™˜๐™–๐™ก, is now playing at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts until DEC 24th in downtown Raleigh. My family has enjoyed this live performance for the last few years now and it just keeps getting better! They’ve even added something new this holiday season to the beloved TV classic.
See all of your fave characters: Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Corneliusย and, of course, Rudolph, as they sing and dance their way to your heartsย while teaching kids of all ages to celebrate what makes you different because its your special superpower!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝโค ๐ŸŽ‰

SobeSavvy Tip: The fun continues in the lobby with great photo ops next to larger than life inflatables and cool photo props. Get your kids face painted before the show or shop for some holiday gifts during intermission!


๐ŸŽ„ CINDERELLA


Continuing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Famiy Fun in Raleigh, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without Raleigh Little Theatre’s Cinderella! Celebrating its 36th year, Cinderella runs December 6 – 22.
This amazing production has
* a sparkle of magic โœจ
*ย  a delightful blend of comedy and romance ๐Ÿ’‘
* elegant scenery and costumes ๐Ÿ‘—
* outstanding singing & dancing ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ƒ
….and great actors to bring this timeless story to life! We loved all the modern updates and twists that were added to this classic tale, plus there is some audience interaction that everyone enjoyed!ย  Make plans to see #RLTCinderella for the holidays and
Get your tickets today!

SobeSavvy Tip: Stay after the show and get a chance to meet The Fairy Godmothet or snap a pic with King Darling! There’s also merchandise available to buy for your little prince or princess in the lobby. Plus, RLT is collaborating with WRAL and accepting donations for Coats For The Children.


***SAVE THE DATE & GET TIX NOW for these upcoming shows at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts:

โ€ข DEC 13th and 14th Holidays with the North Carolina Symphony |HOLIDAY POPS features the holiday songs everyone knows and loves at Meymandi Concert Hall. With falling snow, hot chocolate, carolers, and an audience sing-along, this festive concert is the perfect holiday tradition. Audiences are invited to come early to meet Santa!

ย 

โ€ข DEC 18th – 29th ‘The Nutcracker’ Carolina Ballet | From the moment the curtain rises, the magic of this Holiday classic is mesmerizing. Take a journey to a land of whimsical characters featuring magical illusions, magnificent sets, and beautiful costumes. Listen as a live symphony orchestra plays Tchaikovskyโ€™s famed score.ย The Nutcrackerย is the perfect story ballet for the young and young at heart.


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

HOLIDAY EATS & SWEETS

๐ŸŽ„ SANTA BRUNCH at STIR

If you saw my Instagram story/post this past weekend, then perhaps you caught me and my Heigh Party of 3 hanging with ole Saint Nick aka Santa at STIR, located in North Hills. BRUNCH WITH SANTA at STIR is a recurring event happening every Sunday in December and is on my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh because of the good food and intimate moments with Santa. Saint Nick works the room like a pro and is so kind to take photos with everyone. Enjoy $1 Mimosas ๐Ÿฅ‚ + a buffet bar filled with goodness is included with your entree! My daughter loves their avocado toast customized to her liking and I am all about the fresh seafood selections like Oysters and Shrimp & Grits! Santa was quite jolly and dapper in his suit, so get ready for your close-up with ole Saint Nick! Just take a look at these photos to see some tasty highlights at STIR! ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿฝ

SobeSavvy Tip: While at the brunch, take advantage of the Gift Card Sale! Give $50 or more and get 20% at STIR for yourself! ๐ŸŽ


๐ŸŽ„ DUNKIN Holiday Treats


Do you like to ride around and see neighborhood Christmas lights while listening to holiday tunes? We do and we like to enjoy it while sipping on a warm beverage and eating snacks. So we stopped in our local Dunkin for some holiday treats. My daughter and I both had hot chocolate and their newย Holiday Brownie Crumble Donut, which features a vanilla frosted yeast ring donut dipped in brownie crumbles and drizzled with dark green icing. My husband enjoyed the eggnog latte with a yummy glazed donut. I think we may break tradition of leaving Santa cookies this year and give him a plate full of donuts with coffee on the side from Dunkin!

SobeSavvy Tip: Download the Dunkin app, earn DD perks and skip the line if order on the app before you go! Not sure what to get someone this holiday season, check out some of the cool merch offered by Dunkin inside the store and online or a DD gift card is always a great idea!


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

Holiday Movies


๐ŸŽ„ ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH


Going to the movies is always a good idea for a family date. Make plans to see a feature film or catch one of the holiday themed films now showing at ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH. This is our go to theater for movies because of the Alamo Family program. The perks for parents with kids are great and you have the ability to watch a movie and eat/drink at the most comfy seats.

SobeSavvy Tip: Gift cards make perfect stocking stuffers. Give the the gift of Alamo, which is good for tickets, food, drinks and merchandise!


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

There are so many fun things to do with kids in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle this holiday season. This is just a bit of what we like to do but take a look at Visit Raleigh, Facebook, Eventbrite, and Carolina Parent for more Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh, NC!

What festive family fun do you plan to have this holiday? ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿฝ๐ŸŽ
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EAT |Lunchtime in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants @CHWinery

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


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 |ย  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.ย Not only do they have a special Kids Menu, but they even have dedicated restroom for families.ย 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 & Restaurantsย  “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.ย He decided on their RoadHouse Burger and pretty much devoured it before I could get a foodie pic..lol. It came with Bourbon๐Ÿ‘๐ŸฝBacon๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ Jam๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ 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,ย  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.comย 


SobeSavvy Tip:ย  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 ๐Ÿท!


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


The next time you are in Tampa or any of the cities where Cooper’s Hawkย  Winery & Restaurants areย  **[as of 2018, thereย are more than 30 establishments nationwide, foundย inย 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.ย  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
http://www.chwinery.com
Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.comย 

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



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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

๐Ÿ‘€WATCH recap video of our fun day at ZooTampa here โคต๏ธ 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 Cafรฉ 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

๐Ÿ‘€WATCH recap video of our fin-tastic time at The Florida Aquarium here โคต๏ธ 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!

๐Ÿ‘€WATCH this video for a recap of our experience at MOSI โคต๏ธ 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

๐Ÿ‘€WATCH this video for a recap of our experience at Busch Gardens Christmas Town (open every night from Nov 16 2019 – Jan 6. 2020 โคต๏ธ 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

ยพ cup sugar

ยผ cup chopped peeled ginger

.25oz St. Germain

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish

Method:

For the Ginger Simple Syrup: Bring sugar, ginger, and ยพ 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, Diplomรกtico, 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 Diplomรกtico 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! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ

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I am looking forward to shaking things up this weekend for my first #Drinksgiving2019 party! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰ 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 ๐Ÿธ 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? ๐Ÿ‘” 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 menโ€™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,ย Exec Socks donates a pair toย @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,visitย execsocks.comand follow Exec Socks onย Facebook,ย Twitterย andย 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? ๐Ÿธ 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! ๐Ÿธ @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: ๐Ÿ““ 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? ๐Ÿ“š 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 ๐Ÿ†•๏ธ 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? ๐Ÿ“š 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 ๐Ÿ”™ and pick out a few you think he will love this holiday season! ๐Ÿ“š 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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โ˜•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 โ€œunpluggedโ€ coffee experience.

Best of all, each Steeped Pack contains hand-roasted, ethically-sourced, Direct Trade coffee thatโ€™s precision ground to showcase the distinctive flavor profile of every crafted blend. Whether youโ€™re looking for light, medium, dark, French roast, or even decaf, thereโ€™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 โคต๏ธ

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 rumโ€ฆ โ€œhas flavors of the coastline: allspice, vanilla, orange peel, peppercorns, cinnamon and clove. Itโ€™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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