ShopLocalRaleigh

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Can You Get Out?  Tic Toc Escapes in Raleigh

Tic Toc Escapes

Tic Toc Escapes

Earlier this week had a really cool invite to join the other bloggers from ShopLocalRaleigh for a night of adventure!  We went to the NEW Tic Toc Escapes in Raleigh.  Just so happens that one of the owners, Marylu Lawrence, is a friend of mine!  Marylu and her family are the PROUD local owners of this really cool place! (and they have been clients of Smith & Smith, CPA for several years too!)   Escape rooms are a fairly new concept to the Raleigh/Triangle area, but they have been growing on a global basis for a while now.

Owners of Tic Toc

Owners of Tic Toc

So just want is Tic Toc Escapes and what in the world is an escape room (I can hear my mom asking me that question now!)  So as described on their website, an escape room is a real-life, interactive game where players work together to escape themed rooms by discovering clues and solving puzzle challenges before time runs out!   We were a group of 8 and some of us knew each other and some of us didn’t…that played into an interesting part of our escape room experience, but I will get to that later.

ShopLocalRaleigh

ShopLocalRaleigh

We gathered around 6pm at Tic Toc (located near Hayes Barton Diner) and had a very nice and warm greeting by Mary Lou and her family.   They told us about escape rooms, how they work, the ins and outs and the dos and don’ts.  A big part of this is to have fun but to also encourage participants to NOT share the room details or puzzles with other people afterwards.  You want to encourage them to attend and try it on their own.  It’s like telling the end to a great twisted movie to a friend before they can even see it!  DON’T DO THAT! 

Will we escape alive!?!?

Will we escape alive!?!?

I can tell you this part though…our ‘theme’ game was that we were a rock band and were supposed to go on stage in one hour for thousands of our screaming fans…but we realize the door to our room is locked!  We had 1-hour to escape and a giant clock with ticking down the seconds!   I really had a blast and loved the whole escape room experience!   I do think it is best to do the escape room with 2-4 people and with friends/family that you know really well.  I had fun with the other bloggers from ShopLocalRaleigh and I had my good friend, Lisa-Gray, along with me too, but we were at the cap limit of 8 people per room.   There are lots of clues and locks to figure out and if you  have a smaller group, it will be more intense and you can be more involved in the whole process. tic toc So did we get out???? Yes, we did, but we had to ask for several hints along the way and our time ran out, but they gave us extra time because we were on the right track.   I can’t wait to go back and take Blake!  I also want to take my dad to try it out too as he is very good with puzzles!   Thanks to Tic Toc Escapes and Marylu and family for hosting us!   Go try them out!   Tell them you read about them in Beccasblog!  And thanks to Lois Cozart, owner of My Girlfriend’s Closest in downtown Cary and downtown Apex….she dressed me in the beautiful Kate Spade navy and green stripped top.   They have a fantastic selection of Fall and Winter fashions, shoes and accessories!   Tell them you read Beccasblog.com and get 10% off your total purchase!

Julia Wins the Contest!

Congrats Julia!

Congrats Julia!

I am so very proud of my cousin, Julia Fountain!  We just found out that she won 1st place out of 48 entries for a logo contest in her hometown of Aiken, SC!  Julia’s winning logo will appear on all locally grown and manufacture goods and products.   We are so proud of her and her hard work and achievement!  She was awarded a $250 check and it took her a little less then 3 hours to complete her design.  Julia has always been very talented and does freelance work for companies, so give her a shout if you need logo/graphic design work!  She helped Smith & Smith, CPA with our Tax Season Food Drive logo too!

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

 

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

 “LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

 Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 

 

Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 phone

(919) 380-0919 fax

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Cary Women’s Giving Network, Time with Wells Fargo and Some Early Halloween Fun!

It has been a busy week and it is only Wednesday!  This last week of October has really gone fast!

Cary Women’s Giving Network

Cary Women's Giving Network

Cary Women’s Giving Network

On Monday I joined the other ladies of the Cary Women’s Giving Network for our monthly gathering.  We had a delicious lunch together at the Matthews House (Bistro Lunch every Monday) and hosted Ellen Fort from the Lucy Daniels Center as our guest speaker.   Ellen is just a few months into her new role with the LDC, so she is still getting her ‘feet wet’ within the organization.  We had about 15 women in attendance for lunch and a few visitors.  The Cary Women’s Giving Network is part of the Cary Community Foundation and as associate with the North Carolina Community Foundation.  It was a nice cool crisp Fall day, so we took a group picture outside in the gardens of the Matthews House.  I love this group and the work we do in our community!   Thank you to Lois Cozart of My Girlfriend’s Closet for dressing me in the warm tunic sweater.  It had great Fall colors and my necklace was something that I won at the Life Experiences Auction in September.

Lunch with Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Lunch and Learn

Wells Fargo Lunch and Learn

One of the best things about the women’s network that I just mentioned, are the relationships that form within the group.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Pam Keene, Vice President of Business Banking with Wells Fargo, through both the GWGN and other groups over the past 11 years.  Pam and her co-worker, Mike Lynch (SBA Lending for Wells Fargo) hosted lunch for our CPA firm this afternoon.  Part of Pam’s job includes meeting with clients and referral partners to make sure there is a strong relationship and that the lines of communication are open and clear.

Pam & Mike of Wells Fargo with Alicia and Blake of Smith & Smith, CPA

Pam & Mike of Wells Fargo with Alicia and Blake of Smith & Smith, CPA

They brought lunch from City Barbeque into Smith & Smith, CPA and we had a very productive lunch meeting learning more about the products and services of Wells Fargo.   We share several mutual clients with Wells Fargo and having Pam and Mike to use as a resource and a reference is a huge asset for us!  We want to make sure clients needs are taken care of and by having a direct contact, it just makes everything run smooth on both sides!   Our entire office was able to sit-in during the “lunch and learn”.  Thank you to Pam and Mike for reaching out to us and for the delicious lunch!

Woodhaven Fall Festival

Smith & Smith, CPA Halloween Bags

Smith & Smith, CPA Halloween Bags

And now a cute little post-weekend photo!  Halloween started early for the Smith crew last weekend.  We attended the Annual Fall Family Festival at Woodhaven Baptist Church, located just a short distance from our house.  I think this is the 7th or 8th year in a row that we have attended.  The kids love it as they get to dress in their costumes, play in the bounce house, enjoy all kinds of games with prizes and have a blast.   We love it because it is outside and free!   They offer a yummy hotdog dinner and it’s a great family-fun atmosphere.

Family Fun at Woodhaven

Family Fun at Woodhaven

 

They do a trunk-or-treat at the end of the evening and have all kinds of cars & trucks decorated.  It is so fun to see each year!  And while you can’t see them very good in this picture, all of the Smith kids (Trent, Connor, Mark and Bailey) are using the Smith & Smith, CPA Halloween bags that we purchased a few years ago.  They were part of a marketing project and I still have a few left over, so the kids carried them to collect candy and goodies at the event.  They are nice durable bags and have our name & logo along with Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips on the side.   And yes, they got lots of good candy!  Thanks to Woodhaven for hosting this event each year!

tic tocTonight I am off to see the new Tic Toc Escape Room in downtown Raleigh!  ShopLocalRaleigh is hosting a bloggers event there tonight….stay tuned to the blog tomorrow to see how it went…and if we escaped!

 

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

 “LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

 Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 

 

Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 phone

(919) 380-0919 fax

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Memory Cafe of Cary through Rotary

Memory Cafe of Cary with Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club Friends

Memory Cafe of Cary with Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club Friends

This week the Memory Cafe of Cary celebrated its 1-Year Anniversary.   This is the joint project among the 5 Rotary Clubs in Cary, NC as a way to honor 50 Years of Rotary in Cary (the 50th Celebration was in August 2014).   The Memory Cafe of Cary is held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month  at Bond Park Senior Center and offers a free evening of dinner, entertainment and social interaction with those in our community who have a loved one struggling with Alzheimers disease.  Our attendance has steadily grown over the year and we have really gotten to know and love many of the regular attendees.  The Memory Cafe of Cary is staffed each month by volunteers from the 5 Rotary Clubs, we come together to set-up, serve the meal, interact with the guests and clean-up. It has become a favorite event of mine each month!  We have seen many friendships form between the guests and they even have started to request being able to sit together each month and ask if their friends have arrived yet at check-in.   Check out the video below to watch the live entertainment from our 1-Year Anniversary celebration this week!  They love the music and we are always looking for volunteers to provide the entertainment!

Cary Chamber Rewards Trip 2015

Cary Chamber Rewards Trip 2015

Last week was the Cary Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Drive Rewards Trip.  This was my 9th year in a row earning a spot on the trip and we had a wonderful time in Cancun, Mexico!  We went to a resort called Secrets Playa Mujeres.  It was beautiful and an all-inclusive resort.  We had 18 traveling in our group and had wonderful weather and a very enjoyable mini-vacation in Mexico!   The trip is awarded each year to those who are the top producers in the Membership Drive.  Many thanks to Lois Cozart, Owner of My Girlfriend’s Closet in downtown Apex and MGC Oh-La-La in downtown Cary, for helping me select some beautiful dresses to take along with me to Mexico!  We have a fancy dinner every night while on the trip and Lois had the perfect selection of dresses in her stores for me to choose from!

Upcycle at MGC

Upcycle at MGC

Speaking of MGC, tonight is their Upcycle Your Wardrobe Event!   Stop by their Apex store from 4pm-7pm and bring in your Fall items in return for store credit, PLUS 20% off your ENTIRE purchase!   What a great deal!   They are looking for the following items in the list below.  Stop by to see them and tell them that you read Beccasblog.com!

dark wash jeans

-3/4 and long sleeve trendy tops

-light weight sweaters and jackets

-designer handbags

-boots/fall shoes

-autumn dresses

We ask that the items are in pristine condition, clean, no holes or missing buttons, and current styles. Each person may bring up to 15 items.

Kim & Becca

Kim & Becca

Last week I also had a chance to have lunch with my dear friend from ShopLocalRaleigh, Kim Davis.   Kim and I have been friends for several years and are always bouncing ideas off each other when it comes to marketing and networking.  We have a new idea in place for a marketing round-table and it is something that we could both really benefit from.  The idea is still a work in progress but stay tuned!  We had lunch at the Red Monkey Tavern at Crabtree Valley Mall.  Thanks again to Lois from My Girlfriend Closet for dressing me in the casual blush colored tank from Ann Taylor!

It’s almost Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

 “LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

 Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 

 

Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

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Growing Your Business Referrals

Carrie, Becca & Kim

Carrie, Becca & Kim

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending a presentation for Professional Working Women called “Grow Your Business: Referral Request Seminar”.  The event was hosted by Carrie Peele and featured guest speaker, Mary Cantando, Founder, of The Woman’s Advantage.  Carrie is the newly appointed Chair for the Triangle Chapter of The Woman’s Advantage and hosted her first event at the PNC Boardroom in Raleigh.  So many women business owners & working professionals struggle waiting for referrals to happen by “word of mouth”.  This seminar taught us how to stop waiting for them to happen and how to instead, MAKE the them happen!   Carrie and Mary also presented the opportunity to learn more about the Women’s Advantage Program and how ladies can sign-up to get involved.  I really enjoyed the class and was happy to have my friend & fellow ShopLocalRaleigh member, Kim Davis of The Paystub People along with me.   Kim and I worked as partners during the class and had a chance to share several times when Mary called on volunteers.   I can’t wait to take what I learned from this class and aplly it to my job as Director of Marketing at Smith & Smith, CPA.   WA-logo-PDF

Thanks to Carrie for the invite!  Please feel free to contact her to learn more!  Also a shout-out to Lois Cozart of My Girlfriend’s Closet for dressing me in the colorful Joy Joy summer dress!   Who said you can’t wear horizontal stripes!?!?!  Shop My Girlfriends Closet in downtown Apex and downtown Cary (MGC Oh-la-la) for great summer fashions & savings! Tell them you read Beccasblog.com to get 10% off your purchase!

Check out my office for the next week!  YEA!!!!  See you July 27th!

GONE TO THE BEACH

GONE TO THE BEACH

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

 “LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

 Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 

 

Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

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Boutique Blowout, NCER, and Rotary Social

BBOMark your calendars and make sure you are there on Friday for the ShopLocalRaleigh Boutique Blowout Sale!  It will be held on Friday, July 17th at Market Hall-City Market in downtown Raleigh (215 Wolfe Street)bbo1  Doors open to VIP (tickets are $10) at 4:00PM and then do the general public ($5) at 5:00PM.  This event will ONLY last until 9:00PM and the good items will be gone FAST!  Don’t delay!   I’ll be there at 4:00PM to get some great deals!  Last year I was there and I found some wonderful gifts!   This event is hosted by ShopLocalRaleigh and will feature over 20 local boutiques and 10+ vendors onsite, offering you their BEST sales of the summer season!  Hope to see you there!

 

NCER July Luncheon

NCER July Luncheon

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the North Carolina Executive Roundtable luncheon.  This nonprofit professional association that provides a forum for building trusted relationships among senior executive professionals and peer discussion groups.  Their speaker, Joe Stewart, is the Executive Directors for the NC Free Enterprise Foundation.  I found his topic on voter behavior in North Carolina to be very interesting, especially with an election year right around the corner!

New member social July

 

And finally, my Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club had a New Member Social on Friday night.  We invited all club members who had joined as of January 2014 to have dinner and group discussion on “All Things Rotary” at one of our member’s homes.  It was such a fun time!  We have 15 club members present and covered lot of Rotary topics!   Thank you to Lois Cozart of My Girlfriend’s Closet for dressing me in the blue & white chevron long-sleeve top!  I paired it with white shorts and it made for a perfect summer social outfit!  Stop by and shop their store in downtown Apex this week to find great summer clearance deals, plus a HUGE sale on shoes!  Tell them you read Beccasblog.com and get 10% off your final purchase!

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

 “LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

 Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 

 

Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

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Confusion Over Taxes and the New Health Law

Sample Chart on Affordable Health Care Law

Sample Chart on Affordable Health Care Law

Our CPA Firm has already received a ton of calls about the New Health Care Law…wanting to know how it is going to impact them and what they should plan for.  The honest truth is that it has been confusing for everyone, even those considered to experts in those areas, like Health Insurance Agents and CPAs.  So when it comes to the new health care laws and filing yours taxes, there doesn’t seem to be a really clear cut-and-dry answer as to how it is all going to play out.  One thing for sure though, is to make sure you have made your Obamacare Health Care election by the deadline of February 15th, which is just a little under 2 1/2 weeks away from today!   In order to avoid some serious penalties (or TAX, as it should be called) you need to follow the health law’s open enrollment period and sign-up by February 15th.  I did some online research and found a good article that pretty much explains the whole complex issue.  Here is a LINK for the article.  The article covers some good examples and shows how the Affordable Care Act will show up on your tax form.   The article is part of a reporting partnership with NPR, WNPR, KQED and Kaiser Health News.

SLR friends, Patty, Kim and Jennifer

SLR friends, Patty, Kim and Jennifer

On a lighter note, I was happy to attend the 4th Friday Social sponsored by ShopLocalRaleigh.  The January event followed the 3-year tradition of being held at Peachy Keen Boutique and Joint Venture Jewelry in Cary.  Thanks to Jennifer Martin for leading this great group of local business owners!  It’s always a fun event with lots of networking and sharing of those small business joys, stresses and success stories!  ShopLocalRaleigh has a FULL calendar of great events coming up, including the Brewgaloo festival in downtown Raleigh that will feature over 70 breweries in North Carolina!  An event NOT to be missed!  Thanks to ShopLocalRaleigh for all that they do to keep small business growing and thriving in Wake County and beyond!

It is time to start thinking about filing those 2014 tax returns!  Smith & Smith, CPA would be glad to help, please give our office a call for a price quote and drop-off appointment.  Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

 “LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

 Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 

 

Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 phone

 

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Watkins Flowers for ShopLocalRaleigh

ShopLocalRaleigh

ShopLocalRaleigh

This morning was the October Final Friday ShopLocalRaleigh morning social. The event was held at Watkins Flowers of Distinction in Raleigh on Capital Blvd.  The store is already beautifully decorated for the holiday seasons and boasts tons of cool holiday decor, plus flowers of all kinds and styles!  The owners, Ed Carpp and his wife, Sallie Taggart, were gracious hosts and had fresh coffee and donuts for us.  The Friday Morning Social is a FAVORITE among many in ShopLocalRaleigh and gives a SLR member an opportunity to host the event at their place of business.

Winner!

Winner!

During the social, we all get a chance to go around and introduce ourselves and meet all of the other members and guests.  There was a HUGE crowd this morning and many members had exciting announcements about holiday promotions and events.  Watkins Flowers did a door prize drawing for a gift basket that was full of items from LOCAL stores and vendors, many of which are members of ShopLocalRaleighScott Sams of Dynamic Print Solutions was the lucky winner!  One of my favorite items in the basket is the popcorn from Carolina Popcorn ShoppeJennifer Martin, Executive Director for ShopLocalRaleigh, handed out the Sir Walter Raleigh cut-outs as it is ONCE AGAIN time for the “Where’s Walter” Holiday ContestSmith & Smith, CPA participated in this event last year and it was so much fun!

Where's Walter Contest

Where’s Walter Contest

The Where’s Walter contest involves local businesses putting the cut-out of Sir Walter in their place of business (or on their website) and inviting other SLR members & the public to snap pictures of Sir Walter and then post them to Twitter and Instagram.  Each post gets you an entry for all of the great prizes!  Last year the GRAND PRIZE was a SCOOTER and one of our Smith & Smith, CPA clients, Kate Steadman, Co-Owner of FRILL, was the lucky winner!  The contest will start in a few weeks, so make sure you stop by Smith & Smith, CPA to see our Sir Walter and enter the contest!  Thanks again to Watkins Flowers for hosting the October ShopLocalRaleigh Final Friday Morning Social and to everyone who came!  Thanks to Lois Cozart of My Girlfriend’s Closet for dressing me today in the purple tunic!  My Girlfriend’s Closet is located in downtown Cary and downtown Apex….keep it local, Shop Local!  Happy weekend!

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information  http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

 “LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

 Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 

 

Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 phone

(919) 380-0919 fax

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Tassel Bracelet Giveaway

Enter to win!!!!!

Enter to win!!!!!

Happy Friday everyone! I’m soooooooo excited about this blog post today as I am doing my FIRST EVER BLOG PRIZE GIVEAWAY!!!!  Whooop-whoop and the prize is AWESOME!!!  I learned a few months back at the FitBlogging’ conference that it was very beneficial to partner up with some other local businesses to run promotions and giveaways through your blog and website.  So I am taking that message to heart and putting it into action!  For my FIRST EVER Beccasblog Giveaway, I’ve teamed up with Kate Steadman, Co-Owner and Lead Designer at Frill Clothing, and Lead Stylist & Blogger at Sara Kate Styling to giveaway a TASSEL BRACELET.  These bracelets are SOOOOO cute and very on-trend for the 2014-2015 year!  I met Kate Steadman a few years ago through ShopLocalRaleigh and she’s been a friend and a client for several years now.  Smith & Smith, CPA LOVES working with local business owners and we always try to shop local for our own business needs & services.  Kate is the designer of the TASSEL BRACELET and at the bottom of this blog you’ll be able to enter up to 7 times!!!  That’s right, 7 chances to win!  And it is easy, all you have to do is like our FB pages, follow on Twitter, Instagram and a few other social media sights.  The contest is going to run through Tuesday August 26th and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, August 27th. I’m doing a trial-run with PromoSimple so give me some feedback on what you think.

SLR Friends at Savvi Formalwear

SLR Friends at Savvi Formalwear

Speaking of ShopLocalRaleigh, I went to their 4th Friday Morning Social today at Savvi Formalwear.  I love the ShopLocalRaleigh socials as it is a fun time to get to know other local business owners & service providers better, plus the events are always fun and a great way to start your Friday!  During the introduction part, we had a chance to answer the question “What is your biggest concern or challenge for the Fall of 2014“.    There were many different answers from getting better organized, to worrying about interest rates for clients and health insurance uncertainties.   Many thanks to Savvi for hosting us, they have LOCAL formal and bridal wear!  Check out this fun picture made in their store this morning with Robert Courts, Kim Davis, myself and Greg Whitt.  Thanks to My Girlfriend’s Closet for styling me in the cute black tank with a matching skirt!

Have a great weekend and please enter the contest below!

 

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information  http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

 “LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

 Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 

 

Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 phone

(919) 380-0919 fax

 

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ShopLocalRaleigh Boutique Blowout Lucky Card Winner

Lucky Card Winner!  Contact me if you have this Card in your bag!

Lucky Card Winner!

Last Friday, August 8th, was the ShopLocalRaleigh Boutique Blowout!  The awesome event was held at Cobblestone Hall City Market in downtown Raleigh and featured over 20 locally owned and operated boutiques, crafters, spas and specialty shops all under one roof!  It was a really neat way to highlight local stores, plus they had incredible deals on their end-of-summer merchandise and excess inventory!  Many of the shops & vendors had their items marked as low as $5 and discounts as deep as 75% off!  This was a good opportunity for them to move merchandise and get their stores ready for Fall and Winter items.  The Boutique Blowout Sale started at 5:00PM but VIP members were allowed to get in at 4:30PM for 30 minutes of early shopping time.  VIP attendees also received a reusable shopping tote full of coupons and promotional items from local business owners and sponsors.

Boutique Blowout Sponsor

Boutique Blowout Sponsor

VIP members also go an armband to enjoy a cocktail for the ultimate Sip and Shop experience provided by www.iheartretail.com!  I thought this was a great chance for Smith & Smith, CPA to support the “Shop Local” movement and as a member of ShopLocalRaleigh we were excited to be a Sponsor for the event.  Other sponsors included: Galatea Boutique, Yelp, LiveWorkPlay.com, Midtown Magazine, IHeartRetail.com, Southern Bride & Groom, G105 B939 Country 95x, The Junction Salon Bar, Adara Spa, and Troy Mezze Lounge.

Jennifer and Chris of SLR

Jennifer and Chris of SLR

As a sponsor for the ShopLocalRaleigh Boutique Blowout, I had the opportunity to provide a goody for the tote bags (250 items were needed!)  so I decided to do a treat-bag with candy, gold coins and a LUCKY card from a deck of cards.  I put a label on the front of the goody bag encouraging attendees to check the blog today to see if their card was the LUCKY card.…thus winning a Smith & Smith, CPA tailgate chair and cooler.

Iheartretail.com with Kim

Iheartretail.com with Kim

I drew a card this morning from a full deck of 52 cards and the WINNING LUCKY CARD is the 10 of Hearts!!!  So if your Boutique Blowout Bag had a 10 of Hearts in the goody bag from Smith & Smith, CPA, PLEASE contact me by email (info@smithandsmithcpa.com) or phone (919) 380-0600 and I’ll collect your card and give you your prizes!  Alicia went with me to work our Smith & Smith, CPA booth, we were right near the front entrance and we enjoyed greeting all of the shoppers as they arrived and invited them to take a spin on our winning wheel.

Tia of Bank of NC found lots of deals!

Tia of Bank of NC found lots of deals!

We were offering prizes to those who landed on the Ace, King, Queen and Jack of Spades.  We had a lot of participation and gave away several prizes!  I also had ‘$5 Girlfriend Bucks’ coupons from My Girlfriend’s Closet Consignment Boutique that I gave out to those who stopped to spin wheel.  Thanks to Lois Cozart, owner of My Girlfriend’s Closet in downtown Cary and downtown Apex for providing me with the ‘Girlfriend Bucks’!   Thanks to everyone who stopped by.  I did a bit of shopping myself (Alicia and I took turns with our booth) and I was able to find some great deals on some presents for the rest of the year!  Plus I enjoyed talking to all of the store owners and getting their feedback from the event (it was all positive).  Our Boutique Blowout sponsorship also included 4 VIP tickets I had invited some of our Smith & Smith, CPA referral partners & clients to attend.  They all had a great time and loaded up on lots of amazing deals!  The attendance was very steady during the opening hours and lasted till doors closes at 9:00PM.

Boutique Blowout Sale ShopLocalRaleigh 2014

Boutique Blowout Sale ShopLocalRaleigh 2014

I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Jennifer and Chris of ShopLocalRaleigh for all of their help and time in putting this event together!  I know they had lots of time & energy put into making this a success for everyone!  If you are not involved with ShopLocalRaleigh or a Shop Local movement in your area, I encourage you to seek out one and get active.  It’s a great way to keep those small businesses growing and thriving!

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information  http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

 Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

Join me on Twitter @beccacarync

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Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 phone

(919) 380-0919 fax

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Noodle Bar in Raleigh with ShopLocalRaleigh and Bloggers!

Torii Noodle Bar by Kanki

Torii Noodle Bar by Kanki

So last night I had a pretty cool experience, I was invited by Jennifer Martin, Executive Director for ShopLocalRaleigh to join in on the SLR Food & Travel Bloggers event at Torri Noodle Bar by Kanki.  Now, noodle bars are one of the hottest food trends in 2014, so I had to go and check this place out!  Jennifer knows that I’m an avid blogger and not only is Beccablog.com about our Smith & Smith, CPA clients and helpful tax/accounting advice, but I also LOVE to blog about events and happenings within our networking groups, such as ShopLocalRaleigh.

Delicious Appetizers by Torii Noodle Bar

Delicious Appetizers by Torii

I’ve also been adding some reviews to TripAdvisor and UrbanSpoon here lately too, so it all ties in together nicely.  This was my first time at a noodle bar, though my husband and I are fans of the roman noodles that you can make it home, so I had to go and compare the two!  Torii Noodle Bar is located at Crabtree Valley Mall on the top level, right down from Kanki.  It is owned by the Kanki family and has both indoor and outdoor seating.  It is not a large space, seats 40 people inside and has large glass windows that provide lots of natural light.

Becca and Jennifer trying sake

Becca and Jennifer trying sake

The noodle bar was closed for just our group and upon arrival they offered you a drink and some delicious appetizers (edamame, Gyoza, calamari, and tataki).  The room was set-up in a ‘cooking teaching style‘ and I couldn’t wait to get started!   Those who know me know that I would rather do the dishes and clean-up after a meal ANY DAY instead of being the chef, but I was looking forward to this experience.  Everyone at Torii was very nice and I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Alex Cordova, Executive Chef for Torii (he taught the noodle making class), Tom MukoyamaCorporate GM and Certified Sake Adviser, Reuben RodillasGM Torii Noodle Bar at Kanki, and Gee DararouksaDirector of Operations for Plaza Associates.

Let's Make some Ramen!

Let’s Make some Ramen! This is what we started with

Once everyone had arrived we gathered around the table and Tom gave us a quick overview of Torii and introduced Chef Alex.  Chef Alex talked a little bit about the history of the ramen noodle and what the basic ingredients are (wheat flour, salt, water and kansui).   Now the fun began!  We were each given a plate of 4 small sauce bowls and we were invited to sip and try the difference sauces and then decide which one we wanted for our final noodle bowl.  All of their noodle bar sauces are made in-house and some even take up to 6-hours to make!

Mixing it all up!

Mixing it all up!

I went with the first flavor which was a shoyu broth, a soy-based broth and the most common style, a specialty of Tokyo.  Next we stared making our own noodles!  Starting with our bread flour, we mixed, rolled, and stretched and flattened the dough through the pasta noodle maker machine.  This was really fun as we laughed and talked and took turns sharing the noodle machines.  After about 20 minutes we ended up each having a plate of noodles for dinner and a bag of noodles to-go home with us.

Rolling out the noodles

Rolling out the noodles

The servers came around and took your fresh made noodles along with your name and choice of sauce.  After a few minutes your noodle bowl came out and you went down the ‘noodle bar topping‘ line and added different items as you wished (pork, soft egg, scallions, tofu, fish cake, and snow peas).  It was so fun to see all of the different combinations that everyone had made as it really does represent how Torri Noodle Bar caters to each individual particular taste and flavor, I just loved the idea of creating your own noodle bar bowl!

My noodle bowl included: noodles, shoyu broth, fresh egg, pork, scallions, and snow peas.YUMMY!!!!

Finished meal ready to eat!

Finished meal ready to eat!

During the whole cooking course we also were treated with tastings of many different sake flavors!  I can’t even remember how many we tasted but they were all different: sweet, hot, cold, strong, etc.  Really good!  My favorite one tasted like spiced apples!  After we all ate dinner together, they thanked us for attending and we were each presented with a “Certificate of Participation in the Making of Ramen Noodles” and a bright green recycled bag full of coupons, special offers to Torri and Kanki, recipes, notepads and more.

Let's eat!

Let’s eat!

Torii Noodle Bar is a great location for many events…there is plenty of parking and the space is perfect for hosting private events such as baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, office parties, family events, and more. The staff will work with you to help create the best set-up and menu for your event.  They also offer a variety of classes each month at Torii, such as Sake & Sushi 101 and Noodle Making.  The classes are $35/per person and they can be found on the website.   I really like how ShopLocalRaleigh reaches out to community bloggers and locally owned restaurants and works to connect them together.  This event was really well done and lasted about 2-hours.

Selfie with Chef Alex and Becca

Selfie with Chef Alex and Becca

I’d like to say thank you to Jennifer Martin of SLR and all of the staff at Torii and Kanki for such a fun night!  There was also a film crew there taking pictures and making videos to use for Torii, so I am sure they got some great footage!   So overall my first experience at a noodle bar was really awesome and I’m already thinking of an event I can have there soon with friends!  And a very special thanks to Lois Cozart, Owner of My Girlfriend’s Closet, a high-end ladies consignment boutique with two locations, located in downtown Cary and downtown Apex, for dressing me in this beautiful blue and white silk polka-dotted sleeveless top from The Limited.  I paired it with while linen pants and it made for a crisp and cool hot July summer day outfit!  They still have tons of great summer dresses and tops, plus fantastic accessories!  Tell them you read Beccasblog.com and get 10% off your total purchase!

 

Becca Smith...Ramen Noodle Graduate!

Becca Smith…Ramen Noodle Graduate!

Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information  http://www.smithandsmithcpa.com  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!

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Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 phone

(919) 380-0919 fax