Women History Month Apply Today

We are in year 3 of women month here at Toitimeblog. It’s where we show an extra appreciation towards women who are doing things and paving the way. With that being said I want to encourage women from ALL backgrounds to apply to be featured. This is a month long celebration and I can do one blog or more a day. It’s a great opportunity for women to showcase what they have done and where they are headed. There have been some amazing women who have answered the call and helped to shine the light.

I get every year women saying they have nothing to offer that would be an encouragement to others but that is simply not true. From the single mom doing what she can to support her family to the woman who is the head on a board of directors we ALL have a story. Consider sharing the story with those around you. Women run the world of course but while we do we need to learn to encourage the ones under us to be the best versions of themselves. If I listened to others tell me that I have no story I wouldn’t have birthed this blog 5 years ago. The ways in which it grew came from being authentic and I hope it’s a source of help to those who seek to read whether you are simply curious or just want to see what I am up to-let’s keep it going! Thank you to all the women who have done it in the past and if you have any amazing updates I would love for you to come back and share as well!

It’s simple to apply:

Send an email to toitimeblog@gmail.com

Know that when you do I will send you your questions and all you have to do is answer them inside of the email. I will type up your blog and attach a picture of your choosing and if I have questions and most likely I will contact you to clarify your statements. I do the work and we learn a little more about you.

The faster we get the entries I can pre-edit and I will let you know the day that your blog will post. My blog can be set ahead of time (which works for all of us) so that we all can continue living.

SO let’s go ahead and get involved!

We take women serious around here. I don’t allow anyone to be mad fun of here or allow the space to be used for bitter arguments and pettiness. We encourage women to strive to greatness knowing we are going to make mistakes along the way. We walk in grace and allow that grace and hard work to push us ahead. 

I love learning about some of the best women all around the world!

 

Monday Motivation: Blue Monday

Today is blue Monday. It represents the fact that today is the MOST depressing day of the year. Now if you grew up in the church like I did you aren’t allowed or shouldn’t speak “things into existence.” To speak about the most depressing day of the year means that you are speaking or willing it to be so. That is not the case. We are going to acknowledge it because it is a real issue that many can’t simply pray away. The factors that went into the study of Blue Monday deals with financial, motivation, and weather. Winter is and will always be associated with seasonal depression. The cold and gloom of the season attributes to it. So no we aren’t willing something that many face. We are actively speaking on it.

Disappointment of it all

The disappointment of having those around you not think enough of depression to be a valuable discussion can hurt. You want the people close to you to see YOU. It’s hurtful when they don’t. Why are they saying things like, “you’re trippin!” “Get over it!” Sometimes because to acknowledge your issues is to acknowledge their own. However you are going to have to get to a point where you take your own personal journey of depression into your own hands. Can you survive another person’s inability to see your depression and also find ways to combat it? Absolutely you can without the love and support of those you love. It’s hard. I have been in that place. But I do know that me having more days of less depressive moods or having the necessary tools to fight when a depressive mood comes is more important than faking it for a crowd. 

Image Check

Also let’s talk about when people tell you or you feel like you are disappointing this image they have of you. This representative that we use on a daily can be great. For instance I am a blogger who seems to be in the in crowd in the city. And nothing about that is false except where I post pretty pictures I equally talk about the fact of when I am having issues behind the lens. Some of your favorites wouldn’t because they are afraid of what others would think. I think for me I have had the closest folks near me betray me in ways I wouldn’t have thought that what strangers think doesn’t seem to matter. End of the day I share because as human we share like experiences. There is a woman like myself telling herself that because she deals with depression she’s not good enough to be loved. That is a lie by the way. You are loved and loveable. You are strong even in the lowest of an episodic depressive mood. We are complex and to smile through pain without checking into yourself to work through it will set you up in the long run. We aren’t poster board. Even if we were I want someone to see relatability in me not because I am pushing a product or experience. I want them to lay down on their pillows with more days of peace than anguish because this lie of what we put out doesn’t match our soul’s desire and issues that have to be worked out daily. 

Depression isn’t weakness

I will forever say this. I say this not just because I too fight with it, but because its true forever. It takes a lot of guts to stand in a place and say I need help. It takes a lot of loving yourself or wanting more for yourself to take the initial step of calling on professionals to help. You have to do what you have to do. Being better and going through personal healing will depend on your ability to stand up for yourself and make life better. There is no magic fix with depression. I know that a lot television and movies show people laying on couches of therapist and coming out happier than when they went. That is a lie if there ever was. Sometimes it’s so draining I have had to go to sleep. I have been angry or sad after leaving. It’s hard to pour your soul and think that this instant happiness and smiles will appear. You are setting yourself up for failure. One time I left therapy and sat in the car of the parking lot for an hour just staring into space trying to take in what happened in the actual session. 

So on today’s Monday Motivation let’s talk about depression. Let’s talk about it looking really dressed up and happy on the outside but with sadness on the inside. Let’s talk about the loneliness that it feels as if you are the ONLY one going through it. Let’s also talk candidly that like you and like me we are all connected. We don’t have to not talk in order to deflect. It’s more support out here than you think. How about the fact that we can be ourselves and take breaks when we need them. We are complex and beautiful humans.

There are options

Talk to someone if you need it! I have several that I reach out more in the winter months than any other time. It doesn’t take a big crowd just a few or even one person you love. Write it out so that if you make the decision to see a therapist you know where to start. I have taken my journal to show how I think when I and deep into a depressive mood. Get encouraged. Know that you aren’t alone. Even if you need medication to help you aren’t a failure. I have said many times about needing medication when I was in the middle of postpartum and how those around me either told others I wouldn’t have even told or they acted as if I was on “white people” stuff because I wanted to be better. Getting help in the Black community is like playing Russian roulette. Change the conversation. Getting help is about self-preservation only. In order for me to be truly happy I have to be willing to get the help that I need. 

Reshuffle your goals today! What are the most important things to you. One step even if it’s not giving you a result is still a step in the right direction. Be realistic; Rome wasn’t built in a day! Be kind to yourself! Give yourself the grace you extend to others!

Solidarity

I stand with those who are going through this. Those who aren’t be someone’s light today and every day. Instead of speaking out on things you don’t know, get educated. You can be someone’s stumbling block because you speak from a place of ignorance or arrogance. Choose to be someone that someone else can confide in instead of someone where they have to walk light around. 

 

Friday Check In January 17, 2020

Happy Friday. How else has had a long week? I know I definitely have. I am glad to be able to get into the weekend although this weekend is supposed to be some snow. I know its winter and I complain every year about it but I don’t like the snow. I never have and I most likely will not like it either. Either way I can’t do anything about it. I already made cookies just in case it does come and that we can drink some hot chocolate and be warm and eat. This is the why I stay so vigilant in the winterabout working out.

I do have an event on Saturday night and I have a family outing on Saturday afternoon. We shall see what happens. Sunday is going to a brunch Sunday and I am super excited. Outside of that I have 2 projects I am working on and I want to start filming for Valentine’s Day! This week has been a challenge just emotionally. I spoke on the blog about how my Wednesday went but it was more or less a build up of things that I hadn’t addressed.  I want to talk a little more about how to deal with unlocked emotions.

Your Trigger Your Issue

Apart of a great check in especially with yourself is being honest about your mental and emotional well being. What are your triggers? How do you respond when a trigger is hit? For me I can range from being loud and angry to quiet and distant. I am lucky to have my husband who is becoming more and more aware of my triggers. I am grateful to work them out on my own but I can let him know I am in the middle of a trigger and I need some understanding. That doesn’t mean that with an announcement of a trigger I can just be super rude. I cant bite everyone’s head off and I cant just go off to get through a trigger. So doing what works for you to get through that doesn’t push someone else over the edge or causes further damage to yourself either. 

They don’t help me?

I used to a few years back before going to therapy would get mad at my husband because he didn’t help me through a trigger. I placed all these high expectations on him to do something. What was he supposed to do? If he held my hand it wasn’t enough. If he hugged me through it he was being too passive. If he listened he wasn’t engaging enough. Triggers are personal. The work to get through them comes from the inside out. You need to have someone who isn’t ready to jump ship when you are in the middle of a trigger but you have to be actively working through them and not just triggering and apologizing. 

No Apology Needed

I used to say sorry for every trigger. In some of my triggers I would be apologizing like every few moments. I learned that an apology is supposed to be for when I wanted to change the behavior. Triggers are normal to have. This is why I work on being clear in my word choice so that I don’t have to apologize for having a trigger and now I don’t have to apologize for bad behavior because that is no longer an issue. Trauma is a lot of work to get through. My issues that created took a long while to create and they will take a long while to get through. I just focus on my inner work and inner peace. I am grateful for the skills to get through some of the darker moments of life. 

FaceTime Anyone?

This week’s catch up tips on how to catch up with others I would suggest if you have an iPhone or an app that will allow you to see your loved one use it. It’s great to hear someone’s voice but even better if you could see their face. Being that a lot of my friends and family aren’t in Philadelphia or within driving distance, seeing those helps. I use this method to contact and speak to my two nieces who live about 2 hours away. It allows me to keep the communication open. Technology was made for moments such as that and not for us to argue and fight over opinions. If used the correct way it can bring a lot of joy to those around you. I got my grandma a new phone per her request. I also made sure to get her and set up the app to be able to see her. Now the stress to get her set up on it was a LOT. I ain’t even going to lie and act as if it went smoothly but I do believe in the long run it was worth it. The app I use with my grandma is Google Duo! It’s easy to use and super easy to install! Grandma is rocking now!

Home Connections

If you are fortunate to have someone whom you live with and you find that you aren’t connecting as much as you need to, turn your phone off. Sit close to them. Find a show that you enjoy. Last night my husband and I watched Grownish together eating cookies and drinking wine. A great way to connect and to focus on the fun of a show we both love. These are small ways you can connect and keep the connections especially with our colliding schedules. 

So I wish you all a great weekend. I am in the middle of a 21 day blogging fest and I missed two days so you will be getting a blog a day until January 23rd who knows I might go the rest of the month. I love doing challenges like this with other bloggers. I also will be updating my events and what’s happening page. I haven’t updated since Christmas. 

Just a look ahead we are doing a Self-Love Challenge in conjunction with Valentine’s Day! I know it sounds cliché but the best love comes from within. You can’t recognize amazing love if you don’t first feel it from yourself daily. I can’t wait to have a little fun with this series. 

 

Open Discussions: Time to Decompress

So yesterday I had a long day. I was completely frustrated just with how the day was progressing. I think if I am honest with you all since, I have already been honest with myself is that when I thought about the stressors and deadlines I had on my plate, my travel for the end of the month, and just the normal day to day that I to do; I had to release that energy. There have been aspects of my life where I have come off being so easy to juggle because I am Type-A has many believing I don’t need to be supported. It’s not true. Someone who can multitask actually needs a lot of support because they juggle so much more in a day than the average person.

Me enjoying some snuggles with my cat-Tiki while journaling

I haven’t had much say for the most part on some of the instances in life that has taken place and with that the notion to push through has been the wave. I am one to practice self-care but there’s another element to daily self-care and sometimes that may mean taking an honest assessment of the things that are surrounding you. For instance, I haven’t spoken as openly about it, but my twin had major surgery this Summer and a lot was thrown onto my plate. Helping her navigate her health and life has been a lot. Yesterday I realized how much pressure I had been feeling. I needed space to acknowledge it and then delegate back to her what she needed to work on so I could clear my plate of some things I am attempting to work on too. It helped me to have an open conversation with her.

How do I deal with stress?

For me I am one to now speak up and be honest instead of allowing things to build and then explode. I work on how I feel inwardly before I talk to another individual about it. I was able to be honest with myself by stepping back and answering some real strong questions about how to further navigate life. I really do well under stress but it’s completely okay when on a day like yesterday I needed to retreat even for a few minutes. I took a quick 10-minute time out. I am blessed that my children are old enough that I can escape to my room and gather my thoughts. My children make me so proud.  We openly discuss stress and how to handle it. They knew that I needed my moment and they offered me the same suggestions that I offer them when they feel overwhelmed. It taught me that they listen, they are applying, and they are coping well.  We speak openly about stress not in the tones of what is stressing one another but in terms of stress management. My hope is that they see self-care and stress management as a normal occurrence and not something they learn only in therapy as adults.

Decompress

After my 10-minute time out I was able to have some vegan pizza and wine. I know there is somebody reading this like “oh she’s using food and drinks to manage stress.” Not at all. When you have a healthy relationship with food and drink you can enjoy them. The pizza and stress didn’t take my stress away. I worked through my issues and that’s what helped my stress. The pizza and wine were just something that makes me happy after the fact. I was just doing my food happy dance. Also, I was able to cook a few more meals to set my weekend up and the kids and I were able to be super light for the evening.  The atmosphere was great. My daughter was able to get all her studying done, the youngest were able to play, and everyone was prepared for their day today. 

Game Plan

With being able to decompress I was able to rest. I was able to get a mental game plan. I was able to refocus and resift. I like to do this as often as necessary because I don’t want the house to have to feel the pinch of my stress. Like Beyoncé says the women keep the tempo of the home. With we must do all we can to make sure that we are okay and not just in surface. As much as I advocate for asking loved ones second layer questions, we must do it on a personal level as well. How do you check in with yourself? Do you journal? Do you sit and block everyone out? Do you talk or phone a supportive person? Whatever you need and that need will change with each shifting situation we need to do it. We are important. I don’t want to be in a situation where I am not in control of my emotional health, so I strive to make sure that I am in top mental shape. Doing all I can to make sure that I am mentally okay within my own skin is important and I really hope you do what you can so you can feel and know the same!

Stress out of control

If you can’t control your emotions and you have checked in with yourself, journaled, talked to a friend, took a time out and you are truly feeling overwhelmed I would suggest talking to a doctor or therapist as you may need assistance. This is important. This doesn’t mean you are a horrible person. It doesn’t mean that you are out of control and hopeless. It doesn’t mean you are crazy. You just need better coping skills. It’s okay and not a failure to seek help. It shows strength in the ability to ask for help even when it doesn’t feel like you are strong. Keep in mind I believe in Winter or Seasonal Depression. Its gloomy out and dark earlier in the day and it affects your mood. I check in with myself more in the Winter than any other season. Its okay and you aren’t alone. Let’s make our mental health a top priority.

The Fairview

I had the opportunity to attend the Media and VIP Grand Opening party and it was amazing. I love how even with as many celebrants there were it still was more than enough space to take everything in. As a blogger I had immense fun but as always, I always take a step back to grade it on its practicality of when a patron comes in. There is a lot of offerings at the Fairview and I am going to break it all down for you.

Food 

I loved the options they presented us with for the Media Party.  There were a little something for everyone.

We started off with a cheese board. Most people enjoy them.  From the arrangements of cheese offerings, it made it a great start on the menu.

They also had bruschetta-red pepper and artichoke bruschetta. It was delicious.  

They also shrimp skewers.  For those who don’t have an allergy to shell fish the shrimp was busting with flavor. For those who do they had an equally delicious chicken skewer.

The Fairview Burger slider was amazing as well.

For me the highlight was the Chicken Fried Seitan Sandwich. I had at least 3 of them. The crisp alone will have you coming back.  

Drinks

They had a great offering of cocktails. I especially loved the Fairview Old Fashioned. It had Bullleit Bourbon Amarena, cherries, and spiced maple syrup. I also enjoyed my white wine as well. 

The Fairview has dishes for all palettes. From vegan and vegetarians to meat eaters alike you will be pleased.

Let me tell you about the service. During Media events often it’s a free-flowing atmosphere meaning we usually grab drinks at the bar or a central location.  At The Fairview they had the free-flowing environment as well as they had servers serving us and taking care of us. The servers were on point. It was refreshing. If the tone needed to be set, they set the tone high with great expectations.

Pictured with Fergie Carey and Gesella Morocho

The atmosphere of The Fairview is super relaxed. This is a place to have an incredible date night. The blue lighting already sets the mood. I was a bit frazzled from my Uber ride and the blue literally relaxed me well before the drinks. I hope they plan on keeping the colors as is because it’s really a highlight.

Pictured from left to right; Gesella, Phillyfoodgal; and Eventsbykb

Fergie Carey, Dave Dollinger, and Shane Dodds have turned elegant gastropub food and made it into a full-on dining experience. The Fairview is located at 601 N. 21st street and they are open Monday-Thursday from 11:30-11pm; Friday 11:30-midnight; Saturday 10:30-midnight; and Sunday from 10:30-11:30pm. Thanks to Chef Beth Fox the food was amazing.  I definitely will take my husband on a night out just to see his face in the pretty blue lights. Make The Fairview apart of your placed to dine. It is an added food blessing to the Fairmount area!

Thank you to The Fairview, and Aversa PR for the invitation. Thanks you Gesella for being my date for the evening!

Las Bugambilias; A Chain who?

When you think of authentic Mexican food and a chain comes to mind you are most DEFINITELY not eating well. I mean I get it right, some of the chains seem to have appeal but real authenticfood should always and forever be celebrated and that’s where Las Bugambilias comes in. Let’s also note that Las Bugambilias is family owned and that makes a difference when a restaurant takes pride in how and what they serve. Las Bugambilias food was nothing short of amazing and I was blown away. Let me tell you why your “Mexican” chain could never…..

This gem is located on South Street and has a very special place in my heart. So what’s my review? You know by now I grade on service, food, atmosphere, and real life accommodations. The real reasons are clear, if I go to a media review I have to step back push to view it as a consumer, however this wasn’t a media review and I attended under my own guidance. 

Greeting

I was greeted with a full, bright smile. Pure interaction from the very beginning. Not the type where people look at you, acknowledge you for a split second or ignore you altogether. Smiles and small talk. I didn’t identify myself at all. I like to hold out for as long as I can to see what type of vibes I get and the vibes were truly amazing and home like. I eventually identified myself and all was well as it had started. Let me also preface I had originally had a 1:30pm reservation but my husband got injured and I had to push it back to 6. Las Bugambilias was extremely accommodating. Whether they were busy or not it didn’t come off in the phone call. We all know how those go when someone rushes you off the line. That eased my own anxiety as I had to turn my blog life off to be a wife. I was able with ease come in and the service was EXTREMELY well. 

Service

Norma was the sweetest server. She knows her stuff and without asking, she was on it. My cup never went low. When I needed an extra table to be able to get my shots and just to accommodate my order, she brought it over to me. Everyone serviced by her was smiling and well attended and it was pretty full since it was dinner time. She just gets it. She smiled every time she came in contact with patrons the entire night. You can tell that’s her real demeanor because I might have given a smile a few times but she has a general upbeat personality. 

Food

The food which should be a great appeal to those who love Mexican food was so outstanding. I took my picky twin sister. She loves Mexican food but she can still be semi-picky but not only did she eat all of her food, she definitely ordered more. I had never seen her do that before. The food was hot. I don’t know what sorcery stove they are working with but you will NEVER be able to complain about some hot food. Not the type that is burning you but the type where you appreciate it eating right. There’s only ONE other restaurant that has gotten my food that hot before. The taste of the food is great. Everything is made to order and fresh. Norma made sure she described the severity of some of the sauces. This is great since I like spicy food but I wasn’t trying to be choking spicy either. She helped me order the right amount of spice so I could enjoy it! See the quality for yourself:

Enchiladas Vegetarians

Sopa de Vegetal

Enfrijoladas

Drinks

I had the Sour Cherry Margarita. I am never going to any Mexican restaurant and not ordering a margarita. It’s not going to happen. At Las Bugambilias they have 8 flavored margaritas including the traditional one. They have a wide selection of other liquor, wine and beer. The bar is well stocked and you can select your tequila brand etc. I personally loved the Sour Cherry. It wasn’t over sweet.  Some flavored drinks have so much sugar content that it takes away from it but not this one. They don’t assume you want sugar or salt they kindly ask. I have been at some other places and they just make the decision for you. 

Regret

The ONLY thing I regretted was not getting dessert but I was honestly too full to eat.  I’ll make that a must have the next time I go!

Atmosphere

It’s a family owned restaurant and they have open seating. You are seated but if there is something open they do allow you to sit where you want to sit. They have smaller tables but they can be combined to make room for bigger parties too.  This is still intimate to sit and have a great date night or grab a drink at the bar after work with co-workers. I honestly think you could bring a group of friends and with the margaritas have an entire great time. Keep in mind they have food for all. They had vegetarians, pescetarians alike too. The menu is quite something to behold. 

Accommodations

There were about 2 families with kids who mimicked my kidsage and some that were younger. They are definitely used to having kids in the restaurant from the way they interacted with them. My kids except my oldest two are Mexican food eater so I could definitely see me bringing them back. My youngest and niece would have to sit this one out. They don’t have a kids menu but the way my kids are set up they are moving past that even at 8 and 10.  They do however accommodate kids so don’t let me not make it sound like they don’t. The staff was completely hands on with the families who had kids.  The kids loved it especially when dessert came!!! 

 

 

Monday Motivation: Will Yourself

It’s amazing what you can do when you will yourself to succeed. We think often we need the keys of success whatever they look like but often its fight in our own minds that matter. How we see ourselves mentally can be a block of hindrance to this life we are attempting to make. Let’s look at some ways we can will ourselves to a more successful path:

Work Smarter

Sometimes we mentally block our blessings because we are attempting to work harder but not smarter. For instance, I was ironing up the kids clothes every morning and sometimes at night. However, I could have gotten more sleep in the mornings if I ironed their clothes one time for the week. Now I have saved time, energy, and in case of an oversleep which could happen, its one less thing to worry about. Another example of working smarter is with blogging, blog and edit ahead of time. This is a great way to have content ready without the stress of life hitting and having to find time to do it. Consistency is key and often we are in our own way.

Commit to ourselves

We commit to everything and everybody except ourselves. This is a mindset we need to have that we will do the most for us before we do for others. I know life isn’t about being an island but with balance we can do for both others and us. Its like cooking food for the community and your family lacks homecooked meals. Its backwards thinking. We need to take the mentality off the table that self-care is selfish. It’s not. It’s daily. It’s not just about facemasks and bubble baths. It’s about filling up your cup first before you continue to pour out to others. Stop giving others the best of you and depleting yourself for yourself. I hear people give folks the most beautiful comments and look at themselves in the mirror with so much negative talk. You know you can hear yourself? We must treat ourselves with the same tenacity. Therefore, some people get used to others speaking to them badly because they do it daily. We can’t require more from others than we give to ourselves. Balance the two. Make others step up to the plate and treat you right as you treat yourself right. What you eat, drink, and think about matters. Be more conscience of that.

Mind over Matter

What we think about and entertain sometimes blocks us. I noticed for myself and this was a personal decision for me to cut out some of the reality television and stop subscribing to certain social channels until I had gotten myself together. I don’t watch a lot of the shows still. I was getting too caught up into other folks’ bag and what they were doing to securing it that I was leaving money on the table. How was I leaving money on the table? Do you know how many writing opportunities that there are that I passed up because I wasn’t even looking for them. I told myself that I was going to use my evening to continue building my brand and I found myself saying-tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow never came. I was hype about the drama I watched but not enough for me to use that time to find and secure my own dreams. Again, this was a personal decision. You might not have that struggle and can continue to do what you do and not have any issues. However, if we are honest a lot of us need to take stock in things and we need to eliminate things and people from our lives to be a better version of ourselves. 

Personal statement

So, what are we willing ourselves to do? I saw a woman online who was visibly overweight. The comments were brutal. I saw her again and she made a declaration to love herself. She turned the comments off on her social media pages and she got to work. That woman has lost major weight. Did she do it for herself or the comments? Who knows? I hope it was for her. However, she said she made the decision to will herself to the new weight, got focused, and started to work towards her goals. Sometimes negative experiences will push you to a goal but won’t keep you working towards it. Be vigilant. In the case of a weight loss journey you learn so much more than pounds and appearances, you drop the weight in your mind that simply pours into your spirit.

What do you need to will yourself to do this morning? It could be simply going to work and not going off on a co-worker. It could be to enroll in class that will help your business. It could be to end a relationship that no longer serves you. Whatever that goal is let’s do the mental push ups to push yourself to your destiny. You may lack in skill, could be your push to drive that gets you to greatness.