Inis Nua presents The Night Alive

This takes the concept of failure and redemption to a new level. Can you fail and hit the bottom of your life and find true redemption? We say that you can but we all know that’s usually an uphill battle!

Tommy is the epitome of what it means to have the very bottom of your life fall. He is dealing with living with his uncle Maurice in a dirty “flat” in Dublin. His wife has left him and he’s unable to have a descent relationship with his teenage daughter. He is lonely outside of his friendship with Doc who is a little behind everyone else!

He meets and helps Aimee who has just been beaten up by her boyfriend and is trying to figure herself out. Can two people who have nothing to lose bring each other hope? Tommy definitely feels so. He has fallen in love with Aimee but she is struggling with the life she knows and may not be capable to let that go! Aimee boyfriend, Kenneth doesn’t take letting go too easily and goes on a search to bring her back to the life of drugs and stealing they had. It’s that encounter that spirals Tommy’s choices and life to the point of no return!

The Night Alive is witty, real, and speaks to every last one of us whoever lost and tried to change. It speaks to those who have failed miserably trying to make better decisions but the past seems to come knocking. It’s relatable even though the story takes place in Dublin. It goes to show you that life happens to every last one of us.

The Night Alive by Tony-nominated Conor McPherson has the right amount of drama, redemption, excitement all wrapped with the human touch! I sat in the front and I was mesmerized the entire time. For my readers I need to say there is a brief violent scene. I sat watching gasping and I can always tell when something grabs me because I sat straight up and leaned forward not to miss a beat!

The actors did a phenomenal job with this production and I send positive vibes during this run!!

You can see A Night Alive until October 27th! You don’t want to miss it. Tickets can be purchased here!

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Old City Fest 2019

I love the Fall! I love festivals and to combine them both is always a treat! If you follow me on Instagram and you should you know for a while now I had been posting and raving about how great Old City Fest would be. However with all of the hype did it pass the Toitimeblog test?

Yes it did! There was amazing food, drinks, things for the kids to do (not that I took my own), music, and fun and amazing weather. It couldn’t have been a better Sunday funday? It had all of the key elements! I actually didn’t eat when I got home because I was super stuffed! I love walking around, meeting new people, and trying new food.

I of course stopped at Cuba Libre! I love their food and drinks. They ran out of their branded coconuts but the mojitos were still amazing. I had another event to go to right before and the mojito was right on time. They had classic and mango and of course I got mango! Something about fruit flavored mojitos that turn a mood!

Can we talk about dessert before I get to food? I had never had icecream at Franklin Icecream before! I know it seems as if after almost 9 years there are still a list of things I haven’t done! However can I just say hands down they by far have the best vegan pumpkin icecream I’ve had this season! I’m more than willing to be challenged on this but it’s true!

I had some amazing food from Makhani but I think in all of my greediness I didn’t get a picture. I was doing more filming and recording. I also loved seeing all of the diverseness from the crowd. Also special love to all of those who had their dogs out as well!

So what did you miss? Overload of vendors in a good way! Not one time did I feel as if something didn’t catch my eye. From vendors offering chances for free services, to samples, to food purchases, drink purchases, an amazing DJ, about a 4 block radius of fun, it was filled and jam packed! I saw nothing but smiles from everyone I saw. It’s always great to shut down a few blocks and walk around carefree for a little while! To experience the city coming together was beautiful!

Who doesn’t love a great Fall photo op?!

I loved that Old City Fest had a great mix! I hope to see you there next year? The crowd was everything!

Photo by Kory Aversa

So next time Old City Fest comes into town make sure you find your space to enjoy the fun!

People’s Light Presents Colman Domingo’s Dot

The story follows a family who is struggling with their mother, Dotty’s Dementia disease. It takes winding turns as the disease progresses and everyone’s acceptance of the progression changes.

From the beginning watching how Dotty interacted with her daughter, Shelly reminded me of my grandma and my aunts act when we have gotten together. Everyone is so opinionated and yet Dotty and Shelly are wrestling with one another emotionally on what the next steps are. Shelly’s answer is extremely unconventional but as I watch her why it became clear. I had never seen Dementia portrayed in such a way before. To be honest like most of us we only think that memories are lost but the reality is whole lives are taken.

I never gave thought how someone like Dotty would feel as everyone moves around her. I remember growing up in my neighborhood and church family there were many instances that made me feel a sense of relativity. Having love and respect with community mothers who made you feel loved and how the love never changes but as they get older their health deteriorates.

I love how Playwright and Director kept the colorful beauty of intertwining Donnie’s marriage to Adam and showing how there is acceptance with Dotty. I also love that even as much acceptance and love is around them they still like all relationships are complex! Jackie’s inability to move on from Donnie who was her high school sweetheart (yes now married to Adam) has pushed her decision making.

I love Averie the youngest and dreamer that everyone has written off. She actually has more sense than they give her credit. She also looks out for Fidel in her own way. Fidel is from Russia and has been paid to keep an eye out for Dotty. We all know how healthcare and long term care works. It’s great when you have enough resources but when you don’t you have to get creative.

There is a lot of high emotions and trauma that happens as Dotty progresses. Trauma always has a way of rearing it’s head at the most opportune times. Yet it’s within that trauma that forces your hand to do the work you neglected.

Dot is beautiful, sad, enlightening, sacred, truthful and in a twist humorous. It’s more than a story about disease it’s a story of life that we ALL can relate. How we fit within our own communities and how we process pain, life, and love speaks volumes.

Dot is a must see. As always People’s Light always leaves me thinking. It causes a spark of conversation with my family and friends. What is my legacy and how would I want to be honored if I ever couldn’t keep my own dignity?!

Dot is running until Sunday October 20, 2019! Don’t miss your opportunity! People’s Light is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern PA 19355. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased here!

Monday Motivation: National Kick Butt Day

Now know that this is about kicking ourselves in the butt to complete our goals. You know the ones that we said we would do, but we haven’t done. The ones that we aspire to complete, but we lacked motivation to complete.

Sometimes we need to have a swift kick in the behind to get us where we need to be. Today is that kick as well as that reminder that goals don’t just happen. Goals need work and participation. Goals need you to do your part. We lack ambition and it sits between desire and life happening. Sometimes life happens but if we are real we also play our part in goals dropping. If you aren’t doing what you need to do especially if you know what you are supposed to do but don’t; you are the only one who can give you that good kick to get that much closer to your goals. You know you got to stop and reclaim your time in the words of Auntie Maxine. You need to step up and refresh your why.
The time isn’t at a new year, next month, etc. the time is now. Kick start the very desires and a plan to make it happen! Eliminate the setback which inevitably will bring a sense of accomplishments into your life. Its like walking for days what you could have walked in hours. Kick yourself in the butt. You are your own worse enemy. Acknowledge your shortcoming and than use it to push you forward.

Sunday Message: Make it Count

We all know life is hard. We all know that when we start the day even with the best of intentions things don’t always pan out the way we envisioned it. As I woke up this morning getting the family together it was crazy how many distractions came in. I mean it was almost like a school and work day where we had to be up and out the door by 7. That’s a large task with all the personalities to manage.

As soon as the kids started to push back I had to remind them to make today count. Why wake up and start your day bad when there is enough bad in this world? Why align yourself with extra negative thoughts. There’s so much we can’t control but our mind we can. We can reset. We can change what we think. We have the power to not let our mind make us shift into bad moods or access bad atmospheres.

I refuse to be up and go through the WHOLE day in misery. This has nothing to do with circumstances. We have the power to rise above our circumstances. I’ve seen people lose a lot and still manage to find a way to push through! It’s not easy all the time but it’s necessary! What are you doing with your day today? What mindset changes do you need to implement? What stops are you inserting that aren’t really there? What can you do to rise? Think on the things that will build and not break you.

Take this Sunday and not waste it on foolishness. Don’t entertain it! Don’t allow anything to alter your path today! You got this! Let’s push it! Happy Sunday!

National Mental Health 2019

Today is National Mental Health Awareness day and I have been trying to gather my thoughts on what it means to me. Mental health means different things to different people, but we all are highly responsible for managing it.

For some its more than just simply taking a bubble bath and moving on from a bad day. Its the highs and lows of just being able to get through certain stressors and knowing what your triggers and stressors are. Having the mental fortitude to be able to in a moment’s notice handle our triggers while still proceeding with the demands of life. Some handle it well and some not as well as they should. Learning to dust yourself off when you have a less than stellar moment. Learning it’s okay to try again.
It would be great if those who suffer the most with the most triggers or issues would feel supported but the truth of the matter is that’s not always the case. The people who suffer feel isolated and alone. Even when folks say they support they run out of it leaving the sufferer feeling abandoned.
I would encourage those who feel as if something is wrong to seek help. For those who have sought help and found that they still aren’t where they want to be to continue to get what you need even if that means changing providers or doing a medicine check. Keep trucking even if you feel isolated and seek those who support you. You will find those who don’t and as bad as it feels you don’t need them in your inner circle. It’s going to hurt more when those who you feel should support don’t. Don’t let it stop you from pushing on. Push forward. Seek help. Pursue love within yourself. Know that you are still worthy of the life you want it just make take time to get it. Although we love fast and convenience some things are worth taking our time to get lasting achievements.
I wish I had a picture of how frazzled I looked on the outside.  My outward pictures were so pretty. I learned of my depression and anxiety shortly after the birth of my son.  I was a wreck in a new city away from my support system. I wished I had known like I know now that although I wanted my young family to look picture perfect that it was okay to say I wasn’t. I wish I had known it was okay to say the living arrangements I had wasn’t working and even if it felt like a quitter and it was okay. I wish I could have put into words what I felt.  I wish I had known that I was going to be okay.  You are going to be okay even in the messiness of your life. When the very bottom of your life drops you will still survive.  Now when I take pictures such as this one I see one that is learning not learned to be okay with myself. I lost weight, I lost friends, I lost a few family members and I lost the old me that needed to go. What remains is a new version of myself and in that a newer version will continue to immerge.  She’s okay with herself flaws and all. She’s dusting herself daily and trying her best!

We are Happy Place

We are Happy Place is an interactive pop up photo experience filled with multi sensory rooms that encourage your happy. We Are Happy Place is located in the King of Prussia Mall next to the Cold Stone Ice Cream store. The exhibit opened October 5th and will remain open until January 5th.

As soon as you walk in you can’t help but notice the bright colors. It’s definitely very captivating. The process is simple, purchase your tickets online and present them at the door. Your tickets are purchased for a specific time so be sure to be there on time. There is staff available to assist in taking of your pictures. Pack some patience but bring the smiles. If you left your smile at home trust me We Are Happy Place will help you find it!

Candy Room

Is not gummi bears on the food charts? Are they not like food royalty? Either way anyone who knows me knows I love gummi bears. In the candy room they not only give you gummi bears but they have a gum-ball machine! If you think the gum ball machine is anything regular you’re not in the right place.

See my Instagram to see just how interactive it really is.

There are over 10 photo stops inside. Here are a few of my favorites!

The flower room has one of the best lighting ever. I am the type that gets weekly flowers and having this flower display brought such an immediate calm and happiness. Yellow is a happy color and I am the type that will go out of my way to purchase yellow flowers to brighten the mood. We are Happy Place hit it completely right with this interactive room!

I mean who doesn’t love a good rubber ducky room?! Pure bliss. Pure fun. Pure happiness!

I left happier than I came. I know it sounds cliché but the amount of smiles that my fam bam and blogger friend Phillyfoodgal had was noticeable. We felt like celebrities. We had fun. We took amazing photos and you will have to go to my Instagram to see the interactive displays.

Here are my quick suggestions:

  • Go as early as possible
  • Groups of more than 4 is okay but again pack patience-from individual shots to group shots the more people in your party the more time it will take
  • Due to the lines some attractions you will have to take one picture and get back in line
  • There is a snack area at the end but it’s card only; snacks range from $3 and up
  • Do bring selfie stick it helps
    3 and under do not need tickets-there is a stroller parking in the beginning of the exhibit
    If you have a group of 4 it makes sense to buy a 4 pack of tickets
    Plan to spend at least an hour if not a little more

The cookie room was everything-smell and taste is all I can say-trust it will make sense

So come and have a sweet time at We Are Happy Place! You will not be disappointed.

Thanks We Are Happy Place for having us. Thanks Phillyfoodgal for always having an amazing time! I think the kids definitely had a blast too! This is an interactive pop up for all ages.