An Act of God

Lord we thank you for waking us up this morning and now we ask that you bless those who see this that they would have a sense of humor…

That being said let me preface that some folks seeing An Act of God will laugh some serious laughs while having the time of their lives. Others will be so irritated and that’s life right! I watched how up and down the opinions were. One thing you can’t say is that you were bored or that you didn’t have a good time. It was a great night!

I enjoyed watching Kim Wayans in all of her glory play God. No one can do it like she does! She’s hilarious just as we would expect her to be. I am a people watcher and nothing gave me more comedic relief as watching others enjoy. I also loved watching people miss some of the comedic cues as well. Some didn’t even get Kim Wayans’ throwback to Ms. Jenkins. I laughed even harder as those around me and my husband said they didn’t get the reference and we were dying from pure laughter. Once I have to explain a joke it loses its funny so I tried to just give the ones around me the look and chuckle.

I also enjoyed watching Benjamin Brown playing Michael the angel. His charismatic personality really shined. Got to also give it up to Peter DeLaurier who played an exceptional Gabriel. I heard some reference An Act of God as a one woman show. It wasn’t. Kim’s natural comedic timing was also played off the energy of her co-stars! The whole play gets a thumbs up from me. Taking some of the things we think of when we think of God and finding a way to be timely and relevant to today’s top pressing issues was a great way to have a Saturday night!

You will learn new commandments and enjoy answering some of the questions of how we all came to be…. where are we headed…

Be sure to come prepared and come with an open mind. If you leave your pretenses behind you might find that it’s ok to laugh a little or maybe a lot. Oh and if you think you’re just going to sit and watch you’re wrong! The show is interactive.

You can catch An Act of God until October 13th! Do not miss this production. God is not lost she’s been found in Kim Wayans! Get your tickets here!

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Pod Brooklyn

So before I break down my time at the Blogher conference I wanted to do a review on the Pod Brooklyn where I stayed. Pod Brooklyn or any of the Pod Hotels is not your average hotel chain.

They are about condensing and eliminating waste. It’s like a capsule of a hotel without all of the extras you think you may need. To me it felt like an upgraded college dorm with limited spacing. As much as I thought in my head it would be an issue I was wrong. I chose this hotel for 3 reasons: it was less than 10 minutes from the Blogher venue, the reviews were great, and it had a rooftop bar! Say what you will but if I was spending some mommy free time I had my priorities in order. Did it make my cut?

I loved it! I enjoyed the staff who greeted me with a smile as soon as I walked in. I was expecting the hotel to be off to itself on a property but it was within the block along with other businesses. I was in New York so for location it definitely fit!

Off to my room I went and I kept my expectations to a minimal! When I walked in initially it looked like a regular room. I was stunned when I went to the bathroom and that’s when you could see the Pod like room. The bathroom stall was also located inside of the shower. I kind of grew a little frown. For spacing it’s genius but it was different.

FYI by the time I went to actually use the bathroom not one issue arose. I’m not gonna lie and act like it wasn’t weird seeing the toilet all wet up while I showered but it was not a thumbs down for me.

The room was smaller by volume but not by quality of sleep. I don’t know if it was a mix or not having my family with me, the long conference day, or the amazing food I had but I got the best sleep I hadn’t had in a long time. If I hadn’t had to get back for events I would have booked another day! Seriously my sleep was soooo comfortable.

Let’s talk views! The Pod hotel has great views. I was in the D Pod on the 3rd floor and I loved how each section was set! I also enjoyed with all of the amazing lighting!

The food at the Pod Brooklyn was provided by Clinton Hall which was adjacent to the hotel. I can’t express enough how good the food was. Service was great and the drinks were great. Expect New York pricing-I think I had forgotten that part of my trip somehow. I have zero complaints!!

Crispy Cauliflower Taco-can they just mail me some?!

Garden Burger ALT with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and their CH (Clinton Hall) sauce

They have a happy hour that’s from 11-7!!! I got there a little after 1 and needed that red wine before the conference. It took the edge off! The only down side to Clinton Hall was for breakfast the pastries and fruit that they advertised they barely had. They had no pastries to be honest. If I hadn’t been on my way to the conference where they were serving us food that would have been a deal breaker. I would say they need to focus on having stock

All guests receive 15% and you know I’m here for some coins to be saved!

Now the rooftop bar is so nice. My only issue is that it was freezing! It’s a breathtaking view but me and cold don’t get along. The bartenders were amazing and fun. I did eventually take my food back to my room!

If and I hope I soon visit another Pod Hotel especially the one here in Philly that just opened to compare. As much stress that has been going on I could use a staycation! I would jump at the opportunity wherever I travel to stay at a Pod Hotel. Consider them when you’re booking. They also have family Pod rooms which look to be super cute and fun for my family or yours!

Pod Brooklyn went above and beyond to do one major thing and that was to keep customers happy! Even if I hadn’t liked the rooms or the concept having great customer service goes a long way! When I checked out they held my bags so I could explore. The parking attendants were great too. Although the parking is around the corner a few feet from the hotel and not fully associated with them, it still was a great experience!

Day 15 Self Care September Challenge

So on today it was all about the Burger Brawl. I was asked to be a judge for the competition and I was nervous. This was my first Burger Brawl which is about 60 restaurants that compete for best burger. They are judged on presentation, taste, and quality. It seemed simple enough but again not knowing that to expect always causes a place of anxiety for me.

Once there I became more at ease and let my guard down and it was a lot of fun!! From the amazing drinks to the variety of burgers I loved it! The event was sponsored by Jim Beam!

Jim Beam had a garden and of course at least 5 different samples to try at every corner of the Garden! They also had a Cut Throat Cocktail competition!

In addition to the drinks were of course the burgers. There was a burger for everyone! From vegan burgers to burgers with seafood there was a little something for every palette!

The judges choice winner was from Lucky’s Last Chance and their Pickle Monster with several pickle choices and even a pickle chip!

The winner for people’s choice was Bainbridge Barrel House! Look at this beauty:

So overall I took my family who had a great time! In addition to family fun I loved spending time with some amazing talent in the city! I learned a lot about several restaurants I had never eaten! I plan to go and have a sit down meal with several of them soon!

Today’s self care dos:

  • Having to take Deep breaths
  • Calming myself down by tapping method
  • Relaxing once comfortable and enjoying my time
  • Not being so rigid

What do you do when you’re in your day and unexpected events flow into your life? Find peace even in the midst of chaos!! One thing I do is take a big crowd-there were over 3900 participants and make it small. I’ve been known to walk to the side and gather myself and then enter back into the crowds! It’s what I do because sometimes crowds can be intimidating. I should be used to it at this point but there are times when it can be too much! It’s okay if you too experience this as well!!

Monday Motivation: Human Interaction

Happy Monday! I’m coming to you today with a mid morning reminder. As I was at events this past weekend I had someone say along the lines: “why were you so nice to them?” I believe I had told a PR agent that I was flexible and not to worry about how anything appeared and I was more than willing to adjust. The young lady took it as me being a push over.

I remained calm in letting her know that keeping in mind that regardless of what was occurring (which by the way wasn’t anything serious) my job in life regardless of what I am doing or where I am is to be in charge of how I interact with others. We all have bad days and bad moments and at no time did I need to go out of my way to give attitude, smirks or anything of the like to another person.

Regardless of heat, issue, etc. it’s not fair to dish out bad vibes to those around me who undeserving of such behaviors. I let her know that there are always folks willing to be nasty, mean, arrogant and as someone who chose to be in the public eye to a certain degree how someone comes into contact with me matters. That doesn’t mean that I’m above being human. It does require for me not to ever forget that above being a blogger, an influencer, a mom, a wife-I’m responsible for how I treat others around me! I am responsible for how I talk to others. Doing things like coming off stuck up is not apart of the package. I treat others with the same level of care that I would want in return!

So on this Monday be clear that when you think no one is watching that they are. I am glad that instead of taking offense to her question I was able to listen and have great dialogue with her. I didn’t want her to have a bad interaction with me but I was glad to be able to remind her too that no one deserves the worse of us at any time for no reason. Remind yourself of that too. The world has enough bad apples don’t be that. Be as positive as you can especially when you’re around others!!

There: In the Light and the Darkness of the Self and of the Other

This production is taken from Lebanese-American poet, Ethel Adnan. It is a composure of self reflection. It is cool-created by Blanka Zixka and Rosa Barba with original music, music direction, and sound design by Alex Dowling! I don’t want to call it a play by our understanding of what we think plays are to be. This is a production of mirrored reflection and light.

In light it always reveals. Light always illuminates our pathway. Shinning the light on ourselves and bringing together one another in the light is a daily task. What do we see? How we work with each other has a lot to do with the light that has been shown on us in particular situations. Mirroring what we think we know and learning to ask questions beyond the surface is important!

We can’t continue to stay in darkness and thus hold on to our grudges, or our “ways.” We must use the light that is inside of us to shine on to our fellow neighbors and ourselves to be better. “Are we borrowing the here and now and if so from whom?” You aren’t going to remember every piece of the poetry? You simply aren’t. You will be able to use it as discussion within yourself and amongst your circles. In the light of understanding is how we together can be more unified instead of holding on to our comfortable dark places. In light is also change.

You will love the stage. Set on a ramp you will see the actors and actresses asking and answering and figuring out what is this light and how it reflects to life. I was amazed at how fluidity they moved. How graceful they were. I came to learn that they had a movement coach that helped them to learn to maneuver well. You definitely saw the grace that was used.

I also was impressed to find out that this production was a labor of love that took some of the actors 4 years to bring to fruition! That is amazing! The rehearsals and the actors workshops showed the energy put into this beautiful piece.

I loved the simplicity but the depth of questions. I loved how it was about entertaining but for reflection. I loved how peaceful it felt being in the theatre and trying not to overthink but listen.

This is a must see! You will feel inspired and challenged.

You have an opportunity to see There as well as engage in conversation either with the actors themselves or a panel at every performance. I’ve been to the panels at Wilma Theatre and it’s been one of the most engaging principles that always helps to allow free thinking and free speech. I always leave with more clarity after each one!

Also we need more light in today’s culture of misunderstandings and pain. If we learned to shine the light in these dark corners we might be able to get along a lot better and truly be unified!

Do yourself a favor and check out There before it ends September 22nd! You can get your tickets here! Bring a friend and leave inspired!

Thank you to Wilma Theatre for having me! Thank you to the amazing cast, directors, ensemble, and production team who made this play a beautiful reflective piece!

Also the Wilma Theatre had such a beautiful opening reception!

Day 11 Self Care September Challenge

I spent most of the day reflecting on September 11th! I spent the day remembering the fear that I felt when the Towers collapsed. Thinking about the families and friends who wake up in more pain from that tragic event I can’t begin to imagine.

I also did a lot of running around to prepare for my son and niece’s birthday as they celebrate on the same day. I also was able to get a lot of rest! I can’t tell you how much that felt. I haven’t had a long nap in a long time due to life. Like who has time to sleep? I am grateful for rest. Like no internet, no social media, no kids, no sister responsibilities with my twin just pure uninterrupted sleep! I know the next couple of days as I prepare for the Blogher conference is going to be very necessary!! This momma energy levels have been on another level!!

This week’s goal is to get packed for the trip, I have a lot of events this weekend and leading up to the actual trip!

2019 Fringe Fest: Tribe of Fools; Operation Wawa Road Trip

This play had me rolling. One of the best belly laughs that I needed and it still kept its serious element. Operation Wawa Road Trip is a must see!

Lee and Joey are on a road trip from Dayton Ohio to Philadelphia to honor their father’s wishes to have his ashes spread in a meaningful place-a Wawa parking lot. The road is definitely one for the books. To “abscond” their father’s ashes during his memorial service I already knew this adventure was going to be epic. What do you do when you roll on the Turnpike full of emotions? You keep driving until you have to stop…

The stops are hilarious. Each stop came with a lesson. One stop in particular that I know I related to is the stop to Sheetz. I was born in Youngstown Ohio and lived in Central Pennsylvania for most of my life. Sheetz is life! You couldn’t tell me nothing especially when you bite into one of their burritos. Anyway the M.T.O is serious! M.T.O is the Made to Order motto that all Sheetz patrons all love! To have Lee and Joey stumble upon Sheetz as they are on their way to Wawa is hilarious! I laughed so hard watching their interactions.

When I moved to Philadelphia one of the first arguments I had with my husband was about Sheetz vs. Wawa! I mean a real argument. He was like “don’t be in public in Philadelphia telling others about your love for Sheetz over Wawa.” I had no idea what he was even talking about but Wawa is serious business in Philadelphia.

The whole cast was nothing but pure talent. I mean pure light and love. Each actor brought their A game and I was amazed at their ability to switch in and out of character so fluidity. I enjoyed every part.

I thought about the times when you are grieving and how protective you become during those dark times. Seeing how Lee wanted to push through for what was right and moving along with tunnel vision. Joey definitely had his own internal struggle. Sometimes we hide our feelings as a way to avoid. We block and allow in what we think will serve us until something or someone challenges us to think beyond service pain. If we don’t deal with our feelings there’s a good chance they don’t exist….

They do exist. Life can’t just move ahead. You have to go back to move forward. Death always presses questions of the what if’s… So how will Lee and Joey honor their father? Do they make it to Wawa? Family is everything and it’s always a great thing to have someone to lean on but what about dealing with reality?! These questions will be answered but the road there just like the road to Operation Wawa Road Trip is a beautiful blend of life, fun, and a bit loopy.

Oh and always remember when you do make a pit stop make sure it’s for two things-never one!

Life is hard. There’s no reason to keep the tempo of life without slowing down to be sure you reach out. If there is one thing to take away it’s gonna be about making calls and connecting. We spend so much time on go that we need to add a daily and weekly pause for those around us before we can’t!

You can catch Operation: Wawa Road Trip before it ends by getting tickets here! The show will end Saturday September 21st! Let’s always do our part to support the Arts!