Monday Motivation: Open Heart

So happy Monday! First let’s be grateful for waking up! If you can read this you are on the right path. We forget that life is but a vapor. We spend more time upset over small things. Shift the mind! I am grateful for waking up! I am grateful for another opportunity to make an amazing path!

With that being said what if you woke up with a closed heart. A closed heart that doesn’t see good in anyone. An open heart that isn’t open to love and living a full life! That has to be a hard place to live in. I used to live like that. Everyday argumentative and angry. It’s a draining way to live! When your heart is open to the right things you can overcome all kinds of obstacles. You can push through difficult moments even when you feel like no answers are near.

When your heart is open to the right things even in dark times you can hold onto light! I’ve had many times where someone has said something to me that alerted me to what was inside of me all along. My heart was able to receive someone speaking hope into my hopeless situation. It’s a blessing to keeping your heart open! When you have closed off your heart it seems like everything and everyone is against you. You find fault in everything all the time and often times you’re not able to take accountability! Today during your Monday shuffle; find ways to open your heart. It could in how you shift from a complaining spirit to a grateful one. One time I had mere dollars if you could call it that. My want or needs list was higher than the money to take care of them. I wanted to be mad as if it was the moneys fault. I took a deep breath and wrote what I could do to proceed in my day in the right mindset and in a matter of hours, money didn’t appear but provision did. This meant what I needed came in ways I wouldn’t have had room to mentally conceive until I shifted my heart to be open!

I hope that if you feel hopeless that you would understand that it’s a dark moment not a dark life. Your moment isn’t a permanent life choice. Things do and always turn. The worse thing you have gotten into you have always managed to come out on the other side so whatever has your heart closed, release it! Replace it with hope of the future and that doesn’t mean months and years-we talking about your today and now! Take charge to let go and open your heart!

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Happy Bastille Day: Ardmore Bastille Block Party

One thing that I enjoyed this past spring was my trip to Paris. Seeing up close how the culture and the people mesh is nothing but a once in a lifetime adventure. With first hand knowledge of how the French love and treat others I was more than happy to attend Ardmore Bastille Block Party! It was a mix of everything France with music, food, drinks, entertainment, and even things for the kids to go as well! Also it’s the first in Ardmore and I hope they continue this worthy celebration for years to come! Let me break it down for you! Special thanks to Delice Et Chocolate and The Bercy for joining forces to bring the Best of the Best of France to the Mainline!

Wine Garden

The Bercy made sure those who wanted to rosé all day definitely was able to. Sponsored by Veuve Clicquot drink selections included rosé, champagnes, and sparkling wines. Tickets were $20 in advance and $25 on location. Anytime drink offerings are available my high suggestion is to take it! If you plan on having at least 2-3 drinks they become well worth it and it was drink as you like which meant for each ticket you could continue drinking until last call. Its definitely cost effective to drink!

For non alcoholic drinkers The Bercy had a cucumber limeade that was amazing good and refreshing!!

Thank you Cory you were an amazing server with amazing personality!!

The Bercy also had a brunch that was available from 10-3pm! This was an all you care to eat buffet style brunch and definitely worth it. We elected to eat inside of the Bercy and let me tell you it was well worth it! They have a great selection of food and their kids menus is more than I bargained for-it’s super great! I took my 3 kids and my niece and all of them got different options. From a cheeseburger, chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese to the butter noodles each meal came with fresh fruit, fresh veggies, fries and a chocolate chip cookie. No child left hungry! Special shout out to the staff who went and above taking care of their needs as well as the adults!

I decided to have the Quiche Du Jour which was amazing! My husband had “The Bercy Burger.” He had nothing but raves over this burger. He asked for it to be well done however at some places well down means non juicy and over cooked-not at The Bercy! It was the best he’s ever had!!!! My quiche was outstanding I have zero regrets!

Delice Et Chocolat

If you ever been to Paris you know they are known for some of the most amazing treats! From croissants to macaroon and chocolate-it’s amazing! I took my oldest kids and we had a blast enjoying these French treats! From the first bite to the last I wasn’t disappointed. It took me back to my Paris trip and on Bastille this couldn’t have been any better! I had some amazing croissants when I attended the Ardmore Preview a few weeks ago and I knew if ever I was missing Paris that Delice Et Chocolat is and will always be my go to!

The Parlour

The icecream supplied by Parlour ice cream shop is always a great treat. Mom hack-they have a mini cone that is only $1 that in my opinion is more than enough for little and big hands. Today’s feature was mint chocolate chip and caramel pretzel!

Entertainment

We didn’t just walk around eating and drinking. Even if we had it would have been more than amazing! Shout out to the can can dancers From Philadelphia Academy of Ballet! They were more than amazing-check out my Instagram for their performance! These beautiful ladies were in sync and everyone loved them!

French Cooking

This blues band was so amazing! I loved them. They had the crowds swinging! My kids surprised me when they just stopped what they were doing to start dancing! Trust me as soon as I heard them I came out of the Delice Et Chocolat to hear them. They are from New York and have such a southern sound that I enjoyed!

Face painting!

Who doesn’t love face painting? I do! My kids and I were able to have our face painted by Mudroom! You can stop at Mudroom to do some amazing crafts any time their open!

Between crafts, drinks, food, music, can can dancers, and all around Sunday Funday-Bastille Day was an amazing celebration of love and freedom and I’m glad I was able to join in all the fun! Thank you Aversa PR, Admore Initiatives, The Bercy, The Parlour, Mudroom and Delice Et Chocolat!

So now I know you’re thinking how much you missed. Well don’t be! This is all a great prelude to Ardmore Restaurant week where you can definitely stop in to The Bercy and Delice Et Chocolat or others by clicking on the link and stopping in!

Summer Love with Joi

ToiTime is in the midst of a Summer take over! I took my adventures to Atlantic City to the Showboat Casino to hear Joilet Harris! Joilet Harris is an amazing singer who serenaded the audience with all of the love.

I grew up around real singing. My family still sings to this day! So to hear someone who could “sang” filled my whole heart with joy! Joi engages with her crowd and makes you feel like you’re the only one there! I absolutely loved her range and ability. Her band “Jays Crew” was odd the chain. Sitting back and listening to their arraignments was pure magic! There timing and ability is clear. They go with the punches and make it easy to come through to the audience!

She even serenaded my husband and I so loved it. So what can you expect when you attend? Engagement. Good sanging-yes it’s spelled correctly. Good music with an amazing live band. Attentiveness. You will experience an all around experience! One thing about cabaret music is the artist can be themselves and you get the pure essence of Joi! This show makes an amazing date night or you can grab your friends who loves good music trust me they will love it! Make it a night there are plenty of things to do on the Boardwalk before or even after the show!

What to expect once there:

  • If you want to order a drink-bring cash
  • You will be served and the servers are amazing so please tip
  • Parking is self parking or valet-valet is about 30 dollars you can pay cash or with your card as well
  • Get there on time-Joi will be ready to start

Joi will be there on Friday on July on the 19th and the 26th with two shows at 730 or 930!

To get tickets click on the link!

Thank you to Juniper Productions for the invite! You can also donate to help them. One thing about productions is that they always attract the most amazing artist but they need to be supported. Let’s not only support artists by attending their shows but let’s also donate so that others who can’t can!

Small Bites and a Big Punch all on The Deck!

I had the honor of attending a mix and mingle that was hosted by Roberta Pipito also known as homemadedelish on social media. You may have seen her doing correspondence on television as a lifestyle and food contributor. The mix and mingle was held at the Moshulu aboard The Deck. Now I have to be honest it was my first time. Out of the 8 years I’ve lived in Philadelphia not one time have I ever been aboard the Moshulu. I know it’s crazy to hear but this is why it’s important for me to see more of the city.

As a lifestyle blogger it’s important to blog life as it happens. One of the major aspects of life and living is eating and dining. When I go to establishments it’s important for me to take note of a few things; ambiance, decor, food, service, and fun and I can assure you that The Deck on the Moshulu has high marks for all.

Ambiance

I took a tour of the Moshulu and was able to see the newly renovated spaces. One word to describe it is: breathtaking! They have several decks to fit your needs. Obviously The Deck which I will be featuring has small bites and amazing drinks, they have several bars and dining spaces and event spaces as well.

When I attend spaces my mind goes to my lifestyle and many others. How can I utilize this space for date nights, time with friends or even if I wanted to bring my children? Let me say the Moshulu has you covered for whatever the occasion including just grabbing drinks after a long day. The Moshulu is the only restaurant aboard a working ship so the mere ability to dine or drink while seeing the city as your backdrop and watching the sunset is truly a beautiful thing to see! This is why it’s important to explore your own city. As much as it’s fun to travel do not miss your opportunity to see amazing jewels in your own backyard!

Decor

Having the water and city as your backdrop you don’t need much but the Moshulu has taken it up a notch with amazing unique pieces that will make your dining experience that much better. The uniqueness is something you will absolutely not see anywhere else. I can attest. Beautiful chairs, and looking up to amazing hand crafted ceiling pieces are just outstanding. At night you can see the glow of the lights and city and it makes it like an oasis of pure happiness!

Food

The Deck is the place to be. This is where you can get your small bites and unique drink offerings. This is great for grabbing a few friends or family and just ordering an assortment of bites to share. The food is incredible. The small bites will fill you and let’s be clear especially in the Summer small bites is perfect enough to pair with a drink but heavy enough not to have that overeaten fill! Light and airy but with good food is the way to go in the Summer.

Thanks to The Deck let me highlight a few must haves:

Red and white sangria pictured above

I love a good sangria. Sangria is like Summer’s special. It’s light and it’s good. The Deck took the Sangria and raised the deliciousness by a thousand. Not only is their sangria good it can be served in the pitcher to your table. For me that is good news. Instead of ordering a few drinks at a time, you can order the Deck Jugs and sip as you please. No waiting on someone to refill your cup the choice is now up to you! It can serve between 2-6 or more! If I had to recommend which sangria I loved I would go for the white!!

Another highlight is the Weekend Warrior! It’s a deep eddy sweet tea vodka, Pallini limoncello, mint, honey, lemon and iced tea. The first thing you’re gonna ask if you’re not a mint person is the mint strong? Nope. It’s the perfect combination and it can be served in the Deck Jug as well!

What if you’re the type that likes your drinks frozen since it is Summer you may want to cool off:

No worries I tried the strawberry margarita slush and it’s amazing from first sip to last!

Also the mango piña colada is delicious as well! It’s smooth and creamy! It’s one of those drinks that’s so airy that it doesn’t hit you right away! So here’s your: PSA don’t drink and drive and maybe catch an Uber Or Lyft!!

Now on to the food!! The Deck has food for every single palette. There is no one in your party whether it’s a party for 2 to 10 that they can’t accommodate! From soft pretzels to sushi to calamari they have you covered!

Warm soft pretzel bites and a cheese sauce

Pita bread and greens over avocado hummus

Truffle fries

Chips and avocado hummus

Cheeseburger slider and chips

Calamari

Not your average corn dog

Veggie Sushi made with mango, cucumbers and avocado a personal favorite of mine

There’s always room for dessert and you are going to want to have some! We were given boozy Rice Krispies and an ice cream sundae that is definitely shareable! The boozy Rice Krispies came in mud slide, pina colada and margarita. The picture below doesn’t even do it justice. It’s worth trying for yourself! These definitely aren’t your kids Rice Krispies. The immediate escape to fun and your childhood was felt by all the smiles!

Service

I always remain low key to see how I am treated at the door before anyone knows why I am there or who I am! There was not one issue! All staff that I saw didn’t do the walk past you bit. Everyone was all smiles and acknowledged me and definitely was accommodating. I had nothing bad to report. How someone treats you before they know you will grade them says more to me about an establishment and The Deck and Moshulu get a definite A+ rating!

Fun

From walking on the ship until I left I had a ball! I had a ball because the ship is beautiful! I had fun because the weather was great and had it not Moshulu has options to still dine outdoors without the rain stopping the show! I had fun because the food was fresh and the drinks were amazing. Overall Moshulu and The Deck is the perfect Summer escape. It’s the best place to feel like you have taken on a long lost trip of adventure without having to leave far from home. It’s a beautiful place to hang out, connect or reconnect, and host your event or even a wedding!

I want to thank all of the staff at Moshulu and The Deck for having us. I would also like to thank Roberta for being an amazing host of this mix and mingle! Thank you to Melissa’s Produce for the great swag bag.

I met some amazing new blogger friends as well as spent time with @Phillyfoodgal!

I definitely will be back and I’m hoping it’s with a few of my girls!

The Moshulu is located 401 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd in Philadelphia PA!

It’s open for lunch from 12pm-2:30pm Monday-Friday and for dinner from 5-10pm Monday-Sunday!

Brunch which I am soooooo excited to try soon is on Saturdays from 11-230pm and on Sundays from 10am-2:30am!

The Deck is open daily starting at 3 for amazing small bites and drinks!

There’s no doubt that Summer fun can be found at The Deck on the Moshulu!!

Monday Motivation: Gratefulness

Every now and again I think it’s important to speak our gratefulness and not just around Thanksgiving. Being grateful is something you walk!

When I was in my most depressive moods I would complain about air. That might be a stretch but the reality is ungratefulness was deep in my spirit and therefore it would come out of my mouth. Spending so much time saying what’s wrong comes out in how you walk. How? You can’t even gravitate towards good things looking at the bad things. It’s draining and it’s defeating!

Like for instance I was up at 4am to do my 5 am run. It was dark and by the time I started running I could see the rain coming! I didn’t check the weather before I left so I had only my headband but no hat. Before I could complain I thought about the fact that one I was up and had met my group on time despite finding my running belt and reflectors last minute. I was up with no help of my alarm. I was up in my right mind. I have the ability to run! There was and is no reason to be in negative land.

On my last leg of my run I said my extended prayer. Every run I do, I pray. It allows me communication with God. It allows me to speak my truth and my heart in the quietness of the morning. I needed to be reminded to take it easy and be grateful for the blessings around me. As I transported my twin to work this morning I saw a woman who I noticed last week sleeping outside. She’s been there for about a week! I don’t know her story or why she’s there! What I know is that here I am in a car full of gas, with my coffee and dry while she’s in the elements and outside where any and everything can happen to her. One I pray her situation is better and two may I do all I can do to stay focused on what is to come and not on what is happening!

So as you start this morning, have you started the complain game? Have you started focusing on what you don’t have or want? Have you said thank you for your life? Have you said thank you for your job? Have you been grateful? If not start now! Start changing the conversation of your life. Start walking in gratitude. Start being a testament to others around you of gratefulness. People would love your portion and yet you can’t see it because your focus is not in tune! Make the change towards gratefulness! Be grateful for you, the things around you, and show that to someone else today!

Catch UP

So it’s been a minute. I will be blogging a gambit of Ask Toi questions in the next few days! Also I will be posting week 3 of the kids and I summer adventures! I needed to check in with you all on a person check In and not just a mommy cheek in as it’s been these last few weeks outside of work! So life has been interesting.

As always I have a lot of events coming up. I love being on the go! Outside of a sinus affection that I had that I thought was an allergy fit life has been doing well. For the past few weeks I had been getting seriously sick like the type of sick where I had to say no to a few events. You know how much I love being out and about in the Summer. One thing I will say is Philadelphia has it going on all year long and the Summer is just pure magic. Anyone saying I have nothing to do is legitimately in a mental funk. Trust me I understand that too as I’ve talked openly about my life and anxiety or complaining instead of being proactive. I get it!

Between blog events and being out and about I have to say that I too have been making my mental health a priority! It’s important for me to find moments of slow down. I have had to call a friend a day behind, or say no to an event, pick and choose if I can go to a family member’s house or just say no I need a regroup moment! Why? Cause just because things seem light doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments of insanity!

This year I have set out to find my biological dad and that has brought a set of triggers for me I didn’t know I had! Like for instance because my step dad who I only call for reasons of clarity step has been in my life since around 5 people have said to me why? Why do you need to close or open this chapter? It’s simple, I want to! I’ve a grown woman who still has questions inside of her that may not ever be answered but I have to find them for myself. I have found out more and more about the character of my biological father than any other time in my life!

It’s been rewarding and challenging at the same time. Also let me be clear this is my story to tell. I’m not entertaining anyone telling me how I should feel about the story or a should you write about it speech either! I’m 38 I think I’ve given parties involved a time to create the story they wanted me to accept! Now it’s my time. No sugar coating is going into effect! Plain and simple my biological father has not only failed me but my other siblings! I have quite a few and still gathering information. I think as a kid I’ve had it in my head that things would magically fuse as they do in the movies. It’s what I wanted! However the turns have shown that this will be more like a reality show than a loving movie! The mere fact that I’m seeking him when he’s not seeking me is already trigger enough. There are many like me who still want to know why. I’ve talked to those closest to him I may not never get an answer.

Also with balance of my biological dad its made me look at the way I parent my own kid. What do I want them to do? What do I want to leave for them. Do I plan to be honest and open with them? The answer is absolutely yes! If the stuff I got into is just to be a testimony to them then so be it! You see the Preachers Kid moment there? It’s important for me to be clear in what I can offer my children in support and love!

Also I’ve been noticing that I’m easily angered lately. I don’t know if it’s changes happening around me is making me that way but please believe I got my therapist on hand. I am working through it. I’m calling my stuff to the rug when things happen because I believe whatever is happening has to start with me first. I had someone ask for forgiveness that I wouldn’t have received from years ago! That’s growth! Despite the growth I’m still human dealing with life no matter how pretty the filter, you can’t filter life!

As this journey with my biological father unfolds I will share as I profess. I like to take my time with these steps to be sure I’ve dealt with them offline before I share them online. Other aspects of life are always changing. Many moments Ido well with change and other times I don’t! Sometimes, I would say most times I handle my anxiety extremely well and other times I have blow ups. However even when I feel like I’m having a moment I still feel better equipped now than before to recognize my triggers, handle them alone, and remove myself from them!!

Hoping anyone who is dealing with the ups and downs of life can relate and process!!

Monday Motivation: Freeing up Space

It’s amazing when you feel free. You don’t walk like you have walked before! You are clear to just be. As you continue in the movement you have to free up space in your life for the right things to come in!

It’s like breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, you make space by getting rid of the things that remind you of them. You declutter your world of the things that no longer bring you happiness or peace. So how about what that looks like when you free your space of the things that no longer serve you daily? For an example, stop scrolling on pages that are meaningless or watch less and less reality television, stopping subscriptions to people and their mess or being more conscientious of how often you are around negative people. Freeing your space to bring in light into your world!

There’s not a single person who doesn’t need to free their space. Freeing your space includes people, places and things. It means that it may be hurtful as the people around you won’t understand but at the end of the day, but it will benefit your mind and life. Freeing up your space forces you to see life as it was meant to be. What could you free yourself of today?! It can be as small as changing the snacks in your cabinet and as drastic as freeing yourself from a job that you are on simply because it doesn’t align with your life goals! It’s up to you to choose. Free your space daily! Make today and everyday count! Have an amazing Monday!