Deadass Podcast Live In Philly

You should know the Ellis’ by now which are the dynamic duo and husband and wife team; Devale and Khadeen!! They are social media royalty and they came and blessed the stage at Underground Arts!!

So let me have a fan moment real quick and then we will get down to the show. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been following them. It’s been a minute! I’ve loved their vibes from the gate. The “millennial married” couple tackles it all from parenting their “3 whole boys,” social media networking, acting, and life. The Ellis’ have kept it real along the way!! They haven’t been shy about staying true and yet staying relevant and visible. I personally just love their attempt at balance. I say attempt because every last one of us has moments of ups and down when it comes to balancing.

Shout out to Brandon who assisted me to getting into the show. Brandon and the Ellis’ go back to college of which when I saw them the love was so amazing. So back to my fan girl moment. You know I love them both but as a woman I connect with Khadeem. It could be the fact that I had to take a huge back seat if you will to career and personal development to birth and take care of my 3 kids. So seeing Khadeen killing it mind, body and soul I just wanted to connect. I got my chance!

Are the Vibes just as consistent as they are online?

Absolutely yes! Both Devale and Khadeen are who they are online, offline. Going back stage and having that moment to introduce myself was everything. Like butterflies and glitter I was in a zone. I try my best not to get all goofy like with folks. In case you’re wondering no I didn’t act weird. Khadeen and Devale are crazy funny but the most humble couple you will meet. They greeted me with absolute love.

Deadass Podcast

Have you heard or listened to their podcast? No? You’re missing out. The Philly show was the first of the live series. They wanted to do a boy meets girl type of show where they bring an available man on stage and connect him with an available woman but there were NO single men. Like none! Like grab some binoculars none! Men I know you read this blog because you send me questions and if there is ever an event; go women are always there! They elected to talk about their life as well as take questions from audience members.

I love raw advice on real life issues. They didn’t hold back. They answered one question regarding getting the spark back in the bedroom! And it was spot on. Both individuals have to do their part not rely on one partner to pull the load. So that means go and explore a lot until you get that green light.

They talked about goals and working hard. The Ellis’s have built their brand on hard work and creativity. It wasn’t an overnight success. They spoke on how in the beginning they couldn’t get signed to a deal because they lacked drama. You know how that works, the more drama and filth you have the more profitable you become. Blame it in social media, reality television, but the real blame is on us as a consumer that green lights the mess!! I’m glad to see that the Ellisses definitely stayed the course.

But don’t think it wasn’t fun. I laughed from the time I came in until I left. And of course Devale has Khadeen did her iconic drop! You know I was here for it! Oh I was in the front and let me say that they treated everyone well no matter where you were. Apparently there wasn’t a clear time for the meet and greet that took place earlier so they accommodated those who had the meet and greet tickets after the show. That’s love! Most people would have did their show and left! Class act!!

To see some of my clips go to my Instagram! To find Devale and Khadeen go to their pages by clicking on their highlighted names! There you will be introduced to their antics, love, their family and support system! I need me a Mimi!! Trust me it’s the best thing you didn’t know you needed to see.

Do you notice Devale? You should he plays Zac on the hit BET show Sisters! Catch him every Wednesday 10/9c. Follow the Ellises on their YouTube channel! Here’s their latest vlog! Of course listen to their podcast; Deadass with Khadeen and Devale!!

Shout out to Underground Arts for being accommodating me. Also let me say the way they executed the night it was one of the best and smoothest nights out. Y’all definitely know how to host an event! To see their upcoming shows; go here!

Thank you Devale and Khadeen for a magical night! It makes me want to work harder in this blog world. You reiterate that working hard and believing in yourself is worth the late nights and balance with my family. Thank you Brandon for making my whole month! As I’m ending my Blogiversary I would have never been okay with asking for anything. You are a jewel not only for this but outside of this opportunity! Thank you Underground Arts for everything.

5th year Blogiversary

This has been an amazing year. I believe I’ve touched the surface of what I plan to do and I have no choice but to keep going. I’ve been intentional, asked for help, leaned in on my mentors, outsourced to professionals what I couldn’t do and learned a lot in the process! The journey has been one of the best!

I’ve learned a lot more about myself. I realize that I’m not an island. I learned that I’m strong enough to handle fluctuating schedules. I’ve had the most productive year. I’ve been to all kinds of events, managed my family, my health, and my sanity. I love where I’m headed. There are already some amazing things lined up this next year!

I also want to thank the brands who helped me celebrate this year. Not just in prizes but in hospitality all year long. A special thank you to Eat Banza, Chima, Blessing Manifesting, and Nicole Lapin! I’m honored that you took the time to help me collaborate! Also I want to give an extra shout out to Aversa PR for allowing me the opportunity to be at so many wonderful events and openings. It’s actually been one year working with Aversa PR.

Thank you to my family who put up with me having a wonky schedule. I’m out in the field for almost 3-4 days a week some weeks more than that. I get asked how do I do that with 3 kids under 10. The answer is simple; they love and support my efforts. As long as I keep meal prepping they are good to go! I don’t book anything during their Girl Scout or soccer events and I make time to keep the spark alive with my husband.

Thank you to the network I’m with in TCP! The Cultured Professional has been an amazing network. They are family! “We Working over here!” is a lifestyle and definitely not a moment! These hardworking individuals have meant and continue to mean the world to me. Check them out here!

I want to say a special thanks to the many blog friends I have. There are a quite a few but I’ll highlight a few; Phillyfoodgal, Kingston Jael Michaels, Cocoamommy, Vidafashionista, and PR Brandon Szeltzer!

There are so many collaborations that took place to name! So many wonderful brands I wouldn’t even have known about without having an amazing network behind me! It’s been one amazing ride!

Thank you to every reader! One thing about it is even when Twitter or Instagram shuts down for hours you keep on reading my content and for that I’m honored!! It’s been a great transformation these 5 years! Thank you to everyone who submitted an Ask Toi!! You’re ability to be vulnerable is appreciated!

If you notice I’ve begun branding. This will continue! This has always been a goal for me! Now that I’m learning how to do it more consistently my promise is that I will always brand with companies that I believe in. They need to be products I’ve used in the past or use currently. They need to be what I would stand on. Something that I want my daughters to be proud of as you ladies! Brands that my son can feel good knowing I’m not compromising myself just to make money or sell my name for!

Let’s rock it out this year and make it happen!!

Blogiversary Year 5

This entire month we are going to celebrate my Blogiversary! 5 years ago what started out as something to do has turned into a whole experience! I had a vision and that vision has shifted through the years but it hasn’t stopped!

When I first began it was just about doing it for the love of writing and more of a hobby. Now I blog full time while managing life be that from work, my family, and responsibilities. I’m projected to be full time blogger alone by 2020. That’s a huge ordeal for me and what I work towards daily. A lot of people see the finished project but have no idea the amount of time and dedication it takes. I am up all hours of my day and definitely at night editing and arranging content. When I first began I blogged in real time. I had no concept of editing and setting my blogs to release at certain days and times like I do now.

I have learned a lot from being consistent, dedication, and obtaining mentors along the way. It takes a village to go from to a once a week blogger to giving daily content! As ToiTimeblog has evolved and is evolving into a brand I am in awe. I treat every event I attend with the same dedication as the first. I do not take anything for granted. Every sponsored post, brand post, or hosted post are near and dear to my heart. I enjoy what I do and I know it has to come off in my posts! Any future ads that I do have to be a product that I have used or use currently that I stand behind. That’s the beauty of choice! I made the choices and call the shots on what I believe in. I’ve had some brands I’ve had to turn down! It’s apart of how this works!

I have to say that my followers and readers make it special. I recently went to an event where someone asked if it was okay to talk to me. I don’t care where I go and how ToiTime evolves I’m a small town girl in a big city and as long as you can deal with my quirkiness l’m just a normal young lady. For every woman I’ve interviewed as it’s my desire to make sure I uplift women even when negative decision making has taken place; I stand for us! I want to see us win every single time! I want to see us go from the bottom and rise to the top! I started out as a stay at home mom and have worked my way to a beautiful life of independence and I’m thriving. When I was told my kids were too young for me to do what I do I kept going. Now on kid appropriate blog adventures they go along. I want them to see how I move and for them to do the same in their own way! The way I carry myself now is completely different from the beginning because I have purpose. With that purpose I’ve gotten further in this blogging life than I could have imagined.

The amount of push back that comes from behind the scenes has made me stronger! It has also developed a new sense of advice for new bloggers:

  • Never work for numbers alone! I have walked in arenas that my dedication has opened doors quicker than my social media numbers have
  • Have a blog plan in place especially when dealing with brands. If I attend an event unless the client gives me a certain deadline I’m infamous for my less 24 hour turn around time
  • Don’t overbook events unless you can handle it. I get told I see you everywhere and it’s true but I go in fresh no matter what. Put space between events if you can to decompress
  • Know your audience and know your brand. Even if it’s a sponsored event or trip know the audience
  • Have a tight turn around time
  • Know the movers and shakers in the room. Don’t be shy networking is apart of this game
  • Be on time. Don’t come to events purposely late. If you can make your way to the front it will keep your focus and help smash anxiety
  • If you work with a PR get to know them and always be yourself. This has been a godsend for me. The one time I was super sick and the PR wanted to know what was up. Don’t lie be honest but always remain yourself
  • Blog what is natural for you. Do not try to mimic another blogger.
  • Your gift will make room for you. What others are doing with their blogs isn’t your business. Do what’s best for you at all times
  • Be professional even when you’re getting criticism. I attended an event and was told I didn’t look up to par. Instead of an attitude I took the advice and it’s help me to always represent my brand even when I’m not at an event

Now let me give you even more advice!! The best advice I can give: your blog is your vision and you can’t expect friends or family to have the same level of vision that you do. I see this from entrepreneurs all the time calling out their squad for not in the blogging world, reposting their blogs. You got to get thick skin. I am aligned with a lot of products, brands, and companies and I ask myself daily; am I promoting myself just as hard? People are fickle like water! You can’t expect them to help you brand years down the road! It’s not their vision. Take moments and time out to resonate within yourself daily, monthly, and yearly that your blog will look differently!

If you have a free domain when you start set a plan to pay for it the following year. You should be investing in your blog and brand consistently! I purchase new lighting, soon a new camera, upgraded my site, go on conferences, etc. because Toitime is worth it! You have to do the same! One thing we won’t change is unlike other blogs who only focus on pretty pics we will remain a staple to keep talking about life as it’s happening. No pretty picture will ever take from that. There’s a single mom who is at her wits end, a divorced woman who needs encouragement, or even a father trying to do his best! We are here for the everyday struggles.

Thank you to my support team. I am moving daily because I have support! Thank you to Aversa PR for seeing me and rocking with me! Thank you to my blogging friends who we collaborate with and engage in this world together without competing with one another. I love seeing them grow and glow and they do the same with me! Special thank you to Phillyfoodgal you have been a godsend. To my friends who don’t hesitate to be there for me-thanks! Thank you to TCP! I’ve been with you through name changes and rebranding but it’s been love all the way through!

To my husband and kids who have to deal with my fluctuating schedule-I love you! You make it easy for me to do what I love!

To my followers thank you! Every year I upbrand and this year is no different! You will be seeing changes to the blog at the beginning of 2020! I have more brands that I’ve secured and with that comes growth.

During this month of the Blogiversary follow me on Instagram! We have prizes and sponsored gifts coming to you for rocking it out with me. The only way to win is to follow me and the brand on Instagram. Let’s have some fun!! This month is going to be an amazing celebration!!!! Year 5 we about to do this!!

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” by Kate Tarker; Directed by Dominique Serrand

This is a story about family dysfunction and personal trauma. With that being said let me go ahead and give a small disclaimer that some may find some of the scenes to be off base and hurtful. The play although it discusses serious topics does it in a way using humor as a way to help with self- reflection. The “same muscle used to cry is the same to help you laugh.”  It’s about a family of shepherds who live in the suburbs of Corinth learns that their adopted son Oedipus has become the King of Thebes.  The winds and turns that the story takes the audience  is definitely one for all to see.

Taking one part Greek mythology and snatching stories from current events, this production is definite at the top of must see. I laughed so hard. I know there were parts that were serious and I caught it but I laughed. It wasn’t about making light of personal trauma but seeing the audience get uncomfortable was a good thing. Sometimes we need to get uncomfortable about the events in our past that we shove under a rug, disregard, or even dismiss. From the did it happen to was it my fault are all real emotions that are explored in this play. I loved that instead of being direct it was overt in a way that you couldn’t miss the theme but you had to ask questions and pay attention.  It is also about dealing with your personal demons. The ones we want to blame others (gods). The things that we take part in, allow, are OUR fault. Self-reflection is a personal job. You can damage those around you by reckless behavior.  Be willing not only to accept but change it.

play bill

One of the best part of the night was listening to others talk about what they were seeing during intermission. I love to hear other people’s perception. Most people got it. I also loved how towards the end they had a chat with the actual actors. It was refreshing to hear their take on what they performed. I think a lot of plays should include these types of talks. This production was heavy at points but light enough not to feel burdened when you leave. The actors answered all the questions that we had. I also loved how they didn’t sugar coat the difficult parts even when one patron was so moved to leave. It’s okay to disagree. Everyone’s take isn’t going to mesh with another all the time. However the vibe was completely respectful and we can take a cue in our lives especially on social media in that regard.

bar

So my overall take is please go and see this. It will make for a wonderful evening. Be ready to think, reflect, and laugh. This was my first time at Wilma Theatre and its visually stunning. It has all that you need. A full café, bar, and ample seating on the inside as well as seating on the outside. No need to stand around you can come get comfortable and enjoy the show. Staff was amazing from will call to the ushers. I had a pleasant time and I can’t wait to go back.

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” will be showing until May 12. Kudos to the Director, Dominique Serrand as well as the Writer, Kate Tarker. All of the actors outdid themselves. They definitely brought the vision to light. Thank you for the chat at the end as well as the pics. I wish not only this production but your future projects continued blessings!!!

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To see the show for yourself, please use this link to do so.

For more information on future shows or any other information for Wilma Theatre

 

Monday: Re-Direction

If you have kids or have seen a child that is having a moment, you know how important redirection is. Having to get that child’s attention so they can focus on the task at hand is a lot at times. I have had to continue to redirect my own children. To be honest I have had to redirect myself. You can lose your focus looking at what everyone around you is completing. You can lose your focus looking at what you haven’t done. Redirect your attention.  Redirect the energy that you easily give to the things around you that may not even be serving your goals. A lot of adults function in life-like toddlers and then don’t know why end of the year, they feel defeated in life. Redirection helps bring your mind, heart, and goals into focus.

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What is on your to do list to complete? What are your core list to complete this week, this month, this quarter, this month, or this year?  That’s a lot of lists? To a point it may be but you need to redirect yourself off of things and people if you EVER want to get things done. Redirect your thoughts so you can stay out the negativity that seems to talk louder than positivity. Redirect your spirit from being defeated every time you hear the answer of NO. You need to redirect your heart every time you willingly hand it over to someone who you ignored the red flags. Redirect yourself every time you have a mate that cares more about themselves than being on a team.

Where could you use some direction this morning? Focus. You win when you redirect even if you have to redirect while carrying frustration, tears, pain, or hurt. It will drop off but you need to get your goals in aligned. Align this morning. Align and just start with one thing on your list, you won’t even notice how productive you are or how smaller your circle naturally gets. Big crowds don’t like to work they like attachment. Only those on the same wave length will stick around when you redirect!

I know that this Monday we could all need a redirecting. Have an amazing day, week and month!

 

SomoSoPhi

I had a wonderful time yesterday at SOMO South Philly. It’s a beautiful restaurant right in of course, South Philly that is within a short distance of all of the sports complexes. SOMO is a great place to grab some quick bites if you’re about to tailgate, have some amazing drinks with your friends, happy hour with co-workers, or you just want to get out with your family.

SOMO is the perfect spot to sit in a traditional restaurant style seating or sit on the second floor and eat patio style on a nice day and enjoy the scenery.

Somo is located at 3101 South 13th Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

Especially loved the see through kitchen so you can see your food being prepared

SOMO has two locations. The one in South Philly as well as Manayunk. SOMO is an upscale casual that combines elegance in their design with the casuality of their space and great and amazing food selections from their bar food to their sit down menu.  We were there yesterday which was Tuesday and it was “Taco Tuesdays.” Let me tell you that the tacos are something to talk about. I had the vegetarian and they were amazing. One of the things I look for even with being vegan is flavor. These tacos were simply wonderful from the first bite to the last.  I was impressed.

From left to right, vegetarian, mahi-mahi, and brisket tacos

My favorite the vegetarian taco with radishes, spinach, asparagus, and mushroom

Now when I go and preview a restaurant I look for a few things that I know my readers want to know:

  • Price
  • Hospitality
  • Convenience of location
  • Taste of Food

Price

Let’s face it we all want great food without sacrificing all of the coins to achieve it. SOMO prices are not going to break the bank. For instance I had my kids with me and I rarely do when doing these outings. The kids menu was $5.  Let me repeat that $5! So you’re getting premium food for your kids for less than you would spend at a fast food restaurant. As a mom that is right up my alley. Drinks were priced right around what you would expect and they didn’t skip on the alcohol or water it down in any way. The drinks were good and worth the price so don’t skip on it. Plus the happy hour has great prices on their drinks. Keep in mind if you are coming for happy hour make sure you enjoy them in the downstairs bar area for the pricing. Oh and ask for the pretzels!!

Bar Menu

Try the Sling Blade

Hospitality

I like to see how restaurants treat you before you identify who you are and why you are there. SOMO from the waitress/waiter to the manager were more than pleasant.  Everyone had smiles and everyone was welcoming. Since I had my children with me which let me say they were stellar in their behavior, staff was attentive to their needs as well. Devon is hands down an amazing manager who understands people and how they want to be treated. Kudos for SOMO for snagging him! I liked as I watched how they serviced others that they don’t do that weird hover over you as you try to eat. Not one time was my water-glass empty. They weren’t intrusive while I ate. They allowed other patrons to eat and yet they were there to assist in any way.

Convenience of Location

Again its right in the pathways of all of the sports complexes. So for me it’s like seeing Philly for real while you eat. You can’t beat that. If you know anything about Philadelphia you know we care and love our sports team. I was observing the people walking to the game and the Justin Timberlake concert and that energy alone is something that SOMO tapped into with the location. South Philly is the heart of Philadelphia and you feel that here. Do you like open air? I enjoyed the fact that it was nice enough for them to have all of the patio doors open. It was refreshing to see. I am an outdoor type eatery girl and my husband isn’t. Going back I can get the best of both worlds.

Few specials to think about: come and get drink specials, djs, etc.

Taco Tuesdays

Thirsty Thursdays

Daily Happy Hour 5-7pm

Taste of Food

I asked my children especially my son who loves his food how he thought the food was. He gave the immediate thumbs up. He isn’t a picky eater but he is particular about how he likes his food. When I didn’t hear him talking I knew SOMO did his food right. There was nothing but smiles from the entire table. Every dish was amazing.  I know you will find something for everyone. I am vegan I didn’t leave hungry by any means. They do not have a vegan menu but they allowed me to tweak my order to fit and it was still great. Thank you for the great experience.

Charred Brussel sprouts, with parmesan cheese. I removed the cheese but it was extremely good cooked with apple cider vinegar

Kid menu mac and cheese; the picture doesn’t even show the depth of how big the bowl is

Kid menu hamburger and fries, $5

Colton Court Podcasts

Did you know that Colton Court Podcasts is taped right in the sit down sports lounge of SOMO SoPhi? I had no clue. I was impressed with the lounge area as it sits downstairs when you walk in. The big television, the seating, it was definitely is a well thought out space.  I was even more impressed once it was transformed into the podcasts recording space. It was the perfect space. Take a listen for yourself; Colton Court Podcasts.

Owners, James M. Morrissey son of a fashion designer along with Jahri Evans and wife, Takia definitely got it right. Mix in Morrissey’s eye for creating a beautiful space and Jahri sports affiliation and love for the city, how could you go wrong? I absolutely loved the collaboration of SOMO. It’s inviting, well-managed, and the food and drinks will keep me and my family coming back. This is the go to spot for any dinner or luncheon you need. It has food for the whole family from kids to adults. The drinks had me smiling too! Check it out as well as my other pictures on my Instagram

Keep in mind they also offer space for private parties, birthdays, and they have an amazing brunch! You already know how I feel about a great brunch spot!

Also follow SOMO SoPhi on Instagram

Thanks to the #Travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch bunch, Philly Dine Out for an amazing time.

Need reservations, book your time at SOMO SoPhi with Open Table

 

 

 

Networking is Scary At Times

So I wanted to talk about networking. It’s essential to what I do with blogging especially if you want to get out about. Your talent will take you in front of amazing people.  In order to stay you have to be able to talk to a few folks and learn the finesse of making relationships work.

three woman talking near laptop on desk inside room

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I met some of the most amazing people while on an assignment at various locations in Philadelphia. I can’t even imagine not taking the first steps which started out of paying attention to social media. Its more than getting caught up in the darkness of liking posts. It comes from searching hash-tags of areas you are strong in. I started looking at other lifestyle bloggers. From there I made sure to follow AND engage. You have to be proactive in what you are doing online. Once I made solid connections I always make a few promises to myself:

  • Blog an event within 24 hours of attendance-keep things fresh
  • Always know who the movers and shakers are and introduce yourself
  • Be sure to get the information in the blog right the first time i.e. names, etc.
  • Keep a notebook and a pen on you at all times or you your phone for notes

Here are a few things to understand Networking in 2019

  • Have a business card but expect to follow someone on the spot on your social media platform-people tend to follow immediately. I got 10 potential blogging events from immediate follows
  • Always send a thank you note. People love acknowledgement
  • It’s okay to be scared it’s not okay to wait for someone to approach you. Fear is debilitating but if you at an event, speak up
  • If you showed up to an event, show up for yourself in that you do the best job possible. I blogged an event I attended with my family, caught a PR’s attention and I have been rocking ever since.
  • If you RSVP, show up. I have only not gone to one event and had to bow out. Life happens but don’t make it frequent.
  • Treat your blog like a job in that not that you get into a mundane flow with it but make it priority. If and when others see that you do, they will take you seriously. I am a creator. I blog. I am consistent. People notice consistency and that alone will take you before amazing people
  • Make friends that are doing the same type of things as you network

One of the things I struggle with is not always wanting to get the shot with me in it. This is one of the things I changed this year. Do not be afraid since I tend to travel to events by myself to talk and ask someone to get the picture of you in it. Having a few pictures with you in the shot for a personal blog is personable and necessary. Treat it as if you were at an event with friends. The same excitement you would have you must take in order to get what you came for. I have had many high level executives thank me for how I approach their event and get the information. My job in my mind is how would a reader of my blog need to approach a restaurant, event, or social gathering. I take the initial hit so that a reader can easily flow into it when they attend.

photography of people using smartphones

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Also if you are being asked to attend an event of lets say a PR firm, act accordingly. Learn the art of socializing at an event.  Meaning if there are drinks and 9 times out of 10 there are, have a few without looking like you had a few. Learn to pace yourself. Learn to speak well of yourself. Always stay clear of conversations that will trigger bad behavior.  The last thing you want to do is to be found being the one that is labeled an issue. Smile. You weren’t invited to be grumpy. Always know the camera is on you. Most events I have attended there is always at least one if not more photographers on site so dress for the event!  If it’s a play that’s an immediate dress up. If it’s a dinner, if its black tie, dress to impress. It’s always business casual unless otherwise stated. If you are at an outdoor event, than always keep your gear clean and tidy and dress down for that event but keep it nice. All of this should come without saying but you will be surprised of the things you see when you are out and about.

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So networking is hard. But its necessary. I have had a great time getting to know my city and as I hope to expand, the only way to do so is speaking up, smiling, and letting my normal personality shine. I feel as if people are getting what they need from me by me being who I am to begin with. Remember do what you love it will take you places not just because you have ability but because you have heart!  So clear heart and mind, smile, and fun should be on your agenda. Also organize yourself so you present the best picture. I always pack my media bag the night before.  I get my lighting, extra battery pack, charge my phone, grab a camera, get your business cards, grab a notebook, etc. Being prepared will assist you.