Protect your Spirit

Happy Monday to you.  Happy I am just making it Monday.  Happy I am alive Monday. Whatever your Monday looks like to you, make it that and rise above it.  Yes the weekend has left some of us dry.  If it wasn’t the news that is constantly being pushed in our faces, to relationships, situationships, kids, jobs, etc you may be at wit’s end.

Image result for wits end gif

So we all know that we need to protect our spirit.  Your spirit is your essence.  It’s your wits.  It’s you in a nut shell. I know there are many times when I have to take a time out. I give my kids one and have no shame in taking one.  You need to protect your essence. All of life’s drama can take the beauty out of you if you let it.  Today I am even more guarded to keep being informed but to filter some of the junk to avoid getting too overly emotional or let things take me out of my element.

Image result for wits end gif

Life is hard but cover yourself today and everyday.  Cover your children who don’t fully understand but are in the presence of the same junk you are touched with.  Never underestimate that they are able to pick up on negative vibes just as much as you do. Protect what they see and hear.  Protect who they are around.  Who you allow your kids to be around speaks volumes as they take on what on who is around them.  Protect what words you say around them as well.  Words have life and death in them and you have to be careful that the tearing down isn’t occurring in-house.  We are worried about the outsiders but truth be told you can cause more damage in house than you will ever know if you aren’t careful.

Image result for wits end gif

Filter what you take on when it comes to social media. I love social media but the down size is that it doesn’t always allow you to be social.  It can become battle grounds.  It can become warfare. It can zap your energy.  It can take up so much of your time.  It can allow you to not be able to disengage with those around you.  It is a choice and you must make good choices on what you entertain on social media.  Everything isn’t worth a response. Everything doesn’t need a clap back.  You have to clean your social media act up. Delete some accounts you don’t need.  Take a few folks off that you allow to get you all up in arms.  Learn to take a step back with who you call friends on your social media accounts.  Never post anything you don’t stand by 100% and be prepared to live with any backlash.  Learn that some things that inspire you may just be for you.  Learn that you can choose to spread hate or love.  Love on yourself.  Practice self-love everyday.  Mental illness is real and it can be elevated by social media because when the mind is weak it allows the defenses of everything to be low.  Be careful.  Speak life today.  Speak life into your situations and find ways to make your bottom line better.  Reach out to help others when your able.  It’s no different from when you’re on a plane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on you first.  Same rule applies in life, stop handing out all of your resources to others and leave yourself depleted.  Help you than you can help someone else.  Have a great Monday and practice self love and love on others around you.

Life Lessons from a Former Stay at Home Mom

Listen having a child is a Christmas miracle. It is not to be taken for granted. Every time I hear of a Mom who lost their life-giving birth it hurts my heart. Women and their bodies go through the most to bring forth children that you hope will be productive citizens.

As a former stay at home mom I got lost many days. Between food on my clothes and wipes in my hand I had no idea what days were what at times. I learned so much about myself that I thought I had mastered until I was home with tiny humans who needed me for everything and I STILL apply the lessons to this day.  Even if you don’t have kids these are all lessons we can gleam from:

1. Time outs are not just for kids

Yes it’s okay to take a mental time out. I found I got mine when the kids went down for a nap. Now that I am back to working full-time I find that I have to push to get a time out but they are super necessary. You need to sometimes unplug and catch your breath. Life throws curb balls and in order to be ready I need a clear mind. Take a break and catch your sanity.

Image result for messy kids gif

2. Keep yourself fabulous

This is hard in this age at times as body issues and time can sometimes not be on our side but the years I spent complaining about what I looked like I could have done better by getting my entire life together. Listen in my stay at home days I couldn’t afford nail and salon appointments so I had to get creative. There are alternatives but keeping yourself “up” isn’t about a spouse or the world. It’s about you. It’s also for the little people who are watching you and taking in what you say and more of what you do. Hard times don’t have to show up in our appearance. My mother and I lived in a shelter and everyday she spoke over us to not look like where we lived. Has anyone not known we didn’t even look displaced. That takes strength even with your strength is depleted. Thank you Mom for that lifetime jewel.

Image result for small stuff gif

3. Exercise your NO muscles

Do you know how many times you have to tell a child no? Too many to keep track. Why do you get as an adult and feel like you on a yes choir?! No is powerful and one of the first words we learn as a child but is sometimes the hardest to exercise.  Your no is valuable but you have to use it. NO you can’t get up and do for another able-bodied adult. NO you can’t be used today. NO you can’t be a punching bag physically or mentally. NO! Use it! It will save you time, stress, and heartache.

Image result for hell naw gif

4. Have a plan and work a back up plan

All moms know what I mean when you have a toddler with a soiled outfit but no extra outfit. In life you will need the same plan. Things fall but you don’t have to fall with it. Failure isn’t failure until you give up or in whichever you allow first. Get up and work!

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Life is life.  Its designed to change at a moment’s notice.  Do not waste your energy or time on things that you can’t change.  Unless you are a breastfeeding mom, don’t cry over spilled milk.  If you take the hurt and pain to channel that into positivity your day will be that much better.

There are times when life will be super rough. Like 3.36 in your account, Ramen noodle eating, marriage on the brink, need a vibrator, and deadlines at work type of tough.  It will seem to be closing in at any given moment. However it’s not what’s happening to you that is the issue it’s what you allow in your response that matters. Get up, get dressed, care about life, work your plan, back it up and if your back is against the world well stand and make something happen.

Weekly Recap: June 2, 2017

Happy national donut day!! I had one and I mean only one donut and couldn’t really eat much of anything else.  I forced myself to have a healthy lunch because that donut was definitely a lot of empty carbs.  Well I hope you all had a good week.  We are coming off a 4 day weekend some of us anyway from Memorial Day.  I hope you had a great holiday weekend.  We celebrated my daughter’s birthday and had a really good weekend.  No complaints.  So as far as this short week it has definitely been filled with a lot of ups and downs.  So let’s get into it.

Personal Highs/Personal Lows

This week I am going to put these two categories together.  There is a lot going on and I told you lovelies I would update you.  One we had a great time celebrating my now 8-year-old.  Time is flying when you’re having fun right?  We are also gearing up for my son’s preschool graduation. I know some people make a big deal that these types of graduations are pointless but it just gives the little people something to look forward to. I personally feel like celebrations are what makes life great.  Those who know me know I will make his day special.  That’s what I do.  I feel like life is about making memories that they can look back on.  It’s better than buying a bunch of material things.

Also this week I have been vigilant with my doctors to get me an answer.  I have been suffering with migraines for quite some time.  I am also anemic.  However with the new diet my doctor made sure I had all of the supplements that one would need and I increased all of the iron enriched foods so you would think I was good right?  Wrong.  I am not.  My doctors and I have decided that it was time to get a hysterectomy.  I know for some they get it done when they have fibroids.  I do not have them.  I am losing too much blood.  My blood volumes and levels are one step to more transfusions.  For some they would say, why not start a pill that would decrease your period. However the thing is that I have already done that.  I have been on pills off and on.  I got my tubes tied when I had my 3rd and last child.  I know some would say why put this out there?  One its MY BODY and my page.  Secondly being a woman going through women issues is not a place of shame and I refuse to hide like I did something wrong.  That is pure craziness.  Why would I keep it hush-hush when there are millions of women like me going through the same thing.

I am no wonder. I won’t be the first or the last.  Ladies my decision was about what was best for me.  I have to do what I need to do for ME.  Was my husband there? Absolutely.  I know my decision will have an affect temporarily on my home but I had to do what was best for me.  No need to lose this weight, do all of this work and still be underlying unhealthy.  That is sheer madness.  I know what I need to do and I know what can happen if I don’t.  I love me and I need to be here as well as I have little people who need to have a healthy mom.  So with that in mind in the next week that is what I will be doing.  Have I researched all of the options?  Absolutely. This has been an ongoing back and forth thing.  I am prepared for the steps after.  I do NOT claim to know it all. However I am fully aware that the steps towards self-love will help me through the down side of this procedure.  So with MY family’s support we will be fine.  I have learned to tune out some of the naysayers.  They will say don’t let them take nothing out. Meanwhile I can’t count on them to watch my kids when I am somewhere bleeding out.  I can’t slide them a bill when I am off of work and missing time off.  I can’t count on them to pick up a phone call to say how is it going.  You see that was a free nugget right?  I refuse to give folks who show you they are more concerned with their bottom line than mine make my health decisions.  Got to keep pushing towards what will work for me and the ones that have to live through all of this.

So with that in mind you may see an increase in blogs.  I will have more down time. Whenever I have downtime, I write and I read so be on the look out. I plan to blog the hell out of this situation.  Not to get sympathy. I am one strong cookie.  But to raise awareness.  My heart goes out to the women who are medically forced to make this decision and desire to have children and can’t.  I have 3 kids and already put in place the parimeters not to have more already.  There is no child birth loss for me.  So for the ladies with this loss, it is a loss.  I researched this and I find comfort in reading other blogs of women who have gone through this.  And with life we are all connected.  Keep me in prayer and stay logged on twitter (toitiemblog) and facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/) as I will update.

News

  1. Kathy Griffin out here with a replica of Donald Trump being beheaded and it has set off this major storm on insensitivity.  I think for me and this is where MY opinion comes off.  It was a bit much.  However if the same ones were upset when the nooses was being shown with imagery of Obama was shown and not because he is Black alone but on the principle of right and wrong than okay.  If not than you just being extra.  What people don’t get is that your argument is more valid when it’s based on principle.  Meaning you would extend the same sympathy to another like you want it done for your favorite than you have merit.
  2. Ireland will have its first openly gay prime minister after Leo Varadkar was elected into the office.
  3. Withdraw of Paris climate agreement.
  4. Continuation of the Russian influence of the election.  Continue to stand by for breaking news of this ongoing legal battle.

So I pray you all enjoy your weekend.  There are some good movies. I saw Wonder Woman and as I thought without giving things away, I walked away feeling great about being a woman.  I may see it again if you’re looking for a quick should you go or not-there you go.  I am taking the kids to see Captain Underpants tonight.  Summer movies are really heating up.  I plan on some me time and I have to work.  So find an activity that you enjoy and make yourself feel like the beautiful gem that you are.

 

Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017

Happy Friday to you all! Who is ready for the weekend?  I surely am.  Let me just make a world-wide declaration to my beautiful daughter, Naila-happy 8th birthday.  My daughter and I am rightfully biased is one of the sweetest, amazing little girls to date. She loves everyone and is such a jewel to be around.  We plan to celebrate her all weekend long.  I pray continued love, strength and peace to her life always.

It’s also Memorial Day weekend.  So this means that there are going to be a few activities that will be taking place in a city near you.  If you live in or around Philadelphia there are a lot of FREE events taking place.  We ALL can afford free right?  The point is to get out and enjoy yourself.  Don’t go back to work on Tuesday with the boring didn’t do anything unless that is what you wanted to actually do-NOTHING.  Rest, relax, organize, plan for the rest of the Summer time.  Memorial Day is the unofficial start to Summer so get out and get busy.

Personal Highs

This has been a really interesting week for me. I am still coming down on my weight.  I am about to shift from just losing weight to maintaining for the month of June.  I am looking to get to my goal so I can purchase this Boho style swimsuit.  I haven’t bought a swimsuit in 5 years.  Also I was in a lot of control when it came to dealing with the things that life through just this week.  I almost had a little mental break down but some encouragement came and helped me along the way.  I had such an amazing time with my husband this past weekend and some much-needed me time as well.

News

  1. Prayers to those in Manchester.  A bomber decided to bomb the Ariana Grande concert that was being attended by mostly teenager and young children.  My heart goes out to those who lost their lives as well as those injured from the deadly blast. I can’t understand why there is so much evil in this world but there is.
  2. Trump’s administration is supposedly under the microscope.  Even with getting into all of the politics of it all I do believe that Trump believes that he has the power to do as he pleases.  I do not believe he under the concepts of checks or balances.  So we shall keep watching to see what comes of all of this.
  3. Greg Gianfonte is out here body slamming reporters-allegedly.  It’s sad when offices used to be respected therefore they carried themselves to a higher standard.  Pretty soon they going to be pulling even more stunts but what do I know.
  4. Chris Cornell died of an apparent suicide.  His wife is saying medication he was on is what led to his death and he would have not killed himself otherwise. I pray peace during this difficult time.

Personal Lows

  1. I spoke last week about awaiting for test results well I got them back. It doesn’t look good.  I have to be seen this week for some blood related issues and so when I have a treatment plan in place than I will blog openly about what is going on.  I have no problems sharing anything in my life and especially about health due to the fact there is always going to be someonelse who will go through it too.  I will inform you all of any changes especially any changes that distributes the blog.  If you aren’t already following me on Facebook please do as many of the changes will be announced there, https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/

Blogs

  1. Ask Toi-about family or friends who come over uninvited and especially as parents who have small kids and have a sitter.  It’s always good to call first.  You don’t know what is going on with people and it shows a respect for other people’s time. If you come over unannounced than don’t expect to have access to someone’s home no matter how close you are if who you are visiting has a sitter.  If that sitter isn’t aware of you stopping by its going to be a closed-door that greets you.
  2. Ask Toi-taking a sex break while married.  You have a right and a choice to engage or disengage but I would suggest that you work out the issue that is causing you to want to take a sex break than to go to you mate and not have a clear definition of what that means.  Do NOT expect your mate to be okay with it but you have the right to your body and to be vocal in what your intentions are.
  3. Annoying co-workers anyone?  Yes we ALL have them. Simple things to keep in mind as you go through the work day.
  4. Mirage screens-we put too much stock in what others are doing, what they are portraying, what they show us, etc.  Worry more on your own life and less on celebrities or couples or individuals you admire.

As we end this week and dive into the long weekend a few reminders:

  1. Sunscreen should be worn all year round not just in the Summer months.  However since pools and beaches will be swarmed this weekend and beyond, don’t forget it. I use a SPF in my makeup as well.
  2. Keep your kids close.  Do NOT get comfortable and get caught up in celebrating that you forget about them.  There are sick people everywhere and the last thing you need is a child to be unaccounted for.
  3. Drink but be safe.  I like a beverage or two but if you think DUI check points aren’t real you are sadly mistaken.  Be careful.  If you are tipsy call a Uber, etc.
  4. Violence unfortunately especially in some cities that are already plagued with violence more will break out.  Watch the company you keep and be vigilant in having peaceful get togethers.  If you are having a fault with someone and can’t be mature than don’t even attempt to resolve it at that time.  I pray that all innocent bystanders will be protected as well.  You can be at the right place at the wrong time, do nothing and still end up hurt or dead.  Prayers to all my ToiTime readers and followers.

Continue reading “Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017”

Birthday Message: Toibration 36 Years Young!

So finally today is the day.  It is my birthday.  Anytime you can wake up on the side of the living is a blessing.  Older people look forward to seeing a new birthday while younger people act as if it is a dread.  Perspective tells you to be grateful for any time you have as it is borrowed.  Today I am grateful for my 36 years.  I have had many times in my life where I have been close to death.  I am grateful for the time I can spend making my dreams come true and being with loved ones.

I am truly blessed that this year has me pushing the limits a bit.  I set out on a journey of self-love this year and I am reaping the benefits.  If I can’t love myself than the love I have for others isn’t pure.  Loving on me more has allowed me to block out distraction.  I am no longer in competition with anyone else but me.  I wake up and speak positivity over myself daily.  I am not a love guru I just got tired of speaking negative thoughts of not being enough, being overweight, not cute enough, all of the things I tell my girls not to do to themselves.  I know that some people have the do as I say mentality but I am my children’s mirror.  What I show them by example is important.  I can’t be trying on clothes and talking bad about myself but tell my daughter to be strong and confident and I wasn’t.  I started addressing my issues.

I first looked on the inside. I was unhappy.  I could fix my weight any day but if I can’t work on being happy what is the point.  I would seemingly just find something else to be an issue.  So I began to journal hard.  When I felt unhappy what was the reason?  I noticed the pattern wasn’t in any event but how I processed how I thought about the event.  How much I allowed my anxiety take over.  These are not easy tasks.  I set out to find a way to turn each thought around.  I am not saying I am totally fixed and I walk around with happiness juice pouring off of me in an annoying way, but I can get through the day and have a better outlook.

When I look in the mirror I love what I see.  I just don’t tolerate myself.  I don’t speak negatively about myself.  I am not looking at my thighs and having issues.  Not just because I lost weight but because I realize that whatever shape I am in, can change and I am fine in my own skin. This year will definitely be better than last year in the sense that I am ready to continue in this love walk.  I encourage others to do the same.  Let me also warn you that once you begin your journey you may not lose friends or family but your relationships with them will change.  It’s then that you will see how people really view you.  Remember there are some who benefit to see you all sad, down, and miserable. Once you change that they won’t be receptive to the “new” you.  It will hurt.  You will be disappointed but grateful that it happened. Shine on anyway…No one can stop your shine but you!!

As always let me end by shouting out my twin sister, Tierra.  I had the honor of coming into the world with my own womb partner, sister, and friend by choice!! Love you and happy birthday!!

And as promised I am about 5 pounds to goal so the featured photo to this blog both at the top were taken at various points of my weight.  My highest weight in December was 190.  I am currently at 155.  So that is a good dip and I am very proud of it! I didn’t want to be the same size as I was after the birth of my youngest who by the way is 3.  You know how women say it’s baby weight but the kids is like 12, that is what I was doing. However with hard work, and dedication I have definitely improved the outside as much as I have improved the inside. I can definitely now give my kids a run for their money. My energy is definitely up.  I can handle going to the gym 3 days a week.  I am eating better.  I have made a lifestyle change instead of only a summer time fine change.  I want to be life time fine.  I have people who depend on me and most importantly I depend on myself.

Huge shout out to all of my friends and family. I really am touched by the special and unique gifts that have all been super personal.  Thanks for the emails, texts, calls, time spent-all of it.  I am smiling hard today.  Thank you to my ToiTime followers as well!!

So I will be on all of my social media spots today.  I will be enjoying this day to the fullest. If you can’t celebrate you no one will right?  Toibration continues….

 

 

 

Weekly Recap: April 14, 2017

Happy Friday ToiTime readers!! Can you hear the joy in my voice?  That is what happens when you have been working 12 hour days all week and you finally get over 9 hours of sleep.  I am refreshed and will need it for the Easter weekend.  Anyway.  There has been a lot going on this week so let’s recap.

News

  1. United Airlines out here handing out ass whippings for not giving up seats.  The company is in a full-blown mess these days.  I expect a large payout and for the company’s bottom line to suffer behind the mess.  Little tid bit, do not ever release statements that victim blame.
  2. Second week of bombs from the United States.  Trump’s administration has dropped the largest non nuclear bomb on Afghanistan.  The only issues with all of this bombing is that I fear retaliation against the United States.  For the sake of the world I pray I am wrong.
  3. Woman stabbed to death by Palestinian man on a train in Jerusalem.
  4. 2 Georgia police officers were fired after a video surfaced of them punching a handcuffed man.

Personal Highs

I had a great weekend this past weekend.  I was able to get some me time which was not planned for a full day but definitely turned into a beautiful full day.  I enjoyed the quiet, some adult music and just some down time.  I have been working 12 hour days almost everyday for the past 2 weeks so it felt good to recharge.  I also enjoyed some family time with own family.  We enjoyed some time at Comic Con in Philadelphia where I took some amazing pictures and met some amazing people.  This week has been a little crazy with the mandatory overtime.  However I was able to get some rest last night and I swear it felt like I slept for an entire week in one night.  I expect to have a good weekend this weekend with my kidlets.  They love holidays like me so we will have a blast celebrating. I wish you all who celebrate Easter to remember what it’s all about and have a great one!

 

Blogs

  1. Stress awareness-phyiscal stress.  We talk about what makes us stress out and what that looks like in our physical body.  How we can grab the stress and turn it around in our lives.
  2. Let’s get physical-not everyone enjoys going to the gym even if its good for us.  It’s like veggies but not liking all of the veggies that there are.  You can find physical enjoyment in getting up and finding activities that you enjoy.
  3. Humble my ass, we talk about Lamar Kendrick’s newest hit Humble.  It’s a great record except for all of the men who think this is the song of all songs but don’t truly apply to the words they spit.  It takes more than a dope song to apply it.  We also talk about Tyrese and his ability in his own mind to tell women what they should or shouldn’t be doing while flaunting his 46% Black wife.  Love is love it doesn’t matter what color or race she is but he felt the need to tell the world and down women while uplifting us too as if that can be done at the same time.
  4. TI-Marriage is a distraction: This sounds horrible and it is.  It is horrible if he didn’t have this conversation with Tameka “Tiny” his wife prior to the interview and even worst if he didn’t have this conversation with her before he began acting single. Truth in marriage is hard and it’s not always beautiful.  However honesty should never take a back seat to feelings because in the end no one wins.

Personal Lows

This week I would say pushing myself more and not listening to my body.  I have had a series of headaches and stomach ache this week due to my change of schedule.  And this is the very thing that stress even if it’s not bad stress can do.  I should have slowed it down a bit.  Although the overtime was mandatory this week, little things like going to bed when I got home instead of watching an hour of television and being on my phone could have helped.  Instead of rushing slowed it down and ate at the times I needed and took my medication at the time I needed to would have helped greatly.  These are all things we need to do to make our life even with change run a little more smoothly.

 

I do hope that you all have a good weekend and can say that even if you have a lot of events that you have to be at or have a lot of things to do that you slow it down and get something out of this weekend for yourself.  You have to fill your own cup before you can do anything else for others.

Stress Awareness: Physical Stress

Stress as we discussed last week starts sometimes in the mind.  Going on and on for so long and not getting your mental health in check can lead to physical stress.  Physical stress is when your body becomes very reactive to the negativity that you in or are around.

Let me share with you how bad physical stress can be.  When I was in college I was obviously under a lot of stress to make sure my grades were good, I was dating my boyfriend and through immaturity we were that couple you never want to invite because were always fighting, and I was trying keep my parents at bay to the decisions in my life I was making.  This lead to one day me having the worst chest pains I had ever had.  I thought I was having a heartache.  I get to the hospital where they run all types of tests on me only to be cleared as one of the most healthiest the doctors had ever seen.  I was having an anxiety attack.  The anxiety attack started to mimic physical pain that wasn’t there.  If you have ever experienced an anxiety attack you know what I mean.

Image result for physical stress gif

Another time I experienced physical pain was when after graduating from college I had started a new job working with troubled youth. I enjoyed them but I didn’t have the life balance thing down.  I was underpaid and overworked.  There’s just no way of sugar-coating it.  There were long hours and long nights, lack of hanging with friends and family and stress was an understatement.  I was having so much pain that it felt like my stomach was in the worst pain in my life.  It was so bad the pain was so convincing that the doctors took my appendix out.  It was determined after it was out that my appendix was just fine and not in harm’s way to erupt.  Both times there were many things that could have been done to elevate the stress but I never caught on until the pain in my body could no longer be explained.  I had allowed stress to make me sick on top of it taking over my mind and thought process.

 

 

One of the things that I am learning is that even in the worst of situations its best to take care of your body. Remember stress can kill.  Even if things start in your mind and filter in your body, it can kill.  Balancing your world in a world that doesn’t know how to balance takes quite a lot of practice.  So when you are finding that those headaches and stomach-ache are not letting up, its time to call your doctor.  They are equipped to run test to be sure that everything is okay.  If the test show no reason as to why you are sick than its time to make some changes.

Image result for physical stress gif

  1. Get Physical-how does that make sense?  Being physical allows you to declutter your mind and keep your body in check.  Who wouldn’t to look good while keeping your stress levels down?  It only takes 30 minutes of physical activity a few times a week to do your body some good.  What are you waiting for?
  2. Eating Right-this is a huge help to your physical body.  Eating right helps your body respond at the top of your game.  To eat right takes discipline.  It takes preparation and having a plan.  If you’re not on board for doing a health kick, I would recommend arm yourself.  Have better snacks at your desk.  Pack your lunch. When there is no plan you will eat whatever is there just because you don’t have food to eat.  Start your day with breakfast.  Even if you aren’t a breakfast person, eat a cereal bar or granola in the am and then eat what I call a breakfast snack.  I usually eat 6 small meals a day.  This makes sure I am not hungry and will not need to go to that fast food place.  When you eat better, are full, you essentially make better eating options.
  3. Vitamins-talk to your doctor before you start taking vitamins.  Do NOT take things from others that are not approved by your doctor.  Your doctor knows what you need and you want to make sure you are operating at your prime

So we all know that we have to take care of ourselves.  We know that health is wealth. So if you don’t want to be the person who is sick all the time and unhealthy the time is now. We will be exploring a few options to make your physical stress disappear that can be both fun but health worthy.

Image result for physical stress gif