Summer Time in Old City: Old City Eats Block Party

One of the best parts about being in Philly is the amazing block parties. It’s something I didn’t see as often when I lived in Lancaster. In Philly you need zero reasons to bring residents together and it’s a party every time. Last night Old City threw a block party and it was the best prelude to Summer.

It’s officially Summer! One of my most favorite seasons! This means more fun, more sun, and dare I say more block parties. The streets last night was filled with people ready to have that Summer like fun. It was pouring rain earlier and I held back to see what the weather would do. Even despite the earlier weather, you couldn’t get a better outlook for the block party. The sun came out, it was a little humid and the rain left.

So I know between the tussle of the week day, the earlier rain that may have deterred your plans you might have missed it. There’s hope! Each week on Thursdays you will have the opportunity to attend Old City Eats as over 20 restaurants will be offering the best of the best for amazing eats and sips. You know I love to sip but I love it more in the Summer. I hadn’t been in Old City in awhile and it was great to see some of the eateries the area had to offer. Here are 3 restaurants that were amazing. I hope to go back a few more times to show case a few more during the Thursday run. These amazing sips will be offered every Thursday until August 29th. It’s a great way to start your early weekend and get out before Friday!

Cuba Libre Restaurant And Rum Bar

Who doesn’t block party without drinks?! Nobody that hangs with me! Cuba Libre has the drinks on lock with the selections of mojito, rum punch, beer, and empanadas. I personally had the mango mojito and the rum punch. Now I don’t know if people were getting more mojitos just because of the Summer feels but the rum punch was amazing! Oh and what’s a great drink without an amazing cup to drink it out of?! They served them inside of coconuts.

Makhani

So a few months back I had never even eaten Indian food. I went and had my first experience at Makhani and it was just pure amazing. Well they were at the block party too. So I had some of the chicken makhani, rice and some chicken sausage….It tasted like it did the night I had it. Every bite of it was delicious and most importantly the same level of love and hospitality was shown. Makhani’s food is always freshly prepared and is always to perfection. I have yet to have to alter it in any way. Oh and I brought some home to give to my husband who is super skeptical and I couldn’t catch his reactions quick enough! He went in!

Yes as you can see items were being sold out; you have to get to Makhani early

Nick’s Bar and Grille

People day Bar food is usually not that good. They say that you have to drink enough liquor before you can really play down bar food. After eating at Nick’s I say that is a whole lie. I had the egg rolls and they had Italian and cheesesteak. Since Philly is known for their cheesesteaks I elected to go out the box and try the Italian egg rolls. If you have nothing else and I mean nothing else you must try the Italian egg rolls. It was the best egg roll I had ever had. As much as I love to eat that speaks volumes. Hands down you have to come and try them. I didn’t have the pulled pork nacho cheese but word on the street is by not having them is not living. Debate me on the egg rolls but to do so you would have to try it for yourself and then get at me!

As I stated above I will try my hand at a few more offerings in the Summer at Old City Eats. My Thursdays just got a little bit better. Join me and others as we get out and enjoy these amazing drinks and food specials!

Thanks Old City Eats, Aversa PR, Makhani, Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, and Nick’s Bar and Grille for an amazing fun night!

Don’t forget to come to my Instagram to catch more pics of the evenings and to find out where I am, what I’m doing, and what fun you need to have as I continue to live and explore!!

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Ask Toi: How do I deal with my family/friend’s who heard I told the therapist about some past issues?

It’s easy to a point. Unless your therapist who is licensed revealed it to them, the only way they could have found out is you shared it with someone and that someone shared it with others and it became a domino effect. So who did you tell that you thought you could trust?

It’s important for all of us to understand that therapy is one a great tool in life. I was always raised to keep your “business in house.” There is some truth to it except when things that are being done or said hurts you physically, mentally, or emotionally. Often times we are told to keep things inside the home because we don’t see the benefit in therapy or asking for help is seen as a weakness. Neither is true. Asking for help is strength and therapy has benefits like decluttering your mind and heart and healing.

In therapy people expect to come out smiley and happy when often times you are super sad or tired. If you were vulnerable after leaving therapy and spoke to someone about it, you may have been violated. It’s important to follow your therapist words on what to do when you leave. Own what got out. It’s healing in this messy situation. It will be painful because the others of whom you spoke about feel a sense of violation especially if what was said was never brought to them first.

We all have to remember even in great situations even when less trauma is present there will be someone who will sit and talk to a therapist about you. We all have hurt someone or been hurt. The bandaid for your friends and family have been ripped off. In the long run this could help you. Speak to your therapist to help you through this. Do not let the guilt stop you from going. You need your therapist more now than ever. Allow honesty to take precedence. In the end and with time the relationships that can be mended will be. Don’t be surprised when you hear words of discouragement. Those same people will be caught off guard and may demean that the situation as you remember it even took place. Understand that and allow the revelations to come forth so you can heal.

Healing isn’t linear so during this process you may go through anger, pain, confusion, sadness, and peace. Also check whomever told your business and mark them. This person knew you were vulnerable and betrayed you. Although no matter what is said was bound to come out it should have been done on your terms.

I wish you peace in this situation but know it will work out the way it needs to. Be honest. Be clear. Let healing come from this!

Monday Motivation: Unhealthy Advice

Now this is not about someone telling you that you can diet by eating McDonalds alone although there are some who live like it. This is about receiving advice from unhealthy individuals and you don’t need it. Advice comes from everywhere. That’s the world we live in. From television ads to “reality” television advice is free and all over the place. You have to be super careful where and from whom you take advice.

Let me give you an example. As I continue to maintain a healthy body I had someone (true story) tell me oh but your arms are super big. Maybe they are. Maybe they aren’t. It was completely ok for someone to have an opinion of my body. (Enter sarcastic eye roll) The interesting point was this came from someone who is very visually overweight. Someone who doesn’t have self control obey what they ate. Someone who says time and time again how they need to lose weight but do absolutely nothing daily. No walks, eats whatever and then complains later-just pure nothing.

Does that mean that even with their unhealthy lifestyle they can’t see my “big” arms? Nope. It means that their unhealthy advice can be received with a grain of salt. Yes with a side eye. They can see and speak what they wish but they would be best teacher once they have walked in the obedience of their own words. Sometimes people tell you things from places they are unwilling to walk. They can call your laziness out in an area but dash quick past their own. If I wasn’t strong I would have been beating myself up over a comment from someone who not only won’t show their own arms, legs or any other body part but at the end of the day will continue to mirror an unhealthy lifestyle while focusing their attention on me.

I came to the conclusion that me doing what I need to do for my body speaks to the part of them that won’t do the work. Can you receive advice on marriage from someone who’s marriage has super bombed? Yes you can. But make sure that that person giving the advice is being an active participant in their lives especially where they give it. Take the advice but mark them in your mind so you don’t let it over take you.

There are people telling people things daily. You have to be careful the vessels by which the delivery is coming from. I couldn’t have a personal trainer that was overweight. So why do we take advice from folks we don’t respect in the walk of life that they give it. Someone who isn’t working out or watching what they eat and is unhealthy by all accounts can’t give advice on health and then say I know I need to do it. Sometimes they just wanted to be mean spirited to knock you.

When I was growing up I had someone I respected tell everyone about marriage and relationships and then they did the opposite of what they spoke and lived. I stopped accepting their advice. I no longer needed to feel as if they had the blueprint. Can your ideas change? Yes absolutely but they never accepted the fact that they switched up out of convenience that it no longer suited their immediate need. They wanted the same level of respect that they once had and that shipped sailed.

Do not let unhealthy people dictate your life choices. It’s more than the health of their body. People who speak ill will theses others, gossipers, etc all of those things that we know isn’t right take stock and be strong in yourself to strive to be better daily. Sometimes we let the folks with the most minimal drive have a front row of your admiration due to title that don’t need it. Watch who you make an idol. Watch who you hold on the top spot of your life. If your spouse for example downs you daily but you love them and you take that-don’t. Their title says that should be better in how they treat you but you don’t have to take verbal and emotional abuse to protect them or to avoid being alone.

At work the top boss can be the boss but if they are known for tearing their team down and that messes with daily mental health-it’s time to leave. You don’t have to sit in the parking lot crying or willing yourself home because others around them shine a bright light on who they are. Don’t take in their junk daily because their known or are known to make work stars if you take the junk that comes along.

I had an ex boss who was super awful to others. Told everyone how women needed to wear makeup. He would make comments about their clothes. In today’s standards he would be the perfect candidate for the Me Too campaign. He was a pig of a man. Yet people would switch up their outfits and take his advice and reality he was a womanizer and was a trash of a husband. Sorry not sorry. He would talk badly to his wife and thankfully she left him. He ended up losing everything. He was super unhealthy and a jerk but people danced around him and took in what he has to say. Why?

Stop getting used to raggedy people giving raggedy advice based on their unhealthy life. I would rather take advice from someone who is failing and getting up daily because they are trying than someone who is walking around in perfect town making full messes of other people’s lives including their own but telling someone things they aren’t willing to do! Let’s be clear we aren’t talking about perfection. You can be perfectly flawed but working at your best potential. However the unhealthy who put no work into themselves but use their time to demean, point out, and engage in unhealthy behaviors towards others!

This Monday deal with why you take in lessons from certain folks. Be clear in your teachers of life-even me I’m not exempt. Start living life on your own terms. Be careful to not take on other people’s advice when they aren’t willing to walk in the light of what they give. In 2019 there is no more do what I say but don’t worry about what I do or don’t!

Let’s clean out the idols and make sure our own anchors hold. It’s more important to be mentally well and emotionally strong. Remember we are all trying to be our best everyday but don’t let someone who outright has no respect for themselves and others around them take so much stock into what you do for your own life. Let’s start this Monday off right!!

xoxo Moongirl

Nicole Burgio. A woman who could be called helpless, defeated, jaded yet she is resilient, strong, and pushing through a life of chaos, pain, and violence. We sometimes live in our mini worlds overtaken by our own experiences. We interact with one another based on those experiences and don’t realize that our past definitely defines us only if we allow it. There is beauty in pain when you embrace it and use it to evoke change.

I attended xoxo: Moongirl at their opening show. If you remember I attended Communitas a few weeks prior. This was more raw than that show. It’s suggested for ages 13 and up. I might add upping the age to about 15 due to violent themes.

Nicole used magic, and acrobatic technique to show points of pain. The pain of knowing your mother was being beat by the hand of her father. The pain again feeling hopeless even after reaching adulthood. Why? Why can’t she take back this power? People sometimes only focus on the immediate dangers of violence in the home. Once you escape you think the journey has ended but does it?

How can you not be in a home and show signs of anxiety, hurt, distrust? Do you gravitate towards the same toxic behavior that you know is wrong but fine yourself in over and over again?! It sounds so deep and heavy and it should be to a point. You can’t sit and not be uncomfortable. However in the uncomfortable feeling there is still beauty. Healing isn’t linear. It’s an up and down path. It’s high one day like Nicole in her acrobat stance and low like Nicole in a anxious fit.

I left in peace. I left feeling hopeful. Yes you can encounter someone’s pain and still feel at peace watching them go up and down in their journey.

Domestic violence happens daily. 1 in every 4 women will experience violence from an intimate partner according to National Domestic Violence Hotline

Nicole is using her powerful story while utilizing her skills in the most provocative and informational way. We need to scream it out so friends can stop turning a blind eye to their abuser friends. We need to speak it so we can stop acting like it’s just a thing that happened in the past. There may be a few in your inner circle covering up the horror. The shame alone holds people in bad relationships where violence is the way to bind them to their partner.

There’s a way for you to see this performance:

  • Saturday, June 15, 3 p.m.

  • Saturday June 15, 8 p.m.

  • Sunday, June 16, 3 p.m.

  • Monday, June 17, 7 p.m.

  • Wednesday, June 19 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 20, 9 p.m.

  • Friday, June 21, 8 p.m.

  • Saturday, June 22, 3 p.m.

  • Saturday, June 22, 8 p.m.

  • Sunday, June 23, 7 p.m.

You can purchase tickets here

You might be saying well I would love to come but none of the above show times fit my schedule, how can I still donate or help?

I can help you! This amazing show is also on its way to Edinburgh. That’s right and they could use some help getting there. Right now they have a donor that is willing to match so that means your one donation will go twice as far. One thing about theatre is that it takes the support of the community! Let’s donate here!

I encourage all to come out and show Nicole and Mel Hsu who single handedly provided live music accompaniment. Mel’s voice is pure amazement and I loved hearing her.

So let’s take some time to flood Funicular Station located at 416 Coulter Street with love. Get out and see xoxo: Moongirl and learn, engage, enjoy a little magic as Nicole travels to the Moon to gain strength and let’s stand up to pain and turn it into a thing of beauty!!

To learn more about Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, click here!

Ardmore’s Taste with a View

What a night?! Over 20 vendors serving the most amazing food and drink showcasing the best of the best in Ardmore while benefiting Ardmore’s business authority was a blast rain and all!

The event took place at the One Ardmore Apartment Homes. To say that these apartments aren’t beautiful would be a full on lie. The layout of upscale, regale, and located in the heart of Ardmore. The rooftop where some of the vendors of the night were located had the most amazing views! I was blessed to get there early to catch it all before the rain came. As much as rain is usually a nuisance it didn’t stop the party in the least bit.

With so many vendors I’ll give you a drop of what made the night amazing:

My first stop was Buena Vista, a Mexican restaurant who is located at 251 Lancaster Avenue. I had the Mexican rice and it was so super flavorful. However not just the food was superb but the customer service was amazing. I love to watch how people serve you before they know what you do. I was serviced with amazing spirit!! I love going to tasting events because as much as I love Philly; Ardmore is only 30 minutes away from my home giving me new locations to have food, fun, and drink locations to try!

Next up (I was up and down in the venue) was Songsan which is a Korean barbecue restaurant. You can find them at 66 Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore. They also have a location in Paris as well. You know I just got back from there. I had the Jap Chae which are glass noodles with vegetables! They were sooo good! I had a full plate of them. I love glass noodles. The first time was at another Korean barbecue spot. These were flavorful! Looking at their menu this would be an amazing spot to have a group party or even an intimate dinner for two.

Next on my stop was Besito Ardmore. This is going to be your stop for Mexican good as well. I had some of their plantains and they were delicious but nothing more delicious than their pomegranate margarita. Say what you will but I came back at least twice!!! Margaritas are a big deal to me. I order pomegranate margaritas anytime they are on a menu and these gave a few spots a run for their money. I’ll be back on the drink alone!

I stopped at Marokko and it’s a Mediterranean and Moroccan themed restaurant with authentic food. What you get is smiles, hospitality, and love in their food-no lie! I also enjoyed to the fullest the belly dancing!! You have to check out my Instagram to see clips! Everyone and I mean everyone enjoyed the show!

Also Father’s Day is Sunday! They are having a special where did gets a free appetizer with his entree and reservations are requested!

Outside of food there were also pop up shops! I stoped at Trace. It’s your go to spot for housewares, arts and gifts!! Beautiful pieces that I thought we’re unique and bold. I saw a few pieces I might have to slide a suggestion or two for my upcoming wedding anniversary!

I enjoyed the pieces at Styche a woman’s clothing store. Ladies if you’re looking for one of a kind pieces that are well made and beautiful this is your place! I def found at least 4 dresses I need to have it in my closet along with some beautiful accessories! Oh and for the men who can’t ever seem to know what women want they have gift cards!

With all of the food and drinks I was so happy to run into Jen Crompton, owner is Fuel Cycle Fitness. They offer indoor cycling as well as boxing classes. They offer private lessons, group classes and 1:1 trainings. They also have a unique offering of Boxing and Brunch happening June 29 from 10am-2pm! This is a great event to bring out your teen daughter and have a mommy and me time while building skills set, life skills and of course brunch! Tickets can be found here. You know I’m all about women empowerment! Grab your daughter and head out to this event!

Back to the food! I stopped at The Ripplewood whiskey and gin and fell in love. They have food and drinks and they are amazing. Have you ever had a chip melt in your mouth? Whew the goodness! This would be an amazing spot to grab after work drinks or a great date night. I will be back. The orange really opened up the flavor and it was smooth!

Back downstairs to Dressler Estate Cidery. I had the sparkling cider. It reminded me a lot of wine. It was sweet but not too sweet and definitely refreshing!

For my icecream lovers look no further than Parlour! They had two flavors on display:

Amazing service and great conversation. And FYI they have dollar cones. Now grant it they are smaller than traditional sizes but….. for little hands that I have in my family it works great! Oh and the blueberry pie is amazing. They have at least 24 flavors so there’s something for everyone!!

To one of my favorites is Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant. They have one in my hometown of Lancaster. I took my mom and sisters to it last year. They always have an amazing assortment of drinks and food. It was good to see other locations. What would be the odds that I would meet a rep from Iron Hill Brewery thats also from Lancaster?!

They too have a Father’s Day special. They have a 3 course meals which includes dessert for 32.50. Oh and a contender is Das Boot which is available on tap and in a can! Get out there and shower dad at Iron Hill and enjoy!! As always full menu is available!

So I’m all about trying new liquor! I tried the Revivalist, an amazing botanical gin. I had the Harvest Expression with Lemonade and all I know is I will not let my Summer pass without making this a drink to share. Trust me if you want to have the best adult lemonade this would be the gin to add.

I also had the Dragon Dance mixed with a jalapeño drink and it was pure bliss. I definitely will be emailing to find out the exact drinks and will share when I get it. It’s a little bit spicy but smooth and it was good.

I love an amazing salad. I love a salad that is flavorful and makes you forget for a second that it’s a salad. Green Papaya Asian Bistro will always have a customer as long as their green papaya salad is on the menu. Look at the detail:

You can see quality when you see it?! The taste was magical. Being vegan I’m always on the hunt for some great tasting food and this will be a go to spot for me and my friends or family and it’s also BYOB!

Back to adult lemonades; the Proper Twelve Limerick Lemonade is a winner. It’s light and not overbearing sweet. But the Irish Whiskey was superb! Oh and if you love food they had some pulled pork and Mac and cheese at Jack Mcshea’s!!

Are you getting hungry yet? Last but certainly not least, is Delice & Chocolat that gave me a touch of Paris flare with their chocolate croissant. It’s the closest thing to a real Paris croissant since I have returned!!! It was delicious, flaky and good. Makes sense since the owner lived there for 14 years and it shows. You must stop by if you don’t think you will get to Paris or maybe you have it will take you back!!

So as you can see the food and drinks were plentiful. The pop up shops were amazing and Ardmore is the place to be! Ardmore is becoming a little gem of a location and I hope you make one of these restaurants or shops you’re new go to!!

Weekend Recap: June 7-June 9th

What a weekend?! I love having full weekends. I love getting out and about and this weekend was absolutely perfect!

The weather was amazing. Friday I hung out with my niece and went to Dottie’s Donuts and enjoyed a vegan donut for National Donut Day! What an amazing assortment. I ended up getting the Neapolitan donut and I took a cinnamon bun for the road. Judge your own life! It was absolutely amazing! For a Friday and a donut Friday I definitely was winning!

I also enjoyed some down time. I needed to clean the house and do laundry. I love the quietness of cleaning. One of my kids was at a play date leaving me with just the two! I’m glad that they were such an amazing help.

Saturday Vibes

So Saturday I enjoyed a much needed manicure appointment. Nothing sets my weekend right like a manicure and some wine. Omnia is always my go to with my prescheduled appointments with my favorite manicurist John! He’s absolutely amazing and he knows what I like I don’t even have to ask. This week he talked me into a marble design but he knows I don’t like a full hand of designed nails. So one simple design on my ring hand is plenty. I’m simple in design but I love bright colors. I do not follow any rule on nail colors. If I want bright colors in the middle of Winter you will catch me with a bright color in the Winter. When I look at my hands since I use them so much I want to see neatness and happiness on them.

After that I raced over to TJ Maxx which normally I don’t ever have time to look for fashions because I just don’t like shopping in stores. I like what I like and shopping online is more my stick. I can’t be made that I found the perfect dress for the drag queen tea at Sofitel.

Drag Queen Afternoon Tea

If you didn’t catch the blog catch it here!

The dress was 20 dollars and it was super cute and for so well!! Thanks to my girl Pam for going to the event with me on National Best Friends Day!

Dizengoff Brunch Time

On Sunday the weather was so beautiful and it was amazing! It was also pride weekend! I hung out with my blogger friend and foodie, Cheryl of Travel with Cherryl also known as PhillyFoodGal

We went to Dizengoff of Philadelphia! This is like the Hummus King of hummus and so right up my alley! It was smooth, creamy, and full of flavor! I could have bought another to be honest!

I have the Fava Bean and a Lemonada with gin. It was Sunday Funday right?! It was amazing! All of it. The service was great and the location was perfect. They also have outdoor sitting which is my thing to do when I eat!

Stress Less Space

After an amazing brunch I went to the Stress Less Space which is an alternative to incorporating less stress into your space. It is an organization that will help you utilize and manage the stress we carry everyday. I personally have had some stress in my life lately with new changes, my car issues and life itself. It was good to relax for an hour to journal, head noise canceling relaxation sounds, and the quiet. Jesus the quiet almost changed my whole life!! Like my whole life. I was able to travel to my hometown with the most amazing zen!

I would suggest if you live in Philadelphia to give it a chance! The care of the staff was amazing and it was extremely therapeutic!

TCP Sundays

I did go back home to do a podcast with TCP; The Cultured Professional! You can catch it by clicking on the link! Parental advisory is advised as we talk about a lot of current events without any chasers aka we didn’t sugar coat a thing and some sexual content as well. It was great to be in a different genre of entertainment and information.

During the trip I was able to spend some time with my nieces! I enjoy anytime and I’m making it a purpose now that they are getting older to spend as much time as I can! I came home super late from the podcast so outside of Target trip I had zero time for anything else!

Husbae

Shout out to my husbae for meal prepping for the week for me by cooking out on the grill! Although that doesn’t include my vegan meals it was one less thing for me to prepare. I’m cool with just making my own items! Also shout out to him for keeping the kids moving as I was out and about as I was out both Saturday and Sunday!

So yes to say my weekend was busy was an understatement! I wouldn’t change a thing!

Monday Motivation: Petty Bettys

You may experience a Petty Betty in all kinds of areas like work and home. They come out of the woodwork to try your patience. Do not let them take you off your course. They tend to be super draining and always taking. They take your time, money, energy, and sometimes focus if you give it to them.

I would love to say press pass them like it’s always easy and any hardship with a Petty Betty is all in your mind and something you are putting too much of an emphasis on and it isn’t serious. However the truth is they are too much. They are taxing and they do weigh on you. For example you get up to go to work and every time you clock in if not sooner Petty Betty is waiting in the wings of the door with a gambit of negativity. You feel like you’re playing Mortal Combat mentally with her or a Petty Bob daily. The smile you once had in the parking lot is gone. The prayer that willed you into the building feels in vain.

However trust me Petty Betty and Petty Bob are all around. They actually help to make you better in dealing with difficult situations. I know some as soon as a Petty Betty encounter is longer than they imagined they want to leave a job, a relationship, a new business, etc.

If you run from a Petty Betty every time something happens you might as well sleep in running shoes. Be direct with a Petty Betty. Sometimes that’s enough for them to get the message. You can’t be passive aggressive with a Petty Betty and expect results. They thrive off your low balling behavior. If you keep pretending it’s all good, what would be their incentive to leave you alone?

Take this Monday to get clarity on what you are willing to tolerate and what you aren’t. Put checks and balances where you need them. Be definitive when you speak and clear in your actions. Don’t find yourself wanting what Petty Betty or Bob has but not wanting to deal with them. Make the lines clear. If they are just coworkers stop inviting them around your home and giving false sense of acceptance when you don’t want to deal with them. Don’t use them as a work buddy when you plan on talking about them to the other coworker later down the line. Stop playing the fence with Petty Betty and Bob in real life and they will stop playing Jenga with your emotions and life in return!

Have a great Monday and nip foolishness in the bud! Be clear when you speak and deal with those in your life. It makes a world of difference!