Week 8: Storr Summer Adventure

So yes we I have started the plunge of Back to School shopping that means Summer is almost over. With that in mind I have started my fall back on paying events because I like to save more now and until I know what Back to School will cost, I cut back for 2 weeks than we pick it back up! I know that seems strange to do but my system works and has worked for years! Week 8 we spent a hefty $14.38!

Monday

We went to the library and attended the end of Summer Reading Party. We have been going to the library weekly and completing fun tasks that gave them a free book each week. This is in addition to Week 7’s Barnes and Nobles. Reading has been pushed it’s hardest this Summer and my requirement is simple. Just read what you love. It worked! Thanks to Eastwick Library there were we least 30 kids in attendance!

Nothing more fun than Ritas water ice and Philadelphia Pretzels

They also gifted them one last book!

Tuesday

It was a park day! A day of working out as well as physical activity for them! It waa hot but we got it done!

Wednesday

I had a blog event at the Philadelphia Zoo and I was able to take the kids. In addition to being able to visit the new Gorilla Tree House they toured the rest of the zoo for an ultimate win! It was super hot but we were armed and ready with food, snacks, and water!

Thursday

We went to the James Shuler Memorial Gym Back to School event! They did an amazing job! The kids enjoyed the time with the boxers! They are also celebrating their 25th anniversary! More to come with a separate blog!

I had an event Thursday night with Diva Girl Philly as we learned to not get stuck! It was informative and relaxing.

I was able to relax afterwards at my favorite spot: Piazza Pod Park!

Friday

I wanted it to be laid back plus Marques Sr. was sick! These kids had me cracking up! They played hard and in addition convinced me to chase the incream truck down! It was worth it I was able to get an old school bomb pop! Total $14.38!!

So between work, the blog, the kids; life is always moving!! We will wind down a bit for week 9 but end the Summer with a bang and an amazing recap of all money spent. I’m on a mission to spend less but not cheapen the fun!

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Monday Motivation: College Edition

As some of the college bound students pack up to attend various schools make sure you remain grateful, vigilant, and hopeful! It’s every walk of life represented at college. It’s super easy to get discouraged if you start to compare what you have against the next. If you’re support system isn’t strong it will take you for a loop.

The pressure to get into college is already hard. Once you are in you might have had to work your butt off to secure enough to maintain. So many students have to work not only a federal work study position but often times a regular job in addition to have their basic needs met. It’s easy to forget that college starts some students’ first hustle but it’s true! It’s where the first flight or fight can begin. Don’t underestimate the struggle or look down on others who are literally first time college students in their whole family. It can be a time of love and pain.

Not everyone comes from well rounded families built on support. People’s idea of support starts and ends at drop off. People don’t have folks in their lives that check on their well being. No care packages are being sent, money being deposited, or even care being given-just drop off. That can mess with a young person’s heart. People think college is JUST about academics but it’s more to it. It’s walking into adulthood and learning about yourself in the most raw form.

This is a great time full of excitement and some stress as well. Not knowing what to expect is sometimes the first lesson in life in how to move when things aren’t aligned. Being that you are on campus having to survive it teaches you how to boss up and take care of yourself quick. It will give you the skills to be resourceful and how to work hard. You will learn about work ethic and if you lack self care you will bump your head until you dive into it. Some students will realize for the first time that they have a mental illness. It’s important to seek help early and often. Do not suffer in silence just because someone back home thinks it’s weak to ask for help. You can’t preserve you on their mindset when it no longer fits!

I applaud all the college bound adults as you make you mark. Study hard, play hard and learn about yourself! This week is all about you! Make this year a great one!!

Toi first day at Penn State 20 years ago

Family Style Love at Mamma Maria’s

I went to the East Passyunk Car Show and Street Fest! I posted quite a few pics on my Instagram a few weeks ago! It was so much fun. It was super hot (which I love), great food, amazing vendors, and of course the cars!

Who doesn’t love amazing cars?!

All kinds of exotic cars. Of course I loved them all but also I was drawn to the red cars. Red is my favorite car. I currently drive a red car. I was walking along and was introduced to Mamma Maria! She gave me this warm welcoming hug. It was the kind of hug that warms the soul. It was as if we had known each other all of our lives! On a Sunday it was just the best feeling and expression of love. We chatted about what I do and her cooking!

Mamma Maria already had her set up going and towards the end of the event she was just about sold out. Before leaving Mamma Maria packed me and my oldest daughter some gnocchi, sausages, and broccoli. You couldn’t get the smile off of my face. One of my absolute favorite foods is Italian. My husband even popped the question to me at an Italian restaurant because I love it that much-outside of gummi bears of course! So I’m headed home with this warm pasta on my lap trying not to eat it in the car. As soon as I’m able I open it and goodness gracious-it’s that good. I didn’t even let it get cold so it was ready to eat and I found myself eating and eating!

I took my food outside because as a mom you already know kids don’t care what you are eating they want parts! I was able to eat the pasta outside without little hands in it. It felt like I was having a moment and Mamma provided it for me. Here I was after spending hours in the sun, in my happy spot at home having my favorite dish and content.

I don’t know if there are others who love Italian food as much as I do. The type that work out so they can keep eating fresh pasta, but if that is you-Run to Mamma Maria’s located at 1637 East Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia PA! You will be in a little slice of Heaven with authentic Italian pasta made with love! Mamma will make sure you eat well and when you leave you will smile. You won’t worry about if the pasta hits your thighs. The only thing you will know is you ate some amazing food and you were treated with love!

Mamma Maria’s is open Monday-Friday from 10:30am-10:30pm and on Saturday from 4:30pm-11:30pm and on Sundays from 3:00-10:00pm!

Week 7: Storr Summer Adventure

So it’s week 7 already? Summer isn’t playing with none of us. Between the kids fun during the week, blogging events, and weekend fun no one in my house can be bored! This week’s total was $74.37!

Monday

Park time. I knew it would be hot so instead of going out later I decided we would go to the park first thing. I was able to get my 3 miles in and they were able to run and play. It felt good to switch up our day and I was able to switch up my work day as well! They enjoyed it and then went home had lunch and read their books and played together!

Tuesday

Today we took it to the bowling alley. Two games for free, shoe rental, and dino bowling helper for $22! They brought a friend of Noelle so it cost us $14 so for the day $36 total and hours of fun! 40 min drive due to traffic both ways armed with packed snacks and water made for an afternoon outing full of fun! Watching them be competitive was hilarious! The way they kept trying to beat each other had me in tears!

Wednesday

Let’s get to reading. They have been reading about 4 books a week and the younger two have their Summer book reports complete! We made a stop to the library to return books and get new ones! The librarian definitely knows us at this point! I’m glad that I finally stopped in instead of going to other libraries near us. Also through the library’s Summer reading program another free book to add to their collection. At least we were able to get done before the storm came! We also stopped to have lunch at Burger King well they did anyway! Total was $14.26. I had Salad Works for $12.12! Combined total is 26.38!

Thursday

We decided to switch it up. They had balances on their Five Below card so I decided to let them spend it. They each got one toy, a snack and I brought drinks with us. This was after they spent the morning reading and doing their math while I worked! They spent 30 min inside that store because they were making sure they got the “right toy.” I added about 11.99 for whatever wasn’t covered with the gift cards!

Barnes and Nobles is doing a Summer reading challenge. For reading 8 books of any kind, you get to choose one book from a list of books for free! I love this. Between the library’s challenge, Barnes and Nobles and me just making reading a priority they have been doing amazing! Taking them to one of my absolute favorite stores always makes me happy!

Friday

It was a chill day. It was also my anniversary so I wanted to rest and relax. No working for me just spent the day watching them create forts in the living room, reading, we ate in the living room I rarely never let them do and just laughed and had a great time!

We did pretty good and as the Summer gets closer to a close I will be switching more family related activities and focusing on the weekend events! However I’m determined to still get them out and about and I found some new free events to do so!!

I hope you enjoyed this week and I can’t wait to recap the entire Summer!! You can have fun by doing something that you love and a little research!!

Chima Shares All The Love

We went to Chima to celebrate our 7th anniversary. Between the ambiance, good food, amazing drinks; Chima is definitely the spot to enhance any celebration!

Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, promotions or just because Chima is your go to! They will acknowledge your special day with flare. No matter the detail they will make sure you feel the love from the time you enter and until you leave! We first encountered Chima as a couple at our year 4 anniversary and it was just as special going back for year 7! Chima has the freshest foods you could ask for! There’s something for everyone!!

My favorites has to be the cinnamon pineapple. Like I get extremely giddy when it comes to the table! It’s so warm and fresh. Chima had to remember from my last visit. They were told a little birdy told them. God bless that bird because I had many slices!

Let’s talk about the Passion Fruit Dressing; it’s amazing!

The meats for those who eat it was top of the line and made to order!

Service is always impeccable! Shout out to Christian who was outstanding! He never let my cup go low and he knows that menu like no other. He made the night go super smooth!

I love that we could see the growth over the years and see how much joy Chima brings to our anniversaries!

It’s nothing to like getting dressed up to experience world class cuisine at a restaurant that stands by customer service and elegant delivery. You can ask any of the staff and they absolutely go above and beyond for every patron! They treated us like royalty! They are standing by to do the same for you! Consider them for your next event!

Here’s a few things that stuck out to me this visit:

For my parent friends they have a baby changing station in both men and women bathrooms!

There bar is amazing and don’t think for one second you won’t get amazing service vs being seated at a table because that’s not the case!

Speaking of drinks they are amazing it doesn’t matter which one you try!

Los Olas Old Fashion; bulleit bourbon, angostura bitters, sugar cube, orange peel and garnished with luxardo cherry

White sangria

Chima has you covered for all of your needs! Thank you Chima for an amazing night! Thank you Marques for these 7 years!! Let’s make it a lifetime!

Giving you The Best That I Got…Year 7!

It’s year 7 and I must say as much as I would love to downplay it, I’m not! I wish I could take a behind the scenes of the early years. I do all I can to not let that old couple pop up. Between not communicating and just yelling and being a team player on paper but not in thought or deed…whew I’m grateful for days like today.

I immediately listened to one of my artist, Anita Baker. When I was younger anytime she and most other R&B artist was played I knew it meant it was time to clean. When I was a kid I told myself I knew who I would married by whether or not I wanted to sing that song to him….thus music became an association I made in a lot of situations. I still do! Anyway the growth as a woman and a person that I’ve made makes me so incredibly happy. I know the trials I’ve made over the years. I can now sing those sounds in confidence since back then my momma reminded me I ain’t know what I was talking about. Now I’m working towards more knowledge AND practice daily!

Now that I am putting into the work I can honestly say I’m giving my husband the best that I got daily. It may not be perfect but the energy to be better daily is what makes the huge difference. I wasn’t doing that as often before. It was a rush to point to him as the reason or if he wasn’t the reason in my mind he needed to fix it. How in the world he was supposed to fix me is beyond me but these type of unstable requests and wars was going on.

Year 7 means a sense of completion. Although we have waves to go through a small sense of accomplishment exists. I am giving the best that I got to myself daily. It’s not selfish to practice self care so we all can live in peace. He benefits from making sure I check my energy and attitude as he does the same. It helps two VERY different people to be able to coexist. We are friends! We have our own language. We have our own code words. We laugh at things that we alone might only find funny! We want the best for one another. As long as we keep that going we can continue this partnership.

20 years of friendship, 7 years of marriage and 3 beautiful children and a lifetime to go!!

So as we celebrate year 7 enjoy my favorite artist-love you Mr. Storr!!

He Said…

I love that you try to find the joy in everything and bring a positive attitude to all that are around you.

He Said…She Said…

We change in marriage. We think we won’t but we do. We are ever learning about ourselves in the midst of change in marriage. Today’s question is what have we learned about ourselves since being married..

He Said…

What I learned about myself in marriage is the desire to change history and be in a family with a stable home (ie mother and father in the home) and provide that for my children since I didn’t have that. In that desire to provide that I put more emphasis on being an amazing father and not enough on being an amazing husband. What I didn’t realize that I have to make sure that I put time to my marriage in order to create the stable home. What I’m learning now is to put the same energy that I give my children to my marriage to continue an environment for both!

She Said..

I learned that it’s ok to have fun in marriage. It took so much for me to go back to the fun that we had in the very beginning trying to make sure I had the perfect food cooked, kids cleaned, and dotting every I. That was so stressful and causing me to lose focus on what mattered. So as to the T that I felt I needed to be, knowing that sometimes it’s ok to go take a nap and things would get done later was just as great! Knowing I can take on too much and be unwilling or too scared to admit I needed help had to drop.

So we were both trying too hard in one area but not enough in other areas and now learning everyday the balance to keep our own personal fuel, couple fuel, and family fuel is always a tug of war! I definitely think we are getting better at it for this stage of life!

Hoping you are learning and getting something from this series!