Re-write Your Monday

Today was one for the books. I needed a drink and it wasn’t even 8am. I felt like I was on a show where I had to phone in a friend, grab a locksmith, and all before I even had a sip of my coffee. You know coffee is life. However today I had to take a second, regroup, ask for help and rewrite my Monday.

casual fashion girl outfit

Photo by JÉSHOOTS on Pexels.com

As much as life throws at us, we would think we are more prepared to deal with an occasional drama moment or two. However today proved that I am not. I haven’t had to live in chaos, but it won’t mean it wont come knocking on my door every now and again. One I am glad for friends and family who can help without asking a ton of questions. They believe in you, see that change, and when you need them they don’t hesitate. God is good. Also thanks to Mike who got me in where I needed to be. What a way to start the day.  You know that moment when you get the laundry done AND folded, bags packed, and then you think you got Monday and Monday don’t got you………..

I decided to take a moment to collect my thoughts and say had this been a few years ago you would have been a mess. So what do you want your Monday to look like? I wanted it to run smoothly.  I felt like all the preparation that I put into it should have yielded better results. The issue was that regardless of the preparation I put into it, life happens. It was a test. It was a test to see if I would break down. It was a test to see if I would crumble. I didn’t so regardless if it started off crazy in the end I won. How about you? We love the Mondays where you feel super empowered due to the fact that things just line up, but when it doesn’t, can you still smile? Can you still get through? Can you find a way to reset and re-write your Monday.

I heard something last week that stuck with me. It was a motivational speaker and she was talking about how we have bad moments keep us in bad days. If someone cut you off in traffic at 8am, why is that still a thing at 9?  I had to think about the times I would do that. How many moments I missed of readjusting myself for a bad moment?  How many times did I sit around speaking more negative energy into my day? So today I used that same mindset to continue this day. I will continue finding solutions to my problems. I will find ways to make this week pop by writing out my goals and focusing on that alone. How about you? What are you going to do?

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Fall Clothing Reboot

I have been guilty of dressing less than my best.  Either from pure laziness or not being inspired it has happened. As fall comes along layering will be key and for me going into my Pintrest and transitioning my outfits will be my number one go to. You can take a few of your Summer pieces and layer them up to make some cute finds for any occasions.  You can go from hayride to a Fall brunch with just a little effort. I laugh every time I go out with my one girlfriend, I am always on Pintrest finding an outfit for the occasion and because she’s my boo I want to be too cute for our Instagram pics!

I would love to be drippin in finesse when it comes to money but sadly the way my bank account is set up, I’ll have to settle for reshifting my outfits.  What that means is shopping my own closet.  I have so many pieces every season that I simply forget I even have.  For that reason I plan to reshift my closets and break out my boots.  Yes boot season is upon us and I have some that I bought and was excited for that the second I bring them out nobody will say they can remember seeing me in.  Pretty sad but blessed thing to be able to say.

So armed with my Pintrest, I will be reinventing a few pieces.  A few things are a must have such as scarves to dress up or dress down any outfit.  Scarves worn around the neck especially a cute bulky oversized infinity scarf is a Fall staple.  You can really make an outfit pop with a scarf.  I would say if you have a scarf you can take an outfit from blah to wow.  Warm boot socks is a great thing to have because you can pop a color and have that boot sock appear above your low-cut boot or even just have to help with layering.  Remember Fall is all cute and games until the temperature dips and its cold.  So grab a few.  You can go to places such as Five Below, a department store, or even my favorite spot, Target for some awesome finds.  Remember your wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive.

photo of woman gray sweater

Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

Invest in a few statement pieces and cute sweaters.  This will be a game changer.  Fall is all about sweaters or cute hoodies.  A few weeks ago it rained so hard that I had to go and get my Penn State hoodie that I bought in the Summer.  I wasn’t mad.  I paired that up with a cute rain boot and some well fitted jeans and cute headband and left the house warm and cute without a lot of effort.  I also would suggest 2nd hand stores.  These are your Thrift stores.  When I was a kid I used to hate it.  My parents were so into Thrift stores they had frequent shopper cards.  I never understood how the clothes were cheap but we needed a frequent shopper card.  I would always find cute pieces but I was so embarrassed.  Now I get it.  Shout out to them for showing me the way.  I know for a fact that a lot of fashions that are out now have been recycled and what better place to look cute and save money than a Thrift shop?  I’ll wait……

Take the time to put a little extra push in your wardrobe.  You do not want to be out this Fall looking less than your best.  I always would get frustrated askign myself in old pictures how I could have come out of the house and although I am no fashion expert I know a few tricks of the trade by looking up the look I am going for and if you too want to look your best, I would suggest you do the same!

Fall is for Linvilla Orchards

So I love Fall.  I love going to Linvilla Orchards.  We do this yearly.  I have a blast and so does the kids.  So this year was no different.  If you aren’t familiar with Linvilla check it out here.

We had a blast from the food to the apple slinging, it gets better yearly.  What I am most excited about was watching me and the kids’ growth over the years.  For instance when we first went my oldest was about 2 and my son wasn’t even walking.  Now they can participate in all of the events.  My youngest who is the pro at apple slinging was in my belly a few years ago and loves to run around playing. Linvilla has something for everyone.  If you love country fall foods, they have it.  If you like hay rides, they have it.  It is an all year round treat for the entire family.

So of courses let me give you our highlights.  I love corn. But nothing is better than corn than corn on the cob hot with piping hot butter drizzled on it.  They have corn down to a science and literally is the first stop on the trip.  Oh and the seasoning station, has everything you can think of for a messy good time.

corn

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The kids didn’t want any parts of corn.  So they opted for funnel cake instead and cotton candy, duh!

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Nothing to do but to sit for a bit than let them run all of that energy out.  We let them play on everything.  You pay a dollar a ticket but the adults are free.  PSA, if you have more than one parent or a friend, designate one person to take a few pictures at the beginning and then focus back on the kids.  I see too many parents either taking pictures or just on their phone.  Your kids can still be injured or lost because you’re taking a parent time out. Linvilla has the kids within a fence but its super easy for kids to wander out if you’re not looking.  So keep an eye out and be vigilant.  The kids took advantage of us not saying no.  Kids need room to run so for me I enjoyed letting them be free.  Super grateful for having my husband come because the age ranges allowed the kids to play with their age of kids without worry that a bigger kid will over power my 3-year-old.  It allowed us to conquer and divide.  I definitely think having a group of parents and kids will allow a better time.  Not to mention not everyone wants to do the same things at the same time.  You can have some do face painting, while others are playing, etc.

They also have pony and train rides for a fee too as well as a petting zoo station.

The kids enjoy asking for things and getting them.  Always try to have cash to spend.  They do have ATMs but they are usually a bank no one has and I am on team save money.  You don’t have to pay to get in or for parking but the amount of money you will spend inside quickly covers it.  So be prepared.  We always get a pumpkin so we can either carve or paint them later at the pumpkin patch.  Linvilla has pumpkins of all sizes and even some black and white pumpkins too.

The highlight of the kids day outside of the hay ride, is apple slinging.  They also have corn and straw mazes, and a pumpkin toss.  The kids being able for $5.00 a barrel sling apples onto targets is always a great time.  The recommended age is over 5 but with our 3-year-old we just had to assist her.  If you don’t want to assist your little ones, avoid this area as they aren’t going to be content watching others sling them.

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I love being in Linvilla.  It is very crowded.  Everyone pushing up against one another but not in a bad way.  I have never seen an incident take place there because of the crowds and I have been going there since 2012.  It is a true family oriented spot with everyone just enjoying themselves. I love the apple cider.  They make it themselves so if you are an apple cider connoisseur you will love it.  Also never leave without trying an apple cider donut.  These things are super addictive.  I made sure I ONLY bought one to eat because if you buy any more than that, it’s not going to make it home and that’s a promise.  And of course a candy or a caramel covered apple too.  My kids snuck theirs and almos them done before we got home.  You can imagine our home being an immediate candy fest.  I was never so happy for bedtime.

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So if you like fun, family, and a little outdoors mixed in with Fall activities then Linvilla is your spot.  I hope you enjoyed my little glimpse into our yearly indulgence.  If you can make it out, make it a priority. They even have a friendly hayride to the witches house for apple cider and a marshmallow roast.

Extra Hints to get through with kids

  1. Wear pants-the hay can be itchy so if you’re allergic to hay obviously avoid it.  We also bring blankets to lay down
  2. For asthma adults/kids, bring your inhaler, the air is different because it’s not city air.  We always have to use the inhaler before and after,
  3. Bring a first aid kit that can fit in a bag. Kids seem to graviate to scrapes and to avoid having to find a station, bring your own.
  4. Have enough money and space your time out-kids will ask for everything to do at the same time.
  5. Plan to be there for at least 2 hours and even then you may not get through it all
  6. Be patient as some lines are longer than others
  7. They have a market to purchase frest fruit, etc
  8. You can pick your own apples at this time too
  9. If your little one can walk but may get tired, bring a fold up stroller.  Also keep in mind you can’t take a stroller on the hay ride, but you can park it in a designated area but never leave valuables in it, it’s family oriented but like my momma would say, everybody ain’t saved.
  10. Have fun!

Fall Workout/Weight Goals

So Fall is going to be here in a few days.  Yes. So I can stop hearing all of those complaining folks talking about relax.  Nope now you can go and relax.  Let people live. Let the Fall lovers have their time I don’t want to have to Kanye anyone over my favorite holiday but I will.  I digress. Anyway with the Fall fast approaching I have made some new Fall work out/weight loss goals that I believe will help others too.  Fall is the beginning of cuffing season as well as it’s the comfort food season. People will start making pies, cookies, mac and cheese, and before you know it 10 pounds have snuck up on you.  To combat the heavier weight problems I have made up my personal goals that takes the edge off of everything.

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I am breaking all of the Fall holidays into smaller goals.  My overall goal is to maintain the weight I am in and by New Years not have to make a lose weight goal. Yes that means being at my goal weight and keeping it off.  That in itself is a full-time goal.  However if I look at the whole goal it may be too intimidating so here is how I am breaking up my goals.

September Goal

I have a walk and a 5K at the end of the month.  So all month-long, I have been working out.  I started out 3 days a week but as the month quickly ends I have been hitting the gym EVERYDAY.  This means when I am sick, when the weather is gloomy, nothing is stopping me from the workout.  This has helped as I have noticed how much stronger I have gotten.  This will help me on the run as I do not want to be the last one running.  I want to be able to come out of that race with pride.  I also have a girls trip the first weekend in October.  Because of the closeness of the dates I will be good to go as I know I will indulge in some food that weekend too.  My hope is we do a lot of walking.  If not I will have to do like I do at home on the weekends and work out with the things that are around us.  No I could care less if it’s just one weekend. I worked out just fine when I went to Chicago for my birthday so this girls trip will be no different.  I woke up when others was sleep and did what I had to do.

The only issue I am facing is that with my hysterectomy surgery I find the swelly belly thing to be irritating.  It happens that when you do too much your belly swells.  I can wake up with a flat belly and by end of day or if I work out too much which I do everyday now I look 2 months pregnant. It’s annoying but I will work right through it until I heal fully and that stops.

October Goal

This goal is to look good in my Halloween costume.  Now please note yes I have already ordered it, have it and it fits. That isn’t the issue. It is making sure I look great in it.  Last year I was a girl Mario Brother.  It was cute but wearing it in the plus size section had me feeling super upset.  I looked like I was squeezed into it at that.  OMG.  Not this year.  I am going to be looking sleek and refined in my costume.  I ordered and have a medium and that in itself coming from a size 14 to a 8 is a blessing.  I will share my photos when Halloween comes.  I am not knocking plus size women, however I know for a fact that is not the size I was supposed to be.  Last year I was being lazy, and eating just to eat.  I wasn’t working out like I should have and the result was easily seen.  So this year I will be stepping out and looking like I should.

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November Goal

Thanksgiving is on the rise. I have already put in my holiday orders with my baker. Seriously I have.  I will be baking things on my own but there is something nice when you can take the edge off and pay someone else and get good stuff to share at the holiday luncheons and dinners.  That isn’t even adding all of the great holiday and winter drinks that I have recipes for, others make, and are going to be advertised….So now that my bakery orders are all in order I want to be able to not look like the turkey this year.  Have you ever looked at holiday pictures and been like Lawd, why didn’t someone tell me I looked like that?  I have and that will not be me this year.  I will look cute and ready to eat and not like I ate already and need to be pushing the vegetable truck this year.  I seriously love the way clothes fit on me now.  I have been able to remove the big clothes out of my closet and I have gotten a few cute pieces.  Once you get a dose of confidence after seeing your hard work, its hard to think about going backwards.

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These 3 goals will keep me until Christmas.  This Christmas I want to wear a cute Christmas pajama.  Christmas pajamas is always a serious thing.  Actually all of the holiday pajamas is a serious thing. I already ordered the kids Halloween pajamas and have them hanging in their closet.  I am not one for last-minute anything.  With that in mind the whole family always wears cute pajamas I just always snap the kids only.  Not this year I will be in the pictures with my cookies in tow.  I do not plan to stop eating my favorites. I plan on eating them in moderation.  A little, not the whole thing of anything. I have been really good with portion control and during the Fall when it gets colder I plan on keeping it hot in what I do and how I look this Fall.

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So your goals may not mimic mine but as you can see you can make monthly goals.  We all need something we can attain to.  For me its making sure I continue to look great as the holidays start to roll in.  Having a monthly goal and something I can work towards works for me.  It takes the edge off of the whole I want to have a great end goal of going into the New Year right and keeps me accountable.  Plus you know all of the get togethers, fall parties, potlucks, are all destined to try to take me out but I am aware of it all and ready to knock them out with some healthy dishes to share.

Fall Frenzy 

So today’s weather was amazing. The sun was shinning and to put it lightly it was hella hot. So other than watching my son’s soccer game, the Storr family headed to the Fall Fest.  


Fall Fest has turned into a yearly indulgence. This year the whole family attended as I have been known to take the kids and have a great time.  My husband is not a fan of outdoor events. I used to get super upset but nope I will pack the kids and continue with my plans. He came along and from the looks of it he may have had a good time.  There are a lot of activities for the whole family. From oversized games such as Connect Four, to Chess to singing for the kids and of course Fall favorites such as Fall beer flavors and all the comfort food you can have.  I elected to make a Whole Foods stop before attending to cut down on eating too many comfort foods. Plus I wanted to see how low the prices had actually dropped there.  I know you know Whole Foods has merged with Amazon. I was pleasantly surprised.  

However there is always room for a little beer and I made sure I had at least one and I enjoyed the hell out of it. My goal was to just get out, enjoy the weather, and spend some time with my family and the goal definitely achieved. 


As Fall approaches it’s going to be important and find free events in your city to attend. This event was free besides the food and drinks. For me all it cost was less than 30 for a full day of fun. Well worth it if you ask me. 

Enjoy all of the Fall activities you can!! 

Safety First Halloween Edition

Well in this day and age this list I am about to bring to you really should and could be enforced all year-long.  There are way too many stories of people doing the most and you say to yourself and yourself says, Huh?!  Why?  Really its due to people losing it.  So for this Halloween season, let me help you stay safe.

  1. Stay off your phone as you are going to your car, or out trick or treating.  I am bad at this and have been trying to do better.  The reality is often times being on your cell makes you a target because we aren’t aware of our surroundings.  Think about when the Pokemon game came out.  People were crashing cars, falling off bridges, and running into parked cars because they were distracted.  If you are taking young kids out stay off your phone.Image result for get off your phone gif
  2. Turn your location off on your phone.  Do NOT live chat while you are out.  Why does others need to know your location and what you are doing.  You’re sending a message to anyone who wants to find you that you aren’t home.  I live the live feature for others I just don’t know how much I will use of it myself.
  3. Do NOT let your kids eat the candy until you checked it.  We know that unfortunately bad people exist.  It’s one of the reasons that I didn’t take my kids out in past years. Check for things like drugs, razors, pins, etc.  Especially with heroin on the rise there are some ugly people willing to let kids get sick to make them feel good.  Kids don’t know any better they love candy but be vigilant about protecting the little people who are in your care.
  4. If you choose to dress like a clown, may the force be with you.  Let me tell you now if you come in my neck of the woods I am not taking any chances. There is a greater chance that if you even make the slightest of advances to even scare my kids I am whoopin your ass.  Let’s just be clear on that right now.  I know my response was supposed to be that I should pray but sorry not sorry not today.  I will take a clown down so its best for you to pick another costume and stay in your lane.Image result for homey the clown gif
  5. Follow up to that is stay in your lane.  Leave families alone.  Let little kids enjoy this holiday.  Go to adult parties and act a fool but leave folks and their kids alone.  And let your older teens know the same.  I don’t care what age you are if you knock and I got candy I will give you some, but let’s be real knock and act a fool well we know how that will go.
  6. Makeup doesn’t have to be perfect.  It’s Halloween so some folks regular makeup with finally blend in for the occasion.  However try to get as close as to what you are trying to be.  No need to look like Elsa and you were really going for a pumpkin.
  7. Uber and Lyft are great means of transportation especially if you are going to be drinking and partying. Make sure that you pay attention to the car you are getting in.  I always tell others and send them the information as well so in case I don’t get to my destination they will know.  I know that with all of this technology it would appear that I wouldn’t have to do that, but I always am more safety conscience than anything.
  8. Know your limit.  This again is something that you should know all the time.  You shouldn’t have to drink to have a good time.  It should be you like your drinks.  So be very choosy on what you intake.  Do NOT drink to the point where you don’t know who you are or where you are.  Too many people sit and wait for you to be in this state to take advantage of you.Image result for know your limit gif
  9. If you feel uneasy about anything trust your gut.  Do NOT advance.  Sometimes things within you have more sense than you allow.  If if don’t feel right stop and retreat.
  10. Have fun, be safe, but be aware!!!

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All Things Fall, My Favs…

So as we draw closer and closer to Thursday I just want to jump for joy.  I love this time of the year.  As discussed here are the list of my Fall favorites in no particular order:

Apple Cider

Hot or cold I am here for it.  To make it more adult like I would suggest the following recipe which I have had and it tastes great:

  • 4 mug’s worth of apple cider
  • 1 mug’s worth of caramel vodka (you can always use less (or more?) if you want, this makes it fairly strong)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (mostly for rimming your glasses, taste the cider before to see if it needs sugar or not)

1. Mix all of the ingredients above in a large pot. (Edit: Heating up the cider before adding the vodka ensures that the alcohol doesn’t burn off! Heat it up to your desired temperature and then add the vodka.)

2. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until liquid just begins to steam (don’t over heat or else the alcohol will burn off).

3. While cider is warming up, take your mugs or glasses and rim them with brown sugar.

Oh and throw in some apple cider cupcakes and man oh man you got a winner!!

Pumpkin

I am surprisingly not into pumpkin everything.  I am more of a sweet potato chick but I have an aunt that makes the BEST pumpkin roll.  Now I have had others, hers still stands tall but let me say if you can make an awesome pumpkin roll that is the one thing pumpkin I will super indulge in.

 

Starbucks Image result for starbucks

Me and Starbucks already have a love affair all year-long but when the Fall or Winter favorites come out that’s when my soul does a leap.  I’ve already had the pumpkin latte which again I’m not a super fan but when you are a member and you get a preview coupon, I hopped right on it.

Dunkin Donuts Image result for dunkin donuts gif

Now I can get a caramel hot chocolate anytime but I prefer to get one during the Fall. I also love the salted caramel hot chocolate too.  I will eat a pumpkin munchkin because it again is small and I can handle a little pumpkin flavor but not too much.

I also love the smells that Fall brings. I love the smell of leaves.  I really do.  I love the colors.  Red is one of my favorite colors and its one of the most vibrant of the Fall colors. So it’s another excuse to decorate on overload in my house.  My kids love it too.  We celebrate any and all holidays so that’s no surprise.  My kids had me decorating for the Fall 2 weeks ago.  So we are definitely ahead.

Clothing

Clothing becomes more of comfort. I can wear boots, sweaters, and long sleeve shirts and my absolute favorite is my scarves.  You can never have too many scarves.  It’s like the seasonal go to. You can dress up or dress down an outfit.. I think it allows for pops of color and spice up a mood. I could be the only one who thinks that but nevertheless I am here for it all!  Don’t forget a cute hoodie too.

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Makeup

Make goes to warmer and darker colors.  I love a nice purple lip.  I haven’t quite caught on to that vibrant I can see you across the street purple just yet but I love a deep purple or burgundy.  I also like to switch out my bb creams, and moisturizer at the change of Fall. What works in the Summer will not fully carry you over into the Fall.  It would be time for you to change eye liners, etc as well.  There are lots of high and low-end of makeup you can grab.  I tend to stick to more department stores or drug stores.  One they have convenient hours than some of the higher end stores for me.  Have you seen a mom towing 3 kids into MAC?  Not this mom.  If I can’t go on a solo trip even to Ulta or Sephora than CVS or Target here I come.  I’m always there anyway why not.

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I could go on and on especially since I haven’t even added my love for just apple anything. Also being an alumni of Penn State I absolutely loved when they brought back Banana foster icecream. That’s something you can throw right on top of a piece of apple pie. As you can see this is why my work outs mean so much.  I eat and/or drink what I like but I have learned to scale back and find ways to do better.  However if that means one more hour on the treadmill to get a piece of apple pie, than so be it.  Oh and my cookie game, well you can ask the 3 that call me mom.  I have many recipes even an apple tarte cookie I can’t wait to try this year as well.  They don’t care.  Anything that gets them to be my little helpers, they definitely love.  Fall equals comfort and with that in mind I have to stay on my gym regime so I can keep my fluffy a little tighter.  What are some of your Fall favorites?  Tell me on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/