Monday Motivation: Open Heart

So happy Monday! First let’s be grateful for waking up! If you can read this you are on the right path. We forget that life is but a vapor. We spend more time upset over small things. Shift the mind! I am grateful for waking up! I am grateful for another opportunity to make an amazing path!

With that being said what if you woke up with a closed heart. A closed heart that doesn’t see good in anyone. An open heart that isn’t open to love and living a full life! That has to be a hard place to live in. I used to live like that. Everyday argumentative and angry. It’s a draining way to live! When your heart is open to the right things you can overcome all kinds of obstacles. You can push through difficult moments even when you feel like no answers are near.

When your heart is open to the right things even in dark times you can hold onto light! I’ve had many times where someone has said something to me that alerted me to what was inside of me all along. My heart was able to receive someone speaking hope into my hopeless situation. It’s a blessing to keeping your heart open! When you have closed off your heart it seems like everything and everyone is against you. You find fault in everything all the time and often times you’re not able to take accountability! Today during your Monday shuffle; find ways to open your heart. It could in how you shift from a complaining spirit to a grateful one. One time I had mere dollars if you could call it that. My want or needs list was higher than the money to take care of them. I wanted to be mad as if it was the moneys fault. I took a deep breath and wrote what I could do to proceed in my day in the right mindset and in a matter of hours, money didn’t appear but provision did. This meant what I needed came in ways I wouldn’t have had room to mentally conceive until I shifted my heart to be open!

I hope that if you feel hopeless that you would understand that it’s a dark moment not a dark life. Your moment isn’t a permanent life choice. Things do and always turn. The worse thing you have gotten into you have always managed to come out on the other side so whatever has your heart closed, release it! Replace it with hope of the future and that doesn’t mean months and years-we talking about your today and now! Take charge to let go and open your heart!

Advertisements

Happy Bastille Day: Ardmore Bastille Block Party

One thing that I enjoyed this past spring was my trip to Paris. Seeing up close how the culture and the people mesh is nothing but a once in a lifetime adventure. With first hand knowledge of how the French love and treat others I was more than happy to attend Ardmore Bastille Block Party! It was a mix of everything France with music, food, drinks, entertainment, and even things for the kids to go as well! Also it’s the first in Ardmore and I hope they continue this worthy celebration for years to come! Let me break it down for you! Special thanks to Delice Et Chocolate and The Bercy for joining forces to bring the Best of the Best of France to the Mainline!

Wine Garden

The Bercy made sure those who wanted to rosé all day definitely was able to. Sponsored by Veuve Clicquot drink selections included rosé, champagnes, and sparkling wines. Tickets were $20 in advance and $25 on location. Anytime drink offerings are available my high suggestion is to take it! If you plan on having at least 2-3 drinks they become well worth it and it was drink as you like which meant for each ticket you could continue drinking until last call. Its definitely cost effective to drink!

For non alcoholic drinkers The Bercy had a cucumber limeade that was amazing good and refreshing!!

Thank you Cory you were an amazing server with amazing personality!!

The Bercy also had a brunch that was available from 10-3pm! This was an all you care to eat buffet style brunch and definitely worth it. We elected to eat inside of the Bercy and let me tell you it was well worth it! They have a great selection of food and their kids menus is more than I bargained for-it’s super great! I took my 3 kids and my niece and all of them got different options. From a cheeseburger, chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese to the butter noodles each meal came with fresh fruit, fresh veggies, fries and a chocolate chip cookie. No child left hungry! Special shout out to the staff who went and above taking care of their needs as well as the adults!

I decided to have the Quiche Du Jour which was amazing! My husband had “The Bercy Burger.” He had nothing but raves over this burger. He asked for it to be well done however at some places well down means non juicy and over cooked-not at The Bercy! It was the best he’s ever had!!!! My quiche was outstanding I have zero regrets!

Delice Et Chocolat

If you ever been to Paris you know they are known for some of the most amazing treats! From croissants to macaroon and chocolate-it’s amazing! I took my oldest kids and we had a blast enjoying these French treats! From the first bite to the last I wasn’t disappointed. It took me back to my Paris trip and on Bastille this couldn’t have been any better! I had some amazing croissants when I attended the Ardmore Preview a few weeks ago and I knew if ever I was missing Paris that Delice Et Chocolat is and will always be my go to!

The Parlour

The icecream supplied by Parlour ice cream shop is always a great treat. Mom hack-they have a mini cone that is only $1 that in my opinion is more than enough for little and big hands. Today’s feature was mint chocolate chip and caramel pretzel!

Entertainment

We didn’t just walk around eating and drinking. Even if we had it would have been more than amazing! Shout out to the can can dancers From Philadelphia Academy of Ballet! They were more than amazing-check out my Instagram for their performance! These beautiful ladies were in sync and everyone loved them!

French Cooking

This blues band was so amazing! I loved them. They had the crowds swinging! My kids surprised me when they just stopped what they were doing to start dancing! Trust me as soon as I heard them I came out of the Delice Et Chocolat to hear them. They are from New York and have such a southern sound that I enjoyed!

Face painting!

Who doesn’t love face painting? I do! My kids and I were able to have our face painted by Mudroom! You can stop at Mudroom to do some amazing crafts any time their open!

Between crafts, drinks, food, music, can can dancers, and all around Sunday Funday-Bastille Day was an amazing celebration of love and freedom and I’m glad I was able to join in all the fun! Thank you Aversa PR, Admore Initiatives, The Bercy, The Parlour, Mudroom and Delice Et Chocolat!

So now I know you’re thinking how much you missed. Well don’t be! This is all a great prelude to Ardmore Restaurant week where you can definitely stop in to The Bercy and Delice Et Chocolat or others by clicking on the link and stopping in!

Summer Love with Joi

ToiTime is in the midst of a Summer take over! I took my adventures to Atlantic City to the Showboat Casino to hear Joilet Harris! Joilet Harris is an amazing singer who serenaded the audience with all of the love.

I grew up around real singing. My family still sings to this day! So to hear someone who could “sang” filled my whole heart with joy! Joi engages with her crowd and makes you feel like you’re the only one there! I absolutely loved her range and ability. Her band “Jays Crew” was odd the chain. Sitting back and listening to their arraignments was pure magic! There timing and ability is clear. They go with the punches and make it easy to come through to the audience!

She even serenaded my husband and I so loved it. So what can you expect when you attend? Engagement. Good sanging-yes it’s spelled correctly. Good music with an amazing live band. Attentiveness. You will experience an all around experience! One thing about cabaret music is the artist can be themselves and you get the pure essence of Joi! This show makes an amazing date night or you can grab your friends who loves good music trust me they will love it! Make it a night there are plenty of things to do on the Boardwalk before or even after the show!

What to expect once there:

  • If you want to order a drink-bring cash
  • You will be served and the servers are amazing so please tip
  • Parking is self parking or valet-valet is about 30 dollars you can pay cash or with your card as well
  • Get there on time-Joi will be ready to start

Joi will be there on Friday on July on the 19th and the 26th with two shows at 730 or 930!

To get tickets click on the link!

Thank you to Juniper Productions for the invite! You can also donate to help them. One thing about productions is that they always attract the most amazing artist but they need to be supported. Let’s not only support artists by attending their shows but let’s also donate so that others who can’t can!

“French Kiss” by Janice Telestar

I attended the new lobby art exhibition at none other than Sofitel Philadelphia. They hosted an amazing happy hour featuring their Summer drinks menu while showcasing the world of Janice Telestar’s “French Kiss.” This was Janice’s love letter to Paris in photographic form!

I had just come from Paris not too long ago so seeing the pieces took me back. Every piece was alluring and beautiful and if you haven’t gone will make you feel like Paris was in the middle of Center City! Janice did an amazing job on the display. I was able to talk with her about her pieces. It wasn’t about just taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower. It was capturing the right lighting and the essence of Paris that some photographers miss trying to get the “right” shot. Some of the pieces had my arms with goosebumps from feeling the joy of what Paris meant to me!

I attended the event alone as my husband was meeting me there later. Without saying one word to him as soon as he saw the pieces an immediate smile came over him. You really can’t help it. Also let me note that the Sofitel Philadelphia encompasses what being in Paris is about. While I visited it was about love, friendship, a welcoming spirit, elegance and helpfulness! Janice display couldn’t have been highlighted in any other location but the Sofitel Philadelphia.

So how can you take a Paris adventure without actually going? Come to the Sofitel Philadelphia and walk in the lobby to view it! It’s that magical as it places you in the heart of Paris. You feel like you have traveled the world right here in Philadelphia! While you are there stop in and try the new Summer drinks. When I tell you they are exquisite I mean it. Sofitel’s “luxury reimagined” comes to life from being greeted by the doorman to your maître d’ serving you.

Also if your interested in one of the pieces once they leave Sofitel contact David Telestar at 610-236-0680.

As always when you think luxury, think Sofitel “luxury reimagined.” They can host your event including weddings, anniversaries or a staycation to get away without going away! You will not be disappointed!!

Ask Toi: How can you deal with a stolen best friend?

There is no such thing as a stolen best friend. Your friend could have another relationship that is making you feel like you’re missing out but no one can steal what’s already solid.

This principle applies to romantic relationships as well. Your friend could be growing in ways you aren’t. Whomever she is hanging out with appeals to the new growth. Her going out with other people is called life. No one can be so bound to one person that they can’t branch out and have other interests. You need to deal with your feelings and how it makes you feel. Drake says “no new friends” but the truth is although the new relationship may not ever get to the same status as you and her, the truth of the matter she can and will have other people she will gravitate towards that isn’t you!

Once you deal with your feeling surrounding how you feel you can make the time with your best friend more meaningful. You don’t have to compete with the new friend. You have an established bond like a sisterhood. You are still besties. Your friend has a new friend and it’s okay unless the new friend is a bad influence. If you can’t see a reason outside of she just shouldn’t be, deal with you so you can keep your friendship in tact and not come off as jealous! Nothing is worse than dealing with a friend that is jealous. It turns them into a mean spirited friend and that’s not something you want to be!

Week 3 Summer Adventures Break Down

So it’s week 3 or should I say it was week 3 and also 4th of July week so in my mind it was a short week which meant more fun! I enjoyed week 3 as we tried to switch it up a bit! So how much did we spend?! Drum roll please…..68.23!!!!! Oh yes I keep challenging myself and it feels amazing to save and have a ball so let’s break it down:

Monday

So with it being 4th of July this week there were a lot of events in the city for free. We decided to go to a Photo Pop Philly from 9-11 and it was free. I attended Photo Pop Philly in blogger mode before it opened as a preview but to attend it in mom mode was just as fun. It felt great to see some more of the interactive photo extravaganza.

Let me remind you that once there you can take pictures, gifs, and video in over 20 high quality photo spreads. I was able to get shots of them and me individually and collectively because the staff is on point and are there to get your angles. Also should out to Phillyfoodgal for the info and meeting up with us as well!!

The kids absolutely loved it! With that day also being free museum day the parking was tight. I spent $23 dollars in the parking deck. Since I didn’t pack a snack for the kids they of course opted to get ice-cream from Philly Scoopdeville! Shout out to the staff they were so welcoming. I have had their ice-cream before and blogged it but it was the kids first time! I know they will be asking me to take them back. I was able to get 2 medium cups and split it into 4 smalls for the win! I got a vegan blueberry and the kids all got Cookie Monster! The total was $15.81!

Also keep in mind the theme for Photo Pop Philly is Sweet Paradise! Philly Scoopdeville has collaborated with Photo Pop Philly for the Sweet Paradise flavor that you can get at the Bourse!

So super backwards we ended up heading home for lunch but hey everyone has room for ice-cream right?!

Tuesday

Today was jam packed! It was time for a visit to our local library! We went to Eastwick Library. Let me be honest. I’ve gone to many libraries in Philadelphia but I kept bypassing the one close to us. Not sure why but boy once I walked in I was taken back. It’s beautiful in there and the staff is amazing. They have a summer reading program that rewards them for reading and other summer fun with books and prizes! Also we were able to get in addition to their summer book list for book reports but other books as well. We will be adding this into the rotation weekly! Each kid got one free book and a prize as well as 30 books combined. Oh and yes they have read them! When there’s down time it’s reading time!

Also we got free passes to the Philadelphia Museum of Art! I definitely will be utilizing these passes in the coming weeks!

I was going to add in bowling today but we had to go to a birthday party as well as pay our respects to Monsignor Corley and it would have been too much!

Rita’s

You know I love me some Rita’s! It’s always a fun time getting water ice. The kids and I love it! This time I was armed with coupons!! So we spent 12.71 and got 3 large gelati and I got a regular water ice! Insert happy dance. This week, they had unicorn and you know kids love anything unicorn flavored!

Monsignor Corley

He’s been such a jewel to our family. He was our priest/pastor. He called himself both to our family. I personally met him a few years ago. My husband is Catholic and I’ve been raised Baptist and Non-Denominational all my life. I had never heard of any positive thing about Catholics. I know it sounds bad but it’s the truth. It comes from pure ignorance to be honest. I think the miscommunication and misconception was knocked out the park when I met Father Corley.

He knew I wasn’t Catholic and he told me straight up, I don’t care what name is on the religion how someone treats others different from them will tell you what you need to know about a person. He was right. Father Corley took our family and treated us like family. When my mother in law passes he told us not to worry he was grandpa Corley and he kept his word! He was there for my children in ways I can’t ever explain. He encouraged my husband and I to be faithful as well as gave us amazing marital counseling. He was the one that would call our cells and make sure we were okay. Losing him was devastating. However today we made sure to pay our respect to him!

The service I took the kids too was just enough for them. My oldest elected not to view Father Corley because it was too much and reminded her of her Mom Mom! I respected that! I had her wait for me in the back and we were able to see several of her teachers which made her happy! My younger two kids did great! My son was down but I was glad that we were scheduled to attend Sonny’s birthday party afterwards!

Happy Birthday Akira and Sonny

Thank you Akira and Kenny for inviting us to the mother and son joint party! The amount of care that was put into this super hero 1st birthday party was amazing! Sonny turned one and they had a party for for the little king he is!

Sonny and his dad; Kenny

Shout out to @thehandsthatgodmade for the face painting…. She was amazing and patient and so bomb!

Shout out to Impressed by MC! Hands down they did their thing to ensure Sonny’s party was amazing! Check them out by clicking on the link! Look at the detail:

So from the library, to Rita’s, to the funeral and to the party, which was held at Smith Playground the kids ran and ran and when it was bed time…they were out like a light!

And one of the highlights was Iron Man provided by @bouncys1_onwheels!

Malia; Sonny’s big sister!

Tuesday was definitely filled with a lot and I was hoping they would want to relax but….the way they are set up…

Wednesday

So I knew that we would be in Lancaster for the 4th I took them to the pool! Nothing is better than being in the pool for 2 hours. I use it to do water aerobics and swim. Afterwards we play at the park while I walk! It made for a great day! Since we did grocery shopping in the morning I took them to McDonald’s for lunch. I spent 16.71!

4th of July: Thursday

We spent it in Lancaster! It was great! To add we also got a chance to see my grandma; my mother’s mom! Having us all there was amazing. The kids had cousin time and I sibling time as well as a great drive there and back! We also went to the fireworks display in Philly since we got back in enough time! I love my grandma and this makes 2 times I’ve seen her this year! So I am a happy girl!!

Friday

Between the long week and the drive and letting them stay up late; it was a much needed down day! No work or no events we had fun running errands and hanging out!

So let’s add:

Parking: 23

Philly Scoopdeville: 15.81

Rita’s: 12.71

McDonald’s: 16.71

Total: 68.23 for a week of immense fun and outings for one adult and 3 kids!! Let’s see how we do next week!! I plan to rotate some activities and add a new activity as well!!

Monday Motivation: Gratefulness

Every now and again I think it’s important to speak our gratefulness and not just around Thanksgiving. Being grateful is something you walk!

When I was in my most depressive moods I would complain about air. That might be a stretch but the reality is ungratefulness was deep in my spirit and therefore it would come out of my mouth. Spending so much time saying what’s wrong comes out in how you walk. How? You can’t even gravitate towards good things looking at the bad things. It’s draining and it’s defeating!

Like for instance I was up at 4am to do my 5 am run. It was dark and by the time I started running I could see the rain coming! I didn’t check the weather before I left so I had only my headband but no hat. Before I could complain I thought about the fact that one I was up and had met my group on time despite finding my running belt and reflectors last minute. I was up with no help of my alarm. I was up in my right mind. I have the ability to run! There was and is no reason to be in negative land.

On my last leg of my run I said my extended prayer. Every run I do, I pray. It allows me communication with God. It allows me to speak my truth and my heart in the quietness of the morning. I needed to be reminded to take it easy and be grateful for the blessings around me. As I transported my twin to work this morning I saw a woman who I noticed last week sleeping outside. She’s been there for about a week! I don’t know her story or why she’s there! What I know is that here I am in a car full of gas, with my coffee and dry while she’s in the elements and outside where any and everything can happen to her. One I pray her situation is better and two may I do all I can do to stay focused on what is to come and not on what is happening!

So as you start this morning, have you started the complain game? Have you started focusing on what you don’t have or want? Have you said thank you for your life? Have you said thank you for your job? Have you been grateful? If not start now! Start changing the conversation of your life. Start walking in gratitude. Start being a testament to others around you of gratefulness. People would love your portion and yet you can’t see it because your focus is not in tune! Make the change towards gratefulness! Be grateful for you, the things around you, and show that to someone else today!