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

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!!

Amp up your Self Care

This weekend I found myself caught between love and self care. I celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary so all the lovey and dovey feelings came flooding in. But I also needed to reorganize and bolster my self care.

I needed to increase it and with all that is going on in the world it’s super necessary to feed our souls often. I find that it’s imaginable to think that we can exist only merely being an extension to others. We have to show ourselves more grace, understanding and love that others pull from us. It’s like being on a plane and making sure that everyone else on the plane has oxygen but depleting our own. This is self sabotage. You can be booked and busy but still need rest and recharging! It’s not selfish to bolster self care back into your soul.

Defeated

Sometimes we feel defeated because we have forgotten we need to renew our reasons why! Why do you want to pursue your goal? What does it mean to you? How much work are you prepated to do? How hard is your drive? These are the things that must be thought about and re-evaluated daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly!

Re-alignment

What can you do to take some pressure off of yourself? Can you collaborate with someone else? Ask for help? Prioritize? Take a break? Make a to do list? Whatever you need to do; do it today! You have to be one with yourself to get things done. An organized mindset and working environment can help!

Burnout

Burnout is real! You can blow a fuse without the right amount of energy flowing in your life. Moderation in all things will help create balance! Learning to drink and eat and have a spiritual connection will be key to creating balance! We all need balance! We need structure! If you go hard for a few weeks solid schedule some mental time off. It may not mean take a day off but it could mean schedule some rest stops! You could schedule a nap, an hour of quiet, reading a good book, a massage, an appointment in your favorite spot, or time to just watch something you enjoy! Whatever is is you need it!

You will burnout trying to take on the world especially if you don’t fill your cup up of those things that make you smile. Even if you have someone in your life having things that you like that that doesn’t require your significant other’s participating is better!

Sunday Message: In the Middle of Tears

Crying is a release. It cleanses us from the inside out. It doesn’t mean that after the tears are shed that it changes our circumstances! It does mean we have a temporary relief. Some of my best moves have come from tears.

Life is hard! It comes with ups and downs. I used to view crying as a sign of weakness. That’s not the case! Tears for me personally means I’m hurting and I’m overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed for many especially if no sign of comfort is nearby is what makes people stay in the feeling of hopelessness! It’s a terrible feeling. I’ve felt that sense of not having hope. It’s scary and often times it feels lonely. I would be lying if I acted as if the tears were inspirational all the time. They don’t feel like it!

I’m grateful for the times I’ve been able to cry and let it out and in addition to that dried my face and faced my shortcomings, failures, or humiliation! That isn’t weak at all that takes strength! It takes strength to say I’ve messed up and I’m not measuring up! You don’t know what and how others will view you! That is scary! But I am a witness you can look at the bottom and see the top even in darkness. In darkness if have had to ask God to turn on my night vision! That’s why when you are riding in life in light to build yourself up for those dark days! They are coming!! We also experience it!

So if you’re in a dark time right now-I understand! It’s not a great place but remember the time before this? Guess what? You come out! I know you see no way out but it’s coming! A way out is always near even if it seems out of reach! I pray night vision in your darkest time! Grace is there to carry you! This is why the whole cancel culture doesn’t make sense! Be mad at what a person has done but the same grace that covers me in my mess is the same grace that covers others! You can lose everything and be at the bottom but with work, forgiveness, and love you can shine. You might shine with humility or different support but you can still shine!

Happy Sunday! Make it your best!!

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.

2019 2nd Street Festival Preview

Nothing is better in the Summer than an amazing street festival. It brings everyone together for music, food, drinks, and entertainment! If all of that and more sounds like more your lines of fun, don’t miss the 2nd Street Fest THIS Sunday August 4th in Northern Liberties!

I attended the preview and let me be the first to say that the food and drinks are a hit! Oh and if our crowd of reviewers had this much fun on a Monday I can only imagine the amount of fun you will have on Sunday Funday! The Street Fest is rain or shine but it looks like we will have more shine than rain come Sunday so lather up in some sun block, grab your shades, and some comfy shoes and have a ball!

El Camino Real

We tried several dishes that will be available this Sunday! If you love tater tots than you will be smiling from ear to ear! I felt like a big kid! Also make sure you visit El Camino Real they have inside and outside seating and the staff are super engaging! Try them at the Street Fest than come back for a sit down meal!

Nacho Libre

This tater tot is full of flavor! It has queso sauce, lettuce, jalapeno, and crema! Even with the queso it doesn’t take away from the crunch of a great tater tots! These easy to carry will have you come back for more!

Walker Texas Ranger

These tots come with a big punch of flavor! Served with jalapeno, onion, queso, and pulled pork! I mean it’s like a street fest faborire!

Pina-Rita

Drinks are super important! Finding ones that are super refreshing as well as amazing won’t be hard! The Pina-Rita has tequila, triple Sec, lemon, like, and pineapple puree! It’s an amazing blend and the taste is exactly what you will need to make any heat bearable! During the 2nd Street Fest you will be able to have your drinks served inside of fresh pineapple!

Peach Bourbon Zombie

This is a great mix of rum, passion fruit puree, grenadine, and lemon-lime! It has the perfect amount of sweetness and it’s refreshingly cool!

Urban Village

I was first introduced to them by way of the Piazza Pod Park! I’ve had their amazing beer so I know on Sunday if there is a beer drinker amongst you they will not be disappointed! Urban Village will be offering these following options:

Don’t be fooled the sweet corn definitely adds amazing flavor! The garlic is definitely an added bonus. Served in a convenient container-you will be able to enjoy with one hand and have a beer in the other!

The peach jalapeno sauce is what turns an ordinary corned beef sandwich into next level! If you’re like me and wonder if the bread gets soggy the answer is no! The sandwich withstood the test but didn’t slack on the juicyness!

I’ve never had a chubbie! However I will be back for more! Anything deep fried is always a great idea for a festival and Urban Village came with the goods! This is a must! From first bite to last is like a bite in Heaven!

Who doesn’t love an amazing French fry?! I definitely do and these easy to grab and eat fries paired with the manchego cheese are like an upgraded fry experience! No lie save room!

What says Summer like watermelon? Watermelon is one of the fruits that is found in plenty during the Summer. Watermelon has the ability to quench the tbirsr but paired with your favorite alcohol it pops even more!

Words that come to mind when this drink-light, refreshing and just enough watermelon not to be overwhelming! This is your go to for someone who may not be the big beer drinker but wants to have that hint of beer!

Add that spicy ring of goodness and this drink will be ideal for some who likes a hint of spice and sweet! Served cold will keep you coming back!

You are reading it right! It’s the 2nd Street Fest beer! It has an amazing citrus taste that keeps you cool and indulges your taste buds to euphoria!

Jerry’s Bar

From the door I loved the way this bar was set up! Jerry’s Bar is also known to have an amazing brunch on Saturday and Sundays! Here is what you can expect at the 2nd Street Fest!

This hamburger patty has that homemade taste and flare accompanied with farm fresh cheddar pickle, and caramelized onions; it’s a must try! This is like a walking barbeque! The bread is also what makes it taste that much better!

This is a bourbon watermelon smash! I loved it! I actually had two they were that good! It had more of the watermelon flavor and mixed to perfection! I could taste a little of the watermelon texture and I enjoyed that part!

Cantina Dos Segundos

They had me at tacos! Tacos might be my favorite second food to eat! They make me happy! Holding onto them and eating them makes me dance! If you love pulled pork you will fall over in flavor of the pulled pork tacos! Bursting in flavor and taste these tacos will make you wonder why you hadn’t visited Cantina earlier!

Keeping with the watermelon theme (not all vendors will be watermelon flavored) these margaritas were a smash!! How could you not like tacos and margaritas on a Sunday?! I could eat tacos daily!

The highlight was the sweet corn! I’ve from Lancaster and living here in Philadelphia not many can provide a fresh corn that is great all except Cantina Dos Segundas! I started out with one and tip toed back for another piece! My picture doesn’t even do it justice!

Heritage

I want to go back and hear more music and enjoy an amazing evening! Until then I’ll catch them at the 2nd Street Fest! We tried the Makers Mark Mule. Makers Mark is already a favorite in my home and the mule wasn’t a disappointment! You can check my Instagram for the amazing sounds!! I loved how engaging the staff was! From the door to the bar to the band everyone was extremely amazing and that sets the bar high!. Thank you Heritage Philly!

North Bowl

I loved walking into their gates! I also loved the outdoor bar as well! Anything outdoors with drinks is what we all look forward to when Summer comes! North Bowl didn’t disappoint! We were all having an amazing time and then bam-tacos appeared! You already know how I feel about tacos and thus my happy dance appeared! I really should get it on camera!

They were phenomenal! Fish tacos with flavor is all anyone can ask! Also the margaritas were a hit! Our bartender was amazing as well! If you ever get a chance to go to North Bowl do so! If you want to bowl great but if not sit outside at outside bar and enjoy your night. You can even play Cornhole! Fenced in greatness with amazing tacos and margaritas you are in for a treat come Sunday!

If that isn’t enough look at these tater tots:

Our last stop of the evening goes to:

Standard Tap

There’s nothing standard here! It’s spacious with seating upstairs as well! They also are known for farm fresh food. I love that and will frequent back to try dinner!

For Sunday try their Smoked Tofu Cuban! It’s made with Tofu, Swiss, dill pickles, cilantro, and mustard on ciabatta bread! If you haven’t guessed it I have an issue with wet bread! I don’t like it. So I always check the bread and do my personal wet bread test it double passed! It’s crunch from the first bite alone was amazing! The Swiss although I don’t eat cheese was just enough of a hint to add flavor but not take over the sandwich! This Smoked Tofu Cuban gets my thumbs up!

Now let’s get to the drinks:

They have a wide selection that will make your Sunday Funday even better! You can take your pick at the 2nd Street Fest! I enjoyed the watermelon punch! If you love a light fresh taste this is your go to! The cucumber, watermelon, lemonade and gin is the perfect Summer drink!

So you will have options! There’s expected to be over 200 vendors, crafts, entertainment including stilt walkers, live bands and DJs at the 11th annual 2nd Street Fest! Oh the Fest is free and you pay as you eat and drink! It’s going to be super big and amazing fun! Grab your family and friends and expect greatness! All of the vendors are working overtime to bring you the goods and the preview revealed you have nothing to worry! Bring the smiles and they got the covered on the rest!