Galentines Day: Gal Friends Unite!

All my girlfriends are special to me in their own way. Some are close and some are far. What matters to me with friendships is loyalty. Not the kind of loyalty where its one sided. I need friends who can own their stuff and come correct in a relationship. Friends who can apologize for their short comings and don’t just want to pick up where we left off without changed behaviors.

Loyalty

Friends are like the family you choose. I call them my framily. They are the ones who I can call about anything and they pick up. The ones who would get a flight in the middle of a crisis. The ones who support without being asked. The ones who cheer the loudest in the room. Friends are the spice of life. Your friends matter. I had been having issues in the last few years because a lot of my friends are states away. They are all over the world. Some of them share and hide all the bones. They know where the secrets are and even during a disagreement, they ain’t spilling the tea. 

Galentine’s Day Meaning

Galentines Day is a celebration of having dope friends who just simply rock out with you through the ups and down phases of life. Galentine’s Day is special because not everyone has a significant other but can still be loved on by their friends. Ladies love to get together to talk and drink fancy drinks and have a great time.  Trust me its about time for the world to come around to women supporting women especially during the Valentine’s holiday. Some of our friends are recently divorced. Some of our friends are single and frustrated. Although girlfriend time won’ttake the pain of that away having some girl time helps to make you forgot about stress for a moment. It’s a time to enjoy each other’s company.

Another Manmade Holiday

I know people come in with their attitudes about how the country is just marketing off this manmade holiday. Most if not all are manmade. However, it’s a great excuse to connect or reconnect with your girlfriends and celebrate what makes your group of ladies’ rock. I had the opportunity to spend some time with my girl Kyla. We have a new tradition of meeting up or attempting to meet up monthly. We fell off towards the end of last year and are committed to making it happen on a regular schedule in 2020. So, this is was our second meet up for the year. 

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

We choose Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse in King of Prussia. The staff were very hands on. From making sure we were seated to giving us all the love that we needed we were well taken care of. The food and the drinks were amazing. Oh the dessert tray or cart lawd it’s hard to pass when it rolls up to you!

FYI, they have a Valentine’s Day special that includes 3 courses for $85 per person. I would highly recommend making reservations. As always, we were able to catch up. Side note I was still jetlagged, so I was tired, but Kyla didn’t judge me.

Pressed Up

I had shirts made for the occasion from Pressed Up. If you follow me, I ordered their Dear Santa bring Wine shirt that I premiered during Christmas.

I always love a great conversation statement shirt. I am well known for them for all occasions. I highly recommend Pressed Up. The owners are women and you know I am here for supporting women in business. So be on the lookout for my shirts to be popping for these next couple of holidays.  

Thank you, Kyla, for a great time. You always come with the best gifts and love. Thank you to Davio’s who made our early Galentine’s Day super special. We shall see where we go for the month of March. We are always looking to add different restaurants or things to do.  

So, who do you want to share your Galentine’s Day with today if you could? I would have a spread of my good wine, good food, cute pajamas, and all the desserts we could stand to have a great Galentine’s Day with all my girlfriends. Happy Galentine’s or I have seen some change it to Palentine’s Day. Rock out wit your super bomb group of friends whatever you call today and make sure you let your friends know they rock!

I ❤️ Alice

The most beautiful love story that isn’t filled with cookie cutter presence. Love that unfolds mixed with uncertainty, a few doses of patience, and an uphill battle to allow love to be what it is pure and whole. I laughed from beginning to end but it was a laughter from familiarity. Love is special between two people even if those people just happens to be two women in Ireland who share a kiss inside of a grocery store. Alice and Alice just made me want to love better and on purpose.

Where did you share your first kiss? I personally shared my very first kiss after church of all places. I was giddy and just so full of puppy love. I didn’t even know myself. My first kiss with my now husband was inside of my dormitory. Something about that kiss let me know we would be where we are now. I knew he was my forever in just one kiss. It was magnificent and reassuring. Imagine having that first kiss as two women at a time when it was taboo to have and in public. Imagine someone seeing you and wanting to ask you questions about your journey. We see love now as love being love that covers multitudes of lines. It crosses all genres and it crosses all stereotypes. Alice and Alice didn’t live in that time. They were before their time.  They had the weight of this love and stepping out in it and wondering if this “thing” was real.

I took my husband of whom I shared that magnificent kiss. We sat next to each other watching both Allices share their story. Their story mirrors ours. Each perspective of each other quite different than the other. Each love story having cracks and fishers. However, the love was strong enough to push through angry times, times of unsettling. I watched him laugh and enjoy the show. I looked at both ladies and they had their shares of imperfect moments. There’s an affair well at least 2 of them. The lines were blurred. One not feeling as if they had gotten what they needed from the other. I was glad to see this. I love to see the heartaches of love. In the beginning of love, you always have these amazing moments but that first disagreement, first sign of tension shows you who you have in front of you. Are the one who will bear the weather. Alice had to watch as Alice endured breast cancer. A challenge that would knock anyone of the love train. 

I felt nervous for them. I felt every pain. Both women gave of themselves in this production. It was witty, engaging, and beautiful. I remember leaving and feeling so peaceful in their love as I enjoyed the hand of my husband. We don’t always get quiet moments. We are always on the go. We talked about the production and how much it was just the best love story that had to be told. I love the documentary style that the production provided. It was like watching a love game show to me where you hope the stories mirror but in this case it didn’t always. Alice fed off Alice and then the other way around. Both women remarkably candid. I knew that this was about two women’s story of love and the support that it gives for the LGBTQ+ community but if I can be honest, I saw past that. It was a love story. It was simply just beautiful. One of the most beautiful one that I had seen in quite time. It was like a movie and a coming into the confidence of that  love. 

Sometimes when you hear about same sex couples the focus is on the trauma of acceptance. They were simply loving like everyone else. They were simply trying to shower themselves in as much love they could possibly give. Their love was affectious. It was simply two women who just happen to be women loving one another. This takes the truest form of Love is Love to what it should truly mean. Sometimes I believe that heterosexual folks say Love is Love to make sure they show solidarity for LGBTQ+ but I love Alice is the production that teaches what Love looks like. Its not about getting others to accept it but showcasing and calling you to love better while you watch love take flight. 

Love is like an envelope you know what you put into it you will get back in return, but you know there are times when what’s in the envelope challenges you as well. What will you do with the expectation of love? Let it overflow and make the decision to love and don’t forget love as the foundation of all you do. This is a production for all. Everyone who thinks they are in love, want love, or simply need a new sprinkle of love needs to be in the seats. Alice’s love for Alice is that production that challenges you to simply enjoy love for what it is to be. 

Yes, Alice and Alice are two women both named Alice. I love Alice was written by Amy Conroy and co-directed by Gay Carducci and Rachel Gluck. It stars Trice Baldwin Browns and Aetna Gallagher as Alice respectively. I love Alice is being shown at one of my favorite theatres, Curio Theatre located at 4740 Baltimore Avenue in West Philly. It’s a gem of a theatre. Also know that I love Alice will be in production until February 29, 2020 and makes a great Valentines Day gift. Allot a little time for parking. There is a lot at 4716-23 Baltimore Avenue when available. I usually elect to park on the street and so far, I have yet to have issues. The staff at Curio are always super welcoming. You will have a great experience while there. Thanks to Carrie Gorn, and Curio Theatre for having me. This production is such a great way to experience Philly Theatre Week. Thank you to my forever date, Marques!

Sunday Motivation: Live and Let Love

 We are going into Love week and let me just say that there will be so many mixed emotions. When I was single and I mean single single-no date, no one on the bench and I just kept wanting to be married Valentine’s Day was hard. I get it. I didn’t know anything about self-care so that days like this could sting a little less. 

One thing and what I am about to say of course is my personal feelings: wanting to be married and having marriage be the only thing you have on your mind are two different things. When all I had was getting married on my brain it caused me to emotional spiral. It was hard to see past this supposed desire. Where did it come from? I take full responsibilities for my feelings. I could blame it on a number of things but one aspect I am going to mention is being a married mind church didn’t help. By the time I had even gotten to 18 all I heard is going to college is nice but being married and building a future with someone was better. Like honestly how was I supposed to build a life at 18 with a man when I had never lived on my own? Hadn’t made my own money? Hadn’t traveled? Hadn’t figured me out? Didn’t know what I loved? These are things no one explores at least at my childhood church unless you navigate it with another person. Many of the marriages that started during my early adult years have fizzled out. The divorce rate is high if I count those marriages. Just because you have an extreme like for someone, love and commitment is another. Loving the Lord is not enough to make a marriage work.

Spoon-fed Marriage

Many of the couples were pushed to be married because we were all being spoon-fed this message. I remember going to college and meeting my now husband and thinking wow I am going to graduate and get married. He didn’t feel that same way and through that and other issues we went our separate ways. So here I was thinking if marriage is so great how come I couldn’t lock down the man I loved with everything I had? Simple-I aint have no business talking about marriage. There are some couples who can get married at 18 with pennies to their name and last. I know of one couple in mind that I grew up with and they still going strong. That’s not everyone else’s story. I didn’t want a man to stay with me just because we have kids or marry me because of children since that’s the best thing to do to keep a family together. Love. Love means work but having your stuff together is equally important. I don’t mean have all of the answers but spending time with yourself is important. 

Raw and Real Conversation

My husband and I have had this conversation and as much as we love one another and know that marriage was for us I think had I been about my business of living we wouldn’t have almost 8 years under us. Maybe a few years but definitely not that many years. I allowed this marriage minded to push us into this union before its time. That doesn’t mean I don’t love him or that our marriage wasn’t ordained from the beginning of time but we could have had the same love and union had we refocused first. Again let me reiterate he and I have had this conversation and we are comfortable with us and it. So no need to clutch your pearls. He and I have been around and knowing each other for over 20 years and we are at a place of real and raw love at this place. So these hard conversations become less and less hard to speak authentically. 

Build First

To a woman who is tired of being single, I get it. I don’t have that as my life but I get it. I get the cries seeing folks coupled up and wondering when is your time, but please build a life that once your husband comes you come to the table with something to offer. Come with passport stickers. Come with an education. Come to the table with a plan of what you want instead of allowing him to make the life for you. There’s nothing wrong with having marriage be your goal but if you ask some of those who are honest like me they will tell you that the life is hard and it’s great but its work. This isn’t an antimarriage lesson. I can’t talk down on marriage. Marriage is good but it can also be smokescreen if you haven’t spent time to be real with yourself first. If all you are doing is complaining about how there’s nothing to do in life marriage isn’t for you. What will happen when life falls and you don’t have much? If you can’t even navigate boredom how will you navigate life’s many challenges with another person? Let me guess the wings of love will carry you? Nope! It will carry you right into immediate aggravation. You don’t want that. You want your own foundation to be right so when you connect with the other person it will be solid gold. The best foundation may not protect a storm from coming but it can make you better prepared.

Self-Love

So to my ladies I get it but let’s live and let love come into us by being first partakers of the amazing love we can offer ourselves. You will be able to weed out some of the BS that men come with when they too can see that all you want is marriage. They will give you their last name only and you will be in a marriage alone if you don’t love on you a little longer. If you think that his leading means you stand quiet without using proper influence to get you both to greatness. Love is great when you love with full purpose. Live and Let love the right way!

Friday Check In-January 24, 2020

We are continuing the Friday Check in Series. I might make this a permanent series since checking in with self and others is so important. There are a million one ways to check in with others. You can check in with yourself another of ways. Today’s check in going to be about sleep.

Sleep

Sleep is something we all know that we need and yet with the way life is set up it doesn’t mean that we all get it. Sleep is about resting and not simply falling asleep. Sometimes or at least with me when I am stressed I lay up overthinking. There’s not much that can be fixed in your sleep but if we are honest we do things like staying up and worrying. Sleep is a necessary part of being healthy. I find and it’s been proven getting on a sleep schedule helps with losing weight and brain cell energy. 

So what stops our sleep?

If you have a new baby I can understand why you are up and sleep deprived. The whole notion of sleeping when a baby sleeps is great but there a ton of other things to be done like showering, eating, etc. when you have a new baby. However it is important to take as many naps as you possibly can. You see the meme where the mom was holding her baby in her arms but she was pushing the portable bed as if the baby was still in it? That is how moms who are sleep really live. Its super irritating to know you want to sleep or desire to sleep and sleep just won’t come. 

Stress 

Stress like I said earlier will keep you all the way up and not like the song. Sleep or should I say lack of sleep is real when life is steadily kicking your behind. Sometimes at night when my kids go to sleep and I am done at an event if I haven’t fallen over sleep I find myself doing ALL the things I didn’t get done. Dishes need to be washed and put away, blogs have to be edited or videos made, or even sometimes just television to finally watch. When I am stressed I sit with my journal writing and rewriting answers to my problems hoping I missed something I can go back and have that aha moment. It usually doesn’t come and before I know it its 1am or later. 

What I did this week was allowed myself and gave myself permission to sleep. I woke up Wednesday on pure excitement after sleeping in. For me sleeping in is until 645am. I normally get up at 5am. It’s my normal wake up time. I am by 8 or 9am accomplished more than most in a full day. I’ve been known to get ready, clean a kitchen, start laundry, get the kids ready and make breakfast before I even go out the door to “start” my day. It’s a great feeling to feel accomplished but sometimes we need to allow our body to rest and get right.

Go to bed

People think that sleep is just what you do but sometimes sleep is a form of self-care. I had 3 full media events from Monday-Wednesday. Next week is tight AND I am traveling for blogging too. I needed that one day as a day to reset. I was amazed how well I felt. It’s not that I slept in for hours on end. I went to bed in my bed instead of staying on my couch because I have been known to wake up with my planner, journal, or even my blog content calendar in my arms and my cat at my feed. Rest is essential.

Sometimes sleeping in or taking a nap is more important than working to get it ALL done. I am not a machine and neither are you. Today’s self-care and check in moment is sponsored by the message-go to BED! It will be there when you circle around. 

Card Giving

What’s our self-care check in moment of the week to reach out to others? This week I am encouraging you to send cards and letters to your friends and family. It’s one thing to send cards for birthdays and anniversaries but I am the Queen of cards just to brighten my friend’s day. I have packs of cards. Some are Toitime cards and others are just I was thinking of you cards. I keep packs and choose one to send. I love sending them out to my friends and getting calls or texts messages that it made them feel that much better.  Remember you never know what someone is going through. 

 

The Goat Philly

I attended the Goat Media and VIP celebration. If you remember last week when I attended the opening of The Fairview, it’s the same owner, Fergus Carey. He dazzled in his white.  The Goat is a partnership between Fergie and Jim McNamara, the dynamic duo has a great gem on their hands with this one. 

Located in the Rittenhouse section of the city at 1907 Sansom Street it’s nestled on the corner and named after the Billy Goat statue in Rittenhouse makes perfect sense. It’s also a play on the Greatest of All Time-I see what you did Fergie! Fun fact that I didn’t know at first was there was an online competition to help name The Goat. Talk about input from the start?! But don’t expect The Goat to play coy when it comes to the selections and drinks. The Goat packs a powerful punch and is ready to own its own. Trust me the hype is worth it. So you know how I do I am going to break it down from décor, food, atmosphere and service.

Décor

What’s more fun than one bar? Two! That’s right there are two bars. One bar at least for the Media night served up signature drinks while the other served wine. You know how I love my wine. The inside is beautiful. What caught my eyes was the very well lite lighting. Take a look for yourself:

I also loved how beautiful the floors were. I know that’s a weird observation but you can’t help but to take notice of it. Some of the décor was made of things like skateboards, etc. Shout out to interior designer Raymond Haldeman. The bars are visually stunning. It makes for a great time either for dates, happy hour, get together with friends, etc. 

Drinks

The flow of drinks was amazing. I know you know I love my drinks and that all drinks are great but they aren’t. Drinks need to taste well, have amazing presentation and be strong. The Goat had all of that and more. I loved their signature drink, the Pink Goat. It’s a mix of Gin, Elderflower Liqueur, grapefruit juice, and a dash of Prosecco and cranberry. It’s good. It has the right combination for it to be in the middle between a little hint of sweet and a little sour too. 

You know I always end my nights when I can with a little wine. I enjoyed the Fleurs de Prairie Rose. It was so good. 

Food

I mean who comes to the bar to ONLY drink? Not me. If I am drinking I need food options too especially my on the go lifestyle. Thanks to Chef Adrian Geronimo the food at The Goat is just as appealing as its décor and drinks. The concept behind The Goat is to have a mid-priced and modern pub that offers smart choices that are delicious. People are becoming more conscience when they choose to spend their money and eat out. The world wants options that include being able to keep in line with their lifestyle changes and still affords them great tasting food and The Goat meets those demands. 

Roasted Mushroom Flatbread

This was made with herbed ricotta, fontina cheese, caramelizedonions, baby arugula, and truffle oil. 

 

Ancho Chili Braised Short Rib 

It was (I didn’t personally eat it) extremely good and melted in your mouth.

 

Reuben Burger

Angus beef, pastrami, Swiss cheese, Napa cabbage, red onions, Russian dressing on a sesame brioche

Seitan Bulgogi Bowl

Carrots, radish, lettuce cucumber, daikon, soy ginger sauce

So as you can see there is food for every palate. They even have blackened tofu, and green Chile BBQ jack fruit sandwich that I want to go back and personally try. 

The event was a success.  Media and VIP were able to have a ball while eating and drinking great options. Also there was a live band. I grew up around music my whole life and so any time live music can be incorporated into the mix I am personally here for it. 

Service

The service was amazing. When I got in as most media events are the dash to the bar is long. I wanted a cocktail but started with wine. The server made me a cocktail instead of me having to switch sides. He had no idea I had a long day and just submitted a major project. Little things like that always stay with me and will keep me coming back! Even in my personal life I remember servers who go above and beyond. It matters!!

Thank you to my date of the night, Gesella. She came with me to the Fairview and I believe she had a great time as well. It’s always good times when you can come together and try new things and add more places to eat, drink, and relax!

Gesella and Alex Holley

Thank you to Aversa PR, and The Goat for the invitation. Thank you Gesella for accompanying me. I look forward to adding The Goat to my personal list of where to dine in Philadelphia. 

 

Friday Check In January 17, 2020

Happy Friday. How else has had a long week? I know I definitely have. I am glad to be able to get into the weekend although this weekend is supposed to be some snow. I know its winter and I complain every year about it but I don’t like the snow. I never have and I most likely will not like it either. Either way I can’t do anything about it. I already made cookies just in case it does come and that we can drink some hot chocolate and be warm and eat. This is the why I stay so vigilant in the winterabout working out.

I do have an event on Saturday night and I have a family outing on Saturday afternoon. We shall see what happens. Sunday is going to a brunch Sunday and I am super excited. Outside of that I have 2 projects I am working on and I want to start filming for Valentine’s Day! This week has been a challenge just emotionally. I spoke on the blog about how my Wednesday went but it was more or less a build up of things that I hadn’t addressed.  I want to talk a little more about how to deal with unlocked emotions.

Your Trigger Your Issue

Apart of a great check in especially with yourself is being honest about your mental and emotional well being. What are your triggers? How do you respond when a trigger is hit? For me I can range from being loud and angry to quiet and distant. I am lucky to have my husband who is becoming more and more aware of my triggers. I am grateful to work them out on my own but I can let him know I am in the middle of a trigger and I need some understanding. That doesn’t mean that with an announcement of a trigger I can just be super rude. I cant bite everyone’s head off and I cant just go off to get through a trigger. So doing what works for you to get through that doesn’t push someone else over the edge or causes further damage to yourself either. 

They don’t help me?

I used to a few years back before going to therapy would get mad at my husband because he didn’t help me through a trigger. I placed all these high expectations on him to do something. What was he supposed to do? If he held my hand it wasn’t enough. If he hugged me through it he was being too passive. If he listened he wasn’t engaging enough. Triggers are personal. The work to get through them comes from the inside out. You need to have someone who isn’t ready to jump ship when you are in the middle of a trigger but you have to be actively working through them and not just triggering and apologizing. 

No Apology Needed

I used to say sorry for every trigger. In some of my triggers I would be apologizing like every few moments. I learned that an apology is supposed to be for when I wanted to change the behavior. Triggers are normal to have. This is why I work on being clear in my word choice so that I don’t have to apologize for having a trigger and now I don’t have to apologize for bad behavior because that is no longer an issue. Trauma is a lot of work to get through. My issues that created took a long while to create and they will take a long while to get through. I just focus on my inner work and inner peace. I am grateful for the skills to get through some of the darker moments of life. 

FaceTime Anyone?

This week’s catch up tips on how to catch up with others I would suggest if you have an iPhone or an app that will allow you to see your loved one use it. It’s great to hear someone’s voice but even better if you could see their face. Being that a lot of my friends and family aren’t in Philadelphia or within driving distance, seeing those helps. I use this method to contact and speak to my two nieces who live about 2 hours away. It allows me to keep the communication open. Technology was made for moments such as that and not for us to argue and fight over opinions. If used the correct way it can bring a lot of joy to those around you. I got my grandma a new phone per her request. I also made sure to get her and set up the app to be able to see her. Now the stress to get her set up on it was a LOT. I ain’t even going to lie and act as if it went smoothly but I do believe in the long run it was worth it. The app I use with my grandma is Google Duo! It’s easy to use and super easy to install! Grandma is rocking now!

Home Connections

If you are fortunate to have someone whom you live with and you find that you aren’t connecting as much as you need to, turn your phone off. Sit close to them. Find a show that you enjoy. Last night my husband and I watched Grownish together eating cookies and drinking wine. A great way to connect and to focus on the fun of a show we both love. These are small ways you can connect and keep the connections especially with our colliding schedules. 

So I wish you all a great weekend. I am in the middle of a 21 day blogging fest and I missed two days so you will be getting a blog a day until January 23rd who knows I might go the rest of the month. I love doing challenges like this with other bloggers. I also will be updating my events and what’s happening page. I haven’t updated since Christmas. 

Just a look ahead we are doing a Self-Love Challenge in conjunction with Valentine’s Day! I know it sounds cliché but the best love comes from within. You can’t recognize amazing love if you don’t first feel it from yourself daily. I can’t wait to have a little fun with this series. 

 

The Fairview

I had the opportunity to attend the Media and VIP Grand Opening party and it was amazing. I love how even with as many celebrants there were it still was more than enough space to take everything in. As a blogger I had immense fun but as always, I always take a step back to grade it on its practicality of when a patron comes in. There is a lot of offerings at the Fairview and I am going to break it all down for you.

Food 

I loved the options they presented us with for the Media Party.  There were a little something for everyone.

We started off with a cheese board. Most people enjoy them.  From the arrangements of cheese offerings, it made it a great start on the menu.

They also had bruschetta-red pepper and artichoke bruschetta. It was delicious.  

They also shrimp skewers.  For those who don’t have an allergy to shell fish the shrimp was busting with flavor. For those who do they had an equally delicious chicken skewer.

The Fairview Burger slider was amazing as well.

For me the highlight was the Chicken Fried Seitan Sandwich. I had at least 3 of them. The crisp alone will have you coming back.  

Drinks

They had a great offering of cocktails. I especially loved the Fairview Old Fashioned. It had Bullleit Bourbon Amarena, cherries, and spiced maple syrup. I also enjoyed my white wine as well. 

The Fairview has dishes for all palettes. From vegan and vegetarians to meat eaters alike you will be pleased.

Let me tell you about the service. During Media events often it’s a free-flowing atmosphere meaning we usually grab drinks at the bar or a central location.  At The Fairview they had the free-flowing environment as well as they had servers serving us and taking care of us. The servers were on point. It was refreshing. If the tone needed to be set, they set the tone high with great expectations.

Pictured with Fergie Carey and Gesella Morocho

The atmosphere of The Fairview is super relaxed. This is a place to have an incredible date night. The blue lighting already sets the mood. I was a bit frazzled from my Uber ride and the blue literally relaxed me well before the drinks. I hope they plan on keeping the colors as is because it’s really a highlight.

Pictured from left to right; Gesella, Phillyfoodgal; and Eventsbykb

Fergie Carey, Dave Dollinger, and Shane Dodds have turned elegant gastropub food and made it into a full-on dining experience. The Fairview is located at 601 N. 21st street and they are open Monday-Thursday from 11:30-11pm; Friday 11:30-midnight; Saturday 10:30-midnight; and Sunday from 10:30-11:30pm. Thanks to Chef Beth Fox the food was amazing.  I definitely will take my husband on a night out just to see his face in the pretty blue lights. Make The Fairview apart of your placed to dine. It is an added food blessing to the Fairmount area!

Thank you to The Fairview, and Aversa PR for the invitation. Thanks you Gesella for being my date for the evening!