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!

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Summer Time in Old City: Old City Eats Block Party

One of the best parts about being in Philly is the amazing block parties. It’s something I didn’t see as often when I lived in Lancaster. In Philly you need zero reasons to bring residents together and it’s a party every time. Last night Old City threw a block party and it was the best prelude to Summer.

It’s officially Summer! One of my most favorite seasons! This means more fun, more sun, and dare I say more block parties. The streets last night was filled with people ready to have that Summer like fun. It was pouring rain earlier and I held back to see what the weather would do. Even despite the earlier weather, you couldn’t get a better outlook for the block party. The sun came out, it was a little humid and the rain left.

So I know between the tussle of the week day, the earlier rain that may have deterred your plans you might have missed it. There’s hope! Each week on Thursdays you will have the opportunity to attend Old City Eats as over 20 restaurants will be offering the best of the best for amazing eats and sips. You know I love to sip but I love it more in the Summer. I hadn’t been in Old City in awhile and it was great to see some of the eateries the area had to offer. Here are 3 restaurants that were amazing. I hope to go back a few more times to show case a few more during the Thursday run. These amazing sips will be offered every Thursday until August 29th. It’s a great way to start your early weekend and get out before Friday!

Cuba Libre Restaurant And Rum Bar

Who doesn’t block party without drinks?! Nobody that hangs with me! Cuba Libre has the drinks on lock with the selections of mojito, rum punch, beer, and empanadas. I personally had the mango mojito and the rum punch. Now I don’t know if people were getting more mojitos just because of the Summer feels but the rum punch was amazing! Oh and what’s a great drink without an amazing cup to drink it out of?! They served them inside of coconuts.

Makhani

So a few months back I had never even eaten Indian food. I went and had my first experience at Makhani and it was just pure amazing. Well they were at the block party too. So I had some of the chicken makhani, rice and some chicken sausage….It tasted like it did the night I had it. Every bite of it was delicious and most importantly the same level of love and hospitality was shown. Makhani’s food is always freshly prepared and is always to perfection. I have yet to have to alter it in any way. Oh and I brought some home to give to my husband who is super skeptical and I couldn’t catch his reactions quick enough! He went in!

Yes as you can see items were being sold out; you have to get to Makhani early

Nick’s Bar and Grille

People day Bar food is usually not that good. They say that you have to drink enough liquor before you can really play down bar food. After eating at Nick’s I say that is a whole lie. I had the egg rolls and they had Italian and cheesesteak. Since Philly is known for their cheesesteaks I elected to go out the box and try the Italian egg rolls. If you have nothing else and I mean nothing else you must try the Italian egg rolls. It was the best egg roll I had ever had. As much as I love to eat that speaks volumes. Hands down you have to come and try them. I didn’t have the pulled pork nacho cheese but word on the street is by not having them is not living. Debate me on the egg rolls but to do so you would have to try it for yourself and then get at me!

As I stated above I will try my hand at a few more offerings in the Summer at Old City Eats. My Thursdays just got a little bit better. Join me and others as we get out and enjoy these amazing drinks and food specials!

Thanks Old City Eats, Aversa PR, Makhani, Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, and Nick’s Bar and Grille for an amazing fun night!

Don’t forget to come to my Instagram to catch more pics of the evenings and to find out where I am, what I’m doing, and what fun you need to have as I continue to live and explore!!

Piazaa Pod Park: Summer Oasis

Unless you’re a boring person you are going to absolutely love the new Piazza Pod Park. Between the more than 12 food and drink vendors, workout ventures, and regular entertainment; what’s not to love?

Also you have to come and meet BeBot a new 33 feet tall standing robot designed by Andrea Greenlees. BeBot is super amazing to behold by adults and kids alike.

Keep in mind the Piazza Pod Park is fenced in and my mommy brain loved that. I still wouldn’t let the kids roam too far from me but that gave me an extra confidence knowing that outside of time with friends, I would have them! Also for my nursing moms you don’t have to be uncomfortable either. There are nursing pods available! That’s a double win!! Nursing moms can now get out and enjoy some fresh air and fun too!

For the kids there is Tildies Toy Box. Tildies is a toy store located right inside so if you can’t load the kids on fun foods or water ice, you can grab them something to help calm them so you can continue your Summer fun!

As far as foods and drinks are concerned there should be no concern. There is something for everyone and I truly mean it! All of the Summer feels are included. I had some amazing vegan French toast bites by none other than Lokal Artisan Foods. You should already know they are hands down the only French toast bites I will eat. I smile every time I see them. They have vegan, regular, and they even serve them with bacon for those who want it. Oh and their lemonade is A1! Make sure you grab some!

So let me break down a few other vendors for you:

Empanada Box

Who doesn’t love an amazing empanada? You can now add them to your list of go tos while you’re at the Piazza Pod Park!

Check out the menu:

For your water ice needs and it will come from all of the heat, look no further than Mama Maria’s Italian Ice which serves some of your well known staples like cherry but pushed it up with the Philly Special!

For my island inspired eaters there is Tiki Tako! They have some of the most amazing drinks including their pineapple drinks straight from fresh pineapples! Their tacos, take a look for yourself:

My sister enjoyed this chicken taco

For bagels and sandwiches there is Spread Bagelry. Amazing selections and the hummus du jour definitely stood out to me! Since Piazza is open at 7am daily this could be your new breakfast or anytime spot!

And then there was a Lil Sum Sum where you can enjoy a matcha smoothie or chicken Siu Mai! They have an assortment of Dim Sum even some for the vegetarians!

So wait no drinks? Come on now!! I tried to give you the food options so you could then walk like a boss to some amazing drink specials!!

Let’s start with Craft Cocktail and Craft Beer Concepts by Blume. Blume is the new spot that I attended with the Butterfly on the windows! They have expanded and now have two spots at the Piazza Pod Park! So the Craft Cocktails is where you can get your soon to be new favorites like the Slushey Jawn or the new infamous adult sippy bags!

Convenient to hold, walk, and sip but takes you back to being a kid with a much better upgrade

I love wine! I also love an amazing frosé. What’s better than both options on tap to walk around and have in the Summer?! Thanks to Urban Village Brewing they have a friend in me. I stopped by them twice! The frosé was purely good and the customer service was over amazing! When you see people enjoying what they love it shows. Do not just stop by, go twice!

Now for those who have friends or family who are like my husband in the sense that he dislikes sitting outside eating and drinking there is an air conditioning pod that allows you to sit and drink and be comfortable! So not even he can make an excuse not to go. Oh and there is complimentary parking too. So what’s the excuse?! There is none and can’t be none!!

Round out your time and be sure to stop at Essen Bakery! Between sweet treats and an amazing cold brew you will not be disappointed!!

I know what you’re thinking? This sounds too good to be true?! However it is real and it opens this Saturday in Northern Liberties!

Here are the offerings for the public opening this Saturday:

It opens at 7am their normal hours but the grand opening activities won’t start until 10am! Fit Academy will have work out demos from 11am-2pm! 11am-4pm will be a bounce house for the kids-prime time to tire the little ones out. City Rhythm will provide live entertainment from noon-4pm! There will be local DJs from 4-8! Let me take the moment to shout out DJ Jason Weiss who played every song I had not heard in some time! It helped me move between eateries and I had an amazing time!

Also for those who want to bring their pups, there is an adjacent dog park and plenty of cool water for them as well! Just make sure they have leashes and be courteous to other dogs and dog parents alike!

The Piazza Pod Park is located at 1075 Germantown Avenue!

Philly Beer Week

So I had the opportunity to go to 2300 Arena for the Philly Beer Week kick off. There were hundreds of vendors on tap as we literally went from booth to booth trying out the newest and latest in tastings. Let’s just say it was an unforgettable night!

Philly Beer Week is 10 days that ends on June 9, 2019. During this week vendors will have special events, brews and fun. To get a list of events go to Philly Loves Beer

This way you don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with other amazing beer lovers or grab a few friends and have an amazing start to your Summer plans! Even if you’re not a real beer drinker I found that most to have flavors that will make you reconsider. It’s an all around fun time for everyone!

Shout out to 2300 Arena as it was my first time here. It spacious and has plenty of amazing areas to hang out and drink. I definitely will be back with some of my friends as they travel into the city! Even with all of the vendors, people, mummers band, and DJ not one time did I feel cramped! Space to have fun while I drink is love!

I want to shout out a few of my favorite spots so you too can visit them and try out their beer too!

Hokkaido Brewing

So I loved loved their offerings! One they had fruit flavors that were amazing. The two I personally tried twice were the peach and lemon! I can’t find the words to describe the beautiful flavors. It gave me enough beer with that fruity taste that had my husband and I coming back! They are high on my list for a double back! You can visit them on their page;Hokkaido Brewing

Also Hokkaido will be having a Japanese night in Uptown on June 6, 2019!

River Horse Brewing

I loved their watermelon flavoring that wasn’t as fruity as Hokkaido but it was still super refreshing and they use fresh watermelon which makes it a great Summer drink. You may also catch them at the Philadelphia Zoo Watering Hole which is the zoo’s wine and beer garden. You may see them distributed throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey or elect to come take a 30 minute beer tour by going to their website for all of your questions, River Horse

Roy Pitz

I loved the names of these next beers; step your game up and and honey sucker. When you attend events the ones who catch my attention are the ones who you can see their passion in what they are offering. Roy Pitz is that spot! Step your game up as aromas of peach, strawberry, and mango and it wasn’t over powering or strong. Check out Roy Pitz as they also have happy hours in the city!

Imprint Brewing Company

Impressive, energetic and fun is how I would describe my time at their tasting. My husband had their bourbon vanilla was amazing. It was strong and it didn’t hold back on the bourbon. It was the mix of two worlds and I loved it. They got me all the way together with Schmoojee Raspberry Mango Lime. It was one of the most invigorating flavors I’ve had. I will be looking for them while I’m out and about! Go to their site so you don’t miss their events; Imprint Brewing

Fat Heads Brewery

Hail to the Fat Head! Among their flavor choices was the Bean Me Up! It was like a coffee Lovers Dream! Amazing robust coffee flavor with beer and the whole time I’m drinking I’m thinking why didn’t someone start this sooner. Beer and coffee is a great idea. To get yours or to find where you can get some go to their site, Fat Heads Brewery

Evil Genius Beer

Although there was nothing evil about their beer the taste was amazing. During the event they were located outside which was great having them right in the middle! I enjoyed their flavors. I had their raspberry shandy; You’re Killing me Smalls which was light and smooth!

They also had Lab Exclusive! I would highly suggest you trying them! They also have several events in Philly that you’re not going to want to miss! Catch them on their site; Evil Genius Beers

Shout out to VJ Fava Le Chic who was amazing and played an incredible mix!

Paris owes me Nothing Part 3

Time to be tourist! After a long sleep we were up and out! We passed Pont d’ Arcole to get to Notre-Dame Cathedral. We took the metro. That was an interesting adventure. It was crazy to see what the fire took of the Cathedral. I hope it will be repaired as soon as possible. They also had a lot of armed guards there and a lot of police in the area.

Esmeralda

It started to rain so we stopped at Esmeralda, a restaurant that looks towards the Cathedral where I enjoyed a crepe filled with bananas and chocolate and wine. My husband had a hamburger and fries which was hilarious as I informed him he at least celebrated national hamburger day! My girl Kyla enjoyed her fries and wine! We decided we were going to keep walking and hit up some more sights but not before I had my real banana gelato! It’s so much better here than in the States.

Shakespeare and Company

I’m such a nerd but I spotted a book store and not just any store; Shakespeare and Company book store. I was in Heaven! Floors of books and old fashioned ladders to get the books that are higher up. It was a little more modern than I expected but I was in pure bliss!

Pont des Arts

Near Pont des Arts I spot a clown. Yes a clown! I want a picture with him. He takes one of me by twirling me, Marques snaps a few pics, and then he has me and Marques take some of just he and I! The clown grabs Marques and snaps some of him by having him hold his leg and attempts to kiss him. The laughter alone….don’t worry no clowns were harmed!

Louvre Museum

The day we visited it’s closed. So of course we continue to take pics at the Louvre Pyramid and Tuileries Garden! It was still an amazing time. Everyone was smiling and having the time of their life even though it soon started raining!

Place de la Concordé

This tall statue is so breathtaking with its golden tip. I’m amazed at how much history and architecture is in Paris. If you love both you will be blown away.

Champs-Élysées

This section of Paris is beautiful and rich. From the shopping and fashion district to the history, cathedrals, beautiful gardens I’m super glad we didn’t miss this. Also we stopped at the Arc de Triomphe.

Body Attack

Most folks would do this high level of working out prior to going on vacation but since working out is a lifestyle and not just a swimsuit ready venture, my girl Kyla had us at Les Cercles de la Forme to take a body attack class. Kyla teaches it in the States. I have taken her class and she’s very official. The class in Paris which was like one door down from our hotel, was just as intense. Kyla needed no help with the routine as she knew it! It felt good to work out with her! Glad she found the class even though she tried to kill me!

Buffalo Grill

It was definitely time to eat after all of that waking and workout! So we ventured to Buffalo Grill! It’s hard to eat for me since I’m vegan and the French love their meat and cheese. I had to make a lot of adjustments to make it vegan approved but we made it happen! I had about 25 ozs of wine and made sure I ate bread and whatever vegan options I could make up. They had steaks etc.

Eiffel Tower Take 2

So although we did see the Eiffel after the wedding on the boat, seeing it lit at night was amazing! I mean having to almost break our necks to get a justifiable picture wasn’t an easy task but we did it! It was amazing in all of his glorious lights! It’s the simple everyone knows Paris by! It is unifying and pure joy! I don’t think I smiled that hard in quite some time!

Paris day 3….

Bday Weekend Recap

I had a great birthday not doing a whole lot. Since attending so many events I find relaxing is my number one go to. A night filled with good food, a workout out, adult juice and quiet works for me.

I spent my birthday working only a half a day. No half day in the office and a half day at home working, straight half day working period. Once home with the kids I took a shower and my husband brought me my order from Hip City Veg. It was my first time as I continue to add vegan restaurants to my line up. I ordered the smokehouse burger (vegan), sweet potato fries with sriracha sauce and the birthday cake non dairy milkshake.

Smokehouse burger

birthday cake milkshake

Vegan or not this meal was amazingly everything and more. I love great tasty food. I wanted my birthday night to be calm. I did manage to get a workout in so I felt even better! After eating and a few adult drinks I happily fell asleep! My night was made!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for making me another amazing vegan cake! I had more cake than I could ever have. I haven’t had cake especially vegan cake since the big switch! I definitely have made up for past times. You can definitely insert the Rihanna song!!

vegan vanilla cake

Saturday I finally was able to attend my son’s soccer game. I didn’t even realize how busy I had become how I hadn’t attended my son’s game for this season! He did amazing by the way!

My husband arranged for my girl friend and I to have dinner together at one of my new faves, True Food Kitchen! What I love about them is their seasonal rotating menu. Since the last time I was there for Valentines Day weekend, there were different meals present for me to choose without feeling like I was only limited to the same options. I have to shout out Marques for working covertly with one of the besties, Kyla to make it happen!

Vegetable soup

Hey Kyla

kiwi mousse with strawberry

I’ve gotten a lot of amazing gifts this birthday and so much of my friends who knew my heart! I’m honored that I was thought of. I’m grateful for an amazing weekend which ended with a little trip to Ulta and ended with a bubble bath, a good book and I was in bed on Sunday by 8pm. If that wasn’t the most peaceful weekend I don’t know what was?

Never forget to sign up for birthday rewards! And brand that you already utilize and patronize, should be your number one go to. I love getting freebies or discounts on the very things I already use or will use!

Until the next one…..let’s get this personal New Year going!!!

Increased Self Care

Who doesn’t love getting a mani/pedi? How about a salon trip? It feels amazing to pamper yourself or just continue your up keep. As much as these activities are awesome and can be forms of self-care, do not limit that to your only self-care. Increase self-care to those things that bring joy into your heart and life.  What about that hobby that brings the type of smile that can’t be wiped away?  What about making time with friends a priority? What about going back to school to accomplish a goal you left sitting? What about making time for rest and unplugging? We all need to dip deeper into self care now more than ever.

brown couch near pillows and mats

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When I hear older folks make complaints such as “what is this self-care business, we didn’t have that growing up,” it irks me. Those be the same women that have the most insecurities, the most hard battles in their spirit that have gone unchecked. When you know better you do better. Why aren’t you practicing it yourself or encouraging the younger generation to focus on their mental health just because no one encouraged you? You remember them lonely battles you fought? Remember that feeling of being overwhelmed? Why would you want another woman or man to go through that?  Even it made someone 5 seconds better, it’s worth it. Encourage and then practice it yourself. 2019 is about accountability and that is even in how we treat ourselves. We can’t expect anyone to treat us well when we treat ourselves badly. Think about it from head to toe. What are you doing to make you whole? If you are still eating, drinking, not working out, have a thousand bad habits that contribute to your body and mind’s demise, these things need to be worked out.

adult art beautiful beauty

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Self care is about self-preservation.  It pulls you out of darkness and makes you alert. When you don’t practice self-care often times you are numb to things and people around you. It doesn’t stop bad things from coming but it can help you deal with it that much more. Think about the times you let yourself go mentally. You weren’t even ready for hits that life was about to throw. Self care is super important. I don’t care what you call it.  You can call it self-care, self-love, me time, whatever it is find it, be consistent, and then add some more. There is no such thing as too much self-care. That is impossible. Having joy in this world is what keeps people from feeling hopeless. That hopeless feeling leads people into paths that don’t bring about positive results. People need hope. Joy isn’t about walking around with a smile 24/7.  It means that you have things in your life that bring you real happiness no matter what. Self care is about preserving peace in a world full of chaos. Self care is about loving yourself even when the world wants to make you feel unlovable. Self care doesn’t care what your status is in life. Self care is important. Please invest in yourself. Practice some more self-care!

two woman doing exercise

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