Valentine’s Day Snub

This day can be so super dramatic. Between the movies that make it bigger than life. So often, we even I get caught up in this day. What I think is important is to be honest about where you are and your expectations.

When my husband and I dated in college he really outdid himself. Without even having to say anything he really did a good job. Before him I really was blessed to date and whomever I dated just naturally got it right. I love holidays of all kinds. I love the art of celebrating. It breaks up life. It gives you small victories to look forward to. So for me it’s another celebration. It’s not just above saying well as a married couple he should show love so this one day doesn’t matter. I post holidays of all kinds and everyday I get excited to find a way to celebrate one of those holidays so Valentine’s Day is one as well.

I used to not be so vocal in my love for the day because everyone would make these claims of how commercial they were. As a preachers kid holidays depending on which ones you celebrated were deemed wrong. As I came into my own, I realized how happy celebrations made me feel. So I don’t allow others’ feelings to fall on me. I won’t allow people to say that a commercial holiday doesn’t matter. I’ve heard it all from what if your husband wasn’t able to make the day special?! How is that possible when he and I can make heart shaped cookies and watch a movie feel special?! End of day I enjoy his presence and I enjoy celebrating these types of holidays with him. It’s a perk of having him in my life.

So there’s never a Valentine’s Day snub for me. Although I understand that some don’t feel the same as I do or as blessed as me in regards of having someone to share the day, I don’t want to snub my feelings to appease others. I can have empathy without dissing my own love of the day!

I respect everyone no matter where they are. There were many years that I spent with family, by myself or just with my girlfriends. Some years in my singleness I felt fine and other times I was heartbroken. Admit where you are. Own it! But be okay if you like me love these love holidays!!!!!

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Sunday Message: Controlling Your Triggers

We all have triggers.  Triggers are the things that we see, experience, or are around us that pushes an emotional response.  We all have to find a way to control them, handle them and most importantly address them.

Some people deal with them in healthy ways such as counseling, talking to a trusted associate or friend or acknowledge them.  The unhealthy way of dealing with triggers is hoping they will simply go away, drugs, sex, relationships, etc. I am aware of my triggers because I have had more times of not handling them right that I had no choice but address them.  I was tired of arguing, yelling, ready to fight, and being about drama to deflect what I hadn’t acknowledged.  It was too much to keep things going!  My tipping point came when I got into it with family and it spilled over into social media. I knew at that moment that I had to disengage, take a break, and handle the root of the issue. So instead of worrying who was wrong, I just dug deep into getting my life aligned. Now the issues that came up didn’t  disappear but with the help of my counselor I worked through!  Funny part I was in counseling and she told me that the situation was going to happen.  It was almost verbatim how she described it.  It’s funny now but then I was one split second from bail.

I have since seen a few family members since the whole breakdown and nothing on he inside of me moves. I hold no malice.  However there are other triggers that I still work through quite often.  For me they come out when I handle my children. My kids are good overall but they will every now and again make me tap into something and I find I have to work through some things. Parenthood in my opinion is sharpening me to be a better version of myself.  I owe it to my children to be the parent that they need and not the parent that is in constant fight or flight so that is why I have been in and out of therapy since I had my oldest and she will be 10 this year. I  have no embarrassment at all with saying that in order to control how I walk in this world is to have help. I want to spend my days being whole and not a whole mess.

How do you know that you are being triggered? Listen to yourself.  The things you speak about portray where you are.  If all you speak about is certain people or things that aren’t about building you to be your best, that issue you speak on still has life and you need to really deal with.  When I as having marital issues and not speaking and listening to my husband all I spoke about was negativity of our marriage.  I also would speak negatively about the imagery of other positive marriages. This is where the term hating does apply. I wanted my marriage to be a safe space.  I wanted it to be strong from the inside out and would take issue with others who appeared that way.  I wasn’t strong enough to be real about my part in my marriage. I never acknowledged how my triggers were not my husband’s to deal with.  I wanted him to be understanding and fix me while I acted a fool and hide behind “for better or for worse.”

adult alone autumn brick

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We are responsible for our own happiness. We want others to care about our triggers more than we are wiling to deal and handle them.  It’s not enough to be understanding as you watch a partner do nothing.  How about just regular folks watching you wallow in your triggers.  Are your friends supposed to carry your triggers and the bad behavior they often demonstrate?  They can love and be supportive but they are limited in making things okay. I blogged the other day about who my friends were present for my most colorful times with Marques in college. Looking back they should have raised the standard for our behavior in that if we wanted to hang the drama couldn’t come.  Triggers place distance between people.  Triggers is the cause of why hurt people hurt people.  It’s simply still not okay to contain hurting people and having expectations that your relationship, title, or age will grace you.

You need to speak for, handle, and show up for that inner pain and deal with it. You need to trust me it’s in your best interest.  Everyday I wake up even when the day before  might have allowed  a trigger to get the best of me and show up for myself.  It’s important for me to mirror wholeness to myself as well as my children. Also social media and triggers is real. I do not argue  with folks on social media. Debate is a thin line to fighting too.  I will debate you with maybe 2 exchanges and that’s it.  It also depends on the topic. The trolls will never engage me.  Also if its family or friends that I have personal numbers to, it’s a no automatically. First I don’t post too many subjective things and on top of that I think about whether or not its someone who has a front row or at least a few rows into my life for me to get hype and it has zero outcome.  Also don’t let what you think you see on Facebook. I knew of several males who made who dedications to their wives and was cheating the whole time using hashtags like couple goals.  Life is complicated and comparison will leave you  in self defeat! Don’t do it!

One last thing, in life we can’t always retreat but one of the things that can assist in healing is separation.  I was told when I stated I needed to separate from individuals that I was wrong.  I knew what I needed.  I knew I wasn’t going to be okay from years of mess by staying in the midst.  My counselor allowed me to see that the person needed me to stay and work things out because staying gave the other party to believe that things weren’t as bad as it was. I didn’t care if I was looked as wrong.  I no longer wanted to be right. I wanted to be free to live and love.  I needed healing from my triggers.  I needed to separate to walk in real wholeness and know right or wrong I was entitled to how I felt but not entitled to react negatively to it!  Working through triggers is a daily tussle.  However if you are overwhelmed or feel overtaken in your triggers, its time to acknowledge it and get help!

Philly Theatre Week; February 7-17th

Theatre week is back.  A 10 day festival of some of the best that Philly has to offer in theatre.  81 organizations will host 100 events with 315 performances.  All of the performances are either free, $15 or $30 dollars making it affordable to experience these performances.

There are performances for everyone from Valentine’s Day themed, Black History themed, regional theatre and the classics as well.

Philly Theatre Week was the brainchild of Goldenberg and her team at Theatre Philadelphia. The idea dates back to 2017 when Goldenberg was in search of a new flagship program that would focus on inclusivity and reducing barriers to participation.

“Theatre Philadelphia wanted to create a new signature program that would draw even more attention to the region’s theatre organizations and artists,” added Goldenberg. “We wanted to make a big and impactful statement about the importance of theatre in our city and region, and bring artists together in a collaborative and equitable format. Like Philly Beer Week, Center City Restaurant Week or Philly Tech Week, this festival celebrated theatre alongside our city’s other flagship events that are nationally known and recognized.”

Philly Theatre Week is presented by Theatre Philadelphia in partnership with TodayTix and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional Theatre Philadelphia funding is provided by the WIlliam Penn Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.

Theatre Philadelphia has partnered with the international ticketing platform TodayTix for 2019 Philly Theatre Week to offer reduced-price tickets exclusively through the app. For select performances with participating theaters, $15 and $30 tickets will be available for purchase. Reservations for free events can also be made through TodayTix. Download the TodayTix app or visit the website for more information.

For additional information, please visit www.phillytheatreweek.com or call 267-761-9950.

Kids at the theatre

So today I took the kids to the preview of Philly theatre week at the Cherry Street Pier. I didn’t tell them where we were going because I wanted to be sure that they went in and experience it all on their own. After making sure that once we got there they weren’t disrespectful to the actors of which by the way they weren’t, I was delighted to see how much they enjoyed. We got a preview of ENAensemble. What I liked about this particular theatre group is that they were from the time we entered the door and until we left their presence, were extremely interactive.

Anais Navarro-Murphy caught my youngest daughter’s eye. A lot of people don’t realize that although my youngest is assertive she’s just as shy. However she comes alive through music and dance. I just sat and watched the way she didn’t take her eyes off of her. Anais must have seen her too because she took the time to come to her and show her how to read sheet music. Now I know my youngest didn’t really understand fully, but she was mesmerized. I appreciated Anais taken that time with her. Didn’t help that the kids were able to do a little face painting afterwards!

I explained to my children how behind the scenes it takes a lot of work and dedication to put a show together, perform in front of people and how dedicated they are in their craft. I love exposing my children to new things and I was honored for them to see a variety of performances.

ENAensemble allowing audience members to direct the piece

Take the time to enjoy this 10 day treat!! Get your tickets and get out to these wonderful pieces!!

 

Sunday Message: Adjusting but not Breaking

Life throws curve balls. We all have had moments when something happens and it leaves you doubting yourself, hurt, or even confused. This week has been that week.  When life is constantly changing, being able to change will help.  However there are moments when things are so overwhelming that sometimes all you can do is just be still.

No response. No answer in sight. No beautiful encouraging words. Just silence. At first the silence is fine. You carry on with your day. You attempt to do what you can until something changes. Over time silence hurts. You wonder why.  You ask a thousand questions. No answers comes. You hear people say it will get better while you’re desperately searching for better and its so far off you FEEL defeated. However the pain, don’t break.

adult dark depressed face

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Don’t break because you’re supposed to be strong. You can still be strong at the midst of a breakage but don’t break.  You can be strong and cry. You can be strong and have fear just don’t let it over take you.  There are hard times going on all over the world. From furloughed employees struggling to live, to people dying, to people stress about their day-to-day decisions, know that you have to keep going because you depend on you.

Adjusting is hard. It could be in the form of adjusting your attitude. I had a situation that I had no idea what to do. Right at the point of being mad, I adjusted, a call came in. It didn’t take away the problem but it aligned the problem to better so I could handle it. There is no magic trick but our attitudes does determine our altitude.  Remember that. Believe that. Live it!

I can’t wave a magical wand in life.  If I could I surely would.  However I am not going to break even when breaking seems like the only viable option. Even when my chest feels up with pain from anxiety. Even when I feel like I am going to lose it, don’t break! Sending you love and encouragement your way on this Sunday!

Makhani Modern India: First Indian Food Experience

So I have a list of things that I want to experience.  Indian food has not been conquered.  I had the honor of being invited to the preview for the media night for Makhani Modern Indian.  Makhani is a BYO modern Indian restaurant and it opens today, Friday January 25, 2019. Located in Old City, it definitely sets the bar high for freshly made Indian food with modern flare. 

Shafi Gaffar, owner, has definitely got a winner on his hands.  He’s personable, hard-working, and along with Executive chef, Sanjoy Banik, their made from scratch and made to order entrees sets them apart from other Indian Restaurants.

Executive Chef Sanjoy Banik

Owner Shafi Gaffar

From the time I walked in and until the time I left, the staff at Makhani made me feel like family.  FYI for the grand opening this weekend, all guest will receive complimentary wine and mimosa as well as give aways. We started with drinks and appetizers. It was so hard not to get full on the appetizers without even trying.  Everything was off to an amazing start. Once the entrees came, I really had been calling my friends asking them what to expect.  I got such variety of advice but nothing prepared me for dinner until dinner actually came. I was impressed from plating all the way to the last bite. The food was fresh and from the first to last bite there’s no denying.  Each bite had me wanting more. The serving was generous yet I still kept wanting to eat.  I left nothing on my plate.  I knew that I was happy because I wanted more to take home and I definitely can’t see myself going anywhere else for Indian food but here. Also they included a belly dancer. My night was made! We ended with the mango cheesecake which is a must have! So how can you get in and experience the same?

Chicken Makhani and Chicken Vindaloo not pictured olive oil naan bread

Mango cheesecake

Visit

Come to Makhani located at 7 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia PA 19106.  They are open 7 days a week.  For the opening launch they will be open 11:30am to 10:00pm daily through Sundays. It opens daily Thursdays through Saturday from 11:3am to 11:00pm. Lunch runs from 11:30am to 3:00pm and dinner from 4 to close. Orders will stop 15 minutes before close daily.  Reservations can be made by calling 267-534-5097.  So what if you can’t stop in but you want to enjoy Makhani?

Delivery

You can have it delivered by logging onto to Eat Makhani

Delivery is available throughout Center City, Old City, Northern Liberties, South Philadelphia and beyond. You can also order at all major delivery hubs such as Uber Eats, Grub Hub, Caviar, and Door Dash.

 Follow Makhani on their social media pages:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Thank you Makhani and Aversa PR for an amazing night!!! I look forward to coming back very soon!!

 

 

Cry Baby Pasta; No Tears Necessary It was Amazing

Ever hear of Monday Funday?  No me neither until yesterday when I had an elite pleasure of dining at Cry Baby Pasta.  Think really good pasta and some awesome wine and know that when the two merges, it’s a celebration.

Triumphant after Tragedy

Cry Baby Pasta had their grand opening, this past Friday January 18, 2019.  If you’re a Foodie you may remember owners Bridget and husband Paul Rodriquez who also owned Bridget Foy, burned after a tragic fire in 2017. After some regrouping and a little research in the form of date nights, they saw the need for an Italian eatery that provided affordable eating options that kept a modern and fun atmosphere for others to be able to enjoy. FYI Bridget Foy will be back soon so don’t fret. In the meantime, add Cry Baby Pasta to your go to eateries.  You know I love anyone who can take a tragedy and turn it into a positive.  Cry Baby Pasta’s owners teamed up with husband and wife Chefs, David Gilberg and Carla Concalves, and together have hit a home run.

So now to the best part, my favorite food is Italian food hands down. Cry Baby Pasta had an amazing selection to choose from. I was impressed.  2000 square foot of 55 seat dinng room with 12 seat oak bar with a five seat drink rail provided the back drop to amazing Monday Funday. Cry Baby Pasta’s goals is to provide great food, fun and a shareable atmposphere and they hit it out of park.  This is a great spot to have food and drinks with your colleagues for an amazing happy hour, date night,catch up with your girls or boys or just to kick back with new friends and enjoy.

One of the dishes I really enjoyed was, Campanelle. Campanelle is made with brocoli, rabe, bread crumbs, and fiore sardo. Amazingly good and it had such a fresh veggie taste that made me forget the guilt of eating pasta while attempting to work out.

Another dish I enjoyed was,  Rigatoni. It definitely has a kick of spice to it. Mad up vodka sauce, pancetta, smoked chicken, and cherry peppers.

One of the best part of the night was the meatballs. Now I know I am trasitioning over to vegan, but they were absolutely amazing.  They were super well cook, and definitely well seasoned.

Enjoyed the night with my amazing date, my husband Marques. It was great to be able to get out, enjoy a few drinks and also be able to enjoy the ambiance at Cry Baby Pasta. It’s definitly on my list to bring a few girlfriends along.

 

So I definitely give Cry Baby a thumbs up. No need to cry, make sure you tell a friend and take a friend and enjoy!

Cry Baby Pasta will be open seven days a week, with the bar opening daily at 4:00pm and the dining room opening daily at 5:00pm. Sundays through Thursdays the kitchen will stay open until 10:00pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays look for the kitchen to stay open until Midnight. Potential weekend lunch or brunch service may come down the road. Weekday happy hour will launch later this winter. Look for catering and potential delivery down the road as well. Look for outdoor cafe seating to launch when the nice weather returns. 

For more info check out Cry Baby Pasta

Also you can make a reservation through the Resy app and trust me its super easy and quick and will connect you to Cry Baby Pasta, show up and let them take make your eating experience one you will never forget.

Ask Toi: A man I’ve been dating for months has gone stale in communication, what should I do?

This sounds like he’s ghosting you. Ghosting is when someone you’re dating or dealing with no longer answers calls or text messages and is unavailable.

First of all, understand that some folks avoid difficult conversations. He is definitely not interested or has more on his plate and is unable to or doesn’t want to add you into the equation. There could be a thousand reasons why. It’s not your job to figure him out. Your job is to not take on his lack of communication as means of figuring out your worthiness of being in a relationship that meets your needs.

I can share that I’ve been ghosted in the past. However when I went back and thought about the surrounding signs that I paid no attention to it made sense. I had been ghosted by someone who didn’t have his stuff together. He didn’t have a place of his own. He was almost nomadic or basically going from one spot to another. So I didn’t fit the bill of fostering that situationship and was ghosted. It was cool while it lasted. I spent more time than I should have worrying about what I could have done for someone who wasn’t worthy of the amount of energy I gave. Don’t be Toi in her 20s. Be smarter than I was. Know your worth and add tax. Dating was hard in my 20s and it’s harder now!

This man may never reveal his why. You may have to gather yourself and move along. It’s hard! It sounds easier said than done but it’s definitely necessary. Chalk it up to dating in this world with inconsistent players.

Going forward pay attention to the signs. When something sounds off, acts off, or behaves off, it could very well be off. You would be better off without the headache.

If it’s that he isn’t being as consistent as he once was in terms of communication, Ask. It could be that he does have a legitimate reason. But don’t be fooled into I was bust explanation. Busy people still prioritize their wants.

Good luck!