What to do in Your Weekends to Prepare For Your Upcoming Week?

Weekends if you work a Monday-Friday type of job should be used to get your mind right, spend time with family and friends and have a break from the mundane.  If you are an entrepreneur you know there is no such thing as a day off, work is all the time.  If you are in the nursing field or are the type that has to be in public office such police, fire etc then time off is a blessing.  Regardless when its time to break, break! Overworking even if it’s for yourself is crazy.  None of that money you will take with you.  So learn to balance your life so you can make a little living and be here to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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What you should be doing is simple:

  1. Relaxing-yes this is not a curse word.  Relaxing.  I used to try to jam pack so much into the weekend and slowly I am learning that less is best.  I don’t need each second filled with something to do.  I do need to find activities that everyone needs in my house but more specifically I selfishly need to make sure I am good to.
  2. Rest-I have 3 kids  and a pretty busy schedule and used to feel super guilty about taking a nap or going to bed early or resting.  This is human nature and a right. Take it.  Do not feel guilty.  Crawl in that bed, put your feed up, get your rest and get some sleep.  Successful people know how to turn it up and they know when to turn it down.
  3. Renew your mind-you see the pattern. It starts with choices and you must make a choice to renew. Some people go to church or other spiritual filling exercise.  Some do yoga.  Whatever you choose and there are plenty of choices do it and do it regularly.
  4. Plan and work their plan. Sometime I sit and look at the week before and find out how I could have done things differently.  It could be something as simple as making snacks bags the day before whatever it is find it, do it.  Any time saved is enough to shave off stress throughout the week.  This is why my crock pot is sacred.  Shout out to my husband who got me 2.  I ain’t hardly mad. I will turn them both on and that’s at least 2-4 days worth of food per crock pot meal.
  5. Have some fun.  I mean my goodness let your hair down a little. Grab you some adult juice or a mocktail.  Go find a party and dance or create a party right at home.  Do you know how many times a dance party for me and the kids has been a workout and fun?  Plenty.  Lighten up.
  6. Go on an outing. Please do not tell me about how broke you are.  Broke is a mindset.  Yes your account could have cobwebs but be inventive.  Do you know how strong my Google fingers are?  Hella strong.  The amount of free I have found could hurt someone’s feelings. Get out. Go to the park and get some fresh air.  The winter is tricky times but can find something to do.  Even doing some walking around at the malls on a rainy day is fun. FYI, the malls and movie theatres are the most busy during these times.
  7. Create.  I find that I use my Pintrest the most on the weekends or sometimes during the end of the week to find activities that are super fun, cheap, and did I say fun?  Yes there are somethings for everyone.  You could have a movie in night where you invite another family. Make it fun by creating cute little movie themed snacks, and it can be simple and rewarding.

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Whatever you plan to do this weekend-actually do.  I hate going into work and people talk about how boring their weekend was.  I am thinking to myself, they themselves may just be boring people.  Life is about living. Get out and find out what life has to offer. There are a thousand events to go to, things to do, places to be. Whatever it is get out there and find them!

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Martin Luther King Jr. would be Disappointed

So today is MLK day. The day we remember the teachings and words that Dr. King’s legacy was supposed to enlighten us to do. Dr. King faced adversity and his message was clear that we change how we interact with others for the chance for us all to live a life of equality.

On paper it’s the best message that we ever could have. The problem with Dr. King’s message is that it with all of its national and worldwide playback the message can only go so far if we don’t just recite them on today. There will be people who recite it just for the moment but don’t apply his words and how he lived each and every day to their every day life.

Another issue that we have to talk about is racism. The ability to hate and show hate to a group of people who do not look like, nor do they align with your personal measurement of acceptance based on race. So yes even those who state they have a black friend how can they be racist, yes you too can be racist. Having acceptable Blacks but hating the other Blacks isn’t about preference. This is hatred and this is racism. That acceptable black person you have welcomed into your fold still has to deal with the same overt racist actions that others like them have to face. Black folks don’t get to claim they have an acceptable white friend and dodge racist reactions.

Dr. King didn’t want us to have the Travon Martins of our time. He simply wanted any child and adult to be judged on character and not color of skin first while their character was used to later justify the hate. He didn’t want our young black men or women to be assaulted before they could even be determined to have been a criminal first or not. You do realize no one has made signs that our black men or women can carry that identifies whether or not they are good or bad when approached by cops.

I think about my own son. He’s 6 years old and is taller than most kids his age. Hopefully he will make good choices, but even if he does the way the world is set, what makes him so different that he won’t face racism?! I was called a Nigger by a child in elementary school and was told that I wouldn’t be anything even though I had maintained a 4.0 from practically 2nd grade.

Dr. King’s message of acceptance and equality is necessary. We need to hear it and live it. We have come far but the way history shows itself it’s definitely repeating. That makes me scared. My great grandmother before she passed away was able to live to see a Black president. That is hope and dope at the same time. (Dope means awesome FYI!) However we need more hope in order to raise our kids and the kids that come behind them to do more then repeat Dr. King’s speech. We need the Dream to be our reality and we need it now. The increase in race based deaths and hate speech is no longer secluded events. They are no longer happening to a select few. It’s common place. As much as we don’t watch the news with our kids to control a little bit of what they take in, they still are getting the negative messages. We as parents are still having to have more adult conversation due to questions surrounding inequality.

If you’re reading this blog today, make a declaration to do better. Please treat yourself and others around you with dignity and respect. Respect the differences of those around you and embrace people’s uniqueness. Spread love but make each other respect one another. This is a unified message. If not the very pain that our ancestors was killed for and shed blood for will continue to spill today.

Dr. King didn’t just give you a day off. His message was greater then just an awesome African American lesson. This lesson is and should be the very spirit of our own lives. We are connected regardless of how much we want to fight it! Don’t let Dr. King be disappointed that he may if he was here think his fight was in vain. Don’t let his good work be taken advantage of. The times his wife and kids didn’t know if he would return home, or the times all of their lives was questioned for nothing! We are the Dr. Kings of our time! Let’s do our best to spread love! Lets also continue to call those out who spread hate. Why? The ones who hate but are undercover are more dangerous then the evil you know, acknowledge and are prepared for.

So do community service today and everyday. Get out and learn about others history. Get out and extend your services without discrimination to all regardless of race, sexual preference, etc.

Don’t snub your nose at people because you had one bad experience with one person. Allow a sea of different people into your neighborhood without them fearing retaliation on the back end. Let your children play with one another without fear. For those in high power jobs and responsibilities, do your job without these prejudices making your judgement a top priority over your oath of office.

Let’s remember Dr. King everyday!

How many days for Your Yes?

So I wanted to get this blog all ready for motivational Monday but life is funny. Between the kids being out of school for all but one day last week, they ended up with a half a day yesterday. This left me time to get to work to get some crucial items accomplished and then back home in preparation for the icy conditions that was on the way. Now I’ve been sick lately with some type of cold or mini flu like symptoms. Depending on how severe the symptoms it can be a cross better that and SARS.

Yes I work with medical professionals and I am aware I don’t really have SARS but I call any coughing, sneezing etc SARS.

I was reflecting and looking back on my 2017 fitness planner. I have several planners I’m sort of a planner junkie. In my planner I kept track of all the days I worked out and which ones I didn’t. The ones I didn’t thankfully didn’t outweigh the ones I did but any fitness goal that wasn’t completed could be found in my no workout days. I’m not talking about the rest day. I’m talking about the days I set out to workout and didn’t. It could be I was too tired, the kids, whatever but they were days I didn’t honor my own dedication. Those are the days where I didn’t put me first. Those were the days where I have no excuses!

How many of those days do you have? You can say I’m just too tired but let’s keep it 100, you didn’t go to bed on those supposed tired days. You were up watching television or scrolling on your phone or device. It wasn’t the kids because eventually they went to sleep. It wasn’t sickness because even in sickness unless you’re in the bed for real you’re doing things that are contrary to your condition. So why so many no days? Is it laziness? Is it that your goal is in the back of your mind but not in the front? When it’s in the front you’re always actively doing something that contributes to that goal? If you were getting married in 6 months you would be daily, weekly, and monthly about your business. You wouldn’t just sit and then wedding day wake up crying about what’s not done knowing you put no energy to getting it done.

What about finding a new job? Looking for a new job is a full time event. How much are you really working towards that goal? How about travel? How much have you saved? Are you searching flights? Set alarms for flights? Researching how much it will cost once you reach your destination? Letting go frivolous spending to offset your cost? What about finances? Are you pulling or subscribing to getting your scores monthly? Are you paying bills off accordingly! Are you leaving your credit card at home and only using it for emergencies? Are you saving towards an emergency fund?

Each question asked is about you. You set the tone in how your body responds to you. If you have diabetes you can’t eat and drink what you want and then wonder why you can’t get off of insulin. You set the tone for health complications. You set the tone for a rise or decline in your credit score. You set the tone in how others treat you. Change the tone. Even if you have fall off days if you set the tone it won’t outweigh the on point days!

How much is your goal worth? Will you be happy or disappointed in each month or quarter of this year? Some may still be walking in the disappointment of last years failed goals! Shake that off and make daily choices to step into the right goals!

It’s true you have the same 24 hours as the next person. What you do with them sets you apart!!

How I Started My New Year

So we have officially made it into 2018!! That in itself is a blessing! There are so many that didn’t see it! With that gratitude in mind is how I started the New Year!

Yes I had a lot of family time! I cook every year, and we have our traditional New Year kid friendly gathering but more importantly I was just ready for a reset. Do I have resolutions? Yes and no. I’m continuing with my fitness journey, I plan to travel but I have my action plan set. So with all of the things I want to do I actively researched what I will need to do to get there or accomplish the goal. How much will it cost? What will I do once I get to where I want? How much time will I need? What can I do daily to get there?

For instance even though I’ve been doing well with working out I haven’t been doing well with meal prepping like I did in the beginning. So although I’ve maintained I haven’t always been eating the right things. I’ve been doing more working harder to compensate the bad food. This is not a good thing because the weekly weigh-ins have had more ups and down then normal. So I’ve got my action plan ready, bought new containers for my food and went to Produce Junction to get my fresh veggies, fruit, and herbs. So I finally got my personal meals prepped in addition to my family’s meals. In the past I would eat less of the things I made for them. They do not subscribe to my fresh veggie plan so as you can imagine although healthier it wasn’t as healthy as I should have been eating.

I did do a workout but it was more because it was a Monday and my normal workouts are on a Monday anyway. My kids who joined me had a lot of fun and I got in my hour with no problem! It was definitely necessary!!

I also took the longest bath ever!! Equipped with my bath bomb, candles, music, and wine glass it was the most refreshing bath time in a long time. It was everything and more. I had all intentions of reading a good book afterwards but by the time I finished my wine, and got on my pajamas I soon read the back of my eyelids. It was super good!!

I have bought more equipment for the colder months. As it gets colder it’s hard to motivate yourself. I bought new resistance bands and I’m sort of obsessed with them. I also got a new mat and training gloves which I actually already needed! Along with my kettlebell I should be good to go. I think that’s why having the gym at my job is easy! I’m already at work and can spare a few second walk to the gym!

My husband and I got some rest and watched some good television. And you know of parents who had a preschooler and two school aged kids, our home for the most part is super rated G! It felt good to watch a little adult television!

All in all my start wasn’t fueled by trying to push myself into a traditional mindset. It was about relaxing and doing what we do with a clearer mindset for action. My travel plans are just about set so I can’t wait to be able to talk about it. I got a lot of short term and long term goals and with action and planning this will be an awesome year!!

I hope you’re start was a good one and if you already feel a sense of pressure tone it down a bit. You don’t have to complete a year’s worth of goals in a days. You just have to do one thing per day to get you to your goals! Happy New Year again make your year what you want it to be!!

Christmas with Elmo at Sesame Place

The holidays brings on so many options in how families and friends choose to celebrate. This is the first year that we have been able to take our kids to a winter outside celebration of any sort that wasn’t indoors. The reason is that two of my children have asthma and in the winter we spend more time in and out of the hospital. The last two years we have been able to things and have a bit more fun.

This year since I am a member of Mocha Moms Philadelphia chapter we decided attend the Christmas with Elmo. It was a great gathering for the moms and their families. Being I am the biggest kid this was a no brainer!! I’ve been looking forward to this since they announced it!

We met at the Elmo’s musical which was a Christmas musical. I love Elmo but it’s like can you not?! Every kid has seen Elmo in some form since birth. Every year we used to get one of the Elmo dancing toys. Luckily our oldest are getting older and my youngest isn’t as into Elmo at this point. However when his voice start going, kids and adults alike can’t help but be happy!!

During the show one of my favorites Grover came out and I almost lost my mind. If I didn’t have kids I would still be at these type of shows. I love kid activities sometimes more than adult only ones. Well when I saw Grover it was a thing for me, I was louder than my own kids!! Screaming and waving!! Love you Grover!!

The show itself was super cute with Elmo asking the audience to find out what the holidays were about which weren’t about presents but being with friends and family!

All of us went to Cookie Monsters Cafe. Shout out to one of the moms who has season passes so we were able to use that 30% discount. It’s not cheap at these type of places. Although we got in for discount you could easily spend more money in food then you do in getting in and for a family of 5 my husband and I only heard dollars signs!! Yes dollars signs makes sound when you have to spend them. Trust me when you have a wife like me that wants to do everything and kids who want to do the same, my couponing all year long pays off!!

Then it was the time we all were waiting on and that’s the parade! You see all of the characters dancing and singing! Some of them coming into the crowd! I’m always aware of holes in crowds. These holes are the best place to catch a glimpse of everyone’s favorites! My son lost it cause the characters came and shook his hand.

Overall the experience and fun was well worth it cold and all. I would suggest that if you are attending any outside event to dress accordingly! We had layers, hand warmers, and practical shoes. I had to remind my 8 year old that we need to be warm not cute. I hope our family attends this and makes it a yearly event. I’m grateful for healthy kids that were able to attend. I don’t take their health for granted!!

Christmas with Elmo is a solid good time and the fact that it snowed the day before added another level of holidays that were nothing but magical!

My Snapchat is booming with fun!!

Oh with all the walking, two out of the 3 kids were knocked out cold! For a Mom moment that is a win!!

Sunday Message: Adults First

So all over the news lately are children taking their lines because they are being bullied. What is a child doing with this much pressure and disappointment in people that they feel the need to take their life? This saddens me however we talk so much about what to tell kids to do we forget one aspect and that is the adults play a huge part.

Now it’s not my place to judge the parents of those kids who took their life but I can encourage parents and adults now to do better. We show kids how to hate and then expect a different response. Let me use myself as an example. There are a handful of folks I don’t care for. I try my best not to speak ill of them but in addition I just don’t be bothered with folks. I know that out of sight will never take away anything that transpired but self preservation is healthy. We can’t tell kids to not engage when all we do is engage and go back and forth, argue and for what? After all of the back and forth you accomplish nothing.

They see you as a parent pop off so how can you tell them not to. I am a pop off type of person when warranted so because of that I tend to walk away. I can take a lot of digs but after awhile if I don’t walk away I would be 200% in and it’s bound to go left. I recognize in my kids that they have pieces of that. It’s my job through action to show them how to interact. I was in a store one time and this woman cut me off in line because “she was running late.” With my kids there I spoke up and of course she took it to the next level. Flames fuming in my eyes and mind I said what I needed to say and let that woman have the spot. I would have been justified if I had dug in her behind but it wouldn’t be easy to show my kids.

My kids and I had a long conversation. It wasn’t worth my kids getting scared or to be in that environment even though my mouth can be a professional roaster. Anyone who I have ever gone back and forth are usually taken back that I can hang with the best of them. I do not play. It’s important to understand that there are times to speak up, time to walk away, and a time to seek help.

If you want kids to mirror good behavior you have to mirror it with each other. You can’t always be the pull your hair in a ponytail, grab sneakers out the car parent all the time. You actually may have to find ways to end conflict instead of taking jabs to prove you aren’t a punk. When the time comes to take it to whatever level, be prepared to do all you can.

Also be careful with your internet handlings. Sometimes we tear folks down online and what have you accomplished. I’ve had one bad interaction with a family member that was a Godsend. It helped me in how I deal with everyone online. I refuse to go back and forth if the argument isn’t paying my bills, adding to my financial portfolio, or making me a better mother or wife. I refuse to engage in online banter and hand the time that’s all it ends in, banter. You haven’t changed someone’s mind, changed their life by speaking your mind. You and I both need all the mind we have and there is none to give. So save the online drama it’s fruitless. My online rule whether it be a stranger, family, or friends is that kids are ALWAYS off limits. You can speak bodily about not liking me I have thick skin but kids will today and forever remain off limits.

We need to speak more to our kids and respect them enough to ask what is going on. We got to do more listening then hearing. Just because you can repeat what your child said but didn’t hear what they said needs to be the goal. Be an active listener. When my kids say something happened, listen and then follow up. Some of these kids and what they do behind teacher and principals back can be damaging. My son told me of a situation and was so super detailed. I showed up spoke up and nothing happened. Then I walked up on the very thing that my son said and sure enough it was exactly how he described.

It wasn’t anything the teacher could say. I secured my son in the car which was semi in front of where the teacher and I was and let her know non politely how wrong she was. She was all the way wrong and it was at that moment where I learned that I too had to listen to my kids. I made sure that I went above and beyond to be in my child’s corner even more. He saw me there for him, he could trust that I was in his corner, the teacher knew I knew and from that moment I started documenting events. I still even though he’s not there have my notes and do I plan on using them? Most likely. Teachers and principals and administrators have a duty to protect. I know back in the say kids could say and do and it wasn’t nothing major but this ain’t the same day. You can’t have a closed mind with bullying and you have to be proactive. Lawsuits are real but more importantly kids are taking their lives and so the intolerance can’t and won’t continue. Any school or administrator I’ve worked with, that has a piss poor attitude regarding bullying, I’ve marked. I wouldn’t go on an active campaign against them but if asked I’ll forever give an honest recommendation.

We adults have to be there for these kids. I get so tired of older adults giving excuses of it “happened to me these kids will be okay,” “boys will be boys,” “they are alright,” or “they need to learn on their own” when it comes to bad behavior. If the climate for bad behavior will change it starts with the adults first. We must say the old way wasn’t benefiting and we must do what we can to change it. Do what you need to do to mirror good behavior. If your child is the aggressor acknowledge that too and actively work on it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t protect their bad behavior-deal with it!

We adults are all in total fault for how our own kids treat others kids. You can try that I didn’t teach them that but if you’re honest you know you do in how you talk, and interact with those around you. Kids do what you do not what you say not do!!!! Let’s step it up! Let’s make sure each classroom is a safe space. Let’s go into the classroom as parents and sit kids down and work out issues. Let’s work as a team.

Take it to the South…..

One of the best things I love about the holidays is getting together with family and friends. Nothing says holiday time then good food, great drinks, friends to laugh and shed a few tears with and today I was able to get my dose.

So when you live in a city like Philadelphia there are so many restaurants and events that’s it can be hard to keep up. I was wonderfully delighted to go to South Kitchen and Jazz Parlor. Now I had my kids with me for a few seconds waiting on their Dad, but as soon as we walked in the kids said ohhhhhh mommy I love this place. It had everything that I like, low beautiful lights, welcoming staff and visually stunning. My kids went with their dad and I was able to join the rest of the ladies.

Now let me say the drinks were so good. I love a great holiday drink. South Kitchen definitely made sure to make the drinks strong and hey for the price it should be. Some restaurants do try to water down drinks I can say not South Kitchen. From sip one I felt like I was going to have to slow walk this. Now I am an avid drinker so a strong drink usually isn’t intimidating but this one….

Some of the ladies ordered some wonderfully looking appetizers and from their empty plates I believe it was good. We got down to it and ordered our entrees. I ordered the oxtails with hopping Johns aka black eyed peas and collard greens. Now let me confess I’ve never eaten oxtails before but definitely wanted to give it a try. From the first bite, it was nothing less than amazing. I felt this was better than anything I have ever had. I am a little foodie and I swear it took everything not to order another to take home. The portion sizes were more than enough. Like I get why Uber Eats haven’t started delivering but I’m already working my brain on when I can get back there.

Now to my favorite part, the jazz! They had Roxy Coss a New York based saxophonist and composer. Her band was amazing. I’ve grown up with the influence of jazz my whole life and let me say my parents would have been in real musical heaven. One of the pieces, “Unwavering Optimism”, was inspired by Roxy’s Grandma who lived her life everyday as it was her best day ever. Think about that, although her grandma had passed the lesson of taking each day as your best was reached to each and every audience member. Life lessons can come in many forms! I downloaded her album Chasing the Unicorn before the end of the first song. It is that good!! You can get it on iTunes or anywhere you get digital music!

So we had such a great time filled with laughs, a few tears, and some amazing food but most importantly a great time. Although I wanted to say no I did have the apple pear cobbler with ice-cream. Lawd I was willing to have a set back on my fitness but luckily I didn’t have to. All of the ladies helped me partake!

So let me tell you my take from this experience, one friendship. It’s been a long road to establish myself here in Philadelphia. I’ve blogged about it often but I feel like I’m finally settling in after almost 6 years. Yeah I take a minute to warm up but the truth is I’ve been pregnant since forever since I moved here. It was a challenge for me to open up and be a consistent friend to others.

Another take is when I look back on how I was a few years ago with anxiety getting out and pushing myself has been helpful. I’m finally enjoying myself. College was so amazing and not having anxiety was a blessing. Gaining social anxiety afterwards was heartbreaking. Learning myself over again and trusting the process has shaped me to be able to not say no to invites. I would want to go but as the event got closer I would clam up and say no. Every lady brought in good vibes. Every lady, was warm and welcoming. Good times were had by all!

One of the ladies I’ll call her MJ since that name is one of my favorites since it’s what we call my son and that’s her initials surprised each lady with a gift bag. I love trinkets and this bag was so sweet! Thanks MJ!!!

All in all it was a great evening! So if you’re ever in Philadelphia area venture into South Kitchen Jazz Parlor. When I say you will be most pleased I mean it!! Come with your coins though. It ain’t cheap. It isn’t somewhere you would want to take the kids unless it’s a special occasion but it is worth the price for quality food, quality time, and a real great experience.