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!!


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.

Day Off I Conquered You

I love my kids so please don’t take this blog as a compliant because it’s not. They are the absolute best part of me. They are what I hope the future has to offer. They are amazing and really good kids. However when you work full time after years of being a stay at home mom, it’s always a mental check when they have days off. I’m always like looking and keep tapping into my creative bag to make sure I am one step ahead of them.

I enjoyed being off and not having to rush back into the office. That was a major steal. Not having to set that alarm was like having the best and biggest cup of coffee ever. I only wished that my body had gotten the memo that I was off. I was still up as if I had to get ready for work. My son is a super early riser. So that means that at 530 we were eye to eye because he enters my room making sure it’s time to get the day started. I had to convince him that he didn’t have school and a whole lot more convincing that he needed to go back to bed. Most kids like my girls wouldn’t have moved let alone had to be told numerous times to go back to bed.

As my husband got ready I could have taken the youngest to Daycare but she got wind the day before that the older kids didn’t have school and the fight to get her up didn’t make any sense. So I let her stay home. I got up with all this energy and cleaned the house, started laundry, and leaped through my to do list all before 10am. After breakfast we were headed out.

We have season passes to Legoland discovery and its days like today and having those passes that makes me want to break out into a full shout like I was in church!!

There is no way I wanted to let them conquer me today. The only way to run their energy level is to make sure they are out creating. What better way than at Legoland?! Yes for the Mom goals! I was able to keep up with them while being able to not have to pull my hair out. They enjoyed this day which in their mind they thought I was so super cool. So armed with snacks and drinks we made the best of the day. I was able to come home to laundry just about done, leftovers from Thanksgiving, and a clean house. If that ain’t winning I don’t know what is!!

Oh and as far as activities we go more than once a month and I know that we haven’t done all that there is to do. Between the building stations, the movies, and the interactive games, there’s something for both parents and kids. Come prepared to spend no less than 2 hours. You will not be disappointed!

I was even able to get 2 workouts in today!! I pressed myself to go to the gym when in reality I should have been too tired. However I have goals to crush so with that in mind instead of grabbing a glass of wine and disappearing after my husband got home, I just used my last energy to hit the gym!! So as I finish this, it’s time for me to log it off and get some shut eye!!

Thanksgiving 2017: Break a Few Rules

So I really do hope everyone survived Thanksgiving especially for the readers that asked for advice. Not everyone was surrounded by love sometimes they are surrounded by dysfunctional family or friends and getting through may have been the only goal. However you spent it I hope you made the best of it.

I did a bunch of running around even though I had gotten off work early on Wednesday. Once home I started straight into cooking. Growing up my mom always cooked no matter who’s house we were set to visit. One reason is so we could always have our own personal dinner and get together and two so we could have them good left overs the day after. I kind of liked this tradition and I do the same.

So after the preparing and cooking, on Thanksgiving we decided to pull rank and do our own thing. We ate dinner for breakfast. I know a lot of folks do this the day after but we did it on Thanksgiving morning. It was fun, good and we did it while we watched the Macy Day Parade. Talk about a great day?! It was so much relieve from the norm.

After that we put our Christmas tree up, got dressed and headed to the movies. Yes the movies. I’ve heard of folks doing the movies on the holiday but I had never done it and it really came down to why not?! Why couldn’t we have a relaxed day with one another? So we did. We ended up seeing The Star which is about the birth of Jesus. I loved it. The kids were I really interactive with the movie and it made a great time. Also the soundtrack is amazing FYI!! And if you have younger kids like 3, they will be fine. It has enough action to keep them fully engaged. It also allowed my own 3 year old to ask questions afterwards too. It’s not stuffy and as an adult I would see it without the kids.

Oh and for another new thing we decided to have bacon wrapped turkey. I know a lot of folks that don’t eat pork and generally I do turkey bacon but this turkey was nothing short of amazing. You didn’t even need gravy for it!! FYI the below picture is before it was cooked before the holier than thou accuse me of not being able to cook. Don’t come for me today!!

We did go to my uncles house. This is my husband Uncle but he’s my uncle just the same. It’s always a great thing when in laws really become an extension of your own. He hosted dinner as he’s done many times before and it was a great time!!

One of the things my kids enjoyed was not having to wear dressy clothes and sit at the table. Shout out to the parents that had some of the best dressed kids including my nieces. We just opted against it this year! We instead kept it causal and cute!

We sit at the table for every last meal. We decided to have our breakfast dinner together in the living room. Why not?! The meaning of Thanksgiving is to be together and sometimes when you don’t sit at the table all year long you want to make this big production of gathering around the table once a year. Not us we do this year round so we flipped it this year. I saw some amazing spreads and beautiful tables and trust I am the queen of holiday flare but this was our casual comfy Year. I’ll hit it hard for next year….maybe.

I want to openly say how grateful I am for my own little family, extended family, amazing friends, and my followers!!!

Overall we came home and reflected and this year we really were able to combine a little of something for everyone. The kids enjoyed breaking a few rules and relaxing. The parents had great holiday drinks, good food and felt like it was the most relaxed Thanksgiving we have had in a long time. So cheers to making it our own and creating our own traditions along the way. I hope you too had a great day and a great rest of your weekend!! I know I will as I fix another plate!!

Another note if you’re able try to give unto others. I woke up to some amazing stories that I’ve been seeing online about some regulars community members spreading good cheer and love. The holidays is what it’s all about!

When 2018 Comes…

Every year we run the same list. When the New Year comes I’mma do this and that. I’mma give folks what they give me. I’mma lose the weight. I’mma, I’mma …..

You know I’m all for goals. However you can start now. You don’t have to wait to give anyone the same energy they gave you later. That can start right now. What are you waiting on?! For them to continue to do some mean and ignorant stuff, trust they will do that no matter what if that is in them to do.

Whatever your goal is for the New Year, do that now. You are important enough to extend the energy into your own life. Don’t wait to be that more upset, that more motivated, or that more encouraged before you can make a move. You know what I am talking about. You wait until a person does one more thing and then you will feel it’s okay to handle it or them. If you know like I know, that the list of wrongs has been long since Jesus was a baby. You don’t need anger to motivate you into cutting off folks that rightfully deserve it. You just need to remember that you don’t want that same treatment in return. Sometimes you can let it naturally cut off while not doing any extras. If you would simply stop giving folks you’re all when they keep showing you that you’re only an option and not a priority it would naturally end.

They can’t get anything from you or even the things they once got from you, the little value they saw in you they won’t see anymore and will move to the next person that will give them what they want. Don’t ever feel that you are the end of the story. Trust me what you won’t do someone else will. They run that you’re the only one; they have no one else game simply because you allow it to be ran!

You don’t need to be made fun of due to your weight to start later. Start now. Start making changes to your diet now. Thanksgiving isn’t an automatic ear until you get sick move. It’s going to come no matter what. If you start pushing back from the table now you may just have the energy to eat in moderation during the holiday as well. So many people say imma wait until the holidays are over to start. You do realize that you could be working on your goal while going into into the Nee Year instead of just starting at the New Year. Make your goals within the holidays. The holiday doesn’t have to rule you. You are tired of how you look in your own skin is more than enough motivation or will you just be disgusted and settle?! You really want results but you don’t want to work. How is that working for you now?! 2018 is going to be filled with the same drama, the same effort and the same lack if you don’t learn to honor yourself.

So on this Monday don’t wait until tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. Make the steps today. You are in charge how you are handled by the people in your life including how you handle yourself. Keep talking down to yourself telling yourself how unworthy you are and don’t be surprised when others treat you the same. Keep taking negatively and putting failure and pain into the atmosphere but keep looking to receive success where you haven’t sown it. News flash it ain’t coming. You’re going to get out of life the very things you put into it.

Take this moment to get clear your goals and work them now. 2018 isn’t promised to any of us. There’s a lot of folks That left this earth in 2017 with ideas that were never accomplished. Some goals that wasn’t even started. I think failure isn’t when you start but don’t finish it’s not honoring yourself enough to start in the first place.

Ask Toi: Can I monitor his weight as his wife?

No. In my mind when I hear you say monitor especially with everything else you have said in your letter you come off as motherly. Your job is to influence and encourage not to mother. When you use words like he’s too stupid, he’s too childish your role doesn’t need to be wife you are acting as if you’re his mother.

If you wouldn’t allow him to speak to you the way you describe yourself as speaking to him than you are out of line and out of order. If he’s so stupid doesn’t speak on his intelligence that speaks volumes on your character. You sound as if you chose him on the basis of control. There’s a part of him that likes your motherly ways. But all good things come to an end. He’s going to realize that the way you’re treating him is wrong and when he does and has enough strength to leave he will.

Monitoring his weight should be his desire. If you think he’s overweight than be the change you want to see. Do you eat right? Even if you’re small and in shape you still need to make sure their are ample healthy choices for both him and you. If you prepare the food are they healthy? Even beyond that you can’t portion control him he needs to do that. Do you work out and offer to work out with him without judgement and name calling? In the letter you have used far more names to describe the man you chose to marry that are negative and condemning. If you are doing this with me who you don’t know then what are you saying to him or your friends?! If you can’t not seriously answer these question he’s not the one with the weight issue, you are. So what is your real issue? He could lose the weight but you are the one with the issues.

No husband needs another mother. Even if you think his mom did the worst job ever, it’s not your job or place to re-raise him. One thing is people don’t even respect the wife that belittles her husband. They can see you ain’t all that you portray. The women who do that usually have some internal issues that need to be worked out. I would suggest you influence your husband and while you’re doing that be sure you find ways to love your husband, love yourself, and return your husband son so one day he can just be your husband only.

Sunday Message: When the Love doesn’t Match!!

You know you can wear mitch matched socks for awhile until something happens and you get caught. On the very day you were trying to be incognito you trip or fall or something happens that reveals you were out in the streets with them on.

In love you have to match one and the same and I’m talking about more than just romantic relationships. Sometimes it could be the friends that you think are ride or die and in the end you find that you simply got used to poor treatment and what you believed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread could really be just one sided. Life is too short to have relationships, situationship, marriages, friendships, etc that don’t serve both parties. It’s not fair. It’s like being in a sexual relationship with someone where only one is satisfied and the other isn’t. What part of the game is this? How draining and underserved is that?

You realize that more and more people are not allowing the past to dictate their lives or their happiness. Don’t even let the present drain you the same. Having someone in your life that doesn’t add up or make sense is a reflection of you. You can make the excuse of what another person is doing but realize that YOU are just as much in control as the person you want to give power over your happiness. You gave it to them they didn’t take it. They didn’t strong arm you, you willingly let them set up shop and handed them the keys of happiness. As soon as you realize you have the power but don’t go through with what makes you happy, you look like a toddler having a tantrum. Sitting there doing the give it back dance. Take it back. Walk away. Realize you don’t match where you want to be and start taking one step towards it.

How many people are walking around with Mitch match lives. This is why it’s important to align yourself with the right things and people. You look like responsibility but you act like you don’t give a damn. You want to attract great possibilities but you act like negativity is your middle name. It doesn’t match. It’s like when single people have a laundry list of all these great attributes they want in another person but they themselves don’t own none of the same qualities. You don’t match.

Get clear today what you want. Then go through the areas of your life and see who doesn’t belong. You should be getting what you put out if not you’re not matched and need to separate and go your way. It will hurt. To tell you it won’t would be a lie. However as you shed if you’re open the right ones will come into your life. So yes Mitch match anything can serve you in a pitch like when days when laundry isn’t done but you know like anyone you eventually need to do the laundry and have the right garments on to look better than you did when you had the wrong items in your possession.