Women History Month: Deja E.

This year we are talking about failure.  Why? We all experience it but rarely talk about it. Yet failure is the one catalyst that often brings success. It doesn’t mean that you HAVE to fail to succeed but in life if you think you won’t ever fail towards success you have a lot of life to reach it. I remember being in freshman year and failing a math test and how devastated. I was used to getting all A’s. I needed that fall from grace to help me not take college life for granted and get focused. I ended have to really work my butt off but I still graduated and that failure wasn’t on my record because I had to retake the class and get it right.  Now fast forward to stubbornness.  That in itself can be a lesson. Women have all had at least one or more failures in life. If you’re like me you have way more than you can ever count.  However if we are to carve a slice of life in this world and continue to make history in this world, failure is a by-product.

Failure to listen to your body will either make you sicker or take time off of your life. Deja learned how not taking head to the doctors and your body will put a pause in your life that you can avoid.

What is one failure you are comfortable sharing that taught you the most lessons?

Procrastinating on my temporal lobectomy. In 2006, I began having uncontrollable seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. After seeing numerous specialists, it was recommended that I have my temporal lobe removed. I was scared and prayed for other solutions. As my quality of life deteriorated, I began to realize that pushing the surgery off was worse than undergoing surgery. In 2014, I did it! And my seizures ended.

I can’t imagine fully what it was like going through seizures. I also can’t imagine being told to have such an intensive surgery either. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the very thing that you need. If it hadn’t been for that surgery who knows what your quality of life would have been.  Yes procrastination is a failure because in that you fail to make a move it usually has a domino effect.

From that or any failure, what other lesson have you learned?

YOLO… you only live once
Dont risk losing time out of stubbornness

YOLO or you only live once means just like it sounds. Living requires stepping out of your comfort zone to carve the life you really want to live.  It doesn’t mean you can yell YOLO and life is perfect. Far from it.  However if you learn to apply that mentality you stop worrying about taking a chance on things especially yourself.

What are is the 3 things you would want to tell other younger woman in regards to lessons learned?

Trust your intuition… it doesn’t lie
Dont compare- this is your life, live it how u want to, not based on someone else’s
Take care of yourself- life can change in a blink of an eye, make sure you are on your A-Game

If you could sit down with any woman past or present who would it be and why?

Maya Angelou
Her wisdom and eloquence would have me mesmerized! She went through so many ups and downs in her lifetime, I would love to hear her story up close and personal. What an inspiration!

I would have to agree, Maya Angelou defied what life threw her way, made mistakes and then taught us all how to rise above anything. Deja you are a Maya Angelou in your own right!

IF you have any projects  that are coming up in the future what are they?

Everyday is a project
My 2019 ‘project’ is to lay a new brick everyday. Take that extra step, step outside comfort zones, and reach higher
That in itself is a project

She is being truly modest. Deja is a beast everyday eating better and working out being her best version.  She is definitely an inspiration.  When you get that second chance at life and I know all about that, take it. Live each day like you want that day to reflect your true essence.

What is the one thing as a woman that has helped or helps you make your mark in this world?

Strength!!! So often, women are perceived as weak or incompetent. Being able to prove the naysayers wrong is empowering

Thank you Deja. You are an inspiration. Don’t take your health for granted. Get your check ups.  Its important. Health is wealth.  Without being healthy you can’t do much else. Who would want to live like that? Certainly not me and you don’t want to either. I know sometimes we think that because we are afraid of what we will find that its better to not know. What you don’t know will kill you.  What you know and fail to take care of will kill you too. Take care of you. Women fail everyday but one thing is we don’t have the time to stay there. Get up, brush yourself up, and succeed.

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Monday Motivation: Starting Fresh

It’s a new month and with that it’s time to start fresh. I believe in resetting or resifting the mindset as often as possible. It’s necessary to completing goals.

So now that we are in the last month of the 1st quarter of the year, being realistic about your goals and figuring out which ones need to be tweaked is important. Also realizing that not all of your goals have to be crushed right away. If your goal was a better credit score, it’s going to take time to fix it. Keep your goals aligned so that the very goal doesn’t stress you while you complete them.

Keep in mind too this is not about not actively working towards your goal and then shifting them to the end of next year either. Acknowledge when you’re just not as motivated and do something about it. Every day I look at my vision board and find something to do in each category that will help me complete that goal. Everyday! Small tasks add up quickly. Being a proactive participant in your life separates those who just hope alone and those who work towards goals. Nothing will simply fall into your life.

You have to be determined to work hard. You have to be determined to make mistakes but quickly get up. The longer you sit in self-pity the longer it takes you to crush your goal. Your energy could be spent on important factors in place of wallowing in defeat. It takes minutes, days, months, and years off of your time!!

Start today with a new reassurance inside of you to finish what you started. To push out defeat. To make life happen even in the midst of a setback. Setbacks happen to all of us. How you push past it is what defines you! Start fresh today but crush your goals!

Bob: A Life in Five Acts

I had the opportunity to attend Bob: A Life in Five Acts on Saturday and it was a phenomenal comedic play. Bob is wondering various parts of America trying to be a “Great Man” he encounters many relationships that ultimately brings him to discovering he’s never alone. This play is written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Michael Osinski.

This comedic play is definitely worth going out to see. One it’s incredibly funny mixing a lot of pop art, music, dance, etc. to the stage. Bob who starts his life literally in a White Castle bathroom is born into a traumatic hardship. We see that just like in real life, hardships don’t have to define us and along the way he learns a lot about what it means to thrive, what’s important, and how separation can create hope.

A word to the wise because it is comedic I would come in with an open mind. This is not the play to bring a child as there are scenes that may not be suitable for a young audience. The play is interactive meaning I found myself openly reacting with the characters. I found myself thinking about what life was like if I felt abandoned and how would I respond. Would I be able to be positive in a negative world? Isn’t that our fight daily? We have to take the good with the bad and know that even when we have hit rock bottom, we are still connected.

How the tables turn and the paths cross for Bob during his journey was illustrated colorfully. I enjoyed watching Bob interact during the various stages he made until adulthood. How his life was somber as a child although he had to deal with events most kids today don’t readily have to deal with.

During stage plays it’s always amazing to watch not just for meaning but how interactive the characters seem to be with one another. The best productions come from the closest cast members. This was no different. Even after the play during the reception, you can see that not only had they come together simply to put Bob on, they were definitely a family. Shout out to the play for having one of most diverse cast I’ve seen in quite some time.

Here’s how you can come and not just watch, but be apart of the production:

Bob: A Life in Five Acts will be showing until March 27, 2019. All shows are pay what you decide. This means you pay after the show according to what you feel, can afford or feel led. I would encourage you to attend and definitely donate and give. It makes for a great date night to do something different and get out in Philly. It also makes for a great group trip as well.

It’s performance is at the Proscenium Theatre, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia PA

You can reserve your tickets Here

Please arrive early as you will not be able to be let in during the performance and the production is about 130 minutes with one 10 minute intermission. There are drinks available for purchase before the show and during intermission.

Cast:

Paul Harrold as Bob

Dan D’Albis as Chorus

Frank Jimenez as Chorus

Claris Park as Chorus

Sabriaya Shipley as Chorus

Special thanks to the amazing cast and production members, Azuka Theatre, Kevin Glaccum, producing artistic Director, Harmelin Media, production sponsor, Two Roads Brewing company for sponsoring the reception drinks, and all the donors both foundation, corporate and individuals!

Weekly Update: Friday March 1, 2019

Blog Life

So it’s been pretty busy for ToiTime. If you missed let me recap this week for you. TCP help an event, Spread Love. It was a community outreach to service those who don’t have. It was an amazing event and I am proud to be apart of the TCP family, “we working over here.” Special thank you again to the Mayor of Lancaster, Danene Sorace and her team and family for their continued support. That was Saturday in Lancaster, PA; my hometown. Fast forward to Saturday and back in Philadelphia, I attended Variety’s Children’s Charity, “Let them eat cake under the stars.” All of the cake and drinks and helping children and their families who have disabilities so they can get the assistance to live independent lives. Have you seen my pictures of the cakes on my Instagram? Check it out. Monday along with my fellow blogging friends, PhillyFoodGal, LittleTeacherBigAppetite and PhillyDineout went to Bronze Table and Philly Scoop Deville. The food was super amazing. So as you can see its been a great but fulfilling week in every way.

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Saturday I will be attending Azuka’s Bob: a life in five acts, a play by playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Michael Osinski.  Blog will follow Sunday morning so be on the look out for that!

Fit Life

I am going hard in my workouts. By the way did you catch my blog on how I was questioned on my weight while at the event in Lancaster this weekend. I have blogged the highs and lows of losing weight and keeping it off. I finally at the best shape of my life and apparently being healthy and being a size 8, I am still fat if you compare it to what folks remember me from a kid. It happens. I got bummed out but I will never let another person’s opinion to stop me from achieving these goals. I got 2 races coming up. One in April, Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k and the Broad street Run which is a 10 mile, I got work to do. I can’t and won’t let a distraction stop me!

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Shout out to Philly Scoop Deville for this vegan vanilla ice-cream with peaches, strawberries and Golden Grahams-my own concoction

My new schedule is 4 workout days including weights, eat clean as I can, and do my practice runs on Saturday and Sunday. Thankful for a crew of women behind me who we keep ourselves accountable and we know there is strength in numbers. From video check ins during the week to runs together on the weekend, we going to take Broad Street Run and all of the other runs by storm. Send good running vibes as I prepare to make sure I have what I need for both races!

Kid Life

My youngest is registered for Kindergarten.  Oh time please stop. No more babies is real but scary. People told me when you have kids that the time speeds up and they weren’t lying.  I am proud of all 3 of my children to be honest.  The older two have some amazing grades. I can’t complain, I am blessed!  Also my oldest has a Girl Scout event this upcoming week.  She is singing and I can’t wait to show her my support. We are the ultimate Uber parents as I like to call us. We are the soccer parents, Girl Scouts parents and soon to be karate parents. We are their number one fans!

Personal Life

I am really trying to get my mindset together for everything I am doing. I am conscious of the way I deal with others around me. It takes more work because  it’s not as natural for me to take the time to stop and respond. I can be more reactive type. I think what I notice is that others aren’t really sure how to respond to the fact that I am just being still and cautious. I know that end of day its helpful for me to take accountability for how I react and that is my goal.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I plan to.  Have a great one and remember to find something that renews you!

Words Do Matter; You Matter More

So while at an event in my hometown I had someone say something to me about my weight. Now you all know I had documented my journey and that when I was over 200 pounds very little had comments about my weight and at that time I was way over where I needed to be. It was devastating. Now I am at weight goal and tightening up and I am still getting comments about my weight.  I was taken back if I am honest. I talked to my husband and he was like “keep it in perspective some folks aint seen you since you were a kid. You’re a grown ass woman with an amazing body and 3 kids, stay the course!”  Can we just clone him?  He made me feel like the beautiful woman who I am.

This is the conclusion I have come to. A lot of folks will only see you at what they last remember. I went to college a size 0 and came back a size 4 that was an issue. Had a baby and was a size 6 and now I am holding at a size 8 and sometimes 10 depending on how the pants are cut. Issue.

I am not here to worry about what other people’s eyes see me as. I am perfect at the size that I am. I am not in competition to be at high school weight. I was unhealthy to be honest. I ate what I wanted, rarely went to the doctors and the only saving grace was a high metabolism and sports. Skinny isn’t always healthy.  I know folks smaller than me with high blood pressure and a whole gambit of health complications.

What I know is from head to toe I am finally in the best shape of my life and I can run and do 6 or more races a year. I can keep and outrun my kids and run up and down a flight of steps without losing my breath. I eat as well as I can and work out 2-3 usually more a week. I am fine!  I am enough!

There is a woman who is struggling right now with a lot of whispers and you may not be as confident as I feel or feel like you’re not. You are just enough. You are enough even in the state that you are. Its one of the things I felt I needed to say. I need to release it. I had a family member say oh you sure are hippy meaning curvy. I am supposed to be. Newsflash, I have regular amazing sex and I have 3 kids. They didn’t know when I had the athletic build in high school I used to want to have a curve. Now I have them and they are here to stay. I looked like a boy body shape and folks would either like it or have an issue.  So to the curves and the butt that I now have, please stay. We are going to tone up these next couple of months but we ain’t dropping you!

Do not let anything stop you from being your best version of you.  Trust me you can change your body, but be the best version of yourself inner and outer and trust me you will always shine in darkness.

What if you aren’t at the place you need to be and someone does make a negative but true comment?  Remember when the lady asked me how far along I was and if I was having a boy? Devastating. I cried. I was hurt. I made up in my mind that I wouldn’t allow myself to get to that point.  To prevent that I only keep my size clothes in my drawers. I don’t wear baggy clothes. They actually let you look bigger FYI.  Wearing form figuring clothes helps hold you accountable. I didn’t say tight, I said form-fitting or figure flattering clothes. The other day I found a size 14 pant in my closet, tried it on and it was drowning on me. I gave them away.  I keep myself accountable by weighing myself weekly just like I did when I was going to Weight Watchers meeting. It’s important for me to stay the course. So when that comment was made through the help of my husband and getting on the scale to see what was going on, I was fine. I knew it was a comparison of what they remember me from my past. I am still at goal weight. I am in training season for these runs. I can’t let words distract me. If I do I might not be able to get through my vigorous races ahead.  I got to keep running forward.

One of my favorite songs by Kirk Franklin, Imagine Me:

Imagine Me

When Great Hospitality Meets Great Food: Bronze Table and Scoop Deville

I’m still full from the amazing food I had yesterday. I took a little food tour at the Bronze Table and Scoop Deville. There are a few factors when going out to eat that I look for and those are quality, quantity, customer service and practicality. Both restaurants exceeded both.

Bronze Table

Bronze Table is located inside the Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall here in Philly. They are a fresh pasta based restaurant that make their food from scratch. So this means they are like a fresher appeal to fast food. That’s a great plus as we all need to eat quickly but healthy. All of their sauces and pasta are made to order. There is nothing flash frozen for quick consumption. And taste? I love pasta but even with cutting down on it, I can’t deny it’s goodness. From first bite to my last, it was amazing.

The portion sizes are more than enough. Did I mention most pasta is around $10. For a mom of 3 who is trying to save her coins, you can’t beat that price and quality. You taste the difference from other pasta chains to Bronze Table. They have daily specials as well as standing staples. This is your must try stop. For those who don’t want pasta they also serve salads and sandwiches.

Pictured here: Sunday Rigatoni aka Sunday gravy, gnocchi vodka, cheese steak rigatoni, gemelli with pesto burrata, wild mushroom butter Parmesan ravioli and cheesy garlic bread

All of the food was good but my favorites were the cheese steak rigatoni and the gemelli with pesto burrata. Let’s talk about customer service: A1. They explained everything and everyone was gracious to us. Also if you like their pasta or sauces they are available to purchase so you can go home and make the options yourself.

As if the pasta wasn’t enough I headed over to Scoop Deville. Scoop Deville is located inside of the Bourse as well as they have a location in Midtown Village on Walnut Street. You can call ahead, order online and pick up or have it delivered via Caviar. So there’s never an excuse for not having ice-cream.

Scoop Deville definitely puts the fun into eating ice-cream. They have so many flavors to be honest. However a highlight is they allow you to make your own soft serve. As I was rambling on with our server about flavors everyone I said they had. From decadent not chocolates, to cakes, to frozen bananas and for my fellow vegan and gluten-free family-they got us too! If that ain’t a major win!! Oh and by the way the servers at Scoop Deville must have gone to ice-cream school to watch how they know every item on the menu and if you’re like me who loves to be different, they got me together. I started shouting out flavors and they had answers. You’re not going to be able to beat their selections of cereal or other unique toppings. The only hard choice is going to be which one to start with. I think that’s how they got me because now I’m challenged to come back and make up more weird delicious pairings. The big kid in me was able to unite with my adult self and enjoy. I honestly can’t wait to take the kids too! Soon as I got home I allowed them to finish the rest of what I had and they can’t wait to make their own!

This was my flavor choice that I not only ate while there, I took a pint home:

Vegan vanilla with strawberry, peaches and Golden Grahams

So these need to be on the top of your list. You can come into the city make it a day or if you want to drive in there is convenient parking deck that you pay as long as you stay that’s right next to the Bourse. I had no issues getting in and out.

So don’t delay get into the Bronze Table and Scoop Deville!

Thanks so both restaurants as well as my blogging friends for an amazing night out:

Philly Food Gal

Philly Dine Out

Little teacher big appetite

To see more amazing photos, follow me on Instagram

Monday Motivation: Showing up for Yourself

How will you show up for yourself?  Isn’t it super upsetting when you are waiting on someone to do what they said they were going to do?  It’s the worse thing ever. How about you when you say you’re going to do something for you but you fail to show up for yourself. This is why resolutions or goals fall. You fail yourself. You don’t show up for yourself and then you get mad and the cycle starts all over again.

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There is a lot of life to be lived but showing up for yourself needs to be at the top of your list.  How can you show up for yourself this morning? I choose to pack my snacks and breakfast ahead of time. I decided to show up for myself in how I eat and nurture myself. On Sunday after attending a function with TCP, I decided that regardless of how tired and unprepared I was to run I still got up grabbed what I could and ran my 3 miles. I couldn’t find my running socks, my running sweats that I like to wear in the Winter, my running hat, and I didn’t even have my house key.  I still showed up and showed out.

I am determined that the same energy I give towards work, my kids, my marriage is the same energy I should get first. I will be making more tracks in showing up for myself in other ways. In the amount of water I am drinking, the workouts for the week, blog events, me time, etc. I am showing up for me. You need to show up for you. Show up and make that doctor’s appointment. Make that appointment to get that new haircut you have been putting off. Show up for you. It’s something in not failing your mission even if you have to tweak it. Show up and show out today and this week, this month, and this year!