Family Style Love at Mamma Maria’s

I went to the East Passyunk Car Show and Street Fest! I posted quite a few pics on my Instagram a few weeks ago! It was so much fun. It was super hot (which I love), great food, amazing vendors, and of course the cars!

Who doesn’t love amazing cars?!

All kinds of exotic cars. Of course I loved them all but also I was drawn to the red cars. Red is my favorite car. I currently drive a red car. I was walking along and was introduced to Mamma Maria! She gave me this warm welcoming hug. It was the kind of hug that warms the soul. It was as if we had known each other all of our lives! On a Sunday it was just the best feeling and expression of love. We chatted about what I do and her cooking!

Mamma Maria already had her set up going and towards the end of the event she was just about sold out. Before leaving Mamma Maria packed me and my oldest daughter some gnocchi, sausages, and broccoli. You couldn’t get the smile off of my face. One of my absolute favorite foods is Italian. My husband even popped the question to me at an Italian restaurant because I love it that much-outside of gummi bears of course! So I’m headed home with this warm pasta on my lap trying not to eat it in the car. As soon as I’m able I open it and goodness gracious-it’s that good. I didn’t even let it get cold so it was ready to eat and I found myself eating and eating!

I took my food outside because as a mom you already know kids don’t care what you are eating they want parts! I was able to eat the pasta outside without little hands in it. It felt like I was having a moment and Mamma provided it for me. Here I was after spending hours in the sun, in my happy spot at home having my favorite dish and content.

I don’t know if there are others who love Italian food as much as I do. The type that work out so they can keep eating fresh pasta, but if that is you-Run to Mamma Maria’s located at 1637 East Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia PA! You will be in a little slice of Heaven with authentic Italian pasta made with love! Mamma will make sure you eat well and when you leave you will smile. You won’t worry about if the pasta hits your thighs. The only thing you will know is you ate some amazing food and you were treated with love!

Mamma Maria’s is open Monday-Friday from 10:30am-10:30pm and on Saturday from 4:30pm-11:30pm and on Sundays from 3:00-10:00pm!

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Chima Shares All The Love

We went to Chima to celebrate our 7th anniversary. Between the ambiance, good food, amazing drinks; Chima is definitely the spot to enhance any celebration!

Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, promotions or just because Chima is your go to! They will acknowledge your special day with flare. No matter the detail they will make sure you feel the love from the time you enter and until you leave! We first encountered Chima as a couple at our year 4 anniversary and it was just as special going back for year 7! Chima has the freshest foods you could ask for! There’s something for everyone!!

My favorites has to be the cinnamon pineapple. Like I get extremely giddy when it comes to the table! It’s so warm and fresh. Chima had to remember from my last visit. They were told a little birdy told them. God bless that bird because I had many slices!

Let’s talk about the Passion Fruit Dressing; it’s amazing!

The meats for those who eat it was top of the line and made to order!

Service is always impeccable! Shout out to Christian who was outstanding! He never let my cup go low and he knows that menu like no other. He made the night go super smooth!

I love that we could see the growth over the years and see how much joy Chima brings to our anniversaries!

It’s nothing to like getting dressed up to experience world class cuisine at a restaurant that stands by customer service and elegant delivery. You can ask any of the staff and they absolutely go above and beyond for every patron! They treated us like royalty! They are standing by to do the same for you! Consider them for your next event!

Here’s a few things that stuck out to me this visit:

For my parent friends they have a baby changing station in both men and women bathrooms!

There bar is amazing and don’t think for one second you won’t get amazing service vs being seated at a table because that’s not the case!

Speaking of drinks they are amazing it doesn’t matter which one you try!

Los Olas Old Fashion; bulleit bourbon, angostura bitters, sugar cube, orange peel and garnished with luxardo cherry

White sangria

Chima has you covered for all of your needs! Thank you Chima for an amazing night! Thank you Marques for these 7 years!! Let’s make it a lifetime!

Giving you The Best That I Got…Year 7!

It’s year 7 and I must say as much as I would love to downplay it, I’m not! I wish I could take a behind the scenes of the early years. I do all I can to not let that old couple pop up. Between not communicating and just yelling and being a team player on paper but not in thought or deed…whew I’m grateful for days like today.

I immediately listened to one of my artist, Anita Baker. When I was younger anytime she and most other R&B artist was played I knew it meant it was time to clean. When I was a kid I told myself I knew who I would married by whether or not I wanted to sing that song to him….thus music became an association I made in a lot of situations. I still do! Anyway the growth as a woman and a person that I’ve made makes me so incredibly happy. I know the trials I’ve made over the years. I can now sing those sounds in confidence since back then my momma reminded me I ain’t know what I was talking about. Now I’m working towards more knowledge AND practice daily!

Now that I am putting into the work I can honestly say I’m giving my husband the best that I got daily. It may not be perfect but the energy to be better daily is what makes the huge difference. I wasn’t doing that as often before. It was a rush to point to him as the reason or if he wasn’t the reason in my mind he needed to fix it. How in the world he was supposed to fix me is beyond me but these type of unstable requests and wars was going on.

Year 7 means a sense of completion. Although we have waves to go through a small sense of accomplishment exists. I am giving the best that I got to myself daily. It’s not selfish to practice self care so we all can live in peace. He benefits from making sure I check my energy and attitude as he does the same. It helps two VERY different people to be able to coexist. We are friends! We have our own language. We have our own code words. We laugh at things that we alone might only find funny! We want the best for one another. As long as we keep that going we can continue this partnership.

20 years of friendship, 7 years of marriage and 3 beautiful children and a lifetime to go!!

So as we celebrate year 7 enjoy my favorite artist-love you Mr. Storr!!

He Said…

I love that you try to find the joy in everything and bring a positive attitude to all that are around you.

The Joy of Running

I started running when I was at least in Junior High School. It was largely due to me having “them running legs” as everyone called them. I was tall and skinny and at least looked like I had the potential to be athletic. I joined a local team and they trained me. I fell in love! I found myself running for sport and I enjoyed it. Fast forward to now. I picked up running again in the last 2 years to help maintain my weight but running became much more!

In “The Joy of Running” arranged by Jackie Corley it breaks down a runner’s heartbeat. As an adult with a family my reason for running has changed. The “Joy” of running isn’t just for weight maintenance anymore. If that was the case I would have fallen off a long time ago. Joy in running is beyond the moment when the happiness falls. Happiness in running wains in about the first 3 miles. The pain of running kicks in you need Joy pushing behind you. During my 4 am wake up calls where I’m alone and no one to push; Joy kicks in.

I love when David Bedford says:

Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge.

He’s referring to life in this quote. “The Joy of Running” breaks down how running affects a person’s whole being. Unlike my junior high running has a more intimate meaning. I talk to God and go over my life when my feet hit the ground. I take on life’s stressors when I hit the ground. I take on all of my inconsistencies when I hit the ground!

Monte Davis says:

Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also there are hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.

I practice self-care and self preservation on the ground when I run every single time. There’s not one time when something has been on my heart or mind that running hasn’t allowed me to figure it out or give me peace that it can’t be worked out.

“The Joy of Running” is a runner’s reminder of remember your why. I dedicate to leaving this book by my bed. It’s usually where a runner’s biggest struggle comes from. If I wake up and get up even if my time is slow or my miles low; I showed up for myself and “The Joy of Running” pushed my spirit to hear herself!

I highly recommend this book and if you or someone you love stresses a desire to run-gift them this book! It’s a collection of love letters as I call tjem to a runner’s soul! A runner would understand and align themselves back to the “Joy” and their why!

To get your own copy you can get it here!

He Said…She Said

Marriage goals…the thing we say when we think we see marriages being successful. Who defines marriage goals? Is it because people post with their husbae and the lighting is poppin? Is it because of longevity? Is it when someone inspires you that there is still hope that marriage is beautiful? It changes for everyone. What you set as your marriage goals varies from couple to couple! How your marriage is viewed can be misconstrued!

He Said…

I would say the whole #marriagegoals has a great premise but I know the average person is stuck on image instead of what’s behind the image. Nowadays people live on social media to the point where people think every picture they see is real life. As little as I post about my marriage you would think I’m getting divorced tomorrow. In my opinion the people who post the most have the most to hide. Maybe I’m just old. Overall I think people care more about hashtags and following over living in real life. NOONE has a marriage that doesn’t require work and EVERY marriage has room for growth and development. The true goal everyone should have with their marriage is the goal to be the best person you can be on your own. Yes every marriage will have times when one person picks up the slack for the other but if both people are not constantly putting in the work to make sure their marriage is full of respect, trust and communication then those pictures you love to flex with will be the only thing you have left in your marriage.

She Said…

I remember posting many times pics of my husband and I sometimes because we hadn’t had a post. Sometimes I posted and we had just argued the day the pic was taken but we smiled many times as if there was no issue. Of course we take pictures and they are not conducive to whether or not things are “good.” Some of our best pics was during times I was drowning in depression and in the most pain. Wanting this light of those around to see me “good” while I suffered in silence was a way of life. Since getting myself together and realizing more and more I had a need to please others around me that’s no longer my thing. I probably take a lot of pictures of he and I and don’t post them. They become just for us. When I do post it’s because I really want to. It’s not to prove anything because now we aren’t in a flight or fight mode. We work things out.

We don’t push ourselves to be more than we are! I’m not comparing my marriage to my friends. It’s not that I care how we measure up but I care more if we actually like each other than simply falling back on love. Love isn’t enough when you’re empty and feeling empty in your marriage! Love is the last thing because depending on how deep the offense is you might be too blind to see the love! So now when someone shouts marriage goals I say thank you but I always talk to my husband and do a deep dive into where we really are vs. what we appear to be! I would rather look disoriented to others and be stronger together than to be goals for someone and can’t find peace with the one I lay next to at night!

So that’s today’s question and answer session and we have really only just begun! I hope you learned something!

He Said…She Said

So my wedding anniversary is next Friday August 2nd! Yay! We will celebrate 7 years of marriage! With that being said I am doing a he said..she said series! This series will be done with none other than my husband Marques! I ask the questions and we both answer them.

Marques and I next month will have known each other 20 years! That’s a long time! Although we haven’t been together that long we have always maintained a friendship. We dated for almost 4 years while attending Pennsylvania State University. We went our separate ways and had other relationships and situationships and found our way back to each other. Now count in soon to be 7 years of marriage, 3 children, rough patches, almost ending our marriage, a few fights and bumps along the way we are here. Our love wasn’t a struggle love! We fell hard and fast but maintaining that love wasn’t without challenges. So here we go he said….she said!

What is one thing you would change in the marriage?!

He said

I don’t know if I should answer that in now or when it began because obviously in almost 7 years there’s been several stages! Very early in the marriage I would have changed when we got married! Initially it felt like more of a checking off of a box instead of the blissful feeling you should feel on your big day! I would have liked it to be a better presentation as well as it being earlier. I would have rather it been before we had our daughter vs after! It may be prehistoric in thinking but I think being married before kids set the standard and tone for your kids! Of course they may not see a difference especially now but it’s a personal preference of mine. I wanted us to be married first to help shape their ideals of relationships.I feel like we definitely have done the work but I would have loved to change the arguing, fighting, and yelling from both sides in the beginning. We definitely didn’t have the tools and I’m glad we did counseling! I like where we are now. You know what now….I would change my manner of dealing with stuff. You (Toi) tend to get over things faster. Of course in my opinion they are things that you have done so that makes sense. My tolerance over the years has decreased. I would love to change my tolerance of behavior. If something bothers me I tend to let it bother me for a long time. You (Toi) has challenged my mindset by asking me how long I will take to get over things and that has helped me to see things differently!

She said

I would change my mindset of marriage before we even got married. I grew up in a marriage minded church. It sounds good but it doesn’t produce sound people. No disrespect to the teaching but everyone was so super focused on marriage than being a whole person that may be able to unite with someone. Everything was about marital success that you had two unhealthy folks coming together for the sake of marriage. The ideals of marriage was flawed. I wasn’t out trying to live a happy life being single. Singleness was a life sentence that only could be cured by marriage. Once married having this lovey dovey marriage that isn’t realistic placed concerns on how I operated early on. For my part in the beginning I was more concerned with maintaining this “everything is okay” look while I was drowning on the inside with unresolved personal issues. Marriage is a mirror and I was super upset with what I was seeing but too stubborn and scared to fix it that I just blamed my issues on Marques!

I hope you enjoyed today’s he said…she said. I hope you learn something about us and about marriage. Our marriage is ours and it will never mirror another couple’s marriage! Marriage goals differ from couple to couple!

We will bring you a new question and answer segment every day for the next week leading to our prayers for year 7 on August 2nd!!

Week 5: Storr Summer Adventures

Well this week was a bit slow. I got what I thought was a sinus infection and my oldest had a Summer cold! So laid a bit not this week! We still had fun! So heres is how we ended up with a messy situation but ate well and spent time recovering for our Hershey Park trip! A total of 56.28 was spent!

Monday

Mondays are always uneasy! It was also national gummi bear day so we decided to do an ice-cream gummi bear dessert to celebrate. I love gummi bears and being Vegan didn’t have to miss out! With non dairy ice-cream and vegan gummies I was still winning! I had the Chunky Monkey ice-cream in house! I bought the kids Sour Patch ice-cream and gummi bear materials for $10.78!

Tuesday

We definitely kept it indoors as the heat was picking up and went to GPCC indoor swimming! Who didn’t need to cool off last week in Philadelphia?! We had a great time as usual! We grabbed snacks on the way for $12.00!

Wednesday

I find that these are low days and I secretly love them! I had an event so the kids hung out with family! I was able to get work done and attend the Philly Influencer Mixer which has brands come and meet Influencers and bloggers to work with! It’s an amazing way to network! Thank you to Davida for being our fearless leader! Follow especially Philadelphia bloggers or influencers as a Fall Mixer is up next and you want to be in the building!

Thursday

We got our and about! I had my physical with my doctor! I’m happy to announce that I’m in great health! My doctor is over the moon with my numbers. I encourage everyone to see about their health physically and emotionally!! I feel my best when I take for me! It’s not just about working out or just food it’s about the total mental health too. Doing what I love makes me complete! While there I was able to visit my old co-workers! We went to lunch and the kids got McDonald’s! Total was $12.71! I had the new plant based bowl at Qdobo for $10.79! We were going to go bowling but traffic was at an all time high so we made slime! To all of my parents you already know my plight!! But…..they had a blast! Materials were $10!!

Friday

It was entirely toooo hot but we also needed to get ready for the weekend Hershey Park trip since we were doing an overnight trip! So that meant cleaning, packing, and laundry! We also elected to do shaving cream art and keep things a bit messy! Armed with shaving cream and food coloring we had an amazing time!

I know if we hadn’t had a few sicknesses this week we would have been out and about more but with the way the heat was set up and the way our air conditioning bill has been we should never leave so we can feel like we are getting your money worth!

This week is already adventurous! We added a new activity for the week! I’ll highlight it next week!