Ardmore’s Taste with a View

What a night?! Over 20 vendors serving the most amazing food and drink showcasing the best of the best in Ardmore while benefiting Ardmore’s business authority was a blast rain and all!

The event took place at the One Ardmore Apartment Homes. To say that these apartments aren’t beautiful would be a full on lie. The layout of upscale, regale, and located in the heart of Ardmore. The rooftop where some of the vendors of the night were located had the most amazing views! I was blessed to get there early to catch it all before the rain came. As much as rain is usually a nuisance it didn’t stop the party in the least bit.

With so many vendors I’ll give you a drop of what made the night amazing:

My first stop was Buena Vista, a Mexican restaurant who is located at 251 Lancaster Avenue. I had the Mexican rice and it was so super flavorful. However not just the food was superb but the customer service was amazing. I love to watch how people serve you before they know what you do. I was serviced with amazing spirit!! I love going to tasting events because as much as I love Philly; Ardmore is only 30 minutes away from my home giving me new locations to have food, fun, and drink locations to try!

Next up (I was up and down in the venue) was Songsan which is a Korean barbecue restaurant. You can find them at 66 Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore. They also have a location in Paris as well. You know I just got back from there. I had the Jap Chae which are glass noodles with vegetables! They were sooo good! I had a full plate of them. I love glass noodles. The first time was at another Korean barbecue spot. These were flavorful! Looking at their menu this would be an amazing spot to have a group party or even an intimate dinner for two.

Next on my stop was Besito Ardmore. This is going to be your stop for Mexican good as well. I had some of their plantains and they were delicious but nothing more delicious than their pomegranate margarita. Say what you will but I came back at least twice!!! Margaritas are a big deal to me. I order pomegranate margaritas anytime they are on a menu and these gave a few spots a run for their money. I’ll be back on the drink alone!

I stopped at Marokko and it’s a Mediterranean and Moroccan themed restaurant with authentic food. What you get is smiles, hospitality, and love in their food-no lie! I also enjoyed to the fullest the belly dancing!! You have to check out my Instagram to see clips! Everyone and I mean everyone enjoyed the show!

Also Father’s Day is Sunday! They are having a special where did gets a free appetizer with his entree and reservations are requested!

Outside of food there were also pop up shops! I stoped at Trace. It’s your go to spot for housewares, arts and gifts!! Beautiful pieces that I thought we’re unique and bold. I saw a few pieces I might have to slide a suggestion or two for my upcoming wedding anniversary!

I enjoyed the pieces at Styche a woman’s clothing store. Ladies if you’re looking for one of a kind pieces that are well made and beautiful this is your place! I def found at least 4 dresses I need to have it in my closet along with some beautiful accessories! Oh and for the men who can’t ever seem to know what women want they have gift cards!

With all of the food and drinks I was so happy to run into Jen Crompton, owner is Fuel Cycle Fitness. They offer indoor cycling as well as boxing classes. They offer private lessons, group classes and 1:1 trainings. They also have a unique offering of Boxing and Brunch happening June 29 from 10am-2pm! This is a great event to bring out your teen daughter and have a mommy and me time while building skills set, life skills and of course brunch! Tickets can be found here. You know I’m all about women empowerment! Grab your daughter and head out to this event!

Back to the food! I stopped at The Ripplewood whiskey and gin and fell in love. They have food and drinks and they are amazing. Have you ever had a chip melt in your mouth? Whew the goodness! This would be an amazing spot to grab after work drinks or a great date night. I will be back. The orange really opened up the flavor and it was smooth!

Back downstairs to Dressler Estate Cidery. I had the sparkling cider. It reminded me a lot of wine. It was sweet but not too sweet and definitely refreshing!

For my icecream lovers look no further than Parlour! They had two flavors on display:

Amazing service and great conversation. And FYI they have dollar cones. Now grant it they are smaller than traditional sizes but….. for little hands that I have in my family it works great! Oh and the blueberry pie is amazing. They have at least 24 flavors so there’s something for everyone!!

To one of my favorites is Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant. They have one in my hometown of Lancaster. I took my mom and sisters to it last year. They always have an amazing assortment of drinks and food. It was good to see other locations. What would be the odds that I would meet a rep from Iron Hill Brewery thats also from Lancaster?!

They too have a Father’s Day special. They have a 3 course meals which includes dessert for 32.50. Oh and a contender is Das Boot which is available on tap and in a can! Get out there and shower dad at Iron Hill and enjoy!! As always full menu is available!

So I’m all about trying new liquor! I tried the Revivalist, an amazing botanical gin. I had the Harvest Expression with Lemonade and all I know is I will not let my Summer pass without making this a drink to share. Trust me if you want to have the best adult lemonade this would be the gin to add.

I also had the Dragon Dance mixed with a jalapeño drink and it was pure bliss. I definitely will be emailing to find out the exact drinks and will share when I get it. It’s a little bit spicy but smooth and it was good.

I love an amazing salad. I love a salad that is flavorful and makes you forget for a second that it’s a salad. Green Papaya Asian Bistro will always have a customer as long as their green papaya salad is on the menu. Look at the detail:

You can see quality when you see it?! The taste was magical. Being vegan I’m always on the hunt for some great tasting food and this will be a go to spot for me and my friends or family and it’s also BYOB!

Back to adult lemonades; the Proper Twelve Limerick Lemonade is a winner. It’s light and not overbearing sweet. But the Irish Whiskey was superb! Oh and if you love food they had some pulled pork and Mac and cheese at Jack Mcshea’s!!

Are you getting hungry yet? Last but certainly not least, is Delice & Chocolat that gave me a touch of Paris flare with their chocolate croissant. It’s the closest thing to a real Paris croissant since I have returned!!! It was delicious, flaky and good. Makes sense since the owner lived there for 14 years and it shows. You must stop by if you don’t think you will get to Paris or maybe you have it will take you back!!

So as you can see the food and drinks were plentiful. The pop up shops were amazing and Ardmore is the place to be! Ardmore is becoming a little gem of a location and I hope you make one of these restaurants or shops you’re new go to!!

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Weekend Recap: June 7-June 9th

What a weekend?! I love having full weekends. I love getting out and about and this weekend was absolutely perfect!

The weather was amazing. Friday I hung out with my niece and went to Dottie’s Donuts and enjoyed a vegan donut for National Donut Day! What an amazing assortment. I ended up getting the Neapolitan donut and I took a cinnamon bun for the road. Judge your own life! It was absolutely amazing! For a Friday and a donut Friday I definitely was winning!

I also enjoyed some down time. I needed to clean the house and do laundry. I love the quietness of cleaning. One of my kids was at a play date leaving me with just the two! I’m glad that they were such an amazing help.

Saturday Vibes

So Saturday I enjoyed a much needed manicure appointment. Nothing sets my weekend right like a manicure and some wine. Omnia is always my go to with my prescheduled appointments with my favorite manicurist John! He’s absolutely amazing and he knows what I like I don’t even have to ask. This week he talked me into a marble design but he knows I don’t like a full hand of designed nails. So one simple design on my ring hand is plenty. I’m simple in design but I love bright colors. I do not follow any rule on nail colors. If I want bright colors in the middle of Winter you will catch me with a bright color in the Winter. When I look at my hands since I use them so much I want to see neatness and happiness on them.

After that I raced over to TJ Maxx which normally I don’t ever have time to look for fashions because I just don’t like shopping in stores. I like what I like and shopping online is more my stick. I can’t be made that I found the perfect dress for the drag queen tea at Sofitel.

Drag Queen Afternoon Tea

If you didn’t catch the blog catch it here!

The dress was 20 dollars and it was super cute and for so well!! Thanks to my girl Pam for going to the event with me on National Best Friends Day!

Dizengoff Brunch Time

On Sunday the weather was so beautiful and it was amazing! It was also pride weekend! I hung out with my blogger friend and foodie, Cheryl of Travel with Cherryl also known as PhillyFoodGal

We went to Dizengoff of Philadelphia! This is like the Hummus King of hummus and so right up my alley! It was smooth, creamy, and full of flavor! I could have bought another to be honest!

I have the Fava Bean and a Lemonada with gin. It was Sunday Funday right?! It was amazing! All of it. The service was great and the location was perfect. They also have outdoor sitting which is my thing to do when I eat!

Stress Less Space

After an amazing brunch I went to the Stress Less Space which is an alternative to incorporating less stress into your space. It is an organization that will help you utilize and manage the stress we carry everyday. I personally have had some stress in my life lately with new changes, my car issues and life itself. It was good to relax for an hour to journal, head noise canceling relaxation sounds, and the quiet. Jesus the quiet almost changed my whole life!! Like my whole life. I was able to travel to my hometown with the most amazing zen!

I would suggest if you live in Philadelphia to give it a chance! The care of the staff was amazing and it was extremely therapeutic!

TCP Sundays

I did go back home to do a podcast with TCP; The Cultured Professional! You can catch it by clicking on the link! Parental advisory is advised as we talk about a lot of current events without any chasers aka we didn’t sugar coat a thing and some sexual content as well. It was great to be in a different genre of entertainment and information.

During the trip I was able to spend some time with my nieces! I enjoy anytime and I’m making it a purpose now that they are getting older to spend as much time as I can! I came home super late from the podcast so outside of Target trip I had zero time for anything else!

Husbae

Shout out to my husbae for meal prepping for the week for me by cooking out on the grill! Although that doesn’t include my vegan meals it was one less thing for me to prepare. I’m cool with just making my own items! Also shout out to him for keeping the kids moving as I was out and about as I was out both Saturday and Sunday!

So yes to say my weekend was busy was an understatement! I wouldn’t change a thing!

Lancaster Vegan Fest

I had the best time of my Saturday! The one thing I adore about Summer is being out and about and festivals. Like who doesn’t love good food, good people, and fun? Non humans I suppose!

Today I went to Lancaster Vegan Fest. Since becoming vegan I’ve kept up with my lifestyle and it feels amazing to even know about these types of festival even exist. Not only do they have vegan fests in my city of Philadelphia but all around too! I guess it’s true you don’t know until you know! Today I attended the event in my hometown of Lancaster with my twin, my youngest daughter, all of my nieces, my brother, my sister in love, my sister in love’s mother, and cousin brother. Talk about a fam bam explosion!

Now my brother Mr. Not Vegan still had a great time too. He constantly makes fun of my “leaf eating life!” They had live performances, great food, and great drinks even some adult juice tasting as well. They had a kids corner with face painting? Arts and crafts and even a bubble spot which was a big splash with my nieces

Talk about an amazing happy crowd? It really doesn’t get any better!

Now on to the food! The kids had icees, juices, and my highlight chocolate covered fruit. There were over 50 something vendors so I had to be selective! But goodness….

Shout out to the Pop’d Shop who had an amazing selections of soda and some super bomb popcorn! I bought the caramel one and whew it was super delicious!

Also I stopped at the one and only Chef Oliver of Culinary Services of Chef Oliver and I had the Sausage Ragu over White rice-it was vegan and I’m really sad I didn’t get any for the road. It was full of flavor!!!

Overall even if you’re not plant based, just want to taste different options, or just curios, attend your nearest vegan fest! Trust me the selections will surprise you and the crowds are amazing!! I hope to see a few followers at the next one! There is a Philadelphia Vegan Fest on June 8, 2019!

Happy Birthday Naila

Today is such a holiday in my world. My oldest is 10! 10 years of love. 10 years of peace! 10 years of pure joy!

I love that I was chosen to be her mother! She has been amazing since I first laid eyes on her. I had her 6 weeks early due to me suffering from preeclampsia. This is a condition that caused me to have elevated high blood pressure and other complications. It caused me to be on borderline seizure activity. From the time of them attempting to stop my contractions they told me they didn’t think her lungs were developed enough. I met with the NICU nurses who reassured me that no matter what happened she would be in great care.

After they realized my contractions wouldn’t stop they assumed it would produce enough to make her come down the birth canal but she didn’t. They then started to speed up the process and the pain was terrible. All of that and still no baby and I was in active labor for at least 2 days. Finally I was told I would have to have a C-section. At this point, I didn’t care what they did the only thing on my mind was her safety. Although I was in pain and having a lot of headaches due to my blood pressure, she was my main concern.

I got bumped several times to have the surgery, but at 11pm on May 26 we had a 4 pounds and 3 oz baby girl. She did everything the opposite of what I feared. She was hollering which meant her lungs were strong. She was still taken to the NICU. I barely saw her but I remember being sort of out of it but I was crying just hearing her. I kept asking if she was ok and everyone was all smiles. Thank you to all of the nurses in the NICU who hands down were everything we needed and more!

I went into recovery and a week and a half she was home. It was the longest time but having her home meant the world to me. She would go on to have several complications that required me to lose time at work, many hospital stays, etc. but I wouldn’t change a thing. Through it all, she has smiled and had the best disposition that you can’t help but want to smile back at her. Everyone who knows her or been around her, knows that she has a heart of gold.

To the best 10 year old who made me a mom, brought out to best in me, gives me constant joy, the best big sister, awesome friend, and an amazing mini-me daughter-Happy Birthday Gummi Bear!

Bday Weekend Recap

I had a great birthday not doing a whole lot. Since attending so many events I find relaxing is my number one go to. A night filled with good food, a workout out, adult juice and quiet works for me.

I spent my birthday working only a half a day. No half day in the office and a half day at home working, straight half day working period. Once home with the kids I took a shower and my husband brought me my order from Hip City Veg. It was my first time as I continue to add vegan restaurants to my line up. I ordered the smokehouse burger (vegan), sweet potato fries with sriracha sauce and the birthday cake non dairy milkshake.

Smokehouse burger

birthday cake milkshake

Vegan or not this meal was amazingly everything and more. I love great tasty food. I wanted my birthday night to be calm. I did manage to get a workout in so I felt even better! After eating and a few adult drinks I happily fell asleep! My night was made!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for making me another amazing vegan cake! I had more cake than I could ever have. I haven’t had cake especially vegan cake since the big switch! I definitely have made up for past times. You can definitely insert the Rihanna song!!

vegan vanilla cake

Saturday I finally was able to attend my son’s soccer game. I didn’t even realize how busy I had become how I hadn’t attended my son’s game for this season! He did amazing by the way!

My husband arranged for my girl friend and I to have dinner together at one of my new faves, True Food Kitchen! What I love about them is their seasonal rotating menu. Since the last time I was there for Valentines Day weekend, there were different meals present for me to choose without feeling like I was only limited to the same options. I have to shout out Marques for working covertly with one of the besties, Kyla to make it happen!

Vegetable soup

Hey Kyla

kiwi mousse with strawberry

I’ve gotten a lot of amazing gifts this birthday and so much of my friends who knew my heart! I’m honored that I was thought of. I’m grateful for an amazing weekend which ended with a little trip to Ulta and ended with a bubble bath, a good book and I was in bed on Sunday by 8pm. If that wasn’t the most peaceful weekend I don’t know what was?

Never forget to sign up for birthday rewards! And brand that you already utilize and patronize, should be your number one go to. I love getting freebies or discounts on the very things I already use or will use!

Until the next one…..let’s get this personal New Year going!!!

Toxic Mothers; They give some of the worse scars…

So it’s Mother’s Day week and everyone is gathering cards and presents. There are so many whose moms have passed and they are grieving. There are a set of people who grief for their mothers in a different way and that is the toxic mothers.

Toxic mothers are different and difficult to pinpoint. For one they aren’t necessarily gone in the physical sense but they are gone in the emotional sense. Toxic mothers are the mothers who use emotional abuse to get you to respect them. Growing up they were the ones who might have brow beat you about every little thing. As you got older nothing you do is good enough. They talk down and about you to anyone who will listen. They are never caring in how they treat you. They mask the emotional pain with the “at least I provided,” speech.

Toxic mothers do their best to make sure that if you’re celebrating an accomplishment they are usually the ones that have a negative response and question why you were chosen. Toxic mothers call you every name except the one they gave you. Sometimes with words they blame you for your very existence. They aren’t nurturing in how they deal with you. They blame their upbringing as to reasons why they can’t. They make every excuse in the book but they want all the glory.

Toxic mothers have the same time effect as absent fathers. The scar of having a mother you can’t talk, relate, speak well of is damaging. You can’t ever be you in their presence. You have to walk on eggshells. They suffered some type of trauma but make you pay the bill of it. If you have kids, they pick up on your mom’s toxicity. They can’t ever just be kids around a toxic mom because she treats them 5 seconds better than you but not enough to be definitive.

Toxic mothers seem to want the most recognition. Some even believing you owe them. You must do for them in exchange for them bringing you into this world. Keep in mind if you raise your child they will grow up to respect you and you don’t have to use fear to do so. You must make their days special even when they use words to belittle you. Everything floods back to them. You can’t be a victim around a toxic mother. They tend to forget they were the adult and were in charge. If you speak up about how toxic a mother is they will use the words as “too sensitive” to describe why you didn’t get aligned with the bad behavior. You should have accepted your mother’s bad ways as “that’s who they are.” You will hear “I did the best I could.” You will never get an apology or acknowledgement of wrong doing. Wrong doing for a toxic mother doesn’t exist. You are to grin and bear even as an adult. The amount of self-righteousness that a toxic moms has can’t even be counted.

Mother’s Day is another trigger for so many. There are people who limit their interaction with their toxic mother to avoid having to see her bipolar ways. They don’t want to have to deal with the fake smiles on high days knowing that soon as the parade of pleasantries are over she will be back to her off putting ways. If she is married or in a relationship the mate of a toxic mother is usually aware of their ways and although disgusted by it turns a blind eye.

When people have a toxic mother the phrase “that’s still your mother” is often used to say she’s bad but respect her. It’s not okay to just simply respect her from afar you must be around her, dote on her, and smile with tears in your eyes to make other people feel like you’re “team mom.”

There are many who have made the painful decision to stop dealing with toxic mothers. When you know better you’re supposed to do better. You can cut off any person who brings you down except your mom. I think people in loving mother relationships forget that for how deep the love they experience is how deep the negative experience can be. For the sake of saving face, continue as an adult and come around to make mom happy. Give them gifts even when you they are no longer deserving. Even when they sabotage your other relationships. Give them even more when they use tactics like the silent treatment and alienation to control.

If you are dealing with a toxic mom there are so many in your shoes. You have to do what works best for you. You definitely need a counselor to help you shift in a safe space your feelings and not just someone who you can vent to. Healing is hard. Every person wants the love of their mother. Not being able to have peace with a mother who is alive because she won’t do the work of accepting her bad behavior is traumatic.

I wish all those dealing with a toxic mother peace. If you are a reader and this doesn’t apply that’s great. Have compassion to the many that it does apply. Do not tell a person to get over a toxic mother. However old they are that’s usually how long they been in constant trauma. Pain affects different areas of your life. If you’re a product of a toxic mother and you have children you are doing the next generation a disservice if you’re not actively seeking help. Don’t put your kids through what you already know is life damaging.

Sending you love and peace!

2019 Broad Street

Another year done! I am so proud of my Broad Street Run. I am proud of the training, perseverance, and dedication. It’s no east task to run in pouring rain but there was no way I wasn’t going to finish injuries or not.

Before the race is the bib pick up as well as the Health and Wellness expo. It’s interactive with some amazing vendors having all that you need to make your run that much better. It’s two days, Friday and Saturday. It’s in the Convention Center and convenient hours to make sure all runners have the ability to attend. It also is serves as an information station for runners to help ease with pre race questions.

Broad Street Run is a major ordeal in Philadelphia. The city comes out in swarms to show love and support. I can’t tell you the many people who had the most heart warming signs, funny signs, and the best quick pep talks you will ever hear. I read one sign that said “you’re running better than the government.” I always love reading them. Interesting enough this year I saw some companies with actual tacos to give the runners. I didn’t have any because running and eating is never a great idea, but that was something I hadn’t seen in any race.

I remember the countless times as I was tired that someone would be with an encouraging word. From “hey sis in the red we see you keep going” to “let’s not get tired,” it was all necessary! It pushed me when my socks were soaking wet and my feet were so heavy I felt like I was dragging.

I came down with an injury to my right foot where I discovered I lost arch support. The pain was excruciating. I had to find a brace that supported me in a matter of a day. This was after running a 9.3 mile run 2 weeks ago. So back to back runs may have played a huge part in the before run injury. To compensate, I found myself working and leaning on the left foot during the actual race. That within itself felt like more of a little injury during the race as well. However as I did and nurse my little wounds, I’m still grateful for finishing and pushing through. I think I will attempt to have only shorter runs so close to Broad Street next year.

Huge as always shout out to my run husband Marques. He does not run at all but he’s up with me race day, makes sure I get to the race without a hitch, he catches or attempts to catch me at various locations during the race and he’s there to get all of the post race recovery food and drinks. He’s not a morning person so a 5am wake up call is never his favorite. He’s also my photographer for the day. He amazes me with the shots as during the race my mind was far from snapping. Also we usually have to get the train from near the Wells Fargo on the Broad Street line!

After the race as we proceed to get our post race food it’s always so crowded. From the runners finishing up to the large supporters gathering, it can be intimidating. Philadelphia does an amazing job with large crowd control, police presence, and awesome volunteers who do their best to keep the crowds moving! Shout out to every volunteer from the water holders, to those who pass out the medals. It takes a whole village of support to make it happen! I can’t imagine what the behind the scenes looks like. However the end result the runners always feels super supported from the time their foot hits the road until the last car pulls out.

Since this year I am vegan I had to find something to eat for my post race meal. With it being Cinco de Mayo, I knew I wanted some vegan tacos. I decided to get some from Soy Cafe. Let me tell you the picture doesn’t do it any justice. The Philly cheesesteak vegan taco was absolutely amazing. I also ordered the vegan chocolate chip cookie. Topped both off with some margarita mix with top shelf tequila and it made for a wonderful post race nap!

You already know if you follow me for any run that I did my post soak with Epsom salt. I always hear my great grandmother saying “baby get the Epsom salt.” I was surprised that I didn’t do my usual sit on the couch until I was able to get up. I came home and cleaned up a little then took my bath time soak and facial mask. It’s my ritual that relaxes me!

Shout out to Black Girls Run. You know by now they are the running group and family that I’m involved with. Between their support and the support of my family and friends, the love is real! To my friends you are so loving and awesome. My Fitbit was pinging with messages that pushed me from the time the race started until it ended. It felt amazing to read all of the love during the ride home. Shout out to my twin who kept the kids while I raced! It’s amazing to run for them knowing they were safe and secure!

So another year down and I await for 2020!! As long as I get in I’ll run it!

So what’s next? 2 Days of rest and then back at it. It’s a lifestyle not just to be summer time fine. I’m looking to be lifetime fine!! Now will I be slaying this summer? Yup. Fall, Winter, and Spring too!