Still Vegan: An Update

So I am a little over a month as 100% vegan. I am still here. I am still kicking. I went and took dairy out of my diet for more than a year learning how to substitute products and finding some amazing finds. So when I decided to go 100% vegan it wasn’t a full shocked. I told my husband as soon as I could find some alternatives that didn’t allow me to be hungry and I felt like I could dedicate myself to it I would and I did. I went cold turkey.  So how as the adjustment been? Let me tell you:

Push Back

In my immediate family I get zero push back. For 2 years I have always altered my food so it wasn’t anything noticeable until I took the meat out. My son was happy that meant he felt the need to eat my portion until I stopped that. They have been supportive. They love to tell their friends that I don’t eat meat like I am some type of alien. I had a playdate for my youngest and the child was vegan. They was able to see someone their age doing it and not feeling as if she has lost anything. She talked to them about cakes and cookies and how her dad alters it so she can still enjoy those things. I showed them vegan approved candy and how at the end of the day being vegan isn’t a life sentence. From outsiders I always get the stare like why?  My why is simple people don’t realize that I have had my gall bladder removed and was supposed to watch what I eat. I didn’t.  This was over 10 years ago and not once did I change my diet. I ate fatty foods and didn’t care. When I first lost weight all I did was watch the portions which helped I am sure but my liver wasn’t able to process the fat  in most of the foods I still ate. I was in constant pain but I looked great. I wanted my insides to match my outsides so after talking to my doctor I went vegan.  Since then my body functions like it has never done in all aspects. My belly feels amazing.

I still cook regular food for my family. I try to make it healthier but they are not vegan and have no desire to do so. My family still like what they like. I don’t try to stop them. I may portion control them but not eliminate too many options. I do slip in vegan snacks for my kids outside of the normal french fry. They have no clue but they enjoy it.

Choices

Non shameful plug here, but So Delicious is my go to.  I have a dance that I do when I see it in the store. Imagine Beyoncé popping every time I am in the refrigerator or freezer aisle. My kids just say oh lord mommy and her products. I have been happily using them for quite some time.  From their non dairy ice-cream and yogurt to their non dairy milks and non dairy cheese, I do not miss out on having these items and my stomach doesn’t have to do the most to break it down. I love them. I have to do a lot of work to get them. Sometimes I can go to my local Shoprite but often times Whole Foods will have a better selection.  Surprisingly Target can be a great place to go. I am sure Wal-Mart has them I just don’t go there much these days anymore. Also I take weekly trips to Produce Junction where I can get fresh produce.  I do my veggie and fruit hauls and from that as I learn new recipes Produce Junction always has what I need. I also make sure I grab my fresh weekly flower bouquets.

Snacks

I love snacks like the next person. I love humus, pretzels, fruit, non dairy yogurt, acai bowls, and granola and dried fruit. I love that I keep a lot of these options on demand.  This way when its time to snack I can. Portion control is still a major have to. You can still overeat with anything. Being vegans doesn’t take out portion control in the least bit.

Meal Prep

I still meal prep for my family on their items and I do the same for me. I prepare roasted veggies to always have them ready to add to my meal. This week I had some fun learning how to prepare eggplant. Made some amazing eggplant parmesan with non dairy cheese. It was so delicious. I also belong to some amazing vegan groups as they share their recipes I love doing them and having such colorful plates and choices. I never like quinoa but that is something that I love to eat with roasted veggies and some avocado as a great meal on its own.

Beyoncé and Veganism

When Beyoncé put out the call for people for folks to go vegan in hopes for folks to win lifetime concerts folks was lining up. I said to myself if I would go vegan for tickets I could go vegan for myself and be healthier. I am not doing more for someone else that i am not willing to do for my own health and sanity. Beyonce went vegan as many learned and even took sugar and alcohol to prepare for her Beychella event last year. Kudos to her. I am enjoying going vegan but I need a dip of sugar as well as my occasional alcohol.

Vegan and Socializing

I do a lot of restaurant reviews. I have yet to have an issue. Just like when I go out with my family or friends I always check out the menu before I go so I can be prepared. I make sure that I am educated on what they offer and try to know what I want before I go. When I visit my parents I cook my food and take it with me. It hasn’t been an issue. Preparation helps to succumb any potential issues. None of my friends has had an issue with me altering things. I may go out-of-town, I know what I need to do to ensure my dietary needs are met. I am going to a wedding next month, the bride has made sure there are options for me. I am good.

Bacon

Bacon has been the only thing I missed. I made some bacon the other day for the family and the smell alone made me want to backslide but I didn’t.  I am aware that there are some brands that sell non bacon bacon but I have yet to have it.  I may consider giving it a try. However even as strong as bacon is to my heart, I will not consider it.

Vegan and the Holidays

Unless I put in an order from Go Vegan, I plan to go to a restaurant for Easter that I have already scouted out its selections. I can go to other people’s houses and just make my own food to be honest. There are so many recipes for vegan soul food that are delicious. So the holidays do not pose a threat to my eating habits at all.

If there is something you want to do that you feel is going to improve your health and you speak to your doctor to be sure its safe, I say walk in it. Do it! I surround myself with what I need to eat successfully. I make sure that I do what I feel I need to eat what I need. I think my body is finally in a peaceful and healthy eating relationship with food. I am not on a vegan diet. I am living a vegan lifestyle.

Vegan Fests

I look forward to going to at least 3 vegan festivals this Summer. I didn’t even know they existed. I can’t wait to align with more in the community or vegans in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. If you know of any more send them my way!

 

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Body Confidence and Pole Dancing Classes

Now I love a good work out no matter what. On this fine Hump day, we are going to dive into what I learned in a series of pole dancing classes. There’s no need to clutch your pearls for this blog. There’s no need to dip yourself in the river to be baptized. I am not the only one who has taken a pole dancing class and I won’t be the last. It is an art form and it is a workout. What you choose to do with the skills learned is a personal decision. I have yet to quit my job and take on a stage name at this point and my house has been hit several times with economic stress. So it’s okay I promise, relax and read!

Disclaimer:

I am grown, married, and have children. This blog isn’t for approval meaning not only have I taken the class and enjoyed it I may go back 🤷🏾‍♀️

So now that we have gotten that out-of-the-way. I took a series of pole dancing classes right after the birth of my son. I did it because I was towards the end of my postpartum treatment and my therapist wanted me to learn better ways to accept my new body and my new mindset. I will say I got my entire life in class.

I like to think that I am a graceful dancer. I can pop it like a lot of women but I am definitely no Cardi B. That’s fine with me. I was paranoid to take the class because being a PK (Preachers Kid) there is never talk about erotic dancing outside of being taught that it’s for hoes and only hoes do these things. For the record that’s not true. The physical ability to pull yourself up on a pole to do a simple twirl takes inner guts, confidence, and upper arm strength. I had zero in my first class. I couldn’t even buy any. I actually wanted to quit the class. I took my best bedroom shoes, booty shorts, and a tank top but the simple twirl you see on television or strip club was hard.

In my head I was going to go, pop my hips and look halfway descent. The mirror revealed I looked like a dolphin out of water and a hot mess. My instructor let it be known we would most likely look like that for the first few classes until we came out of our head. She was right. I was more concerned with how I looked than technique. Foot placement and hand placement literally assists you in pole dancing, not how big my thighs looked or if my gut from having a C-Section looked right.

The women in my class all had various reasons for taking the class. Some to improve their confidence in the bedroom. Let’s face it body confidence matters there too. If you want to always have sex with the lights off because you’re ashamed of your body it comes off to your man. Confidence is sexy! I remember growing up and we were watching the Cosby Show when Claire has that black outfit and red jacket. I said all loud oh she’s sexy and my mom liked to had knocked me out reminding me I didn’t know what sexy was. She was right in what she was saying for a child. As an adult, Claire was sexy cause she was confident and sure of herself. The way she danced in the room (which by the way had nothing to do with the pole) was alluring in a respectful type way.

Body Confidence

When I got married I didn’t feel different when it came to sex physically, but mentally I was in my PK mind that I could at least be relieved that Hell flames weren’t coming for me like I was told it would years prior. It’s not a secret that I wasn’t a virgin when I married. My two older kids were at my wedding. But what I learned in pole dancing class was that I had yet to scratch into the surface of loving my body enough to appreciate its ability to be sensual like I had thought I was. Grown enough to have sex, but not knowing enough about myself, or my needs to be calling myself a woman.

I learned that as a woman I couldn’t achieve self-love which includes how I see myself in the mirror until I became body confident. I would meet this message again as I did Weight Watchers later down the road. I learned that size has very little to do with how confident you are. Just because you’re skinny doesn’t equate to having body confidence. A BBW can easily make you blush if they know who they are, accept who they are, and walk in confidence and you don’t. Confidence is a mindset. Body confidence is the ability to accept yourself flaws and all, walk in a room, and own it.

I didn’t love my body. I was looking at what was left of my body at the most vulnerable time of having a baby. I like to shout out Dr. Y. She knew what she was doing sending me there. If I could learn to love myself at my heaviest, I could learn to love myself at any size. If I could learn to love myself in that vulnerability, I could learn to shift my mindset towards positivity. If I could learn it was okay to let my guard down I could relax within the stress I was experiencing at the time. Having to change my vocal point was difficult. My instructor made us look at the mirror at every class. She made us own our body and she definitely made sure we didn’t waste our coin. If you showed up, show up and give it your all.

Strength

It takes incredible upper body strength to pull yourself up or slowly come down on the pole. I said it before and I’ll say it again, the women who do it gracefully without hearing that shrieking sound on the way down, bravo. It’s not easy initially. Pole dancing is a great way to tone your arms. Although it’s super sexy, it’s not about selling sex. We do acknowledge that women use it to sell the illusion of sex. Let’s get that out-of-the-way so you can take away something today. They do sell illusion of seduction. How a woman makes her money is for another day. You’re feelings on that won’t change until you take a class. To just get up on a pole and look sexy is work and any woman who chooses to do so earned every coin they scrap up after the end of their shows, period!

Here’s a few take aways:

  • I sucked at pole dancing classes until I relaxed and allowed myself to tap into it
  • It was hard and I wasn’t as graceful in the beginning
  • I can’t get up there and pop like a professional but I can own that pole and dance graceful by the end
  • I conquered a fear of tapping into my sexuality. As a woman I should be okay with my own body at any size and in any condition
  • I did bring the skills of being able to be confident home. It is what it is. Lights on or off I can enjoy sex. For my PK followers let me tell you what I learned if you gon (yes I said gon) have sex at least enjoy it. I ain’t having sex to be lying around so my husband alone gets his.

Owning your sexuality is important. Even at church bachelorette parties the women sit and talk and laugh and get excited bringing women lingerie. They talk about how much sex they are going to have yet no one says it’s okay to enjoy it. It’s not necessarily implied either. My PK experience was about being there as a tool for your husband and that’s a blog for a different day! Why are you doing all of that for the lingerie to sit in the closets or drawers collecting dust because no one says it’s okay to enjoy sex? This is mind-boggling. I grew up hearing “save yourself for marriage.” So then when you get married, then what?! You supposed to just pray that it’s okay or not participate?

Pole dancing class took me so far out of element so I could come back to my element and love the body that I carry around. Essentially you are on a pole twirling your body weight but off the pole hate the same body?! Off the pole tell yourself you’re too fat? You’re too skinny? You don’t have enough butt or breasts?!

On the pole, own it and then wipe the pole down, grab a shower and love all of you! Love each and every part of you. That lesson is necessary. Like my instructor let us know, if you can pick it up, bring it back down and love it too!

Pole dancing for the everyday woman

There are traveling pole classes that come into various cities including yours. They teach you body confidence, self-love, and how to conquer the fear of being in front of others learning something you know you don’t do well. They have Groupon lessons that many women take classes with their closest friends and there was even a mother and daughter duo in my class. I don’t know if my mom would take one but the momma in class was showing and telling us some things about womanhood and I was taking it all in.

Pole dance classes make great Girl’s trip events and of course bachelorette party ideas. Some take them for exercise which I would definitely take in addition to my cardio and weight lifting I do now. I know plenty of gym instructors who take them to pull in another level in the classes that they give that have nothing to do with this the pole. I would recommend a few but this ain’t a sponsored post.

Pole dancing isn’t for hoes. Anyone who has this ideology hasn’t for sure taken one. That’s the first thing they teach you. Can you learn body confidence off the pole? Yes. Test your level of body confidence by getting on one and I’ll be the first to tell you it needs work. There’s pure vulnerability being on a pole. What you can do, what you can’t to and what you lack shows up on the pole every time. Who you think you are is forever challenged on the pole.

FYI this post isn’t telling you to take a pole dancing class. I’m just saying on this hump day if and when you do:

Hot Chocolate 15k Is a Wrap

I came, I saw and I conquered. Run number 1 for the season is done. I completed it in 1:23:10! Not too bad for running 9.3 miles! I’m super proud of my time, the training, and the medal!

Preparation

You don’t normally wake up and just decide to run a long race like that. I have been training each week with 2 run days, 4 workout days and 1 rest day. I know that seems like a lot but it’s necessary for me. Also one thing you know when you train is not only do you need the blessing of your doctor, sleep and nutrition play a huge part. Since going vegan nutrition has been pretty easy. As I learn more recipes it’s been helpful to make my goal. I still use my Fitbit app to monitor my intake, workouts and sleep. People think that sleep doesn’t matter but it does. Even with a hectic life I make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

2 days before the race I increase my sleep to 9 hours. One reason for that is pre race jitters will attempt to rob your sleep pattern. They hit me pretty hard this time. I wanted to make sure I at least got the rest that I need since I’m training for multiple races I also limit alcohol. Race week I have one glass if that of wine. These days I find without alcohol with so much on my plate the second I sit, I’m sleep. It’s imperative to keep my mind and system clear.

Night before the Race

I set everything that I need down to undergarments out. I make sure I go through what I need to charge such as my phone, wireless charger, and my wireless headphones. This way I’m less likely to scramble in the morning. I take my shower, and do my eye masks to prevent that puffy look as much as I can. I drink 20 ozs. of water and I get Luke warm water to drink in the morning. I also redo my running playlist. I use a different playlist from the one I trained with so I can give fresh motivation. This way I can be hands free and less manipulation of my cell. I use an arm band too so I don’t even look at my phone during a race!

Day of race

I eat what I train to eat. I eat non dairy yogurt with craisins, raisins, and granola. I drink a glass about 4 ozs of orange juice. I do not drink coffee as I’ve found it makes me more anxious and makes to have to take numerous bathroom breaks that wouldn’t work out during the actual race.

My running belt has two small water bottles on them I only fill them half way each so I can use it splash water in my mouth when I run. I stop at least three times for the sports drink the race provides and I only take sips. I never finish a cup even though the cup is usually not even more than 2 ozs.

During the Race

I dedicate miles to my kids. Usually after I get through the first 5 the next three are for them. I give each of those miles my all because I know I wouldn’t let my kids down. It’s a way to push myself. Also whenever that curve that let’s me know we almost done about at mile 5 is magical. It lets me know that whatever I’ve done to get to that point I got it in me to finish! I talk to God and pray not to get me through, but anytime I run it’s always a release. Whatever is on my heart and mind, I’m leaving on the trail.

The last few final dashes are super hard for me. I’m talking about that 50 meters is killer! I find my emotions are at an all time high. Some can see the finish and get inspired to push harder but that doesn’t work for me. My mind tells me I’m done and my body knows that’s a lie. With that being said it’s harder for me at the very end. With tears in my eyes, I was able to finish today.

Every race has treats! This one being the hot chocolate Race they had hot chocolate, duh! It had a cute take home mug with a banana, marshmallow, Rice Krispies, pretzels, and an organic vanilla wafer. I brought most of the items home and gave a nearby kid the hot chocolate.

Post Race Recovery

Everyone is different. Today I had my coffee and a plain bagel with nothing on it. No butter not even my vegan butter and definitely no cream cheese. I sat on my couch with a towel and enjoyed it. My husband brought me a large fry and I fell asleep. After my hour nap I get up and do my foam roller. Mind you I always park close but far. After the race and I’ve had a great cool down, the walk helps me.

Epsom salt is bae. My great grandmother put me on years ago and I don’t care what new new new of muscle relaxing is out, epsom salt and a warm bath is the trick. After my bath I shower, no need to mention the why. I then do a facial mask, and wash or blow dry my hair, and comfy clothes are the only things I wear.

I then can assess injury which I can report outside of a toe blister I was fine!

I usually get a celebratory glass of wine but the way my legs are set up I’m sure I’ll get to it at some point! Right now I’m finishing up coffee and flooding my system with water!

So Broad Street is in one month and with that being said, the training doesn’t stop! Thank you to my BGR, Black Girls Run group and family who keep me on my toes. I also want to thank Urpower running belt as I had to replace my old one 2 days before the actual race. I hate anything new before a race that I haven’t tried and broken in. No new shoes, new pants none of that before a race! Shout out to my husband who has and will continue to be irritated by that light coming on at 530 am in the morning as I trained and continue to train. Thanks for being instahusband to get the before race pics I ask for! For watching the app to be sure my car didn’t get a ticket and for always making sure I’m race ready! To my children who were so excited to drive pass the location and as they swore they saw me. I also thought I saw them too! So it’s even! They didn’t even care that I smelled like a whole man when I came home! They just were excited that I “won.”

Shout out to my amazing friends who sent me messages before, during, and after! To my readers who hear the climatic countdown for each race!

On the Move: Crunchik’n Style

Shout out to #travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch buddies as we take you behind the scenes to local eateries. Again as a lifestyle blogger you are going to want to know the places to either get out, have new places to grab food with bae, your girls or even the fam bam. I enjoy getting around Philadelphia and yesterday’s spot was brought to us to by Crunchik’n.

Tuna bowl served with rice, lettuce, salsa, Japchae noodles and a dumpling

Crunchik’n is a Korean flare restaurant. It’s amazing food at great prices that is made fresh to order and it tastes amazing. From their homemade dumplings to their marinated sauces each bite is special. We caught up with Jen who is part owner with her father, John Choi. She stressed that the goal was to make quality food that was made on the premises and that the sauces made was fermented and marinated to give the meat their fresh, unique taste. I think they hit a slam dunk. The selections are so good that even if you didn’t want to sit and eat you could order their half or whole chicken cut up and make dinner at home special too. Oh and if you’re wondering they are on Caviar for delivery as well.

Kimchi cheese fries

Since I’m vegan let me tell you that they had amazing vegetarian dishes that I was able to veganize. I didn’t leave hungry in the least bit. My suggestion is that this is a causal dining experience, good for all types since although they don’t have a specific kids menu, kids of all ages would love the chicken and other offerings. We even had some kids along and I heard a few to all ask for seconds. This is a great spot to gather friends as well or makes a causal date night or date day location.

Beef and vegetarian taco I personally had the vegetarian and it was amazing to keep it vegan I had mine without the sour cream and it was still full of flavor

Crunchik’n has been open for a little over a month. This means you need to get in and show them a little love. For new guests who go you will also receive a gift! Who doesn’t love gifts?

Beef dumplings on the right and the veggie dumplings on the left was made with kale and spinach. The veggie dumplings were super good!

So if you love Korean style food that is fresh, high quality, and served by awesome accommodating staff, make sure you add Crunchik’n to the top of your lists of go tos. You will not be disappointed!!!

Korean fried chicken can come in 8 house-made marinated sauces

They serve tacos, rice bowls, sandwiches, dumplings, Korean fried chicken and even small bites! What’s not to love?!

Spicy pork melt sandwich

The drinks are good too!! They have arrangements from Bubble Teas to fresh Sparkling Ade…

Strawberry lemonade and grapefruit

Mango and Matcha Green Bubble Tea

One last thing:

Crunch Balls which comes with either rice or potato and either beef or vegetarian

The hours are as follows:

Weekly Recap: Friday March 29, 2019

I’m hoping you had a great week. I know for me this week has been a whirlwind. We definitely going to get into it. I had moments of anxiety, almost late, but definitely I survived every single loop thrown to me!

Blog Life

So this week has been light but thankfully so because my personal life took off almost literally. This week I went to see How to Catch Creation. If you missed the blog click on the link to catch up. It was like always at any play I attend at the Philadelphia Theatre Company amazing. One thing I will say anytime I’ve been there from the greeter to the stage participants, everyone hands down are always engaging. Thank you again to the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the entire cast of How to Catch Creation, and Aversa PR for the invite. Make sure you check out How to Catch Creation as it ends April 14th.

This weekend I have quite a full weekend coming which means new spots to try new foods, hang out and have fun. I love that I’m touring Philly. As much as I love to travel there are some bomb places right here in the city. As a lifestyle blogger I’m committed to finding you the spots to take kids, friends, girlfriends, date nights, time with the boys, etc. We covering it all!

Fit Life

So I’ve not stopped my training. It takes a lot to break my focus these days. My first race is coming on April 6th so we are about a week away. With that in mind I’ve had one rest day, 2 run days and 4 workout days. I’m still full time vegan and I’m so super full. I’ve got a lot of support around me from friends helping me fine tune my shopping, to friends sending me recipes and ideas, and just people who aren’t sabotaging me. That in itself is a blessing!

Like I said on Instagram this pic makes me look like Rick James but end of day those 7 miles needed me to show up! Plus it was super cold. I can’t run with my neck feeling cold and since I forgot my running had I made my scarf do double time.

Kid Life

So this past weekend we really did a lot with my kids. The first thing we did is took the family to our first Philadelphia Union soccer team game. My son is a soccer player for the last few years. We wanted him to see how dedicated other players are to their craft. I know he enjoyed it because it was super cold and he was up cheering the entire time. We had them bring blankets but we could barely keep his on him. To be honest we all enjoyed the game.

Also shout out to my oldest kids who got their report cards. They definitely did an amazing job! Great grades and no issues deserves to be shouted out! I’m super proud of them and their academic efforts.

We also visited my hometown to check in on my grandparents. This means we also went to my old church. That was an experience. It’s so different seeing people you grew up with as they change. I pray blessings on the members who aren’t doing well.

Personal Life

So my love aka my husband was away on business for work. Yay! Welcome Back Sir and come get yo kids! However the challenge of managing schedules by myself was interesting. Anyone who knows us knows that both he and I are super active with the kids. It’s still no secret that because of our varying work schedules I’m physically with the kids more. There’s a huge difference from having a hands on dad in the home to having to do things by yourself. This is what real single moms deal with.

They don’t have the fortitude of having someone help with pick ups or drop offs. If someone gets sick they have to leave work and potentially lose coins to attend to a child. Salute to single moms. I was born in a single mom home. I’m familiar with the struggle. I found it difficult at points to physically navigate schedules this week. I am the one that manages the schedules with my husband but there’s help to split responsibilities. This week was limited help. It was an eye opening experience.

It made me more grateful for help. Although I do a lot for the family in making sure we have what we need when we need it, my husbands help and support is invaluable. I never want to discredit him ever. He’s a great dad and the kids and I are blessed to have him. With that being said, I’ll be at someone’s happy hour because this momma is tired for real.

In the midst of all of this, my youngest decided to throw a play date into the mix. I am the type of parent that is about preparation. So with a day’s notice I flew into action to make the play date happen. I never want anyone’s child to not have the snacks that they like when they are at my house. Even if it’s my cousin or nieces I go out of my way to accommodate. The little girl is vegan and I love it since I am too. I however don’t eat a whole lot of snacks outside of homemade granola, yogurt, fruit, hummus, etc. However I was ready to go for the play date.

I deal with anxiety and have been open about it. So when the play date started I started to get a little anxious because hey it’s another child. You want to be sure there are no injuries and that the child is comfortable. It takes a lot for me to be out of my element which is why I allowed the play date to happen even though I had so much going on this week. There’s never a right yes for me and I’ll avoid things. That is anxiety. You want to do something but your mind plays it up to be the worse thing ever. So I pushed past it and got through it and everyone had a great time.

My kids did an amazing job adjusting by the way! We have a lot of structure in our home that it was good to see that when we needed to adjust the structure we were able to! I will say the one day following the play, we woke up super late but like little kid pros, we still got to all of our destinations on time.

Upcoming events

On Saturday I’ll be going to Crunchikn with the #travelingwithchefcherryl brunch crew! Do not worry they have vegetarian options and I will be sure mine are vegan inspired. I will take pics is non vegan options so my readers who aren’t vegan can know what to ask for when you go. Of course that will be after I run about 8 miles in the morning!

The Hot Chocolate 5/15k is April 6th! I also will have 2 other blog locations coming up. One of those will be attending the media day for the Philadelphia Zoo as I attend their new exhibit, Creatures of Habitat as they bring back the Zoo Key.

Don’t forget that I’ll be at the 3rd Annual Women’s Empowerment conference on April 6th! I’ll be blogging the event and I am encouraging all women to attend. It’s free and childcare will be provided along with breakfast and lunch! Empowering women of all walks of life is important. Ladies we are more of a force when we learn to do things together!

March is coming to a swift close. I’ll be doing a thank you blog to all of the ladies who did the women’s month blogs. I am grateful for the participation!!

So my weekend is packed. I have a race coming and some media events upcoming. With all of that going on, I still have scheduled some me time and I’m hoping a nap on Sunday! I don’t get many but I’m definitely going to schedule one in!

Have a great Friday and an amazing weekend!! Do something to fill your cup.

National Incredible Kid (s) Day

Today is National Incredible Kid (s) day. I happen to have 3 of the most incredible kids that I know. They are respectful, full of life, and they are mine.  I love them so much. Having kids has been an adventure. I have had to alter my life in ways I didn’t know I could. No one could have prepared me for motherhood. It comes with some highs and lows like when they are sick or in the hospital. I pray daily that I am giving what they need and more and not what I think they need. Each of my children are amazing in their own right.

Naila

My first-born holds the special place in my heart. She is the one who made me a mom. I have talked about her birth story before. I developed preeclamsia and had to be induced. When that didn’t work and my blood pressure was at an unhealthy level I had an emergency C-section and she was born 6 weeks early. Oh the fear in my mind but I tried all I could do to keep her in despite what was happening to me. The doctors told me if she comes out crying that would be one hurdle. She came out hollering. I was relieved. I didn’t get to spend too much time with her as they whisked her to ICU.  She was in NICU for one week. However I knew I had a fighter as they told me the more they tried to hook her up to cords, she pulled each and every one of them off. She is an amazing child. She is a big helper, she is courteous, loves to smile, never sees the bad in others, and she is an all around star.

Mj

My son. He probably was the least problematic pregnancy. He looked so much like his sister that for the first week I kept calling him his sister. He is an amazing boy who loves to ask questions. His heart is bigger than this world can contain. He loves the world. He loves Spider-Man, his god mother calls him Spidey. He is truly a smart remarkable young man. He does what you ask for the most part. He loves to know why things are the way they are. This has been a blessing and sometimes a headache.  I love the way his mind thinks. He loves rules and wants to be a police man this week. Last week he wanted to be Spider-Man. Whatever he chooses to do I will be there to support him. Mj is the type of child that you can count on to follow the rules.  He is an amazing soccer player too! As a boy he has my heart in ways I didn’t even imagine was possible.

Noelle

She is my firecracker. She has a personality like no other. She was my most clingy baby. She didn’t go to much of anyone at birth. It took her almost 2 years to become more social. She is excited to start Kindergarten next school year. In addition to that she flourishes the most when she is singing or dancing. I tell her you may be the next Beyoncé and her response is, Beyoncé can be my back up dancer. I love that she doesn’t just accept everything and everyone. She side eyes most people. Her intuition is spot on. I have never questioned her judgement because she certainly knows what is going on. She is a joy to be around but she has been deemed the “thug” of the family. That isn’t a negative word either. She can hold her own. I tell her she gets that from her great-grandmother, Earline mixed with them McGinnis genes it’s a wonder she is like she is. She most definitely the one that would show up to protect her older siblings without question.

I am more than blessed to have the best incredible kids call me mom. I hold that title with honor. I pray I am guiding them in the right ways. I do what I can to make sure they are prepared in this world. Everyday I tell them I love them. Every single day they hear words of affirmation from me and their dad. They know they are surrounded in love. I can’t help but be there for these 3 beautiful souls. Shout out to my 3 incredible kids!

Thank you to Termini Brothers Bakery

I’ve been on a tour of sorts of Philadelphia. As much as I absolutely love hoping on the road or taking a flight out of the city, sometimes you can find the best treasures in your own backyard. Termini Brothers Bakery is in its 98th year. Following the family traditions they still bake the old-fashioned way. I have never heard of them before. Before someone comes for me, I have only been in the city for 8 years this month!  So I am constantly learning daily. With that in mind I was happy to tour the facilities.  I also of course indulged and took some treats home for the kids.

To see the longevity that is the Termini Brothers Bakery that is being passed down the family line and even with technology advancing seeing how they keep the tradition of fresh baking going, you don’t see that too often these days.

Thank you to Mr. Termini himself for giving us an amazing tour into the decorating room that is usually off-limits and the picture as well. Every last member of the team was gracious and gave us that family feel.  You all are amazing. I will definitely will be back!

Their main location is at 1523 S. 8th Street but they have 3 other locations in Philadelphia: Packer Park Shopping Center, Reading Terminal, and Main Shops at the Comcast Center.

If you are looking for a mainstay bakery that is fresh and absolutely delicious try out Termini

Hours:

Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

(Holiday Hours Vary)

OPEN
Thanksgiving 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Memorial Day 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Fourth of July 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Labor Day 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

CLOSED
Christmas Day
New Year’s Day

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I love being serenaded upon entry!!