Meatless and Surviving

So I decided to go meatless this week. Like for real no meat this whole week. I did so great that now the debate is will I add meat back in?! I decided to do this once a month in preparation for my fall runs and races. However between a few friends and a few blogs I follow and I have been fulfilled and eating too good.

I think when you tell yourself you aren’t going to have something the more you want it. All the food I’ve made this week has had me in my bag. Everyone who knows me knows I meal prep all year long. Even my family meals, because it ensures that we can eat dinner and meals within reason. I would encourage everyone to meal prep. Although it’s a lot of work to cut and prep and cook food ahead of time the wins during the week surpass anything I could think. I’ve been meal prepping since I returned to work from being a stay at home mom a few years ago! It started with wanting my kids to have the same level of home cooked meals they had when I was home with them all day!

So how strong has the meat demon been on my back?! Hella strong. I was making my family’s plates like Lawd let me touch just one piece but nope I would just say no and fix my plate with my selections and I was fine. My kids asked me if I was going to be a vegetarian all my life?! I let them know I’m not sure but I’m not dieting at all just replacing things to live a healthy lifestyle and of course I offered them a few bites but nope they wouldn’t bite. I’m going to tell my other food is super healthy and see if they leave me selections alone. It’s worth a try!!

So the reason I decided I was going meatless is it was a suggestion from a friend of mine who is training for her Fall runs. We run together and I was talking to her about my goals. I have so many on my calendar that I want to make sure I’m super ready. When I’m preparing for runs I find my body weight won’t change but how lean I appear looks more refined in the Fall then the Summer!!

So instead of allowing the meat demon roll up on me, I listened to a few of my friends and my meals have been great. I’ll keep you updated should I continue this journey more than one week in a month but for now I reign victor!!

Shout out to Quorn I swear there food was awesome all week I had such variety and I know meatless shouldn’t taste good or at least I thought, but this brand hands down can take all my money it’s so good!!

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To Toi or Not to Toi…Throw her back edition

My kids when see me jamming out to an “old skool” jam always ask how was I before kids? I always laugh and tell them I was super fun. I was but I try to incorporate that into my present life as well. However my life from its blast from the past until now is not quite one in the same.

Social Butterfly Natasha

Back in the day especially in college I was a lot more adventurous. I remember coming home from college that first semester and being super disappointed because the clubs weren’t the same. The people I was around wasn’t as outgoing as they were at Penn State. I was bummed out. I actually like a true nerd walked around Walmart crying when I saw the back to school supplies and knew I wasn’t going back to school. Either way without alcohol I still was the type to not miss a party and not miss the opportunity to dance the night away! Now I have moments when that happens. I’ve exchanged my dancing shoes and that’s fine too!!

I had an alter ego like Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce and her name is Natasha. I say is because I can call on her in any moment. She’s definitely ruthless and more cut throat in her techniques. She’s outgoing and doesn’t care. Natasha is on standby ready to be tagged teamed in.

Drama Queen

Depending on who you ask I still have residual drama queen tactics and will call upon my petty when necessary. Back in the day I never came out of petty mode. I used to be dripping in petty. I could pop off without being provoked. Now a days I stray away from that instinct because it really isn’t necessary. No more days fighting and arguing with folks over stuff that don’t matter. Momma I’ve made it!! Super far cry from the past! Now I just watch people more and if something doesn’t seem right I just disengage. I try not to get too involved with things that no longer serve a greater purpose. I know that sounds cliche but the reality is I don’t have that kind of time like I had or gave into!

Who got feelings?!

I definitely had feelings but a lot of times I would be the one to say what I needed first, oh how dumb I was in my early 20s. Hurting people’s feelings should have been a class cause I would have aced it!! I wasn’t always as diplomatic or politically correct as I try to be now. Such a defense mechanism to hurt first so the other person wouldn’t realize they hurt me. As a full adult who takes credit for her wrongs I know that isn’t the way to handle things.

Sharp as a whip

My mouth really is a two edged sword. I really can end people or at least that’s how I came off. First of all I like to argue. I like to go back and forth and in the right energy which most times were the worse energy I could end you without breaking a sweat. I definitely grew up around no nonsense parents and they ain’t play and I felt like I definitely took that and ran with it. I could appear the good girl and catch you off guard and come for you. It’s funny how all of these reality shows show this type of woman and I could have given any network major ratings before it became a style. Now I’ve stopped watching these shows and moved on from this behavior.

All of these things could be seen as negative. I could hear someone say why even tell people this?! Simple it’s what made me, ME! Flaws are a spice of life. Although the parts of me that are deemed negative, I’ve worked constantly on. This is how you have growth. When I could have read someone for filth but I have to eat it, I know that’s growth!! This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever tap into any of these parts when necessary. I will and do. If Natasha has to come out then so be it. She can make an appearance but she has to go back in the vault. I don’t live in negative spaces like it’s a full time job.

Oh and by the way even if you never blog about it, you too have to live with the private and public persona and challenges. You too have to make a decision to allow what’s made you over take you! We all are flawed I’m just the first to admit it!

So for today’s #tbt (throw back Toi) I can admit that my life has changed from my younger immature days. I am constantly proud of my life and I’ve come a long way when I was taking over from the 99 and the 00! (I know you read that in your best Juvenile voice)

Ask Toi: How do I deal with my Parents thinking I’m not following old school parenting with my own kids?!

This is multilayered. This could have come up if you’re making comments about new school parenting is better. It can come up if you do something that an old school parent thinks is too new school. It could come up if you ask for advice from old school parent but then do the opposite.

Depending on when it comes up is how you proceed. There’s no doubt that old school parents believe and hold to their old school values. That can be from diapering to discipline. So if you are stating how better the new school way is better often times old school parents hear “you think you’re a better parent,” or they hear, “you think my ways are wrong.”

If the argument of who is better comes up during a time when the new school parent does something in front of an old school parent that could mess with the new school parent and you think you’re not good enough. You may feel pressure for approval and it can mess you up if you aren’t feeling it. If you ever ask an old school parent advice and then don’t take it, it could come off as a “why you ask?!” This is probably the most irritating interactions.

So here’s the thing:

1. Parenting is subjective: you won’t ever get to the point where you feel 100% feel that you are quite finding your rhythm and old school parents are super high fiving you! It would be nice but not everyone has that happy mesh.

2. Old school and new old school ways are within you. You will fuse them but only how much depends on you.

3. Try not to take everything said to heart. Between your own parents and finding your way and the world with their long laundry list of to dos and not to do it will be hard to find your actual way. It’s okay!

4. Trust your instinct-this is hard but necessary

When I had my first child she was born 6 weeks early and had to stay a few days in the NICU. I was fortunate that it wasn’t a longer stay. I relied on my own mother to guide me. She gave me basic parenting skills. However my child had a lot of health issues therefore I had to rely on the doctors for a lot that first couple of years. Probably more than I would have all things considered. A lot of folks was knocking me for it. I trusted my instinct, and did some give and take with those around me. I pushed through! You’re not choosing one side over the over. You’re choosing what you need to feel successful in parenting. Also it’s okay that old school won’t agree. Parenting comes with thick skin. Take things with a grain of salt. No the things that our parents did when we were younger will work now, times have changed but what’s the same is wanting better for your child, keeping them safe and healthy, and working hard to provide. Be gentle with yourself but stand strong in your decisions.

Love is…A Reality Check

Momma can call your shit out like no one else. You can pretend for anyone but yo momma and this episode sweet Jesus didn’t come to play.

Man that don’t take care of his family….

One kudos to Nuri for making Yasir was accountable to his child. No one on this planet should ever be with a man who doesn’t take care of their child. Period! If you’re dating a man with a child and you aren’t helping him be a better man, and father you are trash. Men have to be better at being there for their own kids. I was always taught by my own momma a man who won’t take care of their child, won’t take care of anything in regards to you.

So let’s talk about the big blow up with Nuri, Destiny (Yasir baby mom) and Yasir:

Momma called a spade a spade. Although she is one who contributed to a fault with how Yasir ended up she was still willing and able to let Yasir know to knock it off and respect his child’s mother. Nothing is sicker to me than a mother who enables h r son then plays dumb when the ish goes left!!! Sorry but the reality is you know your son ain’t worth the dust on the ground either help him to be better but don’t cradle him in his mess. I can’t even respect a mom who does that. Thankfully Loretta Devine, held no punches and had me standing up like get him momma!

Destiny showed depth to her small role as Yasir’s son mother. The anger and the pain she portrayed. Listen when you see a woman who laid down and gave her all even in child-birth to a man and that man leaves for whatever reason; that pain is incomparable. It’s almost too strong for words. She is doing the work to give life to his dream while she slowly dies…. no wonder the anger we think we see in black women is misplaced. The weight of the world is sometimes too much.

Passion of Black Women

Listen, the hard work, long hours, etc are a lot. However after going into work and having to deal with stereotypes, and people being passed up, etc for a job that you can’t even be passionate about is something that WE know oh so well. Being told that as a woman you’re not good enough or you’re too much maybe next time, is debilitating. It’s hollow, senseless and numb that we can be the vision that a job needs and sometimes the favor of a department and still not be enough… whew the hypocrisy.

I was sooooooo happy to see that a project came up for Angela but the roles were so scarce in the 90s. All of this black girl magic and we are left to find ways to create in places that wasn’t made to hold our creativity?!

There may be more blogs from this one episode cause I plan to re watch it again!!

Fizzle Chronicles

Oh love you are amazing! You give me goosebumps! You make me feel like I can do anything! Ever have that feeling? It’s amazing isn’t it?! However if you really been in love with the right one you know there are times when things can go left and quick! So how do you deal with the fizzle of love?!

What’s love got to do with it?

I think one of the many faces of love is work. We have been conditioned from society and movies that a man finds a woman and they live happily ever. So sweet! What we know is that happily ever comes from two happy, sound and whole individuals who arrive at a balance and work together. Love is amazing but without keeping it balanced will lead to this false sense of what love looks like. This can be super damaging.

Love stories vs Real Life

When I first got married I had every intention of having anything and everything say wife. Wife shirts, wife socks, cups anything. I was going to wear lingerie at least 3 days a week and make extravagant meals. Oh how television can be a real drag when real life hits! Can you do all of those things yes you can but keeping it spicy means getting spice and being realistic. I definitely didn’t meet that expectation I put on myself in our first year! However truth moment: I didn’t put any effort at all. So between being a sex kitten and sleep deprived there is a happy medium.

Celebrate the Moments

When I first got married I asked seasoned married folks what they did to survive. I got all kinds of answers but the one that stuck with me the most was celebrating moments. I talked to my husband and we decided to incorporate that in our own marriage. So we celebrate man-made holidays, our own fun and we celebrate each other’s successes and laugh and cry together at our failures. So that may mean a glass of wine for landing a new client, to celebrating each other individual success such as when I hit 1000 followers on Twitter for the blog. Every little thing is celebrated as much as possible. This keeps things light even in the dark days that come and go! The way you celebrate can be super small from a favorite treat to a great day night.

Women can plan date nights

My husband is A1 on dates. That’s always been his thing! From our first date to the most reason he knows how to plan a night for two. As I’ve gotten more secure in my own skin, I’ve stepped up to the plate. This means planning and organizing dates from the sitter to the drop off. I definitely feel like a boss when that check comes to me and I can happily pay for it! I also just like he does me make sure he knows he got to put out at the end! It’s fun! It’s fun planning and watching him enjoy a night just like he does for me!

Sex

We all know the one area that love can fizzle and that’s in the area of sex. I don’t know about you but whether married or not if I’m in a committed relationship, sex is happening. There are a millions reasons as to why sex becomes an issue. The solution is connecting outside of the bedroom so it can be lights out in the bedroom. If your partner isn’t getting what they need outside of the bedroom then the couple AND individual have to do their part to set it straight. Ladies I get it, but don’t let that man suffer in the bedroom because you and him aren’t willing to do the work outside and same for the men!

It Takes Two

Thanks to Rob Base we know a lot of things takes two and it definitely takes two to make a thing go right! Two individuals bear the responsibility in their individual and coupled success. Work needs to be done! Fizzles happen the most when you take your eyes off of the balance in life. Kids are a handful, work can be draining, and life well it can suck! However you have the power to balance yourself and balance the love you and your sweetheart have made!

Take the time to focus on the fizzle and spark it back up! You owe it to each other!!

Summer Sneak Off

So I had a little time yesterday so I thought I would sneak out and head to the pool. I called my girlfriend and she grabbed her girls and we made it into a day! Did I mention that it was like an entire heat wave?!

Let’s back up to Sunday. I woke up in a great mood but just moods they waiver. By mid to late morning I was over the day! I had a party to go to, work to do, etc and I was over it. My husband shout out to him in recognizing when I get like that encouraged me to press through it. By the time I had gotten to the kid party and got a baby fix I was better! We even stopped for some ice-cream and you know ice-cream makes everything better. Side note I have to start finding places that can accommodate non dairy. I paid greatly for that frozen yogurt!

Monday was looking clear and so I made a day of it. The pool and the heat was exactly what I needed. Sun and water always make me feel like a million bucks. Even with all of this melanin I enjoy laying out with my sunscreen getter darker! Tan lines make me feel good. Thankfully with the heat index I couldn’t say there wasn’t enough sun! I enjoyed my pool day! Thanks K! Being able to recognize when I need something for myself and not being afraid to go and get it has been viral for my self-care!

Oh and this week I’m doing no meat. I am committed to doing one week in each month until the end of the year meat free! Ohhhhhh but I have found some yummy dishes that I’m really like I can keep this going. My goal is slowly transition myself into more of a meatless lifestyle. We shall see how far I get. Thankful for my friends sending me recipes, hints and ideas. I had a full day and I wasn’t hungry!

Oh and just like days there are ups and downs I ended up hitting a parked car! All is well do not worry! I’m grateful that I handled it well and it will be just fine!

So let me end by saying as much as I am a planner by nature it felt good being able to just get up and be spontaneous and enjoy a Summer day!! Sneaking off without the kids felt great and I didn’t have to share my food although since it was meat free they might not have wanted any of it anyway! So I’m hoping to have a few more sneak off days soon and I need to complete my Summer to do list! Summer is almost over, what have you not done that you want to do?! Get it done!

To church or not to church… your choice but heal from past hurt!

I get a lot of people are hurt by the church body. If you don’t understand what church body that means that 9 times out of 10 they went to a church who has left a bad taste in their mouth and now feel like the church as a whole has failed them. This isn’t one of these blogs that says you have to go to church. This is for the folks that I know that are like me who have been burned and want to go. So miss me with the whole “omg I don’t want to listen to a sermon.” That ain’t how this blog is rolling!

There are a lot of truth to the pain that folks have endured especially depending on where you go and who you are under. Every church body that identifies themselves as whatever they choose have certain rules and regulations that can be harmful for people who are hurting to begin with. I grew up in church all of my life. I’m talking about that bible study twice a week, usher meeting, choir rehearsal no family time on Saturday and all day Sunday type of church. Being a child and not able to govern what I wanted to do in the case of church or spirituality there were zero options. I was in the building even even I didn’t want to be.

A lot of principle I have taken with me. I choose now not to take like the be in the building every day principle. I think that is team too much but I don’t knock those who insists that works for them. I too have been burned by church folks aka the folks in the building. It’s no secret. I’ve had to block many of the folks I’ve once attended services on social media. Why? Real simple any time I’ve spoken on my experiences it’s been an issue. No harm no foul I get it they are deep in. Kudos to you. I choose to live with balance. I choose to make sure that with all of the hours of being inside of the building that my life outside of the building looks right on and off social media. Most importantly I am grown. As much as I want to blame God or the people in a particular church, I’ve since moved on from that target of pain. I still don’t deal with my old pastor however I have said my peace about it and him. I wish him well but he’s not my spiritual leader. There’s nothing wrong with that it is what it is.

Disclaimer: I have a lot of my home family and friends who will read this blog and would love to spin this into a thing. I have like a lot of my blogs edited it. I will not edit myself in person if you attempt to try me and make this into more than it is.

People we’re all in their feelings with gospel singer Le’ Andria went left but she spoke no lies it was her delivery that folks was up in arms over. We have to stop thinking that folks hurt and pain can be wiped away with a prayer alone with the ones who are out here hurting don’t take responsibility for their actions. Charity or love starts at home and needs to be brought back in the households of faith. If the world is hurting, surely coming from dysfunction into a spiritually dysfunctional place will not heal them just cause you use Jesus name. That was a word for some that didn’t catch it. Also leaders are flawed. Leaders are men and women and outside of Gods hand will do, and do things they shouldn’t. We got to stop setting these pastors on peddle-stools. A lot of folks know what the pastor said and none on what God says. We don’t even study we just go with the flow. We don’t ask questions because asking questions is disrespectful. This mindset is one tootsie roll to that of a cult!

I no longer use my old church, the folks in it and anything that happened while I was there in my youth to sway me from my spiritual journey. I used to use that excuse but after awhile even I had to come to the realization that folks is going to be them. If they off at home no wonder they spew offness over a whole congregation and their people live off lives outside the building. Listen I got a slew of flaws. I got folks that would be deaf to anything I say or do based upon old interactions. I could give them the opportunity to start over again but the reality is when folks don’t like you no matter what you say or do they won’t receive it! So I choose to live life in balance.

If you are struggling with going into the house of God or at least where man has placed his name, dont go back to the place that hurt you. You don’t have to vomit and go back to it! If you’re sick, there are a million and one other hospitals to go to. Find your spiritual path. Make sure not to drag the pain with you forever. I promise you, you can live a balanced life, and still find what you need.

To the past church members that I have offended let me say I’m sorry for my actions as well. However when I wish you well I mean it. To the ones who have offended me I have dropped the charges mentally and emotionally.

I know that Sunday morning plays all kinds of games on those who struggle to find their way! I am a living witness that you can move past pain that the good “church folks” have given you! It doesn’t have to end your church career. However I would caution you from church hopping to avoid what you left. I would employ you to deal with it. No matter how messy it is, or how painful it is. You deserve to be made whole and understand that may not come from the ones who hurt you! Don’t do like me and attend Bedside Baptist to avoid folks! Folks is folks they gon be them until the end of time. Find what works for you that is your initial direction. It’s not about having “itchy ears.” It’s about finding a place that will guide you and that won’t put a stamp of approval on your stuff but also isn’t afraid to admit when they too aren’t aligned and then do the work to get aligned!

Happy Sunday morning!!