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!

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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!!

2nd week Summer Breakdown

So as promised I will be breaking down my week with the kids during the summer vacation months. It’s important for me to showcase that yes you can have a great summer and spend less money. This doesn’t include weekend events or things to do, but now even on the weekend I’m not overspending either. Last week I spent around 183 dollars. Check out last week’s blog for the breakdown!

This week I definitely and happily spent 77.74! Now I did get sick about end of the week but the activities I would have done wouldn’t have been over that amount it would have been under that amount.

Monday

We did a swim day! Which is why I may have gotten sick. It was like an allergy attack or some sort of shenanigans. Either way breakfast at home and lunch at McDonald’s, swimming and park! I spent 18.51 total! It was a great treat to start the week since normally we do most meals at home! Oh a little pro tip any day I can add the park I do. I usually work out while they play. If I check the weather and the weather is an issue I do a home workout but I have been working out 4 days a week not including the weekend!!

Tuesday

We went to the $5 AMC Tuesday movie and saw Toy Story 4! I knew I wanted to see it but the crowds of the weekend and the price told me to wait until Tuesday hit! That 5 dollars hit different on a Tuesday. I am also an AMC Stub member so I had points I used those points towards the $5 snack deal of a small popcorn and an Icee!

$5 movies for 4=20

4 snacks minus my $5 reward= $15.87

After the movie it was back to the park for my workout and kids play! We then headed home for dinner and my husband and I went to Chima for some blog work and date night for the win!

Wednesday

I began to not feel well so we elected to stay in to take meds. I also wanted to make sure my car would be done. If you remember I was hit right before my Paris trip. We still went to Greater Plymouth Meeting for the movies under the stars and viewed Lion King. This was great as we prepare for the new blockbuster coming out this Summer! It was great. They have an amazing DJ! They did a hoola hoop contest and have Chick Fil A truck, Koona Shaved Ice truck, fresh popcorn and candy for sale.

I still always pack my own food and snacks. One cause I’m vegan and two because it’s cost effective for us 4! It’s always a great time no matter what!!

Movie starts at 8 or when the sun goes down and we usually get home at around 11pm and as you can see, from the above picture it was immediate sleep and quiet for the parents!!!!

Thursday

I needed a chill day plus I needed to redo the girls hair and start laundry! I knew what my weekend plans were and that meant there was no way I could have had time to get them altogether! They did a lot of indoor activities and the girls hair was rebraided! Also I got my car back better than ever! This momma was super happy! Shout out to Wolk Enterprises for doing an amazing job!

Friday

It was a mess! I was so sick by this point that I woke up at 130! Do not fret! My husband stayed home with the kids and ordered them pizza! Our oldest was supposed to have Girl Scouts. My son did some errands with my husband and my youngest had a play date!! I had no idea that my Husband was going to stay home to be honest I was going to be a trooper and take them to Legoland and the park! It felt good when I woke up to even realize that he was home! I was able to rest and it helped me for the weekend!!

This upcoming week will be a short week with the 4th! I will not be including the 4th or the 5th so my totals will be smaller than this week!!!! Listen between work and kids it’s important to save money and make sure the kids have an amazing Summer! Also this week with it being Fourth of July there are so many activities to do in Philly and many are free!

National Celebrate Your Marriage

Marriage is beautiful. You see couples all in love holding hands and with their kissy face and that’s the images people tend to hold onto! What they don’t see in the background is the work it takes to keep a marriage alive and fresh.

Marriage is two people uniting to become one. In this oneness no one talks about the mirror that goes up immediately. You see yourself as you work out the kinks of unity. Sometimes it’s the first time you see yourself in all of its rawness. This is why it’s important to pick the right partner. The right partner will stand with you and not against you as you face this mirror of reality. The right partner will do the work to walk beside you without outing you to their friends and family. The right partner will love you through.

One of the things that even a right partner can’t do is make you happy. There isn’t a happy wife, happy life. Too many couples extend that mantra with an unhappy wife or husband at the core. This means that the husband is bending and bending for a woman who even with best interest will make the union unhappy. It goes both ways for wives with husbands. Marriage is work. Weddings are fun. Never put more energy into the wedding that you forget you are building a marriage.

When we first got married we didn’t have all of the right tools. We thought our love and history would be enough and sadly it wasn’t. In the first year we were already in counseling even though we had premarital counseling to start off with. We saw each other as the enemy. I had my own issues that couldn’t keep up with my own ideals of marriage. Happily we were given the tools but we still bumped heads very often.

Today I know we are more partners than we were in the first year. We make sure our own cups are full before we try to gift, work, or sex our way through issues. We enjoy the marriage more. We are able to bounce back quicker from an argument than before. We have separated interests and friends that we enjoy. We do things together as a couple and as a family. We fight on the same team instead of breaking down each other. We keep core issues within and limit outsourcing to the wrong people. We pray and keep spiritually connected. We have sex often. We enjoy each other’s presence. We fight fair. We give each other a time out to come back and talk about issues. We don’t mirror our marriage with another couple. We know what works for us and that’s something to celebrate! Perfection isn’t the outlook, but imperfectly working on the same team to make sure we stay strong, in love, healthy in mind and spirit is always what Team Storr is about!

To all marriages may you pour back into yourselves and celebrate every small victory like you do the big ones!

Chima Philadelphia: Tomahawk Tuesday

Have you ever had a tomahawk steak? It’s a beef rib-eye with 5 inches of extra rib bone for presentation. The long bone looks like an axe which is where the name tomahawk comes from. So what does this amazing cut of steak and chima have in common? Tomahawk Tuesdays at Chima now allows you this beautiful cut of steak along with their other rodízio aka meats at no extra charge. Trust me you are going to want to go up on a Tuesday! I had the pleasure of spending an evening and I’m going to break it all down for you. From the options for all nutrition palates to drinks to dessert.

Valet

One of the best things about Philadelphia is the amazing restaurants. Chima is definitely ahead of the cut when it comes to style, service, and ambiance. One of the other features that many aren’t aware of is they offer valet parking for $11.00. Now not many have the patience to do like my husband does to circle around the block several times to stalk out parking. I know I don’t. Whenever I am going to a location after I do my Google maps to be sure I know how to get there is to find what parking accommodations they have. We all have seen that red Parking sign that says “limited.” In Center City you already know that parking is slim to none. Now you can not only pay for parking but have someone else park it with valet for $11 and trust that is a great deal! I love convenience. Being a woman on the go sometimes I am cutting it close to locations due to life and mom duties. It’s good to know that when I come to a Chima, I’ll have one less worry and I can enjoy my night out with less stress.

Drinks

Not everyone drinks and that’s quite okay as there are many assortments of non alcoholic drinks available. For those who do drink they have a unique menu. I would highly recommend trying the Chima Caipirinha. They come in the following flavor offerings:

  • Strawberry
  • Açaí
  • Pineapple
  • Passion Fruit
  • Orange

The Chima caipirinha is one of their signatures straight from Brazil. One of the things I look for with drinks is presentation, taste and quality of the drinks. I’ve been to many establishments where the drinks lacked in one or more of these areas yet the price remained the same. At Chima that is not the case. From first sip to last its amazing. Nothing is watered down and that’s always a great thing!

Chima caipirinha pineapple

Chima caipirinha açaí

I also enjoyed the ultimate margarita! I love margaritas a lot. They are always festive and if made right a great choice for the night. Chima definitely put the ultimate into the ultimate margarita. The drink is filled to the possible capacity. I actually had to sip it down to even pick it up to drink!

Choices

So Chima is where my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and it had been that long since we there last as we are soon coming up on our 7th anniversary. Immediately I noticed the changes in their menus. In addition to the hard bound book you also get an iPad to look and view drinks, desserts, etc. all night. This makes it so much easier to see what you want as you listen in at the waiter/waitress recommendations. I found this to be super helpful for me in making my selections. Plus seeing pictures of what I wanted was helpful as well. FYI what you see in the picture is exactly how it’s coming out. There are no surprises!

Rodízio

So let’s keep it real, Chima is a Brazilian steakhouse so meats is there speciality. I will definitely cue you in on how to please all the non meat eaters as well in a minute. For those who love to eat meat, this is the oasis of meats. Quality and quantity is not ever an issue at Chima. When you arrive (for those who have never been) you are given a circled card. The one side says no thank you and the other side says yes please! The yes please signals the servers who will frequent your table often to ask you for your choice in selection and temperature (rare, medium, well down, etc.) of meat. As long as the yes please card is up they will ask and offer. When you want to take a rest, flip the card over and they will pass you by! Each place setting also has a tong that as they cut you can pull your selection as you go!

As far as meats there is chicken, steak, pork, beef, and sausages cooked in many varieties available daily while the tomahawk is available on Tomahawk Tuesday!

The tomahawk is charred to perfection, juicy from first bite and exceptional-I brought a resident meat expert aka my husband

No other options?

Chima could be your go to for an upscale date night, a party, celebrating any and all occasions, or just to come in on Tomahawk Tuesday! Either way you may have a few or more in your party that doesn’t necessarily eat meats. It’s hard to please everyone but I can reassure you Chima has you covered. The salad bar is ahead of its class. This isn’t your run in the mill salad bar. The selections are fresh and have an amazing selections of foods for vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians and meat eaters alike. Just remember to always grab a clean plate when you’re ready to enjoy! For those who don’t want to sit at a traditional table the bar is available too. The bar is a great place for a great after work drink as well!

One of my favorites of the night was the pineapple with cinnamon. This comes along like the seared meats on a skewer for you to select. The pineapple also has brown sugar and it’s warm and something you didn’t even know you needed in your life. Not to mention the fresh veggie skewers that you can get with or without corn! They also have salmon cooked to perfection as well!

Here is a full plated option which doesn’t nearly include all that was offered at the salad bar:

They also have a menu for gluten free options as well! This menu is separated so you know exactly which options will be appropriate!

Desserts if you Dare

Because all of the food is eat as you please you may not have a single ounce of room for dessert. However if you do they have a wide selection of choices. I would recommend the Brazilian Trio! The Brazilian Trio consists of Brigaderio aka Brazilian fudge and condensed milk, Beijinho which is coconut and condensed milk, and walnut cream!

Also consider the açaí cream! It’s açaí blended in Häagen-Dazs vanilla icecream and served with Frangelico liqueur.

The Apple Strudel is also a great contender as well served with cinnamon icecream and caramel sauce.

So as you can see you might just want to consider coming to Tomahawk Tuesday. One, dinner is served from 530-930 with last seating at 915pm! So if you’re like me and have to wait until late to grab a meal at times this would be more ideal. Two, Tuesday is better with tomahawk cut steak and you get to relax without all of the hoopla of the weekend crowd or run around. Don’t sleep on a Tuesday because with the Tomahawk in town you might find that it’s the new turn up in Center City!

Few house keeping rules: dress is always business casual. So no flip flops and sports gear. Plus you’re going to want to dress for the ambiance of where and what you’re eating. Eating high quality food should be understood to dress accordingly.

A special thank to our waiter Jonas! Jonas you by far exceeded our expectations! You were warm, knowledgeable, and kind!

Thank you to my date of the evening, Marques! I’m sure you had an amazing time. Anytime I don’t want to cook especially on a Tomahawk Tuesday is where you and I can venture!

Thank you to all the managers, chefs and staff at Chima! Your hospitality over exceeded my expectations. You were most gracious and I definitely will be back for the amazing food, drinks, and desserts. Thank you a million times over!

Make sure to follow Chima on Instagram as you want to stay up to date with specials.

You can also as always follow me on Instagram so you can see pics not included in this blog and to follow along all of my adventures too!

Who knows you might just see me at another Tomahawk Tuesday!!!

Summer Time in Old City: Old City Eats Block Party

One of the best parts about being in Philly is the amazing block parties. It’s something I didn’t see as often when I lived in Lancaster. In Philly you need zero reasons to bring residents together and it’s a party every time. Last night Old City threw a block party and it was the best prelude to Summer.

It’s officially Summer! One of my most favorite seasons! This means more fun, more sun, and dare I say more block parties. The streets last night was filled with people ready to have that Summer like fun. It was pouring rain earlier and I held back to see what the weather would do. Even despite the earlier weather, you couldn’t get a better outlook for the block party. The sun came out, it was a little humid and the rain left.

So I know between the tussle of the week day, the earlier rain that may have deterred your plans you might have missed it. There’s hope! Each week on Thursdays you will have the opportunity to attend Old City Eats as over 20 restaurants will be offering the best of the best for amazing eats and sips. You know I love to sip but I love it more in the Summer. I hadn’t been in Old City in awhile and it was great to see some of the eateries the area had to offer. Here are 3 restaurants that were amazing. I hope to go back a few more times to show case a few more during the Thursday run. These amazing sips will be offered every Thursday until August 29th. It’s a great way to start your early weekend and get out before Friday!

Cuba Libre Restaurant And Rum Bar

Who doesn’t block party without drinks?! Nobody that hangs with me! Cuba Libre has the drinks on lock with the selections of mojito, rum punch, beer, and empanadas. I personally had the mango mojito and the rum punch. Now I don’t know if people were getting more mojitos just because of the Summer feels but the rum punch was amazing! Oh and what’s a great drink without an amazing cup to drink it out of?! They served them inside of coconuts.

Makhani

So a few months back I had never even eaten Indian food. I went and had my first experience at Makhani and it was just pure amazing. Well they were at the block party too. So I had some of the chicken makhani, rice and some chicken sausage….It tasted like it did the night I had it. Every bite of it was delicious and most importantly the same level of love and hospitality was shown. Makhani’s food is always freshly prepared and is always to perfection. I have yet to have to alter it in any way. Oh and I brought some home to give to my husband who is super skeptical and I couldn’t catch his reactions quick enough! He went in!

Yes as you can see items were being sold out; you have to get to Makhani early

Nick’s Bar and Grille

People day Bar food is usually not that good. They say that you have to drink enough liquor before you can really play down bar food. After eating at Nick’s I say that is a whole lie. I had the egg rolls and they had Italian and cheesesteak. Since Philly is known for their cheesesteaks I elected to go out the box and try the Italian egg rolls. If you have nothing else and I mean nothing else you must try the Italian egg rolls. It was the best egg roll I had ever had. As much as I love to eat that speaks volumes. Hands down you have to come and try them. I didn’t have the pulled pork nacho cheese but word on the street is by not having them is not living. Debate me on the egg rolls but to do so you would have to try it for yourself and then get at me!

As I stated above I will try my hand at a few more offerings in the Summer at Old City Eats. My Thursdays just got a little bit better. Join me and others as we get out and enjoy these amazing drinks and food specials!

Thanks Old City Eats, Aversa PR, Makhani, Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, and Nick’s Bar and Grille for an amazing fun night!

Don’t forget to come to my Instagram to catch more pics of the evenings and to find out where I am, what I’m doing, and what fun you need to have as I continue to live and explore!!

Monday Motivation: Unhealthy Advice

Now this is not about someone telling you that you can diet by eating McDonalds alone although there are some who live like it. This is about receiving advice from unhealthy individuals and you don’t need it. Advice comes from everywhere. That’s the world we live in. From television ads to “reality” television advice is free and all over the place. You have to be super careful where and from whom you take advice.

Let me give you an example. As I continue to maintain a healthy body I had someone (true story) tell me oh but your arms are super big. Maybe they are. Maybe they aren’t. It was completely ok for someone to have an opinion of my body. (Enter sarcastic eye roll) The interesting point was this came from someone who is very visually overweight. Someone who doesn’t have self control obey what they ate. Someone who says time and time again how they need to lose weight but do absolutely nothing daily. No walks, eats whatever and then complains later-just pure nothing.

Does that mean that even with their unhealthy lifestyle they can’t see my “big” arms? Nope. It means that their unhealthy advice can be received with a grain of salt. Yes with a side eye. They can see and speak what they wish but they would be best teacher once they have walked in the obedience of their own words. Sometimes people tell you things from places they are unwilling to walk. They can call your laziness out in an area but dash quick past their own. If I wasn’t strong I would have been beating myself up over a comment from someone who not only won’t show their own arms, legs or any other body part but at the end of the day will continue to mirror an unhealthy lifestyle while focusing their attention on me.

I came to the conclusion that me doing what I need to do for my body speaks to the part of them that won’t do the work. Can you receive advice on marriage from someone who’s marriage has super bombed? Yes you can. But make sure that that person giving the advice is being an active participant in their lives especially where they give it. Take the advice but mark them in your mind so you don’t let it over take you.

There are people telling people things daily. You have to be careful the vessels by which the delivery is coming from. I couldn’t have a personal trainer that was overweight. So why do we take advice from folks we don’t respect in the walk of life that they give it. Someone who isn’t working out or watching what they eat and is unhealthy by all accounts can’t give advice on health and then say I know I need to do it. Sometimes they just wanted to be mean spirited to knock you.

When I was growing up I had someone I respected tell everyone about marriage and relationships and then they did the opposite of what they spoke and lived. I stopped accepting their advice. I no longer needed to feel as if they had the blueprint. Can your ideas change? Yes absolutely but they never accepted the fact that they switched up out of convenience that it no longer suited their immediate need. They wanted the same level of respect that they once had and that shipped sailed.

Do not let unhealthy people dictate your life choices. It’s more than the health of their body. People who speak ill will theses others, gossipers, etc all of those things that we know isn’t right take stock and be strong in yourself to strive to be better daily. Sometimes we let the folks with the most minimal drive have a front row of your admiration due to title that don’t need it. Watch who you make an idol. Watch who you hold on the top spot of your life. If your spouse for example downs you daily but you love them and you take that-don’t. Their title says that should be better in how they treat you but you don’t have to take verbal and emotional abuse to protect them or to avoid being alone.

At work the top boss can be the boss but if they are known for tearing their team down and that messes with daily mental health-it’s time to leave. You don’t have to sit in the parking lot crying or willing yourself home because others around them shine a bright light on who they are. Don’t take in their junk daily because their known or are known to make work stars if you take the junk that comes along.

I had an ex boss who was super awful to others. Told everyone how women needed to wear makeup. He would make comments about their clothes. In today’s standards he would be the perfect candidate for the Me Too campaign. He was a pig of a man. Yet people would switch up their outfits and take his advice and reality he was a womanizer and was a trash of a husband. Sorry not sorry. He would talk badly to his wife and thankfully she left him. He ended up losing everything. He was super unhealthy and a jerk but people danced around him and took in what he has to say. Why?

Stop getting used to raggedy people giving raggedy advice based on their unhealthy life. I would rather take advice from someone who is failing and getting up daily because they are trying than someone who is walking around in perfect town making full messes of other people’s lives including their own but telling someone things they aren’t willing to do! Let’s be clear we aren’t talking about perfection. You can be perfectly flawed but working at your best potential. However the unhealthy who put no work into themselves but use their time to demean, point out, and engage in unhealthy behaviors towards others!

This Monday deal with why you take in lessons from certain folks. Be clear in your teachers of life-even me I’m not exempt. Start living life on your own terms. Be careful to not take on other people’s advice when they aren’t willing to walk in the light of what they give. In 2019 there is no more do what I say but don’t worry about what I do or don’t!

Let’s clean out the idols and make sure our own anchors hold. It’s more important to be mentally well and emotionally strong. Remember we are all trying to be our best everyday but don’t let someone who outright has no respect for themselves and others around them take so much stock into what you do for your own life. Let’s start this Monday off right!!