Inis Nua Theatre presents the American premiere of Box Clever by Monsay Whitney

I had the elite privilege of attending Box Clever for my Friday night fun. This play directed by artistic director, Tom Reing was outstanding.

Let me set the stage for you:

Marnie is living in a women’s shelter in London with her 4-year-old daughter. She is headstrong and says whatever comes to her head. While attempting to protect her daughter she is also dealing with her past boyfriends and the drama that ensues from their lives. This is a 2 women show. Ruby Wolf plays Marnie and Rachel Brodeur plays all of the other roles. This isn’t simply two ladies talking back to each other. Both of these ladies put so much passion into their interactions that they made me believe I was in London with them and entangled in Marnie’s frustration.

Now for those who would want to attend this production let me forewarn you, Marnie doesn’t mince her words. There is some cursing. However when you take a step back if you’re a mother trying to keep space for your daughter nothing Marnie said I didn’t want to stand up and verbally co-sign. This play hit a personal moment for me. Growing up and being in a shelter for a bit I saw what I remember seeing in my own mother. It took me back and it was done so well that it tapped into that part of my past. I didn’t feel ashamed. I did feel slight sadness thinking of the lack of resources available to her. I felt proud of my own mom for doing what she had to do to get us settled. Every emotion of upset, pain, frustration and anger I felt and so will you.

I’ve grown up around the arts and I will tell you Ruby and Rachel are professional and more than exceptional in their acting. By the end if you didn’t laugh, get mad and cry (some moments at the same time) you aren’t human. I would love to see the play again. I encourage all of my readers to attend this show if you’re able.

Box Clever will be showing up until February 24, 2019. Tickets are from 25-35 dollars a piece. All of the performances will take place at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 South Hicks Street in Philadelphia. Thank you to the cast, and all staff who from the door to the theatre floor showed care to all of their guests. Thank you again for the reception afterwards as well.

A little more about Inis Nua Theatre:

  • Inis Nua means New Island
  • They produce provocative contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales
  • Based in Philadelphia, they have been in production for 15 years
  • They have produced 17 American premieres, 13 Philadelphia premieres, and 1 world premiere
  • They won 6 Barrymore including the prestigious June and Steve Wolfson award for Evolving Theatre Company in 2014

To purchase tickets, Box Clever

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Monday Motivation: Stay Consistent

Another Monday has come upon us. You may be in your feelings about it deeper than Drake. The best way to combat a Monday is to be prepared for it. If you woke up unprepared for it then it’s time to hit it with consistency.

Consistency can assist you mentally in achieving a successful week. Attempting to get up at the same time, making sure I prep certain aspects of my week helps to better settle my mind and home. Consistency allows you to control certain anxieties that may come along with getting through my Monday,

We attempt to teach kids to be prepared yet we wake up each week unprepared and not ready. We know life will bring whatever curve balls that will come yet we don’t do enough to be ready for the parts that we actually cultivate. If you know your constantly not prepared to have the proper food as an example ready how can we be upset that “we end” up making bad food choices during the day?! We played a huge part in not being ready for our day and for the week.

Let’s start our week with consistency. Wake up on time. Try not to snooze. Meditate and pray! Be consistent in it and not just as a fall back to when life starts giving you a bad hand. Be consistent in your prepping. Make your lunches ahead of time, pack your breakfast, prepare your clothes ahead of time, and get your kids to do the same.

Consistency will cover you on the days when life attempts to make you fall. Consistency will help you guide your Monday blues. It’s hard to start a week you lack in preparation to be successful in. Wake up determined to have a good week where you were ready for it! Also if you woke up and you weren’t prepared, reset! Turn your mindset! What can you do NOW to get it all aligned?! Do that and don’t stress yourself! Have a knock out Monday and an awesome week! You got this!

Sunday Motivation: Cleaning House

Sometimes its interesting to see how many times I personally have to clean my house.  It’s gotten easier with not doing it on my own.  I struggled in the past thinking I alone had to do but with my husband in the house and now able-bodied kids, it isn’t so bad.  Everyone can assist.  However, my personal house which is me, my mind, soul, or even feelings can’t always get assistance, I must be vigilant in cleaning it daily or even moment to moment.

Being that I am a PK I won’t go too deep into a full sermon on you, but you are responsible for yourself.  You have triggers, issues from your past, hang ups, etc but in the end you have to clean house. I am reminded of the simple phrase you are what you eat and how now I am fully aware of how true that is. However the principle of what you take in matters.  This is why I am skeptical of who I am around, who I entertain, what I allow, and for how long.  These things matter as I take in things that do no serve me it is counterproductive to positive growth.

What areas of your life do you need to clean up?  We all have them.  We all have things that we should be constantly aware of, actively trying to make better, etc.  Every area of our life that we don’t make right will reveal itself. I have had to live with the sad truth of myself.  It was brought to me from events, people, and just sometimes reality.  Cleaning your house especially your inward house hurts.  You initially lose or feel pain.  You are mad and not used to attacking or confronting that ugly part of what you might have worked hard to hide. This is why, if you go to counseling which I have and do, it’s not like television where you speak to your counselor and you are happy.  Often times the pain hurt coming out.  I have had to sit in my car or go to a coffee shop before going home to process what took place in counseling before I took that home. Shout out to my husband who would even after that allow me more time after getting home to reorganize my thoughts!

What I do know that is while you clean up your act and the loneliness that you feel while doing it, is temporary.  Eventually you find better things to replace the friends who left. Let me give you a free nugget, some of the friends you actually needed at the time but your bad behavior messed it up.  It’s okay to admit it. We always hear about how your friends who left did so because they were seasonal and that’s true.  Let’s add that often times the season may have ended because of your bad behavior.  It will work out later. You will replace healthy relationships as you become healthier in mind and body.  It’s more to cleaning house than friendships. Sometimes all other relationships will be revealed.  It has to.  Be prepared for it!  Don’t think it will be fine.  The reality is that replacement feels like failure. It may look like failure.  Failure is apart of life.  It will with work and time balance out!  Do not give up and go back to the bad you left.  You ever give your baby a bath and seconds later they get dirty, that’s what its like going back and forth in a failure state of mind largely due to just wanting to keep a set of people, standards, etc from simple wanting to not be uncomfortable in old comforts! Yes re-read that, its correct!  Take the chance on yourself and clean up your act!

Clean your house! Clean the things and people around you. Clean your mindset.  Clean it up!

Weekly Recap: February 1st, 2019

Blog Life

We have rounded up the month of January on a high note. I plan to kick February’s butt. With that said February is love month. We will showcase a few blogs over the years covering topics for everyone during this semi rough month. It’s easy for a married couple who feel fulfilled but what about the ones who aren’t or the single?  We got you!

Be on the look out for fresh blogs. There will be a new blog for everyday this month.  That’s 28 blogs this month. How do I do it?  I love blogging and bringing new content.  Its easy doing something that you absolutely love!

Fit Life

I got sick towards the end of the week.  However I still managed to get my 4 days of working out.  My normal work out schedule is 3 days.  So I really pushed myself and that might be why I am feeling like crap today with being sick! Yes its possible to keep pushing even when in sub-zero weather you are unable to get to a gym or get outside. It takes a lot of hard work.  How I do is set a timer  For instance I do it while the kids are doing their homework.  I tell them if they are working, so can I.  Yes that’s even after going to work.  No excuses!

Kid Life

So we are still Uber parents. We still muddle around their weekend schedules.  So now that the kids seem to be over the flu we are going to kick it full force.  This week has been Catholic schools week.  There schools had a lot of activities planned. I was honored to be able to participate in the events. So from work to their school to home it has been a tiring week. I haven’t been able to do much else but it was well worth it.

Personal Life

If you read yeserday’s blog that sort of recapped the month you know I finally finished my vision board. I am excited to have it all done. With that in mind now its time to take my vision board to a place of action.  How are you working towards your goal?  You know they say February is when people fall off, so don’t let it be  you.  Also towards the end of the week I got sick.  With that I feel all of your senses down.   I have not liked that feeling off.  Lucky for me I have had some amazng friends send me some dope reminders right when I needed them of all dope of a person I am becoming. I am my own worst critic. I often am hard on myself so no one else can be.  So this new month I look forward to keep pushing and my personal goals i wll share are:

  1. Position: This means making sure I am where I need to be so I can do what I need to do to bring the blessings that are on their way
  2. Counseling-I plan on making sure I enroll in a few more sessions. Winter months are the toughest and I’m the one who needs to make sure that I can manage myself better
  3. Crush my own personal goals

So with all of that in mind, I hope you have a great weekend! I personally can’t wait until we warm up some! These brutal cold winds have me reconsidering if the East is where I need to reside! Stay safe! Do something nice for yourself and others!

Friday Weekly Recap: January 25, 2019

Well we are almost to one first month of the New Year. What have you done so far to ensure success. February 1st is usually when people start to drop off from their goals. Do NOT let that be you. Invest in yourself. If you can put enough energy back into yourself like you do everything else with hard work you will see the fruits of your labor. Pay yourself this year by working hard.

Blog Life

So this has been a busy week. We celebrated MLK day and I hope that more than just posting a meme or a inspirational quote from Dr. King that you actually live it. My hope is that you do something on the daily to unify those around you. It doesn’t mean you will get everyone on board but at least try. The country is already divided be the peace in the world you want around you as you attempt to do the same in your personal life. In addition to MLK day we also visited Cry Baby Pasta. If you haven’t had the chance to you can view the blog here: Cry Baby Pasta

Also we had the opportunity to visit Makhani Modern Indian restaurant. Amazing experience! That blog just hit today!! Make sure you catch it!!

Fit Life

Being accountable I didn’t work out on MLK Day. I was supposed to but between my family being home, I got me some much needed rest. Also with going to Cry Baby Pasta, I focused on getting ready. However I kicked butt for the rest of the week and hit my workout goals in spite of the missed Monday.  I also made sure to buy more healthy options for snacking even though I did bake cupcakes this past weekend. I will be securing the last of my 2019 races. Racing is amazing but it cost but I wouldn’t want to do anything else!!

Kid Life

My kids social schedule is increasing. From birthday parties, church events, etc I am trying to get my oldest to figure out what is more important. She did me a solid when she opted out of a birthday party to attend a commitment for church that I was unaware of. She is doing really well in prioritizing.

My son is doing amazing in soccer. His coach even sent us a note to let us know how respectful and attentive he is to her and those around her. As a parent we want to raise kids that will become great citizens and to know even when we feel he may be a handful he really is doing what we need him to do. I love that!

My youngest is in birthday mode. Her birthday is next month and she is being invited to a lot of parties and asking to do playdates. SO that is another level to add into the circle of Uber parents.

Personal Life

During the supposed snow we didn’t get, I found my faith was a little down. I wasn’t as positive and with time on my hands, I found my mindset going backwards. Even with getting out of the house for a little bit. I was able to recover but it took longer than usual. I am convinced the cold weather doesn’t help since outside of going to Cry Baby Pasta, work and Makhani, I refused to be in the dangerous cold weather. I am hopeful that as the weeks perk up and knowing that Spring is soon to come, will assist me in getting it together.

Between having one sick kid this week, a pipe break in the house and life happening around us, we are making it! Thank you all for the sweet comments on Tiki Storr our cat who we love on more and more each day!

Have a great weekend and do something nice for yourself!!!

Lastly, shout out again to my dad for his retirement from military life! We attended his ceremony and it was amazing! Congrats!!

Cry Baby Pasta; No Tears Necessary It was Amazing

Ever hear of Monday Funday?  No me neither until yesterday when I had an elite pleasure of dining at Cry Baby Pasta.  Think really good pasta and some awesome wine and know that when the two merges, it’s a celebration.

Triumphant after Tragedy

Cry Baby Pasta had their grand opening, this past Friday January 18, 2019.  If you’re a Foodie you may remember owners Bridget and husband Paul Rodriquez who also owned Bridget Foy, burned after a tragic fire in 2017. After some regrouping and a little research in the form of date nights, they saw the need for an Italian eatery that provided affordable eating options that kept a modern and fun atmosphere for others to be able to enjoy. FYI Bridget Foy will be back soon so don’t fret. In the meantime, add Cry Baby Pasta to your go to eateries.  You know I love anyone who can take a tragedy and turn it into a positive.  Cry Baby Pasta’s owners teamed up with husband and wife Chefs, David Gilberg and Carla Concalves, and together have hit a home run.

So now to the best part, my favorite food is Italian food hands down. Cry Baby Pasta had an amazing selection to choose from. I was impressed.  2000 square foot of 55 seat dinng room with 12 seat oak bar with a five seat drink rail provided the back drop to amazing Monday Funday. Cry Baby Pasta’s goals is to provide great food, fun and a shareable atmposphere and they hit it out of park.  This is a great spot to have food and drinks with your colleagues for an amazing happy hour, date night,catch up with your girls or boys or just to kick back with new friends and enjoy.

One of the dishes I really enjoyed was, Campanelle. Campanelle is made with brocoli, rabe, bread crumbs, and fiore sardo. Amazingly good and it had such a fresh veggie taste that made me forget the guilt of eating pasta while attempting to work out.

Another dish I enjoyed was,  Rigatoni. It definitely has a kick of spice to it. Mad up vodka sauce, pancetta, smoked chicken, and cherry peppers.

One of the best part of the night was the meatballs. Now I know I am trasitioning over to vegan, but they were absolutely amazing.  They were super well cook, and definitely well seasoned.

Enjoyed the night with my amazing date, my husband Marques. It was great to be able to get out, enjoy a few drinks and also be able to enjoy the ambiance at Cry Baby Pasta. It’s definitly on my list to bring a few girlfriends along.

 

So I definitely give Cry Baby a thumbs up. No need to cry, make sure you tell a friend and take a friend and enjoy!

Cry Baby Pasta will be open seven days a week, with the bar opening daily at 4:00pm and the dining room opening daily at 5:00pm. Sundays through Thursdays the kitchen will stay open until 10:00pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays look for the kitchen to stay open until Midnight. Potential weekend lunch or brunch service may come down the road. Weekday happy hour will launch later this winter. Look for catering and potential delivery down the road as well. Look for outdoor cafe seating to launch when the nice weather returns. 

For more info check out Cry Baby Pasta

Also you can make a reservation through the Resy app and trust me its super easy and quick and will connect you to Cry Baby Pasta, show up and let them take make your eating experience one you will never forget.

Ask Toi: Personal Questions Part 2

So as promised here is part 2 of the personal questions that readers ask me #AskToi questions. Remember if you have questions about relationships, friendship, dating, work, and anything in between, send the email toitimeblog@gmail.com

How often do you argue with your husband?

Well I try not to bring people to in-depth of my marriage because it’s for he and I but I will say that these last couple of years it’s been dramatically less. So I would say maybe once every few months on serious issues and the dumb stuff that we just cut our eye at each other maybe daily. Life is short and we are mastering the art of communication. We are learning how to be partners and that is making sure we give each other what we both need and balance is key.

How often do you hang out with your friends?

I have one girl girlfriend that I make a monthly or semi monthly date with. A lot of my long-standing friends live in other states. It’s hard to link up. We have been getting better at communicating with one another and checking in. My local friends I do my best to meet up and do a lot of check ins.

What is something that ticks you off?

For me is inconsiderate people. I’ve evolved over the years. So anyone who does things just to be mean and inconsiderate whether that be with my time, energy, etc I will pull a Mariah Carey “I don’t know him/her” move. It’s disrespectful at this point in my almost 40s to give five more seconds to inconsiderate folks.

Have you ever wanted to be single since being married?

If asked a few years ago maybe in the early stages of my Marriage I would say yes. Now not at all. I am a relationship girl. I don’t do well and don’t respond well to causally dating, never have. I like to be connected and exclusive. Dating now when I talk to my friends who are single seems like so much work and filled with so many games that I don’t know if I am cut out in this world for it. So nope I’m keeping the energy in my marriage strong and keeping my ring on!! Not accepting any applications!

Would you have more kids?

Absolutely not! I love my babies. I do not want to have more kids. I made that decision on my own when I had my last daughter. I told the doctor when I found out give me the paperwork to get my tubes tied. I asked several times after I found out that she was healthy to let me see the tubes. After my hysterectomy that triple sealed the deal. I didn’t want kids with no man on this planet. That’s not a disrespect to my husband. He’s an amazing father, I just didn’t want to carry another child. I know people adopt and have surrogates and that is an amazing thing, it’s just not for me. I do not want anymore responsibility of a child in my active life.

How do you feel about sexless marriages?

This has to be a blanket question but in marriage the idea is to be with one person alone. So if there are issues I feel both parties should provide what they need. If one partner wants sex more and the other doesn’t, communicate and work a plan. It’s not okay for one of the partners to simply not try. Sex in marriage will not keep a man or woman but a sexless marriage makes it easier for one partner to want to get out of it. I don’t get when people say he or she should just deal with a sexless marriage. It’s not okay. That’s actually quite cruel. How often a married couple is determined by both partners. The lack thereof is also both partners responsibility to work through.

Have you ever cheated on your husband?

Nope! We ain’t perfect but we solid!

Will you do a conference or something to help women?

I have no plans to do so in 2019 but you never know. I would prefer to link up with someone first who knows what they are doing but I’m not against talking about it.

Have you ever given up on yourself?

Yes! Too many times. Beautiful thing about life is as long as you’re breathing it’s a great time to reset. I choose to reset myself and not give up. Reset I do daily when things are looking crazy and I’m in my feelings. I like to remind myself in reset what my goals are. So reset your mindset and don’t give up! Trust me usually in a few hours even if things are still out of whack my attitude doesn’t have to be!

Thank you again for the questions. There were some that were outright inappropriate and I didn’t answer them. I remain vigilant about my family. I am considering closer to my wedding anniversary to do a He said/she said segment so you can get a male answer on some of your questions!!! Have an awesome weekend!