Better Breakfast Month

There are so many holidays in the month of September. I do think it’s a good idea that they whomever makes these days made better breakfast to be in September. It’s a good idea because it correlates to kids going back to school!

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Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.com

We no that in the United States unfortunately some kids struggle with meals. This really ought not be but it is a reality for some. Breakfast is super important. As an adult it’s hard for me to concentrate when I’m hangry. (Angry + hungry) how much more for our children? I know some folks really can’t eat breakfast. I am not one of those people. I would encourage the non breakfast eaters to at least eat fruit.

Eating better starts with choices. Having a variety of choices comes down to being prepared. Instead of sugary foods invest in whole grain options. I would suggest prepping it ahead of time. Time is the biggest issue with breakfast.  Not having enough because the stress in the morning and trying to be on time sometimes clashes. I get that!It’s easier to grab on the go.  The same breakfast sandwiches you can purchase at a fast food place can be made at home. Invest in fruit. Invest in cereals with less sugar and be creative. You can have fresh fruit in your oatmeal or cereal as an alternative.Make the time to prepare things at night meaning packing bags can help cut down on time.  If you have lunch and breakfast prepared you can be more in charge with what you place in your body.  Often times we shove food into our body and grab food from vending machines because of not being prepared.  If you have a family if you mirror the change you want to see it makes it easier for others around you to align.  Not all food that is grab worthy is bad.  You can grab yogurt and eat that with some granola and fruit and have that be better than a sugary donut a diet soda.

Even if you say come on “I can’t do that,” commit to a few days a week of making healthier choices. Once you see how much better you feel it may be an easier to make that change stick!  The benefits of eating a better breakfast:

  • Better Concentration
  • Aids in weight los
  • Helps in portion control for the day
  • Better productive day

Can you step your game durng breakfast?  Give it a try!

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My Weight Loss Journey

So Happy Valentine’s Day. Today is February 14th.  I am super excited among all the candy and treats that will be thrown around today to talk about my weight loss journey. I didn’t signal this out on purpose.  I am currently down another size in my clothes and who wouldn’t be excited about that?

After having my 3rd baby almost 3 years ago in the beginning from just birth and breast-feeding I lost over 60 pounds in about less than 6 weeks. No lie.  I went into my pre-pregnant clothes almost immediately.  A larger part of that was being in the hospital post birth for complications that occurred the day I was released to go home.  I will talk more about that this week as we get closer to my daughter’s birthday this Friday.  So if you ever spent any time in the hospital you know you are guaranteed to lose weight at least in my experience.  I got so many compliments about how drastic and fast my weight loss was but fast forward to about 6 months ago when I could no longer use breast-feeding and a “new” baby to hide my weight.

My daughter will be 3 this Friday and I literally can say I stopped breast-feeding her at age 2.  I did everything to wean her but it wouldn’t work.  One of the things about breast-feeding is you drop weight but at some point I started eating more to make more milk especially when I was storing milk.  My daughter went to work with me everyday until she was 6 months so I began storing milk for when she would return to daycare.  It was a good plan and I had plenty of milk for her however, she didn’t and wouldn’t drink from a bottle. NO one prepared me for that.  Eventually I had to stop working among the fact that my medical condition from her birth wasn’t resolving.  The amount of calories began to add up and especially when you are consuming the wrongs one in the name of “feeding the baby.”  I began to look like I actually was having another one and I wasn’t.

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In the beginning when I started this weight loss journey I had more people asking me if I was pregnant than when I was actually at my heaviest.  I am talking about co-workers who see me daily.  Those piercing words to a woman who is one losing and is not pregnant can be hurtful.  Shout out to my girls who picked me up on those crushing days.  It really means and meant the world to me. So now back to today.  It’s Valentine’s Day and all kinds of goodies are in this office.  However I have a set plan for which ones I will and will not indulge.  So I am good on that.  No distractions will take place.  My husband sent me an edible arrangement this morning because he knows what I am trying to do and he supports it.  His card had me dying because he literally said those words.  I can appreciate it that he’s not on team sabotage as I continue this journey.  Today I have on one of my favorite black pants.  I had to use my head scarf to make a belt because feel too lose.  Hey it was either that or look and feel uncomfortable and that wasn’t happening.  How my clothes fit is how I choose to monitor my progress. Yes I am being weighed by licensed professionals weekly but how I look and feel during this is what is important to me too. Yes weekly I am killing it at my weigh-in but the fact that things are getting looser and not more snug is key too.

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I will share my weight as well as total weight lost when I get closer to my first mental check point which is before my birthday trip in May.  That is my first initial goal. That is when I will let you in on the numbers.  So for those who are in this journey to a better you and are still going strong, New Year’s Resolution or not, Valentine’s day or not, keep pushing.  My water intake has doubled, my exercise is still going strong, and everyday I am getting stronger.  Keep pushing!

Soul Cycle, 2nd Coming…

So if you follow me on Instagram (ToiTimeblog) then you know that I have increased my healthy living incentive.  I have been working hard and thus far I have lost over 20 pounds since I began over 6 months ago.  How I started was simple.  At my job they push fitness and health.  I was weighed by a health professional and to my surprise I had hit a little over 190.  I was embarrassed, hurt, and blindsided.  Clothes can lie, but numbers don’t.  After picking up my pride, I was determined to be better.  I didn’t set out to be perfect but better.  Trust me, numbers can make you either slow slide into a woe is me or it can make you get up and do something about it. I choose to do the latter.

A few months ago, I was introduced to Soul Cycle which is an intense cycling class.   I had said for months even years how I wanted to take this class.  I had seen other classes like it and immediately wanted to participate.  You can read up on my 1st adventure, Soul Cycle Survivor.  This time around I still didn’t feel as if I was a pro.  I felt like my stamina had increased.  I was able to have my butt hit the sit instead of sitting in the seat.  I’ve said it before, that class is intense.  I was however able to get my shoes off the bike without help.  The first class I took with Ryan and this time I took it with Alexis Rose.  Both were very energetic, fun, and gave a hell of a workout.  Alexis’ ability to speak positivity was super refreshing.  The ability to be able to remind everyone that not only for the class but after that the biggest battle isn’t physical but mental.  That is the message I will take with me during the week and beyond.

Some of the things that I have done well in regards to my health journey is drinking more water.  I have spoken many times about my love/hate relationship with water.  I think that with working out more has helped me get over the water issue fast.  There is no way to lose weight without drinking water and staying hydrated.  Another plus during this journey is my newest planner.   It has helped me to keep focus.  It has been a life saver.  It allows me to be clear about goals, as well as allows me to use my need for visualization and organization in one beautiful place.

As I continue this journey I will highlight more for you.  My hope is that others will join me.  I hope that others can see regular people taking their health important.  I want to shed the “baby weight.”  By baby weight since my almost 3-year-old is no longer a baby, is my “girl, you need to do better” weight.  This isn’t a perfect journey.  This is a human, make mistakes, love yourself, get mad at yourself, but keep on going journey.  So until I reach my newest goal of going down one more clothing size by my 36th birthday, here’s to more healthy options, an active lifestyle, and being happy in my skin.

 

Flex Your No Muscles

I have to share a little battle with ya’ll.  One because I need to get it off my chest and the other is because I just want to.  I don’t get it.  I have some really great friends.  It’s the associates that sometimes misinterpret their place.  For me the line is clear.  If I am not the one to have you around my kids, most likely you are an associate.  I take my kids and who they are around very seriously.

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So I got 2 invitations to do some things this weekend. The one is from a friend.  They are someone who knows how I am.  Asks me and my husband at the same time and can be around my kids by themselves because the trust levels are high.  The other is an associate. He or she has never been around my kids or in my home.  That in itself speaks volumes. It’s the holidays so I am all for gathering together.  It can be fun.  However don’t pull a stunt telling me anything.  I think it’s a glitch in how I work in general.  Respect lines can’t get crossed with me.  Once you do it’s an issue that I struggle with resolving. I am working on it which is why I also am direct.  It helps people and myself to stay in a certain place.  So as this associate told me she’s coming to my home.  I wanted to verbally bury her.  What house?  Whose house?  Clearly not mine.  This is how it was worded: “hey girl I want to see you so I am coming to your house and if you could make me some dinner that would be good since I will be getting off of work late.  How is 7?”  So I stepped back mentally.  Is this person joking.  So I straight up asked.  The associate said that they was tired and had me on their mind and knows I cook because of the kids.  I was baffled.  My best friend wouldn’t have even done that she would have at least asked.  Word choice matters to me.  I am quirky like that.  Take it or leave it.  However I barely know you.  I barely see you.  Catching up is a beautiful thing.  How about set a date up and make it happen.  This invite yourself thing doesn’t and will never work for me.

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I kindly informed the associate that no they would not be coming to my home.  They can’t simply invite themselves and it’s during the week which means we have a nightly routine that won’t be interrupted.  I asked why they felt like they could be so intrusive.  The response was because you seem like the person who wouldn’t care. I informed them that to come over unexpected especially during our week schedule to eat and we don’t have that type of relationship seems intrusive.  I barely know this person’s last name.  I also informed the associate that we should definitely have a built relationship before I start inviting them around my children.  I didn’t mean any harm but I do NOT let random people around my children.  Anybody I generally have around them are people who I have personally tested their spirits and are comfortable with.  I don’t even allow certain people in my own family access to my children let alone someone who can’t vouch for.

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The moral of the story is that some people believe they can occupy your space and they simply can’t.  I am okay with backing people out of my space.  We do not have drama in our home and if it is someone who I don’t know that is openly inviting the potential.  My kids are very open and welcoming and I will not allow them to be tampered with in their spirits by anyone.  Be careful who you invite in your space and their motives.  This associate may turn into a great friend but until that day happens, back up.

How to Have the Best New Year’s Eve…

First of all this is one busy night.  There are a lot of preparations to make it perfect, but let’s keep it real there’s no such thing as perfect.  You have to set aside what goals are most important to you.  They say how you bring in the New Year is super important and it is.

Here are some of the ways you can bring in the New Year:

For Couples:

It’s important to attempt to spend it together.  Yes some people have to work and that is totally understandable.  However if you are a couple there are a million ways to spend it. You can go to a hot party and get all dolled up.  This would require that you and your partner book ahead of time.  Going out on New Years means having a party plan.  Will you use a taxi, Uber, Lyft?  What are the prices?  Everything is super expensive on that night. Do you even want to go out and deal with other party goers?  Decide early because after Christmas if most clubs and establishments haven’t already posted prices they definitely will.  Remember anything where you can pre-pay ahead of time is better.  At the door the price will usually go up from $20 to 100 per person.  Ouch.  So plan ahead.

If you and your boo do NOT want to go out, opt hosting a party get together.  You can do this by having other couples come and share in the purchase of food and drinks.  This will cut cost down dramatically.  You can have a great night in.  You can do things like play games, watch movies, whatever you want to do.  It’s all your choice.  This is a great option for a laid back night with others.

If you say Toi, I really just want a quiet evening, than do that.  I know couples who dress up and cook a meal together.  This can turn into something if you want it to trust me. Nothing is sexier than your partner in the kitchen.  Make a meal that you both can try that you wouldn’t have normally tried before.  This way its something out of the ordinary than your normal pasta dish at home watching tv.  You can do a vision board together as a couple as well as an individual.  You can play games and make it fun.  Spice it up.  You can just spend some quality time with the one you love as you bring in another year.

For Singles:

You can do the same thing as above as far as going out but make it a great group effort. You aren’t the only single one in the whole world no matter how much your mind tells you. Get together and reconnect with friends that you may not have been able to catch up with during Christmas.  This is a great time to travel.  Some of my friends are out of the state so if I was single you could travel to their state or pick a new destination altogether. The same rules apply, have fun and be safe.  If you want you can have the ultimate girls night.  There are a million and one ways to have a group of women come together and have a great time. You can pick a theme.  It doesn’t have to be just the New Year.  You can have a makeover night.  Everyone brings make up, wear cute pajamas, etc. The sky is the limit. Be open-minded.

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Travel

Like I said I remember hitting Miami up one year.  I had the BEST time with my girlfriends. We went to a great club that had open bar for a price and food.  We danced so much I can’t tell you how bad my feet hurt.  However when I look back at the pictures I smile.  We really had a great time and even walked a little on the beach.   You’re single not dead.  Enjoy life. There is so much to experience that is beyond your backyard.  Now that I am married a few of my single friends have even gone out of the country.  Imagine that.  If you have a passport, isn’t it time for some new stamps?

For Parents:

My husband and I have been parents for 7 years and the ONLY time we have had a night out for New Years has been this past year.  We ended up going to Chickie and Pete’s.  We had no immediate plans.  We made none.  We decided to just get dressed up and head out. As we went to a few places, we noticed how super crowded and how limited space was open to be out.  So I did what any woman would do, I goggled.  I found that Chickie and Pete’s had a special for a flat rate you could eat and drink top shelf liquor all night. I said let’s give it a try.  Let me tell you, it was worth every penny.  Not only was the crowd hype, there was dancing, our own table, and did I mention all you can eat and drink on food we knew would be good?  Yes we had hit the jackpot.  It’s hard to get a sitter and last year we lucked up.  So what do you do when you have no sitter and you have little people?  You make your own party. I have always done a party at home.  I had adult drinks and kiddie mock drinks, New Year’s gear, and we had a full party.  Dancing, music, the countdown all of that. Guess what it was low-key, loads of fun, and I didn’t stress bed time either.  I let them stay up until they fell out.  It was a great time.  Oh and my kids can hang.  They loved every bit of it.

Another option for parents is to invite other parents that are in the same boat.  You can have a kid and parent party.  This is a good idea for parents who want to interact with others but can’t find a sitter.  Everyone can come together and split food and drinks. Everyone can have a great time in a safe location.  Parents can interact with other adults and the kids can get some time out as well.  Trust me the ride home will be quiet, your little ones will be knocked out no matter how late or early you go out.  Also during the day on New Years places like aquariums etc will have specials for the little people and a special count down too. This way if you are venturing out you can tire them out before you go and have some fun too.  Check prices and get tickets early as well.

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New Year’s night can be as much fun as you want it to be.  You have to be willing to step it up no matter what your status in life is.  Yes I didn’t mention church, but you didn’t think this fellow PK (preacher’s kid) would forget.  Yes watch tower or midnight services are fun too.  It does depend on where you go.  I am sorry church folks but you can make New Years fun.  Yes have a good message, preach, have choirs but have some fun too.  Nothing is worst is dragging your family out in the cold to church and having them wanting to gnaw their arms off because the service is no different from any other day.  It’s a fun night of celebration.  Just because you in the church you don’t have to cut the fun out. Incorporate something into the service. Have food.  Do something out of the box and bring folks into the church.

I do not have my plans set yet.  Whatever I do it will be fun.  Whether that’s out and about, a night at home, with friends I will have the same joy of beginning the New Year as I have always have even if I have to create it.  That should be a part of your new goals.  Creating happiness in your circle. Trust me the situations I was in I should have been sad but I turned them around and made the best of it and so can you.  Enjoy the New Year celebration as well as make your own mark going into 2017.

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31 Days and Change is Coming!

Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news or good news depending on how you see it, but a new Year is coming soon.  I know everyone will wait until after Christmas to start their new me, new this and that but wouldn’t be nice to do things a different this year?

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Instead of waiting, actually put an action plan in place.  How many years have gone by and you say the generic I want to do (insert desire) but you say it but don’t make a sure plan to do it?  I am sure quite a few.  It’s time to change that mentality and actually make a real plan.  Get things in order.  Get your house which can be the place you lay your head as well as your personal house the place where your soul and heart dwells together too.

Either way its time to do and not just talk.  I am serious.  Anything worth having is worth some work.  I know we are used to instant.  We want an update, instant.  We want food, drive through-instant.  We want to shop-instant.  Now you can shop without even having to get out of your car to pick it up.  We are used to the right now.  Let’s take that same mentality and put some action behind it.  For my house we do a vision board party.  We go and get some supplies, use my old magazines and get it done.  Some people are visual like me and it helps to see what I need to do.  So for instance my house has their vision boards in their rooms.  So we look at it often and talk about what we can do to complete a certain goal.  We have completed quite a few individually and collectively.  Yes the kids have their own too.  Now for them it may seem more of an art project, but can you imagine them getting in their spirit now how to get a plan and work their plan? They are going to have the potential to be great in their own rights.  It’s never too early to get the little people thinking in the right direction.

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So what say you?  You spending time only getting things right for the holidays?  Your future can wait right?  Nope.  Get a jump-start now.  For instance the dreaded lose weight that people want to do yearly.  You only go hard for the first 2 weeks maybe month in January but that’s it.  Why not hang your ideal wish outfit at your eyesight.  Get a new gym bag and actually pack it.  Get you a new water bottle.  Get you some indoor videos or work out gear so that when it snows or rains you can still push.  Hope about use the holidays the time to get it.  Catch the sales.  Give others who ask your list and go from there.  Again you can work it if you are about a little action.  Get a new work lunch bag that you love. It will help you plan ahead so you can begin packing healthier snacks instead of change for the vending machine or not eating at all.  See how that works?

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How about the new job plan?  Have you had someone take a fresh pair of eyes to your resume?  Have you printed new copies to go into your padfolio for the upcoming interviews you are going to score?  Have you gotten a new interview outfit and shoes?  Sales people. Use this time wisely.  Even if you hate the holidays you can still love these discounts.  Have you updated the many useful job search websites?  Have you gone to a few networking events that are held now during this holiday season?  No.  Then you have not exhausted all of your means.  Finding a new job is sometimes a full-time job.  You need to be spending your time working a new plan now and not wait until the influx of resumes start loading up on New Years day.  Will people hire during the holidays?  Not necessarily but they so start looking and putting their plans into place.

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This new way of thinking can be applied to all areas of your life.  So its time to get moving towards your new future.  It’s all in how you create it. One can’t simply pray without works.  What are you worth?  I hope you see the value in yourself so others can see the same thing.  Put your action to where you mouth is….

The Crackdown: Surviving the Holidays

Oh October is here.   That means Fall is definitely here.   The one thing that the presence of Fall brings is the pressure of the holidays.

Anxiety is real. If you ever deal with it on a regular basis then you know how crippling it can be.   I saw a commercial for Christmas in September.  These companies ain’t loyal.   Everything is designed to suck your pockets quicker than a vacuum.   Even more than money being spent will be family and friends who will soon start those invites for potlucks and gatherings.
Just trying to keep the schedules up can be overwhelming.

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How does one simply survive?

Organize

First get a sense of the activities you plan on doing.   For instance I have some things I do with my family no matter what.   I make my schedule with that first before I allow what others are doing to affect me.   Even if you’re single set time aside for the non-negotiable things now.

Get your money focused.   When you have a family it goes without saying.   However singles or couples without kids have a few myth busters.   For one just because a person is single or without kids even if they are married, that’s not automatic for them having money dripping off of them.   Stop this false thinking.   Everyone has budgets for what they want.  If you’re a family or friend stop trying to hit people up for contributions based on what you think others have.  That was a free nugget you’re welcome.

Learn to say no.   You haven’t invented a time machine yet.   When you do call me.   You can’t be everywhere and go to everything.  Some things will require you to exercise your NO muscles.  Family and friends fall out quickly around the holiday time than any other time.  If you’re the one on the other side of NO just accept it.   We know your soiree will be the best ever but folks have lives and can’t go to your event.

Know your strengths

If you can’t cook this isn’t the time to experiment especially on key items.  You should have been practicing in the summer.  Don’t nobody have time for that.   Offer to cook what you know or sign up for the drinks, paper products or just show up and smile ministry.

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Budget

Yes back to the money.  I have 3 wonderful little people but I have yet to spend more than I set aside.  We use cash only and build a Christmas fund.  Yes to not charging or spending the rent on toys.   If you do charge just keep it in moderation. Remember the little people love opening gifts and it’s not about what they get.   So choose wisely.

Along with budgets for gifts, think wardrobe too.   New-years, Christmas dinners,  Balls,  etc will have you running to the store.   Re-shop your closet first.   Ladies, you know that dress you bought that’s to the back that could get its shine this year,  let that be your go to first.  Think also borrowing or swapping.  In college I did a lot of that and the same can be done now.   I have plenty of friends with great items I could borrow,  clean and give right back.

Holidays means food and food means an expense.  For your friends who just love your mac and cheese and you’re not gifting it to them it’s okay to ask them to supply the ingredients at the least.   Cheese let’s keep this real is climbing and as we get closer to certain holidays it goes up.   You can watch your funds by watching what leaves your bank in the form of providing food for events that you go to.

Squabbles

Again I say nothing says the holidays like aunt so and so bringing up some old drama.   Folks have no chill or no filter. If your family has alcohol well then you know anything is liable to happen.  So be prepared.  Have an action plan in place. If you’re hosting an event the action plan should be to the door but that’s me.   I’ll usher someone to the door better than Sunday morning at church.

Couples get into it too.  Stress, being overworked to have holiday fun,  and mixing families will bring out the worst.  I honestly would start a fight so I could hear the heavenly words of “fine don’t go. ”  I’ve grown since then but trust me staying away used to be like a vacation.   I don’t even have issues with my husband’s family I just don’t like crowds.   So keep it tight.  Diffuse an argument quick.  Trust me nothing is worst than having to sit in the presence of your in-laws while you secretly hoping your boo trips for pissing you off earlier. I’m just being honest.

Have Fun

When I was a little girl I always had a sense of quirkiness.  Around holidays I would just amp it up.  If you follow me on Facebook you already know I love celebrating everything.  So it’s no wonder that my children love them too.   Now I have real life cute minions of happiness to spread it to.

Yes having fun.   I’m in love with holidays.  Not for the food, gifts, time etc., but because it’s just something fun to do.   I love laughing and watching people enjoy themselves.  So while stress from a burnt turkey may come up laugh and sip on that egg nog and keep it moving.

Don’t let the holiday stress over take you this year.   Conquer it with a deep breath, a smile, a glass of wine, and just let it happen.