Help in Our Own Community

What do you have a mix of community service, 31 consultant, and hygiene kits? You have Crystal Capetillo. Taking on a mission of her own she’s making hygiene kits for those who are displaced.

I personally remember when I was younger and we went into a shelter. It’s one of those moments that keep me grounded. Not knowing what each day would bring was a bit unnerving. However I have to shout out my mom who made sure to keep us clean and put together. Apart of doing that had to come from having hygiene products. Being displaced you have to have a short list of items and not much in bulk to prevent others from taking from you.

Crystal is helping in those regards. What started as a project with World Vision through being a 31 Consultant has turned into a mission to help those in her own community right here in Philadelphia. Crystal along with Erica of whom I’ve interviewed and a team from Bethel Church will lead this charge!

Now here’s how we can help. These kits take time and money. The World Vision kite cost $16. After acquiring the kits they need to be put together. Crystal is in need of both. You can donate for the kits as well as help put together your kit. But there’s one last portion, each kit comes with a hand written letter or note. That made me smile because of someone being displaced that doesn’t mean that they are below humanity.

I watched my mom cry when she thought I was sleep. I know as a mom I couldn’t imagine what she was feeling as she watched over us at night! Having a hand written note letting her know she’s loved and never give up could mean the world of difference!

I personally stand behind this mission of Crystal and will be helping to assemble these kits. I’m asking if you’re able to consider donating by gifting towards her PayPal crystal.capetillo331@gmail.com!!

I can’t wait to see the kits go to fruition and be given to those who need it!!

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Week 5: Storr Summer Adventures

Well this week was a bit slow. I got what I thought was a sinus infection and my oldest had a Summer cold! So laid a bit not this week! We still had fun! So heres is how we ended up with a messy situation but ate well and spent time recovering for our Hershey Park trip! A total of 56.28 was spent!

Monday

Mondays are always uneasy! It was also national gummi bear day so we decided to do an ice-cream gummi bear dessert to celebrate. I love gummi bears and being Vegan didn’t have to miss out! With non dairy ice-cream and vegan gummies I was still winning! I had the Chunky Monkey ice-cream in house! I bought the kids Sour Patch ice-cream and gummi bear materials for $10.78!

Tuesday

We definitely kept it indoors as the heat was picking up and went to GPCC indoor swimming! Who didn’t need to cool off last week in Philadelphia?! We had a great time as usual! We grabbed snacks on the way for $12.00!

Wednesday

I find that these are low days and I secretly love them! I had an event so the kids hung out with family! I was able to get work done and attend the Philly Influencer Mixer which has brands come and meet Influencers and bloggers to work with! It’s an amazing way to network! Thank you to Davida for being our fearless leader! Follow especially Philadelphia bloggers or influencers as a Fall Mixer is up next and you want to be in the building!

Thursday

We got our and about! I had my physical with my doctor! I’m happy to announce that I’m in great health! My doctor is over the moon with my numbers. I encourage everyone to see about their health physically and emotionally!! I feel my best when I take for me! It’s not just about working out or just food it’s about the total mental health too. Doing what I love makes me complete! While there I was able to visit my old co-workers! We went to lunch and the kids got McDonald’s! Total was $12.71! I had the new plant based bowl at Qdobo for $10.79! We were going to go bowling but traffic was at an all time high so we made slime! To all of my parents you already know my plight!! But…..they had a blast! Materials were $10!!

Friday

It was entirely toooo hot but we also needed to get ready for the weekend Hershey Park trip since we were doing an overnight trip! So that meant cleaning, packing, and laundry! We also elected to do shaving cream art and keep things a bit messy! Armed with shaving cream and food coloring we had an amazing time!

I know if we hadn’t had a few sicknesses this week we would have been out and about more but with the way the heat was set up and the way our air conditioning bill has been we should never leave so we can feel like we are getting your money worth!

This week is already adventurous! We added a new activity for the week! I’ll highlight it next week!

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!

Happy Birthday Naila

Today is such a holiday in my world. My oldest is 10! 10 years of love. 10 years of peace! 10 years of pure joy!

I love that I was chosen to be her mother! She has been amazing since I first laid eyes on her. I had her 6 weeks early due to me suffering from preeclampsia. This is a condition that caused me to have elevated high blood pressure and other complications. It caused me to be on borderline seizure activity. From the time of them attempting to stop my contractions they told me they didn’t think her lungs were developed enough. I met with the NICU nurses who reassured me that no matter what happened she would be in great care.

After they realized my contractions wouldn’t stop they assumed it would produce enough to make her come down the birth canal but she didn’t. They then started to speed up the process and the pain was terrible. All of that and still no baby and I was in active labor for at least 2 days. Finally I was told I would have to have a C-section. At this point, I didn’t care what they did the only thing on my mind was her safety. Although I was in pain and having a lot of headaches due to my blood pressure, she was my main concern.

I got bumped several times to have the surgery, but at 11pm on May 26 we had a 4 pounds and 3 oz baby girl. She did everything the opposite of what I feared. She was hollering which meant her lungs were strong. She was still taken to the NICU. I barely saw her but I remember being sort of out of it but I was crying just hearing her. I kept asking if she was ok and everyone was all smiles. Thank you to all of the nurses in the NICU who hands down were everything we needed and more!

I went into recovery and a week and a half she was home. It was the longest time but having her home meant the world to me. She would go on to have several complications that required me to lose time at work, many hospital stays, etc. but I wouldn’t change a thing. Through it all, she has smiled and had the best disposition that you can’t help but want to smile back at her. Everyone who knows her or been around her, knows that she has a heart of gold.

To the best 10 year old who made me a mom, brought out to best in me, gives me constant joy, the best big sister, awesome friend, and an amazing mini-me daughter-Happy Birthday Gummi Bear!

Mother’s Day: Miscarriage, Loss of a child, and Infertility

Again I say that Mother’s Day doesn’t always bring these cookie cutter images that television and marketing companies want you to believe. It’s a place of grief for so many women and men all around the world.

When a woman conceives or attempts to conceive, there’s very little ways to do it without your heart becoming attached. With that in mind there are large amounts of women who mourn the day because it’s a reminder of what they desire (d) and can’t have. It’s a place of pain that can’t be measured. With all of the cards, flowers, and joy that should be given to women I want to recognize the women who aren’t in the celebratory spirit.

Are you pregnant?

It’s down right rude to ask a woman of whom you do not share an intimate space if or when she is ready to conceive. That conversation needs to be when and if she is ready to ever have it. Our culture has no boundaries on other women and their uteruses. It needs to be reminded that some women endure a heartache that they haven’t or may never be able to share. Asking her when and if, may inflict a level of pain that she may want to keep private.

Infertility

She may also have suffered a miscarriage and those wounds no matter how long ago it may have been are always fresh and sometimes gets reopen on days like Mother’s Day. You mourn all over again what your child would be and it’s hard. It’s debilitating to have to keep reliving the pain. We need to do a better job of acknowledging this and being sensitive. Your comments matter. Saying things like “just try again” or “it will happen in its time” may not always be received well. There are women that no matter what just can’t hold life and it’s the one thing that we all feel is reserved for women to “naturally” do yet it doesn’t always come so easily!

Miscarriage

Hearing your baby’s heartbeat is the most scared part of pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if you’re high risk or not; anytime you’re able to hear it, you hold that sound dear to your heart. There are many women who may or may not initially wanted to be a mother but once life has entered inside of you, a real mom will want to protect that life. Not hearing your child’s heartbeat is one of the most devastating events a woman can experience. It signals that even through no fault of your own, life has stopped. The process following that silence is grueling. We don’t speak about what a woman goes through emotionally, mentally, or physically but it’s life changing. It’s real and it can cut a woman to her core.

Loss of a Child

There are women who unfortunately either through miscarriage, still birth, death of a child or late pregnancy miscarriage experience the greatest loss known. Not knowing how to deal with those feelings have sent many women into a tailspin. It takes love, patience, sometimes medication, therapy and some of the most amazing support systems to get through. Outsiders are the first to put a time stamp on this level of grief when it’s no one’s time frame to control. You will forever remember and never forget.

Regardless of where you as a woman or the woman in your life fits, please understand that these are delicate topics that deserve reference during this time. Please be patient with yourself if you fit the above categories. Know that even if you feel you should be passed a point in your healing that healing is up and down and constant. Some days are better than others. If you need help it’s okay to receive it. If you’re struggling it’s okay as well. You don’t have to have it altogether. Just know that I for one understand! I sent you love! I send you peace!

Ask Toi: How to Forgive a Cheating Parent?

Reader’s father cheated on their mother and reader needs help….

It’s hard to not have your parent on a peddlestool especially a father. As a kid you may have been sheltered from the things that were really going on. That’s understandable, that’s what adults should do. They shouldn’t be as open as they want with their lives for the sake of children. We know in these times some folks don’t care and do whatever they want to do. With that in mind, you’re an adult now. The wounds don’t hurt any less by finding out about your dad’s infidelity. Keep things in perspective. It’s okay to feel like you have lost respect for him. That’s actually quite normal. You’re not a kid you can express how you feel. You can also make a decision if you want to continue a relationship. I am not on team cut him off in any way. I don’t know him enough. I know in time it can be repaired if he’s willing to do the work to do so. If you’re willing to forgive and move forward is going to be key as well.

Also keep in mind that at the end of the day, your dad has to live with his decisions and most importantly your mother is dealing with it mostly. Take some time to process it. Deal with it and do not wave it under a rug like it’s no big deal.  As an adult it may help to speak to your dad one on one. Remove him from your mom and have an adult conversation. Speak candidly and maybe even go to a public place to keep you in aligned to attempt to remain calm when you speak. Remember you don’t have to take his issues on as your own but you can be verbal about where you stand.

You may hear, I am your father respect me. You can respect title and lose respect for your dad. He has to work through earning respect as harsh as it sounds.  Keep in mind that his pain doesn’t just sit with your mom and him but the kids adult or not feel the brunt of the betrayal of the family too. I don’t get why people don’t see the other side of it. Talk to someone you trust that can be a sounding board to help you through and not just someone who wants the details of what happened. If your mom and him work it out that’s great.  If they do not, that’s their marriage to work through. Support your mom in what she needs too. She is hurting too. Take a break from trying to fix it all. You are their child but not a child. You do not need to bandage this in any way to make it okay. It’s not your fight.  Be firm when you speak, say what you mean but don’t be mean when you say it.

I pray you receive closure. I send love your mom’s way and clarity to your dad. I pray he is remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes to restore balance in the family structure without taking offense to the responses. I find men tend to think that once the cheating comes out, the children and women are to GIVE this level of instant respect without ever acknowledging the pain. I find it hard to understand the lack of understanding of the pain of the betrayal. Your dad can’t shrug this off like no big deal. The family ideology has been broken. He needs to be in the forefront to fix it. Everyone will need grace during this time!

On the Move: Crunchik’n Style

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

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

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

Kimchi cheese fries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spicy pork melt sandwich

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

Strawberry lemonade and grapefruit

Mango and Matcha Green Bubble Tea

One last thing:

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

The hours are as follows: