Photo Pop Philly: Instant Happy Place

As I get older and dig deep into self-care one of the pushes that I have been is for things that make me feel excited, and happy about life.  Long ago are the days where I sit at home waiting on others to attend things with me or waiting on others to be the source of my happiness.  I also find that I am attracted to the things that make me happy as well.  So bright colors, pretty things, quiet spaces at times, special lists, anything that makes me glitter with excitement I go after.   I have been working on my Summer to do list, and well…..

A few weeks ago I logged on to Instagram and noticed one of my absolute favorite blogger, realist, IT girl, etc. Demetria L. Lucas and she was in Philly.  All I saw was that she was in the same city and immediately got excited.  Now I didn’t see her but I did see that she was at Philly Photo Pop.  I looked through their Instagram site and fell in love with the colorful exhibits I knew I had to get there.

What is this Photo Pop Philly?

It is a pop up interactive photo experience.  It is an experience trust me.  you walk in and all of the displays from various artist are there for you to jump in, touch, and of course if you love bomb photos it’s an Instagram’s dream.  Kudos to the artist for all of their hard work.  I can’t draw or have an eye for such wonder but they really outdid themselves.  I enjoyed the brightly colored exhibits and I have photos for days to release at my disposal.  I literally think you should pop in.  They also have events throughout the Summer and you find it all on their website: Photo Pop Philly They will be around until the end of Summer so if I was you, I would gather your friends and head in. You will NOT be disappointed.  You may see me back, matter of fact I am sure of it!

I bought my tickets on July 3rd the same day there was a water main break.  Philly Photo Pop did not sustain any damage but they had to wait until the power was turned back on to continue allowing others inside.  They came back up and running but I had to wait for some space and time to open due to my schedule and today was the day.  I was greeted and had zero issues getting in.  I had my own poparazzi take my pics throughout the displays.  It was so magical and exciting.  I literally at every stand got happier and happier.  I got the full treatment.  My best place was the what inspires you board?  I wrote about setting an example and I can’t wait to share some new and super exciting things and additions to my family that is on the way.  Pump your breaks it ain’t kids!!! But it will be amazing!

Let me step back and tell you about how I went to the 4th of July celebration in Philadelphia and they had a miniature set up that my family and I was able to try.  The staff was outstanding. They were hands on and we were featured on their Instagram and Facebook page as well.

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Love is…Intense

Tonight was on one. As I always like for you to go back and rewatch, these are my thoughts and reactions:

  • Nuri knew damn well she shouldn’t have gone on that ski trip. Keith wanted to hit. Men ain’t inviting you to read scripture. It’s definitely understood. And before you hit me with the whole women don’t have to give it up we know that already. It’s just not the first thing that comes to mind
  • When Keith gave Nuri that Keith’s girl sweater, I literally died on the inside. Nuri wearing that sweater was a sign of when women settle.
  • Spoiler alert: Keith confesses to being gay. There is nothing wrong with choosing a life that you want, but back in this time it was even more taboo to “come out.” But let me say I wasn’t ready but I wasn’t surprised
  • Angela told Nuri right, never put another woman in a position to be fighting etc over a man. Nuri feels so desperate that she’s willing to “call” Yasir but let’s not forget he has a “roommate.”
  • Keith who by the way was high and drinking now wants to back peddle his gay confession. Let me help a few folks out, two people who don’t lie and that’s children and a drunk! Keith meant that and wants Nuri as his beard!
  • Angela is that friend you need. I’m more than willing to do what I can but I accept gift cards too
  • Yasir reminds Nuri that he made space for her and it’s true! Nuri I’m true fashion hit him in the one area he has a deficit in and that’s his lack of employment
  • Nuri goes to the place where Yasir and Rubi share but handles herself in a classy way
  • The end, all I’m saying is Janet Jackson got some definite sexy hits. I’m about to hit up Amazon prime for bulk candles, and a soft rug!
  • Well until next time, just know that the ups and downs of love is worth it for the one that is for you. Love isn’t always as clean as we want it to be! It’s definitely worth it!!
  • Ask Toi: How do I adjust my feelings over my sibling sharing his/her HIV status publicly?

    The biggest way to adjust your feelings is to understand who’s issue it is. The sibling is the one carrying the biggest weight of her health status so it’s up to him/her if they want it to be shared. Often times people see HIV as a death sentence. Her ability to share that whether on social media, on YouTube, a blog, etc could be a place of peace and healing. Adjust ownership of where the pain of your sibling’s health issue is. People always say when others share things such as health issues that they are over sharing but people don’t realize the peace that comes from being authentic and open. To not give something that is deemed so negative space. To help another person make better decisions while listening to or watching you make mistakes and owning it and not allowing it to own you.

    I’m not being insensitive that you will have people who do not understand your sibling or may even shy away from him/her and maybe you feel like you want to protect him/her. It isn’t your job to do so. Your job is to support and love.

    Another way is to speak to your sibling about how you feel about the openness they are willing to share. Maybe releasing it will help you adjust. Be understanding when your sibling acknowledges your feelings and still decide to walk in their truth boldly. It is their right to do so!

    I would also research ways you can assist. HIV just like with any other health scare has ups and downs. Find ways to support your sibling when the times get rough. Find ways you can be their peace instead of thinking of only how you may feel. Although technology is ever changing and cures are being found daily, this is a battle that needs to be fought daily! He or she will need to know that you have their back no matter what! Focus on that instead of the sting or stigma you think will follow.

    I wish you well and I wish your sibling well!!

    For the Love of Friends

    I am blessed in friendship. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you can be authentic and secure all while having amazing people behind you who support you and love you and love on you.

    Friends who are family

    It’s true that you can’t pick your family. With friends, you are in charge of who you allow in your life. With that being said I have an amazing pool of friends. From childhood to college and beyond, friends are the fuel of life. This weekend I was able to spend time with my college loves. In August of 1999 I entered into Penn State super unsure of myself. I had gotten my college roommate assignment and on it was a name super similar to mine. Her name is Toi. I had never seen anyone with that spelling outside of me. I initially thought I had scored a single room. On move in day I saw a girl who looked similar to me and was warm and inviting. We met and were inseparable.

    A few days later I met Krystle and Marques. They were apart of my scholarship program. Krystle came off super shy. We know now that’s just her secret weapon. Once friends with Krystle you realize how much of a gem she is. She graced us with her love. Krystle is one of the most level-headed women I’ve met to date. I’m still trying to get her to adopt me (inside joke). Marques was funny. He came up to me and Toi once he heard our names was similar and made a joke about it. His wit got him in but his loyalty kept him in even when he and I who dated in college would break up each week! Over the course of time we quickly formed a group and over the course of 4 or a little over some for others in the group we were a mini family. We dined together, traveled together, got in “trouble” with another and went through hard times together. Although a beautiful fellowship of individuals, we had growing pains together. We were there for each other and still continue to be there during the rough times. And almost 20 years from meeting, we found ourselves back together.

    We were able to catch up, talk smack, remember the good and the bad times. It was everything and more that we needed. I know for a fact that they made my college experience that much better and I am super grateful for being able to be a call away from them. I know that as we continue on our journey of life that we remain as strong as ever. I’m super grateful for their loyalty as they have stuck by me when they shouldn’t have. I have nothing but love for our Pennypacker crew and honorary member! P Phi P forever! #peacoatmafia #Pennstatestrong #Weare

    Love Is…petty! Episode 4

    Whew love is….super complicated and petty. There were a lot of take aways from tonight’s episode.

    Love has a lot of gray. We think love is a clean break however beautifully marred keep in mind this was meant to be. Since it was meant to be, timing was off but super on. Each miss and messy moment was in line to unlock their destiny. Cue in the violins but don’t let it put the pause button. Yasir shut the door on Nuri’s face so that his ex wouldn’t know what was going on. As much as he loved Nuri he needed to protect Ruby because well loyalty! There are a lot of red signs that will need to be explored:

    • If you get invited for a weekend getaway, please understand it most likely ain’t for scripture reading. They want the drawls. Nuri’s inability to see this is interesting.
    • Yasir wanted Nuri to see his potential. It’s hard because little girls are taught to not trust in potential. Potential is not enough to make a relationship last. However what Nuri doesn’t know is Yasir is putting in work. His intentions are for her as he cuts ties with his ex, Ruby.
    • Cut ties and learn that guilt is not enough to keep an old relationship solid. Ruby is holding onto the old Yasir and the life she once thought she has and Yasir feels the need to be loyal to the loyalty she has already demonstrated.
    • Women have so much to give to this world more than just the life that we already give. Back in the 90s women were seen and not heard. We are making more waves now but still have to contend with the boys club. We will not be silenced and our opinions will be heard and implemented.
    • Men you can’t keep using women and in addition to that do whatever you want to them by relying on the price of their loyalty. Ladies don’t let them. Give loyalty to whom it’s earned! The worst side to be on with a woman is when she awakens from her mental and emotional sleep and discover you have been playing games.
    • Nuri is attempting to move on and therefore has found herself in deep water with her more stable work boo and is now caught and headed to that ski trip. Yasir played it cool by allowing her to do as she pleases.

    Next week will be interesting to say the least! How will Nuri turn the tide between her and Yasir?! What lessons will need to be learned?!

    Stay in Your Lane

    Happy Monday! Today is going to be filled with highs and lows. Keep in mind that you have to go into any day knowing that. However one thing that can set your week apart is to have empathy for all but stay in your lane. Folks personal lane is just what it is-personal. I learned the hard way as a kid to stay in my own lane. I had to know the tea and my mom made sure to remind me and when I would get caught up in someone’s lane she would remind me- stay in your lane!

    Lane as gifts/talents

    We all have gifts whether we use them or not. Often times we try to use gifts that were not given to us to do things not gifted to us. This is when you find at times the road being super hard. You are already going to have challenges even in your gifting do not pick up things in other folks lanes. If you’re not a singer, don’t tell another singer how to run their show! If you’re not a baker stop baking stuff for the company potluck. Stay in the lane God gave you even if it’s picking up the utensils!

    History repeats itself

    I took a good run yesterday and during it my oldest was using her scooter. She was struggling not because she lacked scooter riding skills but because she wouldn’t stay in her lane, concentrate, and stay the course. I kept telling her to stay in her lane. This was for her safety. Other kids were doing the same thing and she needed to see them and be seen. Eventually she got the message and was fine. I laughed to myself repeating the same things I wouldn’t receive!! I’m just glad for now my daughter seems to be semi more receptive. Shout out to every mom who hears and sees them after the fact!

    Staying in your own lane is for your own safety sometimes. As I see the many folks that jump into lanes not made for them and then get mad when nothing comes from it, drama is started or just the inability to sustain it and another lane not made for them it becomes super apparent that staying in your lane is a life skill. This is why regardless of what is shown on social media everything ain’t for me to respond to.

    While you’re in your work place, stay in your lane. Work and do what you have to and sometimes that means moving in silence. Everybody don’t need to know your every move. You don’t have to combat it all! Stay in your lane. See other lanes and keep yourself intact. If you are finding yourself getting upset over something that is in another person’s lane and it doesn’t affect you, take stock!

    No I’m not talking about the stories on the news, I’m talking about folks personal lanes. Stay out of them and stay in your own lane! Today as you truck along, spend some time finding ways in which you can make your personal journey that much better. For the last few years my journey has been more on watching my mouth, correcting wrongs and being a whole woman! What’s your journey?! Focus more on that and stay in your lane!

    Stop Wasting Your Weekends

    It’s the weekend!!! You can begin to let your hair down.  You need to be doing the most of the things you need.  As much as blogging has me on social media a lot sometimes I dedicate on the weekend for a little cut back.  I only watch those things that I feel build me up, make me laugh, make me smile, etc.  I honestly feel that as much as social media can be a blessing it can also be a curse.  What I take in matters.  I also do my beauty reviewing or turn my bathroom into my spa.  Whatever you choose to do, make your weekends count.

    Do not waste time giving energy to people who do not matter. If you have a friend that you know is a great waster of time, pencil them into the work week.  Leave your weekends to those whose energy levels match.  I have several girlfriends and some who do not all have the same energy as I do. I got a few who are down for anything. I got some who I have to be a little more patient.  I got some who they are the types that love to brunch and some are chill.  Whatever the occasion I love that my friends can be an oasis and on the weekends hanging with a few is super restful.  It’s renewing.  Its refreshing.  Weekends with good girlfriends make the weekend that much better.

    If you are the type that finds that you need to let the friends rest a bit, then maybe some personal me time is right up your alley.  Find ways to make that alone time.  Here are a few things you can do:

    1. Spa
    2. Bed and Breakfast
    3. Curling up To a Read a Thon
    4. Shopping Trip
    5. Reorganizing a room, apt, house
    6. Long Bath
    7. Pintrest a few things
    8. Hair appointment

    The list can be endless and be frivolous or as glamorous as you would like.  The point is refuel. You can let your creativity carry you wherever you desire.  Come Monday, the words of I did nothing unless nothing is what you desired should have taken place.

    For me as an on the go woman, mom, and wife sometimes movie time with my fam bam and not having a schedule is all I need.  I am always planning and now I plan days of nothing.  I also do stuff where only my family are invited.  I will do a full themed party for us 5 to celebrate anything. I do Winter Solstice parties, Fall Preview dinners, anything creative and just for those in our house.  I put energy into them.  I make the meals surround the theme, decorate, the whole nine yards.  These types of events make me ecstatic.  I used to tell folks but now part of self-care is learning that if I post it, you will know if not sorry Charlie! Less is best.  I stopped doing full albums into my life and now just do snippets.  I love renewing with my family and that renews me.

    Booed up is always a great way to wind up and reconnect.  It’s easy to go with life and just exist with your loved on, so maybe take some time to find an outing you both enjoy.  Commit to your outing.  If you are supposed to be dressed up, dress well. If it’s a game and more relaxed, be comfortable and enjoy it.  Yes I know money is an issue and one of the number one reasons couples can’t get out.  When you have been with your boo for a minute do not feel pressed to spend all the coins.  There are some awesome date ideas for going out or staying in.  Be creative! The memories created will mean the most and will be what you can lean on during hard times.

    Summer is for outings.  All year is but if you choose to be miserable in the Summer I have concluded you may have this experience all year round.  Get out.  Learn to enjoy.  You know life is for living. I get tired of those complainers who take the joy out of the weekend.  If someone is happy to not have to be at work, let them.  If someone is happy to be a brunch with friends, let them.  Let people live.  If you want a glass of wine, enjoy it.  Do not waste your entire weekend with energy suckers or doing the things that will get you grounded for the work week.

    Take some time to renew spiritually too.  This s most important.  You need something you believe in that guides you.  You need an anchor that when you can’t get together with friends, your money is funny on hitting an outing, or you feel depleted and can’t tap into self-care you can renew and open your mind and heart in the right directions.

    Enjoy the weekend, Mondays come quick.  Don’t let it come and you find you have done nothing you wanted, or had time to enjoy it!