Bday Weekend Recap

I had a great birthday not doing a whole lot. Since attending so many events I find relaxing is my number one go to. A night filled with good food, a workout out, adult juice and quiet works for me.

I spent my birthday working only a half a day. No half day in the office and a half day at home working, straight half day working period. Once home with the kids I took a shower and my husband brought me my order from Hip City Veg. It was my first time as I continue to add vegan restaurants to my line up. I ordered the smokehouse burger (vegan), sweet potato fries with sriracha sauce and the birthday cake non dairy milkshake.

Smokehouse burger

birthday cake milkshake

Vegan or not this meal was amazingly everything and more. I love great tasty food. I wanted my birthday night to be calm. I did manage to get a workout in so I felt even better! After eating and a few adult drinks I happily fell asleep! My night was made!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for making me another amazing vegan cake! I had more cake than I could ever have. I haven’t had cake especially vegan cake since the big switch! I definitely have made up for past times. You can definitely insert the Rihanna song!!

vegan vanilla cake

Saturday I finally was able to attend my son’s soccer game. I didn’t even realize how busy I had become how I hadn’t attended my son’s game for this season! He did amazing by the way!

My husband arranged for my girl friend and I to have dinner together at one of my new faves, True Food Kitchen! What I love about them is their seasonal rotating menu. Since the last time I was there for Valentines Day weekend, there were different meals present for me to choose without feeling like I was only limited to the same options. I have to shout out Marques for working covertly with one of the besties, Kyla to make it happen!

Vegetable soup

Hey Kyla

kiwi mousse with strawberry

I’ve gotten a lot of amazing gifts this birthday and so much of my friends who knew my heart! I’m honored that I was thought of. I’m grateful for an amazing weekend which ended with a little trip to Ulta and ended with a bubble bath, a good book and I was in bed on Sunday by 8pm. If that wasn’t the most peaceful weekend I don’t know what was?

Never forget to sign up for birthday rewards! And brand that you already utilize and patronize, should be your number one go to. I love getting freebies or discounts on the very things I already use or will use!

Until the next one…..let’s get this personal New Year going!!!

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Monday Motivation: Light a Fire

Light a fire today. Never let others control your outcome. We do too much complaining about things that aren’t right and not enough making moves. You don’t like your job? Light a fire……under you. Not the job! Get a new one. Have a plan. When you tired it shows in your actions. You light a fire and make things happen.

heart shaped candle

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You don’t like your weight? Light a fire. Don’t sit around talking bad to yourself. Get up and use that idle time to work out. I used to work out to Khloe Kardashian’s “Revenge Body.”  This was after dropping weight. Sometimes I would listen with my ear phones on but it motivated me to move more. It motivated to see the reasons why I gained the weight and work on the inside out. I no longer sit talking about my arms is getting big, I light the fire and work on them. If my thigh or any other part of my body is bothering me I get to work on them.

You don’t like your relationship? Work on you actively and in addition suggest couples counseling while you get personal counseling. He/she unwilling to attend, you have your answer. Faith without works is dead you can’t simply pray good behavior into another individual. Either love is worth fighting for the right way or it has to be set aside. I fail to believe that all this living to be done is meant to be spent arguing and being miserable with an individual who doesn’t mean you well.

firetwo8

I know the number one issue with lighting a fire is depression. That is why things like bad jobs, weight, relationships, and goals seem hard to achieve because you have allowed your mindset to take over. Your mind has made a nest of negativity and you don’t have the mental strength to move. Well your first light of fire needs to be a certified counselor or therapist. It will be hard. I hate when people paint happy pictures of people attending therapy. But all that bad has to come out. Often times you leave hurt. You leave empty. Its a process, but one that is worth the journey. What do you have to lose? Everything-like a fire!

Whatever you need today, light a fire. Get up off of your do nothing and take a few steps. Make a few calls. Send out a few hundred resumes but get the fire started. Every day you should be doing something to ignite fire in your life and in your soul. So light up the gifts inside of you, work on you, and make life happen. The only excuse you have is you. So stop making them. Get back into life and light a fire in your soul to make life beautiful!

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!

2019 Broad Street

Another year done! I am so proud of my Broad Street Run. I am proud of the training, perseverance, and dedication. It’s no east task to run in pouring rain but there was no way I wasn’t going to finish injuries or not.

Before the race is the bib pick up as well as the Health and Wellness expo. It’s interactive with some amazing vendors having all that you need to make your run that much better. It’s two days, Friday and Saturday. It’s in the Convention Center and convenient hours to make sure all runners have the ability to attend. It also is serves as an information station for runners to help ease with pre race questions.

Broad Street Run is a major ordeal in Philadelphia. The city comes out in swarms to show love and support. I can’t tell you the many people who had the most heart warming signs, funny signs, and the best quick pep talks you will ever hear. I read one sign that said “you’re running better than the government.” I always love reading them. Interesting enough this year I saw some companies with actual tacos to give the runners. I didn’t have any because running and eating is never a great idea, but that was something I hadn’t seen in any race.

I remember the countless times as I was tired that someone would be with an encouraging word. From “hey sis in the red we see you keep going” to “let’s not get tired,” it was all necessary! It pushed me when my socks were soaking wet and my feet were so heavy I felt like I was dragging.

I came down with an injury to my right foot where I discovered I lost arch support. The pain was excruciating. I had to find a brace that supported me in a matter of a day. This was after running a 9.3 mile run 2 weeks ago. So back to back runs may have played a huge part in the before run injury. To compensate, I found myself working and leaning on the left foot during the actual race. That within itself felt like more of a little injury during the race as well. However as I did and nurse my little wounds, I’m still grateful for finishing and pushing through. I think I will attempt to have only shorter runs so close to Broad Street next year.

Huge as always shout out to my run husband Marques. He does not run at all but he’s up with me race day, makes sure I get to the race without a hitch, he catches or attempts to catch me at various locations during the race and he’s there to get all of the post race recovery food and drinks. He’s not a morning person so a 5am wake up call is never his favorite. He’s also my photographer for the day. He amazes me with the shots as during the race my mind was far from snapping. Also we usually have to get the train from near the Wells Fargo on the Broad Street line!

After the race as we proceed to get our post race food it’s always so crowded. From the runners finishing up to the large supporters gathering, it can be intimidating. Philadelphia does an amazing job with large crowd control, police presence, and awesome volunteers who do their best to keep the crowds moving! Shout out to every volunteer from the water holders, to those who pass out the medals. It takes a whole village of support to make it happen! I can’t imagine what the behind the scenes looks like. However the end result the runners always feels super supported from the time their foot hits the road until the last car pulls out.

Since this year I am vegan I had to find something to eat for my post race meal. With it being Cinco de Mayo, I knew I wanted some vegan tacos. I decided to get some from Soy Cafe. Let me tell you the picture doesn’t do it any justice. The Philly cheesesteak vegan taco was absolutely amazing. I also ordered the vegan chocolate chip cookie. Topped both off with some margarita mix with top shelf tequila and it made for a wonderful post race nap!

You already know if you follow me for any run that I did my post soak with Epsom salt. I always hear my great grandmother saying “baby get the Epsom salt.” I was surprised that I didn’t do my usual sit on the couch until I was able to get up. I came home and cleaned up a little then took my bath time soak and facial mask. It’s my ritual that relaxes me!

Shout out to Black Girls Run. You know by now they are the running group and family that I’m involved with. Between their support and the support of my family and friends, the love is real! To my friends you are so loving and awesome. My Fitbit was pinging with messages that pushed me from the time the race started until it ended. It felt amazing to read all of the love during the ride home. Shout out to my twin who kept the kids while I raced! It’s amazing to run for them knowing they were safe and secure!

So another year down and I await for 2020!! As long as I get in I’ll run it!

So what’s next? 2 Days of rest and then back at it. It’s a lifestyle not just to be summer time fine. I’m looking to be lifetime fine!! Now will I be slaying this summer? Yup. Fall, Winter, and Spring too!

Untitled; by Inua Ellams

No you’re not seeing a typo. Untitled is the name of the play. I love attending any production by Inis Nua because any time I am there, everyone and I mean everyone treats me with love and a sense of family. In addition it’s always great to see amazing talent bear their souls before an audience.

Untitled is a monologue about Nigerian twin brothers (played by Keith Illidge) born on Nigeria Independence Day. During their naming ritual one twin hollers out so much that after several attempts, he is unable to be named. A naming ceremony is almost in parts similar to that of a baby being christened in western culture. Names have meanings. Giving your child a name that evokes purpose is important. Having the twin not being named questions the twins’ purpose. Thus the plight begins.

It’s easy to have two separate actors play off of one another’s emotions to convey a message. It’s even harder to play two parts by the same actor that require different sets of emotion. Without giving you too much information, the twins are being raised in 2 different homes. As a twin myself I would find it hard to portray myself as well as my twin and keep the two different emotions straight without overlapping which twin is to be played by whom.

I definitely saw so much pose in Keith Illidge’s acting. I honestly think monologues help you to see the actor’s range. Untitled was engaging not just because it was written so well but because Keith single handily brought the story to life. I was engaged and the set was super alluring. FYI if you attend and you must, don’t be shy. Sit in the front. Be prepared to watch as Keith effortlessly brings the audience in as if they had rehearsed it all along. Right from the start of the show I saw the audience holding back from answering questions as Keith was performing. Keith was the teacher in a way except there weren’t students hiding from being seen. Keith’s energy pulled you in from the beginning until the end.

I like to listen to the responses at the end. I usually sit and wait as people exit. I heard most of the responses of wanting more. I also heard someone mention how incredible the set was. The set was truly amazing. Kudos to production for making the details matter.

Overall you really are doing yourself a favor by going on the Link and getting tickets for you and bringing a few friends. You don’t want to miss the opportunity as this production will last until May 12th.

While watching Untitled ask yourself the question of can your future be determined by your past, your upbringing and/or traditions alone?! Untitled is a thinking piece.

Also a special treat Inis Nua also has the work of Yemisi Ajayi, Nigerian textile artist that can be viewed before or after the show in the lobby!

Special shout out to the sponsors, production staff, playwright Inua Ellams, Honorary Producer, Louis Bluver, and Director Jerrell Henderson. I also want to shout out for the opening night spread provided by Amis Trattoria and Powers; the official whiskey of Inis Nua. I have to admit the whiskey and the food was phenomenal.

Increased Self Care

Who doesn’t love getting a mani/pedi? How about a salon trip? It feels amazing to pamper yourself or just continue your up keep. As much as these activities are awesome and can be forms of self-care, do not limit that to your only self-care. Increase self-care to those things that bring joy into your heart and life.  What about that hobby that brings the type of smile that can’t be wiped away?  What about making time with friends a priority? What about going back to school to accomplish a goal you left sitting? What about making time for rest and unplugging? We all need to dip deeper into self care now more than ever.

brown couch near pillows and mats

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When I hear older folks make complaints such as “what is this self-care business, we didn’t have that growing up,” it irks me. Those be the same women that have the most insecurities, the most hard battles in their spirit that have gone unchecked. When you know better you do better. Why aren’t you practicing it yourself or encouraging the younger generation to focus on their mental health just because no one encouraged you? You remember them lonely battles you fought? Remember that feeling of being overwhelmed? Why would you want another woman or man to go through that?  Even it made someone 5 seconds better, it’s worth it. Encourage and then practice it yourself. 2019 is about accountability and that is even in how we treat ourselves. We can’t expect anyone to treat us well when we treat ourselves badly. Think about it from head to toe. What are you doing to make you whole? If you are still eating, drinking, not working out, have a thousand bad habits that contribute to your body and mind’s demise, these things need to be worked out.

adult art beautiful beauty

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Self care is about self-preservation.  It pulls you out of darkness and makes you alert. When you don’t practice self-care often times you are numb to things and people around you. It doesn’t stop bad things from coming but it can help you deal with it that much more. Think about the times you let yourself go mentally. You weren’t even ready for hits that life was about to throw. Self care is super important. I don’t care what you call it.  You can call it self-care, self-love, me time, whatever it is find it, be consistent, and then add some more. There is no such thing as too much self-care. That is impossible. Having joy in this world is what keeps people from feeling hopeless. That hopeless feeling leads people into paths that don’t bring about positive results. People need hope. Joy isn’t about walking around with a smile 24/7.  It means that you have things in your life that bring you real happiness no matter what. Self care is about preserving peace in a world full of chaos. Self care is about loving yourself even when the world wants to make you feel unlovable. Self care doesn’t care what your status is in life. Self care is important. Please invest in yourself. Practice some more self-care!

two woman doing exercise

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Monday Motivation: Morale is Important

We understand morale in the sense of working with a team.  If you are at work and morale is lost it could be a number of factors that affect morale. It could be from not having an understanding manager, having to do other team members’ work, or from lack of incorporating fun activities into a work day. Either way, morale is important. It’s the heartbeat of how you move at work. How much more do we need to keep our personal morale going? We scroll through social media getting super hype over stories we see that is why we comment and argue with strangers. Yet when in comes to personal morale, we give ourselves whatever is left over.  Oh I’ll complete that maybe next year when this is supposed to be your year. You hype everyone else but yourself. This has to stop. I’ll hype myself past my own flaws. Meaning I own them so no one can ever use them against me and use that to disqualify a gift that is in me or being used to flow through me. That is lesson one in anything you ever want to do in life. Folks don’t have to like me in order for my gift to rise above a few folks that are walking in disagreement. Disagreement doesn’t cut off the gift inside of you. It only sharpens you to be better and walk better and to utilize discernment.

marketing school business idea

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Morale is the motivation to keep going. You know morale is the spice in to your why. You have your why.  Why did you take on that personal challenge. Why you decided to lose weight. Why you decided that this year you will travel. Why you decided to leave that relationship. Why you decided to change jobs.  Whatever your why, work at it and keep the morale going. It may come in the form of getting organized. It may be in changing your circle. You should know that matters. If you’re circle always has something negative to say about your ideas, it may mean they are attempting to sabotage the plan. Stop sharing things with them negative folks. Morale pushes you when you are tired. Morale pushes you when you hear a thousand NOs in the journey but you know what is in you to keep going.

Morale pushes effort. Think about a relationship. Morale is what keeps scheduling dates because you see how that time alone makes you adore your partner that much more. Morale keeps patience with your kids when they jump and back flip on that last nerve. Personal morale is the self-starter to anything you are attempting to accomplish. We however let morale get trampled on by energy that is sucking the life out of us. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months and months into years. You look up and can’t understand why you are stagnant. You lost morale. The joy of what you were trying to do has been taken on with life. You need a morale booster. You need to get some new goals. You need to refresh yourself. You need to find the happiness in starting that idea.

person holding stay focuseds paper

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When I started this blog in the beginning, it was so fresh and I was excited. After a year, I saw how my posts became less and less and I asked myself-are you done or do you just need a morale booster? I changed the layout of the blog, got a blog planner, and wrote. I keep myself motivated by never writing a blog that feels forced. When I write it pours out of me because I do what’s necessary to keep my personal joy. I write and sometimes re-write my vision. I keep my eyes open and I put permanent sunglasses on when someone in my personal circle says things like: “why did they choose you.” “What makes you so special.” These are actual things that have been said to me. Them sunglasses allows me to see and hear them but blur them as I keep going. I still get invited to the tables of places I hadn’t in my first few years of writing because I stay consistent. I had one PR firm tell I always come to your writing or reviews because you have a keen eye for what the public wants to see. That is a morale booster. Sometimes when the accolades aren’t coming, having personal morale helps to keep the rays of joy in what you love burning.

Do not let anything burn your candle of morale out. You have what you need inside of you to keep pushing and making it happen. Tune out and drown out the naysayers. Keep going! Keep the personal morale going!!

Remember morale is the discipline, enthusiasm, and confidence to complete your goals. Who caused you to lack the discipline to work late and get up early and prepare? Who took the enthusiasm to push past tiredness? Who attempted to knock your confidence while you are in the shift of change? No matter what the outside factor, YOU control your life.