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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Day 8 of Self Care September Challenge

My Sunday funday was about recovering from the 5k and getting so more events under my belt. I went to Barre Class at the Bar Method in Rittenhouse. Lawd have mercy they worked my butt and other areas literally. I haven’t felt that much pain at one time in a long time. One thing I can say about The Bar Method my teacher Gina was hands down the most calming teacher I’ve had. She listened to me and calmed my nerves when I explained how nervous I was. My doctor a few weeks ago suggested that I take a barre class since I do a lot of running and cycling class. I can see why. They move muscles you think you move in a regular work out and you find out doesn’t matter. I love their hands on approach. When I was out of form for what we needed to do they helped me get on track!

After my work out I a few good blocks to Saxbys. I enjoyed another matcha drink aka the Big Mood. I love them I know they are naturally sweet with the raspberry syrup but I asked for a little more. It felt good to walk around one to allow my muscles to relax but I love good weather walking especially if the end result is treats from Saxbys. Oh and by the way since I had to get a bag to carry you can tell I got too much. Or was it? Treat yourself right?!

Not only was I recovering from my Saturday run I also attended Operation Wawa Road Trip! The play was phenomenal. You can see my blog on it here! So many amazing laughs and I sure could use a good laugh. These last few weeks have been full of stress. I mean like heavy stress. It felt good to dress up and put a little make up on and get out. I so wished I had taken a pic. I hate when I do that. After I got home I was able to relax!

The rest of the day I spent with one of my blogger friend. We enjoyed company at a restaurant. I’ll be posting more about that tomorrow so check out my Instagram to see what we were up to. Hint it involved amazing food and a little pipping tea!!

I ended up taking my twin back to the hospital as precaution but I’m glad that she was okay! I ended up falling asleep on the couch. So what did I notice about self care? I was super anxious when I go to a new location even with my GPS! It happens just about every time I have to be somewhere. When I went to Operation Wawa Road Trip even though I set my clothes etc out when it was time to go that anxiety settled in. I was able to push through as always by calming my nerves. I also reminded myself how often I had been feeling like this and it passes and it’s only temporary. I didn’t want to forget that and check my emotions!

How are you doing in your daily self care? What are the reminders you need to tell yourself daily as you navigate life?

Family Style Love at Mamma Maria’s

I went to the East Passyunk Car Show and Street Fest! I posted quite a few pics on my Instagram a few weeks ago! It was so much fun. It was super hot (which I love), great food, amazing vendors, and of course the cars!

Who doesn’t love amazing cars?!

All kinds of exotic cars. Of course I loved them all but also I was drawn to the red cars. Red is my favorite car. I currently drive a red car. I was walking along and was introduced to Mamma Maria! She gave me this warm welcoming hug. It was the kind of hug that warms the soul. It was as if we had known each other all of our lives! On a Sunday it was just the best feeling and expression of love. We chatted about what I do and her cooking!

Mamma Maria already had her set up going and towards the end of the event she was just about sold out. Before leaving Mamma Maria packed me and my oldest daughter some gnocchi, sausages, and broccoli. You couldn’t get the smile off of my face. One of my absolute favorite foods is Italian. My husband even popped the question to me at an Italian restaurant because I love it that much-outside of gummi bears of course! So I’m headed home with this warm pasta on my lap trying not to eat it in the car. As soon as I’m able I open it and goodness gracious-it’s that good. I didn’t even let it get cold so it was ready to eat and I found myself eating and eating!

I took my food outside because as a mom you already know kids don’t care what you are eating they want parts! I was able to eat the pasta outside without little hands in it. It felt like I was having a moment and Mamma provided it for me. Here I was after spending hours in the sun, in my happy spot at home having my favorite dish and content.

I don’t know if there are others who love Italian food as much as I do. The type that work out so they can keep eating fresh pasta, but if that is you-Run to Mamma Maria’s located at 1637 East Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia PA! You will be in a little slice of Heaven with authentic Italian pasta made with love! Mamma will make sure you eat well and when you leave you will smile. You won’t worry about if the pasta hits your thighs. The only thing you will know is you ate some amazing food and you were treated with love!

Mamma Maria’s is open Monday-Friday from 10:30am-10:30pm and on Saturday from 4:30pm-11:30pm and on Sundays from 3:00-10:00pm!

The Joy of Running

I started running when I was at least in Junior High School. It was largely due to me having “them running legs” as everyone called them. I was tall and skinny and at least looked like I had the potential to be athletic. I joined a local team and they trained me. I fell in love! I found myself running for sport and I enjoyed it. Fast forward to now. I picked up running again in the last 2 years to help maintain my weight but running became much more!

In “The Joy of Running” arranged by Jackie Corley it breaks down a runner’s heartbeat. As an adult with a family my reason for running has changed. The “Joy” of running isn’t just for weight maintenance anymore. If that was the case I would have fallen off a long time ago. Joy in running is beyond the moment when the happiness falls. Happiness in running wains in about the first 3 miles. The pain of running kicks in you need Joy pushing behind you. During my 4 am wake up calls where I’m alone and no one to push; Joy kicks in.

I love when David Bedford says:

Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge.

He’s referring to life in this quote. “The Joy of Running” breaks down how running affects a person’s whole being. Unlike my junior high running has a more intimate meaning. I talk to God and go over my life when my feet hit the ground. I take on life’s stressors when I hit the ground. I take on all of my inconsistencies when I hit the ground!

Monte Davis says:

Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also there are hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.

I practice self-care and self preservation on the ground when I run every single time. There’s not one time when something has been on my heart or mind that running hasn’t allowed me to figure it out or give me peace that it can’t be worked out.

“The Joy of Running” is a runner’s reminder of remember your why. I dedicate to leaving this book by my bed. It’s usually where a runner’s biggest struggle comes from. If I wake up and get up even if my time is slow or my miles low; I showed up for myself and “The Joy of Running” pushed my spirit to hear herself!

I highly recommend this book and if you or someone you love stresses a desire to run-gift them this book! It’s a collection of love letters as I call tjem to a runner’s soul! A runner would understand and align themselves back to the “Joy” and their why!

To get your own copy you can get it here!

He Said…She Said

Marriage goals…the thing we say when we think we see marriages being successful. Who defines marriage goals? Is it because people post with their husbae and the lighting is poppin? Is it because of longevity? Is it when someone inspires you that there is still hope that marriage is beautiful? It changes for everyone. What you set as your marriage goals varies from couple to couple! How your marriage is viewed can be misconstrued!

He Said…

I would say the whole #marriagegoals has a great premise but I know the average person is stuck on image instead of what’s behind the image. Nowadays people live on social media to the point where people think every picture they see is real life. As little as I post about my marriage you would think I’m getting divorced tomorrow. In my opinion the people who post the most have the most to hide. Maybe I’m just old. Overall I think people care more about hashtags and following over living in real life. NOONE has a marriage that doesn’t require work and EVERY marriage has room for growth and development. The true goal everyone should have with their marriage is the goal to be the best person you can be on your own. Yes every marriage will have times when one person picks up the slack for the other but if both people are not constantly putting in the work to make sure their marriage is full of respect, trust and communication then those pictures you love to flex with will be the only thing you have left in your marriage.

She Said…

I remember posting many times pics of my husband and I sometimes because we hadn’t had a post. Sometimes I posted and we had just argued the day the pic was taken but we smiled many times as if there was no issue. Of course we take pictures and they are not conducive to whether or not things are “good.” Some of our best pics was during times I was drowning in depression and in the most pain. Wanting this light of those around to see me “good” while I suffered in silence was a way of life. Since getting myself together and realizing more and more I had a need to please others around me that’s no longer my thing. I probably take a lot of pictures of he and I and don’t post them. They become just for us. When I do post it’s because I really want to. It’s not to prove anything because now we aren’t in a flight or fight mode. We work things out.

We don’t push ourselves to be more than we are! I’m not comparing my marriage to my friends. It’s not that I care how we measure up but I care more if we actually like each other than simply falling back on love. Love isn’t enough when you’re empty and feeling empty in your marriage! Love is the last thing because depending on how deep the offense is you might be too blind to see the love! So now when someone shouts marriage goals I say thank you but I always talk to my husband and do a deep dive into where we really are vs. what we appear to be! I would rather look disoriented to others and be stronger together than to be goals for someone and can’t find peace with the one I lay next to at night!

So that’s today’s question and answer session and we have really only just begun! I hope you learned something!

He said….she said

Day 2 of the 7 parts of this wedding anniversary celebration! So today’s question is what is your pet peeve of each other? Now would I ask this question? Simple-everyone has them of their significant other! You can love each other to no end but to tell yourself you don’t have a pet peeve of your mate is lying to yourself. Pet peeves change over the years and some things remain constant. When you’re in love they don’t stop the love between you!

He said…

Your (Toi) tat.

For my readers I have my initials on my left upper back! I got this about 25 years old. Either way:

My issue is why would someone would take a needle to their skin and continue the process. You can get a key chain or t-shirt if you want to advertise something! I don’t care where they are I just dislike them. If it wasn’t that I loved you it would be a deal breaker for another woman I would have married! When I saw it on you (Toi) I was disgusted and annoyed cause you acted as if I wouldn’t notice it. I still haven’t gotten past it but it’s on you and I love you!

She said…

My husband’s lateness. I knew he was super late when I dated him 20 years ago. It’s like he’s late for sometimes just to do it. I mean if an invitation says 3 you better tell him 2! My family is military and I was taught punctuality matters. Early is on time and on time is late. He argues that he was late for the first date but he was. I don’t get it even now I can get me and the kids ready and he still be behind! I just focus on me and the kids and leave it as it is! When we were dating it would irritate me but I didn’t speak up. I doubt it would have changed but since married he knows how I feel about it!

Tomorrow is day 3 and we will dig deeper! I want to send the clear message about the real work it takes! Obviously the blogs only give a small look but I’ve always been honest with people about jumping into marriage based upon super happy feelings!

He Said…She Said

So my wedding anniversary is next Friday August 2nd! Yay! We will celebrate 7 years of marriage! With that being said I am doing a he said..she said series! This series will be done with none other than my husband Marques! I ask the questions and we both answer them.

Marques and I next month will have known each other 20 years! That’s a long time! Although we haven’t been together that long we have always maintained a friendship. We dated for almost 4 years while attending Pennsylvania State University. We went our separate ways and had other relationships and situationships and found our way back to each other. Now count in soon to be 7 years of marriage, 3 children, rough patches, almost ending our marriage, a few fights and bumps along the way we are here. Our love wasn’t a struggle love! We fell hard and fast but maintaining that love wasn’t without challenges. So here we go he said….she said!

What is one thing you would change in the marriage?!

He said

I don’t know if I should answer that in now or when it began because obviously in almost 7 years there’s been several stages! Very early in the marriage I would have changed when we got married! Initially it felt like more of a checking off of a box instead of the blissful feeling you should feel on your big day! I would have liked it to be a better presentation as well as it being earlier. I would have rather it been before we had our daughter vs after! It may be prehistoric in thinking but I think being married before kids set the standard and tone for your kids! Of course they may not see a difference especially now but it’s a personal preference of mine. I wanted us to be married first to help shape their ideals of relationships.I feel like we definitely have done the work but I would have loved to change the arguing, fighting, and yelling from both sides in the beginning. We definitely didn’t have the tools and I’m glad we did counseling! I like where we are now. You know what now….I would change my manner of dealing with stuff. You (Toi) tend to get over things faster. Of course in my opinion they are things that you have done so that makes sense. My tolerance over the years has decreased. I would love to change my tolerance of behavior. If something bothers me I tend to let it bother me for a long time. You (Toi) has challenged my mindset by asking me how long I will take to get over things and that has helped me to see things differently!

She said

I would change my mindset of marriage before we even got married. I grew up in a marriage minded church. It sounds good but it doesn’t produce sound people. No disrespect to the teaching but everyone was so super focused on marriage than being a whole person that may be able to unite with someone. Everything was about marital success that you had two unhealthy folks coming together for the sake of marriage. The ideals of marriage was flawed. I wasn’t out trying to live a happy life being single. Singleness was a life sentence that only could be cured by marriage. Once married having this lovey dovey marriage that isn’t realistic placed concerns on how I operated early on. For my part in the beginning I was more concerned with maintaining this “everything is okay” look while I was drowning on the inside with unresolved personal issues. Marriage is a mirror and I was super upset with what I was seeing but too stubborn and scared to fix it that I just blamed my issues on Marques!

I hope you enjoyed today’s he said…she said. I hope you learn something about us and about marriage. Our marriage is ours and it will never mirror another couple’s marriage! Marriage goals differ from couple to couple!

We will bring you a new question and answer segment every day for the next week leading to our prayers for year 7 on August 2nd!!