Weekly Recap: Friday March 22, 2019

I missed last week on purpose because I wanted to let the blogs do their own thing and on top of that I had a lot of events that I was preparing to attend on top of working out, and my run schedules.  I am 2 weeks to race number one the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K

I am excited as well as super nervous as that race is one month to the Broad Street Run. I am not sure if that was a good idea off but it’s what I am doing. So with that more events and life, we are going to get through as best as I can.  The last update I gave that wasn’t on video was on March 1st. So let’s catch up.

Blog Life

There is a lot going on.  Here are the Women History Blogs you might have missed:

Deja E.

Zulma M.

Tameeka and Kenisha

Cheryl A.

Ila M.

Kim H.

Also I attended some events:

Bob in Five Acts

I can’t forget some bomb eateries here in Philly:

Neighborhood Ramen

Rim Cafe

Termini Brothers Bakery

So its been a busy month since we last updated. Between Monday Motivation and Sunday messages and Ask Toi questions. Always check back to make sure you aren’t missing a thing.

Kid Life

My kids are great. My youngest is all registered for Kindergarten for next school year. I am excited and know that means a lot for our house. One pick up and one drop off is going to be amazing too. Saving some money from daycare/preschool life is what we can’t wait for.

On Thursday it was also National Incredible Kid Day

Fit Life

I am still very much training for races. I also went vegan. It has been interesting. I am confident that I will be just fine. Having to relearn food is the best part. I linked up with Go Vegan Philly

I have learned that I can get the same food and alter it to be plant-based and that makes me happy and my belly feel amazing. I haven’t been hungry once. I almost slipped up on some cheese but thankfully I have snacks premade to fight that cheese demon.  I had to force myself to take a rest day this week. I have been going non stop for weeks now and I know from experience to keep fit you need rest days and sleep.

Personal Life

Other than balance that is the biggest thing going on in my life. Spring has Sprung and my calendar is filling up and I love the busy lifestyle. I also am enjoying making sure I keep up with ME. Not just the mom Me, or the blogger Me, just me. Enjoying the things that I love has been therapeutic.

As always I hope you have a great weekend and find an activity that feeds your spirit. Refill your cup!!

 

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National Incredible Kid (s) Day

Today is National Incredible Kid (s) day. I happen to have 3 of the most incredible kids that I know. They are respectful, full of life, and they are mine.  I love them so much. Having kids has been an adventure. I have had to alter my life in ways I didn’t know I could. No one could have prepared me for motherhood. It comes with some highs and lows like when they are sick or in the hospital. I pray daily that I am giving what they need and more and not what I think they need. Each of my children are amazing in their own right.

Naila

My first-born holds the special place in my heart. She is the one who made me a mom. I have talked about her birth story before. I developed preeclamsia and had to be induced. When that didn’t work and my blood pressure was at an unhealthy level I had an emergency C-section and she was born 6 weeks early. Oh the fear in my mind but I tried all I could do to keep her in despite what was happening to me. The doctors told me if she comes out crying that would be one hurdle. She came out hollering. I was relieved. I didn’t get to spend too much time with her as they whisked her to ICU.  She was in NICU for one week. However I knew I had a fighter as they told me the more they tried to hook her up to cords, she pulled each and every one of them off. She is an amazing child. She is a big helper, she is courteous, loves to smile, never sees the bad in others, and she is an all around star.

Mj

My son. He probably was the least problematic pregnancy. He looked so much like his sister that for the first week I kept calling him his sister. He is an amazing boy who loves to ask questions. His heart is bigger than this world can contain. He loves the world. He loves Spider-Man, his god mother calls him Spidey. He is truly a smart remarkable young man. He does what you ask for the most part. He loves to know why things are the way they are. This has been a blessing and sometimes a headache.  I love the way his mind thinks. He loves rules and wants to be a police man this week. Last week he wanted to be Spider-Man. Whatever he chooses to do I will be there to support him. Mj is the type of child that you can count on to follow the rules.  He is an amazing soccer player too! As a boy he has my heart in ways I didn’t even imagine was possible.

Noelle

She is my firecracker. She has a personality like no other. She was my most clingy baby. She didn’t go to much of anyone at birth. It took her almost 2 years to become more social. She is excited to start Kindergarten next school year. In addition to that she flourishes the most when she is singing or dancing. I tell her you may be the next Beyoncé and her response is, Beyoncé can be my back up dancer. I love that she doesn’t just accept everything and everyone. She side eyes most people. Her intuition is spot on. I have never questioned her judgement because she certainly knows what is going on. She is a joy to be around but she has been deemed the “thug” of the family. That isn’t a negative word either. She can hold her own. I tell her she gets that from her great-grandmother, Earline mixed with them McGinnis genes it’s a wonder she is like she is. She most definitely the one that would show up to protect her older siblings without question.

I am more than blessed to have the best incredible kids call me mom. I hold that title with honor. I pray I am guiding them in the right ways. I do what I can to make sure they are prepared in this world. Everyday I tell them I love them. Every single day they hear words of affirmation from me and their dad. They know they are surrounded in love. I can’t help but be there for these 3 beautiful souls. Shout out to my 3 incredible kids!

Women History Month: Kim Hicks

Failure is going to happen at different parts of your life. Sometimes we prolong the lesson because we remain stuck in a place we had all the signs pointing at us telling us to leave. We have to be able and be willing to get out-of-the-way so we can get to the place we are called to be. Its hard. Sometimes you can move quickly and not have an ounce of emotion attached. Sometimes due to emotions and feelings we have to be forced to move. This is painful but every successful woman knows that after pain can come the best rewards. Kim Hicks is familiar with what it means to hold on too long. She shares her story as well as what she is building for her future.

What is one failure you are comfortable sharing that taught you the most lessons?

I can’t say there was any one failure. What I have learned is that all of my “mistakes” or decisions have shaped every twist and turn that I have made. Although at that moment experiencing each one of those, it seemed, ill-advised decisions, whether it was giving up on myself too quickly or staying somewhere I had outgrown, I know that each of those things gave me wisdom and knowledge that I would use to move where I was predestined and pre-ordained to be. So I would say my greatest failure was not allowing myself to be that person with those faults and flaws making those “mistakes“in that moment. My greatest failure was not loving myself in that moment making those very decisions that had adverse effects on my life at those specific times. As humans we need to love ourselves and so seldom what we give ourselves is anything and everything but that.

From that or any failure, what other lesson not mentioned in the question above have you learned?

I’ve learned that we spend so much time assuming that we are behind, that we all think we should be farther along, or that we should be somewhere, but we don’t acknowledge that we are farther along, we are all somewhere. I have learned that there is love and patience for me and for others if I acknowledge my humanity. If we just acknowledge our own humanity and how precious and unique it is we could have patience for, not only the journey that we take, but the journey that others experience at their own space and place in time

What are is the 3 things you would want to tell other younger women in regard to lessons learned?

Be patient with yourself, pace yourself, and make a plan. I would tell them understand that a plan created and not adhered to, because life happens is not a failure on your behalf, but instead a success. We have been taught to think that life changes with new years resolutions and weight loss challenges, and simple adages, but it’s so much more than that. Life is not experienced on a level of resolutions that we try to stick to, it is experienced by how many times we start-up again and conquer that feat. We’ve been conditioned, not just as women, but as people to think that one year will come and there will be no rain, there will be nothing, but sunshine instead of taught to experience gardening in the inclement weather, instead of being taught to plant seed so when hard times hit that rainy day, month or time we produce for a lifetime. So, I would say welcome the journey, plant seed for the rainy days, and keep good field hands among you, those who aren’t afraid to get dirty in the yard with you.

What are 3 goals for your future?

One of our goals includes the expansion of our company’s non-profit RUN Movement into different states, it is a project that is built on creating tools and institutions that help people in under-served communities build economic, educational, political, financial, entrepreneurial, spiritual, and mental/physical health tools to revitalize their communities and live best lives in the present. Our next goal is to scale our business so that in time we can employ hundreds of others, and lastly help others make their dreams come true by creating youth and young adult entrepreneurship affiliation opportunities.

If you could sit down with any woman past or present who would it be and why?

Maya Angelou. She was a wealth of wisdom. The type of wisdom she had you can’t read in a book or experience in any other way than meeting with her and being in her presence. She experienced life in so many different realms and was in so may different places I could only imagine. Her ability to tell a story with words could only be outdone by hearing those words flow from her lips.

clothing

If you have any projects that are coming up in the future what are they?

We have several clothing and t-shirt lines debuting new designs BRANDED77 our Christian Hip-Hop line, AWOL (All Walks of Life) our inclusive brand, Madison Ave. our collaboration with one of our non-profit (RUN Movement) projects with our youth created clothing line, and Chocolate Wisdom our youth apparel line. Currently our company is working on an affiliate program helping up and coming entrepreneurs create a presence on the web by assisting them with webpage creation and a social media presence. We want to help young people, and people of color make their mark by investing in the success of an economic revolution in our communities. We are also currently working on a multi-cultural animation project called the ObserverX where we are celebrating our differences as a community and country with humor, education, and debate. This project will be huge and will be worth waiting for. We will start some of the character introductions very soon.

CORNERSTORE_FINALnew

Kim has several budding businesses.  Check them out:

Corner Store Nation Group,

Corner Store Nation Page

The Corner Store NYC Page

R.U.N. Movement. DIG Magazine

Digpimagazine

What is the one thing as a woman that you feel helps or helped you make your mark in this world?

Honestly, I am unsure what it is that as a woman I think helped me make a mark. I will say that my individual experiences have helped me though and because I am a woman who is a part of who and what I am and will forever be so that cannot be separated from the mark I plan to leave in this world. Everything I am will have been a part of that legacy I plan to leave behind.

branded.jpg

Thank you Kim for sharing with us. I hope to work with you more in the future on any of your platforms. We learned a lot and boy oh boy do you have your hands full.  Be blessed in all of your endeavors!

Happiness is a Choice

So this weekend was super busy.  I needed a nap from the nap I didn’t take type of weekend.  However with all of the moving parts of the weekend, the one thing that stood out to me was my daughter.  We went to my husband’s basketball game and I was cheering him on. She says oh mommy I am happy cause you are happy. I felt like time stopped. Reality what she said hit me hard.

I asked her why she said that.  Her response was so child like in that I looked tired. What she didn’t know was the last few mornings I had been up at 530am to run.  I ran 5 miles on Saturday and 3 miles on Sunday. She was sleep both mornings so when she woke up I was home.  I really was tired.  I was exhausted and really on fumes.  However her perception to me being tired was correlated to happiness.  Anyone who knows my daughter knows that she is one of the happiest people on the planet and she’s like that all the time. I didn’t want her to feel as if her happiness needed to be tied to my reaction.

When we got home she said it again.  I asked her how would she be if I never smiled or showed happiness.  Would she continue to be her happy self? She hesitated.  I explained to her that happiness is a daily and sometimes moment by moment choice. I also explained that her happiness should come from the inside out.  That let me know that even if I never spoke to her about happiness she is watching. How I take care of myself and how I move around her is important. Today is Act Happy Day.   It’s important to understand that life won’t always be the way we want, but we can control our responses.  We can make or break the part of life where we push through.  Life sucks sometimes. I want to mirror realness to my children but I also don’t ever want to walk around allowing the bitterness of life to over take my smile.

Don’t worry I definitely explained that happiness isn’t in a smile alone to my daughter.  She just happens to have a great smile that if anything encourages me to be light!  It’s easy for a child to be content when you have all that you need. I know that as an adult, life happens.  I know that life has dealth a few bad hands. However having a calm in my heart and joy in my life will make it a bit easier to mirror true happiness to those around me including my daughter.

 

Rim Cafe: Make it Happen

I love when you leave a place or in someone’s presence and you have the biggest smile because of how someone has treated you. I experienced an experience that is Rim Cafe.

From the time I walked into Rim Cafe I was taken away. It’s an eclectic atmosphere filled with nostalgia. So from first glance you should already know you’re in for a treat.

We were greeted with smiles and I knew it was going to be a in a welcome atmosphere. Rene the owner has so much light and love that it’s hard to not smile. I’m talking about that show all of your teeth smile. He knows how to “make it happen!” That’s his signature phrase. He sat down with us and talked about making coffee and drinks and about life. I wasn’t sure expecting to get life jewels but I did!

He talked about not limiting our power. He discussed about being the best in what you do and how creativity can’t be copied. I have often spoken about when you’re open to the right things wisdom will fine it’s way to deliver what you need when you need it.

If you follow Rim Cafe you already know that Rene is going to spin you into a heavenly rich concoction of love. Literally he made us 3 dishes. The first was a St. Patrick White hot chocolate that was amazing.

The next was a baked cannoli with melted chocolate in the middle. My goodness I was just floored by the flavor.

Next came the blow torch and I knew I was in trouble. He made banana flambé with caramel sauce and topped with peanut butter. Somebody call and check on me. I had to pretty much drink water for the rest of the day!

Oh by the way the peanut butter is homemade with his own signature way of making it. I’m not a peanut butter fan but this makes any of your name brand peanut butter blush!

I almost forgot about the salted caramel espresso shot! Heaven in a glass!!

Don’t wait, run to Rim Cafe. It’s located 1172 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia PA! You will never see a cafe like this in your life. Thank you Rene for making me smile. The memories will last! Make it Happen!!

Also they have all kinds of treats to take home too!!

Philadelphia Eateries: Neighborhood Ramen

I feel like being in Philadelphia these last 8 years has been a blur. So much that in these last few years I’ve finally taken a step into what the city has to offer. Food is such an important part in how we live and socialize.

It’s important to find the right place to eat depending on your purpose. As a mom I love finding kid friendly locations. However since I’m more than just a mom I love finding the locations that allows me to have a date night, time with my girlfriends or just a solo spot to not have to share.

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Neighborhood Ramen.

Neighborhood Ramen

I haven’t had ramen noodles since college. Back in the day ramen noodles wasn’t something that was fancy or even all that good. It was a means of eating to take that next test. However since no longer eat college ramen noodles it was refreshing to try the more sophisticated and grown up ramen that is Neighborhood Ramen. They are located at 617 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia PA. The location holds about 20 people and they do not allow for take out. Everything is made fresh. Also they tend to sell out so pay attention to their Instagram! I personally wouldn’t have had any to take home anyway. This is not the college ramen I remember 20 years ago.

Service was fast as well as excellent. My ramen, Yasai, which is a vegetarian ramen was more better than I could have anticipated. The only issue I had was I have never used chopsticks and apparently I don’t have the skill set to use them. That didn’t stop me from enjoying my entree.

Who would have known that ramen would take off like it did but it has. If you follow them you will notice if you eat all of your ramen there is a happy face at the end. I never want to be a quitter or maybe I was just hungry but I made it!!

They have many options so I’m sure you will find something for your palette. Come hungry and be ready to eat! Neighborhood Ramen is the adult ramen I didn’t even know I needed! Thank you for your hospitality!!! I will be back!

I recommend this for family with kids who are older and appreciates ramen, causal date days, getting friends together, and even solo eating experiences.

Easy Transition With Go Vegan Philly

So last week on my Instagram I put out a call for any Philadelphia Vegan restaurants. I am happy to report that several did and today’s highlight goes to Go Vegan Philly

So I was able to have a successful full vegan weekend this past weekend.  In addition to that I was able to experience an amazing, flavorful experience with Go Vegan Philly. First of all let me share with you some of my personal reasons or my whys. I am transitioning to Vegan, one I believe with the assistance of my doctors this is the best meal plan for my life. If you ask the others in my house its a NO go. However that is not deterring me from choosing a Vegan lifestyle. My other issue is that I want to be able to eat clean. You know if you have been following me that over the past Summer I began substituting Vegan dishes and substitutes into my everyday eating. One of my issues that I experienced as I begin transitioning is the fear of having to only eat vegetables alone, meaning just salads. I love salads but let’s be real it’s not enough and I was finding even with several options for Vegans it was semi processed and definitely not whole foods that I need and believe will be better overall. I’ll admit a lot of it had a lot to do with ignorance of what it means to be vegan.

I feel I have had every salad combination there is. As I get more and more into it I am finding some amazing foods that can even surprise a non vegan. This is where Go Vegan Philly comes in. I had Jerk Chicken (Jack fruit) over rice with sautéed kale and cabbage and plantains.  Let me tell you I have personally been to Jamaica and had it from the natives and this dish is super bomb and close.  I kept telling myself to separate the platter. Have a little as a late lunch and then have the rest for dinner after a workout. NOPE! I ate the whole thing in a matter of minutes. Here’s my take. I no longer have to compromise flavor for a Vegan lifestyle.

I took the time to interview the owner of Go Vegan Philly and here’s what I learned:

Shaun Thomas has been Vegan for 4 years. He has had his home based restaurant for over a year and its taking off. I can definitely see why. His family is also vegan as well. He makes it all from mac and cheese to fried chicken and its ALL 100% Vegan.  From first to last bite I am super hooked.

Him and his cousin Charmain Quarles are the chefs. I watched them in action as they prepared these dishes. They serve each meal with love and smiles. They worked extremely well and I just blended in the background to see how their chemistry meshed and it was amazing. I love food and I love to eat. I don’t want to just eat salads and then feel like I lost something by switching. That is exactly what Shaun’s vision is. He wants people to feel like they are getting the foods that they grew up with that is flavorful but remains healthy and a great alternative to those who are transitioning. When he made the decision to go Vegan, he woke up and just did it and stuck to his commitment. That is truly admiral. I aspire to take that full-time leap.  So far I am doing well.

Jack fruit “Jerk” chicken, plantains, and sautéed cabbage and kale

The dish I had blew me AWAY.  From the reviews of even non Vegans, its spot on. The food was more than amazing.  I was full and not looking to snack on things or revert to a meat based meal later on that day.  If I am honest,  I ate around 4pm and didn’t feel the need to eat again until the next day at breakfast.  I asked Shaun what are his dishes and his response was simple, tell me your favorite meat based meal and I can make into a Vegan dish.  Take a look at some of their other dishes and you can be the judge:

 

If going Vegan looks like this and has my taste buds in full bliss, you can kiss meat based meals goodbye.  So as the journey begins send good vibes.  Also for those wanting to know, Go Vegan Philly does offer a meal plan service that I will be taking part in.  As I type this, I have already eaten the second platter.  Thank you Shaun, Charmain, and Go Vegan Philly you got a solid customer here!

Follow Go Vegan Philly on Facebook

Also follow them on Instagram

All orders can be placed by calling/text 610-616-3083

Hours are Tuesday-Friday; 5-9pm and Sat/Sun 1-6pm

Go Vegan Philly is located in Delaware County

As with any lifestyle change be sure to make the decision that best suits your end goal. Also be sure to research and have an open mind. Often times we are afraid to try new things because it challenges us to possibly end what we “always” known. Research! Research and then stick to your commitment!

Let’s flood Go Vegan Philly with orders and love! It’s well deserved!