National Make A Difference Day

How can you make a difference? This is such an open-ended question. We always have a tenacity to go to what we don’t have before we answer. You start listing all of the things you aren’t before you can just simply find ways to be the difference in someone else’s lives.

Whatever gifts and talents that are inside of you is more than enough to make a difference. Here are a few ways you can give back and make a difference:

 

Home Life

One charity starts at home. I hate to see people who are super bomb to everyone around them except their own family. I hate to see it with parents who go out and win everyone else’s child but ignore the issues with their own. I hate to see husbands and wives flex on social media but behind closed doors, give silent treatments and ignore the needs of their spouse. We all have to do better.

  • Spend more time with your children. Yes you work to provide. Provision is responsibility. Taking time away from your phone, to sing a song, or play one of their games, or sit and ask them what they like and what’s bothering them makes a difference for a child. Try it some time.
  • Love on your mate. Whether it’s a boo, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, take some time and spend it on them. Yes gifts are great, but how about watch one of their shows actively with them. How about talk and make sure the air is clear? You can also make a dessert together. These are inexpensive ways to show the ones you love that you are one with them.
  • Check in on loved ones. We say we love folks but the only time we check in on them is if we have the tea about another family member. Change that. Call and ask if all is well and mean it. Than when you find out it’s not if you can help, help. Also unless someone told you to tell another person, build trust and just listen and not take their issues to another family member so you “can pray about it.”

Work Life

  • Show up and be on time ready to work. That’s a ministry all in itself.
  • Don’t be apart of the office gossip-remember the same lips bringing you the tea, is the same one taking your tea to stir at another pot on you
  • Be the change in the office you want to see
  • If the job no longer serves you, don’t stay get an exit plan. This may take time, but be proactive in leaving
  • Find ways to be more productive even if that means changing the scenery. When work starts to get to me sometimes I redecorate to fit a new mood. It helps me about 60% of the time

Social Media Life

  • Don’t go back and forth with them……. (in my Lil Duval voice) if you find yourself having to respond to more than one comment just stop. You aren’t going to win an argument on social media with trolls
  • Be who you post to be. Yeah that’s right. Align your social media to reflect who you are. On my social media I highlight me as a mom and wife. I don’t create doors to let anyone think they have space to slide in the DM. They do but at that point they just are trying to do the most.
  • Make sure you don’t do subliminal post. This is hard even for me at times. You see a post and it speaks to you but post it cause it spoke to YOU. You can’t be out here taking shots at folks you don’t even @

 

We all have things that we can give to the world. I came across a young lady on social media that is a hair dresser and she feeds the homeless. This is her life work. She literally gets out there with the folks that many would snub their noses at, and she feeds them and cleans them up and does their hair. She has a whole team of folks that assist her. Think about how her being there does for them. She treats them with dignity and respect. I know if I was down and out the last thing I would want is someone kicking me when I was done. What about those who raise money for others?  They are making a difference in the causes by which they are raising it for. How about those who set up camps at the bus stops for kids to make sure all of the kids have breakfast. You don’t know what someone may be going through at home. Everybody ain’t sitting at home collecting checks. Some middle class folks work everyday and still can’t make ends meet. How about the men who go into the community to pray over the city. There are a few groups here in Philadelphia who do it consistently. What can you do? Whatever gift is inside of you can help make a difference.

I said it before but around thanksgiving I see so many companies give back to others and it warms my heart. If you cut hair, how about offer your services to people who can’t afford to maintain their cuts on a regular basis? If you are a financial planner, offer your services to a few families for free to get them out of debt?  The sky is the limit. Whatever you do, do it well. Someone needs the very thing you have and complain about. Make a difference today and everyday!

 

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Wonky Feelings

Unfortunately these last few days have been a bit up and down.  For one on a personal level there is so much on my heart and mind.  I am sorting a few things out.  I noticed that as I work my life out that my shift towards gratitude has shifted.  I’ll get back to that later.  Also Fall is around the corner and although I am super happy about it, its only a reminder that there is so much to do before the year ends.

Also on Friday it was the most craziest day ever. I got out the car not put together. My bag was open. I had 20 minutes to get to work for a 2 min walk and still…..

I get to Dunkin Donuts to get a breakfast sandwich and I can’t find my wallet. I finally pay for my item and I bumped into a lady like 3 times. I’m walking into the door trying to gather my thoughts….what is going on?

As if matters couldn’t get worse, I take a walk at lunch only to discover that one side of my skirt is falling revealing a lot more than I needed to share with the world! I had to take a step back and again gather my thoughts….

Check in On your Strong Friend

I have an amazing network of friends from all walks of life.  Talking to one of them this week about how the weather didn’t help my bottom line and realizing that she too felt the same way.  Let me interject gratitude, I do not have it as bad as those in the path of Hurricane Florence, I am grateful.  In the midst of gratefulness I want to be transparent.  I miss the mark daily but I am also actively checking myself daily. Sometimes I get inspired by my ability to balance and then on days where that balance seems not to measure up, my feelings sometimes takes a nose dive.  This has been that week.  I have been pushed and finding that I am coming off as irresponsible when in actuality I am in the midst of change from the inside out.  Guilt of these changes has made me question myself.  My girlfriend reminded me that one she is here and we are here together.  I love knowing I have support and need to be more open in receiving the love in return.  So word of advice, fill your cup and be open to check on a friend to see how their cup looks too!  I am going to do better at that.

Feeling Overload

Daily I take a look at what is going on around me.  I looked at my kids and noticed they needed me to listen a little more.  I feel as if I am pretty good at anticipating other people’s needs.  However with my own, I need a little work.  Example, Thursday night I was getting agitated by a conversation with my husband.  I felt like I wasn’t being heard.  I decided to be quiet and ask myself a few questions. I asked what did I need at that moment.  I decided that my issues of frustration is because of old feelings of what my husband had done that I wasn’t over.  I simply wasn’t mad at him but mad at me for not dropping something from years ago.  I went upstairs and decided how worth it was it at that moment and dropped it.  I washed my face while praying and asked God to heal.  I decided that carrying frustration was simply only on me and that it only hinders me.  It wasn’t as if the issue was something that was life changing. I simply was mad and that madness needed checked.  I can’t grow personally and not drop the charges but expect charges of frustration or anger to be dropped on my behalf.  I have to give what I want to receive.

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Photo by Caique Silva on Pexels.com

Gratitude

Being thankful has been this week’s recurring theme.  All week I have challenged myself to see the good in bad situations.  All week openly saying what I am grateful for around my family.  Letting my kids openly know how awesome they are.  Recognizing their effort!  I have been in conversation replacing complaints with gratitude.  Counting my blessings this week.  Every situation that could have made me turn left, I declared gratitude and seen it turn.  Every single one.  Even with my wacky feelings this week, I have felt like I figured out what I needed and gave myself permission to seek it and receive it.

This weekend I will take a long bath, get some flowers, burn my favorite candle, get some rest, and have fun with my kids.  These are the things that I will do to set my weekend right and continue my self-care practice.  What do you need?  What are the little things that can set your spirit back into alignment?  What are the things that make you feel the most centered?  What will quiet and heal your thoughts?  Do these things and more and do it so often that it becomes a part of who you are!

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Photo by Terje Sollie on Pexels.com

Maybe your week was great.  If so that’s super awesome.  If your week was like mine with super highs and lows, know that you can get through it.  You can replace gratitude in the places of frustration.  You can call on a friend or family and be encouraged.  It’s okay to be upset but don’t stay there.  It’s important to find out what you need and most importantly remember that the answer or relief may come from you.  You have to be honest about what you need.  Be honest about what the real issues.  Don’t place the saving grace into someone else’s hands.  Sometimes just dealing and checking yourself is all you need to make yourself whole.

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading!

What does a Blogger like me want for Christmas?

I was asked this question and at first I was like would anyone want to know that.  First let me say that this is not a blog to get a thang! I am good.  Nor is this blog to help or aid my husband in any of his gift giving endeavors.  He already gives the most amazing gifts and listens to me when I talk.  Not only that I have kindly made him a little cheat sheet a few weeks ago.

So for me I am a creature of habit and a creature of comfort.  I like the things that I have been eyeing all year-long over trendier items. If the item is in trend it has to align with something I was already thinking. Last year I wanted a laptop so I could bring more content and I got that.  I would have been super happy with that alone. Laptops ain’t cheap but the investment into my blog made it feel like it was a good idea.  It was.  My husband as he always does went above and beyond. Shout out to Marques for always thinking of me.

This year I made a list all year-long of things I wanted.  I got some of the items myself.  Like for instance I wanted some Daisy Perfume by Marc Jacobs.  One my most recent girls trip I got a bottle.  I had been eyeing it and made the decision of why not.  So that is how I like to enjoy holiday gifts.  I really make a list of all the things that mom guilt has told me to wait on and get them at the end of the year if I haven’t done so during the year.

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So things like new clothes or specific pieces that I may had my eye on.  I like things that are about comfort and will cost me less money down the line.  For instance gift cards to go to Soul Cycle sessions.  Gift cards are never a tacky thing for me.  I shop like I am rich after Christmas and you can’t tell me a thing.  So for some its an issue with me never.  I love stores like Starbucks, Target, Ulta, etc Anything where I can get what I want and not what someone things I want is always a nice thing.  One year I got over $350.00 in gift cards and you couldn’t wipe the smile in my face.  I felt like I was a shopping goddess and I had a lot of things that lasted.

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I love things that like gift cards to nail salons or facials.  Anything where I can zone out and make an excuse to increase me time.  When I go I make it my business to leave the little folks behind with their dad of course and I over extend my me time to the fullest.  Like walk every aisle with coffee really slow type of shopping. I don’t even like going to stores unless it’s after the holidays.  Other than that I get my typing fingers ready so I can make sure that I get the good deals too.

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This Christmas I am still in the comfort business.  Anything soft like a new throw pillow, pajamas that feel great, beauty products, etc I love.

The holidays aren’t about getting but if I am going to get I like it to feel like it’s the end of the year comfort party, but honestly the events of the holidays are what I really enjoy most.  This time is magical I plan on taking it in gifts or not!

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Fall is for Linvilla Orchards

So I love Fall.  I love going to Linvilla Orchards.  We do this yearly.  I have a blast and so does the kids.  So this year was no different.  If you aren’t familiar with Linvilla check it out here.

We had a blast from the food to the apple slinging, it gets better yearly.  What I am most excited about was watching me and the kids’ growth over the years.  For instance when we first went my oldest was about 2 and my son wasn’t even walking.  Now they can participate in all of the events.  My youngest who is the pro at apple slinging was in my belly a few years ago and loves to run around playing. Linvilla has something for everyone.  If you love country fall foods, they have it.  If you like hay rides, they have it.  It is an all year round treat for the entire family.

So of courses let me give you our highlights.  I love corn. But nothing is better than corn than corn on the cob hot with piping hot butter drizzled on it.  They have corn down to a science and literally is the first stop on the trip.  Oh and the seasoning station, has everything you can think of for a messy good time.

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The kids didn’t want any parts of corn.  So they opted for funnel cake instead and cotton candy, duh!

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Nothing to do but to sit for a bit than let them run all of that energy out.  We let them play on everything.  You pay a dollar a ticket but the adults are free.  PSA, if you have more than one parent or a friend, designate one person to take a few pictures at the beginning and then focus back on the kids.  I see too many parents either taking pictures or just on their phone.  Your kids can still be injured or lost because you’re taking a parent time out. Linvilla has the kids within a fence but its super easy for kids to wander out if you’re not looking.  So keep an eye out and be vigilant.  The kids took advantage of us not saying no.  Kids need room to run so for me I enjoyed letting them be free.  Super grateful for having my husband come because the age ranges allowed the kids to play with their age of kids without worry that a bigger kid will over power my 3-year-old.  It allowed us to conquer and divide.  I definitely think having a group of parents and kids will allow a better time.  Not to mention not everyone wants to do the same things at the same time.  You can have some do face painting, while others are playing, etc.

They also have pony and train rides for a fee too as well as a petting zoo station.

The kids enjoy asking for things and getting them.  Always try to have cash to spend.  They do have ATMs but they are usually a bank no one has and I am on team save money.  You don’t have to pay to get in or for parking but the amount of money you will spend inside quickly covers it.  So be prepared.  We always get a pumpkin so we can either carve or paint them later at the pumpkin patch.  Linvilla has pumpkins of all sizes and even some black and white pumpkins too.

The highlight of the kids day outside of the hay ride, is apple slinging.  They also have corn and straw mazes, and a pumpkin toss.  The kids being able for $5.00 a barrel sling apples onto targets is always a great time.  The recommended age is over 5 but with our 3-year-old we just had to assist her.  If you don’t want to assist your little ones, avoid this area as they aren’t going to be content watching others sling them.

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I love being in Linvilla.  It is very crowded.  Everyone pushing up against one another but not in a bad way.  I have never seen an incident take place there because of the crowds and I have been going there since 2012.  It is a true family oriented spot with everyone just enjoying themselves. I love the apple cider.  They make it themselves so if you are an apple cider connoisseur you will love it.  Also never leave without trying an apple cider donut.  These things are super addictive.  I made sure I ONLY bought one to eat because if you buy any more than that, it’s not going to make it home and that’s a promise.  And of course a candy or a caramel covered apple too.  My kids snuck theirs and almos them done before we got home.  You can imagine our home being an immediate candy fest.  I was never so happy for bedtime.

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So if you like fun, family, and a little outdoors mixed in with Fall activities then Linvilla is your spot.  I hope you enjoyed my little glimpse into our yearly indulgence.  If you can make it out, make it a priority. They even have a friendly hayride to the witches house for apple cider and a marshmallow roast.

Extra Hints to get through with kids

  1. Wear pants-the hay can be itchy so if you’re allergic to hay obviously avoid it.  We also bring blankets to lay down
  2. For asthma adults/kids, bring your inhaler, the air is different because it’s not city air.  We always have to use the inhaler before and after,
  3. Bring a first aid kit that can fit in a bag. Kids seem to graviate to scrapes and to avoid having to find a station, bring your own.
  4. Have enough money and space your time out-kids will ask for everything to do at the same time.
  5. Plan to be there for at least 2 hours and even then you may not get through it all
  6. Be patient as some lines are longer than others
  7. They have a market to purchase frest fruit, etc
  8. You can pick your own apples at this time too
  9. If your little one can walk but may get tired, bring a fold up stroller.  Also keep in mind you can’t take a stroller on the hay ride, but you can park it in a designated area but never leave valuables in it, it’s family oriented but like my momma would say, everybody ain’t saved.
  10. Have fun!

Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017

Happy Friday to you all! Who is ready for the weekend?  I surely am.  Let me just make a world-wide declaration to my beautiful daughter, Naila-happy 8th birthday.  My daughter and I am rightfully biased is one of the sweetest, amazing little girls to date. She loves everyone and is such a jewel to be around.  We plan to celebrate her all weekend long.  I pray continued love, strength and peace to her life always.

It’s also Memorial Day weekend.  So this means that there are going to be a few activities that will be taking place in a city near you.  If you live in or around Philadelphia there are a lot of FREE events taking place.  We ALL can afford free right?  The point is to get out and enjoy yourself.  Don’t go back to work on Tuesday with the boring didn’t do anything unless that is what you wanted to actually do-NOTHING.  Rest, relax, organize, plan for the rest of the Summer time.  Memorial Day is the unofficial start to Summer so get out and get busy.

Personal Highs

This has been a really interesting week for me. I am still coming down on my weight.  I am about to shift from just losing weight to maintaining for the month of June.  I am looking to get to my goal so I can purchase this Boho style swimsuit.  I haven’t bought a swimsuit in 5 years.  Also I was in a lot of control when it came to dealing with the things that life through just this week.  I almost had a little mental break down but some encouragement came and helped me along the way.  I had such an amazing time with my husband this past weekend and some much-needed me time as well.

News

  1. Prayers to those in Manchester.  A bomber decided to bomb the Ariana Grande concert that was being attended by mostly teenager and young children.  My heart goes out to those who lost their lives as well as those injured from the deadly blast. I can’t understand why there is so much evil in this world but there is.
  2. Trump’s administration is supposedly under the microscope.  Even with getting into all of the politics of it all I do believe that Trump believes that he has the power to do as he pleases.  I do not believe he under the concepts of checks or balances.  So we shall keep watching to see what comes of all of this.
  3. Greg Gianfonte is out here body slamming reporters-allegedly.  It’s sad when offices used to be respected therefore they carried themselves to a higher standard.  Pretty soon they going to be pulling even more stunts but what do I know.
  4. Chris Cornell died of an apparent suicide.  His wife is saying medication he was on is what led to his death and he would have not killed himself otherwise. I pray peace during this difficult time.

Personal Lows

  1. I spoke last week about awaiting for test results well I got them back. It doesn’t look good.  I have to be seen this week for some blood related issues and so when I have a treatment plan in place than I will blog openly about what is going on.  I have no problems sharing anything in my life and especially about health due to the fact there is always going to be someonelse who will go through it too.  I will inform you all of any changes especially any changes that distributes the blog.  If you aren’t already following me on Facebook please do as many of the changes will be announced there, https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/

Blogs

  1. Ask Toi-about family or friends who come over uninvited and especially as parents who have small kids and have a sitter.  It’s always good to call first.  You don’t know what is going on with people and it shows a respect for other people’s time. If you come over unannounced than don’t expect to have access to someone’s home no matter how close you are if who you are visiting has a sitter.  If that sitter isn’t aware of you stopping by its going to be a closed-door that greets you.
  2. Ask Toi-taking a sex break while married.  You have a right and a choice to engage or disengage but I would suggest that you work out the issue that is causing you to want to take a sex break than to go to you mate and not have a clear definition of what that means.  Do NOT expect your mate to be okay with it but you have the right to your body and to be vocal in what your intentions are.
  3. Annoying co-workers anyone?  Yes we ALL have them. Simple things to keep in mind as you go through the work day.
  4. Mirage screens-we put too much stock in what others are doing, what they are portraying, what they show us, etc.  Worry more on your own life and less on celebrities or couples or individuals you admire.

As we end this week and dive into the long weekend a few reminders:

  1. Sunscreen should be worn all year round not just in the Summer months.  However since pools and beaches will be swarmed this weekend and beyond, don’t forget it. I use a SPF in my makeup as well.
  2. Keep your kids close.  Do NOT get comfortable and get caught up in celebrating that you forget about them.  There are sick people everywhere and the last thing you need is a child to be unaccounted for.
  3. Drink but be safe.  I like a beverage or two but if you think DUI check points aren’t real you are sadly mistaken.  Be careful.  If you are tipsy call a Uber, etc.
  4. Violence unfortunately especially in some cities that are already plagued with violence more will break out.  Watch the company you keep and be vigilant in having peaceful get togethers.  If you are having a fault with someone and can’t be mature than don’t even attempt to resolve it at that time.  I pray that all innocent bystanders will be protected as well.  You can be at the right place at the wrong time, do nothing and still end up hurt or dead.  Prayers to all my ToiTime readers and followers.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017

Weekly Recap: April 14, 2017

Happy Friday ToiTime readers!! Can you hear the joy in my voice?  That is what happens when you have been working 12 hour days all week and you finally get over 9 hours of sleep.  I am refreshed and will need it for the Easter weekend.  Anyway.  There has been a lot going on this week so let’s recap.

News

  1. United Airlines out here handing out ass whippings for not giving up seats.  The company is in a full-blown mess these days.  I expect a large payout and for the company’s bottom line to suffer behind the mess.  Little tid bit, do not ever release statements that victim blame.
  2. Second week of bombs from the United States.  Trump’s administration has dropped the largest non nuclear bomb on Afghanistan.  The only issues with all of this bombing is that I fear retaliation against the United States.  For the sake of the world I pray I am wrong.
  3. Woman stabbed to death by Palestinian man on a train in Jerusalem.
  4. 2 Georgia police officers were fired after a video surfaced of them punching a handcuffed man.

Personal Highs

I had a great weekend this past weekend.  I was able to get some me time which was not planned for a full day but definitely turned into a beautiful full day.  I enjoyed the quiet, some adult music and just some down time.  I have been working 12 hour days almost everyday for the past 2 weeks so it felt good to recharge.  I also enjoyed some family time with own family.  We enjoyed some time at Comic Con in Philadelphia where I took some amazing pictures and met some amazing people.  This week has been a little crazy with the mandatory overtime.  However I was able to get some rest last night and I swear it felt like I slept for an entire week in one night.  I expect to have a good weekend this weekend with my kidlets.  They love holidays like me so we will have a blast celebrating. I wish you all who celebrate Easter to remember what it’s all about and have a great one!

 

Blogs

  1. Stress awareness-phyiscal stress.  We talk about what makes us stress out and what that looks like in our physical body.  How we can grab the stress and turn it around in our lives.
  2. Let’s get physical-not everyone enjoys going to the gym even if its good for us.  It’s like veggies but not liking all of the veggies that there are.  You can find physical enjoyment in getting up and finding activities that you enjoy.
  3. Humble my ass, we talk about Lamar Kendrick’s newest hit Humble.  It’s a great record except for all of the men who think this is the song of all songs but don’t truly apply to the words they spit.  It takes more than a dope song to apply it.  We also talk about Tyrese and his ability in his own mind to tell women what they should or shouldn’t be doing while flaunting his 46% Black wife.  Love is love it doesn’t matter what color or race she is but he felt the need to tell the world and down women while uplifting us too as if that can be done at the same time.
  4. TI-Marriage is a distraction: This sounds horrible and it is.  It is horrible if he didn’t have this conversation with Tameka “Tiny” his wife prior to the interview and even worst if he didn’t have this conversation with her before he began acting single. Truth in marriage is hard and it’s not always beautiful.  However honesty should never take a back seat to feelings because in the end no one wins.

Personal Lows

This week I would say pushing myself more and not listening to my body.  I have had a series of headaches and stomach ache this week due to my change of schedule.  And this is the very thing that stress even if it’s not bad stress can do.  I should have slowed it down a bit.  Although the overtime was mandatory this week, little things like going to bed when I got home instead of watching an hour of television and being on my phone could have helped.  Instead of rushing slowed it down and ate at the times I needed and took my medication at the time I needed to would have helped greatly.  These are all things we need to do to make our life even with change run a little more smoothly.

 

I do hope that you all have a good weekend and can say that even if you have a lot of events that you have to be at or have a lot of things to do that you slow it down and get something out of this weekend for yourself.  You have to fill your own cup before you can do anything else for others.

Back to the Grind

Welcome back ToiTime followers.  We had the smallest break in blogs ever, but a break is still a break right?! Well I am back to the grind like so many others.  Today was the Mondayish Tuesday ever.  Yeah I just made up that word but whatever.  I had to keep hitting the snooze button.  This little break allowed me some good sleep.  My kids even let me sleep in until like 930 and for parents that’s the equivalent of sleeping in until noon. So to have to go back to the 530am life, I wasn’t ready.  Jesus be a fence, I thought I was going to have to dip myself into a coffee pot.

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So what have I been up to during this small little break.  Nothing.  I have enjoyed my family, spent time with friends, and really just did a lot of nothing. For Christmas we went to my parent’s home.  It was a lot of fun. We had a family sleep over which was great too. Nothing like not having to leave to travel back home and be able to indulge in some adult beverages too.  For New Year’s day we were at home.  I super decorated and enjoyed some family.  It was nice.  We didn’t have to leave our home.  We were able to eat and drink and not worry about any foolishness that takes place on these types of days.  The kids loved staying up and pretty much doing whatever they wanted.

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Let’s fast forward to this morning.  The struggle was real.  My husband and kids were off for a few days.  Well technically they all were off since before Christmas. I on the other hand worked pretty much during the time they were off.  However even though I am a morning person, this morning was the hardest ever.  I wanted to stay in the bed and get up again at 930, but responsibility came knocking.  The kids struggled too.  We had to just turn the music up loud and get things done. We successfully got to our destinations on time.  That is God, trust me.

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Well how’s ready to dive into their 2017?  I have already signed up to do another Soul Cycle class this week.  If you remember I did one in the Summer and thought I would die. However die or not, it’s getting done.  I have a specific goal as I continue my weight loss journey.  I like many will continue to hit the gym at work during my lunch break.  Gym during work helps me and I can’t make an excuse since the building is only a few feet from where I work.  I am continuing to drink my water.  You know me and water have a love/hate relationship.  I recently found me a great workout journal.  So now on top of my regular planner and my blog planner I have taken on this one.  I am a visual person so for me it’s not overkill.  It helps me to be able to find tune what I am doing.  For instance I have to write down how much water I have drunk.  That’s great because now I am more aware and can use myself and my journal as an accountability partner to get things done.

Welcome back to the hustle and bustle of life.  Make it all you want it to be.  Let’s enjoy all that 2017 has to offer.