xoxo Moongirl

Nicole Burgio. A woman who could be called helpless, defeated, jaded yet she is resilient, strong, and pushing through a life of chaos, pain, and violence. We sometimes live in our mini worlds overtaken by our own experiences. We interact with one another based on those experiences and don’t realize that our past definitely defines us only if we allow it. There is beauty in pain when you embrace it and use it to evoke change.

I attended xoxo: Moongirl at their opening show. If you remember I attended Communitas a few weeks prior. This was more raw than that show. It’s suggested for ages 13 and up. I might add upping the age to about 15 due to violent themes.

Nicole used magic, and acrobatic technique to show points of pain. The pain of knowing your mother was being beat by the hand of her father. The pain again feeling hopeless even after reaching adulthood. Why? Why can’t she take back this power? People sometimes only focus on the immediate dangers of violence in the home. Once you escape you think the journey has ended but does it?

How can you not be in a home and show signs of anxiety, hurt, distrust? Do you gravitate towards the same toxic behavior that you know is wrong but fine yourself in over and over again?! It sounds so deep and heavy and it should be to a point. You can’t sit and not be uncomfortable. However in the uncomfortable feeling there is still beauty. Healing isn’t linear. It’s an up and down path. It’s high one day like Nicole in her acrobat stance and low like Nicole in a anxious fit.

I left in peace. I left feeling hopeful. Yes you can encounter someone’s pain and still feel at peace watching them go up and down in their journey.

Domestic violence happens daily. 1 in every 4 women will experience violence from an intimate partner according to National Domestic Violence Hotline

Nicole is using her powerful story while utilizing her skills in the most provocative and informational way. We need to scream it out so friends can stop turning a blind eye to their abuser friends. We need to speak it so we can stop acting like it’s just a thing that happened in the past. There may be a few in your inner circle covering up the horror. The shame alone holds people in bad relationships where violence is the way to bind them to their partner.

There’s a way for you to see this performance:

  • Saturday, June 15, 3 p.m.

  • Saturday June 15, 8 p.m.

  • Sunday, June 16, 3 p.m.

  • Monday, June 17, 7 p.m.

  • Wednesday, June 19 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 20, 9 p.m.

  • Friday, June 21, 8 p.m.

  • Saturday, June 22, 3 p.m.

  • Saturday, June 22, 8 p.m.

  • Sunday, June 23, 7 p.m.

You can purchase tickets here

You might be saying well I would love to come but none of the above show times fit my schedule, how can I still donate or help?

I can help you! This amazing show is also on its way to Edinburgh. That’s right and they could use some help getting there. Right now they have a donor that is willing to match so that means your one donation will go twice as far. One thing about theatre is that it takes the support of the community! Let’s donate here!

I encourage all to come out and show Nicole and Mel Hsu who single handedly provided live music accompaniment. Mel’s voice is pure amazement and I loved hearing her.

So let’s take some time to flood Funicular Station located at 416 Coulter Street with love. Get out and see xoxo: Moongirl and learn, engage, enjoy a little magic as Nicole travels to the Moon to gain strength and let’s stand up to pain and turn it into a thing of beauty!!

To learn more about Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, click here!

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Weekend Recap: June 7-June 9th

What a weekend?! I love having full weekends. I love getting out and about and this weekend was absolutely perfect!

The weather was amazing. Friday I hung out with my niece and went to Dottie’s Donuts and enjoyed a vegan donut for National Donut Day! What an amazing assortment. I ended up getting the Neapolitan donut and I took a cinnamon bun for the road. Judge your own life! It was absolutely amazing! For a Friday and a donut Friday I definitely was winning!

I also enjoyed some down time. I needed to clean the house and do laundry. I love the quietness of cleaning. One of my kids was at a play date leaving me with just the two! I’m glad that they were such an amazing help.

Saturday Vibes

So Saturday I enjoyed a much needed manicure appointment. Nothing sets my weekend right like a manicure and some wine. Omnia is always my go to with my prescheduled appointments with my favorite manicurist John! He’s absolutely amazing and he knows what I like I don’t even have to ask. This week he talked me into a marble design but he knows I don’t like a full hand of designed nails. So one simple design on my ring hand is plenty. I’m simple in design but I love bright colors. I do not follow any rule on nail colors. If I want bright colors in the middle of Winter you will catch me with a bright color in the Winter. When I look at my hands since I use them so much I want to see neatness and happiness on them.

After that I raced over to TJ Maxx which normally I don’t ever have time to look for fashions because I just don’t like shopping in stores. I like what I like and shopping online is more my stick. I can’t be made that I found the perfect dress for the drag queen tea at Sofitel.

Drag Queen Afternoon Tea

If you didn’t catch the blog catch it here!

The dress was 20 dollars and it was super cute and for so well!! Thanks to my girl Pam for going to the event with me on National Best Friends Day!

Dizengoff Brunch Time

On Sunday the weather was so beautiful and it was amazing! It was also pride weekend! I hung out with my blogger friend and foodie, Cheryl of Travel with Cherryl also known as PhillyFoodGal

We went to Dizengoff of Philadelphia! This is like the Hummus King of hummus and so right up my alley! It was smooth, creamy, and full of flavor! I could have bought another to be honest!

I have the Fava Bean and a Lemonada with gin. It was Sunday Funday right?! It was amazing! All of it. The service was great and the location was perfect. They also have outdoor sitting which is my thing to do when I eat!

Stress Less Space

After an amazing brunch I went to the Stress Less Space which is an alternative to incorporating less stress into your space. It is an organization that will help you utilize and manage the stress we carry everyday. I personally have had some stress in my life lately with new changes, my car issues and life itself. It was good to relax for an hour to journal, head noise canceling relaxation sounds, and the quiet. Jesus the quiet almost changed my whole life!! Like my whole life. I was able to travel to my hometown with the most amazing zen!

I would suggest if you live in Philadelphia to give it a chance! The care of the staff was amazing and it was extremely therapeutic!

TCP Sundays

I did go back home to do a podcast with TCP; The Cultured Professional! You can catch it by clicking on the link! Parental advisory is advised as we talk about a lot of current events without any chasers aka we didn’t sugar coat a thing and some sexual content as well. It was great to be in a different genre of entertainment and information.

During the trip I was able to spend some time with my nieces! I enjoy anytime and I’m making it a purpose now that they are getting older to spend as much time as I can! I came home super late from the podcast so outside of Target trip I had zero time for anything else!

Husbae

Shout out to my husbae for meal prepping for the week for me by cooking out on the grill! Although that doesn’t include my vegan meals it was one less thing for me to prepare. I’m cool with just making my own items! Also shout out to him for keeping the kids moving as I was out and about as I was out both Saturday and Sunday!

So yes to say my weekend was busy was an understatement! I wouldn’t change a thing!

Monday Motivation: Petty Bettys

You may experience a Petty Betty in all kinds of areas like work and home. They come out of the woodwork to try your patience. Do not let them take you off your course. They tend to be super draining and always taking. They take your time, money, energy, and sometimes focus if you give it to them.

I would love to say press pass them like it’s always easy and any hardship with a Petty Betty is all in your mind and something you are putting too much of an emphasis on and it isn’t serious. However the truth is they are too much. They are taxing and they do weigh on you. For example you get up to go to work and every time you clock in if not sooner Petty Betty is waiting in the wings of the door with a gambit of negativity. You feel like you’re playing Mortal Combat mentally with her or a Petty Bob daily. The smile you once had in the parking lot is gone. The prayer that willed you into the building feels in vain.

However trust me Petty Betty and Petty Bob are all around. They actually help to make you better in dealing with difficult situations. I know some as soon as a Petty Betty encounter is longer than they imagined they want to leave a job, a relationship, a new business, etc.

If you run from a Petty Betty every time something happens you might as well sleep in running shoes. Be direct with a Petty Betty. Sometimes that’s enough for them to get the message. You can’t be passive aggressive with a Petty Betty and expect results. They thrive off your low balling behavior. If you keep pretending it’s all good, what would be their incentive to leave you alone?

Take this Monday to get clarity on what you are willing to tolerate and what you aren’t. Put checks and balances where you need them. Be definitive when you speak and clear in your actions. Don’t find yourself wanting what Petty Betty or Bob has but not wanting to deal with them. Make the lines clear. If they are just coworkers stop inviting them around your home and giving false sense of acceptance when you don’t want to deal with them. Don’t use them as a work buddy when you plan on talking about them to the other coworker later down the line. Stop playing the fence with Petty Betty and Bob in real life and they will stop playing Jenga with your emotions and life in return!

Have a great Monday and nip foolishness in the bud! Be clear when you speak and deal with those in your life. It makes a world of difference!

Sunday Motivation: Grace

That has been the word of the week. I tried to get away from this word but it came in every message I was around. I ran 4 days this week and during each run I heard it.

Grace is not something that is earned. Most times we are gifted grace by those who love us when we don’t deserve it. That’s the meaning of love right?! Of all the years I’ve gone to church Sunday by Sunday, grace was supposed to be my salvation.

Grace isn’t for those who deem themselves perfect. Grace is for the imperfect. It’s for those who know better but still fall short. It’s for those who had a blue print but deviated from the plan. Grace is for those who heard the plan but went another way. It’s for those who decided that something or someone was more important than sometimes themselves. Grace!

When you see someone who is strung out on drugs instead of looking down grace comes down and picks them up. It’s the same grace that can get a homeless person into their own. Grace can come and hold that single mom who knew the man in her life meant her no good but grace came and showered her and the child (ren) love anyway. It’s grace when a leader that you looked up to your whole life falls and makes mistakes.

Who are you showing grace to in your life?! I mean some of my own personal times were marred by the whispers of those who didn’t have the grace to be there, to encourage me, or love me through. Most of those same people do not have a front seat in my life either. Grace sees where you are broken and instead of walking away, applies pressure, understanding, and peace. Grace doesn’t always have to be an all or nothing. Sometimes grace can be frustrated but still stand in love to get you to your next level.

I listened to a podcast of a woman my same age who had gotten married and when that marriage ended she had to go home. I’m talking about someone who is successful and appears to have it together, old enough to know better, wise enough to solve her own problems but she still needed grace and she received it. I was touched by her vulnerability in sharing her story. As much as I love my family going back home would be an ultimate disappointment or sense of failure. It’s the number one reason while some fail in private. It’s because that failure or feeling of failure cut is too deep! I messed up or I need help is a hard phrase to live in! I know I’ve done it!

Her story reminded me of the times when I walked from grace and was uncovered. I was in a bad way, depressed, in pain, doing things that made zero sense until grace covered me. Grace came in family and friends who didn’t leave my side. It came in the form of my partner’s love. It came in my children’s smile when most days I knew they saw me blow it! It came when a stranger paid for my meal and at the time I had a mere few dollars to my name. Life is hard and it sucks at times! The grace we share with others matters.

It also can be what others see when you aren’t walking in grace with others. You too become uncovered too. Not gifting grace when you should can be just as detrimental to you as what you don’t give.

I also listened to Kirk Franklin’s new project; Long Live Love! The whole album is about grace. It’s about returning to grace and about lessons in love and showing love to ourselves and those around me and I knew…. today’s message is about grace. We all want it but few feel the need to gift and be the gift of grace this world needs! Extend grace even to the difficult they need it more!!

Drag Queen Afternoon Tea

So can I admit something?! I’ve never been to an afternoon tea. Clutch your pears for real because it’s true. So after being invited to a Drag Queen Afternoon Tea I was even more nervous.

I wanted to make sure I was right head to toe and that everything went well. It’s pride weekend here in Philly and I’ve always been super supportive of the LGBTQ community in any way I can. I was so happy to attend this tea and I’m sure it showed in my smile.

Today is also national best friend day so sharing it with one of my besties made it special. I couldn’t wait to go to Sofitel Philadelphia and enjoy myself. From the moment I parked I was treated with such courtesy. Every staff member greeted me. Everyone was super welcoming and warm. In their lobby is a love sign. You can’t miss it. I know that love is an action word and Sofitel did that by the way they took great care of each guest!! It’s what I look for when I attend events. How someone treats you when they don’t know your position speaks well of how they are. Sofitel has my backing on their ability to show love and I hope to come back as a patron soon!

I wasn’t in the room long when I was greeted by 3 phenomenal divas. Each of them welcomed me and immediately took pictures with me! I loved them! I loved everything about them! I know there are some who would just love to point their noses but let me tell you, don’t! They are living their lives and doing a fabulous time doing it!

Pictured left to right; The Lady Vayne, SunShyne and A-Dick-Shun

Since I had never been to an afternoon tea I was excited to see how it all played out. We were asked our drink order and our tea selection. We were served on a 3 tiered stand. I knew that I was to start with the sandwiches, then the scones and then the desserts. I did my research. In between I sipped my tea and my Bellini. Nothing I had wasn’t amazing. Each selection was great!

Here’s the fun part. While enjoying the amazing food we were treated by performances from our drag queen guests of honors. It was one of the most entertaining performances and it was just fun. They went in and held nothing back and worked that room like nobody’s business! I knew they would. No one in that room wasn’t pulled in by their performances!

You will have to check my Instagram for the performances. So I know you want to be apart and you can!! How?

There is another rendition of the Drag Queen Tea coming next Saturday. The atmosphere is super relaxing, fun, and the food and drinks are a smash hit! Hit the link so you can come show your love for Pride, and to give a portion of the proceeds to the Attic Youth Center to support LGBTQ youth. Who doesn’t love to give while having an amazing time! To be honest the time frame from 2-4 goes so quick you don’t want it end! I’m proud of all who live in this world being who they choose to be even when the world wants them to conform. It’s not our job to police someone’s choice. It is our job to love with action!

Make sure you click the link, grab a friend and be in the building. Sofitel is doing their part and you can do yours! While we know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea; I sure didn’t have a problem sippin so you now can do the same!!

Sip and relax because this afternoon tea isn’t like anything you have ever been to before!!

Thanks ladies for a wonderful time!! Thanks Sofitel Philadelphia and Aversa PR for the invite.

Monday Motivation: It’s Not That Easy

Nothing in life will be. Everything comes from a place of working hard. I’m amazed at the two extremes that people use the term “it’s not that easy.”

People use it’s not that easy when they want to highlight their accomplishments. It’s true when you work your behind off the last thing you need is someone coming with the discredit. It’s humiliating to be honest to put energy and backing into something only to have someone who by the way doesn’t like you to discredit your efforts. I would say often times it’s the ones that closest to you or those you let your guard down the most with. The ones you might have shared a dream or conversation about a dream with. They know that you’re not qualified but they don’t see your passions working behind the scene. None of which, can stop you unless your fuel needs to come from pats on your back! If that is the case you’re going to burn out fast. People’s attention span aren’t strong enough to hold all of your accolades in their forefront until your winning season pushes through. When winning season comes people become like magnets and want to meet up, link up, and talk. Always remember the times you couldn’t even get them to answer an email, a call, or smoke screen. That doesn’t mean be brand new it just means don’t rush to meet them so they can drink off of your success!

The other time people use it’s not easy is when they want to discredit their own ability to push through a difficult situation and usually about trauma or hardship. Example, “it’s not that easy to walk away.” When in reality it may not be but the consequences of staying is greater than the stagnant of staying. This could be staying in a relationship, bad job, not attending or finishing school, starting a dream job or passion. It applies to you when you are pulling at available and readily available excuses. You can make more excuses than a little bit! End it today. You can have zero knowledge about a dream but wake up and feel that dream on your mind. You know you have to walk in it but don’t let fear of rejection, intimidation, or acceptance stop you!

Nothing in life will just fall into line without proper backing of energy that has to come from inside of you. Whatever you are after this week go and grab it. Work hard for it! Push through! Be consistent! Manage your emotions and those around you! Say no a few times. No is a small but powerful word that successful people learn to use! Put a wedge in-between those who sit and listen to your dreams in hopes to deter you from working hard. If the people you speak to don’t encourage and in addition have zero resources to assist, why are you speaking to them? What can they do?

You got this! You can crush it! You can win! Work smarter not harder! Push through even when it’s difficult, hard, or makes you feel like you’re not going to win-you will!!

Paris owes me Nothing, Part 2

Like I said in Part 1 we were initially there for a wedding! Shout out to my girl Chrystal and Ray as they celebrated their love in Paris.

Most of the guests and some of the extras got there before we did. That means they had already done some sightseeing. We got there about 2 hours before the wedding started due to our late flight to celebrate with our oldest.

We arrived at our hotel; Hotel Alahambra. Let me say contrary to some folks, if I go somewhere and I like it I talk about it and tell you to add it to your list of go tos. However I’m going to be super blunt. To help phrase this here are my pros of the hotel:

  • Great location in the heart of Paris
  • Breakfast option
  • Near the metro
  • Near amazing food restaurants
  • Great pricing (we will come back to this)

Cons:

  • Owner/staff wasn’t pleasant
  • Having to turn in your key every time you left
  • Shuttle to airport which we thankfully didn’t take; owner tried to strong arm us

So on paper the hotel is beautiful and quaint. In person it went left. We got the hotel from Booking.com and any time I’ve gotten a booking through them it has been legit. Since we were traveling as a group of 3 and not 2 we placed that information in the browser. A room came up with basically a large queen and then a double bed. It made sense to get it. Kyla my girl stated a few days that many others who visited said that the owner gave them an issue with having more than 2 adults in the room. In my head I’m like this can’t be a thing, we set 3 adults and that room came up.

Well….we get there and it’s an issue. He wants to charge us an extra 300 for the third adult. No lie. Kyla and whomever wrote the last review were right! So I’m attempting to keep calm. If we would have left, his establishment wasn’t going to give us our money back we would have to fight with booking.com which I definitely will be doing before the end of this week.

To say that his attitude was horrible is an understatement. Now being in Paris I’ve caught on to them being more blunt than Americans but this wasn’t about being direct. He was straight horrible. Since we asked questions and didn’t roll over on what he said, every time he saw us he had an issue. Now remember when I said about the whole airport transportation? They have it but you can get an Uber for cheaper and when we asked about it, it was buy it now! We asked when was the last day to request it if we wanted it, he said buy it now so y’all know my response?! Nope! I will never make a financial decision on bad attitudes, tight lips, horrible service or bad dispositions periodt! So no extra hustle money from us. I will happily review them and if I was you unless you’re willing to pay for every adult in the room even if you use a trusty site don’t bother coming here.

They do have a breakfast option that if you’re eating it would save you money on food at other locations. However this momma who wakes up everyday in her regular life between 5-6 even on weekends to run elected to sleep. Plus the “adult juice” I needed recovery time so I have no review on whether or not the food is good!

Wedding vibes

We had enough time to change and get an Uber to the wedding with a mere minutes before it started. With most weddings they gave us some wiggle room before it started. The bride and groom looking absolutely stunning. It was my first time meeting the groom but right from the start he was warm and welcoming. The officiant of their wedding did it in English and French. It was absolutely beautiful.

I knew from the vows that Chrystal the bride has found her true love. I’ve been around her for quite some years and I’ve never heard her describe any man like she described Ray! Also the pure look of love and peace was special. I wish them a lifetime of happiness. Following the wedding they treated the guests to a boat cruise that included seeing a lot of iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower. I think I’ve seen the Tower like 3-4 times this whole trip and each time it has been breathtaking.

The boat ride was just the best. From the food of which there was an option for me! Thank you Chrystal! I kept my vegan behind vegan all trip!

Following the wedding I went to see if my girl was going to join us but by then she was sleep. We went to the night life near the Moulin Rouge. I won’t go into detail to protect the “innocent” but it was a pure blast! Adult drinks, fun adults, meeting new people and watching random strangers giving the bride and groom their congrats was amazing!!

Overall the wedding was absolutely the best for this year and to top it off it was in the Love city of Paris.

Ray take care of my girl! Now it’s time for you to pass the test of the kids and then I’ll know it’s real!!

Let’s be tourist….