Summer Recap

So Labor Day means it’s officially unofficially the end of Summer. I want to thank all of my tan lines that kept this melanin poppin! FYI black folks will tan or get darker like anyone exposed to the sun. Skin care all Summer long meant moisturizer for my skin type and lots of sunblock that should be worn all year round! I love being in the heat, the sun, and any form of water. Not even heat waves had me complaining! With that being said, let’s recap parts of my Summer.

Did you say Brunch?!

I love love brunch. If you say let’s brunch I’m on Pinterest getting my life together and happily ready in no time. I don’t know if it’s the care free of it all but I love it. I’m type of girl that if one of my friends got me flowers and took me to brunch I would be the happiest girl on the planet. None the least between brunching with the fam bam, to brunching with my girls, I def got my Summer brunch on! I look forward to some awesome Fall brunches with different flavors of the season!

Water anyone?!

In addition to Summer brunches I had an awesome time in the water. The only thing I could not schedule this year was my solo beach trip!! There’s still a few warm moments in the upcoming month or so and I will attempt to fit it in. Between so much transition and my kids I could not find the time. However I didn’t complain about it and enjoyed a lot of water days this season!

We Are……

I was able to have a college reunion with some of my best friends and framily at Penn State University. I was able to take my twin and niece along too! What a weekend full of great drinks, a little adult night out, time with framily, and watching the kids enjoy some of what I think makes Penn State one of the best things I’ve done with my life so far! And of course you can never leave campus without their world known famous ice cream made fresh on campus!!! Shout out to Peachy Paterno I’m still in heaven!!

Hey Boo!

Nothing is better than boo loving, date nights and attending one of the best concerts of the Summer, On the Run Tour 2 with Bey and Jay!!

Family time

We are always together and creating memories from the Ice-cream Festival, fireworks, Sky-zone and movie nights there’s nothing us Storr family can’t get into!

Photo Pop Philly

I can’t explain the instant happy that I experienced from walking into this interactive photo dream! I saw it online and had to attend. This pop up art exhibit was well out together and even had changes to it during its time! I must shout out to all of the artists who slayed each set! Anytime I’m having a down moment I can look back at my photos and have an instant smile! FYI a little plus their last day will be Monday September 3rd! To get tickets you can log on: Photo pop Philly

And I had the best time with friends too. I always do! Friends is like the family you get to choose and boy do I have some great ones!

Hey Mark!

One of the highlights of the Summer was seeing my cousin Mark! I miss him so much but he doesn’t live close. I can truly say that my heart has been made whole and I only saw him for a little minute. However when you have someone who is everything to you, you could see them a few minutes and it feel like a lifetime!

All and I I have so many more pictures from so many events this Summer! I can not complain that I didn’t live my best life! I truly enjoyed what Summer had to offer! I plan on continuing the patterns all Fall! So you know you will see some of the awesome events I already have planned. My family knows we about to be at some of our favs super soon! Trust me I’ll give you a glimpse!

So we say Summer as it closes, you have been good to us!!

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Summer Sneak Off

So I had a little time yesterday so I thought I would sneak out and head to the pool. I called my girlfriend and she grabbed her girls and we made it into a day! Did I mention that it was like an entire heat wave?!

Let’s back up to Sunday. I woke up in a great mood but just moods they waiver. By mid to late morning I was over the day! I had a party to go to, work to do, etc and I was over it. My husband shout out to him in recognizing when I get like that encouraged me to press through it. By the time I had gotten to the kid party and got a baby fix I was better! We even stopped for some ice-cream and you know ice-cream makes everything better. Side note I have to start finding places that can accommodate non dairy. I paid greatly for that frozen yogurt!

Monday was looking clear and so I made a day of it. The pool and the heat was exactly what I needed. Sun and water always make me feel like a million bucks. Even with all of this melanin I enjoy laying out with my sunscreen getter darker! Tan lines make me feel good. Thankfully with the heat index I couldn’t say there wasn’t enough sun! I enjoyed my pool day! Thanks K! Being able to recognize when I need something for myself and not being afraid to go and get it has been viral for my self-care!

Oh and this week I’m doing no meat. I am committed to doing one week in each month until the end of the year meat free! Ohhhhhh but I have found some yummy dishes that I’m really like I can keep this going. My goal is slowly transition myself into more of a meatless lifestyle. We shall see how far I get. Thankful for my friends sending me recipes, hints and ideas. I had a full day and I wasn’t hungry!

Oh and just like days there are ups and downs I ended up hitting a parked car! All is well do not worry! I’m grateful that I handled it well and it will be just fine!

So let me end by saying as much as I am a planner by nature it felt good being able to just get up and be spontaneous and enjoy a Summer day!! Sneaking off without the kids felt great and I didn’t have to share my food although since it was meat free they might not have wanted any of it anyway! So I’m hoping to have a few more sneak off days soon and I need to complete my Summer to do list! Summer is almost over, what have you not done that you want to do?! Get it done!

Photo Pop Philly: Instant Happy Place

As I get older and dig deep into self-care one of the pushes that I have been is for things that make me feel excited, and happy about life.  Long ago are the days where I sit at home waiting on others to attend things with me or waiting on others to be the source of my happiness.  I also find that I am attracted to the things that make me happy as well.  So bright colors, pretty things, quiet spaces at times, special lists, anything that makes me glitter with excitement I go after.   I have been working on my Summer to do list, and well…..

A few weeks ago I logged on to Instagram and noticed one of my absolute favorite blogger, realist, IT girl, etc. Demetria L. Lucas and she was in Philly.  All I saw was that she was in the same city and immediately got excited.  Now I didn’t see her but I did see that she was at Philly Photo Pop.  I looked through their Instagram site and fell in love with the colorful exhibits I knew I had to get there.

What is this Photo Pop Philly?

It is a pop up interactive photo experience.  It is an experience trust me.  you walk in and all of the displays from various artist are there for you to jump in, touch, and of course if you love bomb photos it’s an Instagram’s dream.  Kudos to the artist for all of their hard work.  I can’t draw or have an eye for such wonder but they really outdid themselves.  I enjoyed the brightly colored exhibits and I have photos for days to release at my disposal.  I literally think you should pop in.  They also have events throughout the Summer and you find it all on their website: Photo Pop Philly They will be around until the end of Summer so if I was you, I would gather your friends and head in. You will NOT be disappointed.  You may see me back, matter of fact I am sure of it!

I bought my tickets on July 3rd the same day there was a water main break.  Philly Photo Pop did not sustain any damage but they had to wait until the power was turned back on to continue allowing others inside.  They came back up and running but I had to wait for some space and time to open due to my schedule and today was the day.  I was greeted and had zero issues getting in.  I had my own poparazzi take my pics throughout the displays.  It was so magical and exciting.  I literally at every stand got happier and happier.  I got the full treatment.  My best place was the what inspires you board?  I wrote about setting an example and I can’t wait to share some new and super exciting things and additions to my family that is on the way.  Pump your breaks it ain’t kids!!! But it will be amazing!

Let me step back and tell you about how I went to the 4th of July celebration in Philadelphia and they had a miniature set up that my family and I was able to try.  The staff was outstanding. They were hands on and we were featured on their Instagram and Facebook page as well.

Heat Ain’t Stop the Show

So Philly is experiencing a heat wave. We are in a Red alert. So with that being said hydration is our friend. Staying cool and protected is the name of the game.

There are several events happening this weekend. I took the liberty of researching the options for the month and have linked my husband and I’s calendar to be in sync with the activities. This doesn’t mean that we will attend them all but at least we are aware. Today we decided to attend #phillyscoopfest. It is an ice-cream festival that has many vendors, some samples, music from all diversity, and it was located this year inside the Reading Terminal.

Little secret, I have never been to the Reading Terminal before. I know, I know why?! I’m not sure. But that is a thing of a past. I was there which is super surprising as much as I love my hometown market and one would think I would have ran to the Reading Terminal but nope! I finally made my presence known.

My family and I walked around and our first stop I tried a pineapple basil from Mom Pops. I loved it. They were dairy free, gluten free, everything free but what wasn’t free? Taste. I loved it. Since taking dairy out of my diet I’ve always on the hunt for non dairy dessert. The gentleman gave me a lot of coupons that I’ll be using going forward.

My kids all had a strawberry banana popsicle and I doubt they heard everything that was taken out of them and finished it before we made it to Bassett’s and we had such great ice-cream. I elected to have sorbet for the reasons already stated. It was good. The kids enjoyed their cups and my husband his cone. The staff was super organized and treated us well.

We made our way to enjoy our icecream and listen to music which was my personal highlight of the event! They also had prizes, a kid spot, tables to enjoy your icecream and food and it was great to see the diversity and fun without drama!!

Also if you purchase something at a vendor for at least 10 dollars they validate your parking for a discount. So all together it costs us 5 dollars for parking, for almost 30 of ice-cream, and memories were made for a family of 5 that is a win!!

After going to a friends house warming we decided to give the kids a break and recoup before heading to the Fireworks at Penn’s Landing. Naps went over and we missed the Army Band’s performance. Listen parking in Philadelphia is no joke and definitely during a holiday weekend. It took about 20 or so minutes to find a non paying spot but we found one.

The crowd was plentiful. From Spruce Street Harbor to the actual fireworks it was a great night!

So here’s to more events, family time, and not letting anxiety hold me into the house!

Weekly Recap Friday June 22, 2018

Hey ToiTime followers!!

I hope all is going well. We just celebrated the first day of summer! Yes a new season and this one is one of my favorite ones. I hope that you have a few plans of your own for the next upcoming weeks!

I encourage you to find activities in your own backyard. I know my fam bam will be doing more local events but that doesn’t mean that our fun will be any less! Just the other night we started our summer movie series where we watch movies outside with snacks, ice-cream and snow cones, etc. There are several locations throughout Philadelphia and for us it’s a great way to make memories, get outside and have a little fun during the week. Our kids are on their Summer sleep schedule. I know some folks talking like let the babies stay up late but um that’s a nope! They are in camp while we are at work and the wake up times haven’t changed!

Personal Goals

I am making sure to do my self-care daily. Say what you will if you don’t with all the news alone can make a person go nutty! I am running in a night run on Saturday for S⬆️2C Stand Up to Cancer so that should be lots of fun. Also going into next week I have a lot of projects before the 4th of July coming up. I also will be training as if I really stopped for some Fall running events and will keep you posted! Of course I will be scheduling at least 2 beach days for myself and at one for my kids. The verdict is still out if my husband who doesn’t enjoy being at the beach will attend!! Nonetheless the beaching must go on!!

Blogs

I’ve been emailed and asked if I’m taking time off in the summer and the answer is no. I took time off in April so unless something comes up I will let you know. Remember if you have a question for Ask Toi to send an email to ToiTimeblog@gmail.com I will always email an answer privately and then do it for the blog anonymously. Also as I attend events I blog them more in the Summer! So be on the look out.

Summer Blessings

I pray that you get out and have a great time. I also hope that you stay safe. With summer is more drinking and one of the most avoidable causes of death is drunk driving. In 2018 with apps such as Uber and Lyft there is no reason to ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle and put yourself or others at risk. Also for my single and dating, be careful that you aren’t getting catfished or let your guard down when meeting new people. Stay visible and be vigilant.

May the sun be present more this season. May you be able to enjoy the hotter months and have the best time. Have a great summer and we are looking forward for to more blogs!!

Summer Be Good to Me!

Welp in a few days Summer will officially make its mark.  There a few things we can do to ensure we have a great one.  So here are some ways to get Summer going:

Make Me Over

Ladies, all of my ladies, do me a favor and check your make up bag.  Have you checked your bag to make sure that you are getting rid of a few things you might need to switch up.  I know there are a few things that we just absolutely love and don’t want to part ways but don’t let your makeup bag be the cause of increased acne breakouts or other facial issues.  Please let it go or replace it.  Trust me your face will thank you.

Wardrobe

It’s the time for sun dresses, shorts, swimsuits! Who isn’t excited?  There are all of these items in every size.  So you can be cool and cute all Summer long no matter what size you are in.  Enjoy it! Trust me once the heat is gone and the snow is back on the ground you are going to be sad.  Let me say especially to my ladies, there are way too many options to be comfortable for whatever you are doing so there is absolutely NO reason to be in these streets in your pajamas.  I do NOT care how they feel, wear some clothes.  Real clothes!  Thanks the world would appreciate it.  Also back in the day I was taught not to come outside in a head scarf, now we can wear them fashionably.  There are a thousand YouTube videos in how to tie one so that you can match it up and wear it flattering.  Do not come outside in the regular you slept in your scarf look.  Thanks again.  We got to care about how we walk out the house not only due to the fact that you may run into someone you know but just because self-love causes us to walk differently.

Know your Arena

If you are going to concert dress for one. This could go under wardrobe but I wanted to make it separate.  You can’t be at Brunch with sports clothes unless you are going to a game. I know we can do what we want, but know your arena.  Would you go to a wedding in jeans?  No! Then be sure that you are in the right arena with the correct clothing.  It makes a difference and not only that we live in a take a picture world and I remember when I was going through depression that I would be out looking a hot mess. I wasn’t dressed for the right arena and that sent me further in a tail spin. It happens trust me.  So research and use Pintrest.  Pintrest will actually align up some suggestions if you do not know.  Have some fun with your looks and be fly all Summer long.

adult background beach blue

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Summer Parties

This could be in the form of a cookout or a good party, make it your best one.  If you are the one who is throwing one, pick a theme and commit to it.  Nothing is more fun than a good Summer party with all of the frills.  Also realize you can be super creative and stay in budget.  Trust me when I have a theme even for my kids, I find ways to keep my budget on point but nail it every time.  Have some fun and make it a great party.  Also drinks are important non alcoholic and alcoholic. You can really find some new ways to drink a refreshing drink that makes you feel good and wow a crowd.  Do your research.  Also if you choose to consume alcohol do so conservatively and use Uber or Lyft or a trusted friend or family member for a ride.  DUI are super expensive.  Don’t let that Summer turn up cost you or someone else their life. Have fun and be responsible.

Get Out

There are many events in your city or town that is free.  Please explore and get out. Do not sit around salty all Summer long complaining about how there’s nothing for you to do. Get on  Google and find something to do.  There may be events in towns and cities near you to explore as well.  All I am saying is the boredom that kicks in by adults are self inflicting. You have the choice to sit and be miserable or be creative.  If you are single and are saying well I have no one to go with, I understand.  I used to say that too.  One part of doing better socially is sometimes pushing past that and getting out.  It’s scary I won’t lie.  However be open to meeting new people while out.  Even married my husband hates all activities that require you to be outside in the sun or around bugs.  Every festival that I want to attend I used to not go or break him down to go.  Now yes he will go, but the ones that he won’t I have learned to get out and have a great time.  One time I went somewhere and eventually he showed up.  I refuse to not attend these types of events.

Solo Trips

Yes I took a big solo trip in April but I also take solo day trips or beach days.  These are important as getting together with my girls, family time, and baecations.  You got to know you and what you like.  The best way is to push past being uncomfortable and explore.  I love it NOW.  I will not pretend that it’s always been this way because that is a lie.  However EVERY time I have come home I have been better. I do NOT answer any non emergency calls while I am out.  That is my time and my family respects it.  If I am on my phone the whole time, when am I having my time?  Reserve your time and don’t let anyone infringe on it and that’s family and friends.  The only thing that should happen is confirmation that you are safe and if an emergency then yes a call.  Your time is your time.

female leisure recreation relaxation

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

My Summer Playlist

So here is my personal Summer Playlist.  I love music and nothing is better than having that AC on or having the windows down and have the base jumping:

Nice; The Carters

Summertime; DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

New Rules; Dua Lipa

Nice for What; Drake

Wait; Maroon 5

Rock with you;  Michael Jackson

I like it; Cardi B

This is America; Childish Gambino

Can’t stop the feeling; Justin Timberlake

Big Poppa; Notarious B.I.G

Image result for music

My Summer Must Haves

Pool time-tan lines are made at the pool or beach. I love tan lines because they remind me that I have enjoyed a little bit of life.  I look forward to them and allowing all of this melanin to pop!

Ice-cream sundae bar: yes this can be done all year-long but nothing is better than eating it and stepping up my ice-cream sundae bar in the cutest of dishes

Outside Movies: in Philly they do series of movies for all age ranges throughout.  You will find me at one or more of these in the city

Beach day-self explanatory

Summer Fests-another thing that I love about Philly is that all summer long there is a festival for many reasons and many of them come ready to go with alcohol. I love the ones that are kid friendly since I have kids.  We all have fun, it wears them out, mommy and daddy can have our time or have a quiet house afterwards.  It’s a win, win!

Cookouts-who doesn’t like grilled food?  It’s the best and couple that with some awesome Summer salads and you got a good meal.  Nothing like getting together with a few folks and having a great time while the kids play!

So break out the sunscreen and fill up the water jugs it is happening.  Today alone it’s almost 100 degrees and the smile on my face can’t be wiped off.  So bring on the sweat, the fun, the sun, and all of the things to do. I will be hitting the streets and blogging it along the way.  Enjoy this season!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I Have A Day?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Summer is slowly winding down.  Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of sunny days and muggy nights left, however if you aren’t careful you will miss out on it all.  What have you done for yourself this Summer?  What trip did you take?  Let me guess, you don’t have someone to go with you, right?  What excursion have you wanted to go on but haven’t?  You haven’t done those either.

It’s time to change those have-nots, to haves.  Do not allow the Summer to go by and you are still sitting and talking about plans but not actually doing them.  For me I want to go to the beach and I am going to go even if I go alone.  My husband isn’t a fan of the beach and to be honest I could use a day in the sun with my feet in the sand and a good book or magazine to entertain.  You have to get out.  So it’s planned on my calendar as a personal beach day.  Listen Summer is my favorite season but even if that’s not your case, you can’t avoid it if you’re alive, so get out and enjoy it.

I am encouraging every last reader of this blog to get out and do something fun.  No more I have no plans.  Make some plans.  Go with girlfriends.  Go with a new boo.  Single, go to one outing that you wouldn’t normally go.  While there don’t worry about if you’re not fitting in. Dress well, eat well, and smile.  You never know where you will meet your new partner. The one place you won’t meet him or her is in your pjs in the house.  I know don’t hit me with the well there’s online dating.  Online can only take you but so far if you aren’t willing to meet others and see if the chemistry is still there beyond the computer screen or phone.

So what are you prepared to do?  It’s crazy to me to see people on social media talking about how bored they are.  I know I live in a big city but I have even looked up events in other people’s cities many of them are free and people still bored, how?  You know there’s one word to sum this up, lazy.  I hate to call people names but if we sit on social media day in and day out then surely you and Goggle can at least go together.  Goggle and then after you do that, go.  I know you need a squad but truth be told not everyone in your squad likes the same thing and there’s no need to let that hold you back.

There are so many activities that you can do in Summer that you simply can’t do in the other seasons, so get out and enjoy it.  I know plenty who at the first sight of snow will complain that they can’t wait for it to be warm, waste Summer’s time, and then the cycle continues.

Here are my suggestion for getting out:

  1. Know your budget.  There are so many ways around saving money.  If you want to take a tour but the price is too steep, get your Groupon on and find alternatives.  See if you can get a group of you together to do the same.  Often times groups of 10 or 20 or more can save money instantly.
  2. Pick a date and schedule the time to go.  Treat yourself as a priority.  You pay your bills on time, or at least you should, right?  Pencil yourself some me time in and stick to it.  Make it just as important as anything else.
  3. Be spontaneous.  I am a planner so my calendar fills up.  However I have had so much fun allowing time to not be the pressure.  My family and I have done some pretty random things and the fun has been huge.  Do not define yourself to a box.  It’s good to have things in stone but be okay with a few accidental fun trips too.
  4. Open up to new activities-I recently went to a location I hadn’t been in years and decided to do new activities I hadn’t or wouldn’t have had fun and guess what?  I had a blast.  Sometimes being a creature of habit needs to be broken too.
  5. Remember the most important rule of life-time waits for no one.  I know that you are prolonging things and you will get to it eventually, but for many eventually NEVER comes.  Do it.  You deserve to live the best life and that’s a personal decision to wake up and determine daily.

So are you going to have more memories of the Summer of 2016?  Are you going to be in a position to let your hair down a little?  If you say, yes-start with a little weekend fun and build upon that every week!!