Increased Self Care

Who doesn’t love getting a mani/pedi? How about a salon trip? It feels amazing to pamper yourself or just continue your up keep. As much as these activities are awesome and can be forms of self-care, do not limit that to your only self-care. Increase self-care to those things that bring joy into your heart and life.  What about that hobby that brings the type of smile that can’t be wiped away?  What about making time with friends a priority? What about going back to school to accomplish a goal you left sitting? What about making time for rest and unplugging? We all need to dip deeper into self care now more than ever.

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When I hear older folks make complaints such as “what is this self-care business, we didn’t have that growing up,” it irks me. Those be the same women that have the most insecurities, the most hard battles in their spirit that have gone unchecked. When you know better you do better. Why aren’t you practicing it yourself or encouraging the younger generation to focus on their mental health just because no one encouraged you? You remember them lonely battles you fought? Remember that feeling of being overwhelmed? Why would you want another woman or man to go through that?  Even it made someone 5 seconds better, it’s worth it. Encourage and then practice it yourself. 2019 is about accountability and that is even in how we treat ourselves. We can’t expect anyone to treat us well when we treat ourselves badly. Think about it from head to toe. What are you doing to make you whole? If you are still eating, drinking, not working out, have a thousand bad habits that contribute to your body and mind’s demise, these things need to be worked out.

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Self care is about self-preservation.  It pulls you out of darkness and makes you alert. When you don’t practice self-care often times you are numb to things and people around you. It doesn’t stop bad things from coming but it can help you deal with it that much more. Think about the times you let yourself go mentally. You weren’t even ready for hits that life was about to throw. Self care is super important. I don’t care what you call it.  You can call it self-care, self-love, me time, whatever it is find it, be consistent, and then add some more. There is no such thing as too much self-care. That is impossible. Having joy in this world is what keeps people from feeling hopeless. That hopeless feeling leads people into paths that don’t bring about positive results. People need hope. Joy isn’t about walking around with a smile 24/7.  It means that you have things in your life that bring you real happiness no matter what. Self care is about preserving peace in a world full of chaos. Self care is about loving yourself even when the world wants to make you feel unlovable. Self care doesn’t care what your status is in life. Self care is important. Please invest in yourself. Practice some more self-care!

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Monday Motivation: Morale is Important

We understand morale in the sense of working with a team.  If you are at work and morale is lost it could be a number of factors that affect morale. It could be from not having an understanding manager, having to do other team members’ work, or from lack of incorporating fun activities into a work day. Either way, morale is important. It’s the heartbeat of how you move at work. How much more do we need to keep our personal morale going? We scroll through social media getting super hype over stories we see that is why we comment and argue with strangers. Yet when in comes to personal morale, we give ourselves whatever is left over.  Oh I’ll complete that maybe next year when this is supposed to be your year. You hype everyone else but yourself. This has to stop. I’ll hype myself past my own flaws. Meaning I own them so no one can ever use them against me and use that to disqualify a gift that is in me or being used to flow through me. That is lesson one in anything you ever want to do in life. Folks don’t have to like me in order for my gift to rise above a few folks that are walking in disagreement. Disagreement doesn’t cut off the gift inside of you. It only sharpens you to be better and walk better and to utilize discernment.

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Morale is the motivation to keep going. You know morale is the spice in to your why. You have your why.  Why did you take on that personal challenge. Why you decided to lose weight. Why you decided that this year you will travel. Why you decided to leave that relationship. Why you decided to change jobs.  Whatever your why, work at it and keep the morale going. It may come in the form of getting organized. It may be in changing your circle. You should know that matters. If you’re circle always has something negative to say about your ideas, it may mean they are attempting to sabotage the plan. Stop sharing things with them negative folks. Morale pushes you when you are tired. Morale pushes you when you hear a thousand NOs in the journey but you know what is in you to keep going.

Morale pushes effort. Think about a relationship. Morale is what keeps scheduling dates because you see how that time alone makes you adore your partner that much more. Morale keeps patience with your kids when they jump and back flip on that last nerve. Personal morale is the self-starter to anything you are attempting to accomplish. We however let morale get trampled on by energy that is sucking the life out of us. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months and months into years. You look up and can’t understand why you are stagnant. You lost morale. The joy of what you were trying to do has been taken on with life. You need a morale booster. You need to get some new goals. You need to refresh yourself. You need to find the happiness in starting that idea.

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When I started this blog in the beginning, it was so fresh and I was excited. After a year, I saw how my posts became less and less and I asked myself-are you done or do you just need a morale booster? I changed the layout of the blog, got a blog planner, and wrote. I keep myself motivated by never writing a blog that feels forced. When I write it pours out of me because I do what’s necessary to keep my personal joy. I write and sometimes re-write my vision. I keep my eyes open and I put permanent sunglasses on when someone in my personal circle says things like: “why did they choose you.” “What makes you so special.” These are actual things that have been said to me. Them sunglasses allows me to see and hear them but blur them as I keep going. I still get invited to the tables of places I hadn’t in my first few years of writing because I stay consistent. I had one PR firm tell I always come to your writing or reviews because you have a keen eye for what the public wants to see. That is a morale booster. Sometimes when the accolades aren’t coming, having personal morale helps to keep the rays of joy in what you love burning.

Do not let anything burn your candle of morale out. You have what you need inside of you to keep pushing and making it happen. Tune out and drown out the naysayers. Keep going! Keep the personal morale going!!

Remember morale is the discipline, enthusiasm, and confidence to complete your goals. Who caused you to lack the discipline to work late and get up early and prepare? Who took the enthusiasm to push past tiredness? Who attempted to knock your confidence while you are in the shift of change? No matter what the outside factor, YOU control your life.

SomoSoPhi

I had a wonderful time yesterday at SOMO South Philly. It’s a beautiful restaurant right in of course, South Philly that is within a short distance of all of the sports complexes. SOMO is a great place to grab some quick bites if you’re about to tailgate, have some amazing drinks with your friends, happy hour with co-workers, or you just want to get out with your family.

SOMO is the perfect spot to sit in a traditional restaurant style seating or sit on the second floor and eat patio style on a nice day and enjoy the scenery.

Somo is located at 3101 South 13th Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

Especially loved the see through kitchen so you can see your food being prepared

SOMO has two locations. The one in South Philly as well as Manayunk. SOMO is an upscale casual that combines elegance in their design with the casuality of their space and great and amazing food selections from their bar food to their sit down menu.  We were there yesterday which was Tuesday and it was “Taco Tuesdays.” Let me tell you that the tacos are something to talk about. I had the vegetarian and they were amazing. One of the things I look for even with being vegan is flavor. These tacos were simply wonderful from the first bite to the last.  I was impressed.

From left to right, vegetarian, mahi-mahi, and brisket tacos

My favorite the vegetarian taco with radishes, spinach, asparagus, and mushroom

Now when I go and preview a restaurant I look for a few things that I know my readers want to know:

  • Price
  • Hospitality
  • Convenience of location
  • Taste of Food

Price

Let’s face it we all want great food without sacrificing all of the coins to achieve it. SOMO prices are not going to break the bank. For instance I had my kids with me and I rarely do when doing these outings. The kids menu was $5.  Let me repeat that $5! So you’re getting premium food for your kids for less than you would spend at a fast food restaurant. As a mom that is right up my alley. Drinks were priced right around what you would expect and they didn’t skip on the alcohol or water it down in any way. The drinks were good and worth the price so don’t skip on it. Plus the happy hour has great prices on their drinks. Keep in mind if you are coming for happy hour make sure you enjoy them in the downstairs bar area for the pricing. Oh and ask for the pretzels!!

Bar Menu

Try the Sling Blade

Hospitality

I like to see how restaurants treat you before you identify who you are and why you are there. SOMO from the waitress/waiter to the manager were more than pleasant.  Everyone had smiles and everyone was welcoming. Since I had my children with me which let me say they were stellar in their behavior, staff was attentive to their needs as well. Devon is hands down an amazing manager who understands people and how they want to be treated. Kudos for SOMO for snagging him! I liked as I watched how they serviced others that they don’t do that weird hover over you as you try to eat. Not one time was my water-glass empty. They weren’t intrusive while I ate. They allowed other patrons to eat and yet they were there to assist in any way.

Convenience of Location

Again its right in the pathways of all of the sports complexes. So for me it’s like seeing Philly for real while you eat. You can’t beat that. If you know anything about Philadelphia you know we care and love our sports team. I was observing the people walking to the game and the Justin Timberlake concert and that energy alone is something that SOMO tapped into with the location. South Philly is the heart of Philadelphia and you feel that here. Do you like open air? I enjoyed the fact that it was nice enough for them to have all of the patio doors open. It was refreshing to see. I am an outdoor type eatery girl and my husband isn’t. Going back I can get the best of both worlds.

Few specials to think about: come and get drink specials, djs, etc.

Taco Tuesdays

Thirsty Thursdays

Daily Happy Hour 5-7pm

Taste of Food

I asked my children especially my son who loves his food how he thought the food was. He gave the immediate thumbs up. He isn’t a picky eater but he is particular about how he likes his food. When I didn’t hear him talking I knew SOMO did his food right. There was nothing but smiles from the entire table. Every dish was amazing.  I know you will find something for everyone. I am vegan I didn’t leave hungry by any means. They do not have a vegan menu but they allowed me to tweak my order to fit and it was still great. Thank you for the great experience.

Charred Brussel sprouts, with parmesan cheese. I removed the cheese but it was extremely good cooked with apple cider vinegar

Kid menu mac and cheese; the picture doesn’t even show the depth of how big the bowl is

Kid menu hamburger and fries, $5

Colton Court Podcasts

Did you know that Colton Court Podcasts is taped right in the sit down sports lounge of SOMO SoPhi? I had no clue. I was impressed with the lounge area as it sits downstairs when you walk in. The big television, the seating, it was definitely is a well thought out space.  I was even more impressed once it was transformed into the podcasts recording space. It was the perfect space. Take a listen for yourself; Colton Court Podcasts.

Owners, James M. Morrissey son of a fashion designer along with Jahri Evans and wife, Takia definitely got it right. Mix in Morrissey’s eye for creating a beautiful space and Jahri sports affiliation and love for the city, how could you go wrong? I absolutely loved the collaboration of SOMO. It’s inviting, well-managed, and the food and drinks will keep me and my family coming back. This is the go to spot for any dinner or luncheon you need. It has food for the whole family from kids to adults. The drinks had me smiling too! Check it out as well as my other pictures on my Instagram

Keep in mind they also offer space for private parties, birthdays, and they have an amazing brunch! You already know how I feel about a great brunch spot!

Also follow SOMO SoPhi on Instagram

Thanks to the #Travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch bunch, Philly Dine Out for an amazing time.

Need reservations, book your time at SOMO SoPhi with Open Table

 

 

 

Monday Motivation: To Do List

Happy Monday. It’s a beautiful day this morning. As I look through my calendar I was reminded of something so simple but necessary and that’s the to do list. We have strayed away from them because we have technology, alerts and alarms. The to do list is still a necessary way of organizing our lives. It takes what we need to do and allows us to prioritize them.

To do list also helps as a secondary back up so those forgotten things can remain at the forefront of our minds. Even with how busy life can be I’ve been known to be forgetful. So let’s take it back and gather that to do list. There’s so much pride crossing things off. It makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. It pushes you to get more done and it really takes a load of off of you! So what is on your heart and mind to complete? Write it down! Did you know that successful people are the ones who write down their goals? To do list can be for the day, week, month, or quarter. I’ve started with master lists and tweak it as necessary.

Today my to do list looks a bit crazy and the reason? It’s Monday! Monday are how I set my week up instead of starting it with negativity and complaints. Write that to do list and get in the habit of goal setting. Trust me it will make your days, week’s, and months go that much smoother even on hectic days!

Also to do list can help with self care as the ability to feel like you’re in control of the things you can control helps in moments when life can’t be controlled!!

Hot Chocolate 15k Is a Wrap

I came, I saw and I conquered. Run number 1 for the season is done. I completed it in 1:23:10! Not too bad for running 9.3 miles! I’m super proud of my time, the training, and the medal!

Preparation

You don’t normally wake up and just decide to run a long race like that. I have been training each week with 2 run days, 4 workout days and 1 rest day. I know that seems like a lot but it’s necessary for me. Also one thing you know when you train is not only do you need the blessing of your doctor, sleep and nutrition play a huge part. Since going vegan nutrition has been pretty easy. As I learn more recipes it’s been helpful to make my goal. I still use my Fitbit app to monitor my intake, workouts and sleep. People think that sleep doesn’t matter but it does. Even with a hectic life I make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

2 days before the race I increase my sleep to 9 hours. One reason for that is pre race jitters will attempt to rob your sleep pattern. They hit me pretty hard this time. I wanted to make sure I at least got the rest that I need since I’m training for multiple races I also limit alcohol. Race week I have one glass if that of wine. These days I find without alcohol with so much on my plate the second I sit, I’m sleep. It’s imperative to keep my mind and system clear.

Night before the Race

I set everything that I need down to undergarments out. I make sure I go through what I need to charge such as my phone, wireless charger, and my wireless headphones. This way I’m less likely to scramble in the morning. I take my shower, and do my eye masks to prevent that puffy look as much as I can. I drink 20 ozs. of water and I get Luke warm water to drink in the morning. I also redo my running playlist. I use a different playlist from the one I trained with so I can give fresh motivation. This way I can be hands free and less manipulation of my cell. I use an arm band too so I don’t even look at my phone during a race!

Day of race

I eat what I train to eat. I eat non dairy yogurt with craisins, raisins, and granola. I drink a glass about 4 ozs of orange juice. I do not drink coffee as I’ve found it makes me more anxious and makes to have to take numerous bathroom breaks that wouldn’t work out during the actual race.

My running belt has two small water bottles on them I only fill them half way each so I can use it splash water in my mouth when I run. I stop at least three times for the sports drink the race provides and I only take sips. I never finish a cup even though the cup is usually not even more than 2 ozs.

During the Race

I dedicate miles to my kids. Usually after I get through the first 5 the next three are for them. I give each of those miles my all because I know I wouldn’t let my kids down. It’s a way to push myself. Also whenever that curve that let’s me know we almost done about at mile 5 is magical. It lets me know that whatever I’ve done to get to that point I got it in me to finish! I talk to God and pray not to get me through, but anytime I run it’s always a release. Whatever is on my heart and mind, I’m leaving on the trail.

The last few final dashes are super hard for me. I’m talking about that 50 meters is killer! I find my emotions are at an all time high. Some can see the finish and get inspired to push harder but that doesn’t work for me. My mind tells me I’m done and my body knows that’s a lie. With that being said it’s harder for me at the very end. With tears in my eyes, I was able to finish today.

Every race has treats! This one being the hot chocolate Race they had hot chocolate, duh! It had a cute take home mug with a banana, marshmallow, Rice Krispies, pretzels, and an organic vanilla wafer. I brought most of the items home and gave a nearby kid the hot chocolate.

Post Race Recovery

Everyone is different. Today I had my coffee and a plain bagel with nothing on it. No butter not even my vegan butter and definitely no cream cheese. I sat on my couch with a towel and enjoyed it. My husband brought me a large fry and I fell asleep. After my hour nap I get up and do my foam roller. Mind you I always park close but far. After the race and I’ve had a great cool down, the walk helps me.

Epsom salt is bae. My great grandmother put me on years ago and I don’t care what new new new of muscle relaxing is out, epsom salt and a warm bath is the trick. After my bath I shower, no need to mention the why. I then do a facial mask, and wash or blow dry my hair, and comfy clothes are the only things I wear.

I then can assess injury which I can report outside of a toe blister I was fine!

I usually get a celebratory glass of wine but the way my legs are set up I’m sure I’ll get to it at some point! Right now I’m finishing up coffee and flooding my system with water!

So Broad Street is in one month and with that being said, the training doesn’t stop! Thank you to my BGR, Black Girls Run group and family who keep me on my toes. I also want to thank Urpower running belt as I had to replace my old one 2 days before the actual race. I hate anything new before a race that I haven’t tried and broken in. No new shoes, new pants none of that before a race! Shout out to my husband who has and will continue to be irritated by that light coming on at 530 am in the morning as I trained and continue to train. Thanks for being instahusband to get the before race pics I ask for! For watching the app to be sure my car didn’t get a ticket and for always making sure I’m race ready! To my children who were so excited to drive pass the location and as they swore they saw me. I also thought I saw them too! So it’s even! They didn’t even care that I smelled like a whole man when I came home! They just were excited that I “won.”

Shout out to my amazing friends who sent me messages before, during, and after! To my readers who hear the climatic countdown for each race!

Weekly Recap: Friday April 5, 2019

What a week it has been!! I am super glad for balance. From work, blog events, and life it has been one for the books. Let’s dive into it:

Blog Life

This week we have been out and about and there is no stop coming any time soon. I looked at my calendar I am booked and happy about it until May and June request are slowly coming in. If you didn’t get a chance to, catch up on the blog Crunchik’n. You talk about some good eating. It was amazing and they have vegetarian options and I tweaked them to be vegan. I have been going strong for about a month and some change. I am super proud of myself. I have been fortunate to find some amazing new recipes and ways to have some of my favorites without compromise. I have noticed an immediate change when I eat. I am full but not overly full and my stomach is hurting me. I have no gall bladder and a lot of foods that I was eating prior to although were in healthy portions weren’t right for my stomach. Vegan has solved a lot of that for me. This is a personal choice!

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Yesterday I was at the Philadelphia Zoo. I had an amazing time with the animals, the food was amazing and I love that the Philadelphia Zoo Key is back. It was interactive and I enjoyed going without the kids. Don’t fret as soon as they saw me they asked when am I taking them.  They should know by now, super soon. Our summer is always jam-packed with activities and the Zoo is on the top of the list. The fact that Urban Green now has amazing fresh choices and that includes vegan inspired dishes I am good to go. Toss in that wine and beer garden and I am set for a family fun day.

Fit Life

Tomorrow is race number one of the season, the Hot Chocolate 5/15K race. I am excited but super nervous. I have trained, ate well, hydrated and today I will be loaded on carbs, getting my rest, and hanging with my BGR crew as we celebrate race day! Look for the blog to follow as soon as I can.  Most likely Sunday! Send positive vibes!
race

Kid Life

We are in the planning stages of my oldest soon to be 10th birthday. To say that I am more excited than she is a complete understatement.  To look at her when they told me that she may not breath on her own and to hear her screaming and progressing faster than they expected was amazing to me. I am overcome of how much her birth changed me. It made me be more responsible, cut things and people from my space, and be a better human. She is the most amazing child. My other children are doing well. We have an almost kindergarten and a rock star soccer playing son.  I am blessed beyond measures.

Personal Life

So getting my responses has been my goal. I have been tried on every hand but I can say that I am passing. I am grateful to know that responses have to be tailored in this world. You can’t in the name of keeping it real say what you want just because you are grown. There is always a price.

So as you continue to your weekend, remember to do something for yourself. I have a few events next week and you know the drill by now, blog will follow. I will continue to explore this great city. Have a great one!

Networking is Scary At Times

So I wanted to talk about networking. It’s essential to what I do with blogging especially if you want to get out about. Your talent will take you in front of amazing people.  In order to stay you have to be able to talk to a few folks and learn the finesse of making relationships work.

three woman talking near laptop on desk inside room

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I met some of the most amazing people while on an assignment at various locations in Philadelphia. I can’t even imagine not taking the first steps which started out of paying attention to social media. Its more than getting caught up in the darkness of liking posts. It comes from searching hash-tags of areas you are strong in. I started looking at other lifestyle bloggers. From there I made sure to follow AND engage. You have to be proactive in what you are doing online. Once I made solid connections I always make a few promises to myself:

  • Blog an event within 24 hours of attendance-keep things fresh
  • Always know who the movers and shakers are and introduce yourself
  • Be sure to get the information in the blog right the first time i.e. names, etc.
  • Keep a notebook and a pen on you at all times or you your phone for notes

Here are a few things to understand Networking in 2019

  • Have a business card but expect to follow someone on the spot on your social media platform-people tend to follow immediately. I got 10 potential blogging events from immediate follows
  • Always send a thank you note. People love acknowledgement
  • It’s okay to be scared it’s not okay to wait for someone to approach you. Fear is debilitating but if you at an event, speak up
  • If you showed up to an event, show up for yourself in that you do the best job possible. I blogged an event I attended with my family, caught a PR’s attention and I have been rocking ever since.
  • If you RSVP, show up. I have only not gone to one event and had to bow out. Life happens but don’t make it frequent.
  • Treat your blog like a job in that not that you get into a mundane flow with it but make it priority. If and when others see that you do, they will take you seriously. I am a creator. I blog. I am consistent. People notice consistency and that alone will take you before amazing people
  • Make friends that are doing the same type of things as you network

One of the things I struggle with is not always wanting to get the shot with me in it. This is one of the things I changed this year. Do not be afraid since I tend to travel to events by myself to talk and ask someone to get the picture of you in it. Having a few pictures with you in the shot for a personal blog is personable and necessary. Treat it as if you were at an event with friends. The same excitement you would have you must take in order to get what you came for. I have had many high level executives thank me for how I approach their event and get the information. My job in my mind is how would a reader of my blog need to approach a restaurant, event, or social gathering. I take the initial hit so that a reader can easily flow into it when they attend.

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Also if you are being asked to attend an event of lets say a PR firm, act accordingly. Learn the art of socializing at an event.  Meaning if there are drinks and 9 times out of 10 there are, have a few without looking like you had a few. Learn to pace yourself. Learn to speak well of yourself. Always stay clear of conversations that will trigger bad behavior.  The last thing you want to do is to be found being the one that is labeled an issue. Smile. You weren’t invited to be grumpy. Always know the camera is on you. Most events I have attended there is always at least one if not more photographers on site so dress for the event!  If it’s a play that’s an immediate dress up. If it’s a dinner, if its black tie, dress to impress. It’s always business casual unless otherwise stated. If you are at an outdoor event, than always keep your gear clean and tidy and dress down for that event but keep it nice. All of this should come without saying but you will be surprised of the things you see when you are out and about.

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So networking is hard. But its necessary. I have had a great time getting to know my city and as I hope to expand, the only way to do so is speaking up, smiling, and letting my normal personality shine. I feel as if people are getting what they need from me by me being who I am to begin with. Remember do what you love it will take you places not just because you have ability but because you have heart!  So clear heart and mind, smile, and fun should be on your agenda. Also organize yourself so you present the best picture. I always pack my media bag the night before.  I get my lighting, extra battery pack, charge my phone, grab a camera, get your business cards, grab a notebook, etc. Being prepared will assist you.