Day 8 of Self Care September Challenge

My Sunday funday was about recovering from the 5k and getting so more events under my belt. I went to Barre Class at the Bar Method in Rittenhouse. Lawd have mercy they worked my butt and other areas literally. I haven’t felt that much pain at one time in a long time. One thing I can say about The Bar Method my teacher Gina was hands down the most calming teacher I’ve had. She listened to me and calmed my nerves when I explained how nervous I was. My doctor a few weeks ago suggested that I take a barre class since I do a lot of running and cycling class. I can see why. They move muscles you think you move in a regular work out and you find out doesn’t matter. I love their hands on approach. When I was out of form for what we needed to do they helped me get on track!

After my work out I a few good blocks to Saxbys. I enjoyed another matcha drink aka the Big Mood. I love them I know they are naturally sweet with the raspberry syrup but I asked for a little more. It felt good to walk around one to allow my muscles to relax but I love good weather walking especially if the end result is treats from Saxbys. Oh and by the way since I had to get a bag to carry you can tell I got too much. Or was it? Treat yourself right?!

Not only was I recovering from my Saturday run I also attended Operation Wawa Road Trip! The play was phenomenal. You can see my blog on it here! So many amazing laughs and I sure could use a good laugh. These last few weeks have been full of stress. I mean like heavy stress. It felt good to dress up and put a little make up on and get out. I so wished I had taken a pic. I hate when I do that. After I got home I was able to relax!

The rest of the day I spent with one of my blogger friend. We enjoyed company at a restaurant. I’ll be posting more about that tomorrow so check out my Instagram to see what we were up to. Hint it involved amazing food and a little pipping tea!!

I ended up taking my twin back to the hospital as precaution but I’m glad that she was okay! I ended up falling asleep on the couch. So what did I notice about self care? I was super anxious when I go to a new location even with my GPS! It happens just about every time I have to be somewhere. When I went to Operation Wawa Road Trip even though I set my clothes etc out when it was time to go that anxiety settled in. I was able to push through as always by calming my nerves. I also reminded myself how often I had been feeling like this and it passes and it’s only temporary. I didn’t want to forget that and check my emotions!

How are you doing in your daily self care? What are the reminders you need to tell yourself daily as you navigate life?

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Week 5: Storr Summer Adventures

Well this week was a bit slow. I got what I thought was a sinus infection and my oldest had a Summer cold! So laid a bit not this week! We still had fun! So heres is how we ended up with a messy situation but ate well and spent time recovering for our Hershey Park trip! A total of 56.28 was spent!

Monday

Mondays are always uneasy! It was also national gummi bear day so we decided to do an ice-cream gummi bear dessert to celebrate. I love gummi bears and being Vegan didn’t have to miss out! With non dairy ice-cream and vegan gummies I was still winning! I had the Chunky Monkey ice-cream in house! I bought the kids Sour Patch ice-cream and gummi bear materials for $10.78!

Tuesday

We definitely kept it indoors as the heat was picking up and went to GPCC indoor swimming! Who didn’t need to cool off last week in Philadelphia?! We had a great time as usual! We grabbed snacks on the way for $12.00!

Wednesday

I find that these are low days and I secretly love them! I had an event so the kids hung out with family! I was able to get work done and attend the Philly Influencer Mixer which has brands come and meet Influencers and bloggers to work with! It’s an amazing way to network! Thank you to Davida for being our fearless leader! Follow especially Philadelphia bloggers or influencers as a Fall Mixer is up next and you want to be in the building!

Thursday

We got our and about! I had my physical with my doctor! I’m happy to announce that I’m in great health! My doctor is over the moon with my numbers. I encourage everyone to see about their health physically and emotionally!! I feel my best when I take for me! It’s not just about working out or just food it’s about the total mental health too. Doing what I love makes me complete! While there I was able to visit my old co-workers! We went to lunch and the kids got McDonald’s! Total was $12.71! I had the new plant based bowl at Qdobo for $10.79! We were going to go bowling but traffic was at an all time high so we made slime! To all of my parents you already know my plight!! But…..they had a blast! Materials were $10!!

Friday

It was entirely toooo hot but we also needed to get ready for the weekend Hershey Park trip since we were doing an overnight trip! So that meant cleaning, packing, and laundry! We also elected to do shaving cream art and keep things a bit messy! Armed with shaving cream and food coloring we had an amazing time!

I know if we hadn’t had a few sicknesses this week we would have been out and about more but with the way the heat was set up and the way our air conditioning bill has been we should never leave so we can feel like we are getting your money worth!

This week is already adventurous! We added a new activity for the week! I’ll highlight it next week!

2nd week Summer Breakdown

So as promised I will be breaking down my week with the kids during the summer vacation months. It’s important for me to showcase that yes you can have a great summer and spend less money. This doesn’t include weekend events or things to do, but now even on the weekend I’m not overspending either. Last week I spent around 183 dollars. Check out last week’s blog for the breakdown!

This week I definitely and happily spent 77.74! Now I did get sick about end of the week but the activities I would have done wouldn’t have been over that amount it would have been under that amount.

Monday

We did a swim day! Which is why I may have gotten sick. It was like an allergy attack or some sort of shenanigans. Either way breakfast at home and lunch at McDonald’s, swimming and park! I spent 18.51 total! It was a great treat to start the week since normally we do most meals at home! Oh a little pro tip any day I can add the park I do. I usually work out while they play. If I check the weather and the weather is an issue I do a home workout but I have been working out 4 days a week not including the weekend!!

Tuesday

We went to the $5 AMC Tuesday movie and saw Toy Story 4! I knew I wanted to see it but the crowds of the weekend and the price told me to wait until Tuesday hit! That 5 dollars hit different on a Tuesday. I am also an AMC Stub member so I had points I used those points towards the $5 snack deal of a small popcorn and an Icee!

$5 movies for 4=20

4 snacks minus my $5 reward= $15.87

After the movie it was back to the park for my workout and kids play! We then headed home for dinner and my husband and I went to Chima for some blog work and date night for the win!

Wednesday

I began to not feel well so we elected to stay in to take meds. I also wanted to make sure my car would be done. If you remember I was hit right before my Paris trip. We still went to Greater Plymouth Meeting for the movies under the stars and viewed Lion King. This was great as we prepare for the new blockbuster coming out this Summer! It was great. They have an amazing DJ! They did a hoola hoop contest and have Chick Fil A truck, Koona Shaved Ice truck, fresh popcorn and candy for sale.

I still always pack my own food and snacks. One cause I’m vegan and two because it’s cost effective for us 4! It’s always a great time no matter what!!

Movie starts at 8 or when the sun goes down and we usually get home at around 11pm and as you can see, from the above picture it was immediate sleep and quiet for the parents!!!!

Thursday

I needed a chill day plus I needed to redo the girls hair and start laundry! I knew what my weekend plans were and that meant there was no way I could have had time to get them altogether! They did a lot of indoor activities and the girls hair was rebraided! Also I got my car back better than ever! This momma was super happy! Shout out to Wolk Enterprises for doing an amazing job!

Friday

It was a mess! I was so sick by this point that I woke up at 130! Do not fret! My husband stayed home with the kids and ordered them pizza! Our oldest was supposed to have Girl Scouts. My son did some errands with my husband and my youngest had a play date!! I had no idea that my Husband was going to stay home to be honest I was going to be a trooper and take them to Legoland and the park! It felt good when I woke up to even realize that he was home! I was able to rest and it helped me for the weekend!!

This upcoming week will be a short week with the 4th! I will not be including the 4th or the 5th so my totals will be smaller than this week!!!! Listen between work and kids it’s important to save money and make sure the kids have an amazing Summer! Also this week with it being Fourth of July there are so many activities to do in Philly and many are free!

Chima Philadelphia: Tomahawk Tuesday

Have you ever had a tomahawk steak? It’s a beef rib-eye with 5 inches of extra rib bone for presentation. The long bone looks like an axe which is where the name tomahawk comes from. So what does this amazing cut of steak and chima have in common? Tomahawk Tuesdays at Chima now allows you this beautiful cut of steak along with their other rodízio aka meats at no extra charge. Trust me you are going to want to go up on a Tuesday! I had the pleasure of spending an evening and I’m going to break it all down for you. From the options for all nutrition palates to drinks to dessert.

Valet

One of the best things about Philadelphia is the amazing restaurants. Chima is definitely ahead of the cut when it comes to style, service, and ambiance. One of the other features that many aren’t aware of is they offer valet parking for $11.00. Now not many have the patience to do like my husband does to circle around the block several times to stalk out parking. I know I don’t. Whenever I am going to a location after I do my Google maps to be sure I know how to get there is to find what parking accommodations they have. We all have seen that red Parking sign that says “limited.” In Center City you already know that parking is slim to none. Now you can not only pay for parking but have someone else park it with valet for $11 and trust that is a great deal! I love convenience. Being a woman on the go sometimes I am cutting it close to locations due to life and mom duties. It’s good to know that when I come to a Chima, I’ll have one less worry and I can enjoy my night out with less stress.

Drinks

Not everyone drinks and that’s quite okay as there are many assortments of non alcoholic drinks available. For those who do drink they have a unique menu. I would highly recommend trying the Chima Caipirinha. They come in the following flavor offerings:

  • Strawberry
  • Açaí
  • Pineapple
  • Passion Fruit
  • Orange

The Chima caipirinha is one of their signatures straight from Brazil. One of the things I look for with drinks is presentation, taste and quality of the drinks. I’ve been to many establishments where the drinks lacked in one or more of these areas yet the price remained the same. At Chima that is not the case. From first sip to last its amazing. Nothing is watered down and that’s always a great thing!

Chima caipirinha pineapple

Chima caipirinha açaí

I also enjoyed the ultimate margarita! I love margaritas a lot. They are always festive and if made right a great choice for the night. Chima definitely put the ultimate into the ultimate margarita. The drink is filled to the possible capacity. I actually had to sip it down to even pick it up to drink!

Choices

So Chima is where my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and it had been that long since we there last as we are soon coming up on our 7th anniversary. Immediately I noticed the changes in their menus. In addition to the hard bound book you also get an iPad to look and view drinks, desserts, etc. all night. This makes it so much easier to see what you want as you listen in at the waiter/waitress recommendations. I found this to be super helpful for me in making my selections. Plus seeing pictures of what I wanted was helpful as well. FYI what you see in the picture is exactly how it’s coming out. There are no surprises!

Rodízio

So let’s keep it real, Chima is a Brazilian steakhouse so meats is there speciality. I will definitely cue you in on how to please all the non meat eaters as well in a minute. For those who love to eat meat, this is the oasis of meats. Quality and quantity is not ever an issue at Chima. When you arrive (for those who have never been) you are given a circled card. The one side says no thank you and the other side says yes please! The yes please signals the servers who will frequent your table often to ask you for your choice in selection and temperature (rare, medium, well down, etc.) of meat. As long as the yes please card is up they will ask and offer. When you want to take a rest, flip the card over and they will pass you by! Each place setting also has a tong that as they cut you can pull your selection as you go!

As far as meats there is chicken, steak, pork, beef, and sausages cooked in many varieties available daily while the tomahawk is available on Tomahawk Tuesday!

The tomahawk is charred to perfection, juicy from first bite and exceptional-I brought a resident meat expert aka my husband

No other options?

Chima could be your go to for an upscale date night, a party, celebrating any and all occasions, or just to come in on Tomahawk Tuesday! Either way you may have a few or more in your party that doesn’t necessarily eat meats. It’s hard to please everyone but I can reassure you Chima has you covered. The salad bar is ahead of its class. This isn’t your run in the mill salad bar. The selections are fresh and have an amazing selections of foods for vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians and meat eaters alike. Just remember to always grab a clean plate when you’re ready to enjoy! For those who don’t want to sit at a traditional table the bar is available too. The bar is a great place for a great after work drink as well!

One of my favorites of the night was the pineapple with cinnamon. This comes along like the seared meats on a skewer for you to select. The pineapple also has brown sugar and it’s warm and something you didn’t even know you needed in your life. Not to mention the fresh veggie skewers that you can get with or without corn! They also have salmon cooked to perfection as well!

Here is a full plated option which doesn’t nearly include all that was offered at the salad bar:

They also have a menu for gluten free options as well! This menu is separated so you know exactly which options will be appropriate!

Desserts if you Dare

Because all of the food is eat as you please you may not have a single ounce of room for dessert. However if you do they have a wide selection of choices. I would recommend the Brazilian Trio! The Brazilian Trio consists of Brigaderio aka Brazilian fudge and condensed milk, Beijinho which is coconut and condensed milk, and walnut cream!

Also consider the açaí cream! It’s açaí blended in Häagen-Dazs vanilla icecream and served with Frangelico liqueur.

The Apple Strudel is also a great contender as well served with cinnamon icecream and caramel sauce.

So as you can see you might just want to consider coming to Tomahawk Tuesday. One, dinner is served from 530-930 with last seating at 915pm! So if you’re like me and have to wait until late to grab a meal at times this would be more ideal. Two, Tuesday is better with tomahawk cut steak and you get to relax without all of the hoopla of the weekend crowd or run around. Don’t sleep on a Tuesday because with the Tomahawk in town you might find that it’s the new turn up in Center City!

Few house keeping rules: dress is always business casual. So no flip flops and sports gear. Plus you’re going to want to dress for the ambiance of where and what you’re eating. Eating high quality food should be understood to dress accordingly.

A special thank to our waiter Jonas! Jonas you by far exceeded our expectations! You were warm, knowledgeable, and kind!

Thank you to my date of the evening, Marques! I’m sure you had an amazing time. Anytime I don’t want to cook especially on a Tomahawk Tuesday is where you and I can venture!

Thank you to all the managers, chefs and staff at Chima! Your hospitality over exceeded my expectations. You were most gracious and I definitely will be back for the amazing food, drinks, and desserts. Thank you a million times over!

Make sure to follow Chima on Instagram as you want to stay up to date with specials.

You can also as always follow me on Instagram so you can see pics not included in this blog and to follow along all of my adventures too!

Who knows you might just see me at another Tomahawk Tuesday!!!

Summer Time in Old City: Old City Eats Block Party

One of the best parts about being in Philly is the amazing block parties. It’s something I didn’t see as often when I lived in Lancaster. In Philly you need zero reasons to bring residents together and it’s a party every time. Last night Old City threw a block party and it was the best prelude to Summer.

It’s officially Summer! One of my most favorite seasons! This means more fun, more sun, and dare I say more block parties. The streets last night was filled with people ready to have that Summer like fun. It was pouring rain earlier and I held back to see what the weather would do. Even despite the earlier weather, you couldn’t get a better outlook for the block party. The sun came out, it was a little humid and the rain left.

So I know between the tussle of the week day, the earlier rain that may have deterred your plans you might have missed it. There’s hope! Each week on Thursdays you will have the opportunity to attend Old City Eats as over 20 restaurants will be offering the best of the best for amazing eats and sips. You know I love to sip but I love it more in the Summer. I hadn’t been in Old City in awhile and it was great to see some of the eateries the area had to offer. Here are 3 restaurants that were amazing. I hope to go back a few more times to show case a few more during the Thursday run. These amazing sips will be offered every Thursday until August 29th. It’s a great way to start your early weekend and get out before Friday!

Cuba Libre Restaurant And Rum Bar

Who doesn’t block party without drinks?! Nobody that hangs with me! Cuba Libre has the drinks on lock with the selections of mojito, rum punch, beer, and empanadas. I personally had the mango mojito and the rum punch. Now I don’t know if people were getting more mojitos just because of the Summer feels but the rum punch was amazing! Oh and what’s a great drink without an amazing cup to drink it out of?! They served them inside of coconuts.

Makhani

So a few months back I had never even eaten Indian food. I went and had my first experience at Makhani and it was just pure amazing. Well they were at the block party too. So I had some of the chicken makhani, rice and some chicken sausage….It tasted like it did the night I had it. Every bite of it was delicious and most importantly the same level of love and hospitality was shown. Makhani’s food is always freshly prepared and is always to perfection. I have yet to have to alter it in any way. Oh and I brought some home to give to my husband who is super skeptical and I couldn’t catch his reactions quick enough! He went in!

Yes as you can see items were being sold out; you have to get to Makhani early

Nick’s Bar and Grille

People day Bar food is usually not that good. They say that you have to drink enough liquor before you can really play down bar food. After eating at Nick’s I say that is a whole lie. I had the egg rolls and they had Italian and cheesesteak. Since Philly is known for their cheesesteaks I elected to go out the box and try the Italian egg rolls. If you have nothing else and I mean nothing else you must try the Italian egg rolls. It was the best egg roll I had ever had. As much as I love to eat that speaks volumes. Hands down you have to come and try them. I didn’t have the pulled pork nacho cheese but word on the street is by not having them is not living. Debate me on the egg rolls but to do so you would have to try it for yourself and then get at me!

As I stated above I will try my hand at a few more offerings in the Summer at Old City Eats. My Thursdays just got a little bit better. Join me and others as we get out and enjoy these amazing drinks and food specials!

Thanks Old City Eats, Aversa PR, Makhani, Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, and Nick’s Bar and Grille for an amazing fun night!

Don’t forget to come to my Instagram to catch more pics of the evenings and to find out where I am, what I’m doing, and what fun you need to have as I continue to live and explore!!

Piazaa Pod Park: Summer Oasis

Unless you’re a boring person you are going to absolutely love the new Piazza Pod Park. Between the more than 12 food and drink vendors, workout ventures, and regular entertainment; what’s not to love?

Also you have to come and meet BeBot a new 33 feet tall standing robot designed by Andrea Greenlees. BeBot is super amazing to behold by adults and kids alike.

Keep in mind the Piazza Pod Park is fenced in and my mommy brain loved that. I still wouldn’t let the kids roam too far from me but that gave me an extra confidence knowing that outside of time with friends, I would have them! Also for my nursing moms you don’t have to be uncomfortable either. There are nursing pods available! That’s a double win!! Nursing moms can now get out and enjoy some fresh air and fun too!

For the kids there is Tildies Toy Box. Tildies is a toy store located right inside so if you can’t load the kids on fun foods or water ice, you can grab them something to help calm them so you can continue your Summer fun!

As far as foods and drinks are concerned there should be no concern. There is something for everyone and I truly mean it! All of the Summer feels are included. I had some amazing vegan French toast bites by none other than Lokal Artisan Foods. You should already know they are hands down the only French toast bites I will eat. I smile every time I see them. They have vegan, regular, and they even serve them with bacon for those who want it. Oh and their lemonade is A1! Make sure you grab some!

So let me break down a few other vendors for you:

Empanada Box

Who doesn’t love an amazing empanada? You can now add them to your list of go tos while you’re at the Piazza Pod Park!

Check out the menu:

For your water ice needs and it will come from all of the heat, look no further than Mama Maria’s Italian Ice which serves some of your well known staples like cherry but pushed it up with the Philly Special!

For my island inspired eaters there is Tiki Tako! They have some of the most amazing drinks including their pineapple drinks straight from fresh pineapples! Their tacos, take a look for yourself:

My sister enjoyed this chicken taco

For bagels and sandwiches there is Spread Bagelry. Amazing selections and the hummus du jour definitely stood out to me! Since Piazza is open at 7am daily this could be your new breakfast or anytime spot!

And then there was a Lil Sum Sum where you can enjoy a matcha smoothie or chicken Siu Mai! They have an assortment of Dim Sum even some for the vegetarians!

So wait no drinks? Come on now!! I tried to give you the food options so you could then walk like a boss to some amazing drink specials!!

Let’s start with Craft Cocktail and Craft Beer Concepts by Blume. Blume is the new spot that I attended with the Butterfly on the windows! They have expanded and now have two spots at the Piazza Pod Park! So the Craft Cocktails is where you can get your soon to be new favorites like the Slushey Jawn or the new infamous adult sippy bags!

Convenient to hold, walk, and sip but takes you back to being a kid with a much better upgrade

I love wine! I also love an amazing frosé. What’s better than both options on tap to walk around and have in the Summer?! Thanks to Urban Village Brewing they have a friend in me. I stopped by them twice! The frosé was purely good and the customer service was over amazing! When you see people enjoying what they love it shows. Do not just stop by, go twice!

Now for those who have friends or family who are like my husband in the sense that he dislikes sitting outside eating and drinking there is an air conditioning pod that allows you to sit and drink and be comfortable! So not even he can make an excuse not to go. Oh and there is complimentary parking too. So what’s the excuse?! There is none and can’t be none!!

Round out your time and be sure to stop at Essen Bakery! Between sweet treats and an amazing cold brew you will not be disappointed!!

I know what you’re thinking? This sounds too good to be true?! However it is real and it opens this Saturday in Northern Liberties!

Here are the offerings for the public opening this Saturday:

It opens at 7am their normal hours but the grand opening activities won’t start until 10am! Fit Academy will have work out demos from 11am-2pm! 11am-4pm will be a bounce house for the kids-prime time to tire the little ones out. City Rhythm will provide live entertainment from noon-4pm! There will be local DJs from 4-8! Let me take the moment to shout out DJ Jason Weiss who played every song I had not heard in some time! It helped me move between eateries and I had an amazing time!

Also for those who want to bring their pups, there is an adjacent dog park and plenty of cool water for them as well! Just make sure they have leashes and be courteous to other dogs and dog parents alike!

The Piazza Pod Park is located at 1075 Germantown Avenue!

Happy Birthday Naila

Today is such a holiday in my world. My oldest is 10! 10 years of love. 10 years of peace! 10 years of pure joy!

I love that I was chosen to be her mother! She has been amazing since I first laid eyes on her. I had her 6 weeks early due to me suffering from preeclampsia. This is a condition that caused me to have elevated high blood pressure and other complications. It caused me to be on borderline seizure activity. From the time of them attempting to stop my contractions they told me they didn’t think her lungs were developed enough. I met with the NICU nurses who reassured me that no matter what happened she would be in great care.

After they realized my contractions wouldn’t stop they assumed it would produce enough to make her come down the birth canal but she didn’t. They then started to speed up the process and the pain was terrible. All of that and still no baby and I was in active labor for at least 2 days. Finally I was told I would have to have a C-section. At this point, I didn’t care what they did the only thing on my mind was her safety. Although I was in pain and having a lot of headaches due to my blood pressure, she was my main concern.

I got bumped several times to have the surgery, but at 11pm on May 26 we had a 4 pounds and 3 oz baby girl. She did everything the opposite of what I feared. She was hollering which meant her lungs were strong. She was still taken to the NICU. I barely saw her but I remember being sort of out of it but I was crying just hearing her. I kept asking if she was ok and everyone was all smiles. Thank you to all of the nurses in the NICU who hands down were everything we needed and more!

I went into recovery and a week and a half she was home. It was the longest time but having her home meant the world to me. She would go on to have several complications that required me to lose time at work, many hospital stays, etc. but I wouldn’t change a thing. Through it all, she has smiled and had the best disposition that you can’t help but want to smile back at her. Everyone who knows her or been around her, knows that she has a heart of gold.

To the best 10 year old who made me a mom, brought out to best in me, gives me constant joy, the best big sister, awesome friend, and an amazing mini-me daughter-Happy Birthday Gummi Bear!