I love this blog & I’ve gotten so many great tips for traveling with kids from this very savvy mom. We love beaches so this is on my short list.
When your somebody’s wife & a little person’s mama there’s a filter that is necessary to navigate through life.
In fact, this filter extends to every woman who is just trying to make through her day and navigate a web of responsibilities.
I’m not a perfect person so I watch my swear words in front of the kids of course….But that’s not the filter I’m talking about.
This about saying what you want to say in the most out loud #nofilter way. Journaling, is the certainly a thing but it’s a one way conversation. Having a shrink, is such an empowering experience. For 50 minuets, it’s all about how to make you better. How to get out your own way.
There are so many people who don’t want to talk about mental health. But it’s not, optional. There a saying, that you can’t pour from an empty cup. So whether or not your nurturing your career, a relationship, friendships, or children, you DESERVE to have unbiased insight to help you thrive.
My first experience with a counseling was in college. Physiology 101, you got extra credit for every session you attended at the counseling center. This way Ph.D students could practice on you. Ok cool! Well after my about 10 minutes in the first session, The student said “ummm wait right here.” An older woman walked in and said “I’m going to be taking over from here.”
After about 5 sessions and 25 bonus points later, I had talked through my issues with father and I had never felt better. Of course, I needed more sessions but the semester was over.
I would tap into counseling services a couple more times while in college. When adulting kicked in, I quickly figured out how to use my mental health benefits at work.
Here’s the thing, we all have our own brand of cray cray. Why exhaust the people you love with your rants. It’s cool for a while, but it gets old. Save yourself and the people you love and find someone to talk to.
Everyone who knows me best, knows I have flare for the dramatic! So at end of the year, I can hear the cast from RENT singing those legendary words “how do you measure a year?” Undeniably this has been a tough year in a LOT of ways. Equally, in an attempt to offset some hard ships it has been a year of incredible experiences. Funny how life works that way …
All over facebook, Instagram, or your social media preference of choice people try to sum up the year in only 9 pictures. Think about it… how many pictures are currently in your camera roll? Mine has 723 pictures from this year alone (ok I’ll subtract out a few random selfies). The thought of my year summarized in ONLY 9 pictures was giving me anxiety and for good reason.
When I looked back on 2017, there were a few common threads that have over shadowed the weight of the world around me. Love, Laughter, & Food. I think you would have to agree, that the best times in your life this year revolved around these 3 things. So to close the door on 2017 and only carry the things that have brought me joy into 2018 … Ladies & Gentleman my top 9 -ish.
- My grandmother is 96 and still wears red lipstick
- My hubby is the strongest most sincere man I know
- My mom is my rock! I’m talking Gibraltar
- My Sisi is ride or die — She’s basically my Solange
As my Grandma Cox would say “my God we we’ve had some good times.”
2017 ran the spectrum from D.C. to Thailand, Janet Jackson to Bruno Mars, Ghost Tours to Arcades. I can honestly say I have shared some incredible laughs this year.
We were laughing so hysterically at the Brazilian steak house the table next to us gave the waiter $$ to but towards our meal because “we just looked like we were having a great time.”
Bar crawls to the blues, 2017 has taught me that a flexibility will always guarantee a great time.
“I’m here for a good time, not long time” – DRAKE
This will come as no surprise that the most interesting food I’ve eaten this year was in Thailand. I no longer feel like a complete alien in my local Asian market. Who know that you were suppose to leave the roots on the cilantro to use in your soup stock. While I’m at it, how come no one told me cilantro & coriander were the SAME THING!
And just as I expected Sushi is so must more amazing in SE Asia (duh) and Thai hot and regular hot are not the same thing!
So thank you Thailand you take the top 9 most delicious things I’ve eaten this year.
SEASONS OF LOVE
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love
Seasons of love
Seasons of love
Southern Fried City Girl
This particular Saturday morning, I’m looking at my 2-year-old son playing with puzzles and looks at me and said: “Mommy, this is too hard, but I got it.”
All parents have read about bed or morning routines. Even Daniel Tiger and Elmo have this covered. My family has always believed in the power of words or confessions. My mother confessed to my sister every morning: ” You are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath.” I believe (& think my SiSi would agree) that these words resonated in her mind when she wanted to throw in the towel.
Every night we pray for my son to be thankful for family, friends, and provisions. But additionally, I pray (out loud) for my son to be strong & brave. I never saw that world as a scary place until I became a mother. These glasses of parenting put a filter on everything as terrifying. Most importantly, I know the world will be unkind to a young black man. The joy he has today is delicate and needs to be preserved. I want to protect him, cover him, shield him… but I know I can’t. I can only pray that he always finds the strength to be joyous, strength to trust God and Strength to be brave enough to keep moving forward when the world will feel cold.
I guess, I never meant for this reflection to be so emotionally heavy. I am generally not that type of writer, but out of your heart flows the truth. Take the time to speak life over the children your world. Nieces, nephews, God-children, neighbors, & friends every child deserves to hear that they are loved and amazing.
Southern Fried Mommy
I was invited to join a friend for her 40th Birthday Girls trip to Thailand. It didn’t take me long to say yes. In fact, within a week I had already secured support staff (my hubby & mom) to hold down the fort for 12 days.
4 months seemed to creep by I was so excited I had nothing else to do with my energy but google. Yes, Google (verb). I googled everything from the weather in the region to our choices for day trips. Although I had nothing to plan, the planner in me was still planning. I guess in my mind all those years my mama told me that God blesses a prepared heart, she was actually talking about this moment. Not career choices or late night partying back in college. Nope, she was talking about traveling halfway around the world and leaving your family behind (picture her saying it as you read this). So I knew the one thing I had to do was return safely. If I had come back to the states with anything as petty as a cold. I would never live it down.
So imagine my anxiety when I realized we were going to sea canoe in Phang Nga Bay! Not just a boat tour but canoeing into the limestone caves or “Hong” in Thai.
Don’t forget to face your fears…
And of course, I can’t forget the food. All fresh and prepared onboard our boat for the day. Locally caught and sourced… The was basically canoe, eat, repeat for about 6 hours.
Fear will stop you from having amazing experiences and seeing things you would have never seen. It’s important to know while growth sounds exciting it is and will be uncomfortable. But from my experience, its always been worth it.
Travel +Liesure has a great run down about the perfect Autumn Food Festivals across the U.S.
3 of recommendations on the list are located in the SouthEastern U.S. Proximity to home definitely puts these Southern FEASTivals on the top of my list. After the top 3 it’s all about interest for this Southern Fried City Girl.
1. Arkansas Cornbread Festival Little Rock, AR
Did I know this was even a thing? NOPE. I will assume you didn’t either. Cornbread is such a staple in the southern dinner table. So much so, my Grandma told me after I got married that if “he ain’t eating your cornbread he’s eating someone else’s” (remind me to tell you that story later).
2. Beignet Fest New Orleans, LA
Sweet or Savory ( yeah, said savory) beignets are little-fried pieces of heaven. Even if you have been to the iconic Cafe’ Du Monde at 3 pm or 3 am, this French donut fest amps it up to the next level. Babes & Beignets has a great post about what to expect from the 2017 event.
3. Fall for Greenville Greenville, South Carolina
While the other festivals focus on one component of a satisfied palate. This SC festival is a “something for everybody”, “eat what you want” 3-day festival adventure.
4. Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta Santa Fe, New Mexico
5. Avocado & Margarita Street Festival Morro Bay, CA
6. Hawaii Food and Wine Festival Big Island, Maui, Oahu
7. Colorado Mountain Winefest Palisade, Colorado
8. Feast Portland Portland, Oregon
9. Pickle Day New York, NY
10. Wellfleet OysterFest Cape Cod, MA
11. Eagle River Cranberry Fest Eagle River, WI
12. Lewistown Chokecherry Festival Lewistown, Montana ( sorry Montana, I don’t know what a Chokeberry is, but I can’t wait to try it)
Which Autumn Festivals would make up your top 3? Which Fall Festivals would you and the Travel + Leisure list?
My dear husband works 6 days a week. So Sunday mornings have long been the perfect time for us to enjoy breakfast together. While I’m callin it breakfast it is truly brunch because we don’t seem to open our eyes before 8am. Even the 2 year old knows to “keep it down” until daddy wakes up.
I had already planned out my weekend menu in an attempt to not waste our budget on weekend splurges (like we’ve done all summer). I was feeling a little more gracious than normal and decided to cook breakfast flatbread.
Then it was just eggs, extra sharp cheddar, and ground turkey sausage to round out the meal.
Sure I could have just taken the same ingredients and served them all separately but the look on his face when he swore I had been cooking all morning was priceless. I almost felt bad because it literally took 15 min start to finish.
Mommy always eats last, so I made my version a little more grown up with a fried egg before I added my toppings.
- Naan Bread
- Eggs – 2 eggs per flat bread
- Turkey sausage (any sausage or omit for meatless option)
- Cheddar cheese (sharper the better)
- Tomato or Salsa **for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Ground meat
- Scramble or fry egg to your liking *slightly under cook eggs to avoid over cooking when Flatbread is placed in oven
- Assemble ingredients except topping on Naan bread
- Place in oven for Aprx. 5 min until warm and bread is soft.
- Serve warm with toppings
I could not have said it better myself, so I am honored to share it.
Today’s Motivational Monday Moment came to me after hearing the original song “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers. You know that great song that came out in 1972? If not, click the text and listen to it. Awesome song.
That song was floating in my spirit as I went to go see the movie Girls Trip for the second time with another set of girlfriends this weekend. So, my Motivational Monday moment is about the importance of friends. Friendship is essential to the soul and you should never go through life without having a couple of friends that you can depend on.
Not just your spouse, but your girlfriends or homeboys. You need someone who knew you before and has invested time in nurturing and developing a connection with you. Someone that you can call on when the s*it hits the fan. The person that not only knows where all…
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On a recent family vacation I needed a punch that I could make by the pitcher. 12 of my family members and friends had a great 4th of July weekend outside of Atlanta, in the Chattahoochee Hills. We know the majority of would certainly be spent enjoying the pool. My hubby already had already made plans for the grill and next we need a cocktail.
This recipe first appears on Beyond Frosting as Tequila Pineapple Punch. Good Tequila in large quantities can get rather expensive. So I thought why not a Rum Punch without the heavy Fruit Punch vibe.
Next, I needed a tequila. Lately I’ve leaned a lot more towards Repesado than traditional blanco tequilas for cocktails.
Add oranges and lemons ….viola’. The perfect summer pool concoction was born.
I usually don’t do recipes. But here you go:
PINEAPPLE RUM PUNCH (60 oz pitcher):
- Can of pineapple juice
- 2 cups Malibu Black
- 1 cup repesado tequila
- Seltzer or club soda
- Oranges / lemons
Slice fruit and place in pitcher or punch bowl. Stir in ingredients and mix. Chill punch or serve over ice.
Back in June I treated one of my very best friends to brunch at Hog and Hominy. My pooh bear joined us because who wants to bother with a babysitter at 10am.
The food really was fantastic. The shrimp and grits were amazing, perfect flavor and richness. The biscuits were also delicious. You could absolutely taste that they were made from scratch. Next time, I will get the gravy on the side and maybe Pooh will at least try it.
While I enjoyed catching up with old friends & great food. I just knew my little pooh bear would love something familiar, like pizza. I had never been so wrong. I ordered a cheese pizza. That’s it just cheese. How did I fail so miserably, you ask?
I somehow assumed Pooh Bear could appreciate fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce cooked a brick oven.
He did not appreciate it at all! In fact his only words were ” No, MOMMY” and ” More CHEESE”. Then this happened …. he smiled & said “CHEESE”.