Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Round 3 – Whole 30

March 1st, 2017

Happy March y’all!   I’m loving the sunshine we are seeing today & I’m feeling energized from all the Vitamin D I’ve been soaking up.    The days are getting longer qua daylight hours and I can practically smell Spring in the air.   It also seemed like a great time to kick off another Whole 30.    This will be my third one-  my first about a year ago which changed my life and how I felt so much, the second in August and now, this one.

I have heard quite a few people say that Whole 30 is hard.    No, honestly- it isn’t hard at all.   It takes thought, effort & in order to be 100% successful on the Whole 30 plan, you MUST be prepared.

I decided last week that it was time to do another Whole 30, so I started making mental notes (and some paper), of the things I knew I needed to do to set myself up for another Whole 30 success.

One of my favorite stores had boneless-skinless turkey breast on sale for an amazing price, so I called to see if they would grind some for me, but it wasn’t something that they do.  No problem- I did a little Googling and found a method to grind my own using the food processor.  Earlier this morning I spent some time doing exactly that.

I made some almond butter-   nothing but roasted almonds and salt.   That’s it.     Forget the fact that I burned the first batch because I got busy with something and remembered when I smelled the scent of burnt almonds (it’s not a good smell y’all).   The second  batch was a success.  I know exactly what’s in it, which is important.

I purchased and stuck in the freezer some packages of my favorite Whole 30 compliant bacon.   Plus, I found sweet potatoes on sale for a great price & decided to buy an entire box.   Kept cool, they keep for ages, so why not?

I also picked up some avocados, something I pretty much keep on hand all the time anyway, but this ensures I don’t run out.

Those are the ‘main’ things I’ve done thus far to ensure that I can manage without little stress and rock the next month.

 

More information can be found by visiting whole30.com.

Day 66- 100 Happy Days

February 4th, 2015

66I remember taking these on the way to visit a good friend.     The day before had been rainy, and seeing the blue skies, which made for a perfect day to walk, was just what my soul needed.

 

Attached to this ‘happy day’ was the following:  Seeing blue skies after rainy days, quaint flower shops bursting with color, and a building that has ‘diddy’s’ name, not only brings a smile to my face, but is happy times three.

 

On the Eve of My 46th Birthday

July 11th, 2013

I’ve been in quiet introspect most of the week thinking about the ending of yet another year and the beginning of a new one. I know- so many of us do that on the eve of the new calendar year, and I do that too, but then it’s more of a reflection of where the year took me- and the goals I’d like to make for the coming year. On the eve of my 46th birthday, my reflections are a little different.

I see myself as the perpetual student- always learning and growing. So as another year of being me comes to a close, I can’t help but pause and think about the past year and the gifts it has given me.

The biggest gifts this past year and not in any particular order are somewhat the obvious- good health, my family (Marcel obviously falls under family) and true friends. I am grateful beyond words.

Beyond these obvious gifts lie moments of joy- side aching laughter- and pain. Yes, you read that correctly, pain. I’m not going to focus a lot on the painful aspects of the past year, other than to say that some of my biggest life lessons have came through the pain.
Sometimes- things happen. We all tend to want to place blame- but if we can see beyond the shattered hearts and sprinkling of lies, there is great lessons to be found.

My first lesson was- “This isn’t about me.”  When I didn’t get that on the first lesson- the second lesson followed, which was an echo to the first- “This isn’t about me.” … and so the story goes. I think for a while trying to make sense of nonsense had me thinking that somehow someone else’s stuff was in relation to something I had done. I’ve learned that it isn’t- and truth is, it usually isn’t, regardless of how it may look at first glance.

Now granted- I’m far from perfect and I make more than my share of mistakes- and when I do- I am woman enough to admit that.

I learned in a big way about respecting boundaries of others. When you don’t- it says a lot about you. It doesn’t mean people aren’t there for you when you need them- it simply means they can’t always do what you need, because ultimately we have to take care of ourselves first- We can’t expect to be there for others with an empty tank. It’s so important to respect others- even if we don’t understand, and don’t take it personally- it really isn’t about you.

One of my other lessons was that when my integrity is put to the test- that I didn’t blow it. Granted, I wanted to during a few really testing moments- but I did not. I didn’t let someone else’s stuff cause me to go outside of who I am. *See Lessons numbers 1 and 2- It wasn’t about me.*

Earlier in the year- I’d heard a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes- and he talked about letting people go when they walk away. I don’t know about you- but that’s a hard one for me, but it’s something I learned- when people walk away- either physically or mentally- let them go. Trust me, there is a reason for it, and sometimes it’s far beyond the scope of what our minds and eyes can comprehend. Don’t be angry- (or at least try not to be), but instead, wish them well and let them go.

That leads me to another lesson- People don’t always come into our lives for a lifetime. I know- I know- when I have a friendship or any type of relationship with someone- I go into it with my eyes and mind wide open. I usually don’t go into things looking at them as temporary or fleeting relationships- and I do take them seriously. So it’s hard when you have an idea that someone is in your life for a lifetime- and your paths become so different that the road converges in the woods and you have to let go and move on. It’s not easy- but it’s necessary for our own growth. To quote Bishop Jakes again- he mentioned in another sermon that as we grow- if the people we surround ourselves with doesn’t grow along with us (and they don’t always) then we have to let go and move on. Because if they aren’t growing with us- that only means that they can hold us back and keep us from growing. He is right. Another lesson- don’t let anyone dull my sparkle and keep me from growing.

 

Which leads to yet another lesson from this past year- When we have to move on and let go- it is painful. Call it growing pains- if you will. Those are real emotions and not to be swept under the carpet or diminished- instead as Iylana Vanzant so eloquently puts- we have to “feel”, “deal” and then ultimately “heal”.  You can’t skip a step, because it will come back to bite you in the bootay.

In letting go I’ve learned that new doors open, and this year many new doors and opportunities have opened. My business is doing well- and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for the learning experiences and the continued vision that I have, with changes and implementations that I believe will continue to allow me to grow and prosper.

I’ve also opened the doors to new friendships- and some friendships that have become deeper and richer. I can’t begin to express the joy that I’ve felt because of these relationships. I am blessed beyond measure.

Today- I had an early happy birthday email from a dear friend. She’s on vacation and will return home at the end of the month- where we’ll be getting together soon after her return. She said she had a feeling that this upcoming year was going to be one of my best ever- and ironically, I’ve had that same feeling. The fact that she thought of me while she has been jetting from place to place warmed my heart- and another true example of friendship in the purest form.

As the last day of my 45th closes and taps on the heels of 46- I am joyous. I am grateful. I am full of love and happiness. Mostly- I am blessed. The new day will dawn and the door is wide open. Opportunities lie at my feet just waiting to be grasped. The sky is the limit- and I feel like soaring.

 

46- I welcome you, and for those of you who are traveling this journey with me- I’m grateful.

When People Can Walk Away…

August 11th, 2012

Human nature is so fascinating to me.
I watched something earlier this year that said when decide something no longer works for us and make a change- that there are those people who will resist that change and fight you tooth-and-nail. I knew this to be true because I’d seen it from a few people in my life when I decided that I would back slowly away from their toxicity and continue on. I didn’t make a big spectacle about it- because that isn’t generally how I roll- I just realized that being around toxic people was having a toxic effect on me- even when I wasn’t ‘participating’ in their toxicity games. I stepped back and that was that in my eyes. It wasn’t in theirs- but that’s another story that I won’t spend my energy or time going into.

I believe as human beings we grow to expect things from certain people- at least some of us do. I’ve found over the years that the less expectations you have from a person- the less likley you are to get your feelings hurt for some reason that more than likely isn’t about you.

Earlier this year- I had someone accuse me of ‘abandoning them as a friend’ because I had not contacted them in the manner that they expected me to. I had reached out to them- time and time again- never to hear a word from them- until the day came that I got this email about what a crappy friend I was and how I didn’t care-

To say I was surprised was a complete understatement. The thing is- I can’t think of a time in my life that I had EVER failed to be there for this person, but they had decided how things were- and nothing I could say would change it. There had always been a pattern with this person- when they would talk about how I prefered to be around other people above them (which absolutely wasn’t true) I always went on and on about how it wasn’t true- reassuring them time and time again. This time- I simply said that I’d always been there and that the ‘friend’ that I had always been hadn’t changed- but I wasn’t sure what they wanted from me and asked them to define what they needed in the friendship. They didn’t respond and I haven’t heard from them since, and before you ask- I’m completely OK with that.

It took me a little while- because this is someone I’ve known my entire life- and someone that I still care about and will always love as a friend, but I’m no longer catering to energy vampires! (notice the exclamation point at the end of that sentence.) It doesn’t mean I don’t care about them, but it means I care about me enough to not constantly be involved in their self-created turmoil. If you are happy where you are – great.

I noticed a while back that other members of the family have followed suit- and while I do completely understand it- I do find it sad. But, you won’t see any protesting on my part, because I know without a doubt that my integrity is intact here- and I’m all about people doing what works for them.

You may be wondering if I am hurt- and the answer is NO! There was a time when I would have been. I would have felt hurt- betrayed and the list goes on, but I’ve since grown up and realized that some people have a chapter in our lives- and sometimes their part of being in our life story has come to an end, which is the case here.

I think because I’ve gotten older- (and hopefully more wise) I prefer to surround myself with people who are positive- and who aren’t toxic or drama seeking. This life is a short one- and I believe it’s important to be around people who will encourage and uplift each other- support and be there- be respectful and yet love you where you are-not where they want you to be.

As T.D. Jakes would say- I want to surround myself with ‘gallon’ people.

I watched a YouTube video yesterday- also with T.D. Jakes from a sermon of his where he talks about when people walk away from us- to let them go! That is not always easy- because I believe as human beings we want to hold on to what was- or our idea of how things should be, plus we hold on to the hope that these things will happen. I won’t say they can’t- but it’s at our own expense that we stick around in situations that aren’t working.

So why try to paste and super glue something that clearly isn’t working? Sometimes we try and it just doesn’t work- and sometimes people just aren’t as committed to whatever it is- (relationship, friendship, business partnership- etc) as we are, so let them go, or if you go- know that that person’s part in your story has come to pass- keep moving forward.

Let them Go!

Got My Groove Back

February 22nd, 2012

After being in the land of vertigo for a week and not being able to do much of anything at all, I was thrilled to be on the other side of it and back in the groove of life. Oddly, the vertigo left almost as fast as it came and the sinus issue that was going on also broke up and has ‘left the building’ otherwise known as my body!!

I really started feeling better Monday afternoon, and since then I’ve been trying to catch up around the house. As much as Marcel tried to keep everything organized, he didn’t dust or do the vacuuming daily and trust me this house was in serious need of vacuuming, dusting and general cleaning.

On top of that- I’ve been prepping for the big cupcake order I have to make and deliver tomorrow. I’ve been a little nervous about getting it all done in one day- but I’ve taken care of all the prep work and I think it’s going to be much easier tomorrow because I have a plan of attack and I think it will make things run pretty smoothly.

Friday I’m trying out a new recipe in the cupcake kitchen, but in mini size and I’ll have them at a party I’m planning for Saturday. It has been a busy, albeit great week. I’m so happy to be back in the groove of things. I’ve met two new people, spent some time with friends and have been cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Tonights dinner is beef and bean stew. It is SO good. I’ve had it simmering for ours and I’m certain Marcel will love it.

By the time Sunday rolls around- things should be pretty calm around here and I should be close to caught up. Right now- I have a warm bath and a cup of hot tea waiting for me.

Holding Myself Accountable

November 24th, 2011

Some of you may or may not remember- but a couple of years ago I lost a significant amount of weight. It took me about 11 months to lose as much as I did- but I still had quite a bit to lose before reaching my goal. At that point- I don’t really know what happened, aside from the fact that I guess you could say that life got in the way and I allowed the stresses of life to get in my way of reaching my goal. I maintained, but I didn’t get where I wanted to be, but I’ve never given up reaching that goal, even though I haven’t actively been striving for it.

I was left with a lot of stretch marks that I was less than thrilled about. It wasn’t that they weren’t there before I lost the weight, but my skin was stretched so tight that I really didn’t notice them as much- until I shed the pounds. I have thought about trying the best stretch mark cream to see if it would possibly help remove them or at least make them much less visible. I made a promise to myself that once I met my goal weight that I would do just that.

This year, in spite of my good intentions, I’ve managed to put on a few pounds and I’m not thrilled about it. I haven’t beat myself up, simply because I know that I haven’t made the right food choices and I sure haven’t been exercising the way I should. I know better, and I’m in the process of getting to the mindset of making better choices again and getting back into a regular exercise routine. I feel better when I do, and I know that I need it- my body needs it.

I’m writing this in hopes that ‘putting this out there’ will help me be accountable as I try to get myself back on track and start taking care of me again. I have somehow forgotten to do that lately and it’s time I remembered. It’s time.

The Road Less Traveled

August 3rd, 2011

Sorry for my absence around here-  I have good reason, really I do.   Y’all know that I talked a while back about a cross-roads of sorts that I was at and that I’d been doing some research and trying to make some decisions.  Well, that day finally came.

It technically came a few weeks ago, but officially it came yesterday.   I started a business-  a cupcake business to be excact.    As you know- cupcakes are HUGE these days and since I love baking and enjoy making people happy with my little baked treats- I figure there would be nothing more fun and satisfying than to be able to share that love on a larger scale by selling them.

I’ve been learning the ins and outs of all that I need to do to get started- meeting with various agencies and such- and yesterday I officially became registered- got a Tax ID number and all that fun stuff.  Now all the hard work begins.

I still have a while before I’ll be officially up and running- since mom and dad are coming and I wanted to be able to spend some time with them and not worry about work- but while I plan fun things for us to do-I’ll also be working on a website- and hopefully coming up with some marketing ideas so that as soon as they leave- the site will be ready to go live and we’ll go from there.

I’m excited, and yet very nervous at the same time.   I don’t know where this road will take me- but I’m sure the journey is going to be a great one.  It was definitely a step outside of my comfort zone and I’m still adjusting- including a few minor meltdowns, but nothing I can’t handle.

I’ll keep you posted though- but it’s official- I’m a business owner.

15 Minutes to Live- Trust30

June 1st, 2011

15 Minutes to Live-

You just discovered you have 15 minutes to live.

  • Set the timer for 15 minutes.
  • Write the story that has to be written.

 

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Given 15 minutes to live-  there are so many questions and factors that come into play… Will I be alone when I find out?   Will I be surrounded with family and friends?     I will assume that I’m surrounded with all of my family and friends when I find out that I have 15 minutes left in life-    I would want everyone to know just how much they have meant to me over the years, and also how much I love them.    I would want to  make sure they knew that in spite of not maybe always showing it- I was grateful for them all.   

I would want to be surrounded with those who matter the most-  those who love me, accepted me and nourished my soul.   I would want to be able to live in that moment- and not look back at the past being filled with regret in those last moments.   I would pray not only for myself- but also for those who would be left behind- those who would be hurting.    Each moment would count and not be spent thinking looking over my shoulder about things I had no control over.        I would want to be surrounded by love. 

 

 

 

Support

February 19th, 2011

Two days ago on Facebook, I saw that someone I’ve known for several years announced that it was an amazing concept, but the best way to actually lose weight was diet and exercise. I haven’t seen her in quite some time, but it always makes me happy when I see people wanting to change their lives for the better, even if I don’t know them.

I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve changed to be more ‘healthy’ over the years in this journey of mine, not just because I wanted to lose weight but also because I want to be healthy and ultimately, hopefully live longer.

The thing that surprised me is that one friend of hers in particular, and someone that I don’t know at all, suggested that she skip the excercise and start taking weight loss supplements because she said it worked much faster. I am a firm believer that everyone should work their own program and do what works for them- because we are all different and so are our bodies, but sometimes the best path to take isn’t the one that gets you there the fastest.

The most important thing when you are on a journey like this- SUPPORT from those who love you.

One Day at a Time

February 18th, 2011

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here- but this week I started attempting to detox from sugar and all the ‘junk’ that I’ve been allowing myself over the last (too long) while and started eating healthier. Even after three days, I’m already feeling more energetic and know that once I really start exercising that I’ll be building lean muscle mass and that’s the best of the fat burners that one can find.

As I’ve learned time and time again- it really isn’t about the food and only the food, but then again- is it ever? What I do know is that this will be MY year for many things, and I’m looking forward to seeing it all unfold and all the lessons that come along with it.

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