The holiday season is among us. During this time of year there are lots of ways to give back to the community. This past weekend I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Salvation Army. I assisted in the Toys for Tots registration and I helped with putting labels on the tags for the Angel Tree.
If you have never heard of the Toys for Tots program, it’s a wonderful program that was established by the US Marine Corps . It’s a program that helps low-income families get toys for their children for Christmas. In my area the Salvation Army has the angel tree program where they also help with providing clothes to low-income kids for Christmas. As a team the Angel Tree program and the Toys for Tots program along with our local food bank teams up to provide a wonderful experience for low income families who other wise would not be able to afford for their family during the holiday.
Usually I help out at the depot when it’s time for the parents to pick up the toys, clothes and food but this year I decided I’m going to do both. When the email went out saying that volunteers were needed for the registration drive I jumped on it.
I think it’s a good idea to give back to the community. Even if you can’t give money, your time is just as valuable and it’s much needed. Here are 10 ways that you can volunteer in your community.
If you’re not able to get out but you want to volunteer, you can always go to volunteermatch.org for online volunteer opportunities. Volunteer Match is a non-profit that matches you with volunteer opportunities in your community as well as online.
Do you volunteer in your community? I would love to hear about it. Please comment below. Remember it takes a village to make things right. Be a part of your village, your community. Lend a helping hand. It’s good for the soul.
On Friday I reconnected with a friend. This was not just any old friend. This was a friend that I had known for years. The type of friend that you are so close with that you are more like family than friends.
Last year we had a falling out. At the time of the falling out I didn’t even know we had a falling out until I tried to text her several times & she didn’t return my text which was not like her. I knew she was in good health because her kids would have told me if she wasn’t. Me being the stubborn person that I can be sometimes, I decided that if she is not going to talk to me then I wouldn’t talk to her because I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong.
At the time I was saying to myself that over the years I have always been the person to apologize first, whenever we had a disagreement & I didn’t want to do it this time. I didn’t feel I did anything wrong so why should I apologize.
Well days turned to months, and months turned into a year. Life events started to happen and as the life events were happening I started to miss my friend. Mind you this is someone who I used to talk to almost everyday. Can you imagine not sharing a life event with one of your dearest friend?
As the months went on I kept feeling the nudging to call her. The more I tried to resist it the more I felt the need to reach out. Finally I decided to write her an email. I decided that even though I didn’t feel I did anything wrong the fact of the matter is that she felt I did & I cherish our friendship, so I apologized.
As we sat down for lunch and said what we had to say, we both realized that what I thought she was upset about was not what she was upset about, and what she was upset about was something that I didn’t do. This all could have been avoided earlier if only we would have taken the time out to speak to each other and clear the air.
A lot of times people feel like apologizing is an admission to wrong doing so you always hear people say “Why should I apologize when I didn’t do anything wrong?” This is the wrong way to think because admission of wrong doing is only one definition of apology. Another definition is that it also means a spoken or written defense against an accusation, according to Merriam-Webster.
This means that even though you may not have done anything wrong, its ok to apologize in order to set the record straight and for how you may have made someone feel. You can’t tell people how to feel, and with that being said you should never get tired of apologizing whenever someone feels hurt by you.
The bible says in Galatians 6:9 let’s not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. In other words don’t grow tired of doing good, because your reward will eventually come.
Doing good is a choice. I decided to do good and was able to get my sister friend back. Now that was a great reward.
It’s a Taco Tuesday remix. No today is not Tuesday but it’s a wonderful day for tacos because its National Taco Day!!
I love, love, love tacos! I mean I have never met a taco that I didn’t like. Taco’s are for everybody. There are beef tacos, chicken tacos, veggie tacos, fish tacos, steak tacos, pork tacos, shrimp tacos. You name it, and it can go in a taco.
I love national taco day because it gives me another reason to eat something I love. Not that I really need a reason to eat a taco. I mean I can literally eat tacos every day. Being that it’s national taco day, I get to eat a tacos for free and so do you! Who doesn’t like free? It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
You get a taco! You get a taco! Everybody gets a taco!
In honor of National Taco day here is a list of National Taco Day discounts that I found on USA today’s site. Some are free and some are not. Discounts may not apply to all stores so ceck with your local store.
Taco Bell: At participating locations on Wednesday, the chain has a special “National Taco Day gift set.” For $5, get four classic Taco Bell tacos — Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos and the Crunchy Taco — “gift wrapped” in a limited edition wrapper and specially boxed. Learn more about the deal here. Taco Bell also has teamed up with teen retailer Forever 21 to create a collection of bodysuits, sweatshirts and hoodies, which will go on sale Oct. 11 at select Forever 21 stores.
Tijuana Flats: Get $2 tacos and $2 Mexican drafts Wednesday at participating locations. Many locations of the fast-casual Tex-Mex chain have a Tuesday taco deal called Tijuana Tuesdaze where two tacos, chips and a medium drink are $5.99. Also, all locations have a take-home “Hardly Homemade” taco meal kit for $31.99. Find locations here.
On the Border: Mini tacos are 50 cents each when you dine-in Wednesday at participating locations. The chain also has a 20% off taco catering items through Oct. 8 with promo code Taco17. Learn more here.
Chuy’s: Crispy beef tacos are $1 with any order Wednesday at participating locations and get $1 off Mexican beer. And if you dress up like a taco, you earn a free meal.
Del Taco: New and existing members of Del Taco’s Raving Fan eClub will get a buy one Queso Crunch Taco, get one free coupon to use Wednesday at participating locations. Also for signing up for the rewards program at www.deltaco.com/ravingfan, get a coupon for two free grilled chicken tacos.
Qdoba: If you’re at the Champs level of the Qdoba Rewards program with 25 visits to qualify, you’ll earn 1,000 bonus points with any purchase Wednesday. Sign up the rewards program here.
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill: The chain is celebrating Applebee’s Neighborhood Appreciation Month all October long with $1 margaritas, also known as the Dollarita, at participating locations. Learn more here and find locations here.
Blaze Pizza: Not an official National Taco Day deal, but Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza has a pop-up pizza party after 4 p.m. Wednesday for its first annual Noncon4mist Day with $4 pizzas at more than 200 locations. Along with $4 dine-in and customizable pizzas Wednesday, customers will get a bounce-back coupon to receive $4 off a pizza and drink during a future visit, redeemable through the Blaze Pizza mobile app. Find locations here.
California Tortilla: Buy one taco, get one free Wednesday. The Blackened Fish, California Sunset, Korean BBQ and Crunchy BBQ Ranch street tacos are included in this deal and there’s a limit of five free tacos per person. Sign up for the Burrito Elito rewards program here.
Red Robin: The gourmet burgers and brew chain’s new taco-burger mashup the Taco Tavern Double is available now through Dec. 31 for $6.99. Plus now through Nov. 5, when you buy a $25 limited edition Thor: Ragnarok Red Robin gift card, you’ll get a free movie ticket to the Marvel movie. Buy a gift card at the restaurant or online. Find locations here.
El Fenix: Get $4.99 taco plates with two crispy or soft tacos at participating locations of the Texas-based chain with a coupon posted on its website. Print the coupon or show the digital coupon on your smartphone. One coupon is valid for up to 10 people in your party.
If you’re in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, here is a list of local discounts in the area. Again check with the store to make sure these discounts still apply.
3 Amigos – Chesapeake: $1 and $2 taco specials with the purchase of a drink from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
619 Cantina – Portsmouth: Three tacos and drink for $6.99
I can not believe fall is finally here. The leaves have already started to change and fall (wonder if that is why the season is called fall). I love this time of year. The air feels so crisp and cool. On the first day of fall it was 81 degrees on my side of Virginia but it was relaxing because 81 degrees in the fall is not the same as 81 degrees in the summer. In the summer it’s very humid where I live, but in the fall its so relaxing because of the little hint of cool air you feel ever so often.
During this is time of year I usually start nesting. I usually reorganize, deep clean and I start thinking of ways to decorate my home with all things fall. I also like to think of hearty meals to cook in the crock pot this time of year. To me the fall is all about comfort. It’s all about things that make you feel all all warm and fuzzy inside.
Decorating for fall always makes me feel good inside. I’m off to a late start this year because the weather has been so warm. This weekend I went to Walmart, Dollar tree and to the thrift store to get some fall decor and crafts so that I could decorate my home and not break the bank.
Below are the items I got from dollar tree. I used the flower for my wreath and I used the glass pumpkins as decor on a shelf. The pack of acorns, the glass vase, the maple leaves and the battery operated candle I used for my center piece.
Dollar Tree has a lot of fall decorations out this time of year and actually they have already started putting Christmas decor out. I love the Dollar Tree not only because everything is a dollar but because I can always find something useful in there (and no I’m not an affiliate for Dollar Tree although as much as I’m in there I wish I was).
Here is how I did my center piece: I already had the wooden bowl, the pine cones and the apples. I added the maple leaves, the candle and the vase. It’s not much but I think it’s cute and it only cost me $4.
As for my wreath well it’s ok. I still need to add some more to it. I got frustrated with it because the burlap wasn’t being friendly this time. I decided to hang it up anyways because sometimes you just have to let things be you’ll get the idea that you need to make it the way it should be.
I haven’t decided if I want to add more pine cones or more flowers. Maybe I should do both. I’ll post the finished product once I’m done. Tell me what you think of my crafts and if you have any ideas on how I should do this wreath I would love to hear them. If you’re doing any fall crafts I would love to hear about that as well. Comment below.
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to a hibachi restaurant for date night and in the restaurant they had bento boxes. I had never heard of them before so I became fascinated with them. At this particular restaurant majority of the bento boxes had sushi in them so I didn’t order one. Not that I don’t like sushi, because I absolutely love it, but this night I wanted something different.
However, since that night I have been thinking about the bento boxes. I’ve been wanting to know more about them. Like, can they be used for everyday life? How are they prepared? What are the rules to making them? So, I set out my google quest to get my answers. I was surprised to see that there are so many different kinds of bento boxes and a lot of info out there about them. Evidently this is not anything new. I was just late to the party, (LOL).
I learned that bento boxes have been around for centuries. Traditionally they were wooden boxes. According to Wikipedia, the bento box is part of Japanese culture and they date back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Traditionally Japanese bento boxes contain rice They are a great way to incorporate healthy options into your lunch. I’ve found that there are lots of sites out there that will help you get started on creating a bento box for work or for your kids lunch.
One site called Just Bento by Makiko Itoh provides you with the basics of getting started as well as healthy options to pack in your bento. She provides you with tips and ideas for a fun satisfying bento lunch experience. I love the fact that she tries to keep the bento lunches on the site under 600 calories. This makes bento an excellent choice for anyone who is watching their weight. If you’re like me and you need a visual, Maki also gives you a cool little grid to help with packing the lunch and she has a book that’s available on Amazon.
I feel like I’ve learned so much. Now that school is back in session and since my youngest daughter decided she wants to take her lunch. Even though I prefer that she eat school lunch (don’t judge me) but I agreed to let her take a lunch this year if she is willing to help me make the lunch sometime (again don’t judge me). I thought a bento box lunch would be a cool and creative way to pack a lunch. There are some really cool bento lunch ideas out there. Besides, having a sandwich for lunch can get boring.
The weather forecast says there is a storm warning for some areas and a storm watch for others. This means that we are to prepare for a storm. There are many ways we to prepare for a storm. You can go to the grocery store to gather your non-perishable items and your water. You can also go to the hardware store to gather supplies such as wood, shovels, and sandbags. It all depends on the kind of storm that you are preparing for. If you search online you will see that there is also a storm preparedness kit that you can purchase as well.
There are many ways to prepare for a storm caused by the weather but how do you prepare for the storms of life?
Did you know that the bible is our storm preparedness kit? It prepares us for the storms of life. It gives us the tools we need in order to withstand the troubles that come our way.
God never said there will not be troubles in life. In fact the bible tells us that in John 16:33 In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world. In that verse God is telling us that no matter what worldly troubles you may have, He is able to get you through them.
No matter what your storm is, whether it’s a natural storm, a financial storm, a relationship storm or a mental storm; take heart and know that God is with you. He will not leave you. He will give you the strength you need to make it through the storms of life.
Your storm may seem big, but God is bigger. While you’re in the midst of it you may not be able to see your way through but take heed, have faith, and know that God will bring you through the storm.
Excerpt from Mark 4:39-41
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
This has been a busy summer for me and my family. My daughter is now on a traveling dance team so between work, dance practices, competitions, graduations, family reunions and family cookouts we have been busy, busy, busy.
I’ve been so busy that I have neglected my duties as a wife. Not really. I just mean I haven’t cooked. Not that cooking is a wife’s duty but you get my drift and if you don’t, lighten up. LOL!
Anywho we’ve been eating out a lot lately. We’ve been eating out so much that my husband and the kids are like “Are you going to cook? We’re tired of fast food.” What kid you know says that? Most kids love eating out, so needless to say, that was the day I decided I was going to start planning my meals. I can’t keep subjecting my family to fast food no matter how busy my day gets. Besides that it’s expensive to eat out (well not really cause I’m a dollar menu queen). However, we all can agree though that it’s not healthy.
To get started on my menu planning I decided that I will take baby steps and just create a dinner menu planning guide for each day. By having a menu guide to reference I’m able to plan my meals around the category. For all seven days I came up with different categories for each day of the week. For example Taco Tuesday, this is where we eat a taco inspired dish such as tacos or nachos or something in that variation. Another example is ‘Try it Thursday’, this is where I introduce a new dish like a new vegetable or a new recipe.
Below you will find a list of my menu categories:
Monday – Meat Monday or No meat Monday
Tuesday – Taco Tuesday
Wednesday – Wing Wednesday
Thursday – Try it Thursday (introduce a new item or try a new recipe)
Friday – Freestyle Friday (The kids can cook whatever they like; a frozen pizza, some leftovers, whatever. It don’t matter cause I’m not cooking LOL!)
Saturday- Seafood Saturday
Sunday – Soulfood Sunday
If you noticed I threw in a free day. I call it ‘Freestyle Friday’! This is a day where as a mom you can be free. If you want to go out to eat this is the day to do it. If you want to order pizza this is the day to do it. If you can’t afford to eat out then make frozen pizza for dinner or if your kid wants breakfast for dinner, let them have it. It’s freestyle Friday so relax and enjoy.
Being a mom these days are tough. It’s not like it was back in the day. In today’s world even if you are a stay at home mom you’re still very busy doing a lot of things. You’re not just sitting there twiddling your thumbs so you deserve at least one day out of the week to just be free and not feel guilty about it.
I hope this menu planning guide helps you in planning healthy meals for your family. If you have any menu planning ideas I would love to hear them so please comment below.
For your free printable PDF copy of my menu planning guide please click the link below.
Today we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The famous civil rights leader and activist who fought for freedom and social justice for all americans through non-violence. The work he did for our country was extraordinary. Every year on the memorial of his birthday the news stations reports on his legacy.
Today however, was a little different. On Good Morning America today, the report was on the woman that shared a life with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; his wife Coretta Scott King. On today’s show Robin Roberts sat down with Bernice King, the youngest of the King children. They discussed the new memoir of Coretta Scott King, My Life, My Love, My Legacy written by journalist Barbara Reynolds.
I found it interesting to hear about the legacy of Coretta Scott King. Not only was she a devout wife, mother and Christian, she was also a civil rights leader and activist in her own right. During the interview Bernice King tells us that her mother was the architect of the King legacy and what we know of her father is due to her mother’s resilience and determination. In fact it is because of Coretta Scott King that we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She fought for 15 years to make Martin Luther King Jr day a federal holiday.
She was a very courageous woman. When the King family residence was bombed it was Coretta Scott King that was home at the time. Having her home bombed did not scare her off. She was dedicated to her husband and to the cause. She continued to fight for civil rights for many years to come.
There was never before seen interview clips that were shown of Mrs King. In one of the clips you hear Coretta Scott King recall a time when she spoke to her husband and she says how she told him, “I love being your wife and the mother of your children but if that was all I did I would go crazy.”
I must say, hearing her say that really puts a smile on my face. She was loving and caring but she was not timid. She spoke up for what she wanted. If you think of the fact that she was with him in the 50’s and 60’s and during those times a lot of women did not speak up for what they wanted. I love the fact that she had a voice. She was a very strong woman who spoke up for what she believed in whether it was in her home or outside of her home.
I can’t wait to order this book. I look forward to reading it. If you think this is going to be a good read please comment below .
Also check out the full GMA interview in the link below:
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” Coretta Scott King
When I started this blog last January I was on a quest to become a domestic goddess. I was committed to writing a blog post three times a week. The previous year has come to an end and a new year has begun; and well I’m no domestic goddess and it’s been a minute since I’ve written anything (I take that back. I write all the time but, I haven’t posted anything). My last post was April 2016, which was the same time I decided that I was going to be super mom and show my kids that I still knew how to do a round-off at the age of 39.
In case you don’t know what a round-off is, it’s when you do a cart-wheel but midway while your feet are in the air you twist your body so that you can land with both of your feet together. When I was younger and 50 pounds lighter, doing a round-off always made me feel like I was a gymnast like Dominique Dawes, Mary Lou Retton or somebody. However, on that day in April reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I did the round-off but when I landed I sprained my ankle. That’s when I realized that life as I know it is not the same. I’m not the same. I’m getting older and it’s time to face the fact that I can’t do everything.
I don’t know if the sprain caused it or the fact that I’m going to be 40 come this June, but that day I had an epiphany: IT’S OK TO NOT BE ABLE TO DO EVERYTHING. I used to say that anything I put my mind to, I can do. Now this may be true but, just because you think of something doesn’t mean you have to do it or that you should do it.
It’s also okay to say no from time to time. You don’t have to help everybody. I know to some that may seem mean and it may seem like it’s not the christian thing to do. However, sometimes the best way to help someone is not to help them. There is a very thin line between helping someone & enabling them.
Adding too much to your plate by trying to do everything and by trying to help everyone can cause you to be overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed can lead to you being stressed and being stressed can lead to health issues.
2 Corinthians 8:12-13 NLT tells usWhatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.
I like that verse because it reminds you that you can not give what you don’t have and that is ok. As a wife and a mother I used to feel guilty for not putting my family before myself. I usually try my best to make sure everything is done as it should be but now I’m like, it’s ok if it’s not. It’s ok if I forget things from time to time. It’s ok if I skip a week of laundry or if I don’t feel like cooking. It’s even ok if I decide to put myself first from time to time.
Putting yourself first does not make you a selfish person. It doesn’t make you a bad wife or a bad mother. Putting yourself first allows you to regroup. It allows you to be in tuned with the woman that you are so that you can be the best wife, mother, or caregiver to others.
As this year goes on I encourage each of you to take some guilt free time out for you. Take a day to finish that book you’ve been reading; go shopping for yourself; get that mani-pedi. Go to the beach and relax under the sun; or stay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. Whatever you chose just make sure you chose a time out for you to enjoy yourself.
Last weeks lunch break connection posts were about connecting with a spouse. This week is going to be about friendship connections.
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about friends having an issue because their friend is friends with the someone they don’t like. There are so many different memes out there saying, “Don’t trust someone who is friends with your enemy” or “If your friends are chilling with the enemy guess who is the topic of discussion. Even on reality TV shows, there seems to be an issue with this as well.
Personally I think its childish to not be friends with someone just because another person don’t like them. Just because a friend has had a bad experience with someone doesn’t mean you are going to have that same experience. We were not all made the same. Which means we all have different personalities. Some personalities click and some don’t. As an adult there are different levels to the person that you are. You may be a mother, a wife, a business woman, a student, a chef or whatever. Each level of your life requires a different hat and with those hats comes different people. This is a small world in which we live, so some of the people you find yourself interacting with from time to time may just be an enemy of a friend.
Does that make you a disloyal friend because you talk to the frenemy about a business deal? Maybe you and the frenemy have kids that are on the same soccer team. Is it disloyal for you to carry a conversation with that person while watching your kids play? No. It doesn’t make you disloyal it makes you an adult. As an adult you are able to interact with people from different walks of life without compromising your integrity.
A true loyal friend to me is not one that agrees on everything that you do. Its one that is truthful to you at all times. One that has your back even in your absence. Meaning they can interact with the frenemy and your name will not be brought up but, if it does come up they will defend your honor like a soldier in the military defending its country. They will not let anybody talk bad about you.
Think about it how can you say their loyal if they are only loyal because they do and agree with everything that you do? That doesn’t make them a loyal friend; it makes them a puppet.