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  • me, mom and Tracey
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Two sisters taking care of their mom while trying to live life and find love.


2 Chicks and 1 Old Lady

Two sisters taking care of their mom while trying to live life and find love.


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05February

Tapa Toro: A New Orlando Brunch Gem

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve had a great week. I know you’re probably enjoying the Super Bowl. But, I thought this would be the perfect moment to drop a post about another “brunch gem” that has decided to bless “The City Beautiful” with all of it’s goodness, Tapa Toro.

Tapa Toro is a Tapas Bar and Paella Pit that has landed on International Drive near the “Orlando Eye”. It’s a locally owned culinary powerhouse that is led by the dynamic Chef Wendy. Chef Wendy’s style is contemporary Spanish cuisine. Chef Wendy believes in delivering refreshing flavorful food that packs a sublimely subtle punch. I recently had the pleasure of having Chef Wendy take me on a brunch culinary adventure with the Central Florida Lady Bloggers, that I won’t forget.

Garnish
The beginning of our adventure :-)

 

When I arrived at Tapa Toro that day, I didn’t know what to expect. It was raining, and I had never been there before. So, I was truly open and anxious to try something new. When I walked into Tapa Toro, I was immediately blow away by the décor. I felt like I was transported to Madrid, the colors and leathers of the restaurant were inviting and mysterious. So, to say I was intrigued was an understatement.

Interior
Beautiful Views

 

The ladies immediately greeted me as they sat around an open demonstration kitchen area in the center of the restaurant. It was so inviting, and it was setup for us to make our own Blood Mary. Now, that probably sounds divine. But, to someone allergic to all tomato-based products, all I could think was at least I could drink the liquor :-) . But, Chef Wendy was determined to create the entire experience for me. So, she decided that she was going to make me a gazpacho base without tomatoes. You see they use gazpacho as the base for their Bloody Mary. So, it’s not your standard drink. When Chef Wendy came back with her “special mix”, I knew this was going to be a meal like no other. All I can say is perfection. She handled my allergy like a “BAWSE”, and she never stopped delivering the goods.

MockBloodyMary
No tomatoes or Epi Pens were used or harmed for this drink :-)

 

We moved to a table, and proceeded to sample their brunch menu. All I can say is that this is the spot you need to bring your man or girl after a night out, or even a night in :-).  There is something on this menu for everyone. Nothing was bad. I mean who doesn’t love “Chicken and Pancakes”? Chicken and Waffles are so 2016, Tapa Toro is on some next level stuff with this one. Did I mention the syrup is house made? Actually everything is house made, from the yogurt to the syrup Chef Wendy is making it all. That’s music to my ears. Nothing like enjoying an exceptional meal without a ton of preservatives, salt, etc. I’m just saying, health is important to good eating and life.

Chicken and Pancakes
The new standard, Chicken and Pancakes A.K.A. Milenesa De Pollo

 

On top of that, yes there are more reasons to go to Tapa Toro. They hold monthly cooking classes (can we say “date night”?), have live flamenco dancing, and the brunch in bottomless. That means you can load up on their delicious sangria, and enjoy an incredible meal. Tapa Toro has it all, so what are you waiting for? Get their ASAP, and enjoy a meal that will entice your senses on all levels. Enjoy!

bottomless sangria
The best sangria ever! Plus, it's bottomless #winning

Until we meet again!

 

Xo

 

 

 

 

Posted in Front Page

09January

Five Steps To Change Your Life Right Now

 

Hi everyone! How’s your week going? Has anyone else been struggling with getting back into your routine? My mind still feels like it’s on vacation . I’m getting it together. But, the struggle is so real. Oh well, this is our year to “step into the light”; so I’m hoping the sun can wake me up smile.

Speaking of “stepping into the light”, how’s that going for you? What have you been doing to get closer to making your dreams a reality? Remember, you weren’t born to stay in the shadows. You were meant for greatness, and the only way to get closer to your purpose is to be intentional with everything in your life.

Shoe and Limo
Image: Giphy

 

I know it can be hard to make time for “you.”  But, you can’t let that be an excuse. You’re too valuable to the world and your family to be mediocre. So, I want to share five tips that I’m following to live my best life possible. 

  • Invest in yourself:  Do something that will enhance you as a person. I’m continuing with my love of audiobooks and podcasts to expose me to new people and ways of thinking. Step out of your comfort zone, you never know where it may take you.
  • Take care of yourself physically and mentally: I’ve started a “lifestyle change” this year. I’m working out 3-4 times per week, and watching my diet by reducing carbs and sugar. I’m pre-diabetic with a genetic predisposition towards developing Type II Diabetes. So, I’ve made the decision that it’s time to take care of me. My body is a temple, and I need to value it.

 

Beyonce
Image: Giphy

 

  • Connect with people who will pull you into the light:  There are going to be people you come across that speak directly to your soul. You know those people that you feel like you’ve known for years, but you may have just met. Connect with those people immediately. Ask them to lunch, coffee, etc.; just make sure you reach out to them. There is purpose in those connections, and you don’t want to potentially miss your purpose due to shyness or procrastination.
  • Take a chance: Believe in yourself, and go do something. We tend to be the biggest obstacles in our lives. Stop letting F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) dictate your life. Remember you’re capable of accomplishing anything you put your mind on. There is never failure in trying. There is only failure when you do nothing. 
  • Remember you’re the happiness you’re seeking: I say this often, and I’ll keep saying it until we all remember this without hesitation. “Your happiness is key to everything. No one in your home will be happy, unless you’re happy.” You have to do the work to find your happy. Happiness doesn’t just happen.

  

Beyonce Lemonade
Image: Giphy

 

You have to invest time and energy into yourself, to discover what makes your heart sing. Remember, you’re worth it.You have to become a top priority in your life.

 

My next post is going to be on “self-care”. So, let me know what you want to learn more about in the comments. This is our journey, so we’re in this together kiss. Until we meet again, do something for you today!

 

Xo

Posted in Front Page

01January

Five Tips For Stepping Into The Light in 2017

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you've had an amazing holiday filled with family and friends. I just wanted to drop a quick vlog to kick off 2017. My plan for 2017 is to focus on "stepping into the light". I typically am a "behind the scenes" type of person. I always have felt comfortable just doing what I need to do, and moving on quietly. But, I'm learning that the call on my life is too big for that. 

I'm learning that my journey can help someone, so I can't be afraid to share it. So, I want you to take the journey of "stepping into the light" with me.  To kick things off, here are five tips to help you get started. Let me know what you think, and anything I can share that will make it easier for you. We're in this together :-).

 

 

1.  Here are some of my favorite books & podcasts:

     The Secret by Rhonda Byrne 

     The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

     I'm Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi 

     Heart and Hustle Podcast 

     Happy Black Woman Podcast 

    Stuff Mom Never Told You Podcast 

 

2. You're the happiness that you seek. When you're happy, everyone will be happy. Be open to being happiness, and make yourself a priority.

 

3. Take care of yourself physically. Do whatever you need to do to make your body/health a priority. Be proactive about your health.

 

4. Take the time to connect with people who will pull you into the light. Don't be afraid of people who make you step outside of your comfort zone. 

 

5. Just step out. Take a chance on yourself, and do the things that you never thought you could do. Don't let the end of 2017 look like the end of 2016. 

 

We've got this! This is just the beginning of our journey, it's not about perfection. It's about living our best life. Let's thrive in the sun together. I can't wait to hear about how you're doing. Until we meet again!

 

Xo

 

Posted in Front Page, Caregiving

20December

Holidays & At Home Hearing Tests with Miracle Ear

 

 Hi everyone! Are you ready for the holidays? I’m still shopping; but I’m almost done. Thank you Jesus!! My budget and spirit are especially happy laughing. I can’t wait to sit down and spend time catching up with my mom and sister. I know I see them everyday. But, it’s so hard with all of the demands of work and life to spend true quality time catching up. I really love those times.

That’s when I get to hear all of the stories of my mom’s childhood. It’s so inspiring to hear all of the love, and the simplicity of things back then. I also love getting the good “deets” or “tea” on how my mom used to act when she was younger wink. My mom was a quite a pistol back in the day, so I don’t want to miss anything. That’s why I was so excited to partner with Miracle Ear.

 

one
Image: Giphy

We really take our hearing for granted. I spend over 50% of my day listening to loud music in my car or through my headphones, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I got my hearing tested. Unfortunately, it was something I didn’t make a priority. So, imagine how surprised I was to find out that Miracle Ear offers FREE at home hearing tests. Yep, you can do it at home.

 

mj
Image: Giphy

All you need to do is sign on to your computer, and go to the Miracle Ear website. Once on the site, you’ll click on the hearing test feature; and begin the test. The test is super easy; it mimics different scenarios where you’re having a conversation with someone in a public place with background noises   (e.g. home, coffee shop, train station, etc.). The goal is to make sure you’re able to follow the conversations, and you’ll be asked questions to make sure you captured the conversation. Gone are the days of listening for the beep. This test uses real-life situations to evaluate your hearing levels.

Hearing Test 

Your results are available immediately after the test, and you’re given tips on things you can do to preserve your hearing, or advised if you should be evaluated further for a hearing device. The information is presented in a way that shows Miracle Ear wants to be your partner in ensuring your hearing is enhanced and/or preserved. You’re even able to email the results to yourself to review later, or share with your family.

Resources

 

Miracle Ear really wants to make sure we’re living our best lives possible through preserving or enhancing our hearing. I would totally give this test to mom. Mom tends to get nervous when we go to any doctor’s office. But, this at home hearing test gives me an easy way to get an idea of her hearing levels in a non-intrusive way. That can be a god’s send when dealing with seniors. Their independence is so important to them, and they’re scared of anything that jeopardizes that.

 

So, thank you Miracle Ear for making me think about my own hearing, on top of giving me a solution that I can use for my mom. Make sure you check out this great test, and all of the things that Miracle Ear offers. We also deserve to “hear a better day”. Until we meet again!

 

 

Xo

Posted in Front Page, Caregiving

12December

Stella Cheese Black Peppercorn Romano is Giving My Christmas Meal Life

 

 

Hi everyone! I can’t believe we’re thirteen days away from Christmas. I still have shopping to do, and I’m super stressed out about what we’re going to do for dinner. After Thanksgiving, I made a vow that I wasn’t cooking. My mom & sister finally told me that they’re not leftover people. After day one, they’re done. So, a big elaborate Christmas dinner is not happening for us. 

My original plan was to make it a takeout kind of Christmas. You know like Ralphie and his family had in “A Christmas Story”.  But, luckily I’m partnering with Stella Cheese, and there will be dinner.

Ralphie
Thank God For Stella Cheese !! Image by Giphy

Stella Cheese has some amazing cheeses. Their varieties range from Blue Cheese to this amazing Black Peppercorn Romano that I’m going to use. I love Romano Cheese. It has such an amazing bite, and I love to use Romano Cheese in pasta dishes or soups. So, I thought it would be perfect to make a divine one pot Black Peppercorn Romano Farfalle pasta for Christmas Eve.

 

Stellla Black Peppercorn Romano Farfalle Pasta In The Making
Stellla Black Peppercorn Romano Farfalle Pasta In The Making

 

Pasta is a perfect dish for the holidays. It’s such a hectic time, and it’s always great when you can put together a meal that is hearty and filled with love quickly. I put my heart and soul into my pasta, especially since I make my sauce from scratch. I have a food allergy to all tomato-based products, so my Alfredo sauce has to be on point. That means I don’t skimp on cheese.

I need good cheese, and Stella’s Black Peppercorn Romano totally fits that bill. It’s shreds so easily, and it’s so creamy and flavorful. I totally could imagine just shaving it, and using it in a bowl of Zuppa Toscana, or making an amazing mac and cheese. Stella’s Black Pepper Romano has so many uses, and will make cooking a pleasure for you.

Finished product! Christmas Dinner is saved!
Finished product! Christmas Dinner is saved!

Also, who doesn’t love a trip? Well, Stella outside of making our holidays easier with there amazing cheeses. But, they’re also giving away a trip to Napa Valley. Wine and cheese go together like cheese and bread. So, click here to enter to win. I would love to have one of my peeps win this trip!

 

So, here’s to great dishes, trips and love. Please share what recipes you come up with below. Until we meet again!

 

 

Xo

Posted in Front Page

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