Pet Peeves = Pissed

Smiley Vector Illustration - Irritated Face Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors,  And Stock Illustration. Image 18250248.

We all have funny little quirks about us. Many of us tend to think some things are cool or cute just because it doesn’t bother us, but that doesn’t mean some of our behaviors don’t irritate the life out of others. Nothing is more annoying to me than people doing things they have to know is irksome. I often wonder, “Do you have friends?”, “Did your parents not correct you when you were younger?”, “Is it just me?” I realize I don’t like a lot of noise so I try to avoid people that tap, click pens, or hum a lot. I’m sure me staring at them is just as annoying to them as their noise making is to me. Instead of making both parties uncomfortable I try to avoid being in the presence of people are attending events where I know I’ll find myself vexed. However, some things are unavoidable and I just can’t…

  1. Loud chompers/chewers – I’m not referring to the people that smack a tad bit while eating. I’m referring to the ones that chew so loudly that it sounds like they have teeth that belong to Godzilla. Those people that chomp when they chew. Everything sounds crispy, no matter what they are eating.
  2. Jealousy/People unwilling to celebrate others – In high school, our track coach gave us a prayer. And while I don’t remember the entire prayer, I do recall the ending that said, “And if I should lose, let me stand by the roadside and cheer as the winner goes by.” This prayer along with some of the most amazing coaches taught me to have good sportsmanship. There have been times in my teaching career when I know I was deserving of accolades that were awarded to others. Instead of getting upset or belittling others because I thought I was better, I celebrated them. I learned a long time ago to clap for people in their winning season because as long as I continue working, I know my time is coming. I am always bothered when I see people that refuse to honor others during their “shining moments”.
  3. People that touch food with their bare hands – Not the “This is my plate, I can use my hands if I desire.” I’m talking potluck, shared resources in the teacher’s lounge, lunch being provided for the entire team and I’m going to grab food with my bare hands. I’ve witnessed people stick their hands in the tortilla chips that are being used for nachos. I watched one lady lick a knife and proceed to cut into a pie. Oh, and please try washing those hands next time just because.
  4. Not respecting personal space – Pre-Covid…stay away from me. I don’t like people crowding me and please ask me for permission to touch me. I don’t think people respect the idea of boundaries. I often wonder what makes someone comfortable enough to stand close, too close or play in someone’s hair or rub their stomach when they’re pregnant. UGH!
  5. Believing money has the power to change all things – People kill me trying to convince me to do things because they can pay me a couple of dollars. I had someone tell me they would pay me to give them answers to a test while we were in graduate school. When I explained to them how the test was set-up and the response was, “I know and what I need you to do… Go ahead and make a few extra dollars.” *Click…call disconnected.

I have a few more things that bother me but these are the ones I encounter the most. What are some things that bother than you, especially in the workplace?

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Be Grateful For It

We Know We Ought to be Grateful But this is the Reason we Aren't

In the spirit of the season, we should take the time to truly reflect on reasons we have to be grateful. I’ve heard so many people use the phrase, “Just throw away the whole 2020.” as if nothing positive has happened this year. While things have looked gloomy on the outside, I refuse to believe we have not had personal victories that afforded us opportunities that expanded our confidence. Silent battles have been fought, tears have been wiped away behind closed doors but when we really think about it, many of us have come out on top. After 2019, I learned there is a sprinkle of joy in everything and I refused to let 2020 steal that idea from me. Even in the moments it appeared my rope was bound to break, I took one step back to prepare for my three steps forward. 2020 has given me many reasons to rejoice.

  1. I’m still alive, and in the words of the “seasoned saints”, and clothed in my right mind.
  2. My son graduated high school and earned a scholarship to one of the schools of his choosing.
  3. After 15 long, grueling months of balancing the roles of a wife, mother, track coach, Sunday School teacher, mentor, educator and student, I graduated with my M.ED.
  4. My husband was told he would have to take a pay cut at the start of 2021 and after questioning the decision for four months, they finally shared with him it was a mistake. Ha! And I’m only laughing because they still came out on top by allowing him to keep his current salary.
  5. My family did not suffer any illnesses or injuries.
  6. We’ve eaten every single day and I don’t take this for granted.
  7. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for me and because of his continued favor, I am still standing.
  8. I’m excited about every obstacle I encountered that helped me grow and develop.
  9. My physical health and the adventures that are coming for a heathier lifestyle.
  10. I am also grateful for the moments of peace and relaxation as well as my hustle and the decisions I’ve made for my life.

Although these are in no particular order, just know I’m appreciative. What are you grateful for in this moment. Take time to reflect on what you’ve put into your life and the outcome. Think about God’s grace and his new mercies every morning. Make your own personal list of things to be thankful for today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Steps to a Healthier Me

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my doctor’s appointment and my blood pressure scare. I returned to the doctor last week and while my blood pressure was still slightly elevated, it was much better than the previous visit. I was elated to learn that not only was my blood pressure improving but I had also lost a few pounds. This was exciting news, simply because my ideal weight is 142 pounds and I have a lot of work to do. Still, I was encouraged, three pounds down in two weeks. The doctor and I discussed things I had been doing to aid in my weight loss and help with my blood pressure and I didn’t realize how effective the transitions were that I had made in only two weeks.

  1. Increased my intake of Vitamin C – I now take a Vitamin C supplement every morning and drink a glass of orange juice before I start my day. Vitamin C helps manage high blood pressure and prevents iron deficiency. Win, win for me!
  2. Started eating berries regularly – I’ve started eating berries as an afternoon snack. I read berries are also instrumental in getting blood pressure under control. Due to my blood pressure scare, I was also concerned about being diabetic. While I was spared that diagnosis, I wanted to find ways to reduce the risk of having diabetes and berries were a good option.
  3. Eating earlier – In the summer months, I worked out late in the evening. As a result, I was eating later than I usually eat. Once I finished eating I would head to bed and of course we know that’s not healthy. Lately, I’ve been trying to eat before 7:00 PM. This gives me three hours to move around before laying my head to rest.
  4. Adding more exercise/activity to my daily routine – I was already working out 3-4 times a week but I’m trying my hardest to work out everyday. Working virtually had caused many of us to become stagnant but I have become more intentional in my daily activities. I park at the end of the parking lot for the sake of extra steps. I walk during my conference period and I still run/walk after work. I have been seeking 60 minutes of activity daily and now that the temperatures have dropped, it feels great!

These changes may seem minute but they have me on the road to a healthier me. The next step for me is to consult with a nutritional counselor so once I lose the extra weight, I can maintain it this time. I also want to try a juicing cleanse but I’m not sure my body can handle it and I’m also not sure of all the benefits. If you have any ideas or thoughts on the juicing, let me know.

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Movie Night

10 Movies to Watch During Quarantine – Drury Mirror

“I believe in PJ movie parties. I believe the answers to life’s most challenging questions can be found in a well-recited movie quote. I believe in popcorn for dinner. And I believe happiness is family.”

I’m not a fan of the television and when I do turn it on, I watch the same shows repeatedly. I often find myself wanting to go to the movie theater, but I fear falling asleep in the middle of a movie, so I opt out of that idea. I see others binge watching tv shows and I wonder, “How do you watch that much TV without falling asleep?” Watching TV is just not my forte.

This week I turned on the tube and saw a couple of oldies but goodies and found myself engrossed in House Party, Sister Act II and Purple Rain. These were movies I watched repeatedly as a child/very young adult. While truly enjoying the moment and the movies, I realized just like I watch the same television shows, I watch the same movies over and over and over. My husband and I laugh at each other because we swear our favorite movies are the best ever.

My absolute favorite movie is Love Jones. I don’t like romance books but I will definitely settle for that happy ending in a movie. I love both Larenz Tate and Nia Long. While I think Nia Long is a beautiful woman, I am a sucker for defined arms and Tate definitely puts his on display throughout the movie. My favorite line in the movie is Tate saying, “You and I both know you don’t wanna be out here this late, by yourself, stompin’ up and down the street like somebody “stolt” your bike.” Hilarious! I rewind that part over and over again simply because he said “stolt” and they didn’t correct it in the movie. I also thoroughly enjoyed the poetry and the opportunity to see the various arts, including photography, displayed in the movie.

Love and Basketball is another hit in my books. As a former athlete, there are so many relatable parts and the reality is athletes usually flock to athletes. This movie featured two more of my favorites, Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps. The movie was also an eye opener that revealed to me that no matter how hard we try to get out of our mother’s shadows, we still have a tendency to pick up many of their behaviors unknowlingly.

Grease 2! You couldn’t tell me I was not destined to grow up and become a Pink Lady. I loved all of the music in Grease 2, knew every song and all the lyrics. So many of us go through phases of wanting to be popular and/or cool, and as a little girl I was on the path of becoming just as popular as Stephanie Zinone. By the time I got to high school, I realized being popular wasn’t all it was hyped up to be. Hey, but I still enjoyed the movie.

The Lion King was such an adorable movie. This movie turned me into a Simba and Nala fan. I loved the playfulness and the camaraderie amongst the friends. More importantly, I enjoyed witnessing the development of true friendships and the support that was extended to Simba by his friends. In the words of Gladys Knight, “That’s what friends are for.”

What’s Love Got to Do With It tells the journey of Tina Turner. “What’s Love Got to Do With It” was the first song I recall hearing by Tina Turner and it left me with a yearning for her music. To watch her concede to her husband and start her journey from scratch was very inspiring. I also loved her fashion in the movie and in real life, Tina Turner had the most amazing legs!

A few of my other favorites include Sister Act II, Sparkle and Life. What are some of your favorite movies? Leave a few suggestions below because every Friday I say I’m going to watch a movie and I watch the same thing. LOL!

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Self (S)Care – Physical Health Edition

St. Croix Blog, Just Breathe: Meditating on the Beach | GoToStCroix.com

After losing my father a little over a year ago, I spent countless months focusing on self care that included protecting my mental and emotional stability. I spent numerous hours in therapy, spent time alone, enjoyed the outdoors, helped others in ways that I could appreciate and worked out . In the midst of doing all of this, I thought I was holding things together and doing a stupendous job getting through life. But, recently my body revealed to me that while I had been focusing on my mental capacity, my physical status was dwindling.

Two weeks ago I wen to the dentist and my blood pressure was elevated. In my 46 years, that had only happened once and I won’t even discuss the things that happened or the things I ate prior to that reading. Because it had never been a concern before, I didn’t worry myself with it at the moment. However, when I went in for my annual exam, my blood pressure was once again elevated, to the point where the nurse was discussing me being admitted to the hospital. After multiple readings, I was able to show a decline in both my systolic and diastolic numbers. Nonetheless, at this point I was overly anxious and knew nothing productive would come from this visit no matter what else was said. What I did do was request more screenings to make sure my sugar and cholesterol levels were in the normal range.

When I left the doctor, I made phone calls and started googling and reading as much as I could to try and determine how to get myself back on track. One of things I discovering when assessing my blood pressure is that work has become a stressful environment and has contributed to my elevated numbers. The second thing I realized is I’ve gained weight and weight gain has always had a negative affect on me. It appears my workout haven’t been as effective as I thought they were. The last thing I realized is that I calm myself by eating. While I only eat when I’m hungry, when I’m nervous I tend to choose junk food to satisfy me versus eating all the healthy snacks I pack.

The last week or so I have been very mindful of people and things that trigger any levels of stress. I have also become more mindful of the types of snacks I’m consuming, the amount of rest I’m getting and the effectiveness of my physical activity. I’ve also looked into visiting with a nutritional counselor and maybe trying meditation.

During this time of unrest, how are you handling things? What are you doing to take care of your mental and physical well being?

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Is Dinner Ready?

PROS AND CONS OF A PLATED WEDDING DINNER? - Caribbean Caterers

Is Dinner Ready?

“Is dinner ready?” During my son’s middle school and high school years, this was his first question after entering our home in the afternoons. As he got older and his schedule became busier, we found ourselves eating out more, actually a little bit more than anticipated. While the demands of our schedules didn’t always allow for a home cooked meal every day, we still found it necessary to eat complete meals. In addition to eating out throughout the week, we would use weekends to visit restaurants, some which were new and some we enjoyed enough to revisit and explore again.

Since the beginning of quarantine, we have yet to dine in many restaurants. We have dined in three spots, by default. Each time we were dropping off or visiting my son who is away for his first year of college. While still skeptical about sitting in close proximity to people, it doesn’t mean I don’t miss the idea of visiting some of our favorite restaurants.

I am a fan of all things Tex-Mex so I’m always on board to try new Tex-Mex places. The chips and salsa as well as the margaritas are a real treat for me. Tex-Mex being my favorite and my being allergic to shellfish/seafood, my options for dinner are sometimes limited. However, like most people I definitely have my preferences and I can’t wait to feel comfortable with the idea of dining out once again.

  1. Cyclone Anaya’s is probably one of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants. There is nothing on the menu that I’ve tried that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. The only spots I’ve found that are better are the ones in Mexico.
  2. Perry’s – While not a restaurant we visit often, we are always on board for one of their pork chops. Their pork chops are delectable and great for leftovers since they’re so massive.
  3. Del Frisco’s – Del Frisco’s provides a one of a kind dining experience. The sides are to die for and the ambience is very peaceful with its soft lighting.
  4. The Pit – Now The Pit is not a restaurant but it’s a local barbecue place that usually has lines outside the door. The food is phenomenal and the portions are substantial.
  5. Yard House – I’ve been to the Yard House on multiple occasions and I order the same thing every single time. I always eat the pancakes and spicy chicken. Yum!

Not being able to eat out as much as we would like has been slightly disheartening. We still get food to go from some of our favorites, however, my husband and I are empty nesters and we thought we would be in these streets making the most of all things.

Have you dined out recently? How comfortable were you with your experience and where did you go? Drop some of your favorites below so we can add some new adventures to our list.

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Snack Attack – Comfort Food

With a schedule that has me hustling and bustling throughout the day, I have started to rely on snacks more than usual to hold me from breakfast to lunchtime. In the past, I would eat healthy snacks such as Nutri Grain bars, granola bars and fruit, but lately I’ve been relying on the foods that bring me joy. I like to call it my comfort food, the food I wouldn’t eat unless my calorie intake for the week suggested I could give myself some slack. I have definitely increased my consumption of all the things I truly appreciate.

  1. Popcorn – Popcorn is my absolute favorite snack and it’s healthy. However, I will eat bags and bags of popcorn within a day and of course I’m not eating the low calorie popcorn such as Skinny Pop. Instead I enjoy a mixture of white cheddar and kettle corn from the popcorn stand in the mall or Act II Extreme Butter with white cheddar seasoning added to top it off.
  2. Chips – I’m very picky about the chips I eat on some days and on other days I eat any kind that’s in the variety pack. My favorite chips are Doritos and I also enjoy the Flamin’ Hot Asteroids (Cheetos). Sometimes veggie chips are sufficient but on most days I want the good-good!
  3. Candy – This is one thing I’m very selective about. Other than a Reese’s, any other chocolate bar I eat has to have nuts. And I also only like select flavors of Skittles. I’m not a fan of the original skittles but I’ll take one of the blue, purple and peach. Although I never finish a candy bar or a bag of candy in one sitting, rest assured I keep several bags stashed away for those “just in case” moments.
  4. Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds truly are a comfort snack for me. Chewing on sunflower seeds calm my nerves. I know it sounds odd but they really do settle me.
  5. Peanuts – Peanuts have the same effect on me that sunflower seeds do. I think it’s something about the salt that provides satisfaction, and makes me thirsty.

I know these are not the best foods for my health but I promise I walk my 10,000 steps everyday. If you have some suggestions for some delightful, healthy snacks, drop them below.

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An Attitude of Gratitude

26 Inspirational Quotes to Change Your Life - | Gratitude quotes, Grateful  quotes, Gratitude quotes inspiration

Lately I’ve found myself mentally and physically tired. Each new day and each new challenge has left me feeling more and more exhausted. I had this idea that once I finished graduate school I would find myself in a totally different state and at ease. However, I am a teacher in the year of 2020 and right now there is no tired like 2020 teacher tired.

This morning I woke up extremely grumpy and practiced an entire speech to present to the school administrators. I wanted to speak with them as to why my school day started earlier than any other face to face teacher and why it lasted longer than any other virtual teacher. I wanted the rationale behind me having to do both. I needed answers to all of my “whys”.

In the midst of my griping, to myself, I seriously considered the idea of quitting. The problem is, I’m not a quitter. So instead of thinking of reasons to leave, I had to convince myself of reasons to stay. The first thing that came to mind is the idea that being an educator has afforded me the opportunity to support my son financially as he experiences college at his school of choice. The second thing that came to mind is the idea that I’ve worked under several leaders and all have given me the opportunity to support my son without ever complaining or questioning my priorities. Pausing for a quick second and having that moment led me into a complete moment of gratitude and changed my perspective for the day. While thinking and thanking I just started going down the list. God I’m thankful for…

A brand new day with new mercies

Your favor on my life.

My family and friend.

My health and strength and being of sound mind.

A roof over my head.

Food on the table.

A support system like none other.

Establishing boundaries and protecting my peace.

My job

God’s protection..

While my list didn’t stop there, these were the minimal things that forced me to remember my good outweighs my bad. I stopped griping and started extending my thanks.

As a result, my day has gone better than expected. How are you maintaining your sanity? Send some tips to your girl.

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Fall Favorites

Fall has arrived and the temperatures are starting to drop in the great state of Texas. We still have to prepare for all four seasons to get through the day, but getting some relief from the heat has been reviving. We are in a season where we can pick from any of our closets and still dress appropriately for the weather.

For me, fall is a final opportunity of the year to wear my skirts and dresses. I’m not particularly fond of tights and pantyhose so very seldom do I wear dresses and/or skirts once the temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

One of my favorite looks for autumn is this faux leather dress. While it can definitely transition to a winter piece, the fact that it doesn’t have sleeves and is mid-length makes it more acceptable during the months of October and November. I’ve always worn this dress exactly as it is, however, I’m thinking of adding a cardigan and boots this year for a winter appeal.

This hot number was actually selected by my husband from Nordstrom Rack. He was super excited about the fact that I really like this dress and he was even more ecstatic about the number of complements I received on this dress. Your thoughts? What are some other ways you would revamp this look?

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Fake Religion

300+ PRAYERS images in 2020 | prayers, sending prayers, prayers for healing
Prayer is the only answer I know.

This week I had a blog post all planned out…in my head. I failed to complete tasks I needed to complete to write about one of my favorite topics, fashion. So as I sat struggling with writer’s block, I received a text asking about religion, faith and fake worshippers. The message left me feeling like “WHOA!”. My dear friend was very disappointed in the actions of people near and dear to her behind closed doors but were quick to jump in the “Yes Lord” and “Amen” corner on Sundays. I was asked my perspective on religion, faith and God. Whew Chile!

First, let me say I don’t believe in trying to guide people on their spiritual journey. I feel this journey shows you your purpose, God’s will for your life and how you can live a more fulfilling life according to His will and His Word. I contemplated just being silent on the subject and letting her determine what she needed to do until I realized she was seriously thinking about giving up.

My question to her was, “So based on your observations, what is your purpose? Her reply was, “What do you mean?” I explained to her when we see something wrong we often try to fix it. What could she do in that moment to support the people she spoke of? What did she see in herself that could be offered to help them grow? At that point she became silent. I explained to her my husband and I are facilitators of a Marriage Enrichment class at church. I shared to her when we were selected we didn’t find ourselves to be adequate because we didn’t study the Bible as much as others and we weren’t the shouting, religious type. But we later learned that was the very reason we were selected, because we were more of the world than in the church. In leading this class we discovered we are all faking religion in some sense but we have been able to help each other grow. Instead of passing judgement, we took off our masks and shared real experiences and became a support group for each other.

I’m not sure what advice others give to people that struggle with religion and faith. Sometimes I feel it is a journey many of us should travel alone. What guidance would you give someone that felt lost?

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