52 Week Blog Challenge- Week 7

My Childhood Memories……..

When I think back to my childhood, I can remember that there were no cell phones and social media which is now the babysitter for almost every child and adult in life.  We have gotten to the point where we wake up and first thing we think of is picking up our cellphone…right? Everything is all about technology which is a leading cause of some of the anxieties and stress in the world. Let me take you back to when times were simple.

Classic Drive-In Theatre with cars and  neon sign

When I was a kid, me and my family used to go to a Drive-In movie on the weekends and on our way there we used to pick up our favorites McDonald’s or what we in Cleveland like to call the best barbecue polish boys in town .

When I was a kid, I loved watching the classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny.  I also loved Scooby Doo and the Jetsons.  When my dad would work the afternoon shift, right before he would leave we would watch The Flintstones, which was my favorite.  For some reason, I can’t get into the new cartoons…too high tech and unrealistic.  

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I used to watch 70’s and 80’s television shows with my sister during the summer and some of our favorites were…

another one of our favorites was watching one particular game show and some 80’s music videos on……

 

In the 80’s, I was introduced to computers and because my dad was a programmer, I learned alot about using one and learning how to play games on them with what was called floppy discs.  He was able to create once his own questions and answers to one popular game called Jeopardy….which was so much fun!!

My childhood memories in the 80’s and 90’s never included cellphones and social media just bikes and boom boxes.  What if we all woke up one day and you had no cell phone, no beeper, no video game consoles, no social media, no Blu-ray, no high tech televisions, no dish, no Bluetooth, no laptops, no tablets and most importantly Alexa….what would you do?

Tune in next time for week 8 and don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to my blog!!

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52 Week Blog Challenge-Week 6

I will be 52 in 10 years…hard to believe.  I woke up one day and my angels were grown up and going on their first dates and picking out colleges to attend.  If you are like me, you wish that time wouldn’t be a factor in living.  We all have one life to live and I realized this New Year that I am not wasting a single moment being unhappy or mad at the world.  We have plenty to be thankful for in the world and if we just took the time to stop and essentially “Smell the Roses”as they say, we would realize how great life can be.  Everyday, you turn on your television, phone, computer or radio and hear about all the bad stuff happening in the world, I wish they would bring back those happier times we had long ago and then we all could appreciate life more.  My New Years resolution this year:

Be Positive!

So what will I be doing 10 years from now…

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I will definitely be traveling by plane, buses, trains or even cruises. I love to see other places and just the excitement of being on vacation. 

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I love to write so my blog will still be outlet to express myself to the world.  I write only once a week but I like telling my story.  I am working on becoming an author so it is a work in progress. Stay tuned.

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My angels from the beginning to now…..I want to see them be married, have a career and have a family of their own because I do want to be a….

Grandma!! I love babies and kids so much and my children were such a joy to bring into this world.  So so proud of all of them.

I would really appreciate it if technology and fashion went back to old days when everything was personal.  These days we have lost the act of communication and have decided that everyone has to expose themselves or use fake pictures to make a statement.  We are already starting to see clothes that are ripped up and bell bottomed, why not add everyone standing in line for concert tickets.  Its all about the adventure. Let’s go back to face to face and meeting people. 

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Praying on this right now.  Will the world finally see the light behind all the darkness? Will everyone start to appreciate what they have and smile everyday?  Maybe? Maybe not? Do you think that it is possible to have the “Truman Show” all over again without the violence in the world?  I wish for good health for my family and friends in 10 years and the many blessings along the way.

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52 Week Blog Challenge- Week 3

Meet my Family

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This is my family of 5. From right to left: (Picture taken New Years Eve 2019 to celebrate my 42nd birthday)

My husband Brian, 54, of 21 years. We have 3 beautiful children Brian Jr, who is 21 years old and attends college while pursing a career in Computer Science and works full-time. My youngest son Devon, who is 19 years and is on the Autism Spectrum. He is currently on his last year of high school and will be graduating with honors in 2020 and will be pursing a career in Culinary Arts in the fall. My daughter Briana, she is 16 and a straight A softball student. She just got her drivers license, will be graduating 2021 and pursuing a career in Marine Biology. We all live in sunny Florida and loving every minute of it.

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Those are the love of my life and my whole world.

For 20 years, our family has had a tradition of taking our family photos from the moment my oldest was born to now.

Thank you for reading my blog and tune in for week 4 on Wednesday!! Also make sure to follow me on:

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52 Week Blog Challenge-Week 2

Staying up late,

Eating cookies and cakes

with frosting and sprinkles all over

Not getting up early,

with my hair not so curly

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I am flying high,

like a bird in flight

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Going all over the map,

meeting new people and making memories 

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Playing card games and sharing meals,

making memories everyday 

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These are a few of my favorite things….  The End.

Thank you for reading my blog, tune in for week 3 next Wednesday!!

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52 week blog challenge-Week 1

Happy, Happy New Year everyone!!!🎉 I know it has been along time since I have written in my blog but now I am back with a new challenge! I will be answering questions every week and posting every Wednesday. I love these challenges so I am excited to get started!! So my first week is all about……

Best Friends

Well, I am going to be talking about my bestest friend in the whole world next to my husband is Charlene. Me and her have been friends for over 22 years and has always been there even when we didnt see each other. Before I moved away from my hometown 8 years ago, I knew her from long ago when I was 18 years old and I wanted to move out of my parents home. I wanted my independence. She was 26 years old when I met her but the second I met her, I knew we would have a great relationship. Dont get me wrong, we had our battles from time to time as roommates but we understood one another. Although life can change and people can change their circumstances, she has always been my #1 best friend in the world. She is dependable.

Meet My Best Friend

23 years of friendship

She lives in Ohio and I am here in Florida but distance doesnt stop us from talking every week and praying for one another lives. We finally were able to reunite in 2019 after years of not seeing each other and it was if time never went by. She came to Florida for her very first time and we spent time near the beaches.

Clearwater beach 2019

While in town she was able to meet my 3 kids and reunite with my husband. The story behind my bestie, me and my husband…we all worked together. My husband years ago was our supervisor before him and I even thought about dating and I never thought that he was the man God sent to me. When my bestie saw everything we built together she was so happy for us. You never know who you end up spending your life with and it is still a surprise to me….even after being married almost 21 years😃

Bestie for life

Fast-forward to today…she is and will always be my bestie.

Me and my bff

Thank you for reading my blog!! Don’t forget to follow me on instagram and Twitter!! Tune in next Wednesday for the next challenge!!

The Heart of a Dancer..A Queen Remembered

Good morning ladies and gentleman, as October comes to a close for the month, we remember those who have fought for their lives and are still fighting to this day to find a cure for a disease that comes in many forms. This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and our job is to be educated and aware of the early signs and stay united in the fight for the cure. Breast Cancer is not just a women’s disease but also a men’s disease.

I want to tell you a story about a daughter, mother, wife and accomplished dancer. Her name Sonia Vargas.

This is her story told by my dear friend Valerie Padilla, her daughter.

Sonia Vargas, 23 years ago never knew that simply taking a bathe would change her life forever. She worked as a secretary, was a dedicated mom, wife and she loved to dance. She taught her daughter Valerie, everything she knows about dancing, which I have witnessed first hand, from the Salsa, Tango, Fandango, Bolero and many more. Sonia was around 39 years old when she discovered a lump under her arm during a routine breast exam. Monthly exams of your breast are very important for early detection.

After discovering this lump, she immediately went to the doctor and had a mammogram done and they discovered a mass in the early stages. They were able to start her on chemo and began her fight. Sonia, a beautiful woman, lost all her hair and like most woman, the depression started and she felt she was no longer attractive. The family did everything they could to help her regain her confidence by buying her wigs and telling her she was beautiful everyday to keep her spirits up. Positive prayers and proper treatments made the cancer go away….so they thought.

One year later, the breast cancer that once was a distant memory, came back more aggresive. Sonia was given not alot of options accept for a masectomy. Women who are faced with the prospect of losing their breast, it is not an easy decision. We pride ourselves on how we look and in making this decision she decided to do nothing. Of course, the cancer decided to spread and it invaded so aggressively that it grew out of her body as a 3rd breast on her chest and became a part of her everyday life. She, like many women loved to look and smell good at all times and to have to live day by day with a growth on her chest, losing her hair and feeling sick all the time, it felt like she lost a big part of herself.

Her daughter Valerie, said that as her mom became sicker, she had to take care of her bathing and feeding her regularly. Valerie accounts that the growth smelled like rotten meat to everyone and people stared at her all the time. As the months went by, she became thin and frail and was admitted near Fathers Day of June 1998. The hospital she was admitted to was where she worked and she had the best care around her family and friends. When she was in the hospital, her doctor told her that it was so aggressive that chemo was not working and there was no cure.

She had to make another decision and she decided to keep it from her kids. Valerie was a teenager and being the oldest of 3 children, she felt helpless, pain and she wanted to do everything she could to take care of her mom. Her mom was her inspiration and hero growing up doing the dance group together and she just wanted to help her mom. After awhile, Sonia couldn’t speak but she could hear everyone. All her family, friends and co-workers did a prayer chain and sent flowers to lift her spirits.

October 24, 1998, Sonia Vargas got her wings at the age of 42 and left behind a spirit in her family that will last forever. It has been 21 years and Valerie celebrates life everyday for her.

Valerie and the women of her Empowerment Group just recently took a trip to Puerto Rico October 11, 2019 and we celebrated Valerie’s 43rd birthday!! Chapter 43 for Valerie was important to her and sharing her moms story touched all of us.

Her moms angelic looks, spirit, heart for dance, her love and caring for others and beautiful personality inside and out shines through her everyday.

Below is a chart of what to look for when you do your monthly breast exam. Early detention is the key.

I want to give a big thank you to Valerie Padilla for allowing me to share her mom’s story and to educate other women about the importance of early detection and treatments.

“Living my birthdays not just for me but for my mom’s life” Valerie Padilla

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My trip to Puerto Rico

I just got back from Puerto Rico on Tuesday October 15 after spending 4 days there and I have to say that it was so beautiful. This island was one of my many trips to take from my bucket list and I enjoyed myself immensely. I went with 7 other wonderful empowered women who I met through a facebook group called Valeries Empowerment Group. (click here) This group I have been a member of since 2018 and I am so grateful to have met all the many different women who are from New York and all over United States. We were celebrating Valeries 43rd birthday here in Puerto Rico. October 11, 2019 I left for Puerto Rico, flight was calm but I almost missed it because of the TSA lines. I hope one day the process gets a little better organized so that people dont get anxiety almost missing their flight. After arriving in Puerto Rico, I met the Queens from Ny at the airport and we all went to our beautiful villa located in San Juan. It was a 5 bedroom 2 bathroom Villa with a pool and great patio area. These are the Queens with Valeries empowerment shirts on. We stopped by a little restaurant in the city near Carolina, Puerto Rico called Carmin. A cute little outdoor establishment. I have to say that I had learn alot about spanish cuisines and speak the languages, which thanks to the ladies who spoke the language, I was able to feel like part of the culture. I ate what they say in Spanish as “Alitas de Pollo” and “Papas Fritas”
which means chicken wings and fries.Muy Bien” (Very Good) I ended up eating a little off everyones plate, the ladies wanted me to try other spanish cuisines including 4 more chicken wings…I was so hungry, we were all starving from our flights…lol. Our next venture took us downtown to go dancing at Mijani Club in La Placita De Santurce for the pre-birthday celebration. We all got dressed up in our white outfits and dancing shoes for a night of drinking and dancing. Such a fun first night…these ladies know how to Party!! The next day, we were planning to visit Old San Juan for the day. The weather was so beautiful for sightseeing. Today was our Queen Valeries 43rd birthday!! First we stopped off at a neighborhood reataurant within walking distance of our Villa called Levis like jeans..lol We went there for breakfast and dinner the same day…thats how great it was! The restaurant felt so warm and comfortable for our party. Old San Juan was amazing…although the heat was brutal, we took comfort in the many treat carts around like smoothies and coco icees…so good. We also did a little shopping.We visited the city of Umbrellas on Fortaleza street. While visiting Old San Juan, I was told the story about the community of La Perla which was very interesting and sounds like something out of mobster movie. We visited a very beautiful church which looked like one of largest churches I had ever seen called the San Juan Bautista Cathedral.

The next day we went back to our favorite place Levis of course. We went home and had an afternoon family barbeque….so emotional for me and alot of us. Meeting so many of the ladies friends and relatives was wonderful. Hotdogs, hamburgers, drinks and unlimited cuisines to eat. Such a beautiful group ladies…indeed..inside and out❤ Monday morning we all had a nice picnic in Ocean Park beach…so peaceful. Going home was very emotional for me and the girls…we didnt want to go back at all. Our weekend was filled with love, support, crying, laughter, and just relaxation. We are planning our trip for next year already..cant wait to meet more Queens!! As I go back to Florida and they return to New York, I can honestly say that these women are truly my family. Now that I can check Puerto Rico off my list maybe next year I can see Hawaii…What you think?Thank you for reading all about my trip to Puerto Rico! Dont forget to like, comment, subcribe to my blog!!Also follow me on social media via:TwitterPinterestInstagram

Book Review #1:Rachel Hollis

Hey hey guys, I am doing something a little bit different these coming months where I am going to introduce you to my world of reading. Now, I will admit, I have not read a book all the way through since 50 Shades of Grey Part 1 came out but I have always wanted to read interesting works by other writers. The book I am going to review this month is a book written by a great women who loves to help other women get out of their way and see what the potential that they already have. Growing from tragedy and being able to be successful in life with some bumps along the way is real-life for her and she wants you to know-ITs Normal! Introducing a lady I highly respect for her courage and empowerment of other: Rachel Hollis

I read this book from cover to cover and was amazed at the similiarities we have. I thought I was the only one thinking and going through it. For those of you who do not know who Rachel Hollis is, she is a Mom of 3 boys and a 1 girl, wife to Dave Hollis and founder of a lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and Ceo of her own Media company. She has alot of followers online via instagram, facebook, youtube etc. She is a woman who likes to tell it like it is, she encourages, enlightens and works to help others acheive the same sense of confidence she exudes throughout everything she does with the help of God.

I am going to review this book in 4 parts:

  • Why did I pick this book to read?
  • What part of the book, really hit home for me: (ex. made me cry or have a aha moment)?
  • What is one thing I took away from the book that I will change in my life?
  • How would I rate this book out of 5 stars?

Rachel Hollis: Girl, Wash Your Face

  • I picked this book because it came highly recommended online. I was curious as to what washing my face meant so I said this might be a great book just by the title, so I bought it. I never realized when I opened it, I would never be able to put it down. It spoke to me so well. Everything, well almost everything, was so similiar to my life I couldn’t believe that this nice young lady had gone through all that and still managed to be a great women waking up everyday helping people with her wisdom and lending a helping hand.
  • A part in the book that really hit home for me was Chapter 15: I Will Never Get Past This- when she talked about her family. Not being as close as she wanted to be after the tragedy just trying to salvage what was left of her relationships and picking up the peices and moving forward in church and counseling, which is always the best medicine. I cried through the whole chapter.
  • One thing she stressed so much in her book about is being happy with who you are. It doesnt matter what you didnt accomplish or who hurt you in your past, you are responsible for your own happiness. Never let others believe you are never good enough to try new things or pick up where you left off with years ago. Always try to be you and be happy for you not anyone else. I realized that in trying to make others happy all at once, I have made myself unhappy. I have decided to run away from toxic or negative things and let others be unhappy by themselves and take care of me first. Be there after I am taken care of then console others.
  • 5- star rating from me for original content, very personable and uplifting!

Looking forward to reading her other book:

Girl, Stop Apoligizing

Ordered my copy from Barnes and Nobles today and will start reading after my 2nd book which is from a new first time author who writes about how the word of God influences your life processes everyday. Click link below to purchase Marcus Myrick’s

Click link to purchase e-book at: Amazon.com

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Rachel Hollis

Chic Site

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She Cave….Finally!!

For many years…women have been trying figure out why there has never been a place a woman could get some peace and quiet. Most men who shop for homes or apartments are always looking for a bachelor pad…women on the other hand are looking for functional space. Well, I have been through both and being a mom of 3 and wife for over 20 years…I need my space!

So I did something about it. I cleared out one of our sheds one day into the other…actually I put everything outside and the kids put it in the other shed during a rain storm. It was so wonderful to see them all work together. Stage 1 of my shed was cleanup. You wouldnt believe how much dust and dirt is in a shed along with bugs…ugh. Step 2 was finding furniture. It wasnt hard for me to find some stuff to take from the house but I needed a really good sofa. One day me and my husband was doing our 3 mile walk one-day and I passed by a neighbor of ours and they were getting rid of a futon which at Walmart you can get 300$…omg Me, Sr and Jr loaded it up in the van about midnight and checked it out and it passed inspection-YaY!! Step 3..last step was getting a few accessories like a fridge and air conditioner-it can get Hot in sheds.Everything in its place…tada

I love it so much!! Let me tell you, I have had so many movie nights and it so peaceful in my She Cave. Some of the products I purchased:

I have always wanted a hammock and I got one. I got most of my items on Walmart.com or in person like these items:

and a couple pillows along with my Live, Laugh, Love rug.

Thank you for reading…just wanted to share a great accomplishment!!

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Blogger Recognition Award: My Way to Happiness

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   Yesssssss…I have been nominated for an award again ladies and gentleman!!  It feels so good to be recognized for all my hard work with endless hours spent in front of my phone and computer letting the world know who I am.  I have been nominated for 2 other awards in the past year and I am so proud to get a 3rd!! I was nominated for Blogger Recognition Award by one of my favorite bloggers and she is just one of the most talented and humbled bloggers I have met.  She is always at the top of her game when it comes to her post and with all her nominations and awards….she is truly a gifted person when it comes to writing.  I would like to thank my fellow blogger pal Charli Dee for nominating me.  We are so much alike and have so much in common.  I am so glad that we met when we did!! Check out her blog by clicking here Life With Charli

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Blogger Recognition Award

The Blogger Recognition Award is an online award given by bloggers to other bloggers. It is a way to recognize the work of other bloggers, and award them for the work they do in putting out blog post.  

Rules

  1. Thank the nominator, and publish a post to your blog about receiving the Blogger Recognition Award.  Make sure to provide a link to the nominator’s blog in your post.
  2. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  3. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  4. Nominate 10-15 other bloggers for this award and inform them of their nomination.

My Way to Happiness

One of the many things that became important for me to find was happiness.  Everything in my life started to change and take on a different meaning.  When you are getting older, the kids are growing up and you finally have time to take care of yourself….it seems to not happen.  What I mean by this is, your mind will always find ways to fill your need to be wanted and needed.  If your kids are almost graduating high school or have already and they start their lives and families, you feel the need to want to take care of them before yourself.  For me, I have watched as everyone around me grew tired and felt that they didn’t achieve much for themselves so I want to take a different approach.  I started my blog a year ago after I found out that I was going to be disabled the rest of my life.  All the years of hard work and physical labor took its toll and now I am not as active as I was.  I don’t want the second half of my life to not include time for me to take care of myself. 

   My blog started out as a family blog of adventures my family…who is my whole world…would share. But then, I said why not share the people I know with the world and help them grow and become successful all the while introducing the world to who I really am.  I love writing and it has been such a passion for me since I was little and I don’t plan on stopping unless my carpal tunnel prevents it.  I am in the process of writing a book and it just so exciting that my blog has been such a success!!

My Two Pieces of Advice

  1. Spend the rest of your life writing about your passions or doing them.  Your story may be boring to you but others may find it interesting and inspirational so write about.
  2. Always support and recognize others for what they do because you never know if they need a boost in self-esteem. In the spirit of making others feel better, make sure you always cater to your own well-being.

My Nominees

Marquita Myrick- Marquita Myrick Coaching Blog

Megan O’ Keefe- Debatably Dateable

Catherine and Maddie- Days Of Our Chives

Janine Thompson- Brutally Honest Mom Blog

Ashlee Nicole- Ashlee Nicole Explained

Liz- Mummy Overload

JJ Nibs- Spice and Nice

Nyxie- Nyxie’s Nook Blog

Laura- Laura’s Books and Blogs

Teresa Terry Jeffris- Joy Blessings and Poetry

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