January 2019 City Life - A Shiny New Year: Wounded Baby Bird Factor & Self Love Op Ed + Hauls + Oldies But Goodies + New Exciting Food + New Gluten Free & Keto Home Cooked Meals

Wounded baby bird factor. I was watching a recent episode of Black-ish which rang so true to my life. Bo made a friend who had a crazy life and her husband assumed her friend was using her for emotional support or as a "fixer" and advised her to ghost her. Turns out, that wasn't the truth at all; her friend just has a crazy life. This really rang home to me because this is basically my life in a nut shell. So, now I am going to turn this around and analyze why it rang true to me.... People love to befriend me because they have seen my blog or YouTube and when they find out how crazy my life is they react like they are doing me a favor by being my friend when I never ask anyone to give me advice or fix anything; as a result it is usually me that goes ghost because its incredibly offensive and arrogant.


I love talking about my life--can you tell from my blog? And my life is crazy, many many things happen to me that never happen to the average person which is why I love talking about it. I always say if something crazy is going to happen it will happen when I am around. Friends? I don't have many and I don't use that term loosely. A friend is someone who will always be there and if you haven't been there for me, but always come around when you need something then no you are not my friend. Now, how would I ever achieve friendship when my "friends" usually act like they are doing a public service by befriending me. (They should get TF over themselves).

This month actually marks one year since I ghosted not one, but two people. Enough was enough. I reflected on the events that caused this and wondered "why do people assume because you like (don't mind) talking about your life with them somehow you are dumping "emotional baggage" on them or want them to solve your problems". I am sure we have all been there right? I constantly have people dump their problems on me. I usually don't complain because a friend should be there for another friend and I am an empath so a lot of times people just do this. But have you ever had someone treat you like this and you literally were just talking about your  day to day life?

Do I regret it?

I had a month to think about this question when I wrote this. I contemplated deleting this whole section, but this event that happened last December changed me. I hear every five years we change significantly and in this event this was a moment that things came full circle and I realized all I have been doing is trying to make myself a more pleasing version of myself that people can handle, ie; people want me to be be quiet and smile. People want to think that everyday I wake up on a cloud and float around in some perfect pretty bubble. My life isn't that and I don't try to claim it is and NEVER have. If I have a crappy day I will tell you if my face doesn't tell you first. I have been through a lot that I don't even talk about and don't even know how to talk about. In a nutshell everyone in some way has let me down as a friend/family member and yes, I ghost people because at some point that crap starts becoming emotional abuse. My dad says I should give people chances. How many chances... to him infinite. Me, I give three if you really mean something to me then I guess its probation or ghost depending on who you are. 

A year in retrospect: I spent the whole year trying to be a medium and find a medium between myself, my family, and my friends and at the end of the day it did not really matter. It wasn't really appreciated, new people betrayed me,  old friends said stupid ish to me, but then turned around and acted like I would forget and move on a day later. I let new people in my life to betray me again only after ghosting other people I have been giving a zillion chances. But I tried and I came out feeling like I learned something. I learned a lot. And one thing that I want to say is I don't have all the answers. And as an empath, sometimes people just hide who they are and you can't get to the truth- you just can't and you can feel it.

Self love. In March I passed out and banged myself all up on furniture because I was taking care of my husband who was sick and dealing with another friends stress. What I did this year that I never really did before is practice self love. When I came back from Cuba I told myself I will do this. As a wife, a housewife, as a daughter, as sister, a friend, a blogger, a woman, and a black woman so much of my energy gets expended into so many areas that literally everyday the time I have for myself is a few hours after midnight which leads to insomnia for me. I started doing face masks and painting my nails along with yoga and it helped to relax me. 

 No one has to like me or love me, but I need to love me, so we start here first. Traveling this year (2018), working (as a blogger and influencer) alone while my husband was in other states working, yoga, and practicing self love were paramount. As a woman it is so important to protect ourselves. So going into 2019, I am feeling like I learned a lot this year; the catalyst that changed me was last Decembers hurt, but this December it was about me and self love. 

I am super positive and happy, but mindful. People kind of refer to this as "an old soul." Lets hope that that kind of personality is embraced more  in the future instead of the typical "she's just a girl." I am more than that and if I have a thought or a problem it doesn't mean I want you to save me. Lets end this wounded baby bird factor that others project on to unsuspecting friends and loved ones. Have you done this? Maybe, maybe not.


IN THE CITY:



We had a lot of city adventures in January and they were all so fun. I am shocked that we got anything done this month because I feel like myself, my husband, and my cats all slept the month away. Winter can be so blah here. Its gray skies almost everyday and overcast. It can certainly trigger seasonal depression in me- luckily that did not happen this year. But it did make me want to just sleep all day. So, our adventures mostly happened at night.



Tonight was a re-do of a date night that went awry. I really loved this restaurant so we came back out to listen to live r & b music and have a great time. I particularly love this photo hubs and I took this night.








Exciting news! I am so happy to tell you all I was chosen as the local expert to represent Tampa in the New Market Mafia magazine! I work so hard at creating great content and really don't get a lot of recognition and this was a great way for me to start out the new year! You can find the digital print here and you can also find them on Facebook and Instagram. The Winter edition will be available for up to one year online. There will also be a spotlight feature on their blog for me (its not up yet). Market Mafia is a local magazine that is distributed in over 60 stores and restaurants in the major cities in Florida.



HAULS:

 c/o Avon

Some of these items I have already tried and love such as the mascara and gold face mask. The velvet bath bomb smelled absolutely amazing and I can't wait to try it! I have heard a lot about Micellular makeup remover and have never tried it. Getting mascara off can be the most annoying thing so I am looking forward to using this.



This month a lot of my hauls are centered around stones and crystals. I am very into metaphysics and meditation and I have been growing my collection. These are some that I picked up from Etsy.com



Necklace from Ettika.



I guess this was the best bra Adore Me made all last year because I officially have it in every color now!





Candle Review:

This month I have three candles that stood out to me from my huge candle day haul.

Black Tie: Aromatic sage, dark tonic bean, rich sandalwood.  This candle very much reminds me of mens cologne. It would be a great gift for the man in your life. As it burned it does get more subtle and almost not detectable.

Sparkling Woods: Lavender and Fir needle essential oils with notes of Bergamot and iced lemon. This candle smells amazingly fresh. I can smell every single note of the scent layers.

Champagne Toast: Citrus and orange essential oils and notes of champagne and sparkling berries. This candle smells fresh and girly. The overall citrus smell and berries stands out the most.



FITNESS: This months fitness has been touch and go. I actually developed an ovarian cyst about 4 weeks ago and so I had to take two weeks just resting and then I slowly moved back into my yoga routine. Some moves can be uncomfortable, but the hardest thing for me is not being able to go hard at my workout! Its easy for me to come up with a decent yoga flow that will not cause more discomfort since I have been doing yoga for a while now. I also can still deadlift (thank god). I actually felt better after dead lifting. Have any of you had to workout while dealing with something like this? Its been a while since I even had a cyst so this took me by surprise. 
'After having spent a few weeks down after the holidays and eating pretty well I might add I lost five pounds and I am happy about that. I always say I need to loose five more and I still do. It seems like every time I get back into a good yoga flow three times a week I get sick (like in November and December). 



I did not make a resolution this year for fitness or weight loss. I have a great schedule and eating habits and I just want to maintain that and learn more fitness wise and yoga wise. I am very happy with how much stronger my arms are thanks to my current workout that I have had since last June. I do want to return to my asanas book by the way... I am one of those types where I will get a lot of instruction via Instagram and when I got my book on asanas it was a really great way to learn more poses and become more limber.

Other than that I finally took the Christmas tree down at the end of the month and set out to make a chic yet comfortable yoga and meditation spot. I think I did a pretty good job (I just wish I had a bigger space that wasn't right next to the kitchen). I will be back in February with photos of the new yoga corner because it is a work in progress!


DATE NIGHTS: This months date nights were a lot of revisiting places we haven't been to in a couple of months. I think there is only one new place for this post and one place we haven't been back to in about five or six years. This month I tried to try things I have never tried before (you will see a lot of those posts in February also. I don't consider myself a "picky eater", but my husband says that I am. I realized my dad who is a self proclaimed "picky eater" influenced a lot of my food choices growing up. For example, he doesn't like duck so I never liked duck even though I never tasted it. So trying new things can be fun and exciting. Check out the salmon roe salad below. The old me would never lol.

Edison Food Lab





Roys Tampa



Bodega Seminole Heights






Roys Tampa


Columbia Restaurant










Seasons 52 Tampa





Sacred Pepper- Carrollwood




                         

Thee Treehouse- formally Platt Street Borough 





* ALL GLUTEN FREE FOODS COOKED BY MYSELF: RECIPES ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST IF NOT LISTED




New Years Good Luck Southern meal.
Black eyed peas, collard greens, rice, roast chicken thighs




This was the first new recipe I came up with for the new year. It started out vegetarian and it evolved to what you see here. I would not catagorize this as a salad- the salad greens are simply a garnish. Its packed full of flavor and easily one of my favorites.


-Boil 2 eggs
-Fry up 1 slice of bacon
- 1 small palm full of spring mix salad
-Ranch dressing
- Fresh dill (you can use dry dill, but the fresh has more flavor)
-EVOO

So for me what makes this recipe great is the arrangement because if you plate it differently its basically a salad. If you plate it with the eggs up front its all about the eggs!

Slice your boiled eggs in half and arrange on the front side of the bowl. Place the small palmful of spring mix behind it. Drizzle a cap full of EVOO on the salad and eggs and do the same with the ranch dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then the bacon bits. Lastly Sprinkle the fresh dill on the eggs.
Slow cooker rope vieja
You can find the recipe I used here. The only change I would make is using less ketchup. It does make the meat very very sweet and I prefer my red sauces tart. This was really easy to make and it made about 9 servings, basically dinner for 2 all week.


keto version with cauliflower rice




This is just a basic protein bowl I made on a night I didn't really feel like cooking. I served up riced broccoli for hubs since he is keto and for myself I made a blend of quinoa, lentils, and white rice to go with my spicy shrimp.



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