Lifestyle, Relationships, Uncategorized

What I learned In My 30’s And What I Think I Know, Now That I am Almost 40

I know that on September 18th, I will turn 40 years old. I know that I only get one second to be 40 years old, and that puts into perspective, the fact that regardless of if you chose to remain still and frozen in time, life goes on. This means, Time and The Tide waits for no man, and if we want something, we must go get it.

We get older by the second, arguably, the Nano second, but nonetheless, we are not getting any younger. I know that responsibilities in some areas increase, as age and maturity requires more of an adult mindset. Your life is a series of seconds that you do not get to rewind. Spend them wisely, seizing moments and opportunities.

I think I know that life is short, and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. However, we make plans, with the expectations that we will be present, in life, when the time comes.

I know that we waste a lot of time in our youth and young adult life, trying to figure out what we are going to do after 40.

I think I know that we should be conscious of the decisions to whom and what, we give our time, trust, love, respect and honor. I’ve learned that good friends are hard to find, and worth fighting for. I’ve learned that if someone wants to be in your life, they will try to do so. I’ve learned that if you know your value, no one can make you feel worthless. I’ve learned how much weight that accountability holds and how much respect an apology can earn. I’ve learned that people who want your attention, will give you theirs and people who want to see you happy, will never forget about the things that make you happy. I’ve learned that people who respect you, will not waste your time.

I know that mistakes are inevitable and bad decisions can cost you your life or at least a portion of it. I know that people make mistakes, and life is better when you forgive- because grudges are heavy. But I also know that forgetting is not promised with forgiveness, nor should it be.

I know that change comes to those who seek it. I know that you should wake up with the urge and desire to live, to live a full life, if you don’t want to just exist in life. I know that everyone has a purpose, regardless of if they have figured out what it is.

I know that it’s important to remain grounded and humble. I think I know that it is important to have a staunch support system, and to be surrounded by people who love you sincerely and genuinely want you to win. I think it’s important to know that some people are not fans or supporters and it’s important to be able to discern, when disclosing intimate details of our life.

I think that it’s important to know when to walk away from toxic relationships, jobs, things, habits and old ways that have stifled our growth. I know that it’s imperative to recognize early warning signs of a catastrophe ahead, to avoid pitfalls in life. I know that if we pay attention to those signs, and adhere to the warning, we would have a much easier life. I know that I heard the phrase, “It may not be easy, but it will be worth it” a thousand times in my 30’s, but I can’t help but to think if it was worth 10 years of my life. We should use discretion, when adopting such statements to live by.

My entire 30’s was spent, learning lessons… repeat lessons- lessons I shouldn’t have had to repeat. But, I know it is because I never got the lesson the first time. It was also spent loving on a child, the love of my life, in ways I never imagined I could. That’s called taking the bitter with the sweet. I know that children add a rare ingredient to life, somewhat of a delicacy.

I know that it hurts sometimes and it’s unbearable. I know that things happen in due time, and that they happen for a reason. I know that some days are harder than others. I know that sometimes, the mission is just to make it out of the bed, and out of the house for a few hours to see that the sun is still shining.

I know that there is and was a range of emotions that come along with making life-altering decisions. I know that in the end, if we use what we have, head and heart combined that we can make the best possible decision. I know that decisions come with hefty price tags. I know that our choices should be rooted in the better investment.

I know that some days are filled with crying and trying to adjust to a new life, or break free from the bondage of an old life. But, I know that tears don’t always represent pain. Sometimes they are stitched and woven from overwhelming joy and happiness. I know that love will find you, no matter where you hide, so long as you leave the light on.

I know that to move on in life, you must let go of the things weighing you down. I know that choices are hard to make when it comes to letting go of things that you thought were real; in work, relationships, opportunities, businesses, endeavors, etc. I know that dreams are sometimes visions to the dreamer. I know that you must have a vision and a mission to excel and succeed.

I know that life is full of ups and downs, left punch, right punch, curve balls and sneak sacs. I know that every time we run the ball, we will not score and every time we get the ball on a fast break, we won’t make the shot. But I also know that when we chalk that up to a learning experience and if we can find value, in the lesson of the loss, we can win again.

I know that there are some people in the world who appear to be heartless, but they aren’t without a heart.  They are just without tolerance for some situations. I know that they are without emotion to certain circumstance. I know that deep down, their heart can be touched, because there is something that they love in life, and they just need to find out what that is. I know that your character is determined by how you treat people. I know that integrity is the highest trait one can possess.

Everyone is different, and should be respected for their differences. People process pain differently, they process life differently and what works for them, may not work for you. I know that all advice is not good advice. I know that Wisdom comes with age, and courage comes with challenges. I know that when we go to bat for the little guy, the big guy goes to bat for us. I know that almost doesn’t count, unless your shooting for second place. But we should always finish what we start.

I think strategy and execution are as important as planning. I think that following through on things in life, are the only way to accomplish goals. I know that setting goals are the first step toward achievement. I think I know that when it’s time to go to war, we must go prepared with confidence in ourselves. I know that in business, some bridges are meant to be burned, while others need rebuilding.

I have learned, that there’s nothing in the world that I cherish more than family. Thus, no matter where I’ve been in the world, there’s still no place like home. I know that it takes a good relationship with the creator, to get through each day, each week and each trial that life may throw your way. I know that being in the valley is necessary sometimes. I know that you can lose everything overnight. But I know that you can be blessed beyond measure, and earn it all back, 10-fold. I know that faith can move mountains. I believe in miracles. I know that you reap what you sow and that Karma is a b!$h.

I have learned that I can be a Realtor, a Business Owner, a Property Manager, A leading Leasing agent, A kick-A$$ Retail Manager, a Wife, A Super Single Mom, an Award-Winning Writer, A Screen Writer, a Published Author, a Best Mom Blogger, Mom Ambassador, Brand Influencer, and one hell of a Mother, all before 40! I know that this is still my season, and every second counts.

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

Make this your response: Dear haters, I still want you to win

I want you to win because I believe in empowering people, women and men. I hope to motivate and inspire you to believe it for yourself too. I want you to win, because I want to see you happy. I want to see you rise above your ways, thrive and flourish into something beautiful. Even when you don’t wish the same for me, I still want to see it for you. I want you to have all that you’ve ever hoped for, wished for and dreamed for. Everything that you think will make your life great or greater, even those things which cause you to envy, or despise who and what you don’t know- I hope that someday soon, that you can have it. I want you to win.

I want your life to be an on-going list of amazing experiences. All the places that you want to go visit, all the luxurious hotel beds that you want to sleep in, all the first-class flights, jets, or private charters and yachts you want to take, the house that you want to live in, the financial situation that you want to have, the emotional state of happiness that you need, and whips that you want to push, I want you to have it all. I want you to have the clothes, the friends, the networks and the support. Even though you don’t support me, I still want you to win. Even though you have not been a friend to me, I still want this for you. I hope that someday, in the near further, that you won’t have to live vicariously through anyone, and that you can have the life that you so desire.

I want you to win. I want you to place every egg that you have in one basket, and I want it to multiply for you. I want you to reap seeds of prosperity and I want you to love yourself. I want you to be able to do all the things in life that will bring you peace and joy, whether it’s to have kids, work a job you love, have the career that you want, the title in life that you want, and I want you to be with someone you love. I want you to have the relationship with family that you want, sip champagne just because it’s Sunday and enjoy brunch every day, with people who wish you well. All this, because I truly want you to win.

It doesn’t matter who you are, I still want you to win: Whether we went to high school together, and you judge your own success in life off who went further, or whether you are an ex, who can’t get over a past of pain, in which I never knew I brought to you. I still want you to win, whether we worked together at some point and you did your best to get me fired, I still want the best for you. I will still put my best, in sincerely wanting you to have everything you took, take or are trying to take from me. Whether you were a girlfriend to an ex, who never wanted to see me with him, whether you were a parent of someone I used to know, who hates me for no reason. Whether you are a teacher who never wanted to see me graduate, whether you came in, 2nd place to me in a competition for a title or position that you wanted, whether you are someone who gets sick at the sound of my name, I still want you to win.

Even though you secretly stalk me, wanting for a moment to swipe my happy moment, I want you to win. Whether you are someone who, with bad intentions and motives, prowls my social media, I want to see you win….Whether you are a church member caught up in the hoopla of lies and deception, games and trickery, with no will to see me come out on top. I still want you to win. If you are an attorney, who took my money, with no intention to help, but all the desire in the world, just to get information and then take it back to those who betrayed me, I STILL want you to win. Whether you have taken my deepest secrets and placed your own verse on them, creating your own rendition, before sharing them with more people, who are just like you, I still want you to win.

I still want you to win, despite the blatant ways you have tried to make me lose. I still want you to win, even though, when you knew the truth, you still sided with wrong, just to see me fail. I still want you to win, even though you take from me and I give to you. I still want you to win, even though we don’t know each other, but you judge me based off things you may have heard. I still want you to win, even though you constantly look for ways to bring me down.

You can have it all, but if your heart is not right and your spirit is corrupt, you’ll never be able to see it. You’ll never feel the joy that comes into your life, long as you’re blocking the door with hatred, spite, anger, envy, jealousness. Wishing Hurt, harm and pain on someone else, or damaging a person, sabotaging a person, destroying someone’s reputation, credibility and life; will never return to you all the things you want. I want you to win so that’s why I’m sharing this pearl.

I want you to win, so that you can stop hoping and wishing it away from other people, and so that you can stop dwelling on what they have, and how you wish they didn’t have it or how you hope they lose it. I want you to win, so that you don’t have to rely on your happiness coming from seeing someone else lose the things they have worked so hard for.

But, here’s the catch: I want you to wake up and decide that you are going to be happy and that you want to win, fair and square. Your win can not come from taking, stealing, lying, or being manipulative, deceiving and dishonest. That’s when you’ll know that you’re WINNING

Then, with intentional purpose, set out to just be happy. I want this for you, that you will be able to do just that- so that you can live again. So that you can shut off that internally redundant behavior of hating on other people; by which you have been gossiping, spreading and perpetuating lies and creating drama. I want you to stop engaging and dealing in acts of hatred toward other people’s happiness and their possessions.

I want you to have a life that is so full of the things you love, that you will no longer concern yourself with me or anyone else that you think is doing better or that may have the things that you want for yourself. I want you to have the luxury of being involved with things that can be positively life altering for you as well as a blessing to the world. I want you to experience a transformation that is so powerful, that you wake up and realize that hating on someone else, will never grant you the happiness that’s required to truly enjoy any of the things above. I am still rooting for you!

Originally published on Cafemom.com. See it here

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Give The Children What They Need, And Put A Little Something Extra In Your Child’s Lunchbox – It’s Time To Go Back-To-School

Image result for food productsA portion of my summer, was spent doing product trials with my child, to determine some of the best items to add to a kid’s lunchbox, or snack bag when school began again. And now that the time is upon us, I am confident that I will not have to be on the receiving end of the teachers concerned phone call or little handwritten note, to tell me that my child “seems to still be hungry, after lunch.”

Imagine how I felt, momentarily… that one time in April, when my child’s teacher reached out to me, via text, to give me a “heads-up.” She said that my child doesn’t appear to be getting enough to eat, and seems hungry. First thought, wow- I have been paying child support and my child does not have lunch? Second thought, who’s packing my child lunch and why were they not giving him enough? Third thought, dads claim to fame is how much money he makes, certainly he can afford to pack a healthy, hearty and wholesome snack and lunch for our son.

Ok, so then I calmed to a normal pace, to avoid jumping to conclusions and to try to understand what was going on. I got a little emotional, because I wanted to advise my sons dad of what the teacher said, as well as, to ask the appropriate questions regarding my child nutrition. However, due to the nature of our relationship being what it is, I walk on egg shells with what I say, out of concerns about how he will take it. For instance: Will he think I am taking jabs at him? Will he think that I am saying that he is not winning at parenting, if I relate this concern?

I paused, to allow the anxiety to subside, and to truly look at the situation, as one that could be an easy fix. Especially with the bottom line being, IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED, and I have no time to sugar-coat anything. I 86’d the above questions and I emailed him. I offered my assistance to find amazing snack ideas, if he had been too busy to do so himself. I offered to price them at three different stores that was near his home, to make shopping easier and most affordable for him. I offered to make the list for Monday-Friday, on what should be packed each day, where to get it and how much it would cost. While my proposal wasn’t accepted prior to the summer beginning, and before school ended; I will be pitching it again this week, in hopes that going forward, it will.

So, anyway, over the summer, during my quest to find something, I came across the following:

Black Forest Gummy Bears

Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears: “America’s Best Tasting Gummy Bears! Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears are made with thoughtful ingredients like lemon juice, organic cane sugar, potato starch, carrot and beet juice. These lovable little Gummy Bears are made with love and feature a taste YOU WILL LOVE. Every bag includes cherry, orange, lemon, apple and pineapple flavors. USDA Certified Organic. Gluten Free.” (http://www.blackforestusa.com/products/)

Image result for clifbar

CLIF Kids Zbar: “CLIF Kid Zbar® is an organic, baked whole grain energy snack, made with a blend of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat to give kids energy so they can keep zipping and zooming along. Our products never include high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.” (http://www.clifbar.com/products/clif-kid/zbar)

SunButter

SunButter: With nearly three pounds of shelled, roasted sunflower seeds in each jar, SunButter has 7 grams of protein per serving, and it has more vitamins and minerals than nut butter. SunButter provides 45% of the US recommended daily allowance for Vitamin E with no trans-fat and less saturated fat than the leading brand of almond butter.

SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. SunButter is also free from Canada’s ten priority food allergens, which include mustard, sulfites, and sesame.

SunButter is made in the US from locally-grown, specially-roasted sunflower seeds, which are processed in our dedicated peanut free and tree nut free facility. Our sunflower seeds are grown in a region of the country where peanuts are not grown, eliminating the risk of cross contamination. SunButter is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and certified kosher.

This is not an ad for the companies above. I am sincerely recommending these products, because I have tried them for myself, and because I got the stamp pf approval, from my First-grader. The good thing is, these snacks don’t just work for the kids, they make great on-the-go snacks for the working mother.

Double check the lunch box, making sure that your child has something filling, and of nutritional value. Moms, I am not the mom Nazi! However, sometimes we just need reminders, from other moms who may have heard a suggestion or two from a teacher… and before hearing it in a less than sensitive memo, I am giving you the heads up.

Unfortunately, I won’t get to be the one who packs my child’s lunch box, to ensure that it is done with a lot of extra love to fill his belly. But it is with all my heart, that I hope he’s getting all he needs from it, when it’s time.

Here’s the perfect starter guide:

Fresh fruit.

Crunchy vegetables.

A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste*

Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt.

Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers.

Water.

Article Originally published HERE, at Working Mother

Lifestyle, Relationships

Here’s Some Tea For Your Office! Should She Tell Him Or Nah? Take A Break To Finish This Story, Just For The Fun Of It

Take a break from work and finish this story- I’d like to open this writing assignment to anyone who would like to complete this story Often-times in life, single or not, we are challenged with scenarios, which aren’t always pretty. If we are lucky, it’s not our own life dilemma, but we are always happy to add our two cents. Writer’s Workshop gives everyone a chance to chime in, on how they would interpret a body of work, or in the case of a story, they have a chance to step into the situation and address it, however they think they would.

Two friends, Brandi and Brad, who also used to be involved in a committed relationship over 10 years ago, decide to get together for Brunch one Sunday; to introduce each other to the significant other. (significant, being used loosely here) as nothing has been verbally declared exclusive, and its more so on the lines of a deal that comes with mutual respect and understanding. While there is interest, chemistry and attraction between each of the couples, exclusivity has not been established and they have yet to solidify the relationship with a title, parse’.

Brandi arrives with Ken. Brad arrives with Karen, who has been informed that Brad used to date BrandiKen is not aware that they had been in a previous relationship. Each of the couples, have been in a casual dating relationship, with their respective partners, for an extended period.

While the four of them are out for Brunch, they are all having the greatest time. The introductions went over well, and everyone in the group seemed to mesh. The conversations and laughter, were endless. After-which, they all ended up hanging out for the entire day together.

About 3 weeks later, Brad called Brandi for small chat. While on the phone, he brings Brandi up to speed with his relationship with Karen. He says he’s thinking about making things official. He also mentioned that Karen inquired about Brandi and Kens relationship. Brad expressed that *Karen wanted to know if Brandi and Ken were “doing OK.” *She said that she enjoyed meeting them both, and suggested that they all hang out again.

Brandi tells Brad, that they are in the same kind of the same back and forth, as usual. Not really getting anywhere kind of thing. She adds that they could still hang out sometimes. Brad relates the message to Karen.

A couple of weekends later, Brad called Brandi, because he had not heard from Karen all day. He wanted advice. His dilemma was, Karen has disappeared and she had not answered her phone in an entire day. He expressed that he wanted to speak with her about taking their relationship to the next level, but she was not answering the phone. Karen normally answers all his calls or at least returns it with a text. This time, she was not doing either. However, when Brad called from a different number, Karen answered. To Brad’s surprise, now realizing she was ignoring his call, he asked her if she cared to explain. To which she replied, “No, I will call you later” She did not return his call, until 24 hours later.

Brandi shares her thoughts of what may have happened, by stating: Karen is either with someone and this is the reason for her nearly 48 hours disappearing. Or, she’s trying to send the message that her and Brad are not as exclusive as she’d like to be, and she is teaching him a lesson. Brandi goes on to share, that Brad has no right to ask Karen what she’s doing in those hours, because he has not made a commitment to her and therefore she’s not obligated to tell him anything.

Brandi then realizes, she shares similarities in the story that Brad is telling her about Karen. Ken too, at this point, had been AWOL. Except, Brandi had gone through this, multiple times with Ken. She’s not so much worried about what’s going on, because it’s like Ken, to just up and disappear, and she doesn’t ask questions. She knew Ken to be a bit of a floater, jumping from one to the next- so it was always a challenge to take him serious. And she was just not that worried about what he was up to anymore.

However, Brandi’s intuition tells her that this is little more than coincidence. Having had the past that she has with Ken, she believes in her heart of hearts, that Ken and Karen are together. She digs deeper…and finds this to be true. She finds out that at some point throughout the night, several weeks back, Ken and Karen exchanged numbers, and have been communicating with each other since the day they met.

Brandi uncovers the truth about their whereaboutsBrandi never discusses her findings, with Brad, as she had come to realize he was truly beginning to want a relationship with Karen. Instead, she tries to guide Brad into having a conversation with Karen about where he wants to go, from here. Brandi explains that sometimes girls need to know who they are to you, and when you cannot define it, this is the result. Brandi reiterated to Brad that he should only hold Karen responsible for this day forward, should she agree to have a relationship with him.

When Karen finally resurfaced, nearly 48 hours later, Brad questioned her whereabouts. She took a standoffish approach, whereas she used to be a willing to disclose any details about where she’d been. She told Brad that it wasn’t his business, and that she was not obligated to address it, as they were not in any “exclusive” relationship. After giving thought to his proposition, Karen finally called and agreed to take things further with Brad, under one circumstance: He was to never ask her about that weekend.

Meanwhile, Brandi sent a message to Ken, just to let him know that she knew. Ken Confirmed it when he returned her call. Ken had also been made aware, that Brandi and Brad used to be engaged….10 years prior, thanks to Karen for sharing that information at some point when they secretly spoke over the phone. Brandi decided to part ways with Ken.

In finishing the story, address these questions 1) Is there a right or wrong in this situation? 2) What should be done, if anything? 3) Does anyone owe loyalty or disclosures toward anyone?

Reminder: At no point leading up to Brandi’s discovery, had Ken or Karen made it clear to Brad or Brandi that they were also dating each other- while they were still in a relationship with them.

Story originally shared here, at Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Road Trip! And What I learned along the way, while traveling with my child

After a nine-hour road trip from Houston, Texas, to Daphne, Alabama to visit my parents; I am totally convinced of why children were made. They were made to keep us alive, by talking us to death! Because that’s what it takes to keep us alive, on the road. As sarcastic as that revelation may seem, it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth #ThatsMyFinalAnswer

It was bad enough that the trip should have only taken 6-7 hours, and after one stop for gas, it should have been smooth sailing. Had we departed Houston within the time frame, which my experience over the years, had stressed to me, to be the safest time to leave; I would have had 2 hours less the torture. However, because we were 1.5 hour late in leaving, due to making a last-minute grocery run for travel snacks, we also endured the feat of getting out of the city during Houston’s lunch time traffic.

I have never been asked, “why,” so many times in one day, and so I have never felt so ignorant in all my life. I also felt tired and exhausted, long before we made it to Beaumont, Texas. (Only an hour away). I began to question, “Why did I take this road trip? Can I do this? Am I really prepared for this……and LORD, will he ever just shut up and just go to sleep?” All the arrows pointed toward no, but I was waiting on the last answer from the man above, so I continued to drive.

https://youtu.be/eM6xMA_T6os

I was already tired and still feeling the residuals of an “Adult Only” 4th of July weekend, which was followed by a lot of mommy juice earlier in the week. Nonetheless, I was still good for the road. Or so I thought. In my defense, this was not the first time I took the trip, so I knew what I was capable of doing it and I knew that it could be done. But, I must say, doing this trip with a kid, after the 4th of July, was a little different. Any other time, I can coast, with the music blasting… listening to the sound that my own mind makes, while I entertain thoughts of what I will do when I make it to my destination. I was not prepared for this! And GOD had not answered the call yet, about if my child was going to sleep any time soon. I kept driving and he kept asking questions. He continued to talk. No rhyme or reason of course, because he’s only 6-years old. It was random conversations and I truly felt like I was chasing him through a fully crowded amusement park, trying to keep up with him. He kept switching gears and I kept getting sleepier. I got more sleep than he did, so why was this happening to me? What did I ever do that was so wrong, that I would be “talked-to-death” like this? You can’t tell a child to shut up – that’s just wrong. But the traffic was atrocious! And the road rage and angry driver were all around me, so I had to take the good (staying awake and alert) with the bad (being talked into a coma) …and sang into the oblivion.

https://youtu.be/OgZUINOaDsA

Finally, a phone call from a friend came in. I almost ran off the road, trying to take that call. It was like being stranded in a dessert and reaching for an oasis! I quickly answered and desperately sought out some adult conversation, almost as if in a hostage situation where I had a matter of seconds to get the information across. I just wanted to talk about nothing, just anything that did not involve, “Mom, do you know how many people are in the world? … Mom, do you know how many red cars are in the entire world? … Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? … Mom, are you going to take a short cut? … Mom, Mom, Mom … UTOH!” * RollsEyes… What is it now, Cornelius? What did you spill? So, anyway… I was happy to talk about a customer service complaint that my friend had to deal with at work earlier in the day. Who wants to hear that! ME! I did! I wanted to hear it, because I could not take another Knock-Knock joke, or another Why did the XYZ cross the road, what did the XYZ say to the XYZ, and I did not want to play I SPOT, anymore!

I feel so terrible about the fact that a game as innocent as I spot a little red car, could generate so much animosity. He just wanted to play a game. OMG, I am such an awful parent. I really just wanted to respond, “I SPOT SOME SLEEP! I SPOT A LITTLE BOY WHO WONT GO TO SLEEP! I SPOT A HEADACHE! I SPOT A BED THAT I WISH I COULD BE IN! I SPOT A MISTAKE THAT I MADE BY GETTING ON THIS ROAD, WHILE I WAS TIRED!” At one point, I swear I spotted an exit that said home, but I was still 6 hours away. Or so I thought. So, I took a deep breath and I kept it together though. I Learned how to do that in co-parenting class. I passed that class, so I knew the routine would work. 10…9…8…7… I couldn’t finish the conversation about the angry customer who called to talk about the over-priced service they were paying for, for the last 5 years and how she wanted out of her contract without paying any termination fees. That is because each time my friend got a word out, my son would ask, “ Mom, who is that? … How do you know him? … How do you spell his name? … How long are you going to be on the phone? … etc.

Right about then, we entered Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We were at a snail’s pace for 2 solid hours… until we hit the other side of Hammond, Louisiana and the talking had yet to cease. I stopped for gas and a bathroom break, just to stretch my legs and to give my ears, eyes and brain a break. I allowed him to pump gas and I just walked around the car, did some jumping jacks, jogged in place, did some YOGA, meditated, tried to summon the man above – so I prayed. Where are you GOD?

We hit the road again, for the final stretch home. But to my dismay, we were greeted by another set of halted cars, which prolonged the trip even more and subjected me to the final hour, which turned into the final 2.5 hours. When we made it to Tillman’s Corner, just after the Welcome to Alabama sign, I thought to myself, “OMG- 30 more minutes and I am home free. That is when the little tyke decided he had to do the number 2. Why GOD? Why? When I finally made it home, I realized that GOD was there the whole time. He was talking me to death to keep me alive.

https://youtu.be/OOv-SXrPsmQ

Lifestyle, Parenting

HEY SUNBUTTER! He Likes It

HEY SUNBUTTER! He Likes It!

It would be awfully selfish of me if I didn’t share this tidbit of information with Mom Bloggers Club. As much as I would like to be the keeper of this secret, I just can’t. It’s totally worth sharing, and you can thank me later. Unless of course, it was something that everyone else already knew about. Lol! I found something else that my son gave his stamp of approval on, and so, I proudly gave it my Mom Approved stamp of approval as well, after trying it for myself. SunButter came into our lives last week, while setting up for a Moms Group, to try out the product and see what we all had to say. I wasn’t 5 minutes in, before my own son had cracked open the On The Go sized, SunButter Single cups.

It was a hilarious moment, because as I was trying to video the real, raw reactions and thoughts of the moms that attended, my son can be heard, butting in, to say: It’s good! I’m eating it all up! There couldn’t have been a more natural and unrehearsed moment, as he continued to dig into the cup with his saltine cracker. Take One, Final cut- My work was done! He dismisses us, to ask “Can I have another cracker?”

Where do you go from there? Does it get any better? I found a snack, on my hunt for some back to school goodies, and I got one that he took to, off the bat. #Winning I know that moms everywhere can absolutely agree, that this is a monumental moment, when you have a picky eater; one who is hard to please sometimes, who judges food by the smell, the texture, the look, the everything else that frustrates you while you’re saying, “Just Eat The Cake Anna Mae!” All the while, wondering if your child is malnourished, because he won’t eat anything on his plate.

He’s an active 6- year old boy, who’s always running, jumping, flipping, bouncing around off walls, beds, sofas etc. He’s a playful ball of energy who thinks that sleep is the enemy. To get him to sit down is one thing. To get him to sit still is another thing. While getting him to eat, is not impossible, it has been a challenge.

However, on that one-day last week, and every day up until the SunButter On The Go Single cups were all gone, I accomplished a moment of silence. That’s the big secret I had to share. Thank GOODNESS, we had more!

This has made it onto our list of top 5 things to add to your child’s lunch box, while considering that its Back to School time. It also makes a perfect on the go snack for adults! Check out these awesome recipes for incorporating Sun Butter into y…

SunButter Curry Meatballs

Here are a few fun facts: 7g Protein, USA Grown and Made, More Vitamins and Minerals than NutButter, Top 8 Allergen Free, Non GMO.  SunButter Sunflower Butter comes in 5 choices:

Natural -most popular variety – with 7 grams of protein per serving!

Creamy- Creamy, delicious and easy to spread – perfect for snacking

Natural Crunch- Delicious roasted sunflower seed flavor with a crunch you’ll love

No Sugar Added-Simply roasted sunflower seeds and a hint of salt for flavor.

Organic-SunButter Organic is made without added sugar, salt or hydrogenated oil.

SunButter On The Go Creamy Singles -Six convenient 1.5 oz. cups of Creamy SunButter with 9 grams of protein per serving!

Originally posted on Mom Bloggers Club, Here

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

Here’s 5 Reasons Why My Son and I Are In Love With Chick Fil A- They get it right, and therefore perfect is possible

Here’s 5 Reasons Why My Son and I Are In Love With Chick Fil A; They get it right, and therefore perfect is possible

1. I’ve never personally had one unpleasant experience nor complaint about their food, or service. It’s always hot, fresh and the same from one store to the next. They always properly greet you and tell you that it was their pleasure to serve you, which is an added incentive toward making a customer feel appreciated.

2. I’ve never seen a complaint on social media about a bad-experience, nor have I ever heard one in person from anyone. If there has been a complaint, it has clearly been handled and handled immediately, as all complaints should be, and likely with professionalism and apologetic sentiments.

3. I have never walked into the restaurant, in to the middle of a firestorm between customer and employee, over an order being wrong or a dispute about what was ordered and what was received. I have never had to check my order before leaving.

4. I’ve been to at least 20 different cities and the service is consistent. I have never had to drive back through drive through about an order being wrong, as I drove off. The employees are 100 percent on the same page, from state to state.

5. I have never seen a mad, angry or upset employee, or one that may be having a dreadful day, who is now taking it out on the next customer- It’s likely because at Chic Fil A, no one has had to ruin their day after messing up an order over and over. So, they are all happy employees. No one seems frustrated to be at work, doing their job.

Chic Fil A has given me more than enough reasons to, “Eat Mor Chikin” Fast food industries can and should take a page from the book of management, service, professionalism from Chick- because they get it right. Every time.

Instead of resorting to measures such as “a no refund policy” and only offering to “re-make” your order right, I feel like if they were to implement a little more pride in the job, it would increase the possibilities for these other establishments to get it right as well.

Suddenly resorting to a no-refund policy, says that they have lost so much money on messing up orders, that you’ve had to implement measures to secure the money. If you get it right the first time- you wouldn’t lose money. That’s just the bottom line answer. It’s been happening for years and years so there’s no excuse. Even if you don’t get it right the first time, at least get it right the second time.

I am not discounting anyone’s demanding work in the food and beverage industry, because I realize every job has its challenges. I also realize that sometimes, you have bad days. However, when at work, you need to put your game face on and do your best. When you do your best, it shows. When a customer sees that you are doing your best, they are also less apt to explode on you for getting it wrong. When you do not do your best, it reflects in service; beginning with taking the order, repeating the order, conveying or communicating the order, filling the order and delivering it to the customer.

How many times have you gone through someone’s drive thru, where not only do they get the order entirely wrong on the first time, but you go into the store or back through drive thru, only for them to mess it up again! And they have the audacity to be mad at you. This is equally frustrating to a customer. Customers are likely going thru a “fast food drive thru” for a “fast food service”, because they are limited on time themselves. They too have jobs, where they only have a 15-minute break, or 30 minutes to an hour lunch; after-which they must return to work. They do not have time to waste on getting a burger with cheese, only to find out that they must go back in, because the burger with cheese has mayo, mustard, onions etc. on it, when they never asked for that.

Mistakes are something that happens. We understand! I can’t say that when going through the drive thru at other establishments, that they are in the back saying that they deliberately want to screw up your meal, or day, or make you drive back through, or that they want to get a customer so extremely upset about the order, that they will come into the store and curse someone out. What I am saying is, if employees slowed down a little, take their time to listen and communicate an order, as well as see it through to the end…versus rushing to get to the next person in line; they may increase their chances of getting it right on the first attempt. Listening is key. Quality is key. Snap out of the robotic way of making an order and take heed to what the customer is asking for- Because just because a burger comes with all the fixings, doesn’t mean your customer want it with all the fixings.

Here is real-life example of what constantly happens:

Me: (speaking slowly, and clearly, to communicate an order) Hello… I would like a #1…. No onion…. no tomato… no mayo…. with fries and a Sprite. (make that a large, please)

Drive-Thru Attendant: Ok. You want cheese?

Me: No

Drive-Thru Attendant: You want fries or tots?

Me: Fries

Drive-Thru Attendant: What you want to drink?

Me: Sprite

(*But I have already said all of this. However, I am not mad that they have their way of taking the order and perhaps asking questions that I have already given answers to, helps them get the order right- I have no qualms about that) But this is what happens:

Drive-Thru Attendant: Drive around for your total

Once I get to the window, I pay and take my order. I have already pulled off before opening the bag, due to my concern about the growing line and the fact that after she handed me the bag, she slammed the window without asking if I needed any condiments or anything else…as she proceeds with taking other orders. She never once acknowledged me sitting there, trying to ask for a straw, or salt or to tell her that she gave me a Coke instead of a Sprite.

She finally opened the window. She’s angry that I am still sitting there, but I am only still sitting there, because she closed the window so fast, without me being able to bring it to her attention.

This is what I have when I finally leave:

Large Sprite, which is water down from the lack of soda fountain syrup.

A #1 with cheese, mayo, onion, and tomato.

The only thing they got right was the fries- except they are hard, cold, and stale.

Here’s what you need to know:

People will wait on good service, hot food and an order that they know will be right, based their previous experiences. So, you don’t have to rush through, in attempt to fill as many orders within the hour, as you possibly can. That’s ideal of course, that you want to increase your numbers and orders per hour. However, what are you really accomplishing, when for every order you make, you have another order that you now, must remake? When you do that, you get it wrong, and you end up with even longer lines, and some upset and impatient customers.

I see lines at Chick fil A, that wrap around the store. I have never seen anyone drive off. They wait.  Whereas at other establishments, they are constantly driving off. My guess is, they say it’s not worth waiting for.

Originally Posted here, on CAFEMOM