My Words For 2019 !

This year I decided to try something new and think of some words that I will apply to my life. These are the words that I came up with. 

Consistency

Value

Discipline

Connections 

Growth

Manifesting

(Note: I wanted to post this earlier but this new puppy parent life….whew, that will come in a later blog post)

When you hear each of these words, what do you think of?

For me I think each one will allow me to make some necessary changes in my life this year.

  1. CONSISTENCY: This is an important word for me, sometimes I start things and don’t see them all the way through, however this year I want to work on being more consistent in all things that I do.
  2. VALUE: I learned a lot about value over the past year. One thing is for sure value is very important to me, whether it is adding value to a situation or recognizing that you are not being valued. My key point for this word is to notice the value that I am adding to situations and to take note on if I am in turn being valued. This can apply to all sorts of things.
  3. DISCIPLINE: This is a key word for me. In the past few years I have been a little reckless, especially when it comes to eating and not working out. I am not saying that I am going on a strict diet or doing the “new year workout” routine (no knocking anyone that does) , but just working on making some simple changes in my life that help me get to the next level. This also applies to spending, saving, and personal growth.
  4. CONNECTIONS: One thing is for sure, I am a friendly person and I tend to meet people all over the place. I am working on connecting with people this year and growing new potential friendships/associateships (not a word, I know).
  5. GROWTH: In 2019 focusing on growth is important. I want to be the best me that I can be, so growth is an important part of this. I have noticed a change in my life in the past year and I realize that I am no longer the same person, but one that is constantly growing.
  6. MANIFESTING: To be honest, this wasn’t one of my original words, however one of my friends made a key point. Work on manifesting what you want to have/do in the future and utilize all of these other words to help you get there.

Well, that about sums up my words for 2019. Do you have any???? Share with me.

CHEF HALES’ HOT CHICKEN REVIEW

I had a chance to visit Miami Beach over Labor Day weekend and stayed at the lovely Confidante Hotel. The onsite restaurant is called Bird & Bone and it’s claim to fame is having the best chicken in Miami.

I must admit I was a little skeptical as I am from the south and I have tasted some pretty good fried chicken in my life, but this chicken actually lived up to the hype.

For a $28 price tag on the menu it is listed as Chef Hales Hot Chicken: Florida Honey, House Mustard, Cucumber Pickle, w/ Zak the Baker Country Bread.  This meal only comes in one size, which turns out to be a half chicken.

I ordered this famous dish on a fairly busy restaurant night, but the chicken did not disappoint me at all. It was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside as if it had been fried to perfection. The mustard sauce bread and cucumbers add to the deliciousness of the dish and do not take away from the star, which is the chicken.

I will be honest I had been in South Beach all day enjoying my fair share of delicious beverages for the majority of the day and I knew that this was going to be my dinner. I took it to my room and sat down and indulged. You will want to eat the whole half of a chicken in one setting if you can. LOL.

You have to try it! I give Chef Hales’ hot chicken 2 thumbs up!!!

(I would like to note that the restaurant had no idea that I would be reviewing this meal)

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The Old Man Turns 71!!!

Birthdays are special.

When the Old Man reaches another birthday it’s always the “whatever you want”

approach.

This time was no different. This year we went to lunch. I chose lunch because I knew that he would want to go right to sleep after walking and eating.  

A couple of days before his birthday I asked what meal he would like.  He replied “ox tails”.  I thought of the options to sit down and eat ox tails in my town and I could only think of a few.  

I called The Palace International Restaurant on Broad Street in Durham, NC and they were able to comply with my request to serve oxtails for lunch. Now that the easy part was out of the way, I said “you will have your ox tails” . He was overjoyed.  

Found some mini loaf cakes at The Kupcake Fairy on Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville so he could have a little birthday cake too. 

One thing that I have realized about watching my Dad age is that simple things are the key to happiness. All he wanted for his birthday was to eat oxtails have a double rum and coke, get out of the house and laugh a little. That is exactly what we did. 

Let setup part of the day for you. I called him in the morning so that he would know what time I was coming to pick him up, this was how the convo went: 

Old Man:Today I am wearing a tshirt and shorts.

Me: Ok, if that is what we are doing I will wear something similar. 

Old Man: Yep, it is all about comfort, today is my day. 

Me: U are right. See you in a little while. 

I  pick him up and he is ready.  We have a birthday song walk jam session on the way to the car. We sing along to Old school jams on the ride. Drive through 2 mini downpours and make it to the restaurant right on time. 

Some friends and family arrive and we laugh and talk. Order some great meals and talk some more. 

Surprisingly he ate his entire plate of food and even started eating the cake .That was a great sight to see! 

We ride back to his house drive back through some rainstorms and get him home during some light drizzle. 

The best part of the day was taking him home and him saying, 

“I had a great day, it was off the hook!”  

Now we are on the road to 72. Look out now.

(If this is your first time reading then I should let you know, “Old Man” is an affectionate term for my Dad. Just in case you were wondering)

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mini cake action

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Oxtails with rice and collard greens.

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Me and The Old Man!

 

What’s in your snack pack?

One thing I have realized over the years is that when planning road trips I get the most enjoyment out of preparing a snack pack.

What is a snack pack? (You might ask) 

I define a snack pack as whatever snacks and drinks that you enjoy or will enjoy while riding in the car on a road trip, sitting on the beach, or in your hotel room when you arrive at your hotel.

Who inspired your snack pack? 

Many people ask where I got the idea for my snack packs and it came from My Aunt Sister. I heard a story about her going on one of her famous “casino bus trips” and one person that went on the trip spoke of this “cooler” that she carried with her.  He said she had the entire cooler full of sandwich meats, bread, sodas, snacks and whatever other food she wanted while she was traveling. He then mentioned that thanks to her cooler they managed to save money on food and with their excess money they were able to play some more games at the casino. After I heard this story, I asked my Aunt Sister about this special cooler that she had and she mentioned on every trip she went on, she took the cooler.

After hearing the story, I kept it in the back of my mind and once I started going on trips as an adult I started working on items that should go in my snack packs. Each one was different and catered to what I wanted for that particular trip.

The snack pack images featured below are from a recent beach trip.  (Items include: paper towels, napkins, plates, cups, a shaker, tequila, whiskey, margarita mix, hard cider, water, pineapple juice, ginger ale, cheese, mandarin oranges, triscuits, hummus, tortilla chips, turkey pepperoni, salsa, gummy bears, snickers bites, turkey sandwiches, and a few other things not pictured.)

What’s in your snack pack?

Let me know what you include in your travel snack packs.

 

 

***This post is dedicated to the memory of My Late Aunt Sister. After writing this post via pen, she passed away. I will always be grateful of the times we shared and the inspiration to my snack packs. RIP Aunt Sister  ***

A letter to you: To help you through the Holidays.

Holidays can bring about many feelings, sometimes they are good and sometimes they are not so good. Holidays can be a rough time for many, so I decided to write a letter  to those that may not feel festive during the holidays with some tips to help you get through.

Dear reader,

It’s completely ok to not to be in the holiday spirit during this season. The key to getting through it, is to do whatever helps you with this tough time. If you are unsure of where to start here are a couple of things that I have used in the past to help me get through this time of year:

  1. FEEL– Allow yourself to feel your emotions, whatever they may be.  If you need to let out a good cry, GO AHEAD and do it. This can help with release and can help you feel a little better.
  2. THINK OF FAVORITE THINGS– If you have a favorite beverage such as tea, hot chocolate, egg nog or even an alcoholic beverage enjoy some of that. (Just don’t indulge too much to where it makes you sick.) Or if you have a favorite candle, or music listen to that to lighten your mood.
  3. PHONE A FRIEND- If you just need to vent, phone a friend that will listen and allow you to do just that. Talk it out, whatever is on your mind, get it out and you will feel much better.
  4. DO NOTHING- Sometimes it is ok just to do nothing, relax enjoy your quiet time. During this time you can meditate or just be alone. It is ok to be alone if you feel like you may put a damper on someone else’s day. Get some rest and regroup, this is allowed anytime of year. (However, if you decide to go this route try not to make it a week-long, just try it for a day or two.)
  5. CELEBRATE- If you are down, sometimes celebrating can bring up your spirits. Try baking cookies or playing holiday music, this can help change your mood.

These are just 5 things that you can do to try to help out when you are down during the holidays. I know first hand what it feels like to be down and I utilize all of these things at different times during the holiday season to help me with my mood. Christmas was one of my Mommy’s (RIP) favorite holidays and it hasn’t felt the same since she was here. I realized that she embraced the holiday in remembrance of her mom, so I am always working on how to fix my mood.

I say do whatever works for you, but these things have helped me, so maybe they will help you too.

Much love,

Misstakenid

My first experience with 9ROUND Raleigh,NC – Triangle

Let me start off and say, this was not your typical workout experience. You kinda make your own class schedule, which is awesome. It was a different approach to working out, which I enjoyed.

Ok, let me start at the beginning.

First, I found a 9 round trainer from a random post I saw on social media. Then I went to the website to see what it was about.

“I was thinking to myself a 30 minute kickboxing class, I think I can handle that!” 

So, I decided to check them out. A free first class, is an awesome introduction to any workout gym/fitness class (and it works very well for me and my budget, LOL) since I wasn’t sure what to expect.

As a first timer, you fill out a form and release and such, so it’s like, sheesh what am I about to do, but the cool part is you can see what other people are doing when you walk in, so you can prepare yourself.

“9ROUND IS LIKE HAVING YOUR OWN PERSONAL KICKBOXING TRAINING TEAM FOR 30 MINS.” 

The best part about this whole 9 round system outside of having a “personal training team” is there are no class times, you come in and do your 30 minutes and leave out after doing “9 rounds” of exercises.

So, it’s time to start, and I hear the upbeat popular music playing.  This is cool to have in the background, but you see that each person is focused on their personal workout as you have a trainer help you get through it.

The gym is broken up into 9 stations (9 rounds). A trainer demonstrates what you are going to do at each station and helps you through it with motivating words. Each round is 3 minutes. It does seem like a long time and a lot of thought, but you don’t have to think because there is a timer that is going and letting you know that you are making it through the round. It beeps once to let you know to start the exercise, then again to let you know that there is 60 seconds left on the clock, so you are almost done with that excercise. (Keep in mind a trainer comes and checks on you during the time and may even change-up your excercise to keep it exciting.)

In between exercises a trainer calls out an exercise for everyone to do before the next round, some form of cardio or strength move is done during this short time.

I have tried kickboxing classes before, but none were like this and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND 9ROUND,  because of the personal approach to fitness and the motivating words from the trainers.

And let’s not forget, it’s only 30 minutes!!! So it is not taking a huge chunk out of your day!!!

The cool part is after you finish your 30 minutes you ring a bell to let the room know how your workout went. There are 3 choices. I chose option 3 “Killer Workout!”

I will say that after my workout, I felt good about working out, but I know I am gonna hurt a little tomorrow due to the intensity of the workout. My favorite part of the workout was putting on the boxing gloves and doing a one on one session with a trainer after hitting the heavy bag. Oh yeah and let’s not forget my first time on a speed bag.  (Boxers make it look easy, but it is definitely something to master.)

I also have to work on my jump rope skills. Skipping rope for 3 minutes straight without any misses is definitely something to work up to. (Personal goals)

(FYI, these are my own words and this was not something that was setup by 9ROUND Triangle, I let the representatives know about the review as I was leaving.)

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Motivation

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Ring the bell to let them know how your workout was.

9 round sign
9ROUND sign

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2 Motivating Trainers 

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Apparel

 

 

 

My first Cycling Experience: Cyclebar Cary

I have been working on trying to find new things that I can do to help me in my quest to be healthier. I heard about cyclebar from a few people that were devoted to this place and talked about how it made indoor cycling fun. So I said if all of these people swear by it why not give it a try?

So I asked one of my friends if she would try it with me and she said yes. We found a promotion online for the first ride and signed up for a “Wine Down Wednesday Class”.

Now I didn’t even notice it was “Wine Down” (meaning you drink wine after class, which is pretty cool) definitely worth a try. I actually thought it was “Wind down”, something to do with biking. I know I had a moment to laugh at that lol.

So we arrive at the Cycle Bar (Cary off of Hwy 55 in between Durham & Apex) with plenty of time to start class. When you walk in the place looks very clean and neat with apparel to the left and a check-in station. We were greeted by a nice young lady that pointed out where to check-in via tablet and pick out cycling shoes. (Yes, they let you borrow shoes to cycle in, if you don’t have your own) Next we were shown around to the locker area. Where it said Welcome on the locker with my name, very nice touch.  In the locker there was a brand new water bottle and a chapstick. Because I guess when you are cycling you may need both of these. In this same space there was also a snack station with water (room  temp or cold) and fruit, just in case you need it after your workout. This was a great touch.

Before going into the class the instructor met us and was very nice and talked about how  they choose playlists for the class and that cycling can be a fun experience, but it may hurt your “bum” a little on your first couple of classes. So as this was my first cycling class I was a little apprehensive about this, but it was all good. I was ready for the challenge.

So now it is time for class and we are preparing to go in. The room looks pretty cool , with fun lighting and a bunch of bikes. I reserved a bike toward the center so that I could see what was going on. The instructor came and helped me with applying a padded seat and getting “clipped in”(clipping the cycling shoes to the bike pedals) to prepare for the class. Each bike also came with some workout bars and a towel. So I put my new filled water bottle in place took out the towel and was ready to go.

The music and lighting surprised me a little. It was like being at a concert but on a bike. The instructor called out different things to do much like a rockstar which was pretty fun. I am just starting out on my workout adventure so cardio is a big thing. Knowing that the class would be 45 minutes of cardio was something I had to put in my mind, however the bike did let me know how far we had gone in regards to time. The music was great and anytime I can hear upbeat r&b or pop music while working out, especially if I know the song makes it better. Alot of the workout allowed me to push through some struggles I had and by hearing the instructors voice I wanted to keep going. I even enjoyed the part of class that included using the workout bars so that your arms got a workout along with your legs. Very cool.   I enjoyed the idea of being able to complete a class.

After the class they had wine and other snacks. As much as I love wine I actually didn’t partake, but it was ok. I returned the shoes and prepared to go home.

I grabbed a banana and drank some more water and drove home.

The only downfall which I was warned about was even with a cushion on my bike seat my “bum” was definitely hurting for the next day. However, I was also told if I kept at it, this wouldn’t be an issue.

If you like indoor cycling, this is definitely a place that you want to try.

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Locker (Nice touch)

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My new water bottle at the snack station

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class schedule

rock your ride cycle bar
motivational wall

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Me and Alexis

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cycling shoes

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Our instructor Tricia

Adventures with The Old Man: The Old Man gets a Smart Phone

One of my rules about The Old Man living by himself is that he has to answer the phone when I call. If he doesn’t answer by the 4th call, then he knows I will call the police to go check on him.  I know that seems strange but The Old Man has requested to keep some of his freedom and live alone for a couple more years. Being that he is an amputee and very close to 70 it is real that he could fall or be hurt in there and so he has to keep the phone with him at all times.

So, yesterday we had an issue. I called literally all day and didn’t get an answer. So of course I was worried.  He mentioned the other day that his cell phone wasn’t picking up all phone calls and for some reason he could see the call and not answer.  So instead of calling the police I called one of his neighbors and asked if he could go check on The Old Man and tell him that I was on the way.

I jumped on the highway and rolled on down to his town.  Pulled up at his house walked in and he was chilling and “unbothered”.  Me: “I have called you probably 25 times today, where is your cell phone?” He hands it to me all nonchalant.  I looked at it and it said “searching”, I turned it off and back on and it was working again. I asked if he noticed that he hadn’t gotten any phone calls all day. He was like , “Well I wondered why you didn’t call me.” I laughed and said we need to get to the phone store so we can get you a new phone.

So he walks out to the car and we ride to the nearest phone store.  He has been talking about an iPhone for the longest time and I mentioned he may want to start with something else. So in the store he managed to pick a nice Samsung phone.

The representatives at the store were great and very attentive to his questions.  They even did a special tutorial just for him.  Before we left they gave him their cell phone numbers in case he has any questions and setup his phone just the way he wanted.  I couldn’t have been more proud of the T-mobile staff that assisted him in the store. It warmed my heart at how attentive to his needs they were.

Now he is super excited that he has a new phone even if he doesn’t quite know how to use it yet. I told him with practice he will be doing everything. Even taking “selfies”. He laughed and said now he has a new toy to play with and get used to.

It was definitely a blessing to be able to get to his home and know that nothing was wrong and to be able to help him get a new cell phone.  I am sure that this story will continue on. I will share any updates.

 

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Tmobile reps giving a lesson to the Old Man

 

 

Music Moments with Misstakenid

For many years music has been a major part of my life. It has always been something that moves me. The key part to this is I can listen to many different genres of music and due to my natural indecisive nature I don’t actually have a favorite. Each type of music that I listen to moves me in a different way.

Let me give you some background about me. I grew up with dance being a major contributor to my life. My parents told me that whenever music came on as a baby I would move to “my own rythym”, so this prompted them to place me in dance class. This was where I developed my rhythym. The fortunate thing was that I was gifted and could move to any type of rythym if I could hear it in the music.

So whether it was country or the blues I could always find a beat. 

Once I reached age 5 I was introduced to African traditional rhythyms and ways to find out signals in the music to help you with movement. This is something that I believe many people should learn because the drum is the foundation of most music and it allows you to actually feel what is being played, so you can’t help but to move. As I continued to grow in dance class, my hearing of the “beat” crossed over into my regular life and I developed a love for all types of music.

Growing up both of my parents had an extensive music collection.  My Mommy had her love of gospel music, so we listed to anything from spirituals to modern gospel music.  The Old Man (affectionate term for My Father) listened to all kinds of music, however he had a record collection that was almost unmatched. So even hearing  the crackle of the records was a part of the musical experience for me.  He really enjoyed music from the 70s.

I always enjoyed live music, so that I could see all of the instruments and how they worked together. As I grew older, I embraced cassette tapes and CDs of course, but from time to time I still enjoy seeing someone perform live.

As an adult on any given day I will listen to The Blues, Hip Hop, Soul, Classical, Oldies, Rock N Roll, or even Trap Music.  You name it, I have probably listened to it and enjoyed it.  I frequent different concerts and music related events throughout the year, so why not share with you?  In my adult life I have also had some experience in selecting artists for certain events in various cities.

Music moves me so much that I have decided to dedicate a segment of my blog to Music.

 So this section “Music Moments with Misstakenid” will showcase my love for music.

I will be reviewing concerts, interviewing music artists and highlighting music related events in this segment.  This will give me a chance to share my experiences with music related events.

If you would like to have your  artist interviewed; or your concert or musical event reviewed please use the contact form listed and I will get back to you regarding your request.

Adventures with the Old Man:Our First Veteran’s Amputee Picnic

The Old Man (affectionate term for my father) was invited to his first amputee picnic, so you know what that means.  We were going no matter what!  It was at the local VA Hospital, which has an amputee support group. The Old Man hasn’t had a chance to attend the group sessions yet, but he will in due time.

It was great to see the staff from the hospital setting up grills and such to get this picnic going.  As I sat there and looked around, you see different amputee levels and I was looking at The Old Man watching each person that came up and assessing what level they might be. It was like a cool networking event.  Everyone was a veteran so they all had that in common, which was an easy ice breaker.

I enjoyed watching The Old Man speak to everyone and watched as he said he was a little “jealous”, that some of them were walking without “anything”(meaning, walking with no walkers, canes or anything else to hold them up). However, he also talked to the gentlemen in the wheelchairs that had just had their surgeries maybe a month or two ago and he was able to identify with them as he remembered how it was in the beginning.  As I looked at his face while talking, I was very pleased knowing that he fell right in with all of them.  There was even a highlight when some of the amputees came over and were talking about the different legs that they had and said that his was impressive. I know that made him feel good, which was a goal of this outing.

I told him that it didn’t matter what level everyone else was on, he has been an amputee for less than a year and is already in a leg that has a microprocessor in it and it is going to help him walk really well, just like these other guys and gals.

He smiled and was like, ” I am ready.” 

He smiled and said, “I am ready , to be like them.”  I looked at him and said you will get there, just learn what you are supposed to and take your time. You will be doing what they can do in no time.

This picnic had some interesting highlights for me:

  1. AT the VA, much like on a military base “TAPS”, plays at sunset, or the time the sun is supposed to set. It was like all of these veterans had a quick flash back, but it was nice to see all of them at attention until the song was finished. It was a moment that instantly unified them all, no matter if you were an amputee or staff, as veterans all of them stood at attention.
  2. There was definitely some humor amongst all of the amputees, when the food was finished cooking, someone yelled out “Ok, all of the wheelchairs go first”, then everyone started laughing, it was cool to see everyone with a great sense of humor.
  3. There was a little talk about the Veteran Games, and how there is a competition amongst Vets. (I am going to have to look that up, the Old Man used to be athletic)
  4. Met one of the first Vets to have a leg with a microprocessor in it. (So, I am sure that you are wondering what this means.  It is a leg that has a computer chip in the knee and battery that has to be charged, much like a cell phone. It is a piece on the leg that allows for better control and it also prevents a lot of falls, due to “thinking technology”, which allows the leg to kinda stop you before you are going down to fall.)  It was cool to hear her talk about the different legs that she has and how she uses each one especially the “sport legs” for surfing, sailing, and all. So talking to the Old Man, he perked up when she was speaking to him talking about all the things that she can do as an amputee. He simply said to her “I want to be like you!” with a look of admiration on his face.  Then we found out she has been an amputee for about 25 years so she has had tons of practice.
  5. One of my favorite moments was when he was talking and was standing there in his spot straight up not holding on to anything.  One of the other vets came by and said “Look Ma, No Hands”.  I was sitting in amazement that he was just standing there and I was like, oh I need a photo of this, so I snapped one quickly.

So, in all today’s picnic was a hit.  Even after watching all of these guys and gals he was even walking better to the car.  I told him, hanging out with other amputees would be good, but I could also tell that he really wanted to be where they were and was pushing himself today.  The upside is there is nothing wrong with having drive and today gave The Old Man some extra pep and something to look forward to, if he keeps practicing.  Today was a great experience.

*Note: When I am at these events with The Old Man, I try to only get pics of him and not the others, just to be respectful. Maybe one day others will give permission to take pics with him. 🙂