Around Town: Fayetteville’s Circa 1800

img_7662I love to eat! That’s the truth and trying out new a place is part of the fun. I have been living in North Carolina for some years now and I can honestly say that I had never spent that much time hanging out downtown until 2018. So now that I want to do more around here than go to work, church, and go home, I am out here looking for what ol’ Fayetteville has to offer.

img_7657I have been to Circa 1800 a few times and I have always found the atmosphere wonderful. The staff treats you well and they always look put together and smiling. They make you feel like you are one of the most important people in the restaurant by being extra attentive to your needs. The menu is short and sweet and the drinks are all divine. It seems that most people are there for the chocolate martini.

I have had the pork chop before, but I had the shrimp and grits recently……all I can say is wow! Everything is so tender and seasoned with perfection. Myimg_7654 portion of shrimp and grits was enough for three meals and so so good. I also had their southern spring rolls that are made with their collard greens…..OMG!! They were so delicious and again…seasoned to perfection. I am not a sauce person but I even dabbled in that and it was marvelous. My drink was water(always water) but I just had to have a glass of wine so I went for their Moscato which was perfect with my meal.

img_7658.jpgIf you live in the Fayetteville North Carolina area and have never tried Circa1800, I would say it is one stop you have to make. The atmosphere is more on the fancier side so make it a date night where you have time to walk around downtown before or after your meal. The prices are more than the typical restaurants around town but the money is worth the atmosphere, service, and dinner that you will experience.

And do not skip dessert here, which I usually do. The bananas foster is absolutely wonderful!img_7659-1

 

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A Simpler Me

SimplemeI used to think that I had to fill up every moment of my day with “stuff”. Didn’t matter what it was, but to feel like I had something to do, I would stretch myself and fill my schedule just so I can look busy. Now that my boys are older…I am older, I truly crave a simple life. I think we all should look to do that. Our children and parents will be older and we will look back and wish that we had spent more time loving and less time working and looking busy.

Simplifying my life is gonna mean that I have to say no to some things and people so that I have space to breathe. I am going to have to do less. I have learned that having a bunch of things to do does not make me any happier…just more tired and sometimes irritated. This year, I am looking forward to finding joy in the simple things like a walk by the lake or enjoying a cup of tea in the backyard. I am normally pretty content with solitude, quiet and just being in a moment…I just need to do more of that.

simpleme1Life is going to bring frustrations, disappointments, and stress with all of the busyness we have going on but we should learn to let go of what we cannot change, take a deep breath and relax. Release some of the things that we tend to that are not truly our “business” so that we have time to live a less complicated life.

 

A simple life. This does not mean that we sell everything we own and move into a tiny house or move to some far away land. We have to think about what we are thinking about. Does it serve you? Will it make you better? Those things that our minds are fixated on that just give us more to do and less time to love and appreciate ourselves…yeah, that can go!

How can we do this?

We have to think about the fact that a lot of times, we create our own struggles. We have simpleme2to say no every once in a while and take the time we would have given away to someone else and just take a walk, a bath, read a book, or absolutely nothing at all. We also have to work on losing our attachment to stuff! (and sometimes people). We are all getting our homes ready for a new year. Throwing away things that we really don’t need to take with us forward. If you are attached to living a certain way, sentimental items, or doing things all of the time, you will not be able to clear the way for the things you really need to enter your life. Make room for what will serve you by getting rid for some of those comforts.

I am going to leave some gaps between things I do as well. I think if I add a little padding, and not cram as much into my day, it will feel less stressful. Because I try to get as many things done as I can do in one day, I hardly leave time for regular maintenance like preparing dinner and putting on clothes so my day feels rushed from the beginning and nothing gets my full attention…and now I am upset because I do not have the time I thought that I did to do it all. Creating space is going to allow me some time to do things I need to do without the rushed feel. I may even get to have a meal between clients! On top of that, not giving so much of my time to distractions (like my phone) will help open up some time that I can use to just be quiet and create a new mental habit.

simpleme4I have read a few articles and blogs about mindfulness and it is something that I have been practicing for months. I love it! It truly works and has helped to make people feel important in my presence. Ok, so imagine that no matter what you are doing, you are doing it in full-screen mode. That means, like on your cell phone, you do not have 5 pages open at the same time, switching between them all. You are full- screen mode washing those dishes or reading that book, having dinner with the family….sounds hard right? It is really not though. It does have to be practiced because we are so used to doing 100 things at a time, especially as a mom. Just do that one thing…ONLY… at a time. It definitely feels less stressful and more memorable. Things get your full attention and get completed with a little more love. You can actually savor the moment! Try it with the ones you love as well. Those moments feel so much more meaningful when your full attention is on them.

What would my life really be like when I decide to do less and try to enjoy it more? I would have time to really enjoy what I love doing, the people that I love being around.

What do I love to do? I love reading/writing, walking, taking nature pictures, meditating, spending quality time with the ones I love, shopping, and vacationing. Most of that cost nothing but time! That makes things even simpler. No wallet required!

So practice doing nothing….and get good at it! I know that technically we are always simpleme4doing something but you know what I mean. Just sit there and do nothing. Don’t accomplish a thing! Do not take care of anything or anybody…nothing. No planning, reading, watching anything, no chores, eating..not a thing. Feels good right? I know you are itching to move but don’t. We are exposing our mental habits and that a good thing too. Think about what you are thinking about. Let go of what complicates things. We are going to have to practice this and things are going to be so much more simple then.

I am sure that there are tons more ways to make life simpler and I will be searching for more. I want my later years to be much better than my younger years. The more we practice being still, the more time we will have to find the beauty in ourselves and our world.

Defining Good

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year (in my Andy Williams Christmasy voice). People are walking around happy opening doors and letting people in front of them in traffic. Many good deeds are happening everywhere. I love this time of year, I truly do.

People seem to want to be good now, for now, anyway. Is it the anticipation of Santa or is it just the sweet smell of the shopping sprees?

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Good can be defined a few ways.

Okay, so when we are talking morals, we look at “good” and “evil”. This is hard to really put a finger on but very important. In this way, we think about the Creator, God, our purpose as humans and other questions. We all have a purpose and in that measure, there must be a standard of our created nature or a way to measure how well we are living out our purpose. This standard is used to judge our behaviors as well as our motivations. For example, as a Christian, the Bible is our standard.

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The other way is “good” being the counterpoint of “bad”. Here, good is measured by someone’s performance from some agreed upon standard. We have laws in our society that have certain standards of behavior spelled out and they inform us on what is good and what is bad. These standards are man-made and change as time goes on and things change in society. Sometimes these “standards”are not looked at the same way but the people who are set to judge others.

Because we do not know everything we can only work to be our best selves and act with integrity. Every person we know is going to look at things differently so their standard of good may not line up with ours. Is their an absolute good or bad? Who knows. We can only do what we can to live our best life and attempt not to injure anyone along the way….in any way.IMG_7507 (1)

Taking This and Leaving That!

2019We are here…standing right at the end of our year, 2018. It was an interesting year, that is for sure. It did bring a lot of heartaches, but it also brought some of the most beautiful moments of my life. I have learned so much from so many new “friends” and experiences and…I am so thankful for the additions and subtractions of 2018.

I know a lot of people are making New Year resolutions, but I stopped doing that to myself years ago. I do not want to keep promising myself things and breaking the promise at the next available moment. It is important to me that something changes every year; that I grow in some way toward being a much better woman. 20192

Our homes are full of things that we have collected over time. Whether we brought those things in, or someone stopped by and dropped them off, our homes are full or both what we need and what we can live without.  Just like our hearts and minds…full of things we can use going forward and those other things that need to be discarded in order to be lighter on our feet going into the new year.

There are so many treasures in your “home”. Think about it, the happy endings, the belly laughs, the new relationships/friendships, the sweet intentions you had for others and others have had for you…all of the YESSES! You have had times when you were kind to yourself, fought and stood up for yourself, have shown your strength and tenacity and have attempted with success to be good to many people. When you think about those things, these are the things that you should take with you into the new year.

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On the other hand, we have a whole lot of mess in our “homes”. We have the things that are obvious and those things that we have swept under the rug. No matter how much we have swept and dusted the common areas that everyone can see when they come in, we have clutter!! Clutter that we hide in the closet, under the beds, in some dark corner or attic. Let me jog your memory…Do you remember all of the negative things that you have said to yourself this year? What about the ugly things you have done to yourself or you allowed others to do…you ate some bad food, over-worked, under-slept, and you allowed people to treat you like less than you are worth and/or be toxic toward you in your personal space. Let’s leave these things behind and move onward and upward!!

20194Now, I am not saying completely clean it all out because we don’t want to get rid of the lessons that came with all of those negative things, We have some memories that we are now fond of, qualities and characteristics that were earned the hard way, and plenty of lessons we need going forward. We have to take our time and sort through, think through it all and keep what will be beneficial.

It is time to face this new year with excitement and motivation. Sure, you can make a new year resolution or two….or twenty. Just make a promise to yourself that you can work with daily, for a long period of time. Take it one day at a time and put you first every once in a while. After that “home” of yours is cleaned up, it will feel bigger and will have room for what 2019 is going to bring. Be aware of everything and live with intention. Try not to miss a thing!!!

Blessings to you and Happy New Year!!

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I have no idea why I am feeling sad today

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I know I am not the only one…but why do I FEEL like I am the only one that gets bummed like this? I know that at some point, everyone gets sad, stressed, or pissed about something! But today, I am alone in my sadness, I know it!

Not one of us has a perfect life. Yeah, on Facebook and other social media outlets, we look like we have no debt, no diseases or issues but that is a fantasy…we all have something going on that we wish wasn’t. I am not going to lie, I do not put a lot about my life on there; mostly fun things with the boys, an encouraging word, or a selfie of when I was feeling super sexy….oh, and vacationing of course! We have sick/dying loved ones, failed relationships, and other obstacles and setbacks in our lives-every single one of us and those things do not make it to social media. Whether it is major or minor, we all have our moments…days…or years of what we would call craziness.

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One thing that I am learning is that sitting around feeling sorry for myself has never made the situation improve, nor have I felt any happier doing it. I mean it is ok to not feel ok. Period! We all have our bouts with anxiety and depression, anger and disappointment. We can see that in the recent large amount of awareness of mental health and its importance. Allow yourself to feel what you feel then seek the help you need to in order to feel how you really want to feel.

Everyone is going through something, remember that.  I always see couples that look like they have these fabulous relationships on Facebook. Some actually do, the others just want us to think they do but they are living in pain and loneliness and don’t wanna look like a failure on the book. It takes a lot of check-ups and check-ins, communication, self-development, and effort to have a true, great relationship, even when everyone is not 100% happy.

I get so frustrated with all of my worries! Right now I have been trying to acknowledge

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that that is what they are, just worries, and half of the time the thing I am worried will happen doesn’t even happen. Own your worries! Don’t try to stop them. We should acknowledge them and as things happen, learn what we need to learn and keep it pushing.

I am guilty of spending a lot of time dwelling on the past and still worrying about what happened. I used to think over and over about what he said or what she did wrong. If we are still back there in our thoughts, we cannot be moving forward. We are a parked car. None of our worries, whether they are about the past or the future, will help us feel better, or get better for that matter.

DSC_2565Let us gain control of what we are thinking about and take the focus off of ourselves- at least all of the negative thoughts.  Work on changing those thoughts to positive ones or you can think about different ways to add value to the other people in your life. Talk to a stranger! I love talking to different people even if they have a view that I do not agree with. I am a journal writer so I say everyone should write daily about your feelings and your day. It always makes me feel better. Sometimes little things like that help, other times, things may be a little too heavy for that. Do whatever will make those hard times easier to manage ( but not the things that will make you dependent on them) so that you can get to the other side of the situation and say that you made it through.

 

What NO SLAVE November taught me.

noslavenovember2Don’t be jealous, but I only worked one week in November. I did not have to run around for the boys and home or slave over a hot stove cooking meals…. all of November!!! Ok, you should be jealous.

Anyway, I was out there in the deep blue sea taking time to recharge and to also plan. On my vacations I do want to rest, but I also take time to do something I have never done each day and I have my quiet time to think and plan my next moves, or think about what changes I would like to see in my home and within myself.  I am also a people watcher. Observing others help me to sometimes see myself and what I do not like about me that should change.

noslavenovember3We have to be honest with ourselves. No one wants to waste time, money, and energy while we make our mistakes. That is why it is important that we make an effort to learn from our mistakes. Of course, learning from our mistakes takes time. Some of us have to bump our heads on the same rock before we realize how much it really hurt right? On my vacations, I think about the past a lot; not to beat myself up but for reflection on the lessons and to pat myself on the back for getting through it all.

Sooooo….Some things that I have learned from my mistakes……

  • You do not know eerrrything!!!!! I know that this comes to a shock from some but it is true. We truly need to listen to the people that are smarter than us. We know who they are but we do not want to admit it. There are things that you want to achieve and many have come before you so be humble and surround yourself with those that can help. They say no man is an island…it’s true! Life is about fulfilling your destiny, collaborating with like minds and experiencing good while doing it.
  • Stop blaming others! I am so tired of hearing people blame others even for the smallest of things. I was at Red Lobster the other day and the girl never brought out my biscuits. At the end of my meal when she was bringing a box I asked her if I can get some biscuits since she never bought any out at all. We are at the end of the meal and she says “I am still waiting for them to bring some out of the oven.” Meanwhile, she had given some to her other to nearby tables. Just say you forgot and own your shit!! This is a small example and people do it on a much bigger scale at times….come on. Just own your part and move on!!!
  • Love is not what you think it is. A lot of us have a twisted way of thinking when it noslavenovember1comes to love. When others do not live up to those expectations, we flip out or leave. I don’t know whether you see it or not but that is called conditional love and a lot of people are guilty of it and protest when it is given to us. This is a hard lesson to learn and I am still learning it now. We have to let go of our expectations about love. We have to take the time to learn the person you want to love and love them the way they need it, not to your specifications. You will be a lot happier if you just cut people a break and teach them how to love you and learn how to love them.
  • You don’t have as much time as you think. When you were a teenager or younger, you thought that time was endless. You can do what you want, go wherever…..then BOOM, you’re 40! How much time have you wasted on things and people that did not matter? Do you like your job? The people in your life? You have to think about what you are doing with your time. We do not like when other people waste our time so why do we do it to ourselves?
  • Doing the hard things give me more pleasure in the end. I can say that I truly am NoSlaveNovemberin the mood to be quite lazy right now. At the same time I am thinking about focusing on my health, saving money, investing time on my blog and business…and in my relationships. These are all hard for me but my plan is to get on it! When we do the “hard” things, we end up feeling really good about them when accomplished. Tired after the gym….hugs from friends and family….feedback on the blog….money in my account from my business….I always feel a sense of accomplishment and it feels really good. I feel like I am doing more than existing…I am alive.
  • Every little decision we make affects the bigger things. We have to put some thought into what we are thinking. Thinking about that extra piece of pie, sleeping in later, skipping the gym, spending on the credit card to get that new Iphone or laptop. How is this decision going to affect your future? Will the outcome be favorable for your future? Remember that your life is the way it is because of a series of your smaller decisions. We are what we do daily…think about that and adjust accordingly.
  • Never Stop learning. We all know this. We have to keep learning or get left behind in this world of technology that we live in. We want to continue to learn more and develop more as a person. When you are not learning, you begin to feel stuck. It’s time to learn something, a hobby, read a new book, do something! We should push ourselves to learn something often, maybe even daily, no matter how small. noslavenovember4

Happy Thanksgiving!

Its the most wonderful time of the year!! I just love the feeling of Fall. The leaves, the colors, the chill in the air, the warming of most hearts. People are generous, they smile more. It’s just something about this time of year, actually almost everything about it fills my heart with love. We have a traditional prayer before we eat and we say what we are thankful for. This year I wanted the boys to say something they want to see happen in the coming year that they would be grateful for. That ended up making my heart completely full!! Although my boys are older for the most part, 25, 19, and 12, they love our family life. They always say in comparison to their friends, they wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s amazing!! And they prayed for sick and lost loved ones and thanked God for moving in our family and a friend’s baby being born today. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about for me. Love overflowing and not forgetting about others that may not be feeling the way you are. I pray that everyone that reads this is captured by love and feels an overwhelming amount of gratitude for what you have as you look forward to what is to come. Gratitude and acceptance is what leads us to healing. Until we accept and feel grateful for what we have, nothing will motivate us to move forward to happiness. I want that for my boys. I try to teach them to be humble and grateful because what they do have can be taken away. I also don’t mind them being happy about what they have. We should not have to minimize being happy about what we have because someone may not have it. Just be grateful…For whatever you have. Things can be way different, in either direction, so learning to accept it all and be grateful will make everything look different. Your attitude changes and you are motivated for more of the same. I am grateful for my family and friends and I look forward to what loving them all will bring to my life………

Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!!