Exhale and Regroup Before 2019

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I would like to give you an early Christmas gift. We are in the final days of the fourth quarter and the end of 2018. Christmas is right around the corner and today is the first day of winter. Some people maybe full of joy. Some people maybe feeling overwhelmed and weary. Some people maybe hopeless. Some people maybe heartbroken or grief stricken. I want to encourage you that no matter what that you can try your best to move toward 2019.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is take a break. We may need to just take a seat and exhale. I know my dream would be to go on a cruise for three to seven days. That would be a dream come true. What about you? How are you feeling? Let us explore some ways we can realistically take a break  before the start of 2019. It is okay to exhale and regroup before we open the chapter known as 2018. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  1. Relax: I know this easier said than done. You may need to need disconnect from your phone and all electronic devices for an hour or more just reset yourself. It is okay to take out time for yourself.
  2. Rest: You can take a nap. It does not have to be for hours. It can be laying down without the interruption of anyone or anything. Going to bed on time works wonders also.
  3. Workout: You can do whatever makes you feel energized. You can walk, run, lift weights, dance and so much more. Whatever you do, make sure you focus on the task at hand. You can also workout for as little as 15 or 20 minutes.
  4. Dream: It is okay to take a moment to decide that you want more. This is a great time to ask yourself what you are working toward? Maybe you have been so busy, you never asked yourself what do you really want out of life? What are you tired of doing over and over again? A vision board will work wonders.
  5. Create a plan: Now you can start to think of some things that you want to do to get closer to you dream. I would recommend you put these dreams and your plan in writing. Also, have someone who can hold you accountable in love.
  6. Celebrate: Think of some of the people, places and things you endured this year? It is okay for you to celebrate your victories. Celebrating the journey is necessary.
  7. Pruning: In order for something to grow, pruning is needed. Take some time to think about some people, places and things that need to be pruned before 2019. I can tell you from experience, it will make room for upgraded living.

Ten Ways to Enhance Your Life (Part Two)

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This article is a continuation of my article about ways you can enhance your life. You can see the first article by clicking here. The purpose of life is to be enjoyed and not to be in a mode of being busy all the time. I have found a few things that have allowed me to enhance my life and allow me to have more time to do things that I like to do.  These are suggestions and I am not being paid to endorse any person or company. I want all of us to live our best lives. Enjoy yourself!

HelloFresh: Imagine having the ingredients for your meals delivered to your door? HelloFresh is making this dream a reality. You can choose your meals for the week based on prep time, main ingredients and more. You can learn more about HelloFresh by clicking here. It makes a really great gift anytime of the year.

Natural Sparkling Water: So you are trying to drink water all day but you want something sweet without calories. Natural sparkling water is so good. Please make sure you read the label to make sure that it is naturally flavored.  A couple of my favorites are made by DASANI and Deer Park.

You Tube Fitness Programs: Working out can be a challenge when you are busy? I have found that workout out at home has saved me a lot of time and allowed me to stay on track with my fitness goals? You can create your own workouts or use a You Tube Channel to stream your workouts. Some of my favorites are Jessica Smith TVPOPSUGAR Fitness and SELF . All three of these are absolutely free.

Schedule Time for Yourself: Sometimes we are so busy doing that we forget we are meant to sometimes to just rest and relax. Is you calendar packed for time for everyone but yourself, that is not good. You should make yourself a priority everyday.

Midday Drink or Dessert: There is nothing wrong with treating yourself. So treat yourself to coffee, tea or smoothie in the middle of the day. Also, you can do a mini dessert or something that can be shared with someone else. It is okay to spoil yourself any day. It does not have to be a special occasion.

Christmas Eve and Day Restaurant Openings!

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Christmas is in less than two weeks. Is the idea of hosting dinner stressing you out? Allow someone else to do the cooking and clean up. Many restaurants are open on Christmas Eve or/snd Day. You should make a reservation by using Opentable or the restaurant’s website. This will guarantee that you will have your preferred time for your meal. Also, you do not have to do dinner. You can do bunch or breakfast. You can even make dinner heavy appetizers. You can have your meal catered by your favorite restaurant or your local supermarket. The most important thing is that you enjoy all the sights and sounds of the season. Check out the list below. Have a Merry Christmas!

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National Chains

Applebees’s

Bob Evans

Boston Market

Cracker Barrel

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Fogo de Chao

McCormick & Schmick’s

Morton’s Steakhouse

Roy’s Restaurant

Ruth’s Chris

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Maryland Area Restaurants

This is not a complete list. You can click here to go on Opentable to see more restaurants or you can use the list above to find details on your local location.

Barrett’s Grill 118 Shawan Rd Ste DD, Hunt Valley, MD 21030

Chez Hugo 206 E. Redwood Street Baltimore, MD 21202

Citron 2605 Quarry Lake Dr, Baltimore, MD 21209

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 720 Aliceanna Street Baltimore, MD 21202

Fogo de Chao 600 East Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21201

Jimmy’s Seafood 6526 Holabird Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

McCormick & Schmick’s (National Harbor-145 National Plaza Oxon Hill, Maryland 20745

McCormick & Schmick’s (Baltimore-711 Eastern Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21202)

Morton’s Steakhouse 300 South Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21201

Roy’s Restaurant 720 Aliceanna Street Baltimore, MD 21202

Rusty Scupper 402 Key Highway Baltimore, MD 21230

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse-Pier 5 711 Eastern Avenue Baltimore, MD 21202

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse-Pikesville 1777 Reisterstown Road Pikesville, MD 21208

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse-Odenton (1110 Town Center Blvd, Odenton, MD 21113

The Ocenaire Seafood Restaurant 801 Aliceanna Street Baltimore, MD 21202

The Oregon Grille 1201 Shawan Road Hunt Valley, MD 21030

Your Next Victory is on the Horizon!

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4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”-Deuteronomy 20:4

Sometimes all we can see is what is in front of us but we need to remember God is outside of time. He can see beyond what is in front of us. Sometimes, every phone call, email, text message, social media message, piece of mail and more is bad news. Then to make matters worse, the people who are supposed to have your back are making things worse by gossiping about you or speak against you. Allow me to remind you that all of these things point to the fact that your next victory is about to occur.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”.

God does not need to consult anyone to bless you. Anyone includes you because sometimes we may cause the worst opposition to our next blessing. Jesus died on our behalf so that we could walk in victory. God is in the business of abundance, healing, increase, restoration and so much more. Yes, there will be times and seasons of persecution and suffering but that is not a lifestyle. God does not expect us to be in a posture of persecution and suffering forever. We need to get off the throne and allow God to reign in every aspect of our lives. Yes, I said every aspect of your life. He is Savior and Lord. We sometimes fight battles that we are not supposed to be fighting. 2 Chronicles 20:15 says, “….Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”.

So I would like to encourage you to stay strong. Keep on praying. Keep on believing. Line yourself up with the promises of God. Listen to sermons and music that will keep you encouraged. Stay in the Word of God. You have to read and meditate on the Word of God. You do not have to replicate what someone else is doing. We are all unique individuals and we have the same access to God. I am looking forward to seeing you on the other side of your victory. You may have started this year and even this day on the losing side but always remember you plus God is always a winning majority. Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”. God bless you!

 

Ten Ways to Enhance Your Life (Part One)

Lunch at Iron Rooster

As we are ending this week, I wanted to take a moment to say Happy Friday! We made it through another week and we are going to have a great weekend. No matter how tough this week has been, we can take some time to regroup this weekend so that next week will be better. We will also rest and relax this weekend. Your start never determines your finish. A few decisions can make the rest of this year better for you.

So as we wind down this year, I want to take a moment to tell you about things that have enhanced my life. This is just want has worked for me and I am not being paid to endorse any company. I believe in living a great life that is drama and stress free. This article is part one of a two part article. I am honored to have a platform to share about things that have enhanced my life.

Breakfast for Lunch or Dinner: Yes,you read this correctly. You can eat breakfast for lunch or dinner. This is a great way to do something out of the box while having a great time. My perfect breakfast would be pancakes, turkey bacon with egg whites. Some places where this dream can come true are Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, IHOP, Iron Rooster (Maryland based), Tambers Restaurant (Maryland based) and Teavolve Cafe (Maryland based). I had the recent waffle burger for lunch at Iron Rooster and used syrup to eat my waffles separately. I also had this awesome dessert of waffle churros (that was so good I had to eat some at the restaurant and the rest at home) and it was the best start to my weekend.

Hallmark at Dollar Tree: This summer, I walked into Dollar Tree and could not believe my eyes. You can now buy Hallmark cards at Dollar Tree for as low as two for $1. The best thing is no one has to know you paid a small price for the very best. The selection is great. In addition to card, there are now Hallmark balloons. Make this part of your regular routine. This is perfect just in time for the holidays. I love to write obviously and giving cards year round is my jam. Thank you Hallmark and Dollar Tree.

Grocery Delivery or Pickup: Can you imagine someone doing your grocery shopping for you? You can have your groceries ready for pickup or have them delivered at your house. Check out your favorite store for details. Some good places to start would be Instacart, Target, Walmart and Amazon. this cold weather makes it easier to do grocery shopping. A lot of these places will give you free delivery to try them out. I would suggest pick a block of time which saves money. I am telling you that when you are swamped this is a great time saver and also it allows you to rest.

Family Date Night: Many restaurants provide free or discounted food for kids. You can make this family date night a weekly or monthly thing. Some places with free or discounted food include. Ruby Tuesdays (on Tuesdays) , Chick-Fil-A (depends on the location), Applebee’s (Tuesdays), Red Robin (Wednesdays), IHOP (everyday from 4:00-10:00 PM with the purchase of an adult entree), TGIFriday’s (Mondays and Tuesdays). You can plan this weekend so you can be intentional about family time.

Prix Fixe menu: Are you trying to have a great night on the town but worry about pricing? You can eat a delicious meal using a prix fixe menu and attend happy hour prior to your dinner to save on drinks and appetizers. This is very common at a lot of fine dining establishments.

Start Preparing Today for God’s Yes

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However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[a]—the things God has prepared for those who love him.    — 1 Corinthians 2:9 

This is the season of miracles. This is the season when we believe that once again God can do things that we cannot imagine or believe. Jesus’ birth was a beautiful and redemptive miracle. Think of something you have been praying to God about? Could it be for the healing of your body? a new beginning? financial provision? mending and restoration of a relationship? God asks us to exercise our faith. Start preparing for your yes from God. You maybe the only person on earth who has heard from God and God plus you is always a majority. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

You do not have to wait for the blessing before you prepare for it. Start making room for your blessing now. If you are believing to be a homeowner, you can start window shopping for furniture and saving your money. Are you believing for a new business?  Start reading more about your industry and talking to people in your field. Sometimes, God is waiting for us to take a step of faith. You may have to make one decision and God will do the rest. I want to encourage you to never give up even in the most hopeless situation. Matthew 19: 26 says, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” God is able to do the impossible and remember no matter what, He loves us unconditionally.

As we move into a new year, no matter who or what has disappointed you remember that God can do anything. God can mend broken hearts, relationships, dreams and so much more. Sometimes, we can put the limits on God. God is not bound by anything or anyone. No human being can determine if you will be blessed or not. Stand in faith and begin to walk in victory today. Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” I am excited to see what God will do next in your life. Thank you Lord in advance for the great and wonderful things you have done, are doing and will do for your children. God bless you!

 

 

Fourth Quarter Review: Finish Strong!

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December marks the end of another year. We are about to close on the final quarter of 2018 and embark on the first quarter of 2019. If you are unsure about how to get started on finishing your fourth quarter, click here to see my previous article on reviewing the fourth quarter. If you are not sure where to start click here and it is never too late to start.  First, let us take a deep breath. So inhale all your joy, hope, love and optimism. Now exhale all your anger, doubt, fear and pessimism. I would recommend anytime someone doubts you and your goals, that you do this breathing exercise before you do or say something that you will regret. No person, place or thing can negate your destiny.

Let’s take a moment to be honest. This year was filled with accomplishments and setbacks. No matter where you are in your journey, take a moment to enjoy it. It is okay to not be where you would like to be but at least you are making progress. Think of those moments this year when you were at the end of your rope? That moment when you were about to give up? Aren’t you thankful that you did not give up and that you are still on the path to success? All paths to success include mountaintops and valleys.

Thank of the bold decisions you made this year that you were frightened to make? Maybe you ended a friendship or relationship that was not fruitful? Maybe you decided to start your own business? Maybe you created healthy boundaries around your life? Maybe you decided to try love once again or for the first time ever? Whatever you did, I want to commend you for taking a risk and being on the other side of it. There is still time to take a risk. You will never know unless if you try.

I remember earlier this year, I realized I had not written in a long time. It was not a priority of mine anymore. I resumed writing and realized that I had not only missed it but it was an essential part of me. I love expressing myself through writing. I am so thankful that I did it. I am thankful to you for reading and commenting on my blog. That was an added and unexpected bonus. I will forever appreciate everyone who reads my blogs. I have had people from the following places read my articles: The United States,  Nigeria, South Africa, Japan, Ukraine, Australia, India, Canada, Romania, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Hong King and more. I want to thank each and every person for their readership. It means so much to me.

I want to encourage you to resume something that maybe you stopped doing. Trust me, I have a list and I plan in 2019 to give you updates. The world needs you and your talent. I would encourage you to start slowly and know that something is better than nothing. I am looking forward to celebrating with you as stack your accomplishments. Enjoy and savor every remaining moment in 2018. I wish you great success. I am excited to see how 2018 will end and 2019 will begin for all us. Here is to believing and knowing the best is yet to come.