See Y’all in the Fall…

I’m spending the Summer reformatting and refreshing my blog. I will be back in the Fall with an updated website and more structured content!

Have a great Summer!

~AB

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Fab 5 Father’s day tribute…

Today we celebrate the men who have raised us, fed us, encouraged us, chastised us and lifted us up. I wanted to dedicate a blog post to some of the men who have been there for me.

I have been blessed to have some AMAZING men in my life, but these helped to shape me and helped me develop and appreciate my Fab 5.

Faith~

My Uncle Albert was the first man to make us go and take us to church and Sunday School. He has been a member of the same church all of my life and serves as a Deacon there. He ALWAYS goes to church. There are no bedside Baptist Sunday mornings for Uncle Albert.  My favorite memories are of him standing in the front of Friendship Baptist Church in Osierfield, Ga leading devotion and raising hymns like ‘A charge to keep, I have’. Even though when I was little I thought he was saying ‘Ray Charles the keys I have’ 😂🤷🏾‍♀️ When I think about Faith, Uncle Albert is the first man that comes to my mind.

Fitness~

For me when I think about fitness, I first think about my mental and emotional health….my self love and self esteem.  And the man that has always been my cheerleader is my daddy, Sam Brown. He ALWAYS makes me feel like I’m the most important person in the world. If you think I’m too strung out on compliments or over dosed on confidence, *Drake Voice* blame him! I don’t think we have ever had a conversation that didn’t include a compliment. Thank you Daddy for making sure I always felt good about myself and keeping me self esteem healthy.

Family~

This was TOUGH! Because when I think about family, so many of my uncles and cousins come to mind. Uncle Carl always had family at his house. My cousin Ricky loved his family more than anyone I know. And my cousin Uncle Bobo  is basically the family spokesperson at all family events. (cousin Uncle explanation…he’s my mom’s first cousin but he is older than us so we always called him Uncle🤷🏾‍♀️) But the man that embodies family to me is my Uncle Ronnie Bouie.  Living in a small town, people always wanted to know ‘who your folks were’. If I mentioned the last name Bouie, I was always asked ‘you some kin to Ronnie? Boy I love Ronnie! You are from a good family. The Bouie’s are  good folks.’ Not only was he well known and basically the face of our family, he always made time for his family. He could be working and if you rode by he would stop and come and hug you! He also had the most kids of all of my aunts and uncles so we know how important family was to him. 😂  I love you Uncle Ronnie, RIP!

Finance~

When I think about money, the first name that comes to mind is Bruce Scruggs. Bruce was my step dad for many years and he really took the time to teach me about money and what it was for. He worked long hours to provide for us. I remember his Mom used to say, ‘Bruce you trying to make all the money at Delco!’ 😆 Bruce taught me that making money is great but being happy is what’s important. He worked those long hours so that we wouldn’t have to. He wanted us all to go to college and have careers where we wouldn’t have to work long hours to provide for our families. A lesson that I pass on to my kids. Thank you Bruce! RIP

Fun~

This list could get long. All of the men, especially my uncles and cousins know how have fun. But there is one that I think my entire family will agree is THE MOST FUN…Robert Bouie, Jr, or Uncle June as he was loving known to us all. I learned  how to handle being picked on early in life. Not because I was bullied at school but because my Uncle June was the roast KING! 😄 I don’t care how good you THOUGHT you looked he was going to clown you! And he laughed harder at his own jokes than anyone else. His laugh was infectious and I described it as a ‘snicker’. He was a mess. The clown of our family! I know heaven is laughing daily at his jokes! RIP Uncle June!

Happy Father’s day to all of the men out there that are making a difference in someone’s life. We see you, we love you, and today we honor you!

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

Chasing Bliss Soundtrack….Summer ’18

It’s almost Summer. Well actually,  if you live in the South like I do, it has felt like  Summer for a few weeks already.  But the season officially begins in a few days.  During the Summer I spend a lot of time on my balcony enjoying the early mornings and late evenings(that’s when my balcony is shaded and isn’t 100 degrees). In the mornings, I’m normally having water or tea and I’m meditating, but in the evenings, I’m having wine or a frozen drink and I’m listening to music. So for the past few days I’ve been working on my summer soundtrack.  Right now it’s only 10 songs but as more songs permeate my spirit  I will add to the list.  I chose songs that increase my vibe, make my foot shake and that I can sing the words to.

Here is the list…

‘Zoom’ The Commodores

‘Nice for What’ Drake

‘Me, Myself and I’ Beyonce

‘Baby I’m A Star’ Prince

‘As’ Stevie Wonder

‘That’s What I Like’ Bruno Mars

‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’ Kendrick Lamar

‘Treasure’ Bruno Mars

‘Broken Clocks’ Sza

‘Best LIfe’ Cadi B feat Chance the Rapper

Here is the link, if you have Tidal feel free to download away!

What songs do you have on your summer soundtrack?

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

My morning routine…..

There was a time where I would wake up with BARELY enough time to get dressed and rush out the door for work. I would set my alarm, hit snooze fifty-leven times, jump up in a rush, yell for the kids to get up, rush them to get dressed, rush through getting dressed myself, grab breakfast out of the toaster and the microwave and drive to school/work rushed and irritated and still half asleep. After the kids got older, a little changed but not much. I still rushed through my mornings and subsequently through my day. Then I met a coworker who told me she woke up every morning at 4:30am….on purpose. She said that she used that quiet time in the mornings to make breakfast, do laundry, and just enjoy time to herself.  I thought it was a great idea but still didn’t take to it. Once I moved to Columbus about four years ago, I finally saw the value of waking up early and having some time to myself. It was initially just about 15-30 minutes and I didn’t do anything special. I just made sure that I was fully awake. As time went on, I started getting up early to go workout. Because my workout ended at 6am, I still had two hours before I had to be at work.  I wasted that time by trying to get in another quick nap or being on social media or my phone.  I would either wake up and rush to get ready or realize I lost track of time on social media and still feel rushed! But in past two years, I realized that I could use that time so much better. I developed a morning routine that lets me maximize my time in the morning and prepare myself for my day.

Here is my morning routine, based on my fab five, of course.

Faith….my morning starts with prayer and meditation. Even when the rest of the list doesn’t get done, I don’t skip these two. Before I even get out of the bed, I pray and then meditate for 15 minutes. Full disclosure: I have fallen back asleep while meditating. Thank God I always set a timer. 🙂  When time permits, I try to also go ahead and read my daily devotional.  Then I find an affirmation for the day and try to hold it in my mind for at least 17 seconds(the time it takes a thought to start manifesting…per the law of attraction)

Fitness…this is either 8 ounces of water and/or a workout. Depending on my schedule for the rest of the day, I may have to get my workout in before work. It’s hard but it’s an amazing way to start my day.

Family…Walk Mocha. Being a fur parent of an inside dog, means morning walks so that she can wake up and use the bathroom. It’s hard on those cold and rainy mornings but imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t go first thing in the morning! This could also go in fitness because it’s a really good time to get some fresh air. I also reply to texts and messages that I missed because I went to bed early. For the most part, this ensures that my first interactions of the day are with positive high vibe people.

Finances….I like to balance my checkbook, pay bills and do any other financial chores first thing in the morning. Mornings are when I’m at my energetic peak.  It’s really hard for me to focus after 4pm, I basically shut down mentally. So I try to get as much done that requires thinking early in the day.

Fun….While I’m getting showered and dressed for work, I love to listen to podcasts, music playlist, audible books or youtube videos with fun or uplifting messages. In my job I deal with people that are not always happy, getting as much fun in my day as early as possible is a great way to keep negativity out.

While not necessary, morning routines really help me to stay mentally, physically and spiritually balanced throughout my day. If you’re tired of feeling rushed in the morning, just start by just waking up 15 minutes earlier and lying in bed just allowing your body to wake up. It will make a huge difference in your day.

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

Bliss List

Sometimes I come across things that I become completely obsessed with. It can be foods, books, locations, sights, sounds, gadgets, thoughts…you name it.

younameit

If it brings me joy, I become slightly obsessed and attached to it.  I remember the year I discovered Pinterest. I spent hours upon hours on that site!(still do) And this past Summer, I bet I ate a Strawberry poppyseed chicken salad from Panera at least twice per week. And there was the month I discovered their cinamon crunch bagels and was in that drive-thru three mornings per week. “Yes, slice and toasted and with honey walnut cream cheses please!” I can remember the time, my co-worker found this junk store back in my hometown that I had to visit every week just in case they got some new stuff in I didn’t know I needed.  When I first moved to Columbus, I would go down to the RiverWalk just to hang out under this beautiful tree  that was down there.  Not only do I fall in love with my bliss list as I decided to call it, I want to share it. I’m sure my friends get tired of me loading the group chat with the new stuff I discover, they give me that thumbs up emoji though. LOL

thumbsup

I decided to devote a blog post to my obsessions.

Here is my Bliss List for October….a few of my favorite things

Podcasts

I think I just came across the podcasts that got me addicted by accident on Twitter. It’s called The Friend Zone and it’s a podcast devoted to all things mental health and mental wellness. It comes on once per week and I’m addicted. It’s funny and informative and the hosts are amazing. I started listening on mornings while getting ready and found it a welcome addition to my morning routine. But since it only came on once per week, I needed more to fill in my other mornings. I now subscribe to about 6 different podcasts throughout the week. My top three are The Friend Zone, Black Girl in Ohm, and the Vibrant Happy Woman podcast. But I just read that Oprah does one that is similar to her Super Soul Sunday show. I will be downloading those soon.

Essential Oils

I fell in love with lavender when I had my last baby in 1999. Johnson and Johnson came out with a lavender scented baby bath and lotion and that stuff used to smell amazing. After a good bath and bottle he slept like a baby. I started noticing that just smelling it relaxed me. From then on I loved how lavender calmed me. Fast forward to 2017… I go to my favorite juice bar and I’m offered an energy shot and decided to try it. It’s coconut water mixed with essential oils. I instantly felt energized. I began to research them and now I’m obsessed with all of their vibrational and health benefits. Bliss Apothecary? Maybe? We’ll see! 🙂

Kombucha

I don’t know what this is. I just know it starts with a Scoby.

scooby

I said SCOBY not Scooby!! Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast…Chill Mr. Doo!

That Scoby is added to green or black tea, flavorings and other goodies and becomes just the thing my gut needs to stay healthy. It’s full of probiotics, which is great for your gut! And who doesn’t want a healthy gut?? The taste is interesting and I’m trying a lot of different flavors but these are my favorites.

kombucha.jpg

You will be happy to know my gut is happy!

 

You-Badass-9You are a badass. Yes. You. Are.  And yes, it’s a compliment!  I’m reading this amazing book by Jen Sincero and I’m obsessed. I want everyone that I love and know to read this book. It’s a funny, inspirational kick in the pants that makes you want to live your best life and be your best self. I love it. I’m forcing myself to just read a chapter per day so I can absorb each chapter but I could read it in one night it’s so well written.  I am also fighting the urge to Snapchat and IG all the excepts from the book because I’m obsessed and I like to share, remember.

So that is what I’m obsessing about this month. What’s on your Bliss list?

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

44 Adventures with wine…W:9-22

So, yeah, as you can see from the title, I have been basically just been chilling and drinking wine…

#dontjudgme.

I haven’t made a lot of time for new adventures. Football season came back around real quick and it’s hard to not be in front of the tv on Saturday and Sundays.

 

Adventures in couch sitting…day 2

 

I do have an excuse for not writing though. I was diagnosed with a severe case of  didnotwanttoitis. I think WebMD says it’s commonly referred to as lazy. Pray Saints!

Through the power of modern medicine I have gone into remission and I am able to grind out this post. Don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with descriptions of all 14 new bottles of wines I tried over the past couple of months. Mainly because I honestly don’t remember them all. #YoureWelcome

Here they is….

W9:

It was National Pinot Noir day and a Friday. That’s basically how I got hooked on one of my new favorites.  I had an Z Alexander a few years ago during a Valentines’ day dinner and it was really good. It was their blend, so I figured his Pinot would be good too. I was right! Grab a bottle of this and enjoy! Trust me! It doesn’t even need to be a holiday or a Friday.

W10-15: My baby sister was in town for work and she made time for a quick outing with me. It was a Wednesday so I suggested a wine tasting at a local restaurant here. It’s only $20 per person and you get six wines to taste and two small appetizer bites. We had a blast! And to be honest, I don’t remember much about the wines. I did take notes but my notes are over by the bar rack, I’m on the couch and remember I just recovered from didnotwanttoitis so the symptoms still appear from time to time. Keep praying! So here are the pictures(bad pics I might add…except for the one of me and my sis)

 

Baby Sis after I got her tipsy 🙂

 

W16:
After the third or fourth ‘tasting’ my sister started asking for Tawny port. She said that was one wine she enjoyed. I knew I had never had it so I thought I would give it a try. I remember an episode of Big Tessa(Barefoot Contessa…but she’s my Big Tessa 😍) and she served her guests  port, stilton cheese and pears for desert. If it’s good enough for Big Tessa…..

The stilton I chose was great, the pears were sweet and juicy, the Tawny Port….NOPE. NOT. NEVER AGAIN.  Sorry sis! I couldn’t drink it! It was so strong!! I knew I couldn’t drink that again!

But I  knew what I COULD do with it…

#Fatgullswag

I added a splash or five to the blueberry sauce I made for some French toast. YUM!

I used it to deglaze the pan I seared my oxtails  in and they were perfect! YUM!

And I’m going to use the rest on some mushrooms soon….and in my pasta sauce and in…well you get it. You belong in the kitchen, Tawny port!

 
W17-22: Not only am I late with these wine posts, but I was also SUPER late celebrating my friend’s birthday this year. WE were finally able to coordinate a date and it was a Wednesday, So yeah, I took her to the wine tasting!

She and I had been many times before and we always have a good time. This time was more of the same.

These labels are awesome. Rabble has been the featured wine for the past few tastings.

 

Birthday girl wasn’t feeling the foam on her oyster but took it down like a champ!

Loved this Rabble Cabernet Sauvignon…and whatever food was on my plate too!

Lamb chop all in the pic…

I enjoyed most of the wines except the last one. I think the only thing that turns me off more than moscato at a wine tasting is  STELLA ROSE at a wine tasting.

I’m not a snob. I’m not a snob.

Ok I’m a snob.

But my reason for going to a wine tasting is to try some expensive wines that I normally won’t buy. I only YOLO on a bottle a wine a few times per year. So to end the tasting with Stella Rose was disappointing!  But in the spirit of WE DONT WASTE WINE, B,  I finished my tasting of Stella Rose Black and my friend’s glass because she….

 

I’m over 6 months into my 44 adventures and I’m right on track with my wines. No surprise there, right?

Time to get chugging on my adventures! I have a few completed and a few more planned. Stay tuned!

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB

44 adventures with wine….A8:W8

Loving that my wine and adventures are both on #8. Eight is a special number because if you turn it on it’s side, it’s the infinity symbol.

just tilt your head to the left and an 8 and smile will appear 🙂 #WahlahMagic

Whenever I see it repeat I feel like it’s a sign that the universe wants me to take a moment to appreciate the infinite harmony, balance and abundance it always provides. Thank you Universe!

W8: Marietta Cellars Arme’ Lot Number 3

If you know me, you know that Marietta Cellars makes my MOST FAVORITE WINE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

Old Vine is a red blend that I was introduced to many, many years ago. At that time you couldn’t find it in Georgia. My family member would order it by the case from California and have it shipped to his local liquor store. It wasn’t until about four years ago, that I found it in a liquor store here in my city. I love it. If you want me to love you, bring me a bottle!

Ok, back to W8. While browsing in a new liquor store, as I love to do, I spotted a Marietta label. But this time it wasn’t the blue like I normally see on the Old Vine, it was tan and white. I wasn’t sure what it was I just knew I had to try it! I didn’t care what kind of grape it was, I just knew it was coming home with me.

I opened it, knowing it was going to be amazing. It. Was. Not. I took a sip. And then another. And about two more. This is horrible!!!! How can that be? I looked at the label. All my faves were there…Cab Sav, Merlot, & Malbec. But there was a newbie…Petit Verdot. I don’t know who Petit Verdot is but his lil butt was on my never again list. I kept drinking, because wine, and waste not want and stuff. It felt heavy on my tongue. I don’t know how else to describe it. I was done! But then I remembered hearing the words of a family friend the first time I tried wine, ‘Honey this is an experience. Try it again like this. And if you don’t like it give it to me because Bihh we don’t waste wine!’

…and see how that queen got my wine drinking life together that night!!

So I tried it again, like I was taught. I took a long sniff into my glass, held it in and took a sip. I held the sip in my mouth just a few seconds and then swallowed. Wow. What a difference! It was so much better. I finished that glass and poured another(don’t judge me) As I enjoyed the next glass I reminded myself why I loved wine so much. It’s so much deeper than just taste. It’s so much more of an experience than just quenching your thirst. I finished that bottle….’we don’t waste wine, bihhhhhh!’ LOL

A few days later I went into my favorite restaurant(It’s called Mabella’s if you want to take me) to order a piece of their cheesecake(it’s the best in the world) and what did I see behind the bar? Old Arme’. I asked the bartender when they started carrying it. And he said they had just gotten it in a few days ago. I told him my story of my recent tasting and how I hated it and then learned to love it. He called over all the wait staff, made me repeat my story so they could describe it, while he and I enjoyed a glass together. So if you go in Mabella’s, 1) take me 2) order the Arme’ 3) and the cheesecake 4) And the linguini…

I guess A8 could be finessing a glass of wine at Mabella’s….but here is the real adventure 8!

A8: Falcons training camp

It’s officially football season. And my NFC Champion Falcons started training camp a few weeks ago and I was able to attend a session. I’ve wanted to go to training camp for about 3 or 5 years now. But I never made it. The excuses range from being too far of a drive to it being too hot to watch a team with a losing record practice. But the Falcons training camp schedule fit my schedule this year(Thank you Universe) and I was able to check things out.

The Falcons facility is in Flowery Branch, Ga which is a lot farther north of Atlanta than I realized. After a construction traffic battle we made it with just enough time to park and get to the practice field before everything began. I was shocked by the number of people that we past as we were driving in. Like, yo, this is practice! Like, practice and it’s packed with dirty bird fans!

Cooler in tow because you know it was toasty wearing a jersey in JULY!

FANS OUTCHEA FOR PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

As we made our way inside, we navigated through all of the tents that had activities, food, merchandise and found a great spot in the shade to watch the practice.

FUTURE FACEBOOK COVER PHOTO!

I REALLY WANTED TO BRING THAT WHITE FLAG HOME.

I didn’t know what to expect out of training camp. I had seen some videos and pics that fans took in the past and just always wanted to go to say I went. One of my friends said I wouldn’t like it since I’m not into position battles and stuff like that. Well, he was right. LOL The first hour or so was not fun. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t fun for me. It was really just practice. They warmed up, they stretched, they did drills, and etc. Thankfully I was with good company and we chatted to pass the time.


JULIOOOO…They call him Jet Jones for a reason …

#42. DUKE RILEY. ROOKIE. PULLED AN SUV AS WORKOUT. BE AFRAID.

Just practice!!

As the players are practicing and stuff, I noticed that people were still coming into the facility. An hour passes and people were still walking in. I’m like, it’s Atlanta, folks here are always late. After another thirty minutes or so, and yes, folks are still walking in, I notice the scoreboard light up. The Cheerleaders came out. Ok, what’s about to happen? And then I saw the players lining up. Oh snap, they about to play! LOL I got excited. Finally, something I can get into. It was great! I was cheering like it was a real game! My team looked like they hadn’t missed a beat. The offense was clicking AND that defense WAS READY! They were hype and Beasley must have forgotten it was practice because he almost took Devonte out! Maybe it was a ‘you better sign that contract, kid’ hit! LOL It now made sense why folks were coming in late, they only wanted to see the scrimmage. Duh!?

ACTUAL FOOTBALL! THANK YOU UNIVERSE!

After the scrimmage we headed back to our rides and enjoyed lunch at a local Chilli’s. I loved that all the buildings and restaurants here represented the Falcons. I’m so ready for football Sunday with my team! #RiseUP

Enjoy! Comment! Share!

~AB