Why You Were Born to Sparkle and Shine

Hey Guys! Happy 17th day of February and I hope whether you celebrated Galentines, Valentines, some other mix of the two, or skipped both and jumped right into NBA All Star weekend, that your February is off to a great start. I was thinking about how often we walk through life and people,  the media, messaging, or some other source delivers to us how we are too much of something. Not too long ago, a guy I was dating told me I was a handful (I would like to add that I considered it a compliment  and was glad that I was staying true to myself of having a lot to give and overflowing although I am certain that he didn’t intend for me to take that message and find the positivity in it.) But why is an excess of something considered an awesome thing except when we speak about other people?

Sparkle and Shine
Photo Credit: GIPHY

No one complains they have too much money, food, happiness, or comfort. In fact, we as human beings are constantly striving for more in terms of the goals that we set out to complete or the lifestyle or life we envision. Why then do we allow ourselves to be compacted and shrunken by the expectations, fears, feelings, and opinions of others? Why do we attempt to take ourselves down a notch to be palatable to the world or to feel that the only way that we can fully be accepted is to show up as a lesser version of ourselves?  I am here to tell you from the day you were divinely created and purposed you were supposed to show up, show out, shine and sparkle.

Sparkle and Shine
Photo Credit:mysocialmate.com

I personally believe that every time you shrink yourself you miss out on the chance to impact the world in the way you were created. Light, shine, and sparkle all have unique characteristics. But the one thing that they all have in common is that they stand out and lead the way, offer perspective to an otherwise dim environment, and most importantly bring JOY and SMILES and allow others that are receptive to it to feel a little warmth and specialness to each day. There is truly no more honorable or fantastic way to show up in the world other than being your most authentic and audacious self. When others see you walking in your truth, they  feel free to walk in their own truth and that’s a wonderful and freeing feeling. The world doesn’t become better by you playing small.

Sparkle and Shine
Photo Credit: GIPHY

People need big love, ideas, extraordinary and over the top personalities, loud and crazy laughs, big smiles, big hearts, people who know how to have big fun and be bold but also the humility to understand that everyone needs someone willing to RISK it all and show others that being extra is just simply being unapologetically in touch as a human being navigating this wildly crazy, but fun and meaningful ride we call life. Yes, everyone may not appreciate the luster that your sparkle is supposed to emit and the shine that you have to reach those that TRULY NEED and are BLESSED by your presence but SHINE ON!  The next time you find yourself or someone/something dulling your sparkle keep in mind, Tiffany’s has been in business for almost 200 years. The brand continues to attract new customers daily and never stops improving and stays committed to the process of providing the world’s most brilliant  and quality diamonds, why is your inner sparkle and shine any different? Dare to be different, blaze a trail,  be your most fierce and fabulous self, the world needs your genius, brilliance, sparkle and shine.

Sparkle and Shine
Photo Credit: GIPHY

You are the Opportunity

Hi everyone! Hope that 2019 is treating you well and you’re well on your way to accomplishing the goals you’ve set for yourself. With that in mind, I wanted to talk about opportunity, more specifically the fact that you are the very opportunity you are seeking to create and manifest.

You are the Opportunity
Photo Credit: GIPHY

When we think about the new year or actions of creating and implementing/attaining a goal, it is usually associated with a dream or vision of the perfect opportunity that will drastically change our lives. But what if the change that we are seeking is already within us? What if that radical difference that we are looking for is something we already have that lays dormant in us ready to be activated and utilized? You are the very opportunity you are looking for  and how to activate your power and walk in your purpose.

You are the Opportunity
Photo Credit: GIPHY

I know you’re probably wondering how you could ever have enough or be enough to be a full opportunity but that’s just it, it ALL STARTS with YOU. You have to believe that intrinsically EVERYTHING that you are is already enough to attract EACH and EVERY opportunity that you want to manifest.

 

You are the Opportunity
Photo Credit: GIPHY

 

You are the Opportunity
Photo Credit:GIPHY

Do you want an amazing relationship? Then work on recognizing that you deserve it and raise your level of expectation to only GIVE YOURSELF the BEST first and then by default you will give off an energy/vibe that tells others that you will ONLY RECEIVE THE BEST.

You are the Opportunity
Photo Credit: GIPHY

Looking to manifest a better career that you love? Do the work to be more than just an employee and become a valued added contributor. Put passion and love into everything you do, that soon will become your brand and one day you maybe able to parlay that into having your employer be your employee and contract/consult your skills and expertise out as you continue to expand your skill set.

 

Are you itching to start that jewelry, cosmetics, t-shirt, cup, or other company but unsure where to start? Wanting to write that blog or book but afraid to start? Wanting to share your story and truly change the lives of others but afraid of judgment or your past being used against you? Push those negative thoughts of fear, failure, and other people’s perceptions out of your conscious and subconscious mind and go after your purpose and destiny. It’s been put in your heart for a reason, so jump to it!

You are the Opportunity

Don’t create additional obstacles to talk you out of your own success! Be your biggest fan, show up for yourself, BE OPEN to new experiences that STRETCH AND GROW YOU, and the universe/ God will reward you tenfold. Don’t ever feel like that anything you don’t have or “lost” in a physical sense won’t be replaced by something much greater than you could ever imagine. There is never an opportunity that you miss when you realize you’re a walking, talking, breathing opportunity. One of my favorite affirmations is ” I already have everything I need to get everything I want.” How powerful is that? Wake up with that kind of resolve and purpose and I promise you every opportunity will find its way to the REAL OPPORTUNITY. YOU.

 

You are the Opportunity
Photo Credit: GIPHY

 

Leveling Up to Expand and Improve Your Life

Hey Guys,

I have missed you so much! I haven’t been on here in a while but I definitely haven’t forgotten and it’s been such a desire to post on here but I only want to release content that’s meaningful and purposeful because I take my subscribers and this community very seriously and each of us is blessed with a gift to share knowledge and our world with the world. How amazing is that?!? It’s been crazy busy on my end but it got me to thinking about why that is. Honestly, it’s because I’ve been extremely intentional about leveling up and changing and expanding my life to truly CREATE the life I believe I was meant to live. I feel like LEVEL UP was truly the theme for 2018 and it’s something I plan to carry with me into 2019 and the years to come. (Shout out to Ciara for the amazing inspo.)

Level Up
Photo Credit: Billboard.com

But what does leveling up really mean and look like? It means that you’re operating in your best self and walking everyday with purpose looking to make decisions that your future self is going to thank you for and going to impact you but the greater world around you. It means you’re practicing your most optimal self care exercise, thought processes and actions, you’re learning how to prioritize what’s important to you on a financial, emotional, and spiritual level and how to align yourself with the activities that will help you meet the goals for those areas. Overall, you’re showing up as your best and brightest self because that is the only way you can truly activate your drive to pursue your wildest dreams. So what are some practical ways that anyone can truly level up?

  1. Take care of number one first.

Level Up
Photo Credit: GIPHY

Be committed to learning when and what to say no to, asking for HELP and not being too prideful to get it when you KNOW you need it, and truly investing in your own mental, physical, spiritual, financial, emotional, and overall well-being. The often used phrase is you cannot pour from an empty cup  is true so be sure to do those things that are going to make you feel fulfilled, recharged and whole.  Whether that’s going for a walk, grabbing your favorite cup of coffee, reading a book, taking time to meditate, watching your favorite Netflix movie or show, or taking a mini vacay or stacay. Be creative, open-minded and remember that it’s ultimately about bringing you back to your equilibrium.

2. Invest and believe in yourself.

Level Up
Photo Credit: GIPHY

The biggest part of your leveling up journey is investing into yourself and believing that despite what the circumstances or situation may look like that that investment is going to pay off and manifest. Do the work. Plant the seed. Continue watering it. It has no other choice other than to bear fruit. Read inspirational and educational books that will not only keep you inspired but expand your worldview and keep you well-rounded. Place intentions around the energy of the people you surround yourself with and what type of energy or experiences they bring into your life. BE INTENTIONAL about how you spend your time and give your resources, gifts, talents, and skills and NEVER EVER sell yourself short. Demand every last penny of your worth because there will never be another you who does things the way you do them and if you don’t stand up and believe in your own WORTH(which by the way is priceless) then people pick up on that energy and will treat you that same way in every capacity. Travel, try out new restaurants, learn a language, truly be committed to doing something everyday that will be an investment into who you are in the long run.

3. Have unwavering confidence, determination, and poise.

Level Up
Photo Credit: GIPHY

The most successful people in life consistently believed they could achieve their goals and dreams, stayed determined and did it with grace, their own sense of style/brand,  and fulfilled their dreams beyond their wildest imaginations. Persist until what you envision exists. Don’t let your own self-doubt or even lingering negative thoughts you’ve managed to believe or pick up stop you. Don’t let the voices, opinions or fears of others stop you. Activate your faith and just keep going! Just because someone did it one way and it was successful for them in that manner doesn’t mean it’s the ABSOLUTE only way to carve a path to your own version of success. Yes, you can take notes from successful people but the most successful people also create a niche for themselves and God always  makes a way to have the audience/clients/people you’re supposed to meet find you. Work with God and manifest your own blueprint to divinely create a life that YOU and YOU only were meant to live. Be ambitious and bold and doubt doubt (yes I said to doubt your own doubts) and just go for exactly what you want. I am a STRONG BELIEVER in the law of attraction and manifestation so just keep putting the good you want out there and it will come back to you ten fold.

4. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Level Up
Photo Credit: GIPHY

It’s very easy when all these things in today’s world are calling out for our attention to take our eyes off the focus of our short term goals and action steps, that help propel us to our long term goal. However, it’s extremely important to stay focused. Sit down and give yourself some time to really plot out a plan of what you want to do and the steps that are going to help you get there. STAY ORGANIZED. Whether it’s a planner, a vision board, reminders of tasks on your phone, anything that will help jog your memory of what’s important to you and what you want to achieve. Keep track of the progress you’re making and look at your level of productivity overall.  Ask yourself the honest question of  “Is this really getting me closer or taking me farther away from what I actually want to achieve or who I want to be when I envision my life?” Be honest with yourself and figure out what it will take to do that. Journal, write down your ideas, keep a pad or notebook handy because your best and brightest ideas always come in the most strange, inconvenient and sometimes odd places (speaking from personal experience). Most importantly be open to the journey, whether it’s getting your business to where you want it to be, building your brand, stepping out your comfort zone and trying new things, manifesting love, growing in your spiritual walk, or overall just becoming a better person, keep that vision at the front of your mind because that will keep you going when things get crazy and keep you pressing towards the goal.

I’m so excited for my own level up journey and I would love to hear from you guys! What are some things you’re working on? How has your level up journey been going? Have you started? What things do you think stop you from moving forward in the way you want? What actions are you taking to keep you pushing forward, motivated and closer to your goal? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear from you guys! And most importantly remember to keep on leveling up and being Fearfully Fashioned and Wonderfully Made!

Level Up
Photo Credit: GIPHY

A Florida Girl in Beantown!

Hi Guys,

I’ve missed you all so much! How’s your summer? It’s been an extremely warm summer here in Floria and I cannot lie…. I LOVE IT!  I got the awesome opportunity to go and visit loved ones and friends this summer in Boston and it was absolutely amazing! I had so much and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to have an underground tour guide (lol) but seriously I had the best time and saw so many amazing sights! It’s only right because I feel like this is my extended family that I absolutely want to share!

Peep my adventures below!

FL Girl Does Beantown
There was so much amazing wall/street art in Boston. I loved it! This was one of my favorites!

FL Girl Does Beantown
B Good! Love the decor and the emphasis on the food being locally sourced!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Adopted Luke Turkey Burger and fries

FL Girl Does Beantown
I loved these flowers when we were walking around! Absolutely gorgeous natural beauty!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Downtown Boston

FL Girl Does Beantown
Downtown Boston, this was a cool shot to me!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Downtown Boston

FL Girl Does Beantown
Downtown Boston

FL Girl Does Beantown
Luke’s Lobster! Amazing! And really, really fresh seafood!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Decided to get the Luke’s Trio! Crab, shrimp, and lobster trio with clam chowder and blueberry lemonade. Absolutely scrumptious!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Downtown Boston

FL Girl Does Beantown
Burberry Store in Downtown Boston!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Tiffany’s store in Boston!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Boston Public Garden

FL Girl Does Beantown
Me at the bridge at Boston Public Garden

FL Girl Does Beantown
I loved these boats in the garden!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Tiffany’s store front view in Boston

FL Girl Does Beantown
Tiffany and CO and my shadow! I was such a tourist! Lol

FL Girl Does Beantown
Valentino! Ya’ll know I’m a fashionista so I loved this as much as I loved Seattle!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Downtown Boston

FL Girl Does Beantown
My fave Marc Jacobs!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Another fave! Kate Spade!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Cool statues in front of Boston Public Market area

FL Girl Does Beantown
Shout out to my amazing photographer for this awesome shot!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Quincy Market

FL Girl Does Beantown
South Market

FL Girl Does Beantown
It’s Cheers ya’ll!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Boston Public Market

FL Girl Does Beantown
Cresent Ridge Icecream

FL Girl Does Beantown
Boston Public Market: This map was so dope! Loved it!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Another great piece of art!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Banana ice cream with walnuts from Crescent Ridge

FL Girl Does Beantown
I loved the look of this Starbucks!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Caption explanatory but oxtails and rice. Yum!

FL Girl Does Beantown
So good!

FL Girl Does Beantown
This place had AH-MAZING wings and waffles after a night out on the town! SO SO GOOD!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Chicken and Banana Waffles

FL Girl Does Beantown
This was so cool on the back of the bus and sounded like a dope event!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Of course I had to visit Harvard!

FL Girl Does Beantown
It’s JFK Street!

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FL Girl Does Beantown
David’s Tea! I wish that we had one in Florida but the varieties of tea and preparation was so impressive! And it was so tasty the iced tea latte!

FL Girl Does Beantown
Yet another cool Starbucks!

FL Girl Does Beantown

FL Girl Does Beantown
It’s me in Harvard Square!

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FL Girl Does Beantown
Hazelnut crunch doughnuts! So good and so worth it!

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I literally had so many great and memorable experiences and so much amazing food while I was in Boston and I would definitely anticipate returning soon for even more! Have you all been to Boston? What are some of your favorite sights/places/food? What did you enjoy most? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!

Foodie Files Orlando Edition: Todd English’s Blue Zoo

Hi Guys!

The month of June was literally here and then gone and here we are in July! Crazy right?!?! I am a June baby so a lot of my birth month was spent celebrating. I missed you guys sooo much so I decided to share my most recent foodie experience from my birthday which was Todd English’s Blue Zoo. I loved the ambience, the service, the selection of choices from the menu and overall the experience. It’s great for everyday dining when you really want some quality seafood or a special occasion/night on the town. It is tucked nicely inside the Walt Disney World Resort in the Dolphin Hotel. Here are some highlights from my experience:

Blue Zoo Menu

Pictured above is my smoking watermelon sangria. It was absolutely yummy!

Dancing fish with marble potatoes and seasonal veggies

Birthday girl in her birthday dress

Beautiful ambience inside the dining area

It’s definitely worth a try if you’re in the Orlando area.

What are some of your favorite seafood spots in your city or state? Leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you guys!

Foodie Files Jax Edition: River and Post

Hi Guys,

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re excited for the start of an amazing week! I got the awesome opportunity to visit one of Jacksonville’s newest jewels in the area, River and Post. Can I just say I definitely am adding it to my list of fave restaurants! It’s an amazing Riverside/ 5 Points area spot to pop into, enjoy some great food, surrounded by very chic and modern accommodations, excellent service, a beautiful salt water aquarium with a diverse ecosystem and live coral and sea anemone, and a stunning rooftop view. ( I didn’t go upstairs this visit, but plan to on my next visit as it was raining) I was pleasantly pleased and if you’ve been following my blog or just new here (welcome and thank you so much for your support!) you know I am a HUGE FOODIE and ambience and experience are EVERYTHING TO ME. But let’s just jump right into my dining experience today!

River and Post
Isn’t this gorgeous? I love the open layout of their floor plan! These lights are everything!

River and Post
Wine List! I am also a wine girl! They have a great selection of wines to choose from by the way.

River and Post
Probably my favorite part of dinner! Blue crab beignets!

These delicious blue crab beignets with kernels of corn inside (yum) and just the right amount of spice and seasoning to really give your tastebuds some bite! The sriracha citrus crema dip is amazing and brings all the flavors together!

I also had a glass of Gazela Vino Verde that paired well with the entire meal, especially the blue crab beignets! (pictured above)

River and Post
Entree: Broiled Ocean Platter

River and Post
Entree: Broiled Ocean Platter

Let me reiterate that the service was amazing! My entree and appetizer came out mere minutes a part and even though it wasn’t an inconvenience my amazing server Jessica, kept my entree warm for me while I finished the beignets!

The platter included mahi mahi ( I believe the fish is based off the day’s catch), sea scallops, shrimp, market veggies (very flavorful and fresh) and some of the best mashed potatoes (very well seasoned and creamy) that I’ve had in a very long time!

River and Post
Aquarium view 1

River and Post
Side view of Aquarium

River and Post
The sea coral and anemone are amazing in person!! These pictures do them no justice!

River and Post
I found NEMO!

River and Post
Aquarium view 3

 

The aquarium was simply beautiful and I had the amazing opportunity to speak with the curator Barry who I was really thankful took time  with me  and shared some amazing information regarding the marine life in the tank, the ecosystem and some other really cool facts (ask for him if you go, he’s amazing!)

Overall it was an amazing experience and I am sure i will be making several return trips! If you’re in the Jacksonville area, definitely do yourself a favor and check them out!

What are some of your favorite seafood places? Any cool or wonderful restaurants that really stand out in your area? Leave me a comment in the comments section below, I always love to hear from you guys!

 

Yummy Dessert Recipe: Baked apple crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe
Yummy! The ice cream really set it off!

Apple Crisp Recipe
Finished crust! So good and so worth it!

Apple Crisp Recipe
Side view of Apple Crisp and Ice Cream

Apple Crisp Recipe
Some of my ingredients!

In total it took about about 2 hours to make and that included prep and cook time so it’s definitely something you can whip up really quick during the week for a dessert or as a sweet treat on the weekend when you want something tasty, homemade and comforting.

So let’s jump right into the recipe!

Fruit Filling:

About 2 1/2 tablespoons of flour

1 cup of sugar ( I used pure cane but feel free to use a mix of brown sugar or any other that you would like.)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (this helps keep the apples from browning)

6-8 apples (I used about 7-8 but depending upon how large of a serving you want you can adjust out as necessary)

Crust:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup of rolled oats or oat flour (you can blend or chop up rolled oats in a food processor or blender to create oat flour)

1 cup of sugar (I used pure cane sugar but you will get the same effect with brown sugar)

2 teaspoons of cinnamon (I love the smell and taste of cinnamon and how it livens up my food so I added an extra bit here)

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of table salt

12 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup of nuts, chopped (feel free to pick your favorite kind, I used almonds for mine)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the apples in half, remove the seeds and cores and peel. Place aside.

Toss together your cut apples, lemon juice, sugar and flower until the apples have a light coating over them.

Mix your rolled oats or oat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and butter until it begins to clump with either a spoon or your fingers. Lightly sprinkle in your nuts into your crust mixture and you may want to leave some out for putting on top of the crust.

Place filing mixture into a baking dish and pour crust ingredients over filling mixture and sprinkle nuts.

Place in oven and cook for about 50 mins to 1 hour and 10 mins until you see filling start to bubble and crust start to brow. Allow to cool and then serve warm or with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream! It will be the best apple dish next to apple pie that you’ve ever taste or made! What are some of your favorite apple treats or dishes? Leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you guys!