10 Fun Facts About Me

As we enter the middle of April, I sit back and reflect on my time as a blogger. I can’t believe it’s already been four months! I’m so very thankful for every single of you who take the time out to read what I have to say! I couldn’t be more appreciative! Many of you have joined me a little further in, so I wanted to do a fun post about some interesting facts about me!

1. My name is Michelle but most people call me Mimi. The name of my blog, Authentically_Mi, came to me while doing a personality test one night. As I was reading my results, the part that resonated with me the most was the authenticity factor and how I base everything in my life according to that. The name was a perfect fit for who I am.

2. I am a tween mother! My love and light Saniyah is my only child and shes growing up way too fast for me! She will be 12 this summer and its surreal to think next year she will be a teenager. While I had her young and faced many challenges, I never let that stop me. I went on to graduate college magna cum laude as a young mother and I’m so very proud to say my baby girl was accepted into a gifted middle school this past year. It has not been easy by far, but it has made a major impact on who I am today. Anything is possible!

3. My views are unique and I credit that to how I grew up. Its hard for me to explain where I’m from sometimes due to my upbringing. I was a military brat until high school, consistenly moving every 4 to 5 years, several different states and overseas. While I was born on the West Coast in New Mexico, a pivotal point in my growth came while living in Germany, so that feels most like home. I moved here to Virginia in my junior year of high school and have been here ever since.

4. I currently work for the government in public health as a program coordinator. I have been at my job for almost 9 years now and while I love public health, a part of me is ready to see whats out there. My interests have grown into the IT sector and this the direction I plan to go next. I began blogging as a way to express myself and share some of the things I have learned along the way. Since starting in December, it has been a great journey so far

5. If you’ve seen my astrology posts, you may already know that I am a pisces sun, capricorn moon and virgo rising. I got into astrology a few years ago to learn more about myself and I’m still learning. Funny as it sounds, it was how I began my self discovery journey. I enjoy learning about what resonates with me.

6. I am very family oriented, as the first born child of two, I have a pretty close relationship with my family. Because of the military, I didn’t get to grow up around my family, but my summers were cherished because our visits were some of my most fondest memories. I am also an aunt to two newphews!

7. I am an ambivert. An ambivert is both an extrovert and introvert, although I tend to lean more towards the introverted side. I loveeeeee my alone time, maybe a bit too much. I am one of those people who actually loves their own company, other times I can be the life of the party. As an empath, I am very sensitive to the energies around me and I protect my peace as necessary. I am very big on the vibes I get from people because I know that energy doesnt lie. Please don’t kill my vibe is a daily affirmation over here.

8. Some of my hobbies include cooking, eating out and trying new restaurants, wine festivals, theme parks, music festivals, comedy shows, concerts, beach days, reading, writing and blogging, DIY projects, gardening, movies, painting, road trips and my number one love TRAVEL! There is nothing I love more than to go to a foreign land and experience the people, culture and food. I like to get off the resort and explore the area. I am very adventurous for the most part but I don’t like heights.

9. Although I’m not ocd about health, I am pretty conscious of it. I currently workout 3 to 4 days a week in the gym, and 2 days of HIIT cardio at home. HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training, has been an excellent move for cardio. Since my time is pretty limited, I can get a pretty good workout in about 30 minutes. Its all in how hard you push yourself. While I tend to be pretty diciplined with food during the week, I stil try to eat what I want, but in portions. Its helped me to make this a lifestyle change I can stick with. I recently got into herbal remedies for health maintenance and now make own teas that are nourishing and taste good.

10. I am a lover of all things art, music, museums, technology, spirituality, culture and history. I just like learning new things. I believe that we are forever students because there is always something to be learned in life, no matter how old you are. I have a curious mind, so I am always seeking, investigating and researching. Even with purchases, I will read the reviews from several sites and compare several different models all before I make the purchase. OCD I know, but my decisions are well informed, it keeps my mind sharp and its given me knowledge and wisdom in a wide variety of areas.

I hope you learned something of interest about me today. We are over 100 followers as of last week and this is my 20th post! Coincidence or no… lol I like to think of it is synchronicities and confirmation of doing something great. I hope we continue to grow! Tell me a little about yourself? What makes you original?

Happiness Is An Inside Job

When I think of happiness, the emotions and feelings of love, joy, laughter, fulfillment and that over the moon feeling comes to mind. Many people seem to have the perception that happiness comes from relationships and I’m here to tell you why that’s total bullshit.

What if I told you that you could achieve that same over the moon feeling 100% by yourself? You see, happiness is purely based on your thoughts, feelings and emotions. No one in this world has the power to MAKE you happy. Sure people can assist and do things to add to it, but we have to make the decision to be happy first. Feelings and emotions shift with the wind and if you aren’t firmly rooted, these shifts will have greater impact on you.

Who wants the burden or responsibility of maintaining someone’s happiness? I know I don’t, and I don’t mean that in a malicious way, but there is freedom in knowing that when you both work on keeping yourselves happy, you come into a partnership to share and grow that happiness because your cup is already overflowing. You aren’t dependent on it because your happiness is self made. True happiness is internal and generated 100% by you. There is liberation in knowing that nobody can take my happiness from me and this is what empowers me to be better. There is nothing stopping or preventing true fulfillment. This is where to apply the “You Can’t Pour From An Empty Cup” rule. This way of thinking may intimidate those who need someone to depend on them for happiness and it shouldnt. The best kind of love is the one who WANTS to be there with no bribery or incentives.

This was one of the major lessons I learned. When you avoid certain parts of yourself, it has a way of showing up in other areas of your life. You will keep dealing with the same issues until you address the root cause of why you dont like being alone. A big part of this problem is many people don’t even know what makes them happy. We spend so much time chasing the bag that we dont leave much time for anything else. Balance here is essential, working hard is important but so is making sure you live a life your happy with. You dont want to spend your life seeking meaningless relationships because your unhappy by yourself. If your feeling this way, the best thing to do is explore that. Spend some time alone and learn to love your own company. Sit in that uncomfortable feeling and start exploring the things that interest you and watch your happiness rise. There are no right or wrong answers here, but its for your own enlightenment to heal your wounds so you can grow and move forward.

My hope is that this has inspired someone to look within themselves and make the decision to be happy regardless of their circumstances! Happiness is only a thought away

Be Mindful Of The Company You Keep

I had every intention this week on writing about happiness being an inside job but the energy I’ve felt this week has led me a different direction. This message has been heavy on my heart the last few days. The world lost an incredibly great man this week. Nipsey Hustle was much more than a rapper. He was a man all about his family, his growth, but most importantly changing the narrative of his past and bridging his community. He was gunned down this week by a friend turned foe in the very same community he was uplifting. I couldn’t help but think about how sometimes the enemy isn’t a stranger watching you from a far.. the enemy is a sinister foe within your own circle.

Being mindful of the company you keep is our best defense from people who pretend to love us but mean us no good. Even then there still are no guarantees in life. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason and God doesn’t make mistakes. I know there is a bigger lesson here and maybe it has everything to do with the work he was engaged in and the legacy he leaves behind. Its a hard pill to swallow when you believe in the law of attraction and you watch someone do all the right things and the absolute worst happens to them. This is what devastates me most.

We have to become better at screening people and their intentions on a continuous basis. Even the longest of friendships can become your downfall when the motives change and sadly there usually aren’t any announcements when that change occurs. I’m blessed to have solid people around me, but there are also those few that I question. Some I’ve known forever and maintain a sort of loyalty to due to the years invested but I’ve noticed the energy and vibe has shifted and it doesnt always mesh with where I’m at in my life now. I protect my peace viciously so any threat to that is removed. My personal journey on ascending into the better version of me has exposed a lot of weak connections. Everyone isn’t meant to stand the test of time and continue the journey with you.

Changing and letting go is hard, its especially hard for me but I’m learning to be more objective about it and not take it so personal. Holding onto people not meant for you will cause you more harm than good. It saddens me when people have such low communication and conflict resolution skills that you resort to violence, destroying their family, your own and the community you call home. We are living in a wicked world and sometimes I worry having to raise my child in this chaos. My daughter and I had our first bully situation last year from a girl she called her best friend for several years and my daughter was devastated. I will always teach my child to lead by morals and values, to treat others how she wants to be treated, but that’s only one part. I have absolutely no control of how her peers are raised. Bullying is such a huge issue in our schools, to the point where children are taking their own lives. I teach my child to stand up for herself and to be aware of the behaviors and actions of others and to stand firm in what she knows is right. I am teaching her young what I learned late and that’s to never be afraid to walk away from someone that violates her values.

This is the best time to start leading by example. Be the change you wish to see and show others its possible with your actions. We have more power than we realize. Although I wish this world were more peaceful and everyone got along, it just isn’t reality all the time and we must prepare and protect ourselves. I am angered by the senseless way Nipsey lost his life, but lets not make it in vain. Continue to do the work he started but in your own community. He definitely planted the seed.

8 Self- Care Tips To Help You Spring Forward

With the end of March coming to a end, its evident that Spring is finally here! Self care is something we should be practicing on the regular. The beauty in this is that our self care methods are unique to each individual so there is no right or wrong way to take care of yourself as long as you are happy. Here is my list on what I do when to keep myself up and in optimal spirits.

1. Read A New Book. Reading has always been a personal pleasure of mine. I recently read “Believe” by Michelle Obama and it was one of the best books I’ve read. So much insight and wisdom. I love reading other people’s stories and their advice and thinking of how I can relate it to my own life. I have a love for multiple genres ranging from fiction, drama, self help, enlightenment and history. Its a nice escape into an unfamiliar story different from your own with a nice cup or tea or a mixed drink depending on my mood lol. My new book for this Spring will be “We’re Going To Need More Wine” by Gabrielle Union.

2. Spring Clean Your Home. I don’t know about you, but I feel most relaxed laying down with my feet up and incense burning knowing that my house is clean and I have no chores to do. Spring is the best time to clean out those cob webs and get your home in order! Depending on your space, this can seem daunting but I always stress one thing at a time, or in this case, room at a time. I like to take my time starting top from bottom, clearing all dust, clutter and junk that serves no purpose. This is also when I like to redecorate and change my space. Small tweaks can make a room feel brand new.

3. Join A Gym Or Work Out At Home- They say Summer bodies are made in the Winter but that doesn’t mean Spring workouts cant help you get in shape for the Summer. The main thing here is consistency. We all want to look great in our bathing suits, but there are sacrifices to be made if you are anything like me and took eating comfort food this winter to heart. I have a personal challenge to lose 8 pounds by May 1. I personally use both methods to workout, preferring weight lifting at the gym 3 days a week and HIIT cardio at home 2 times a week. HIIT (High intensity interval training) is cardio gold. Youtube is my best friend for finding some great home workouts to do.

4. Plan A Vacation. Secretly I am always planning a vacation in my mind. Travel is my hearts joy and I try to go somewhere as often as I can. All work and no play isn’t good for anyone. Its easy to get swamped with life, our families and our jobs, but time away to recharge is essential for optimal peace of mind. While I’m sure many of us would love to sail across the world, it may not be that simple. Road trips are my second alternative if I want to get away but maybe for not as far or as long as a Caribbean retreat. Its nothing for me to hop in the car and drive. Its even better if your job offers discounts on rentals if your traveling a good distance. Save your mileage!

5. Get Creative. Tapping into my creative side always brings me peace. I’ve discovered that I love painting, re-purposing furniture, DIY projects, gardening, writing poetry, wine and music festivals, trying new recipes to cook, yoga, blogging, museums, aquariums and theme parks among others! I love trying new things and this is how I discovered my love for the many hobbies I have. Having productive hobbies is how you keep in touch with what makes you happy and maintain your identity. Having your own interests ensures you can always find something to occupy your time.

6. Meditation and Journalism. Meditation has been a game changer in terms of quieting the mind. I often feel like I have 20 different tabs open in my mind with something complete different on each one. We underestimate the power of the mind and all of things its capable of. To be still and quiet while observing your thoughts but not attaching yourself to them is the key. Our reality is shaped by the very thoughts we have and our perception is based on that. Meditating has given me a sense of calm tranquility. Keeping a journal handy to jot down your thoughts is a good way to get things off your mind. Its easier for me to write down how I’m feeling and I prefer it this way because I can come back to it and reflect on it. Sometimes our thoughts are clouded by every day life and this is a great release.

7. Schedule Me Time Often. This is one that took me some time to really start. As a mom, its hard to get away and when I could, I sometimes felt guilty for leaving my little one. I had to come to the realization that a few hours away would not hurt and when I am my happiest and my best self, I’m a better mom for her. This change in perspective has opened doors to still allow me to be myself outside of the many roles I fill. I make it a habit to go to a happy hour or brunch at least once a week, indulge in bubble baths, massages, manicures/pedicures, ect. I make sure to have plenty of hobbies and other things to turn to that bring me joy.

8. Get Outside! This may seem cliche, but the sun and fresh air really does the body good! Sometimes we need to unplug and just go observe the world around you. There is so much beauty in watching nature come alive during Spring. I love being around water and going to the beach to meditate and practice grounding. Its something about the water that rushing up your legs with a slight breeze that just makes me happy, maybe its the Pisces in me.

These are some of my go-to things I do when I feel I need that self love pick me up. Is self care something you practice regularly? What are some ways you like to practice self care? Let me know down below!

Queen

Hey my Loves! I know this blog post is a few days later than usual but I took some time off for my birthday! Blessed and appreciative are understatements to the blessings that I have received in my life and I needed some time to really reflect on where I am today and how long I’ve come in my journey. This is a new chapter of life, the 31st edition! This year my age and birthday numbers are reverse (March 13) I wonder if that has any significance. I titled this blog post queen because what other day to feel like a true Queen than your birthday! I want to touch on what being a queen means to me.

A Queen is described as the female ruler of an independent state, or the most powerful chess piece that each player has.

To be a queen is to command the presence of the room before you even speak. To be a queen is to carry a regal elegance about yourself. To be a queen is to be powerful yet humble and take no shit.

A queen values herself and her tribe and is good to people. She must must be accountable and be able to admit when she is wrong. She must be a leader and set a solid example for those around her and beyond.

A queen isn’t afraid to dream big and demand the very best.
She will show you just how to slay the world and build an empire customized to her essence.

A queen knows exactly who she is and does not emulate things not of her authentic self.

She accepts, owns and claims her strengths and her flaws. She has the ability to turn her pain into her power.

A queen understand its wise to plan for the future, but the most important time is right now. She’s aware that time is the most precious gift you can never get back.

A queen oozes confidence and walks like she owns the world and keeps that head high always. A queen does not let people walk all over her. She doesn’t settle in friendships or relationships.

A queen is not easily triggered and can control her emotions and maintain her poise. A queen always remains classy and dignified and never lets anyone get a rise from her.

A queen uplifts, never degrades or tear people down. She understands that respect and support is a two street and she is reciprocal.

A queen understands the need for quality over quantity. From the linen worn on her skin down to the company she keeps, quality is all she surrounds herself with. She will rid herself of toxic people and environments.

A queen is very wise, knowledgeable and intelligent. She is just as much the teacher as she is the student, always learning and improving.

A queen can recognize other queens and show love and support without her own crown feeling threatened. She knows she has no competition and therefor harbors no jealously.

A queen is very aware that silence is golden, and will not waste her breath on those beneath her. This may trigger some who think “we are all equal” and fundamentally that is correct, but we all dont lead with the same moral compass, if one is used at all.

I’m going to drop a few jewels here… we all have the ability to be queens! It is all in the energy you emit and we have total control of that. Self love is the foundation for everything else in your life. When you truly love yourself, it shows. When you truly value yourself and trust intuition, you shift your energy in a positive direction. The thing is to KEEP your energy is this direction and continue to elevate. Easier said than done, I know very well, but you cannot get through life without work. Its all in how bad you want it….. Queen

astrology and birth charts

Self Discovery: How Astrology Can Be Used As A Tool For Self Development and Awareness. Focusing on the sun, rising and moon.


“You can only meet someone as deeply as you have met yourself”

I know astrology isn’t the end all be all and whether you believe in it or not, I think there are still benefits to it.  One being that it can be used as a tool for self reflection and awareness while on your self discovery journey.  My love for astrology goes back to high school. I enjoyed learning about it but I never fully took it serious because I didn’t meet every quality suited for a Pisces. It wasn’t until I did my full birth chart that I recognized why I always felt the way I did. With us being in Pisces season and my birthday next week, I figured I would dive into how I started my self discovery journey.

A Pisces Sun, Virgo Ascendant and Capricorn moon, it was immediately evident why I didn’t fully connect. I wasn’t looking at the full picture! Yes my sign sun is important, but its only a piece of the puzzle. At my best, my highest self these are the characteristics I may possess and flourish in. But my Capricorn moon will keep me grounded, motivated and determined and my Virgo rising gives me a laid back, reserved, sharp nature. Something like a quiet storm, the underestimated.

The sun sign describes the center of your personality, your motivations, drive and who your learning to become. My sun is in Pisces (19 Feb- 20 March), known as the dreamer who prefers to go with the flow of life.  A mutable water sign represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions and the last and final sign of the zodiac.  It is represented by both Jupiter and Neptune.  Some say we embody traits from all previous signs and that gifts us with innate knowledge but can tends to make us difficult to understand. On the flip side, Pisces empathy, understanding and awareness of others gives us the ability to sense where people are coming from so we can relate to anyone.  One fish has the desire to connect with the human experience and the other fish likes to transcend into the spiritual world, swimming in opposite directions which signifies the internal back and forth struggle.  For this reason, we get the name of the dreamer and the escapist, often daydreaming into our own reality.  The best analogy of Pisces I’ve heard is that Pisces energy is like a hurricane.  Its two fish constantly chasing itself, so absorbed into its own thing that nothing else matters.  Pisces tend to do a lot of internal work and is constantly thinking, moving or creating.  If the Pisces energy can calm itself long enough where someone is able to enter the hurricane during still waters, they can find themselves peacefully there and they will function perfectly in the eye of the storm.  But if someone tries to enter while the waters are rough and we are active in that whirlwind energy, there is great potential for others to be hurt.  We are the epitome of turning pain into power.

The ascendant sign or rising as its sometimes called represents how you present yourself and respond to the world as well as the kind of experiences needed to make your life meaningful. My ascendant sign is in Virgo, which represents a strong analytical and organized approach to the world.  There is a need to be useful and productive and a tendency to be self critical, worry and over analyze things.  One of the biggest personality traits is a perfectionist who values organization and order. This can make me meticulous about everything. As a sapiosexual, I am mentally driven and attach more importance on a strong mental connection and good communication. As a lifelong student and teacher, I am very observant and always learning new things, analyzing the world around me and how it all connects. It feeds my curiosity of the complexities we call life.

The moon sign represents your instinctive and emotional nature and to some is the most important sign.  My moon is in Capricorn, which describe my energies as responsible, analytical and calculated. Calm and slow to express anger, I am cool, calm and collected. There is usually caution when developing closeness in personal relationships, which I don’t take lightly. I tend to analyze people before getting close to them when I am unsure of their intentions.  A traditionalist at heart and somewhat reserved, success and achievements are important to me.  I have the tendency to have high expectations for myself and others, specifically when it comes personal development, integrity and authenticity with the commitment to follow through to the end.  I am self sufficient and contained and not afraid to put in hard work to reach my goals.

All of this information was correct for me as far as my personality goes, it provided confirmation on many things and the negatives that resonated exposed areas of concern that needs work.  This reflective analysis of self requires honesty and accountability of my weaknesses and not just accept them as is because “I’m a Pisces and that’s just how I am” when this is the wrong attitude to have.  I used this information as a tool for recognizing the flaws or subconscious behavior withing myself and questioned what can I do to change it.

If one of your weaknesses is being hard on yourself or forgiveness like me for example, try to be more self aware. Start paying more attention to your thoughts and when you catch yourself being critical, stop and change the behavior to a more forgiving tone. Doing it enough sets the routine to healthier habits.  This part here is crucial because knowing your imperfections mean nothing if you don’t work on them.  We are always a work in progress and every bit of information to help you transcend into a better person is a win.

This is only the tip of the ice berg as far as the birth chart goes. There are so many other signs, factors and placements so there will definitely be more to come on this tool for self discovery. Stay tuned, like and subscribe if my post resonates with you. Here is a link to do your own birth chart!

https://astro.cafeastrology.com/natal.php

How has astrology made a difference in your life? Let me know below!

Accountability


Happy Thursday!! Today is the last day of February and I have no idea where the time is going! While I am extra excited to see March (Pisces season!), I couldn’t let this day go by without acknowledging all of the black history posts and celebrations I’ve seen all month! This has not been lost on me, if we are Facebook friends you are well aware of this lol. Black history should be celebrated often so it doesn’t stop at the end of February. Accountability is word I’ve seen thrown around a lot lately from everything politics, history, the economy, relationships and so on so what does this all really mean?

Accountability is defined as the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility

dictionary.com

Accountability is as simple as accepting responsibility for the things that you do and don’t do. AKA owning your shit in Mimi’s terms. Its being able to acknowledge both the good and bad behaviors within yourself and society as a whole. Change cannot occur when one will not accept the issue as truth. It requires a humble humility to admit that you have faults and may be the cause of some of the negative things in your life. It requires patience, understanding and forgiveness to accept your toxic traits, explore the root reason behind why you connected with them and make a conscious effort to change for the better. This isn’t easy, especially when habits are years old and can be tough to break. Maintaining your accountability means to keep on doing the right thing no matter how strong the wrong things pull at you. This is a trait universal to several areas in our lives. How can you truly be a good parent if you aren’t accountable? How can you be a dependable boss or employee if your word means nothing? I remember as a child, my Great Grandma Sis had a favorite saying and it was one I never forgot.

Sorry ain’t worth is damn

As a 8 or 9 year old child I thought it was the funniest thing in the world to hear her cuss in her southern Louisiana accent, but I didn’t really understand what she meant. As an adult, I often think back to that and smile to myself, knowing that now I fully comprehend what she meant. And I stand firmly behind it. Sorry means nothing without changed behavior. Its just lip service and creates a cast of bullshit surrounding the one who is “always sorry” but keeps doing the same thing.

Accountability is pivotal in the dating arena. While its easy to blame our ex’s for the demise of past relationships, we have to look at how our behavior played a part. Every man/woman isn’t the same and shouldn’t be treated the same. Its our responsibility to properly heal in-between relationships and take control of our happiness. No one is responsible for that except us. While others may contribute to our happiness, they should never be the source of it. Source should always come from you first.

When you practice accountability, you take charge and control of the direction your life will go. The thing about change is we don’t get to see physical results and that’s what makes it hard. We should expect our leaders to set the tone when confronting difficult issues. It leads by example for those around us to also stand up and do the right thing. Someone has the set the example and abide by it! Life as we know it sometimes resembles reality tv because we don’t have many honest, authentic leaders who truly guide by the principles of putting the people first.

Lets be real, most people would rather hold everyone else accountable and avoid themselves. Our society is in the business of doing things so that people like you and practicing accountability is the exact opposite of that. Its calling out those failed goals, toxic behavior and horrible spending habits. Its knowing when to rock the boat and not being afraid to express tough love or make hard business decisions. Its making sure to stay on top of our children’s well being and monitor their grades, behavior and influences. Its not cute nor acceptable to watch a smart mouth child cuss or disrespect their parents or teachers. It all starts at home and your child is a direct representation of you. Its nice to be friendly, but not to the point of you the parent being run by your child and you hold no authority to them.

Our job is to raise our children and keep them in line so that they grow up to be respectable adults. That involves punishing bad behavior, bad grades, not following directions, ect. but most importantly leading by example! Its not the teachers job or responsibility to do these things. Its easy to turn on a movie to get a little quiet time or hand over our phones for YouTube. We have to be accountable in making sure the content they view is age appropriate and doesn’t contain inappropriate material. The social media frenzy about this “Mow Mow” character is an eerie reminder of that. This creepy looking lady has been exposed on Youtube, popping up half way through kids videos encouraging them to harm themselves and their families. While this isn’t said to scare anyone, it is a major reminder that sometimes us parents don’t fully check what they are watching as often as we should. We blindly take for granted that people wouldn’t harm children and sadly that’s just not realistic all of the time. This drives the entire point of this post home.

Your word means nothing if people cant trust it to be dependable. We should all strive to be more accountable in our lives and help those around us adapt this behavior. All it takes is one leader to spark the change.

Travel Blog- Chicago

Good morning and Happy Thursday! Another cold, wet and rainy winter day here in Virginia and I’m over it! This weeks blog post will be a travel post for a place I recently had the chance to visit… Chicago, CHICAGO! I arrived in the windy city (stood true to this statement!) on a Thursday afternoon for a long weekend. It was my annual family reunion and Chi Town was this years pick of the draw. I’ve been to almost every US state with the exception of a few, and Illinois was on that list. You hear so much about Chicago so I was itching to come and see it for myself and I’m so glad I did!

My first night there was pretty uneventful. Although I live on the East Coast in Virginia, we first drove to Detroit and spent Wednesday night with family before finally heading to Chicago Thursday morning. The road trip wore us out but we did attend the meet and greet, which consisted of happy hour drinks, snacks and socializing. A little while later we were served a Chicago hot dog style bar and karaoke. I ate and talked for a bit before heading for our room to shower and lay it down for the night. The next day (Friday) was the family picnic where I saw many more relatives, ate more than I needed to and even learned to Chicago step- the infamous Chicago dance the area is known for. That evening followed with a evening excursion into the city and down to the first Chicago landmark- the Navy Pier, a 3,000 ft pier located on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan on the North side of the city. On the way to the pier, we stopped at a popular area for pictures of the Chicago skyline, one of the worlds tallest and features four of America’s eight tallest buildings in the county. A beautiful sight indeed!

View of the Chicago Skyline

The navy pier features dozens of restaurants, events, cruises, rides and games, shopping tours and more. I had to try some of the infamous Garrett Popcorn, a Chicago tradition and opted to try the “Chicago Mix”, a blend of Caramel and Cheese. I was a bit put off by the combination but not too bad. My mother and grandmother wanted real food so we walked down to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co Restaurant and Market. I stared off with a frozen mixed drink (Mai Tai I belive) and a water. The cool thing about these drinks is some of them come with souvinere glasses or drink shakers to take home! This particular one came with a drink shaker so that was a nice perk. When it came to the food, I ordered the Shrimp New Orleans. This is a shrimp dish that reminds me of shrimp etouffee, a creole southern classic. It was delicious!

Another stop that we made was to The Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, another famous Chicago landmark. It features one of the largest fountains in the world! The neat thing about this fountain is that its built in a Rocky, Rococo wedding cake style and is meant to artistically represent Lake Michigan. The inspiration for this fountain is from the Latona Fountain, found at the Palace of Versailles in France. I love how live and lit up it is a night. There was so much to stop and see down here.

Saturday, our final day in the city began with another city tour but my photos weren’t that great from where I was sitting on the tour bus. I did manage to grab a slice of Chicago deep dish pizza (it wouldnt be right to come to Chicago and not try the pizza lol) and ended with a family banquet to close off the weekend. I didnt get to see as much as I wanted to due to time constraints but here are a few things that I want to experience the next time I come back to Chi Town:

  1. The Chicago skydeck! Located on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formally Sears Tower), this attraction is most famous for its thrill-seeking, panaromic views of the Skyline but specifically- an extended glass balcony over 1300 feet from the ground!

2. A cruise down the Chicago River! This is a great opportunity to get a up and personal look of the Skyline and all it entails. I love the water, so anything to be close to it is great for me! Plus they offer evening cruises and offer a full bar!

3. Millinimum Park- Three square blocks of art and acritecture to include Crown Gate, Crown Fountaim, farris wheel, outdoor music pavilion, ice skating rink in the winter and the perfect backdrop for a host of local and family friendly activities. We did drive through here but next time I want to stop and explore!

Overall I would say that this trip to the mid-west was successful! There was so much to see in so little time, but I’m glad to have checked some things off my to see list! Until next time Chicago!

With Love,

Mimi

Love Languages

Good morning and happy hump day! We are half way through the week and almost into Pisces season, today is exactly one month away from my birthday! With Valentine’s day tomorrow, I figured what better time than now to talk about Love Languages. In the season of all things love, gifts and quality time, its good to recognize that we don’t necessarily receive love in the same way. The love languages concept is based on the book “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman. The purpose is to discover how you best give and receive love and to build stronger relationships. The five languages include Acts of Service, Words of affirmation, Receiving gifts, Quality time, and Physical Touch.

The Love languages quiz is a necessary self love and discovery tool to learn your own love language as well as how to best love your husband or wife, children ect.. I always see a huge emphasis on this in regards to personal relationships, but not so much for parent/child relationships. Loving our kids or parents the way they need to be loved is just as important! To love someone isn’t to love them the way we THINK they should be loved. To love someone is to learn all about their individuality and love them in the language they receive it best to be their highest self. Often times, we can rely on our own thoughts and feelings in regards to how we show love and assume that’s how everyone is. How we show love is not always received in the way we intend and that’s why taking the time to learn this is important. To achieve this is to learn your partner’s method of love, study it and master it. I’ll get into which love language I scored highest in as well as the others in the order personal to me. I think I kind of relate to them all to some extent lol, depending on the circumstances. I’m always outside the box, but thats what makes me unique. The link for the quiz is below!

Quality time is the language I scored highest in. I value personal, one-on-one time with my loved one to build and maintain our bond. I feel most loved when someone spends time with me and gives me their undivided attention. Likewise I also express love in the same manner. Intimacy plays a big part here for me, I have particular interest in the man bold enough to really explore my mind and what makes me, me. I like to explore the mind and thoughts of the man I’m with. As a sapiosexual, I am someone who is attracted to the intelligence of a man. I like to dig deeper than surface level discussions about life and everything in-between and get to know the soul inside, not the ego portrayed. Energy is everything to me and will introduce you before you’ve had a chance to open your mouth. I want to sit in your presence and experience the unexplained… something like observing the way you may scan a room before speaking or the constant stares I catch from you out of the corner of my eyes before blushing, your demeanor and tone or that random scent of your cologne. Even down to how comfortable I feel around you and the vibe that I get from our conversations and eye contact. I am very observant, so quality time to gauge chemistry is necessary for me to get a true feel for who I’m with. Its so much to soak in that the digital experience cant match. Not to say phone calls and video chats mean nothing, they definitely are the next best thing as we all have lives to get to. Cancelled dates, distractions and failure to listen are especially hurtful when done repeatedly. As long as the time spent is fulfilling, the want for quality time doesn’t have to be over excessive.

The second love language is Words of Affirmation. This love language focuses on written and verbal expressions of love and affection. I love receiving and giving complements. This one goes hand in hand with intimacy so I have a special place in my heart for words of affirmation. I like hearing how someone may feel about me and random notes of appreciation. I find that this has the ability to change my mood and uplift my spirits and make me want to go harder for my loved ones. Those who identify with this as their primary love language need to hear the words to connect with how they feel about you. On the flip side, insults can have an especially damaging effect. Your partner is not likely to forget hurtful things you’ve said and this will cause issues and can lead to the demise of the relationship. Telling your partner you love and appreciate them can go a very long way.

There is nothing quite like a long, shared embrace with the one you love. The second and third language was almost equal to each other in importance for me. I love bear hugs, cuddling during rainstorms or movies, holding hands, play fighting and other physical displays of affection. For me to fully come out of shell physically, I need the mental and emotional connection made during quality time to be in sync first. Nothing anyone says can be more meaningful than someone reaching out and hugging or touching you. Touch is a nonverbal que to express I love you and I’m here for you without saying a word. Physical contact is the expression of love by giving and receiving pleasure and ensuring sure your partner is satisfied. As with all types, the characteristics to avoid include physical abuse, giving the cold shoulder and avoiding physical contact. These behaviors are destroyers for this love type. Anxiety can arise when one becomes starved for touch and can grow aggravated. Healthy and wanted touch is how those with this love language feels most connected, safe and secure.

Gift giving isn’t always as grand as we tend to think it is. Whether its being surprised with a nice perfume or your favorite candy bar from a store run, we all like knowing we’re thought about. I enjoy edible gifts, but I also value things I can hold on to. These kind of gifts serve as a reminder that I’m always loved and thought about whenever I see it and takes me right back to that moment in time. As much as I love receiving gifts, I also like to surprise my loved ones in the same manner. I love the look on my daughters face when I’ve brought home something she loves. It makes me happy to see her face light up, even with something as simple as a $2 bag of hot fries. Its not about being materialistic or obsessing about the cost behind it. Missed birthdays, anniversaries and thoughtless gifts can cause your partner to feel insignificant, forgotten and unloved. Even if its something as simple as a hand written card or picked flowers, it really is about the thought and intention behind the action.

Acts of service is valued as those who take the initiative to get things done. The key here is to humbly serve and physically help out wherever necessary. Whether that’s doing housework, preparing dinner or maintaining the cars, these are a few examples on how acts of service is shown for this love language. The concept behind this language is to show love by donating your time and effort to easing the burden of responsibility. This language is looking for the action from your words and expect you to mean what you say and say what you mean. Broken commitments, not being dependable and laziness are turn offs and should be avoided. People with this primary love language will feel unloved and unappreciated when their loved ones don’t show a desire to help them keep things in order. Having your partner choose to put their time and energy towards you will make you light up with love and appreciation.

These are all very different expressions of love. Its makes you aware of what your partners needs and triggers are. It can be easy to assume someone doesn’t love you but it could very well be a case of not recognizing and understanding when love is being shown if their language differs from yours. This concept has also helped me to strengthen and better understand my relationships with my family and friends. When building a relationship, I aim for a genuine connection with longevity and this tool is helpful in creating stronger, lasting bonds. Here is the link for the quiz, take it and let me know your results and comments below!

This is the official link, which makes you create a profile https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

Here is another test to take without having to do all that jazz https://365tests.com/personality-tests/what-is-your-love-language/

Brunch Chronicles~ Bay Local Eatery 📍VA Beach, VA

Good morning and Happy Sunday! Authentically_mi the blog has been up for a month and a half and it been great so far. This post is going to be a bit different from my content so far. I wanted to branch more into what else the Authentically_mi brand has to offer. Eat Read Sip is a book club and review platform that includes the self title online/local club, book reviews, and Authentic Eats. Brunch Chronicles is a series of Authentic Eats featuring various brunch reviews, local and afar. Check out that section for more details! I decided to start this series off with a fairly recent visit to Bay Local Eatery, a gem located in Virginia Beach, VA.

917 Shore Dr
http://www.baylocalvb.com

My first impression was how busy this place was and the fact that parking was hard to find. They have a huge parking lot across the street, but towing is enforced for the restaurant over there so I highly advise to try and find street parking. Nothing is worse than thinking you’ll get away with it and coming out to no vehicle in sight and a hefty fine to get your car back. After a 15 minute roundabout, I was lucky to see someone pulling out.

Once inside, the waitress told us there was a 45 minute wait, which was long but we decided to stick it out. Luckily for us they had seating right by the door along with a few drink menus. We were able to go up to the bar and grab a drink prior to our table being ready so the time flew by. I was surprised to see that their brunch menu is served all day instead of the usual 10 am to 2 pm.

My friend and I both got the regular pomegranate sorbet mimosas and they were delicious!  The sorbet covered in champagne was a great combination. The drink became sweeter the longer it sat, plus it remained cold. Once we were finally seated, I decided to try the mango sorbet mimosa and the flavor was ok but taste wasn’t as noticeable and sweet like the pomegranate. Between the two I definitely prefer the first one!  I glanced over the menu and the food options were plentiful!

Part of me wanted the jamaican dark rum french toast, the light tower omelet, Da club sandwich and the hangover just to get the beer in the bag lol. I had every intention on getting the omelet but at the last minute I switched to Da club this time with a jumbo pomegranate raspberry mimosa (this mix is really good 😋). They allow you to mix flavors for an additional dollar, but you have to get the jumbo size.

This sandwich was massive 😳. I had to bite at the corners to avoid looking too greedy lol. It was much bigger than I was expecting but it was very tasty and filling! They did not skimp on the meat, which is covered by this huge slice of cheese. I wish I had taken a better picture of the inside. The fries were well seasoned and crispy but too not hard. I always try to portion control my meals so that I can still enjoy the foods I want but in moderation. The weekend are my cheat days so I try to make them worth it. This brunch more than doubled as lunch the next day….. I wish the drinks were to go too lol.

All in all this was a great brunch experience with good food, awesome drinks and a nice, relaxing atmosphere. What are some of your favorite brunch spots? Make sure to check them out if you are in the area and subscribe to stay with to date with my latest brunch chronicles adventure!

~With Love,
Mimi

A brand dedicated to authenticity, self love, self discovery, healing, empowerment and travel