Texas is a Coke (Coca-Cola) state, but Chicago is a Pepsi city.  I wanted to see how authentically authentic this place would be to Chicago. They had Coke…Strike 1.

A few weeks ago my Huz-band and I decided to be brave and visit a restaurant that featured the foods of Chicago. The restaurant was aptly called Chicago and boasted of having all of the Chicago styled cuisine.  With the Chicago city flag painted largely on the wall, I decided to brave the wind and look over the menu.  Now I was born in Chicago, West Side to be exact, but I am not from Chicago.  Unlike my cousins, I am the only one, on my maternal side, to not grow up in the city.  I’ve gone back and forth my entire life, but a true Chicagoan I am not.  Besides the excitement of seeing family, the food was also something to look forward to.  Not just the home cooked meals, but foods that I couldn’t get where I lived.  Italian Beef Sandwiches that people outside of the city no nothing about.  There’s always that response question of, “Is that like a Roast Beef sandwich?”  The answer is a resounding NO!!!!   Fried chicken wings with Mild Sauce.  Yes Mild Sauce.  It’s not Hot, it’s Mild, and it is WONDERFUL.


The flat pizza that is cut into squares and the PIZZA PIE. I can hear the angels singing in harmonic unison.  This is The Best Pie in America.  Forget Apple Pie.  I get that New Yorkers love their 50 inch pizza slices, but a pie?  There’s nothing like the pies.  All the fixings baked inside a thick flaky crust, with cheese and tomato sauce on top, Fugetaboutit!  Of course there’s the Chicago-Style hotdog with the alien fluorescent green relish, on a poppy seed bun, with tomato slices, and a pepper.  The cheesiest cheese and carameliest caramel baked into each popcorn kernel, can only be found at Garrett’s Popcorn.  Mmmmm!!!

With all of this food at any corner at practically any time of day, who wants to get a Subway sandwich?

Back at the Restaurant…

The waitress came to ask for our drinks.  I asked her if they had Pepsi or Coke.  Texas is a Coke (Coca-Cola) state, but Chicago is a Pepsi city.  I wanted to see how authentically authentic this place would be to Chicago.  They had Coke…Strike 1.  The Huz-band and I ordered a pizza pie.  It had Italian Sausage (Yes Lord), Pepperoni (a pizza must), onion slices along with green and red bell pepper slices.  This was their Chicago Styled pizza.  There were other choices, but this one was the closest to what I would order in Chicago.  For a pie, I normally wouldn’t have veggies added to it because it makes it watery, but I ordered it anyway.  For the waiting process, we ordered a Chicago Dog and an Italian Beef sandwich.  We were going to split the two and compare them to what we’ve had in Chicago.  The waitress didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked her if it had the hot peppers on it, but she assured me that it would be dipped. Dipped means that the once the sandwich is made, the entire thing would be fully dipped into an au jus gravy.(The Waitress was not from Chicago, but the cook/owner of the restaurant was)

Once the sandwich and the dog were brought out, my eyes immediately begin searching and looking for flaws.  My Italian Beef wasn’t dipped. There wasn’t enough of Marzetti’s peppers (hot peppers) on it. The Italian Beef on the sandwich was sliced a little too thick and this added to the meat being a little too tough.  The au jus gravy they had on the side wasn’t enough to quench the thirsty dry bread. The hot dog looked right, but how would it taste?  It was okay.  A true Chicago Hotdog is NEVER just okay.  They had everything that was supposed to be on it, but something was missing.  Was it celery salt?  It was the actual hotdog itself.  The hot-dog was not a Vienna Beef hotdog. The pizza pie was watery and the crust wasn’t cooked completely through…Nothing about the meal was a good representation of Chicago.  Just a lackluster imitation.  This was Strike 2.


As I was eating this meal and knowing that it was the best I would probably get for Chicago food in Texas, I realized that this was my first time eating “Chicago food” without my Chicago family.  This saddened me.  I admit, a small tear did fall.  Even though this food was nothing like Chicago’s finest, I didn’t have my Chicago’s finest there to partake with me.  This was Strike 3.  I miss my family.  I don’t get to see them very often, and everyone is growing up without me.  My cousins and my aunts and uncles. I miss seeing all of their chocolate faces.  They are what makes Chicago, Chicago for me.  They are and have always been what makes this city special.

My huz-band and I both agreed that we could live without this version of Chicago food.  I plan on asking my family to send a care package of all the best foods Chicago-Land has to offer.  But again, Chicago for me is more than just food.  What makes it complete is my family.  It was where I was born and it is my favorite place in the U.S. because of whose there.  The food, is the icing on the cake or the cheese on my popcorn or the mild sauce to my chicken wings! I love the city of Chicago and I love my family, but not this restaurant!

Comment below, what is your favorite city and why?

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Year of Me: YOU Gotta SEE IT!!!

Creating a vision board can help you see that your goals are obtainable.  Here are 5 steps to get you started.

Make the VISION Plain, so that you can see it.

Your Word Wall, helps to speak Life to manifest those dreams.  You are using these words to encourage yourself to reach the dreams that God has placed in your heart.  Creating a vision board helps you visualize the dream(s).  They help you see that your goals are obtainable.  You can add some of your word wall words to your vision board so that your words can line up with what you see for yourself.  Here are 5 steps to help get you started.

You’ve got to be able to SEE IT!

  1. Get poster board & glue or foam/cork board & push pins
    • It can be any size that you want.  Maybe your wall.
      • Use page(s) in your daily journal to glue your vision to.
  2. Get Magazines that represent YOU.
    • Use the magazine to find pictures and words that represent your goals.  Cut them out to glue onto your poster board.  If you are able to use magazines you already own or can use from someone you know, you can save money on this.
      • If you are in your 30s on up, you probably don’t need to use the magazine Seventeen. If you don’t golf, Golf Magazine may not be one that you need.  Get magazines that represent you.
      • I’m adding a checklist to mine, so that I can check off the goals I reach throughout the year.
        • Add anything that positively represents your goals.
  3.  Sticker Letters/Decorations (Optional)
    • This can help jazz up your vision board. Add your personality/your spin to YOUR Vision.  The vision board is a representation of you.  Design it however you want it to look.  Some people even add lights to theirs.  Go Crazy!  Do whatever you want to reflect your personality.
  4. Have Fun!
    • Enjoy this time of making the vision plain.
      • Play music!
      • Re-watch a movie that you already know everything that’s going on, so you don’t have to really focus on it—just for background noise.
      • Have a Vision Board Party and invite others over so that positivity can reign over everyone there.
        • It’s good to have someone other than you that is able to keep you accountable to your goals, if you should happen to get side tracked or discouraged.
  5. Now Run with it! (Habakkuk 2:2-3)
    • Place the vision board somewhere that you can see it everyday.  On the wall next to your bed or in your work space.
      • Take a picture of it and place a copy in your journal so that everyday you are able to see it.
        • Let it be the Wallpaper on your phone, computer, or tablet.
    • Now focus on those goals!  Don’t lose sight of those dreams!  Keep God at the focal point and pray to him about each step to takeIf He put it in your heart, it will come to pass.
      • Encourage yourself daily.  Speak Life into your Visions & Goals at every chance, especially when you start to doubt or think “it” won’t happen.  Remind the Enemy about what Your God says about you. (Philippians 4:13)

So many people create their own unique ways for their vision boards.  Check out Pinterest for some examples of Vision Boards.  Have fun with this. After all, this represents you and it’s for you.

****I hope this series, Year of Me, was encouraging to you.  Please share with me the plans you are already working towards in the comment section.****

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Year of Me Series (Click below to get caught up):

Part 1: Year of Me   Part 2: Write the Vision…  Part 3:Making PLAIN & REALISTIC Goals

Year of Me: Making PLAIN & REALISTIC Goals

Make sure your vision is plain and realistic. Make the vision plain, so that you know your expectations. Make the vision realistic so you can attain success!

Year of Me: …Make it Plain

What goals do you want to reach in your life time? What do you want to accomplish this year?  Are you making the necessary steps in that direction?  You can start working towards these goals now!  Just because it’s no longer January doesn’t mean that you can’t walk in the direction of your heart’s desires.  Start as soon as possible.  Whatever goals you are setting for this year, should be a step in the direction you have for whatever your main goal is.  Your monthly goals should lead to your yearly goals, which lead to your life time goals.

Make sure that the goals you set are plain and realistic.

Make sure you know what you want.  For example: weight loss goals are nothing new, but having a weight loss goal to lose 50 pounds in a month is not realistic.  I don’t care if you are Keto dieting or had a surgery…no ma’am, no sir.  Losing that much weight in a month isn’t healthy.  Strive to lose about 5-10 pounds a month.  This is healthier and realistic.

Make the vision plain, so that you know your expectations.

Wanting to have a better job, but quitting the one you have when you still have bills is not smart.  Continue to work that job you loathe, but also work towards the change you want.  When the right time comes, you’ll be able to leave that job and still be financially stable.  Another way to look at this is don’t leave a job until you have another job.  When making goals and desiring change, you’ve got to be smart.

Make the vision realistic so you can attain success!

As stated before, your monthly goals should be made to approach your yearly goals, and your yearly goals should be striving to reach your main goal.  Ever heard of the saying, “Make the Main Thing, your Main thing”?  Everyday, be sure to take the necessary steps so that your main goal is your focus.  Make your vision plain so that you are clear on what you are working towards, but don’t forger to make them realistic too.

Write the Vision and Make It Plain  –Habakkuk 2:2

(Part 1) Year of Me

(Part 2) Year of Me: Write the Vision…

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Year of Me: Write the Vision…

Words have Power. Speak positively over your life. How will you use your words?

Year of Me: Write the Vision…

I have many things I want to accomplish, and even though Aaliyah said, “Age Ain’t Nuthin but a Number”, I feel like my time is getting away from me.  No, I don’t feel as if death is knocking at my door or even walking in my direction, praise God, but there is a lot that I want to do and I feel like I’m gettin’ too old and won’t be able to do everything. I’ve been complacent for far too long.  Each new year I find myself in the same place of wanting a change and wanting to do me, yet I am doing nothing to make that happen.  I have allowed not only myself, but also people to halt my progress to achieve what I want out of life.  Fears have stopped me.

The Fear of the words from others are included.  Whether it’s from family or Facebook “friends”.  As much as I strive to not care for the thoughts of others, this outlook can still be challenging.  Maybe it’s because I am truly not confident in myself, so having someone else speak out what I am trying to suppress, stirs up the doubt.  WHOAAAAA!!!!!!! Why didn’t I study Psychology???? Dang it!!!  I know that was some looking inside your insides to discover who you is kinda stuff (yes, I meant to say, “Who you is”).

In this year of me, I have decided that I am going to write the vision and make it plain (Habakukk 2:2).  I hear about people creating vision boards.  I’ve always thought they were artistic and unique, but I’ve never completed or attempted to create one.  I never made a vision board, but I used words to write what I wanted.  I did this to “plan out my life” and to list the characteristics I wanted in a husband.  I was consistent in the latter and that most definitely worked in my favor.  I have THE BEST HUZ-BAND!!!  If my consistence worked for my Husband, why not use this for my other dreams and goals.

A personal word wall?  Displaying words that encourage me to believe in my dreams can be helpful.  Not only am I “writing” the vision, but also calling my dreams and goals into existence.  It’s the “calling those things that be not as though they were” and “speaking life into my situation”.  All of this are principles found in the Bible.  *(Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 4:4; Mark 11:23)*  Meditating on these positive and focused words can help me with being successful in my ambitions.  I have the ability to speak life into my well being and these desires that I believe God has given me.  Words have Power.  How will you use yours?

For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.-1 Peter 3:10

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Year of Me

I won’t allow fear of failure or fear of being uninteresting stop me.  This year I will focus on being a better me and finding what makes me happy.  My collegiate choices led me to this moment, so let’s discover why.  This year will be different…this is my year of doing me.

Spring Break was last week.  It began with the celebration of my birthday.  I turned a large odd number this year.  It feels weird because I don’t know how to feel.  Am I supposed to feel older? I don’t.  I’m still whining on Facebook about not being able to find my favorite cereal at the store.

When you begin a new chapter in the book of your life, you begin to think back on how the plot of your story is going?  There are some things that I wish I had already accomplished by now.  You know how you see yourself in a different place in life because you told yourself that when you hit a certain age, you should be doing ___________.  My thing is, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  So my fill in the blank needs to be filled in again.  I thought I knew.  I spent a lot of money (still spending a lot of money) on what I thought I knew I wanted.   I thought I would have so many things figured out by now….

Only a few people know what they want to be when they are 18.  I learned more about myself after graduating from college, so change feels too late.  I sometimes wonder if I made the right choices in my collegiate decisions.  Life would be so vastly different if I had only been given certain information about career choices, but I had made up my mind about what I was going to do and I already knew the college that would help make it achievable.  If I had really gone to college for me, things would be different….

But it’s too late to look back and have regrets.  This year is going to be different.  I will be focused on discovering what I am good at and work hard so that I can profit from those skills.  I won’t allow fear of failure or fear of being uninteresting stop me.  This year I will focus on being a better me and finding what makes me happy.  My collegiate choices led me to this moment, so let’s discover why.  This year will be different…this is the year of me!

What discoveries have you made about yourself?  What goal would you like to achieve?

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