Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Change: It’s in the Air

"Onward and Upward" photo by Melissa Reyes Copyright 2012 http://mizmeliz.com

Change

Change is in the air that I breathe.
It is in every single breath I take.
It is just like the scent of orange blossoms
 and night-blooming jasmine.
Change engulfs me as I breathe it in.
There is no escaping it.
It is in the air I breathe.
Change is now within.
~Melissa Reyes 3-14-13

This is about healing.

This is about healing and moving on after experiencing the loss of a loved one.  It is about love and joy and forgiveness.  It is about letting go and moving forward. This is about taking care of myself.  Healing myself. Forgiving myself for the sadness I feel.

 “As far as taking care of myself, I try to do it through love and kindness. I now take time to forgive myself for mistakes, for not getting everything done, for taking a walk instead of finishing up client work if I need to and all the other little things I used to feel guilty for on a daily basis. I remind myself that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone or myself. But, I can still promise to do my best and that’s enough.” ~Naomi Niles

A shift in the balance of my world is happening. 

My sister (who passed away in July 2011, 18 months ago) was married to a great man for 25 years. In fact she died on their anniversary. They were a very romantic couple and they have an amazing story. I am still very close to my brother-in-law. He is a dear friend, confidant, and brother in every sense. I trust him and care deeply for him. That is why I was happy when he told me he is getting remarried. Deep inside I am sad because I am still grieving the untimely death of my sister and sad over how things turned out and what could have been. That is the first shift that my heart bleeds over.

They call it a major life change.

Another bitter-sweet thing happening in my life is that my oldest son is graduating from high school and will be going away to college. Our home and family dynamics will be changing. One of my babies is about to fly off on his own and leave the nest. He is my most independent child. He has always been my little helper. I have every confidence that he will be fine on his own. He has become a fine young man and I am quite proud of him. But what will become of us? How will the two younger brothers get along? What will it be like with just the four of us. And in a few years, three? And then one day, just the two of us?  Empty Nest Syndrome is hitting me hard. My heart is shaken. My mind is mush. My emotions are running high.

I am experiencing a new set of feelings. It’s not like anything I have been through before. It is excitement and joy mixed with equal parts sorrow and fear. All of the emotions are wrestling together and it is impossible to see who is winning. Which emotion is getting pinned, which one will come out on top. Should I cry? If I do cry will it be tears of happiness or sorrow? Or, both?

I am coping with the loss I feel. I miss my sister, my parents, the way things used to be when the kids were small. My biggest worries then were if I was spoiling my kids and if I was spending enough time with my family. No, it’s not possible to spoil a child. And no, I could never have spent enough time with my family. I wish I had some of those days back. Just one more Christmas or Easter. One more birthday. It’s so hard to move on and be happy. It is necessary. I know it is. I need to keep moving forward. I need to be happy about these changes. Because the people who are experiencing the change are doing the right things and they are moving on and they deserve to be happy.

“Challenges will continue to come. It is my choice to look for the joy or to let my spirit sink back into grief.  I choose joy.” ~Donna Thomas, Author

I choose to be happy, too!  I know it is a choice. I can get through it holding on to the past, gripping on tightly to the memories, dragging my feet trying desperately to not let go of the past because it was good and I loved it so much. Or, I can keep those memories safely in my heart where they can thrive inside of me, where I can embrace them joyfully as needed, and share the stories with my children and theirs someday of the remarkable and lovable family I have. I can skip happily forward, onward, and upward to better and more triumphant times.

"Onward and Upward" photo by Melissa Reyes Copyright 2012 http://mizmeliz.com

“For everything there is a season. . . a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep; and a time to laugh; a time to mourn; and a time to dance. . . ” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

I want my family to look at me and see a gracious, graceful, peaceful woman who has been touched by love and who shines joyfully. I do not want pity nor do I want a cloud of sorrow over me because I have lost my loved ones.  I live a blessed life. I was blessed to have amazing parents who loved me and a sister who inspired me. I am blessed to have a wonderful marriage and that my husband is my best friend. I am blessed to have great kids who make me proud.

These things will never ever change.

Love never dies.
People live forever in our heart.
Change is inevitable.
Nothing is insurmountable.
I can do this!

It’s time to shine!

If you are suffering from the loss of a loved one, a major break up, or you live with someone whose parent or sibling has passed away, you might benefit from reading more about the Stages of Grief.  See my post: When Grief Revisits Me and Good Grief: 8 Stages of Grief.

Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

A Fun Spontaneous Road Trip #BlogVenture

I had such a wonderful adventure over the weekend!! I shared it with my So Cal Lady Blogger friend, Mary, from Along Comes Mary. She just posted this fantastic and detailed overview of our experience! I asked Mary if it was okay to invite you over to her blog to check it out. So, c’mon now! Don’t be shy! All you have to do is click on the link and you will get the skinny on our super fun trip to San Francisco! Enjoy! Please let me know what you think!

Along Comes Mary....

Step it upSF2
Grab your phone
Get your suitcase
There is no time to waste
A big adventure awaits
(Tori Amos, 500 Miles)

Did you miss me?! I have been AWOL for afew days. It was not planned, but what happens when one of your friends from SoCal Lady Bloggers, Melissa of Miz Meliz, is searching for a partner in crime to drive up the coast with in order to attend the book launch party for Evan of Better Man Project? Well, if you’re me, & in need of a getaway, you say YES. We left last Friday & returned Sunday, but within that time frame, we: Got pea soup, wine tasted in Solvang, searched for garlic ice cream, got amazing food in the Castro district, saw Golden Gate Bridge, Went to The Walt Disney Family Museum, The Snow White Exhibit, met up with Susan Cooper from Finding…

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Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Sunday Thoughts: Is Hope a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? #mizmeliz

Sunday Thoughts: Is Hope a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?.

I loved this post from Alisa Valdes!

Never give up on hope, if you believe it will happen it can happen! 

I will be posting a review of my week later today. I look forward to sharing all the experiences I had this week that related directly to creativity, positivity and hope.

Have a fun day!

Keep the faith!

Miz Meliz

Everything Miz Meliz, Tell Me Something Good

What is Positivity?

I believe that being positive creates and grows abundance. Sharing positive thoughts and stories brings more positive experiences into your life. This creates an abundant life of positive stories with which you can continue to share.

When I think back to when I was a small child, I can remember my big brother calling me “Melissa the Mouse.”

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He would say, “Melissa the Mouse went into the house to get a piece of cheese.”

Well it just so happens that Melissa the Mouse grew up and she had her own family. She grew old and was very wise. Many people came to her for help with their problems. Sometimes they just liked to talk to her. It made them feel better. The one she loved talking to the most was her great great granddaughter mouse, who was named after her. Although everyone called her Princess.

Princess was very petite and sweet and played the role of the innocent princess very well. She was still young, but she was a little bit mischievous. That is why Melissa the Mouse liked to match wits with her. Princess never held back when asking her great great grandmother questions. They talked about everything. Melissa the Mouse was very open and willing to share her thoughts with the young mouse.

One day Princess asked, “What is positivity Grand-ma-ma?”

Melissa the Mouse loved it when she called her that. None of her other grandchildren called her that, it was her special name that only Princess used, particularly when she was ready for a lesson. Princess fluffed up her dress and all of it’s ruffles, she liked to dress up, and sat herself down to listen.

“Why do you want to know about positivity?” Melissa the Mouse asked the young girl.

“Because I heard you talking about it with my Mommy and later she told Daddy that you didn’t know what you were going on about and it isn’t even a real word . . . and, well, I just want to know is all!” She said.

“Oh, I see. Very well then.” Melissa the Mouse patted her great great granddaughter’s tiny little hand and said, “What do you think positivity is Princess?”

“I think it is when you know you are right about something and nobody can tell you different, like when you are absolutely, positivity, sure you didn’t eat the last peanut butter chocolate chip cookie in the cookie jar.” She said.

“Very close, but not exactly”, Melissa the Mouse chuckled. Then she sighed a long deep sigh, just as she always did when she was about to say something the little Princess wanted to remember always.

“You know that feeling that you get in your heart when you give me one of your most special hugs? One of the extra tight ones? Or when your Daddy smiles at you when he sees you do your best figure eight on the ice? That is positivity. At least that is what I think it is.” Melissa the Mouse told her great great granddaughter.

“Is that all?” Cried the young mouse. “Then what is all the fuss about?” She asked.

“Well, positivity means something more when you can share it with others. If you are nice and show others that you are nice, they will be nice to. I believe the more nice you are the more nice things will happen to you all the days of your life. What do you think of that, Princess?” She asked.

Now Princess was sighing. “Do I have to be nice to the fi

 

eld mice and the rats too? They are mean and they tease me!”

“That is the most important part, my dear.” She told her. “Even if someone seems to be mean all the time and they tease you, positivity is about sharing how nice and loving you can be with them. Because that can heal them. Being positive and showing that you care will help you be the best little princess you can be. All the mice and even the rats should be able to feel that feeling you have in your heart when you give your extra tight hugs. Everyone deserves to know what that feels like. Don’t you think?” And with that, Melissa the Mouse got up, and continued with her business of tidying up or whatever it is that old wise mice do.

“I’ll have to think about it Grand-ma-ma.” Said Princess. “It doesn’t sound very easy.”

“That is true, my dear.” Melissa the Mouse answered. “It takes practice. But if you commit yourself to it, it gets easier. Just be yourself.”

Can you remember a time when your heart felt so good, like when you gave a special hug to someone you love or a when someone who loves you smiled at you to acknowledge something that only you can do? Share that story. Think about how it made you feel.

Tell me something good . . .

 

Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Give Yourself a Break! It’s OK to Say “No, Thank You.”

When asked about her best moment in 2012 artist Liz Crain says, “Finally being able to refuse commissioned work I don’t want to take on without feeling cheesy, awkward, apologetic or wrong. Doing so with ease and a smile, even a soft joke that leaves the requester still on my team. I learned this comes from my solar plexus not my brain with its dutiful, people-pleasing programming.”

That reminds me of a time when I learned to say “no” – looking back, I see how much it changed my life. I am a people pleaser, too. I never wanted to let someone down. Someone recently cancelled on me after committing to do some volunteer work and it was the 2nd time she cancelled on a project that I really needed her for, and I thought “she is someone who has not learned to say, I want to, but I just can’t. Thank you for thinking of me.” It makes such a difference. Especially when you do commit to something and you can do it and you do your absolutely best ‘knock-their-socks-off work and it shows.

Take a look at this video to see a great explanation of this point. . . “Hell Yeah or No!”

http://vimeo.com/25496723

I have been consistently doing that for about ten years now and you know what? I still have friends, I am still asked to work on projects, I still participate in things – and I do it to the best of my capabilities.

This makes me proud.  I have three kids.  I started out wanting to be “fair” and doing the same things with each of them.  Mommy & Me class, soccer team mom, room parent, etc.  My mom used to tell me, “You are doing too much.  Life isn’t fair.  They won’t remember all of the things you do.”  But I was trying to do the right thing.  I was trying to be that Super Mom.  I needed to learn to say “no” to the things I felt obliged to do.  I love it when I have the time and energy to devote to the the things that I can say, “Hell Yeah!” to.time is running out

Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes, calls it “flexing his no thanks muscles.”  He actually has a “No Thank You List.”  Peter says, “Of course, the reason we’re saying, “no thanks,” is so that we can say, “yes please,” to the right things. The reason I didn’t join the committee is so I can focus on my book. The reason I passed on the dinner is so I can focus on my family. The reason I didn’t take on that project is so I can focus on this other one instead.”

Now it is the holiday season and the countdown to vacation.  I can’t wait!  I am super excited.  Not as much for the shopping and the parties as much as the relaxation!  I may say “no thank you” to a few things.  I need this time to focus on me and my family.  I plan to take walks with my husband and cook for my boys.  I plan to write and work on projects.

What are you planning to do?  Will you be saying “no thank you” to anything over the next few weeks?

Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz, Foodie Reviews

The Yard House

The Location

We are lucky to have some good restaurants in Northridge and most of them are near or at the Northridge Fashion Center.  This week marks the opening of a wonderful chain restaurant at the mall.  It is located where the Cost Plus World Market has been for the past several years.  I was saddened by the closing of that store and many others in the “new” section of the mall which is adjacent to the movie theaters.  I am now hopeful that having the Yard House there will bring more new stores and restaurants to that part of town.

The Yard House is on the Plummer Street side of the mall and the closest parking is near the movie theaters.  Parking is free, but they do provide valet parking.

YARD HOUSE NORTHRIDGE

9301 Tampa Avenue
Northridge, CA 91324
818-721-0085

HOURS OF OPERATION
Open 11:00 am daily

Food Last Call
Sun-Thu 12:30am
Fri-Sat 1am

Alcohol Last Call
Sun-Thu 1am
Fri-Sat 1:20am

The Yard House

The Restaurant

The Yard House has a Facebook Page that has pictures and events posted.  It seems like a great place to work and the staff appear to enjoy being part of a community.  Their online presence makes you feel like a part of something and I liked that.

The service is very good.  I have eaten at the one in Lancaster, CA and I enjoyed it.  I went there for a late dinner with my nephew after a photo shoot.  We drove out of our way to eat there and I was so hungry.  I thought it might be out of my price range that evening and they had a huge menu.  I just wanted a quick bite!  I was pleasantly surprised that they had a late night happy hour!  We ordered and appetizer and sliders.  We also did a sampler of their brews.  Everything was terrific and very affordable!

The Food

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a VIP party at the Yard House in Northridge which preceded a “Soft Opening.”  What does all that mean?  It means free food and drinks!  I had the unique opportunity to try samples of many of the menu items as well as awesome full size cocktails from the bar.  I want to thank the Yard House and their marketing team for having this event.  I was so pleased to be able to share with my online community by Tweeting and posting pictures to Instagram about the event.  This is why bloggers are invited and a friend from my So Cal Lady Bloggers group on Facebook was nice enough to include me.

As soon as I walked in the door, servers were offering me samples of food which were served in bite sized portions on small plates.  Here is what I got to try:

  • FIRECRACKER WINGS boneless chicken, tossed in a spicy sesame garlic plum glaze garnished with green onions, the
  • BLUE CRAB CAKES with mango papaya chutney, passion fruit beurre blanc and tomato oil
  • SHIITAKE GARLIC NOODLES tossed with butter, garlic & shiitake mushrooms, topped with parmesan & chives
  • GINGER CRUSTED NORWEGIAN SALMON wasabi mashed potatoes, snow peas, carrots and spicy peanut vinaigrette topped with fried carrot strings
  • MINI CREME BRULEE with vanilla bean custard and chocolate topped with caramelized bananas

My son (who was graciously my “plus one”) and I made our way through the very large restaurant and found an open table outside on the spacious patio.  It was drizzling but there were large umbrellas over all the tables and powerful heaters so we were very comfortable outside.  Our server, Sean, came by and asked if he could bring us anything and took our drink orders.  He answered our questions and made us feel right at home.  He brought me my first of the two free drinks that were included for the VIP event.

Here are the drinks that I tried from the Specialty Drink Menu:

  • ESCALADE MARGARITA 1800 silver tequila, cointreau, hpnotiq, sweet & sour, fresh lime & orange, sugar rim
  • SOUTHERN BELLE jeremiah weed sweet tea vodka, lemonade, fresh strawberries and pineapple
  • MOJITO cruzan citrus rum or traditional |  mango • pomegranate • strawberry

I give the Yard House in Northridge an A+!  Everything was wonderful!  I really liked the Margarita.  I didn’t finish the Southern Belle because it was too fruity and sweet for me.  Sean offered me something else to try and I asked for the Mojito.  Also a bit sweet, I added some water and ice and it was perfect.

The music they played was fantastic, I loved it because it was mostly 80’s music and I thought I must fit the demographic for this place perfectly!  My teenage son enjoyed the TV screens all around (yes, even on the patio.)  When the event was over and we had finished our second serving of the Banana Creme Brulee, Sean told us that we could stay and were welcome to order off the menu if we wanted to pay for a meal or any more drinks.  We decided to take a look at the menu.

The Confession(s)

Confession #1, I ate too much!  I tried all of those samples and because they were mini versions I felt like I had eaten a small amount.  I realized that I was full just about the time our entrees arrived!

Confession #2, I drank too much!  I didn’t drink all three drinks, but they were full size drinks with a lot of alcohol and fruit.  Too sweet for me being a Diabetic.  My bad!  Slap my hand, please!  I should have had a glass of wine.  The Yard House has a great big menu with lots of choices, an extensive wine list and a beer menu.  They also have a FRESH & SKINNY drink menu!  The next time I go there, I will be sure to try a cocktail from that menu.  The Yard House caters to an eclectic crowd and has specialty menues to serve any taste.  In addition to the “skinny” drink choices, there are full menues for the vegan, the gluten sensitive, the health conscious, the gourmet and even kids!

My son and I enjoyed the foods we tried.  Here is what we ordered from the menu:

  • (MAC + CHEESE)2 chicken breast, applewood bacon, wild mushrooms, cheddar, parmesan, campanelle pasta and truffle oil
  • CHICKEN ENCHILADA STACK pasilla peppers, garlic cream, jack cheese, corn tortillas, pinto beans, tomatillo, red chili sauce and sour cream

Luckily, Dan (our second awesome server, yes we were there for a long time!) brought us a “doggie bag” to take home our left overs!

My nicely packaged left overs
My nicely packaged left overs
Melissa Reyes Miz Meliz http://mizmeliz.com
Miz Meliz Likes It!
With two yummy sauces "you could drink"
With two yummy sauces “you could drink”
A Juicy Mojito goes well with the Enchilada!
A Juicy Mojito goes well with the Enchilada!
photo by Melissa Reyes copyright 2012 Yard House #MizMeliz http://mizmeliz.com
The food samples were awesome!
Everything Miz Meliz, What Are We Reading Now?

The Hobbit by J.R. R. Tolkien

The Reader’s Club Book #1

Start: December 3, 2012

Finish:  January 3, 2013

Google Plus Hangout Live Discussion:  Date to be Determined

Book:  The Hobbit

Author:  J. R. R. Tolkien

Hobbit1