Archive | January, 2015

Goodbye January, Welcome Love!

31 Jan

Every New Year it seems like January being the first month of the year,  goes by very slowly. As soon as February gets here the rest of the year takes off.

Soon it will be Spring! Which is my get ready, get set season! To feel the way that I want just in time for the Summer! And as always I have a fun & adventurous Summer. Which happens to be my favorite season plus mine and my son’s birthdays are during the peaks of it in August & September; less than a month apart. (We are too special ).

Yes, I love the heat, which is why I stay in the kitchen! 😉

I’m so glad to say goodbye to this month and welcome February “The month of Love ” with open arms!!!!!

Also an entire month without my social media already. We’ll see how the rest of this year goes.

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A picture of my son’s brunch today. Food selection requested by him,
after he had his breakfast early this morning. To me, good food is another way to say I LOVE YOU. The note below must be his response 🙂 ♥

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A note he put in my mailbox today ♥

#WeAreLove

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From The Sky Point of View

27 Jan

By Veronica M. Benson

Photos of my son Caleb & I at the Willis Tower, Downtown Chicago. And the playground plus a Film Festival too!

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(Little Boys have to dream too!)

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(Pointing to the Trump tower)

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The Beautiful city of Chicago, who could ever know it’s filled with so much pain

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My boy & I reaching for the skies and beyond to where our blessings come! Past, present future ❤

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Peace Chicago

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Welcome to our show, since you’re watching

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My cool little dude (Mommy’s angel) Let me be yours ❤

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The view from the top floor is beautiful, but we’re going higher

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In matching colors, I had to wear my princess Ariel shirt

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I already feel like I’m heaven bound. I just love to have these kinds of moments with my little boy me. (When I prayed for him, that’s exactly how I asked)

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Mommy’s sweetheart. Hey Caleb!

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It is love!

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“Us together ain’t no way we gon fail, you know I got your back, just like a turtle shell”

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Dreams will come true in Chicago

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On the elevator going up to the top floor

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Jumping on the trampolines with Six Pax Studios

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Both of us together. Same time!

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Playing giant sized chess. She won!

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He won too

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When we’re together the sun & God are always smiling on us 🙂

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We went to a film festival too!
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Getting ready for the life ahead 😉 #RedCarpetReady We love the movies
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Some exhibits we saw while in the Willis Tower
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Fun Date Ideas!

21 Jan

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Since I’ve been single for so long now, 6 years in May. Due to my date life deprivation, I think about some of the things I want to do or that I think would be fun to do when I meet the spontaneous, adventure-filled, with no children might I add, man, who will dedicate his time, efforts and life to making dating a great experience.

Yasssss! I want the full dating, courting, pursuing and being showered with undivided attention and time experience. I want him to breathe, sleep and eat “What can I do for Veronica today?” 🙂 (Without being annoying and extra) That’s just me.

If he happens to be the man of my dreams that I’ve been waiting for all this time, I don’t want to know about it until I am fully courted. He has to be thoughtful in the things that he does. And genuine as well.

Here are some of the things I think would be fun to do for dates:

$ Model clothing or sexy lingerie for your date and ask him to take pictures of you. (He should also model, while you are the photographer) You can be creative in clothing selection and add some acting and posing to the pictures to bring the outfits to life. Have fun with this. (Use as many props as you want)

$ Interview each other to find out interesting information about your date. This should be fun and could be a good ice breaker for first dates scenarios.

$ Go to get massages together and take a trip hand-in-hand to the adult stores.

$ Give your date an hour long massage and polish her toenails. (You may as well polish her fingernails too!)

$ Play CD’s or Records for each other, ones that describe how you feel. Also music that’s fun to dance closely with your date to.

$ Game Night! Dress in your favorite team’s attire (Whoever team wins, the other caters to that person and does whatever is asked of them. (Without violating any restrictions)

$ Take a pottery class together and have your own romantic moment photographed (like the scene in the movie “Ghost”)

$ Go to an open mic event. Perform as a duet or solo artist with a piece in dedication of your date

$ Go on a shopping excursion/shopping spree with your date! If you have a limit, set it to a specific budget before time so you’ll know just where to go and live it up.

$ Take your date to be pampered for the entire day. For her to get a facial, her makeup done, hair, nails, shopping, dinner, entertainment and plus more if you want!

$ Go to a neighborhood carnival or to a major amusement park. The carnivals are smaller and can be more intimate. Be sure to ride the Ferris Wheel and for fun, reenact the scene from the movie “He Got Game” on the Ferris Wheel. (But not really) Take double-selfies of you and your date.

$ Go to a grape vineyard (search & make reservations) and make your wine by crushing the grapes with your feet. Both you and your date!

$ Go horseback riding or on a horse and carriage ride

$ Be brave and go for a Hot Air Balloon ride

$ Take a romantic getaway spontaneously or go on a stay-cation right in your own city.

$ Send flowers to your date earlier that day before you all go out

$ Have a cooking dinner competition with your date. Both of you prepare the same meal separately but in the same kitchen together. Whoever cooks the best, wins. You can decide between the two of you what the winner will get!

$ Go on a professional photo shoot

$ Visit an animal shelter to pet, feed and talk to lonely animals. This is a great idea, especially if your date is an animal lover.

$ Surprise your date with a maid to clean up for them for the day, YOU! (or hire one while you treat your date to some time out. Lunch, dinner, etc)

$ Take a dance class together and learn a routine. Perform it in front of an audience.

$ Have an at home movie night. Serve a variety of foods. Flirt talking permitted only! Build a dream/vision board together with your date. Take a vow to be supportive of each other with the dreams you have shared with them. (Dollar Tree, Michael’s, World Cost Market, Target or Walmart are places you can go to find cute little scrap booking what-nots to add to your vision board.)

(I’m working on vision boards with my son. On Pinterest and on cardboard poster boards. Dreams are meant to be shared with someone special.)

$ Have you ever given or received a promise ring? Have a date night where you and your date give each other “Ring Pop” promise rings. You create the promise between the two of you.

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$ Give Valentine’s gifts even though it’s not Valentine’s Day. Use it as an example of how you want to make your date feel like it’s V-day everyday of the year.

$ Create a holiday between the two of you to celebrate your love. Celebrate it every year! (Or as often as you like, on various days throughout the year)

$ Take a painting and wine class

$ If your date has a child or children, plan a fun-filled day with and/or for the kids! Adults get to tag-a-long.

$ Plan a romantic night at home with your favorite foods, romantic music & decorations. Don’t forget the homemade chocolate covered strawberries & champagne.

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$ If it’s time for your date to meet your family, hire chefs from your favorite restaurant(s) to cook in your home or family member’s home. Create a theme & dress attire (i.e black & white party) hire a DJ and make it a small, intimate family event.

$ Take your date to church with you to connect with them spiritually. It should be a good time.

$ If there is snow where you are take your date skiing, sledding, ice skating and build a snowman with them in the snow. Getting cozied up with hot chocolate afterwards will be fun.

$ Go skating & bowling with your date. Make sure you are better than them at both.

$ Have a dance contest with your date. The winner will receive a gift of their choice from the other person.

$ Depending on your date’s career path or interests do something thoughtful as it pertains to their life’s goals. (i.e: For a writer, one might give them a writer’s retreat for the weekend or a specified amount of time. It can be anywhere. A hotel, a coffee shop, a fixed room in their house, etc) Be sure to meet up with your date during break times.

$ Have a game & food night with you & your date’s friends. Couples suggested.

$ If you’re not into tattoos, go & get temporary ones with your date.

$ Write letters to your date and mail them to their house or job.

$ Go to the gym together to workout, or take a Pilates/yoga class together.

$ Play/flirt with your date on social media (i.e. Facebook ). Be sure to tag them so they can respond back. (Likes or comments by others aren’t necessary to respond to. They’re just joining the
fun!)

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$ For your date’s birthday be sure to do something for them that is unexpected, sentimental and over-the-top, but within your budget. Birthdays are always special.

There are a lot of ways to come up with interesting things to do for dates! After all, dating is about having fun. So make sure you have fun with it.

Amazon local has a lot of great ideas for dates at the best prices. You can also check Groupon and other places that have deals for your dates.

$$$$ Happy Dating! $$$$

I ♥ You

21 Jan

To being me, Veronica!

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I ♥ Me!

Baggage: Don’t Claim It!

20 Jan

By Veronica M. Benson

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I think it’s disrespectful for someone to present themselves in such a way that’s appealing to another person and then get close to them just to reveal a life of unsettled baggage.

Men should not be complaining to a woman about their personal lives and problems because they seem like a nice person and are attracted to you.

I’m sure everyone has something to deal with in their lives but I don’t think a person should be measured by if they can tolerate or deal with your personal dilemmas & situations.

Women who are single, baggage free or not baggage burdened and are living successful, thriving lives are not magnets or B&B’s for good-looking men who need assistance in ending a bad relationship or moving on from an unstable living arrangement; or any other unsettled situation. (Your problems are your own.)

Women are not responsible to help you deal with those. At any point, but especially in a dating situation less than 1 year. You shouldn’t look for her to nor should she feel obligated to.

Men should be more responsible and careful in their selection and approaches, in life in general. I believe that men get warning signs when they are initiating something with the wrong woman. Usually when a game is presented in secret, it will end with a man’s downfall. It will fall apart for the one who pursues someone wrongfully or with the wrong intentions.

I think it’s interesting that men are willing to air their problems and baggage to women so easily. Which to me, in my own viewpoint is beyond me. Complaining about things a man should have control over. It seems as though because of the fact that we as women are caring and nurturing, men take that for granted and use it against us.

They will try to enter our lives and hearts through sympathy. It has become part of a man’s intention, to get a woman by running to her from another with complaints and baggage he created. Instead of working to get a woman’s anything. That would be a better investment in the long run.

I don’t know, because I’ve been unaware of the dating scene, where this idea of burdening women with men’s problems comes from at all. Especially so early on in any situation. These observations have been somewhat humorous on an ironic level but at the same time perplexing. To me it’s simple. Keep your problems and issues to yourself if you’re trying to deal with other people.

Dating is supposed to be fun. The beginning stages of getting to know someone. To learn if your feelings match your attraction to them.

It’s not supposed to be men burdening women with their unfulfilled dreams, desires & wants. It’s not supposed to be men moving into women’s houses, apartments, etc to get their start. Or to have somewhere they can go.

God gave Adam everything before He gave him a woman. Eve. I believe this was done for a specific reason. To show men there are requirements that should be met before even thinking about having a wife. To make visible to women that we were not made to work for a man but that a man should work always and constantly to maintain a rich, fulfilling life for himself and his woman. I believe this is the way things should be. And every woman should. It’s hard to settle when you really believe what you believe. That’s why “No” has been the answer for every proposal I’ve received from past relationships. Some women cling to a man’s word and I like words…. but if the work ethic, the dreamer and every other important element aren’t all collaborating to produce some successful action to match the words, then to me you’re trying to convince me of something you don’t even believe in. You have to want to work and work hard.

In another perspective, maybe God should have had Adam work for everything that was given freely to him with only the responsibility to take care of it. So that he wouldn’t have let anything or anyone jeopardize it for him. Which was in turn the curse he received for disobedience.

In our present society, it’s as if the tables have turned completely. As independent as I am, I never confuse what the world says with what God says. As a single woman I can be as independent as I want to be. But if any man wants to make me his wife, he will have already laid the foundation for having me as his wife. Not asking me to go to city hall for our marriage because it saves money. And this was the deal offered to me with a previous so called proposal. I couldn’t believe it. I know we have our different views on these types of things, but marriage is meant to be special. When you get the person you want to be with for the rest of your life, I believe it should be a special occasion in representation of the great God who put two people together.

Men were designed to carry burdens without needing a woman to do it for them or with them.
If you as a woman, think it is the way to take care of a man laying up under you, in your house, then that’s the life you will have.
Women were not made to take care of men, that’s not the way God intended it to be.
Your life will form or conform according to what you believe.

The comfort that men think they will get from laying under a woman should be deposited into their belief, faith and trust in God’s word. Which provides a peace that they may not find living in a woman’s house.

I’ve seen and have experienced some unusual circumstances because of the ways men think. I’ve seen a man who one woman had him by his house and another had him by the hand. How was this possible? Men don’t have the right things in mind first. Because they don’t have the right things in their minds first it comes out in their lives exactly how it is in their minds and hearts. Scattered, chaotic, disastrous and drama-filled. Some men don’t accept that they are the creators for the drama they are experiencing in their own lives.

Baggage. If you don’t want baggage, don’t be baggage to someone. We all go through some things that may have people and things lingering or hanging on to us in ways that they shouldn’t be. Which causes unnecessary drama and strife. Like dead weight usually does, it won’t be able to hold on to you or hold you down forever, it will fall off. If you have it, it’s yours to deal with and carry or not carry until you are freed from it.

* Some women want those Louis Vuitton bags to carry, who are already walking around with baggage that comes at a much higher price than Louis Vuitton ever can. It’s your life! You don’t have to carry that baggage, put it down. Let it go. Make room for your blessings. Put the baggage down, so you can carry your Louis Vuitton bags 🙂 *

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“Unbroken”

14 Jan

By Veronica M. Benson

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I hadn’t heard about this movie or hadn’t seen any trailers or advertisements to the movie “Unbroken” before my son mentioned that he wanted to see it. It was released Christmas day 2014.

When he said he wanted to see it, I couldn’t imagine what the movie was about. The first thing that came to mind was a Disney Pixar film. He described it and I had no idea about his choice of movie until I decided to Google it for myself.

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To my surprise this movie was a complete 360 of his usual excitement for movies. I was excited to see that he recognized a good quality movie with no animation and a true real life story based on the life of Louis Zamperini. An Olympic Athlete and Prisoner of War.

This was a hard story to watch in some of the scenes. I was glad & humbled to be seeing a movie of this caliber with him. I explained to him some things he may have had a hard time understanding.

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The movie followed well and there weren’t any long drawn out scenes trying to justify boring details to tell such an amazing story. The second directorial release from Producer & Director Angelina Jolie, it was no surprise that the movie gave a colorful and bone wrenching depiction of a real life hero.

At the end of the movie my son realized out loud saying “This story was about a real person?” So that made it even more worthwhile. That he can make the connection of seeing such a strong, brave and courageous human being who had suffered a long life of torture, torment and pain, and still be a hero. One of the lines in the movie that a younger Louis was taught while being coached by his older brother Pete was “If I can take it, I can make it.” Later in life Louis recalled this phrase while under the mistreatment of his captors in a Japanese prison camp. He reflected a lot on the times of his training with his brother and running in the Olympics. Even the times he didn’t win. Louis had no idea during his younger years that his running was preparing him for a much harder period in his life.
After watching this movie with my son, I knew exactly why it had caught the attention of his 8-year old eyes, heart and mind.

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In 2011 my son who was then 5-years old ran with me in our first marathon which happens to be the marathon of all marathons. The Chicago 25K Marathon. Not only did we complete the race, but afterwards we walked 16 blocks from downtown Chicago to our West Loop apartment. Before the race, we had been outside running every day, so we were more than prepared for it.

At the end of the race my son received his very own medal. Which he wore proudly and that he still looks at hanging off the neck of his Superman bank on his desk.
There is something about racing and winning that does something to the spirit of man.

In life all of our races does not require physical running, but when you’ve ran physically before and have won and you can reflect back to that, you realize that there is nothing you can’t do.

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To think of it, some of the best stories in the bible involves someone running. Running away from something or toward something.

Running is so much a part of my life that I don’t take time to relish in anything related to it other than a selfie in the mirror to see how my body is physically changing because of the workout. Since my son and I have finished the 25K I just look forward to continuing to run. I love the connection I get to the earth and God from it.

I love timing and the fact that everything I do relates to the life and times that me and my son have experienced together alone. Moments that have strengthened us and prepared us for our journey ahead.

In the movie before Louis had even began running, he was a troubled kid who didn’t believe in himself. It was because his brother told him that he believed in him that he took interest in running. And never stopped.

This story is reminiscent of some recent memories for my son and I. Memories that can’t be undone or rewritten. They’ll be close to us forever.

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To be “Unbroken” means that no matter how people try to attack you, harm you, hurt you physically, emotionally, spiritually….they won’t succeed. The truth behind this story is that sometimes people want to kill you without physically having to do it themselves. They want to do just enough so that the pain is so great it causes death. After all that is done, a person survives and finds that they cannot be broken. You’ll rise back up or die. Because the spirit of God which lives in you cannot be killed, you’ll live.

A very powerful and inspirational movie to see.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Zamperini

Food Diaries

13 Jan

For the love of food!

I must admit that I absolutely have a huge appetite for the culinary arts. I love food. I like to eat & taste different kinds, made in a variety of different ways.  Dating is a good way to explore different foods while enjoying some company. If you have no problem with dining out alone, such as myself, then getting all prettied up going out to eat is a simple luxury that you can enjoy solo.

I always believe you have to fully romance yourself before you can appreciate someone else doing it for you. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, at some point or another, you’ll have to entertain & treat yourself to some quality time.

I love to cook for my son & I. When we go out to restaurants and discover we like a dish we had while out for dinner, I search for the best recipes to prepare the same meal right from my kitchen.

One thing I love to do with food, is make sure my son has great experiences with it so that he knows that he can have what he wants and what he think he might want. Even if I don’t eat it. To help create an open minded person when it comes to choosing his food. There are no limitations. Pray & eat.

I feed him well though. One of the qualities of a well balanced kid is to be fed well. All the time, on a consistent basis. A balance of food & water.

To be an educator of food, it is a lifestyle I believe. It’s not something that can be done verbally. You have to show better, if you want someone to do better. That’s what I’m working on with my son.

That’s something I can always improve in myself. While I improve I won’t let food run my life. I’ll run it, along with my body. *

My mother always said “food should be exciting!” And I agree. Some of the best memories of childhood is marked with certain foods to go with the moment.

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Me and my son’s crab fest. We just had one of these, he loves crab legs. Although he knows how to crack them himself, there is nothing absolutely better than cracking them for him and seeing his face when we take the crab meat out of the shells.

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Dinner at my son’s table. It’s the cutest thing! Its fun to go down to a kid size level while entertaining & teaching little ones. It’s great for their imaginations.

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Seafood is one of our favorites, so I find myself making shrimp quite often.

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Sweet potato fries and shrimp

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I love well seasoned sweet potato french fries.

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You have to have the right seasonings & spices.

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The best part of dating for me! The food has to be good.

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An at home dinner date with my son & one of his favorite dishes. Fettucini Alfredo pasta and shrimp.

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Cinnamon rolls, bacon & eggs breakfast

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There’s nothing like homemade apple pie.

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Fresh cranberries to make homemade cranberry sauce.

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Ordering in pizza is ok every once in a while.

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Baked sweet potato, spinach & shrimp

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Pasta!

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Loaded chili!

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Fresh fruit ready to grab & enjoy

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Some of the best shrimp I ever had.

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Fresh fruit.

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Steak & potatoes

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Soul Food

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Seafood platters

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Barbecue grilling

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Banana pudding

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Simple breakfast for the waffle lover

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Dinner at home is always the best!

By Veronica M. Benson