Live + Love Moment: Find the Moment

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The every day. We all have that routine that we do. Every. Single. Day. Find the moment? How? Love the moment? When? Routine might break a bit because school is out, but still I find the majority of the routine is still there. Get up. Drink coffee. Make the bed. Play tennis. Go to work. Think about dinner. Repeat.

The big problem with routine is that it does not allow for you to be creative. There is so much noise around you. To be able to create you need solitude. When it is quiet, your mind is quiet. You can hear your thoughts. You can focus. This is why it is so important to find your moment each day. It can be with mediation. It can be on a run or a hike. It can be staring at the ceiling.

Your mind needs to be able to day dream. To think of the moment happening now. But it is not about just living the moment. The real secret is also seeing the beauty in front of you. Flowers. Life’s little creatures. Beautiful sunlight. Laughter. Stars twinkling. You see what I mean?

This week I am at the beautiful North Carolina beaches, at Oak Island. I can tell you now that it is really easy to understand the allure of being at the beach all summer. So easy here to find the moment. It feels like there is nothing to do but have sand in between in your toes, watch the sunset, and eat seafood for dinner every day. But my mind is wandering. I am creating. I am thinking. I am dreaming. I do not want it to stop. This also happens when I travel to a new city and I see everything bright eyed and almost with naivety.

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One day as we sat doing absolutely nothing, my daughter and I came up with a sitcom idea and started plotting out the pilot. The age of the characters, their professions, funny stories to write in to the first episode. Wait! Yes, my 13 year old and I were talking creatively and collaborating. And, this all happened because for an hour my daughter just sat there staring at the ocean. Maybe her eyes were closed at times. Maybe she was listening to music. But her mind was quiet from the everyday routine.

Other times as I sat looking for sharks in the distance, my kids were sitting on their own talking in the sand. For hours it seems they were connecting. They would talk for a bit. Get in the water. Look for crabs. Talk some more. They even went on a walk together. I found out later they were guessing each others best friends, favorite foods, and what their passions are in life. A 9 year old and 13 year old talking about life. Engaging in real conversation. As a parent, my heart is melting. I was living in the moment, just by watching my children interact with one another. This was beautiful.

I believe you have to be in the present. Live the moment. Love the moment. And, you can find me on my Instagram using the hashtag #LiveLoveMoment where I hope to find truth and beauty each day.

My Top 5 Coffee Shops in Raleigh

I love coffee and going to coffee shops, especially in my hometown Raleigh. I was reading a post the other day, about favorite coffee places in London and thought I should create a list of my own because let’s face it – I am obsessed with coffee. I love the idea of sitting down to a latte or cappuccino, and will find any excuse to drag someone with me. I also love frequenting coffee shops to do my social media work outside of my home office. And just in case you are wondering, I like to drink my coffee without the extra sugar or cream, so I have to say I am a bit of a coffee snob.

We are so lucky that Raleigh has a lot to choose from no matter if you are in North Raleigh, midtown, or downtown. And what I find interesting is that my favorite coffee shops changes as I change.

You can Google things like “top coffee places in Raleigh” and the lists are endless, but mostly they just give all the regular favorites. Trust me, if it exists, I’ve probably tried it. My list below speaks from years of experience and I wouldn’t be recommending them if I didn’t think they were worthy of a visit! So know that the below 5 recommendations are  truly tried and tested and very well loved. And I have to say, it was really difficult to pick only 5 because there are so many awesome coffee choices in Raleigh. I had to pick the ones that I frequent the most!

Here my friends, in no particular order, you will find my top recommendations to get a buzz, uh, I mean coffee in Raleigh.

Sola Coffee Café North Raleigh,7705 Lead Mine RoadSola Coffee

Sola Coffee is my neighborhood café. In simple terms, the coffee is exceptional, the food is uncomplicated and their mini-donuts are amazing! I meet friends at Sola. I tell everyone I know about Sola. I love sitting outdoors when it is a beautiful day. I love sitting indoors when I need to be around people. It is a place where I can get some work done, but eventually I will see someone that I know. I love stopping in after I have played tennis and getting something off their toast bar as a post-workout snack. My go to coffee there is a cortado or a latte. It does feel like my home away from home, and I need to take a break from my reality. My husband refers to Sola Coffee as my “third place” and he is probably right.

BREW Coffee Bar Seaboard Station,111 Seaboard Avenue,Suite 116 BREW

BREW and I have a date almost every Thursday morning, well at least during the school year. I frequent BREW after I drop my son off to school downtown and I have an hour to kill before going back to the school to help out in the classroom. Besides the convenience of parking, I almost always order a pour over. They rotate the coffee selection from Raleigh Coffee Company,and I always know that I will find a light roast that will be to my liking.

Café de los Muertos Downtown,300 W Hargett Streetcafe de los muertos

Café de los Muertos has that cool factor in a coffee shop. It is a creative space that gets my own creativity flowing. I absolutely love that it has a garage door feature that  basically feels that you are sitting outside even when sitting indoors.  It also has a second floor if you need some quiet to get some work done. They roast their own beans in house, but they also have coffee from Oak City Coffee Roasters and Raleigh Coffee Company. This is usually my go to coffee shop when I am downtown, and all I am looking for is a really good cup of coffee, room to work and an atmosphere that gets my creative juices flowing.

Benelux Cafe Cameron Village Shopping Center, 402 Oberlin Road, Suite 118                                                                                                                  Benelux

Benelux Cafe is my reward when I am in Cameron Village after I do a workout at Flywheel Sports or what I sip on when I am getting a blow out at Parlor Dry Bar. And while I am indulging myself with rewards, every once in awhile I might get a delicious waffle since that is what they are known for in their coffee shop. The waffles, or I should say wafels, are influenced by Amsterdam and Brussels, and the large coffee mural defines the cafe concept for sure. If you are a cyclist you can also join the Benelux Cycling Club. At Benelux I tend to be a purist with my coffee choice, and most always get a french press coffee. Their coffee is roasted in house and can be found in other locations, known as Raleigh Roasted Coffee.

Jubala Coffee Lafayette Village,8450 Honeycutt Road                                                                                                    Jubala Coffee

Jubala Coffee is my go to coffee shop when I am in North Raleigh. And be warned, that there is always a line. That alone should say something about the coffee. But really it says a lot about the talented baristas that serve up Counter Culture Coffee, each cup of coffee freshly brewed to order. After placing your order, your coffee is weighed, ground, and prepared by the cup. Be prepared you will have to wait for your coffee. But that is part of the experience. I love to sit at the bar and just watch the baristas in awe. They are so talented. As a coffee minimalist at times, I do like to order the pour over drip when I am at Jubala. Though of course I can’t help to get a latte just so I can see the pretty art that I will find in my cup!

I would love to know if you’ve visited any of the above, and if you have, what did you think? Or let me know if you think I forgot a place that should be on my list to discover.

Live + Love Moment: Being Spontaneous

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Remember when you were in your 20’s and you were spontaneous? Remember when you could drop everything in a moment’s notice? Spontaneous road trip? Falling in love with someone who was completely wrong for you? Moving to a new city? Becoming friends with a stranger?

Marriage came soon after, and maybe you still were spontaneous at times. Impromptu picnic? Woke up and decided to drive to the beach? Last minute dinner plans with your besties?

Next, children were in the picture. Being spontaneous just flew out of the window. Forget it. Picking up and just being seems impossible. Having a kid on board requires planning. Scheduling. And let’s be honest. You are way to tired to even think about being spontaneous.

Being spontaneous in your 40’s is a bit different. Basically, being spontaneous is a person living an open, natural, and uninhibited manner. That sounds appealing to me. A nice break from my calendar and everyday commitments. The opposite of spontaneous is being boring. Being on auto-pilot. People say that when you become 40 years old, you just don’t care what people think of you any more. This naturally will lead you to become more open and natural. I am there having just turned 40 last month.

Recently, I was asked to join a good friend and her friends to go to Kinston, NC to eat in the famous restaurant and PBS darling, Chef and the Farmer.

kinston                Photo by Chana Lynn from @raleighwhatsup

I know many people would have said no because maybe they are uncomfortable being around people they really do not know. I looked at my over scheduled calendar and sent a text to my friend saying no, I can’t go because of scheduling conflicts. I basically have to be a driver this evening shuffling my kids around to activities. My husband had a professional continuing education class on the schedule. There was no way I could make it work.

I really wanted to follow Tina Fey’s advice, “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.”  But I knew it would take a miracle to be able to go on this adventure.

And then it happened.

Five minutes later my husband called me and said his class was canceled. Immediately, I said you have kid duty tonight. I am going on a road trip.

So as we get older you still have to plan in terms of handling responsibilities.

But being spontaneous can happen if you want it to.

I did not even think for a second that I would be going on this road trip with women I do not really know, let alone letting one of them drive (people who have control issues would have said no just because someone else is driving). Were we crazy for wanting to drive an hour and a half to a destination where we have good restaurants in our town? Some people think so. But I really do not care what they think.

This is what happened, that might not have happened if I stayed in town. First of all, I made some new friends after this road trip. Friends that were acquaintances (practically strangers), but after spending over 7 hours with them, they are friends now.  Sure, I was friends with them on Instagram, but well you know there is a difference between virtual “friends” and “present” friends.

I went to Mother Earth Brewing, and discovered a beer that I actually would drink. Normally, you would not find me at a brewery. But this a time I went with the flow.

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Next, I went to the Chef and the Farmer. I had really, REALLY good food that I shared with a group of foodies. And do not let me start with the amazing dessert I had there, salted caramel apple crisp with rosemary ice cream. And since we are all social media consultants, no one minded taking pictures of food while we talked.

chefandthefarmer

On the drive back, I saw the most amazing lightening storm that was ahead of us. I mean really cool watching mother nature do her thing on that drive. And I got home late on a week night. After 1am. Totally worth it!

When was the last time you did something spontaneous?

Follow me on Instagram @tinasaib, to get daily reminders on living a life with intention. Live the Moment. Love the Moment. #LiveLoveMoment

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