How To Get Your Car Winter Ready

I know it is only September 1st. However, all the pumpkin spice, Ugg wearing, sweater loving peeps are making their love for the season known. Winter is already churning at the bit to steal falls thunder!  While summer technically lasts for 3 more weeks, I find it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to winter car maintenance, especially in New England. One day it is 70 degrees and the next we have 1 foot of snow on the ground. And that is not an exaggeration! I love my car and I want to keep it running for many years to come! This is where Cars.com comes in handy!

Cars.com has an entire maintenance 101 section that has everything you need to know about winter driving. How much antifreeze do I need? What kind of antifreeze do I need (yes, there are many types)? How do I store my car for the winter? Do I need special tires? Specific windshield wipers? You get the picture! Plus, while you are on the site, they have reviews on just about any car you can imagine. Maybe look up your make and model and see how well it rates. Hopefully, it rates well or you just might be in the market for a new car. And you guessed it, they can help find you a new car too! It’s like a one-stop shop for all things cars!

Winter driving in New England is always an adventure and not always the fun kind. Let’s give your car a head start before it tackles Mother Nature in New England! Visit Cars.com to learn how to get your car winter ready!

Yoga Reaches Out: An OMazing Event

A balanced well-being & proper self-care is something that I preach about daily. Whether in my own daily life, my freelance writing or my yoga teachings, it is something I take great pride in. So, when I was approached about spreading the love about Yoga Reaches Out, I jumped at the chance for sure. Not only does it encompass my favorite workout of all time YOGA, but the money raised goes to organizations that impact the health, education, and well-being of children and their families. Through acts of selfless service (seva) those attending, sponsoring and donating to Yoga Reaches Out CAN make a difference!


View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/yogathon

The YRO New England Yogathon  is taking place on April 30th 2017 at Gillette Stadium’s Empower Field House from 9am-5pm. For the seventh consecutive year, the Yoga Reaches Out Yogathon will bring together yoga practitioners, marketplace vendors, sponsors, and volunteers from across New England to enjoy a day of yoga, community, FUNdraising, and empowerment. The proceeds will benefit the Boston Children’s Hospital wellness center, which is basically a place where the parents and family of those being cared for can take care of themselves through yoga, meditation, reiki and more! How OMazing is that?

There is a total of 4 – 4 1/2 hours of yoga throughout the day and the Yogathon is open to participants of all levels, ages 14 and over. Between the sessions, you may experience live music or performing arts demonstrations, hear from the organizations who benefit from Yogathon, walk through the Marketplace for yoga and wellness related goodies to sample and purchase, have lunch with friends, or enter a raffle for some amazing prizes. You can attend the entire day or a portion of the day.

View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/yogathon View More: http://tracyrodriguezphotography.pass.us/yogathon

If this sounds like a splendid way to spend your Sunday, then I urge you to consider attending. Registration is OPEN for this event and you can join as an individual or set up a team for a fantastic day with friends! If you can not make it to the event, please consider donating if you can. If you wish to donate, you can do so here.  Whether you donate, sponsor or register for the event, you can feel grand knowing that all monies raised will be utilized in a way that benefits all. Your selfless act can help put a much deserved smile on someone’s face.

Will I see you there?

Namaste~
Joy

 

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Boston Auto Show Review

It was the Biggest Auto Show in New England… and the perfect place to browse hundreds of the newest vehicles!  I was lucky enough to have a private tour alongside She Buys Cars BEFORE the doors opened to the public. Located at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the Seaport District, the New England International Auto Show is the premier showcase of  imported and domestic vehicles. Efficiency and more eco-friendly options were certainly the theme I noticed among manufacturers! Of course, technological advances couldn’t be missed either! You must check it out next year! Below, I highlighted just some of the things I found interesting and thought were worth mentioning.

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  • 2015 & 2016 were not great years for the car industry. Manufacturers are already feeling the pressure for 2017, which is a huge benefit for consumers. In the market for a car, now is the time to buy!
  • The industry is trying to stay ahead of safety standards. Many cars on the market have features that were once considered a luxury, are now standard! Talk about getting more bang for your buck!
  • Nissan Rogue was the #1 selling crossover for December 2016. Nissan is innovating from the ground up. Plus, they sold a limited edition Rogue One (Star Wars), only 5,000 available. What a cool concept for the Star Wars & car lover!
  • Chevy Volt was the first car to have a hybrid plug-in capability 6 years ago. Was a cool fact I didn’t know!
  • Prius Prime– This hybrid gas plug-in is even more gorgeous in person. This car will be the future. The features are amazing  and I know what my next car will be! With 640 miles EPA total driving range and 133 EPA-estimated MPGe , this car will save you money as well as limit the footprint we leave on the environment.
  • Scotty Reiss, founder of She Buys Cars is like a walking dictionary on vehicles. It didn’t matter the make, model or year, she provided us with a one-on-one tour of the event and knew anything and everything about these cars. If you are in the market for a car, you must visit She Buys Cars. They will give you a non-biased opinion based on your needs and wants. I thoroughly enjoyed this portion of the day the most! So informative!

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While there is so much more I could write on all the amazing cars I saw, above were just some tidbits of information that really stuck with me. As a hybrid driver, I was pleasantly surprised to see more manufacturers offering hybrid options. My favorite car of the day without a doubt was the Toyota Prius Prime. I can’t wait to hopefully get my hands on one of those bad boys. Well done Toyota. Well done. What is your favorite car for 2017?  I would love to hear all about it!

Namaste~
Joy

 

 

Why I Set Intentions AND Not Resolutions

2017 has reared it’s head and people are shouting out to the world what they “resolve” to fix this year. I’ve written about this very notion before (see here) and I stand by my initial thoughts. I don’t do resolutions, never have and never will. A resolution to me, seems to be a means to end. And end to something bad or a flaw. Like I need to fix something that was broken or change immediately (or else). I don’t think I need to change and I certainly don’t think I am broken. Change is good, but not when it comes with baggage…

I totally get the idea that a new year should bring change, hope or a fresh slate. That sounds positive, whereas to me a resolution has a negative connotation attached to it. Instead of thinking onto 2017 in terms of what you resolve to fix, why don’t you think of 2017 as an opportunity to CREATE something positive in your life? Listen, if the word “resolution” doesn’t get your panties in a twist like it does mine, then by all means RESOLVE away! Who am I to judge? I however, don’t like anything that feels negative or daunting to me.

This year I am setting intentions and not resolutions. Maybe you can set an intention for the life you are actively CREATING?  Change your intentions whenever you see fit. Commit yourself to being PRESENT in this world, for each moment can bring something different to your life.  Resolutions, opportunities, intentions, goals, wishes, whatever you call your deepest desires, don’t fall victim to them. Don’t let them hold you hostage. Change them without warning. Grow through, what you go through. Not being free to express yourself without judgement (even from within) is damaging enough.

If you made a resolution this year, I wish you the very best. For me, my intentions are clear.

In 2017,
I intend to live with intent;
I intend to love my body more
I intend to laugh louder
I intend to hug longer
I intend to try new things
I intend to express my emotions without fear of judgement
I intend to create
I intend to love deeper
I intend to breathe
I intend to embrace my life, for it is the only one I am ever going to get….

Don’t fear failing, fear having never tried at all.
Namaste~
Joy

Food For Thought: We Share Hope Fundraiser

Chances are if you are from my neck of the woods (Rhode Island to be exact), you have been to Seven Stars Bakery. Their bakery items are flaky, delicious and downright addicting. I love their scones! Doesn’t matter which flavor, they are all my favorite! Seven Stars Bakery is more than a business. It is a community. They are committed to those who live, work and play in this little state. That is why on January 2nd 2017, they are having a fundraiser for We Share Hope, a non-profit food rescue that brings food to those in need all over Rhode Island.

We Share Hope is a non-profit food rescue run by 100% volunteers that share their time, talent and resources to help those in need. WSH supports over 30 communities at over 80 locations in Rhode Island getting food to food pantries, section 8 housing, homeless shelters, churches, military housing, children’s recreation centers, soup kitchens and more.

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Why January 2nd? Well, January 2nd, 2017 happens to be Seven Stars Bakery 16th Anniversary! What better way to say “THANK YOU” for keeping them in business all these years by giving back to the community. 100% of the proceeds from all three of their locations will go directly to We Share Hope. You heard it correctly, 100% from ALL three locations. Every $1.00 donated = $63 worth of food for those in need. Think about how many families they can feed? How generous is Seven Stars Bakery? This is why they are a local favorite. They offer amazing products with amazing service and have a generous spirit behind them.

How You Can Help
Visit one of their three locations January 2nd 6:30am-6pm

820 Hope Street, Providence
342 Broadway, Providence
Rumford Ctr, East Providence

If you don’t find yourself in the neighborhood to purchase a delicious treat or cup of coffee, consider donating directly to We Share Hope through this donation link. Remember, every $1.00 donated is worth a great deal of food for someone in need! I know I will be heading to Providence tomorrow to grab myself a scone (or three) and knowing I helped make a difference right here in my community.

Happy New Year & Namaste~
Joy

Egg Nog Truffles: A Taste Of The Holidays

Egg nog. You either love it or hate it. I ADORE egg nog. There is something magical about the notion that a drink can invoke all the wonderful “feels” of the holidays! For me, egg nog is synonymous with the holidays. I love finding other ways to enjoy it!  I’ve tried egg nog cheesecake, egg nog ice cream, egg nog coffee…  As much as I love it, sometimes I am not in the mood to drink it! But honestly, most times I don’t want all the calories and full belly feeling I get after I enjoy a glass! I saw a recipe online for egg nog truffles and decided to give it a try with a few tweaks! Although the recipe doesn’t contain actual egg nog, the flavor you have come to love is all there, I promise!

The recipe is quite simple and you don’t even need to turn your oven on to enjoy these little mounds of joy! I chose to add actual rum into my recipe, but if you wanted to make these alcohol free just sub the alcohol out for rum extract! I highly recommend keeping your truffles refrigerated until you are ready to serve them. You can also freeze them in batches and take out certain portions when needed! This is a perfect make-a-head recipe as well! Let’s get to what you need to make these delicious treats.

egg nog truffles

Ingredients:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 Tbsp of dark run ( I used Sailor Jerry’s)
24 oz. white chocolate
2 cups gingersnap cookies crumbs (gingerbread cookies would be great as well)
Nutmeg and cinnamon for topping *optional

Step 1: Cook the cream, cream cheese & rum in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir often, until the cream cheese melts and the mixture is warm to the touch. *Do not boil this mixture. Crush the cookie crumbs and set aside.

Step 2: Stir in 12 ounces of white chocolate to the cream cheese mixture once you removed pan from heat. Once the chocolate is melted, add in the crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs. Place into a mixing bowl. cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Step 3: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the truffle mixture and form into small balls using your hands and place on the baking sheet. Once you have made all the truffles, pop them into the freezer for about 1 hour.

Step 4: Melt the remaining 12 ounces of white chocolate in the microwave or on the stove. Dip the frozen truffles into the melted chocolate and tap off the excess. Place back onto the making sheet and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon. You can even add holiday sprinkles if you wish!

Remember, store these in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer (covered) for 6 months and take out when needed. I hope you enjoy making these as much as I enjoyed eating them! What is another way you enjoy the egg nog flavor without drinking it? I would love to learn more recipes for enjoying this flavor all year round!

Happy Holidays!

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LuLaRoe: A simply comfortable review *and giveaway

Do you have a LuLaRoe unicorn that you’ve been dying to get your hands on, only to have someone snag it first? Have you fallen in love with the Carly, Joy or Mimi yet? If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you must be living under a rock. Kidding, well not really! Maybe you don’t have a piece to call your own yet, but you NEED to get on that! I am here to give you an honest review!  I’m plus size and proud and these clothes make me feel GORGEOUS! And unique!  Good thing prints with LuLaRoe are as unique as they come and are only available in limited quantities!

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Tamara Glennon, an Independent Fashion Consultant for LuLaRoe and friend reached out to me to try two new pieces (new to me) from her collection. She provided me with the elusive ANA & the ever so popular Irma! I already had some pieces but was thrilled to add more to my closet! What started as an invite to a party on Facebook, ended with her becoming a consultant a few months later! She wanted something that would work for a mother’s schedule and the fit couldn’t be more perfect.  I asked her to answer some questions because I am fascinated by this company and the women (and men) who choose to be a part of it. Maybe it will help you understand that this company is more about selling clothes.

What is your favorite piece? That is tough because we all love the leggings. But I would have to say the Julia dress or the Amelia. Both dresses can be worn a multitude of ways, and when you put them on you instantly look put together with little to no effort.

What do you love most about the company or product? This is truly a company that loves their consultants. It is like a great big family. The owner is so humble and kind and you truly get the feeling that she has put 110% of herself into each and everyone of our successes.

What do you offer for your customers? I offer it all!  We can easily do in home parties (you bring all your friends and shop), online hostess parties, album sales, Facebook Live sales, periscope sales, vendor events and even fundraisers! Yes, LuLaRoe will match fundraiser amounts! Amazing!

LuLaRoe

I’m a little bit feminine, a bit edgy but always stay true to my boho-chic vibe. My body type is what some would call strange. Tall, but large hips with a small waist with an even bigger bust. And my shoulders, let me just say BROAD CITY!  I am not symmetrical in anyway. The amazing thing with this company is, I can wear all their clothes, in ALL different sizes and yet they look like they were tailor made for ME! They really take fashion to a whole new level when it comes to comfort! Comfort is key for me when purchasing anything!

The sizes I am wearing are labeled in each photo! And my two other dresses (Amelia & Nicole/not shown) are are an XL.  Everything fits a bit differently and that is GOOD! It means you have more options and styles to choose from! I could fit into a size XL in the Ana. But, the 3XL fell differently on me. It flows better on me. But, when I want a more fitted style, I can search out patterns in the XL! See, the possibilities are endless! My one word of advice is, get to a party! Try on as many styles and sizes as you can! Even if you don’t like the prints. Knowing what fits and how it hugs you will help you in the long run! Plus, it will make shopping easier!

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I want you to feel as confident in yourself as you possibly can! These clothes bring so much happiness to my wardrobe and Tamara wants you to feel that way as well! That’s why she is offering a lucky winner a $60 Gift Certificate to shop with her! How amazing and generous is that? The gift certificate can be used on her Facebook albums, in-home sales or live sales!

Namaste~ Joy
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