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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Top 5 Toys For Sensory Kids

I have put together a list of my Top 5 toys for sensory kids. Why? Because it’s that time of year!  If you have a sensational kid you might have noticed they sometimes don’t play with certain toys. Whether it’s the sound it makes, they way it feels or even how it looks, they are turned off.  I remember getting so frustrated around Landon’s birthday and holidays when he was little because he rarely would play with anything we bought. Once we learned what his preferences were, toy shopping wasn’t so bad.  While every toy doesn’t have to have an educational component to it, I do tend to choose ones that encourage creativity, problem solving and that require him to use his tactile sense.

My TOP 5 TOYS for Sensory Kids

Legos– Great for any age!  You can start with the Duplo set and move along to the standard size Lego as they age. While each set builds a specific design, you can custom create just about anything you want with Legos. Landon and I have built castles, upside down houses, double-decker boats and more all using our own imagination! Blocks of any material can work as well, but we are a Lego family! Great for kids who need to work on their fine motor skills among other things! My favorite gift to give any child!

Photo Credit: Amazon

Playdoh: Landon is 8 years old and stills plays with playdoh occasionally. Now that he is older he prefers modeling clay (same type of concept)- but this is great for working with their hands. It helps develop fine motor skills and creativity. You don’t even have to buy a special set. Grab a few tubs of playdoh, and look in your own cupboard for cool tools to use. Cookies cutters, frosting spreader, rolling-pin and other everyday items around the house. Create!

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Books: While books in any form are amazing for kids, I find that touch and feel,  pop up books and books with sound are our favorite. I love Usborne look inside books. They have all sorts of topics for different ages. Starting with a simple book on barnyard animals to space facts or Egyptian mythology. At 8 years old, he still loves a good lift up book.

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Puzzles: I love Melissa and Doug for this category. They have so many puzzles to choose from. Chunky block puzzles for the toddler all the way up to 100+ piece for the older child and everything in between. They have even have puzzles where you open doors and puzzles that make noise. This is great for kiddos needing to work on their fine motor skills and those who like toys with sound!

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Magnatiles: I love these translucent color tiles that kids use to create endless 3D and 2D designs. They hold together by the power of magnification. They even come with pre-designed templates for kids to follow to build a specific design. Following the templates helps with the skill of following step by step directions!

magnatilesThere are a ton of great gifts for our sensational kids but these are just some of our favorites. Landon goes back to these year after year. And these gifts are great for any kiddo in your life! All these toys I found on Amazon- and offer free shipping, what’s better than that!  Happy Shopping!

 

Namaste~

Embrace the holiday spirit at Edaville’s Festival of Lights- **Giveaway**

Nothing gets me in the mood more than seeing the twinkling lights that illuminate neighborhoods and stores this time of year. The lights seem to bring my “inner child” out and help me embrace the true meaning of the holidays. After all, the holidays seem to be the busiest time of the year and sometimes we forget to slow down and just enjoy everything that it brings. Family, love, joy, hope and togetherness are just some things we should hold on to during this magical time. Edaville hopes you will enjoy this time with your family while visiting their park and taking in the splendor that is over 10 million lights on display!

Edaville USA’s Festival of lights has been a tradition for over 70 years. Generation after generation returns to the park to recreate priceless family memories. Young and old alike enjoy the park from the train ride to the Ferris Wheel and don’t forget the newest addition troublesome trucks! There is something for everyone!

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Passengers relax comfortably in warm and dry coaches while riding through a spectacular holiday setting featuring an explosion of lights pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine!  Kids of all ages will enjoy an array of vintage amusement rides, Thomas Land rides, and a visit with Santa in one of our indoor play areas. Stay for a delicious full meal or enjoy seasonal treats while roaming our sprawling and beautifully decorated grounds featuring thousands of Christmas displays.

The tickets are available any day except Saturdays and do not include the Polar Express or VIP Santa visit

November 20 – January 1, 2016 (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)

4:00PM – 9:00PM Weekdays

3:00PM – 9:30PM Weekends

General Admission $29.00, Children under 2 are Free

I am honored, thanks to Edaville, to offer two FREE admission tickets to the Festival of Lights to my readers as a giveaway! And in honor of my son’s 8th birthday- I will choose a winner this Saturday Nov 21st and announce it that very same day! I hope this will become a new family tradition that you can enjoy for years to come! 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN 2 TICKETS TO EDAVILLE’S FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

 

Top 10 Best of 2013

Top 10 Best of 2013 – joy style

I have compiled a list of my favorite things that I have come in contact with during 2013. From places, to cleaning products and DIY crafts. Here is what I found interesting and wonderful about 2013.

10. Best song of the year- I will get shit for this- but Katy Perry’s ROAR is awesome. Just listen to the lyrics for a minute. It can help you get through a tough workout, a bad mood or just keep your spirits up!

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9. Best “guilty pleasure” new show. Arrow on CW. It’s a hot man in tights, saving his city to right the wrongs of his father. It’s addicting……..

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8. Best DIY Holiday treat: Christmas Crack! I know it is not new to 2013, but it was to me. It was freaking amazing…….I will be making a version of it for every holiday I can! Check out the amazingly simple recipe and gorgeous pictures from Sweet Bella Roos 

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7. Best Family decision: to join Mastery Martial Arts. Karate and Kickboxing has become apart of our family 3-4 nights per week. You know the saying, “families who play together, stay together”!

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6. Best Weekend Roadtrip: Mystic Seaport & Mystic Village. While we have been to the village many times, we have never been to the Seaport. It was amazing. Landon loved it and it was so educational yet so much fun. We can not wait to go back in the Spring! To learn more visit them @ Mystic Seaport

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5. Best toy purchase: Legos! It was only a matter of time before Landon found the Lego aisle of the Toys R’ Us. He received his first real ” little” Legos this past summer and the rest is history. I know they probably cost next too nothing to make, but I truly don’t mind paying the price for them. They are a forever toy and he learns so much from building and being creative!

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4. Best Pinterest find: Homemade doggie treats! My dogs love the summer! Love the sun- but they can get very hot and drink so much water! What a great way this is for them to play and stay hydrated and it doesn’t break the bank! Freeze water and chicken stock with toys, carrots, treats, etc to keep dogs from getting bored and overheated in the backyard. For all my dog friends!!!

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3. Best kids movie: Disney has done it again! Frozen was amazing! Not just for the kids, but for the parents who thought they would be bored sitting through yet another kids movie! The music, the cast, the characters and the story were all entertaining and hands down the best kids movie of 2013!

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2. Best household cleaner- my new staple! Vinegar, water, lemon rind and any scent I want (oil- from Whole Foods) . I spent so much money on all the new products and they were so full of chemicals. I wanted something that was cost effective, good for the environment and safe for my child! Again- thank you Pinterest! 

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1. Best mommy moment- When my son taught his kindergarten class about his allergies and asthma and explained what happens to him and why its important for them to not bring in nuts. Proud of my 5 year old!

994936_10151729440451395_1356334637_nHere’s to 2013 and onward to 2014! May it be everything 2013 was and more! What were some of your favorite (best) things of 2013?

Happy New Year Everyone!

Namaste -joy

 

A Mom’s Christmas List

A Mom’s Christmas List

My son was born in November. Obviously, for the Christmas that proceeded, he was the best gift I could’ve asked for. Being a mom IS the greatest gift ever, many would attest. So how come it is so hard for a mom to get what she wants most for Christmas? Not only what she wants, but what she needs too! Move aside diamonds and cool gadgets, My list goes something like this:

All this mom wants for Christmas is;

1. A long hot shower, alone. A non-scheduled one. No kid peeking through the curtain asking for more snacks kinda shower.  I don’t need to leave the door open to hear him playing. I can shut the door or heaven forbid Lock it!

2. 1 week where nothing in the house is broken, on purpose or accidentally.

3. 1 meal per day where I am not multitasking at the same time. It’s a skill I know I have mastered- eating while cooking, helping with homework, watching the dogs, cleaning etc……if I can’t have that- then an extra set of hands Please!

4. A day to go by without my kid riding the  big dog like a horse and for the little dog to stop riding the big dog. It’s too much riding……..I get motion sickness.

5. Speaking on the darn dogs- Bark-less dogs! It’s the mailman. He comes 6 days a week, same time everyday. So, for the love of my sanity, please stop barking at the mailman like he is here to steal your last bone on earth! You don’t want bark collars, do you? Didn’t think so….

6. For egg nog to have no calories, no carbs or fat. For egg nog to be as nutritionally sound as water- this one is a maybe in another lifetime it will come true kinda wish! Yumm….Must get eggnog right now……be right back…….

7. To sleep without interruptions. “Mommy, I need to go potty, Mommy, I am thirsty, Mommy, I am not tired,  Mommy I can’t find my pillow”. ” Bark, Bark, Meow, Meeeooooow- dog/cat fight in the basement”. No wonder I have insomnia……..

8. A mute button………..ENOUGH SAID!

9. A self- cleaning house. Like the self cleaning kitty litter the cat has…that thing is awesome! Must contact inventor of that, and tell him my idea…ooh…would I be a co-inventor? I would make millions!

10. Most importantly- Love- for my family to enjoy a peaceful, joyful day and just love each other for all we are!

If you could have any one thing, no matter how silly or unpractical, what would it be?

merry holidays!