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

Fall Family Bucket List

Do you love Fall and all that is associated with it? Do you have a Fall Family Bucket List planned? There are so many things to do during the fall season that I like to write them all down so I don’t forget!  Ever find yourself contemplating what to do on a gorgeous fall afternoon? Jot down your favorite fall past-times, place them in a mason jar and when the mood strikes (Yes- I am talking about boredom)- PICK ONE! Of course, if you are like me, you will cross off your favorite activities almost immediately! The second the pumpkins and apples are ready to picked- you can be rest assured that’s where I will be!

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I love fall festivals (Scituate Art Festival is my local favorite), apple picking, pumpkin picking, hayrides, hiking, running, FOOTBALL, fall baking, fall decorating, biking… I could go on and on. So, this weekend take some time to talk as a family about what you all love most about fall. Give each member of your family 5 pieces of scrap paper and write your ideas down.  Each time you are in the mood for a fall adventure, have a new family member pick from the jar! Get creative. There really is no way to steer your family wrong. As long as you are playing together, you’re creating memories that will last a lifetime! That’s the magic of the season!

My Fall Family Bucket List story is featured on the cover of this months Rhode Island Health & Fitness. To read the whole story and get some ideas, click here! Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve added to your bucket list! I am always looking for more ways to have adventures with my boys!

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Photo By Rhode Island Health & Fitness magazine

Namaste~
Joy

Escape Reality And Explore The Renaissance

It’s fall, and fall in New England wouldn’t be complete without King Richard’s Faire, the oldest renaissance faire in New England. Here, you will be immersed from head-to-toe in a 80-acre forest that is set to resemble a 16th century marketplace. The family and I had a great time exploring the artisans, watching the shows and interacting with each strolling character as they passed by. The are knights, mimes, mud beggars, wenches and members of the royal family walking amongst you. You truly feel as though you have stepped into another time. If you have a child who enjoys history museums, this will surely delight. My son, loves to learn about different places and times in history. He felt as if he went back in time and really enjoyed himself.

 

I thought at first, King Richard’s Faire might not be a good fit for my son due to his Sensory Processing and Anxiety. Think loud noises, smells and crowds. But, if you scope out the map ahead of time, find a quiet spot to rest and try not and fit everything in, chances are you will have a plan for success. It was loud, but not in an obnoxious way. The wind and trees seemed to dull out some of the crowd noise and we found a great spot to take a break under some pine trees. We let him dictate the shows he wanted to see, which worked out perfect. He chose the Great Cats of The World Show, The Royal Parade and the Challenge of Champions. 

Honestly, the Great Cats of the World Show is worth the ticket alone! We sat in the 2nd row right and got to see a Black Panther 10 feet in front of us. And the white Bengal Tiger was just as impressive. The Geoffroy Cat was small but mighty (and adorable to say the least). The knights put on a great show. There was horseback riding, jousting and tricks with their lances among other things. And our knight (blue & white) won the challenge! My son picked the right spot to sit in! The Royal Parade is the perfect chance to see all the roaming characters in one place! It’s also the prefect time to grab a bite to eat and find a table and watch as they make their way around the village!

 

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Let’s talk food. We split a bloomin’ onion, chicken fingers & fries platter and some fudge! It was all delicious. The food was exactly like what I expected, with a slight edge over regular carnival food.  I did notice they offered gluten free options as well as lactose intolerant! As a mom to a food allergy kid, I found this to be a refreshing surprise! I can’t forget about the massive ice cream cone and homemade pickle served from a barrel! Delicious! It does get a bit busy around the traditional lunch time, so if you can wait to eat later that will save you from having to really search out for a table.

Listen, we could have stayed longer. Explored more. Played more games. Ate more. Shopped more. But, we had about 1 hour drive and it was getting late in the day. There really is so much to do and see there. I find this event is more suitable for kids 7 and over. The games were fun, but some I think would be better for the older set versus the younger! Same with the shows. While some kids younger than 7 would find the shows enjoyable, I think the majority of older kids would be able to sit for them longer and really get something out of them! Landon was the perfect age! He is almost 9 and like I said, in love with history.

If you are looking for a quintessential fall New England event to enjoy, get yourselves to King Richard’s Faire.

I am so grateful at the opportunity to receive free admission to this years event in return for a review. And guess what? I have 4 tickets to give away and are good for any of these dates: October 8, 10, 15, 22 and 23. I only wish to be able to attend next year and cross off everything we missed off our list! My son is already talking about his outfit that he wants to wear! A knight who fights for freedom and love! What is better than that? I have my eye on a flower crown!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Namaste~

Joy

A Busy Moms Guide To Staying Active

If you know me, you know I adore fitness. Not for vanity reasons. I am what society likes to call “plus-size”, so I think the vanity portion is lost on me! I adore fitness because of how it makes me feel. I feel strong. It clears my racing, anxious thoughts right away. It sends a dose of happiness right to my brain. I am over 1 year free of my anxiety medication because I turn to fitness. Plus, it is fun. Yes, fitness can be fun. It can social. It can be life-changing. It can be what gets you through the day. It can be whatever your heart desires. But, only if you commit yourself.

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No, you do not need to go all in. You don’t need to start running 5 miles per day and spending hours at the gym. You can start small. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Chances are if you run into something without taking the time to properly see what works for you, you might end up jumping ship real fast. I don’t want that. You don’t want that. I want you to succeed. Whatever your definition of success is. Everyone’s success is measured differently. Just as everyone needs to find what works for them!

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I recently wrote an article for Rhode Island Health & Fitness entitled, A Busy Moms Guide to Staying Active. I talked about some of the ways we as moms, or any individual can fit more activity into their lives. We are a nation that is constantly living in the fast lane. Self-care can’t happen if you don’t slow down and make the time!  Check it out here, and perhaps there are some tips you could take into your lives today and become happier & healthier!

Namaste~
Joy

AllerMates: Why Is It So Important To Wear An Allergy ID?

I have a wonderful guest writer today on my blog!  Iris Shamus Wife, mother to three awesome kids and founder/CEO of AllerMates. Based in New York, Iris and her team create helpful content, answer emails, ship their products and obsess every day about keeping kids safe. Please read below to learn why wearing allergy/medical ID is so important! I have had AllerMates products for my son since he was diagnosed with food allergies many years ago. I truly love them! I know you will too! 

I started AllerMates after an incident with my food allergic son’s preschool. One of his buddies, who had multiple food allergies including a dairy allergy, was given a dairy snack by his teacher. He had a severe allergic reaction, and I started to think about how easily that could have been my son.  I set out to look for something I could slap on him to help remind his teachers and caregivers of his health concerns.

To be honest at the time I was completely unfamiliar with medical alert accessories. I think I sort of associated them with elderly people who were at risk of heart attacks or something! Who knew that I would become such an advocate of medical alert IDs… although I was determined to create a much more modern version of one that my son would think was “cool” and fun to wear!

But first, what is a medical ID?
Medical IDs are pieces of jewelry that could one day save your life. Adults typically wear metal bracelets with their allergies, prescribed medications and medical conditions engraved on the surface. However, these metal bracelets aren’t always too kid-friendly, so if your kiddo has a food allergy or health condition, try a kid-friendly medical alert bracelet or dog tag.

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At AllerMates, we refer to our bracelets as allergy bracelets or health bracelets as opposed to medical alert bracelets, since most of our products are designed for kids. In fact, we like to think of ourselves as pioneers in the industry considering that no one used the term “allergy bracelets” until AllerMates came around!

 Why are they so important?
As parents or caretakers, it’s tough to imagine that your kid will ever be in an emergency medical situation, however, it’s important to be prepared for them. More than 95% of emergency responders state that they check for a medical ID when they’re called for emergencies. And they’re not the only ones. Teachers, day care workers, camp counselors and other caretakers are also trained to look for allergy bracelets or necklaces on kids. If your child is ever involved in a medical emergency, having allergy bracelets or necklace that identifies his or her health concerns is essential in preventing a tragedy.

To be honest, when I created the original AllerMates bracelet, I was more concerned with having a communication tool to teachers and caregivers to help PREVENT an incident. Some medical alert accessories have the information inscribed on the BACK of the accessory and I thought, why not have a fun visual for all to see? Why are we hiding this critical information instead of making it bright and noticeable?

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If you have a kid with a food allergy, you’re probably all too familiar with the stress that comes along with sending kids to birthday parties and play dates. What if your child accidentally eats a food with his or her allergen? Because kids’ medical alert bracelets and dog tags are so brightly colored and noticeable, caretakers will immediately recognize that they need to look out for allergens when serving your child. Think of these bracelets and dog tags as a way to ease your concerns and give you a little peace of mind.

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Living proof that my dream came true and that kids could actually be excited to wear their allergy bracelets. Here is Britney Spears’ stylish son photographed with his AllerMates bracelets.

When should you wear a medical ID?

Kids should keep their medical alert jewelry on at all times. Why can’t kids take it off at home? Let’s say Uncle Bill, who just so happens to stop by over the weekend, doesn’t remember that your son has a peanut allergy, and feeds him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Every. Parent’s. Nightmare. Avoid this situation by keeping the medical alert jewelry on at all times so that caretakers are always informed of your child’s health concerns.

What options are there for kids?
Luckily, there are tons of options that parents will love and kids will love wearing! AllerMates makes medical alert bracelets for a variety of kids’ health concerns, as well as dog tags and charms. If your kiddo has multiple allergies or health conditions, you can purchase the charms and attach them to a multi-charm bracelet. That way, kids don’t have to wear multiple allergy bracelets to keep caretakers informed of their many health concerns.

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With all of these fun options for kids, there’s no excuse to NOT wear medical alert jewelry!

Be sure to visit our website, www.allermates.com, and sign up for our newsletter to always stay in-the-know with allergy news!

xo, Iris

Celebrate Spring at Wicked Tulips Flower Farm

If you are local to Rhode Island, or luckily enough to live over the border in neighboring Massachusetts, you need to get to the Wicked Tulips Flower Farm, the only u-pick tulip farm in New England! They are located in Johnston, RI diagonally across from Dame Orchards! Picture this, you’re frolicking through a field of perfect tulips of every size and color while your favorite melody plays in the background, with not a care in the world.  Wait, you don’t have that fantasy in your head? It must be just me then! But, I bet you like flowers! I knew this place would be for you! I’ll do the frolicking and you can do the picking! I already picked enough flowers to last me for weeks anyways!

Wicked Tulips Flower Farm is a US Grown, pesticide free, bee friendly and unique farm! With over 250,000 tulips planted in more colors, shapes and sizes than you could dream of, this is surely something that everyone can enjoy! Think of the family pictures! Get your “selfie” face ready! Once you enter you will see their show garden (no picking here) and you can view all their varieties and pre-order them for fall delivery at the bulb tent (white tents). Beyond the show garden is the picking garden where you can walk up and down the rows and choose as many tulips as you desire for $1/stem. They have buckets for your convenience. Once your done bring your tulips and bucket to the wrapping station where you will wrap up your tulips in paper for the ride home. There is staff able to assist if you need help!

I am a huge supporter of an organic lifestyle! I am so happy that Wicked Tulips Flower Farm offers organic tulips and is a bee friendly farm! This was the biggest reason I decided to check them out. Just because we are not eating the flowers, choosing organic and bee friendly products is better in the long run. Bees, flying insects such as butterflies/dragonflies and some birds are in danger due to the overuse of pesticides in farming. This includes your little flower farm you have created in your backyard.  These creatures collect pollen, eat seeds and drink the water that is contaminated with pesticide runoff. Even if you don’t use pesticides in your garden, chances are the bulbs and seeds you planted might have them hidden in there. Please try and buy organic bulbs for your garden and support local farmers like Wicked Tulips who choose to leave the “junk” out of their products!

Wicked Tulips Flower Farm

Things to know before you go:

  • You need a ticket. If you visit during the weekend you must pre-purchase your tickets online. No tickets will be sold at the door on weekends. Children 3 and under are free. 4-15 $2.50 and 16 plus $5.00. They are already sold out for Mother’s Day weekend. However, you do not need a ticket for the weekday (it is less crowded as well).
  • Hours: The u-pick field is open 7 days a week. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 6pm. Wednesdays and Fridays 10am-7:30pm. Weekends-Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 7:30pm.
  • Purchase bulbs: You can purchase bulbs for next fall. They are locally grown bulbs and pesticide free! You can order online or at the farm.
  • Cash/Card: Cash or card is accepted, however cash is preferred!
  • Photography is allowed and they love seeing all the photos on social media! But please no tripods!

Go tiptoe through those tulips and have a wonderful time!
Namaste~