Domestic Violence

By now most have you have seen the many commercials being aired featuring celebrities, sports personalities and more, talking about domestic violence. If you haven’t, then you must reside under a rock. Some are full of heartfelt words while some leave us to watch them utter nothing but silence. It is with that silence that puts a taboo judgement on these victims. Domestic & Sexual Abuse should not be swept under the rug any longer. Silence is never a good thing when it comes to hiding any type of violence.  Too many women & children (and even men) are falling victim. Victim to the horrendous act, victim to the aftereffects and victim to the blame game. No more.

New Hope, Inc, located in our close neighbor of Massachusetts. New Hope is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is “Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence in Our Community”. New Hope serves 54 communities within Central and Southeast Massachusetts.

Join New Hope, Inc on Saturday, January 24th for a night under the stars at Briggs Garden & Home (295 Kelley Blvd. North Attleboro, MA). Sample over 50 fine wines, 25 craft beers, delicious local cuisine, while enjoying a live musical performance by Gay Barboza. Bid on a trip to Walt Disney World (who doesn’t love MICKEY MOUSE?), just one of the many featured live auction items, hosted by comedian David DiLorzena. Tickets are $50/ per person and are available online at: or by calling (508) 226-4015. All proceeds benefit New Hope, Inc. – a nonprofit organization working to end domestic and sexual violence in our communities.

Can’t attend? Consider donating to the cause.  Visit their site for future events and gatherings. And remember the name New Hope, Inc, because chances are you know someone who has fallen victim to domestic violence or sexual abuse. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and estimated 1.3 million women have fallen victim each YEAR and 1 in every women will experience domestic or sexual abuse in their lifetime. Help end this pattern of abuse. For our children. For our children’s children. For the greater good of humanity.



The Football Bitch- NFL Playoff Review

Although it is the end of the season with just 2 weeks left, this Football Bitch has decided to write about football more periodically. So next year, be on the lookout for more posts and possibly a podcast of my live antics while watching the game.

I love football. Yes, I am New England Patriots fan. But I am a fan of the game first. I am not just another hometown fan. While I do reside in little Rhody, I was born and raised in New Jersey. I am proud of where I came from, but that doesn’t mean I had to be a team player when it comes to the sport teams. Sure, I had box seats at Yankee Stadium and tailgated many Jets & Giants games, but they were never my team. I went because I loved football and my Dad made me go to those baseball games (I HATE BASEBALL). My team has always been the Patriots. Something about the name, the colors, the history just drew me in.

This past weekend was a field day for amazing plays, bad calls, records being set/crushed and true colors being bled all over the field. I am here to tell you some of my favorite highlights from the weekend.

Best Play of the Weekend: QB12 Brady lateral pass to WR11 Edelman (QB11 for this play) who then chucks it long to fellow WR80 Amendola for a 51-yard touchdown. This was the longest TD ever by a non-QB in NFL playoff history. So- it’s double dose of awesome-sauce- Best Play & Record Setting!

Worst Call of the Weekend: Pass Interference  call on CB24 Revis for his tight coverage of WR89 Smith. Let’s clear something up- Revis was on the JETS- I loathe the JETS- but he was a beast then and still is.  Rarely ever getting penalties because he is the BEST at his job. Only 6 pass interference calls in his 8 year career. You don’t call PI’s on the best corner. The refs got this one wrong.

True COLORS (a Cyndi Lauper classic): QB12 Luck is the new prince of the COLTS!  He was truly unstoppable. He looked so cool in the pocket. He came into that game to play. He had no reservations about his game-plan whatsoever. QB18 Manning on the other hand, came in with tons. He had the weight of Denver on his shoulders. He is the BRONCOS. Luck played with poise, elegance, grit when needed and had fun. Manning played with a choppy run, a weaker arm and a fear of losing. He lost his spirit. He is one of the ALL-TIME great QB’s, but sometimes father time catches up to some sooner than others.

Opinions are welcome and encouraged. It leads to healthy debate. But, remember the Patriots are #1- that’s not up for debate 🙂



Lincoln School Book Festival 2014

You know what I like about reading? You don’t have to be good at it. You don’t have to read what your friends are reading. You can read where you choose too. You can get lost in the adventure, romance, history and suspense of a book, all without leaving the comforts of your home. As adults, we love the way a good book makes us feel after we’ve finished it. We laugh, we cry, we empathize with the characters. It invigorates our imaginations. And lets be honest, as we get older we can all use a little spark to our imagination.

It is hard to explain to young children how a book can make you feel. We can tell them that reading is good for them, but until they feel the effects of it they really won’t “get it”. And how do kids learn? They learn by doing. Anything worth doing, is worth over doing. Children will eventually come to realize it’s more about that funny looking monster in the book, or that relatable boy. It’s about how the story makes you feel. What you take away from the book. But as parents, we need to keep the flame burning until that realization happens on it’s own. For some, it happens sooner than later.

A child's book from the 19th century

A child’s book from the 19th century

On October 18th, I was given the opportunity to attend the Lincoln School Book Festival 2014. The Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books & Authors was held at the Lincoln School here in Providence, RI. From the moment I walked up the sidewalk, I knew the Lincoln School promotes early childhood literacy with a passion. Signs were everywhere with sayings about reading. Teachers were dressed as lovable children’s book characters. There was a storytelling tent set up outside. The crafts were even dedicated to books. All this being said, it wasn’t overdone. It was just matter of fact. They love to read and they are here to share it with you.

RI Book Festival 2014 program

RI Book Festival 2014 program

My son & I had a blast looking at the pop-up bookstore they had. We purchased two books for him to have autographed. We made an amazing craft (which I will be copying again). Listened to amazing stories & songs. Had a delicious pizza followed by a vegan dessert! It was such a blast. It was amazing to see how many children in my community actually value books. Kindles, tablets and Ipads are all the rage. And I get that you can store more books than you could possibly need, but there is something about the feeling of a book’s cover. The sound it makes when you turn the page. The suspense you feel when you wonder what illustration is next.

Landon's pop-up book

Landon’s pop-up book


While the event is over, I urge you to attend next year. It is an annual event and the Lincoln School is already taking applications for authors, volunteers and sponsors for 2015. Follow the Lincoln School on Facebook to keep up with all their events. Now, pick up that book that is collecting dust on your shelf and read. Get lost in it, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. And NO, I won’t hold it against you if you use your Kindle, this time. 



Be #happiernow with Carson Kressley


It’s Monday folks. Back to work for many, a happy day for some and a dreaded day for others. Why? Too many women are living their lives in a way that doesn’t suit them. What do I mean by that? Magazines tell us what to wear. Celebrities show us what is trendy. We lose ourselves in the over-abundance of media outlets surrounding us. I want to be happy. Not happy after I lose another 10 pounds. Not happy when I can afford that “trendy” bag I want. Not happy when I move into a bigger house. I want to be #happiernow.  Thanks to Carson Kressley and, I am!



Carson teamed up with to create a course dedicated to women who are stuck in a rut. Whether you are having issues with your self-esteem, not finding enough time for yourself or just not sure what the problem is, this course is for you. It’s quite simple really. 7 days of inspirational and helpful videos paired with a quick challenge for you. It’s all about YOU and what you WANT & NEED to be #happiernow. Carson is super motivating and honest in the videos. It felt like he was talking to me. How did this man get into my head and uncover all my emotions? It was actually quite refreshing to realize that there are more women who feel the same way as I do. He helped me overcome some fears & challenges in just 7 days. What’s even better is, it’s only $4.99!  Isn’t that almost the cost of one large (or should I say Venti) Starbucks Iced latte? Are you worth $4.99? I think you are!


Contrary to what the media tells us, we do not need more money, expensive clothes, be a size 0 or a big house to be happy. Happiness is something we can choose to live in. We can make the conscious decision to wake up tomorrow and be happy with what we have. Find the good in what you have, rather than the bad in what you don’t. Make the pledge to be #happiernow. Take this course and let it inspire you. But first, fill in the blank below. It is your new mantra. Write it out- and put it on your bathroom mirror, in your daily agenda book or make it your screensaver. Today is the day to get #HAPPIERNOW.


For more courses offered at the Happier community, click here and follow them on twitter and Facebook. Be sure to follow Carson on twitter @CarsonKressley and check out his newly re-launched site here.

The 31 day Purge

I still do not know what I got myself into. A friend posted on Facebook about this 31 day purge she was doing. It is being run by the lovely blog  A bowl full of lemons. Without even knowing what it entailed, I acknowledged my acceptance of the challenge on Facebook for all to see. Boy, am I happy I did. Yesterday, being only day 1, I already feel better after completing my 1st task. I can only imagine how I am going to feel after day 31!

Day 1 was to clean your cupboards. Get rid of unwanted food- donate it, trash expired food maybe even get rid of those cookies you know you shouldn’t eat! I was surprised at how much food went expired. And not by a mere month- I am talking about year 2013. Not proud- but happy it’s gone……Living in a 690 sq. ft home, I have one cupboard. For everything- spices, dry goods, canned goods, you name it- it needs to fit there. You can imagine the mess it can become.  Here are some before and after shots of my 1 (9) photo 2 (8)Will you join me on the 31 day purge? Follow along here and don’t forget to post your purge pictures and tag them using #abfol31daypurge. Thanks A bowl full of lemons for the jumpstart I needed to get my house in order! Here’s to a productive month and hopefully less cluttered house in the end!
Namaste~  Joy

Creativity amid Chaos

I don’t have a regularly scheduled “Girls Night Out”, (which I am thinking now I should). I don’t work outside the home. I rarely have adult contact throughout the day, (the husband doesn’t count). Most of my free time is spent at the studio working out, running outside, showering (a long, hot one) or playing Legos. So, this weekend when my scrapbooking retreat came I was so very excited. I have been on two already this year, but this one was different. I was going out-of-town for it.  I was attending a Cool Crops Scrapbooking retreat. Staying at a hotel, meals being prepared for me, and coming back to a bed that had been turned down and ready to go.  Oh Yes. I was thrilled. Not only would I have almost 3 free days of no cleaning, cooking, letting the dogs out, feeding said dogs (and cats too), but I would be able to embrace my creativity. But, in all things “Joy”, nothing goes as planned.

Creativity amid Chaos seems like it shouldn’t work. And when things started to go awry on my retreat, I thought it was hopeless. Boy was I wrong. For starters, no sooner did I arrive in Maine, the husband called to let me know that Landon needed to be picked up from school. He was complaining of a headache. Normally, this wouldn’t have been such a big deal. However he has been complaining of headaches for over a month now. We even had a headache chart the doctor wanted us to fill & monitor. So, of course I am a wreck. Then my neck & shoulder started to throb. Numbing pains shooting down swiftly. It would make me lose all my feeling in my hand (writing hand no less) and mess up each time it did. Then my tooth started to throb. Friday night I felt like someone had stepped on my jaw and broke it into a billion little pieces. I contemplated leaving Saturday morning. How could I concentrate and create masterpieces when my mind was obviously all over the place.

A call to my dentist for a prescription, a trip to a local CVS and lots & lots of caffeine, I made it  through the weekend. And, honestly think that because I had to concentrate hard on not focusing on the pain & what was going on at home, I completed my most pages ever- and some of my favorite ones as well. The moral of the story is: when chaos takes over your life, embrace it. You never know how it can affect you in a positive way. Sometimes it’s best to just “roll with the punches”……. Or my favorite saying, “When life gives you lemons, you make Margaritas”!



Please excuse the terrible quality of the photos- as my son cracked my screen on my Ipad…..Boo 🙁

photo (2)

photo (1)

photo (3)

photo (4)

Panera- You’ve been Served!

My Excitement!

My Excitement!

Corner Bakery Cafe has finally made its way to New England. And better yet, to Little Rhody! These past 2 months, Corner Bakery cafe opened not ONE, but TWO locations in Rhode Island. One location is located in the expanding Garden City Shopping Center, while the other took over the old Fresh City location across from Best Buy on Route 2. Many friends and family of mine travel and have told me about this place way before they opened here. They would always compare it to Panera Bread, which we have plenty of in Rhode Island. Let me tell you- WAY BETTER THAN PANERA. I will be making a weekly visit to the Warwick location because the options for good food & good service are endless.


The decor inside is impressive. I just love the collages of pictures and scenes on the wall. Maybe it’s because I am an avid “scrapper” and it reminds me of my scrapbooks. But my favorite is something you may not notice unless you sit in a particular spot.  When sitting in one of the booths along the wall, there is a brick overlay that runs parallel to the booths! I love brick  and love the idea of making it a border. The whole atmosphere just makes  you feel like you are at home. The booths are large and comfy. Of course there are tables as well, but you will always catch me in a booth. I have my eyes on the big round booth next visit!


This restaurant is classified as FAST CASUAL. However, it stands out from their other competitors in a few ways. First, when you order your food, you are given a number to take to any table you wish to sit in. The food is brought directly to you. Not only during their “slow” time, but ALL-the-time. Second, you do not need to go fetch your own silverware & napkins. It is all brought to you when you food arrives. It even comes packed in a little brown bag for that extra “homey” effect I was talking about. Third, when you are finished with your meal, you are not expected to find the trash, wipe your plates clean and place each thing in the appropriate bin.No, they come around sporadically to remove anything you wish. You feel like you are out to eat at a full-service restaurant without having to pay for the full-service price in addition to tips. This place is the real deal!

Let’s get down to the real deal now. The food was Delish! My husband and I created our own combinations. He got the roast beef with goat cheese & New England Clam Chowder. I ordered the Veggie Melt with the Spinach Salad. Needless to say, we both cleaned our plates.

photo-51 photo-50

Of course, I ordered dessert to satisfy my unwavering sweet tooth. I ordered the blueberry handpie. It is like a grownups version of a Poptart. Flat it is not. It is full & fluffy, filled with a delicious blueberry jam like filling. OMG- Want one now! Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Whatever your fancy, the time is perfect to try their amazing meals. To view their menu, click here. They even offer catering for parties, corporate events and large gathering.


I spoke to both Chuck Logue, General Manager and Miguel Serrano, Managing Partner while on my visit. During our talk, Chuck mentioned something that kinda stuck with me. He told me that they have a principal saying that each employee should always be following. “BE NICE, SAY YES”. WOW! You hear the saying, “the customer is always right”, a lot, but the fact that this company chooses Kindness first makes me believe that they really do care. They are not just gong to say YES because that’s whats expected. They want to say YES, BECAUSE they truly want to make your visit enjoyable. Please go visit today, you won’t be disappointed I promise! While you are there say “Hi” for me and eat a blueberry hand pie while you are at it!

* if you want to win  one of 2- $25 Gift Card to Corner Bakery Cafe– Follow the steps below to Enter & share with your friends. Who knows, maybe if they win, they will invite you to lunch on them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kansas- You SUCK!

Kansas, you know what? You suck ass balls. You suck great balls of fire. You just plainly SUCK at being you.  What is wrong with you? Seriously? What is it? Are you tired of the ever-famous quote, “We’re not in Kansas anymore”, being the only thing people remember you for? It sure is all I care to know about you- especially now. I could and would never live, let alone vote in a state where laws like yours are being passed in the House of Representatives.  Before I move forward Kansas, please take a moment and read my post on “LOVE”here. And while you are there, take the time to watch Ellen Page’s inspirational message about acceptance, or simply watch here if you are too damn lazy to go find it.

 Law 1: Discrimination at its finest

A law was recently passed in the House of Reps in Kansas that allows businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples & individuals if it interferes with their religious beliefs. The supporters of this bill believe it is not discrimination, but instead it is simply protecting religious beliefs. Hogwash. Utter Bleeping Hogwash. Isn’t the foundation of religion about loving & respecting all God’s creatures, whichever God it is? Listen, I was raised Catholic. I refused my confirmation because as a 12 year old, I didn’t believe what they were preaching. I will NOT be apart of any religion that demonizes another human being for whom they love. Just because it was all I knew, didn’t mean it was all I needed to know. I am better for not standing inside the heaping pile of hypocrisy of “love one another”, .  Through my research, I have found that they believe this bill will not hold up in the next phase, but the fact that it even made it this far, is upsetting & disgusting. Kansas- you win nothing.

Law 2: Spanking to leave a handprint

Yes, you heard me right. Spanking is allowed in Kansas as of now, as long as no permanent damage is done to the child. However, a new law being proposed allows parents, teachers & caregivers (with parents permission) to administer 10 strikes of the hand, with smacks hard enough to leave redness & bruising.  Are you kidding me? What The Hell is Wrong With Kansas? I will not even get into how many ways spanking is not an effective tool, instead lets focus on LEAVING A MARK ON YOUR CHILD! The thought of leaving a mark on my child on purpose or accidental puts me into a hyperventilation state. Supporters of this bill believe it will restore parental rights & ultimately kids will respect their parents more.  Let me propose something to you Kansas: How about an adult, any adult who fears lack of respect of another individual can smack them without fear of retribution. How does that sound? Because let me tell you, as an adult, if another adult were to put their hands on me I would not respect them, I would loathe them. Fear them. De-friend them (Facebook pun,HAHAHA). It doesn’t gain my respect, and nor would I want my child to respect anyone who demands respect by physical abuse. AGAIN KANSAS- YOU SUCK!

I could write forever on these topics, but they are toxic. Toxic to my brain, toxic to society and toxic for the children of the next generation. I only can say, this toxicity will come nowhere into my household. Side Note:  as a travel major and avid traveler, I will NOT be visiting Kansas.

*****Disclaimer- I will apologize if you are from Kansas. What I said was raw, honest and well, people just needed to know how bad Kansas sucks.  I am not sorry for throwing your state under the bus (and running over it a few hundred times), I am sorry that you are from Kansas.

Namaste~ people~ Namaste



Art Therapy – Wordless Wednesday

Art Therapy: Art is an amazing thing. I could talk all day about the benefits of doodling, painting, crafting, sculpting and all facets of art. But- I will just show you how art transcends age limits, disabilities, handicaps: for it is a universal language. One you can interpret how you see fit. Landon had his Intro to Watercolor class today at the Warwick Museum of Art. He went this summer as well- the only 5-year-old in the program designed for 6+ and up. His artwork caught the attention of the instructor and she knew he would excel and take it seriously. He was back for more during February vacation! Here are his pieces that he named himself:

Dragonfly- Elanna's memory

Dragonfly- Elanna’s memory

Flower Brought to Life

Flower Brought to Life

Sunset over Waves & Rock

Sunset over Waves & Rock

I love Colors

I love Colors




Love is a human right not just an emotion

This past weekend, Love was in the air. It was everywhere. First dates, new engagements, flowers, candy and other objects of affection were thrust upon us. For some, Valentine’s Day may have brought up memories of heartbreak or loneliness. For some, Valentine’s Day might have been a big reminder that they are not being true to themselves.

Valentines for his buddies

Valentines for his buddies

What do you think “True Love” is? Do you believe it is the soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another? Do you believe it is the willingness to give your life for someone? Do you believe it is the purest form of unconditional love? Do you even believe in True Love? I do. But maybe it’s not in the way you think.

After this weekend, and Ellen Page’s vulnerable & honest speech, I realized what I view as True Love. True Love is the ability to love yourself for who you are. That is how I see it. Without fear of judgement, fear of ridicule, fear of the unknown. True Love allows your mind, heart and spirit to be one with each other. Having no inner conflicts allows you to experience life & love in a way you never imagined. Once you love yourself, you are capable of love and to love fully & wholeheartedly. Everyone deserves to love who they wish. Everyone deserves to be loved in return. Love is a human right not just an emotion. 

Of course, there are the moments in your life that you are not all pleased with yourself. Whether it is a weight gain, medical issue, a bad decision, these are all non-factors of loving yourself. I am talking about the fundamentals of your inner core. Who are you? Do you accept people for who they are? Do you wish for peace & happiness? Do you try your best with your loved ones? Are you an active member of a community? These are the factors that I am talking about. If you can gather these together and truly be happy with the person you are, then I my friends believe you are a prime example of True Love. It must start from within and go onward and upward.

Let your heart speak. What do you hear?


True Love is rocking no makeup & jammies because your son was a photo op!

True Love is rocking no makeup & jammies because your son was a photo op!