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.

we share hope

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~

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

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!


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!


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!


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!


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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Operation Gratitude & The Halloween Candy Buyback: A Sweet Way To Say You Care!

Halloween is over! Our houses are filled with mounds of sugary treats and kids are starting the trades with their friends. Chances are, your kids gathered enough candy to feed a small army. That’s perfect. That is where Operation Gratitude- Halloween Candy Buy-Back comes to play. I participate in this every year. It’s not because I am a “mean mom” and don’t let my kid have candy. It’s FIRST and foremost because it’s a great cause and SECOND I am a “mean mom” who doesn’t allow her kid to have 20 pounds of candy!


In all seriousness, this program works for us. With Landon’s allergies on top of his food sensitivities (food dye makes my kid nothing short of BONKERS), we are not left with much for him to enjoy. He enjoys the experience of Halloween and sure, getting a few special pieces of “SAFE” candy are always a bonus. He also knows that the more candy he collects, the more candy will be sent overseas to the troops. The candy doesn’t just represent a sugary delicious treat, it represents a good deed and that we appreciate what the soldiers are doing for our country.  It reinforces the motto “sharing is caring”, something we say on a daily basis.

You can search on their website for drop-off locations for this program or can send it yourself. All shipping information is located on their website. Chances are there are many in your area! But, if you are local to me in Little Rhody, consider dropping if off at Pezza Orthodontics in Cranston, RI. The office is having their 4th Annual Halloween Candy Buy-Back Party TOMORROW Thursday, Nov 3 from 2-5pm. Bring your leftover and unwanted candy and they will be having prizes for gift cards!  There will be food, drinks and more! They are sending everything in care packages to our troops via Operation Gratitude! No donation is too small or large. If you can not make that time, feel free to drop it off at the location earlier as well! Or drop it off to me and I will make sure they get the donation!


Pedal For A Purpose

Want to pedal for a purpose? Well, then join me at the 2nd annual Body Armour Spin-a-thon Fundraiser this Sunday October 30th! For those who might not know, my niece was tragically killed in as car accident as a passenger one night 5 years ago. It is something that we as a family will never forget. Each year, the Elanna Zuller Memorial Sports Fund hosts fundraisers and events to raise money for local kids, sports organizations, scholarships and more. Body Armour is graciously hosting their spin-a-thon again this year in honor of Elanna Zuller!


There’s no better way to show you care than donating to a good cause and burning some calories while you’re at it!  A Spin-a-Thon is just like a walk-a-thon, except that participants cycle on stationary bikes rather than walking.  Cyclists gather and members trade off cycling time to raise money through sponsors and donations. One hour is all it takes to help make a significant positive impact in the life of a local family. Your participation in this event will help support those in need in our community; all proceeds raised will benefit the Elanna Zuller Memorial Sports Fund, and your $10 registration gets you a Tshirt and a bike.  Bikes are still available for timeslots! $10 holds you a bike and you raise whatever denomination you wish!

Some Fundraiser Day Activities: 

8am Spin (instructor Rosemary)
8:15-8:45am The Art of Yoga with Joy (kids yoga and art project)
8:30 Pumpkin decorating goes all day long!
9 am Spin ( Instructors Amal & Jenna)
9:30-Noon Face Painting begins with Hazey Daze Creations 
10 am Spin (Instructors Jess & Tara)
10:30-11am The Art of Yoga with Joy (kids yoga and art project)
10:30-noon Complimentary lunch provided by Jersey Mikes
11 am Spin (Instructor Pete)

There will be snacks and drinks served all day. Raffles to win. Items to purchase. Boot camp demos. Fun to be had! The event itself is FREE. However, $10 registers you for a bike to take a spin class! Don’t want to spin? No worries. Come join in on the fun and support by trying to win some of the great raffles we had donated graciously by local companies and friends! Perhaps purchase some merchandise or just donate directly to the Elanna Zuller Memorial Fund.

I would love to have you pedal for a purpose with me!


Simple DIY Fall Pallet Decoration


I love fall. It truly is my favorite season. It is the gateway to cooler weather, leggings & tunics, football, pumpkin spice everything and so much more. My fall decorations from previous years were starting to look a little drab, so I had to toss them last year. I was sad to see them go. However, without doing so I might not have had the great idea to make my own decoration this year. This  DIY Fall Pallet Decoration is so simple and you can reuse it for years to come. You only need about $30, 2 hours (total time including drying time) and a little creativity!

What you need:
Outdoor Spray Paint/Paint
Paint Brush
Ribbon *optional
Stencils *optional

I found my pallet on the side of the road for FREE! But, you can find them at your local hardware store for under $20 or ask local garden shops if they can spare one! You’d be surprised how many extras they have to give! I already scored another one for my DIY Winter Pallet! I bought outdoor spray paint, paint brushes and a sample of outdoor paint at my local hardware store. That’s all you need!


I had letter stencils and ribbon already in my craft stash. I freehanded the pumpkin from an image online. My pallet cost me about $15, but shouldn’t cost more than $30 if you have to buy everything. What a great deal! If I didn’t have to spray paint my pallet, it would have been even cheaper. I needed to spray paint my pallet because it was written on already. I find the natural color and texture of the aged pallet would make for a fine background for your creation!

I found that keeping the theme to just “Fall” versus anything else will allow me to keep it up through the Thanksgiving holiday. I saw a ton of these floating around Pinterest, saying “Grateful” or “Give Thanks” and “Trick or Treat”, but I find those limit the time that they can be left up. I put mine up half way through September and will take it down December 1st. I like a long shelf live with my projects! My winter one will go up on December 1st and hope to keep that one up through February! You’ll have to come back and see what I have in store for that one as well!

Until then, get crafting! I would love to see your projects!


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!


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!


Photo By Rhode Island Health & Fitness magazine