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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The Great Escape Room: A Brain Busting Experience

A few weeks ago, a small group of us Rhody Bloggers got to try out The Great Escape Room in Providence and boy was it AH-MAY-ZING! However, it does do a little something to your ego if you do NOT escape! Kidding, but we were shy of escaping by about 5 minutes!  I thought I was pretty clever, but boy were the clues wicked tricky! I think that’s what made it so enjoyable. It wasn’t your average clue. You had to think and really use your mind! They were out-of-the-box clever and challenging! I think I can safely speak for the bloggers in attendance and say it was a great experience, one we will surely take part in again.IMG_3473

Picture this,  you are locked in a room. You have 1 hour to solve a bunch of clues in order to solve a bigger puzzle that unlocks the doors to said room. Problem is, you don’t know what you are solving or looking for. It is a riddle? Is it a numeric code? Are you looking for words? Are you looking for numbers? At the beginning, it was quite confusing. You just start tearing the room apart piece by piece. Literally. Our in room guide Andy (who was so great),  kept telling us to just make a mess and search anything and everything.  So we did! We started finding clues (can’t tell you what) and started to put them in the right order (or so we thought). Nothing is as it seems and yet everything was. Don’t over-think. That’s a hint I can give you!

Great Escape room

This is great activity for the whole family, a bunch of friends, team building and even private parties! The location is perfect for anyone looking for some fun in Providence. After you ESCAPE, you are surrounded by tons or yummy restaurants and cool shops. Perfect summer afternoon in the city.  This could be a great rainy day activity this summer as well!  Tickets are $28 with a $1.80 processing fee. They also offer Student and Military discounts and 10% off a group of 10 or more.

The Great Escape Room Providence is a real-life room escape game based on the popular computer and mobile phone escape games. Escape the room games are the newest craze sweeping the nation! After entering a room with your team, the door is locked behind you. 60 minutes are on the clock! You must work together in order to find clues and solve puzzles that will lead you to your escape. It is part scavenger hunt and part puzzle game. 

Are you ready to become a Master Sleuth?  Get ready to Escape The Room!


Moisturize naturally with Block Island Organics

I was so excited to be given another opportunity to test and review a product from Block Island Organics. They are a local company whose goal is to provide affordable and safe skin care to everyone. Last summer I rreviewed their sunblock, which was AH-MAY-ZING!  It came in handy on our trip to Disney a few weeks ago! So needless to say when they contacted me about reviewing their new Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30, I didn’t hesitate. If you are conscientious  about what you put on your face like I am, then look no further! It is a great 2-in-1 antioxidant rich product that offers both daily skin hydration and transparent broad spectrum SPF 30 sun protection. Perfect for the fair maidens like myself!

Block Island Organics

Our moisturizer features organic and natural ingredients like aloe, shea butter, green tea, sunflower seed and pomegranate.  As with all of our products, it’s free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes and artificial fragrances.  We also don’t do animal testing and use vegan-based formulas.

I thought what a better way to test out this product was to go out for a run along the beach. It’s sunny and super windy and I always come back red-faced from windburn and the sun’s rays. I even have the pictures to prove it. I no longer leave the house for a run without this product on my face. The colder temps are coming and with that brings outdoor sports enthusiasts! This would be perfect for a day on the slopes or those outdoor hikes. But of course, it is positively perfect for everyday use; Naturally!


No moisturizer: Red-faced from the sun and wind


Moisturizer: Who is the fairest one of all? ME!

Block Island Organics can be found online at both their online store and Amazon. They are offering my readers a 25% coupon when you purchase from their website and use code joymarie. The coupon code is good from December 15th-December 23rd 2015. What a great stocking stuffer for a friend or perhaps yourself!

Namaste~ Joy


Jamberry Nail Wrap Review

Manicures are not my thing, nor is painting my own nails. However, they are a bi-weekly occurrence for many women.
Here are the Top 4 reasons why I am not a painted nail lady:
#1: I don’t have the time to go and sit for 1 hour.
#2: I don’t want to spend the money (some places are insanely overpriced)
#3: I don’t like the smell
#4 They never last

My perspective changed  when Kim Frazier, a independent Jamberry consultant asked me if I would like to try the product. Here is an excerpt from their webpage that describes a bit of what they are.

“Gone are the days of nails that chip and flake after only a few days! Gone are the days of the single colored manicure. Gone are the mani/pedis that take all afternoon and most of your cash too! Jamberry nail wraps arm you with style and confidence while demanding very little of your time or money”.

Of course I jumped on the chance for two reasons. #1- I love getting free stuff for my opinion and #2 my husband loves ladies with painted nails! He really does….I think I’ve painted my nails about 10 times in the 14 years we have been together. Whether it was a professional mani or just myself doing it, he was always happy to see them painted! So in actuality, I did for him (bonus wife points)!

My sheet of nail wraps came in. Which Kim let me pick myself. I chose Turkish Delight. I love patterns and color. This design was so boho and right up my alley! I read the directions, which were quite easy to follow. It is actually a simple process. Clean the nail, match the wrap size you want to your nail, heat the wrap, apply the wrap and trim! You have a new fun manicure! The first few nails took some time for me to really do right. But after I figured it out, the whole process was done in 30 minutes! And I was catching up on my Days of our Lives at the same time (multitasker)! FullSizeRender (5)

Starting at $15 for a sheet, you can get 3 full manicures or pedicures and some left over for a creative accent nail! Plus they are made in the USA, no dry try, last up to 2 weeks, formaldehyde free, never tested among animals as well as many other attributes. If you like to have pretty nails (toenails included), I urge you to look at the many designs available to you through Jamberry . And follow Kim on Facebook! You can have an online party to earn hostess rewards or just order a few for yourself! She was super helpful and I am so glad I found this alternative to going to the nail salon!



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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. 



Block Island Organics: Block out or Burn

I have fair skin. Very fair skin. No, I am not the fairest of them all, however I would love to be a Disney Princess in my next life! Sun and I are not friends. I get tired, irritable, dehydrated and yes burn in under an hour of sun exposure. I am the girl who wore a one-piece on the Jersey Shore- with SPF 80 along with an umbrella. There I was, sitting next to my gorgeous, bikini-clad friends while they applied their Johnson & Johnson baby oil on. Yup. That was me. That is still me. That brings me to Block Island Organics.

Fair skin for everyone!

Fair skin for everyone!

The Block Island Organics mission

Their mission is to give everyone access to safe, effective, and lovable non-toxic suncare products. They believe in living outside and enjoying the sun and not hiding from it. With a little sun knowledge and the right sunscreen you can live their mantra too: “Play Smart, Play Safe.”  I know how important skin health is. I have had some run-ins with skin cancer scares and I am not taking any chances. However, I refuse to use products filled with chemicals I can’t pronounce or ones that are banned in other countries. I want Non-Toxic and as close to natural as possible. Block Island Organics fills that need.

Winner of a Big Thumbs UP!

Winner of a Big Thumbs UP!

I didn’t just want to post about how much I love this product. I wanted to show you. Really show you. So, I planned a day in my yard gardening. I was out from 10am-8pm, give or take a bit for breaks and lunch. I lathered one side of my body with Block Island Organics SPF 15 and the other side of body with a national brand of the same SPF. Not only did my love for this product grow- I hope it proves to you that sometimes all that money that goes into marketing & fancy containers isn’t the best bet for your health & well-being. Choose Block Island Organics. It is all that I will buy. I even shocked myself with these results.

Can you see the burn?

Can you see the burn?

Nice, tan(ish) skin

Nice, tan(ish) skin

Painful, burnt skin

Painful, burnt skin










Buy local. Buy Non-toxic. Buy Synthetic ingredient free. Buy Made in the U.S.A. Buy Block Island Organics here. For my readers, you are being treated to  20% off any of their amazing products with code joymarie. They have a baby sunscreen as well as sun relief lotion! I will be picking that up for myself! What are you going to get?


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.

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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!

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