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Friday, October 31, 2014

Glow From The Inside Out

Often our lives get filled with toxins, from the polluted air we breathe, the chemicals we use to clean with and the food we eat.  Here are 5 simple detox methods to incorporate into your life to help keep your body clean and healthy from the inside out.

 1. Lemon Water
Wake up and drink!  Mix water with the juice of half a lemon and drink the entire glass before having anything else in the morning.  Lemon water helps to purify and stimulate the liver.  Lemon water and detoxification go hand and hand.
2. Keep Hydrated
It's extremely important to be conscious of the amount of water you drink.  Water flushes out toxins and waste from the body and transports nutrients to where they need to go.  Try to keep water by your side throughout the day, this will remind you to drink more often.
3. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is an amazing ancient practice that has been used for centuries.  

It's a method that involves brushing the skin with a brush made out of natural fibers to remove the outer layer of skin that is regenerated every 24 hours.
4. Deep Breathing
Something as simple as breathing could be one of the best ways to detox your body.  Oxygen helps your body absorb vitamins and nutrients more efficiently.  Exhale completely through your mouth.  Close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose for a count 4, hold your breath for 7 counts, then exhale through your mouth for a count of 8.
Repeat three times.
5. Take A Detox Bath
Not only is this a great way to relax at the end of a long week and a great excuse for some “you time,” but taking a bath can also be a great way to detox.   Add about 1 cup of Epsom salts, ½ cup of baking soda and some lavender essential oil to draw out toxins, lower stress hormones and leave you feeling completely relaxed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Easy Halloween Cookies

I love the Pillsbury Ready To Bake sugar cookies.  Even when I don’t have time to bake from scratch I can still bake something cute and tasty for my kids.  We made these little ghosts yesterday afternoon and my family devoured them after dinner.  So easy, cute and delicious!  Thanks little white doughboy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Great Read!

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This is a great book about the mind.  It's an interesting look at what really goes on inside our heads when we're thinking and making decisions.  Daniel Kahneman looks at the rationale behind our choices, judgments, reactions and recognitions and the psychology behind things like intuition.  It's fascinating and sometimes a little bit frightening, but if you're interested in knowing a little bit more about what you think you know, then read this book.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Heart My Bike


Dear Diary,
I woke up early Sunday morning and had my coffee and computer first thing.  I love peaceful dark mornings when the house is still and quiet.  It's my time alone to catch up and get organized for my day.   Gigi was the next to arise so we decided to sneak out while the others slept and went for a little bike ride to the market to pick up our breakfast ingredients.   We rode side by side chatting away, just the two of us.   I relish the special one on one time I have with my kids.  I also know how great it makes them feel to have our undivided attention.  That's sometimes hard to come by in a family of 6.  Gigi and I both love to bike and we love just being together.
Today I vow to ride my bike more often, enjoy natures beauty and exercise my body all while having these special moments with my children.  There are so many benefits to biking.  It's good for your heart, your muscles, your waistline, your mind and your lifespan.  It's also great fun and easy to do.  No matter where you are... there's always a beautiful path to discover.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

5 Tips For Staying Hopeful About Love

If your past relationships have made you pessimistic, there are tips for staying hopeful about love. Don't let a bad experience in the past keep you from finding love in the future.  Here are some simple tips for staying hopeful about love and relationships.

1. Every Guy Is Different
You may have been cheated on by your boyfriend or husband. You may have been hurt physically or emotionally.  Remember that not all guys are the same.  Don't let all of the mean things your ex did negatively impact your relationship with a new boyfriend.  They're not the same person.
2. You're Different
If you think that you're the same as you were ten years ago, you're mistaken. You might be similar to the person you used to be, but we all change by the day.  You've grown, so your current or future relationship is bound to be better than past ones.
3. Excellent Examples
Instead of looking at all the failed couples around you, focus on the healthy ones.  If you don't know any couples that are deeply in love, then look to the media, or even to fictional couples.  Even though the characters are not real, they're based off of real people and can help you remain positive.
4. Enjoy The Moment
You shouldn't dwell on how long your relationship is going to last. You might be with your partner for three years or thirty, but does it really matter?  You should appreciate the present.  Live in the moment, and the future will stop scaring you.
5. It Takes Time
Everything good in life requires a bit of work and a lot of time. In order to stay hopeful about finding love, remember that it can take a while for relationships to form.  You might not meet your future hubby tomorrow, but you will, so be patient.

I found mine and he was worth the wait!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mini Cannoli Cups

I love cannolis!  If you've been looking for an easy way to make bite-sized cannolis, this is it!  My family is crazy for cannolis!

For Cups
Flour for dusting surface
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For Filling
1 (15oz) container of whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting finished cups
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl with an electric mixer combine all ingredients for the filling except the chocolate chips and mix well until creamy. Place the filling in a 1-gallon plastic storage bag and chill while you make the cups. Filling may seem thin but will firm up slightly when it’s refrigerated.
Heat oven to 425°F. Unroll the pie crusts onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle the top of each crust with the sugar and cinnamon.  Lightly roll over it with a rolling pin so that sugar and cinnamon are pressed into the dough. With a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and lightly press them inside an ungreased mini muffin or mini cupcake pan to create a pastry cup.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until cups are golden.   Remove from oven and allow cups to cool.  Once cups are cool, they can be removed from tin and filled.  Remove filling from the refrigerator and fill with a tablespoon of filling into the cooled cannoli cups.   Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, dust with powdered sugar, and serve.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Unstructured Piece

Ponchos are dramatic, forgiving, easy, comfortable and practical.  They cover the body with loose, unstructured layers.  Ponchos are an excellent topper for cooler weather and a throw-on-and-go piece that creates an interesting effect.  Forgo your coat and wear a poncho with skinny jeans and boots.  You’ll probably like the look if you have an arty eclectic or avant-garde streak to your style.  I picked up this one at my BFF's boutique Blush Boutique in Calabasas.  Add one to your wardrobe today!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Embracing Fall

Dear Diary, 
When I think of fun ideas for Fall, I think of the evenings getting darker, dewy mornings, leaves falling from trees and the warmth of fireplaces and hot drinks. It’s sometimes hard to accept the changing seasons, acknowledge the fact that summer’s over and that a new season is beginning, but hopefully these fun ideas for Fall will ease the transition.

1. Change Your Fragrance
As the heat fades and the nights draw in, it’s a good idea to switch up your perfume and invest in spicy, heavy, musky or amber fragrances to correspond with the cooler, crisper air of the season. There’s nothing better than inviting richer, warmer scents into your home too. Maybe a new pumpkin spice candle or clove-scented diffuser will help evoke the feeling of the new season.
2. Bask In Nature
Feeling the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet and being outside in the fresh air always helps me experience the change of season. Spend an afternoon laying in the hammock or lunching outside on your favorite cozy blanket.
3. Read Literature
What’s better than curling up on your couch, getting lost in a good book? It could be a book you purchased over the summer that you never got a chance to read, or go out and buy a book that’s related to the season. There are so many good reads. Consider “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt or “A Night in the Lonesome October” by Roger Zelazny.
4. Shop for New Fashion Pieces
I love the seasonal transition from a fashion perspective, since it allows me to look for new items and layering pieces for my wardrobe. I love scarves, boots, and sweaters! It’s always a nice feeling to pack away summer dresses to prepare for the cooler months. Fall-colored accessories really can make an outfit. Treat yourself to an on-trend piece to get you in the mood.
5. Bring The Outside In
A new season provides a wealth of artistic inspiration. Not everyone’s wired to create arts and crafts, but I like to bring a bit of the outdoors indoors. You can always put some bare tree sticks and colorful maple leaves in Mason jars on table, or place a scented candle in a large hurricane vase on some rocks or acorns you picked up outside! These are both good starting points.
6. Cook with Pumpkins and Squash
I always associate the cooler months with hearty soups and stews. Even baking cookies on cold, rainy days when you don’t feel like venturing outside can lift your spirits. Try slicing up butternut squash, place open-side down on a baking tray, then bake for 40 minutes to an hour at 350˚F until soft. Top the baked squash with butter, red chili flakes and salt and pepper. It makes a great side or main dish.
7. Savor the Hours of Sunlight
If you can catch the final hours of sunlight each day, I say go for it! If you have a place in your home where you can see the sunset or if you have to venture someplace to see the last few minutes of sunlight, go there! Standing outside on your balcony or simply taking a few deep breaths outside works wonders too. Finding that inner calm with the last glimpses of daily sunlight always help lift your spirits.

Some inspiring and fun ideas to help you embrace this new season before winter sets in. Go out and enjoy all that Fall has to offer you!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Be Thankful!

It is not happy people who are thankful,
It is thankful people who are happy!

I am thankful for this little family of mine. They're loving and happy. They're fun and loud. They fulfill me with love and joy and I am thankful everyday for each and every one. It's a great feeling to know through ups and downs we're in this together and forever have each others backs.

Life throws out challenges and disappointments that we must deal with... and learn to move on. It's a personal choice to stay in that zone and dwell or reflect on the simple pleasures in life. My simple pleasures include a smile, a hug, a cool breeze, a beautiful sunset, coffee first thing in the morning, my cozy bed and so much more!

This will be one of many THANKFUL posts in The Joyce Diaries. It is so important to stop and smell the roses, be thankful, say a prayer and dwell, if only for a moment, on life's simple pleasure's. Look around, they're everywhere!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crème De La Crème Of Hair Masks

If you’re anything like me, your hair might not always be the best of buds. I can see and feel when my mane is crying out for a bit of TLC. I've tried and tested many conditioners and masks on the market and nothing gives me that soft and shiny glow like Kerastase Masquintense.
This mask is like a drink of water for my dehydrated locks. Designed for either ‘cheveux epais’ (thick hair) or ‘cheveux fins’ (fine hair), this wonder-product from L’Oreal should be kept on for about 10-15 minutes. The effects are apparent from the very first use, with hair feeling silkier and softer, and definitely more manageable. My usually frizzy and tangled hair is now totally nourished from root to tip and feels as though I've just treated myself to a very expensive blow-dry.
Even if like me you have been blessed/cursed with thick hair, then a hazelnut-sized blob of ‘Masquintense’ will be just the right amount. Less is definitely more with hair products as there’s a fine line between silky, shiny hair and greasy, oily hair. So if you treat your hair to this mask even once a week, the tub should last you quite a while. I’ve been an avid user of Kerastase now for over 5 years and my products are still going strong. If your hair is your crowning glory then it’s definitely worth investing ($40 for 6.8oz jar) in a good hair mask to keep it in tip-top condition. This splurge is a must!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Floral

Dear Diary,
Today I threw on my favorite Band of Gypsies button up swing dress. I'm loving the soft and flowy feel while soaking up the warm October weather. I'm barefoot and fancy free but this dress would be perfect paired with a peep toe bootie.

Good Morning Breakfast Burrito!

Looking for a hearty, but healthy breakfast for your family? In 15 minutes, you can have a meal that will fill you up with healthy protein to power you on your day.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After 10-12 hours of fasting, you are literally "breaking the fast," with your first bite in the morning.
This breakfast burrito recipe contains all four of the main food groups: dairy, lean protein, grains and vegetables. The beauty of it, however, is that you can tweak your meal preparation to fit your unique tastes and dietary requirements.

Ham and cheese breakfast burrito
This recipe makes 4 breakfast burritos - perfect for a busy family! In less than 1/2 hour, you can go from start to finish and out the door. My kids love this recipe and ask for it often!
8 eggs
1/4 c. milk
4 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 c. shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
4 oz. lean ham or turkey, chopped
1 chopped tomato
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl, stir eggs, milk and ham or turkey together with a fork. Spray a fry pan with non-stick coating and add eggs mixture. Cook eggs over medium-low heat, stirring continuously until eggs are done and ham or turkey cooked through. Stir in grated cheese. Place equal amounts of the egg mixture in the center of each tortilla and sprinkle chopped tomatoes. Add salt and pepper if you wish. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up about 1/4, then fold in the sides and roll. Serve with fresh tomato salsa, sour cream, or hot sauce, if desired.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scrumptious Sugar Scrub

One of the best ways to prep your skin for the change in seasons is a DIY scrub. They’re inexpensive, easy to make and fun to use for soft, smooth skin. Treat your skin to a good exfoliating treatment with this simple DIY scrub!

This sugar scrub has three ingredients and you’ve got a natural yet effective scrub that you can use on your body or face to reveal fresh, smooth skin you’ll love to show off in the cooler weather.
2 parts white or brown sugar
1 part coconut or olive oil
½ teaspoon of Vitamin E oil or gel from a Vitamin E capsule (optional)
Mix well, apply to face and body, scrub gently, rinse and enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Hi, my name is Joyce and I'm a 40 something year old woman, wife, and mom of 4. I enjoy living a good life! A good life is many things... feeling fulfilled in mind, spirit and body, knowing my family is happy, striving to be a better person while learning from my mistakes and taking in all the useful knowledge I can get. A good life is a journey. I'm about half way into my journey of life and now's the time to start sharing with you. I'll be sharing family stories, wonderful recipes, fun fashion tips and anything else that sparks my interest along the way. Thank you for taking an interest in me and may my experience through The Joyce Diaries inspire you to live a good life!