Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Into Every Life a Jerk Will Wander

And when that jackhole shows up we must be prepared! I have been pondering lately the best ways to deal with unbearable folks. Here a few ideas:

1. Buy them a trip to Tahiti, a one way ticket of course. Sure this may be pricey, but so are the therapist and antidepressants you will need if you keep dealing with said annoyance. Also I truly believe in karma and treating your enemies with such kindness is a surefire way to have only good things come your way.

2. Pray for their families. If you only have to deal with the offender on a small scale, imagine the poor people who must live with that day in and day out. Bless their hearts, as my southern grandma used to say.

3. When you just have to get the frustration out, but the situation is not such that you can speak your mind come up with code words. Trust me this works! A friend of mine has taken to the use of the word smurf when wanting to use inappropriate language. The smurfing idiots will not get the joke, but you will smile on the inside. Papa Smurf on the other hand...not so proud of your antics.

4. If all else fails just look on the bright side...someone has to fill up the pages of fml. If you can make another person laugh at your misery then perhaps it served a purpose!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

As you reminisce past holiday cheer and create new memories this year...

I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tis the Season...

to adorn everything with glitter, lights and all things shiny! Every year I swear I am going to stop adding to the Christmas ornament collection that already takes over our garage eleven months out of the year. As witnessed below with a few of my latest additions every year I lie to myself.

Barkley enjoys the shade from the tree. I swear he was a cat in a previous life!
How is everyone? Any last minute shoppers stressing out like myself? Or are you all much more organized?

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Here!

One of my favorite holidays has finally arrived! The day that celebrates stimulating the economy and cute shoes...on sale at that! Black Friday! While I am not down in any way for stampeding people, wearing my pajamas shopping or any of the other faux pas that come with the day after Thanksgiving, I do love the excitement! My inner Becky Bloomwood,(the lead character in Confessions of a Shopaholic), comes out to play as I see sales and coupons galore. 40% off my entire purchase...$25 back if I spend a $100..hold on I'm on my way!

Are any of you going out this morning? Will you start at midnight or get some sleep first to build up your energy? Whatever you smart and no one gets hurt! Injuring little old ladies on the quest for a bargain is never cool! ;)

And in the spirit of the day I will close with the trailer from Confessions of a Shopaholic. For those who never seen it when it was originally released it is really a fun movie and Isla Fisher is as always a doll!Align Center

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Signs that Thanksgiving is upon us:

Tonight after I am full of the bird and pecan pie we are going to see one of my all time favorites...Kermit the Frog! :) I can not tell you how excited I am for the nostalgia that is The Muppets! So as I relive my youth I will leave you with a Happy Turkey Day and a frog....

Photos via Pink Sherbet, Cameron Nordholm and Digitized Chaos. All via Flickr Creative Commons.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Louisiana Ghost Hunting

On a crisp fall morning a young, okay middle aged, couple ventured down a foggy drive. Past plantation homes that left secrets to past lives, through weeping willow trees that seemed to cry out for those who are now gone...the couple dared to continue on their journey to one of America's most haunted destinations...

Built in 1796 the antebellum plantation is just north of Baton Rouge in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Now a bed and breakfast the mysteries of the property are things that Hollywood writers can only dream of. Our tour guide told us that guests regularly get spooked by ghostly figures, sounds of children laughing and footsteps. Many of them leave in the middle of the night and return to get their belongings after the sun is up the next day.

Several different stories exist about the Myrtles and like most ghost stories it is hard to differentiate fact from fiction. Tales have been told that the house sits on an Indian burial ground and that past uses of voodoo still come back to haunt guests. The most common tale is one of Chloe, a former slave who accidentally killed several of the family members. In turn she, herself, was killed and some say she still roams the property.

While there are no records to support the story of Chloe ever living at the plantation, one death there is certain...that of William Winter. Hired to help manage the plantation, Mr. Winter was shot in 1871 on the porch upon answering the door. After trying to climb up the stairs he died on the 17Th step.

This mirror in the foyer is said to have Chloe's spirit trapped and that her face shows in the right hand side as a shadow.

While I don't necessarily believe all of the scenarios told about the home, it does definitely feel like there is something surrounding the property. It is quite spooky! The black cats roaming about were a nice addition I thought!
Giant Weeping Willows coupled with a maze of manicured shrubs gave the front yard an Alice in Wonderland feel.

After exploring the Myrtles we headed back to I-10 on our trek to New Orleans. Our first stop after arriving in the French Quarter was Jackson Square.
St.Louis Cathedral stands at the foreground of Jackson Square. The structure as it now stands was built in 1850, though some form of the church has been there since 1789. Staying true to my haunted Halloween weekend theme , even the cathedral is said to have paranormal activity. From a haunted bell tower, monks that still watch over long after their deaths and ghosts of those who made their final resting place in the church, the stories seem to go on endlessly. One of the most famous former New Orleans residents is also said to make random treks to St. Louis Cathedral...Marie Laveau. The former voodoo priestess began as a devout Catholic and wed Jacques Paris at the cathedral in 1819. Paris later came up missing and left Marie Laveau a widow. Perhaps she is coming back to mourn her lost love as reports have said she is seen praying.

We took a ghost tour of the French Quarter, via Gray Line Tours, (side note: if you plan on taking a tour and have AAA log onto their site for a discount on all of the tours offered). The tour was interesting, but the most eerie place was the LaLaurie Mansion. Built in 1832 by Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie and his wife Delphine the three story mansion sits on a corner lot at 1140 Royal Street.

This spot has tales of unspeakable torture placed upon servants of the LaLaurie's by the home owners themselves. Practicing illegal medical acts, brutal beatings and even chasing a young girl off of the rooftop, causing her to meet her demise on the street below are but a few of the horrific stories to be spawned at this address. As in the other tales time has likely added a myriad of details that may not be grounded in truth, but most believe that the LaLaurie's cook purposely set fire to the house in 1834 to draw attention to the cruel acts and poor condition of the servants. From that point the events get sketchy, but the LaLaurie's fled the scene and are widely believed to have turned up in Paris. Since then the home has served many purposes such as an apartment building, furniture store and until recently was owned by actor Nicolas Cage.

So we didn't see Chloe at the Myrtles, Marie Laveau at St. Louis Cathedral and, you guessed it, there was no sighting of Mrs. LaLaurie chasing her victims, but we did spot this ghost waving to us from a balcony. At least he is friendly...quite like Casper! ;) All of that ghost hunting was tiring and there is no better way for a tired tourist to relax than sitting front of a slot machine! Donning our Halloween costumes, (Gabe as one of the fools from Jersey Shore, myself a French maid), we hit up Harrah's for our last bit of entertainment in the Big Easy.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Today is a double whammy! Not only is it Happy Monday, but it is Happy Halloween as well!

I hope you all are having a great pumpkin day!
I celebrated by going ghost hunting this past weekend! I can't wait to share my stories with you all!

Now I am off to hand out candy to all the kiddos is the neighborhood!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Straight Off the Runway...

And just in time to be a perfect gift idea for your holiday stockings!
Recently Glamour sent their Glambassadors, such as yours truly, this chic cocktail ring. First seen on the runway during Oscar de la Renta's spring show at New York Fashion week, this accessory has more to it than meets the eye.
By sliding open the top of the ring the lovely smell of Esprit d'Oscar solid Eau de Parfum is revealed.
Beginning in early November the solid perfume ring will be available exclusively on Facebook at:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Please Help

Nothing makes me more upset than innocent creatures being injured due to the irresponsibility of others. So as you can imagine I, like most others viewing the events in Zanesville, Ohio on Tuesday, was devastated. Unfortunately I do not believe that the law enforcement who responded had any choice but to tragically end the lives of the animals that were roaming the area. What this event did do was show the lax laws that are enforced on people who purchase exotic animals...and as we all see the results can be tragic!

The average person can not financially support the needs of an exotic animal such as a tiger. Eating up to 20 pounds of food a day and having an average lifespan of 25 years can quickly make the large cat a costly pet. That added to the fact that the cuddly cub quickly turns into a roaring creature that can take down a buffalo would make most people come to the conclusion to instead get a tabby cat or perhaps a puppy instead.

For those lacking in common sense let's help make their decision for them by showing the government that the laws for exotic animals in captivity need to be better regulated! Please follow the link to the World Wildlife Fund and sign the petition for this much needed cause!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Monday

Happy Monday and this is your friendly reminder that you only have two short weeks to figure out your Halloween costume! And I only have two short weeks to get a Halloween play list together. For five years the hubs and I have had the same set of songs that we play outside while waiting for the next batch of vampires, goblins and fairy princesses to come along. The list as it stands consists of Michael Jackson "Thriller", Marilyn Manson "Sweet Dreams", "The Addams Family Theme" and "Monster Mash". Those same four songs play roughly 1,000 times each during the night...perhaps I am exaggerating a tad, but you get my need to find more songs! Any suggestions?
So who already has their costume? I was actually early for once in picking out mine, which actually was my second choice. Turns out I have too much junk to go into the trunk of the black swan costume I had originally ordered!
Here's a hint as to what I decided on instead:
Hope this week is great for all of you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday and Thank You!

This month marks the fourth birthday of Joy De Vivre!

I can not thank all of you enough for giving me an audience to write for these past few years. I started a blog to advertise for my Etsy shop and then quickly remembered that writing was my favorite creative outlet.

I truly appreciate anyone who takes the time to stop by, read, leave comments and be a part of Joy De Vivre. I have made some really amazing online friends and even some real life ones as well through my blog and I thank you all.

It's Friday!

Am I the only one that immediately thinks of that awful "Its Friday, Friday..." song now when exclaiming joy that the weekend is here at last?

Things have been so hectic lately, but there is nothing like spending time with friends....and being goofy!

Last weekend I spent Saturday at Dave and Buster's celebrating my friend's birthday. AND I won and Angry Yes I spent $25 in tokens when I could have bought it at Target for $5, but I would not have had nearly as much fun!
Here's to enjoying the weekend!

And since this mess is stuck in my head I shall leave you with...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

America the Beautiful

I stole the title of this post from the patriotic song, originally written by Katharine Lee Bates about Pike's Peak. After seeing the majestic beauty it is clear what she was speaking of. Last week I had the opportunity to visit Colorado for the first time and it was amazing to see history first hand.

Since I have never been, nor plan to ever be, a hiker I choose other ways to see Pike's Peak from the top...

Pike's Peak Cog Railway did the trick! Much easier that schlepping a backpack full of equipment up to the top of the mountain!

In Texas there is not much of an opportunity to throw snowballs in September! At the top of Pike's Peak the train stops for everyone to play in the snow..and they have cleverly built a souvineer shop up there as well. Would we expect anything else?!

According to the tour guide the leaves had just began to change a few days earlier and it was a sight to behold.

Another stop was at Garden of the Gods. The sandstone formations make up one of the National Natural Landmarks and make a great location for photographers, hikers and they even offer guided tours by horseback as well.

How amazing would it be to have deer in your back yard? Well something tells me Barkley would not be fond of sharing his habitat. I personally would find joy in having the peaceful creatures right outside my door. This Bambi was in a yard in residential Manitou Springs.

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings give visitors an insight as to how the Anasazi Indians lived 800 to 1000 years ago. The dwellings which now sit in Manitou, Colorado were actually originally built in another area of the state then moved to their current spot in 1904. They are now part of a museum and preserve that also has architecture from the Pueblo Indians.

Gabe didn't capture my death defying climb in the picture above...ok it was only about five feet, but it was still pretty cool! LOL!

Above is an example of the Pueblo Indians architecture. I've always loved the Native American culture. My great grandmother was a Cherokee Indian,(too bad her tan wasn't passed on), so I've always loved learning about the different tribes.

Apparently the Anasazi's were of a smaller variety. Well I guess heels wouldn't have been appropriate for cliff living anyway!

Our last stop was to see the Broadmoor Hotel. We did not stay at this stunning resort, but if I once again find myself in Colorado Springs I would like to.

The property has lush landscaping, great shopping and I'm sure as a guest the ammenities are even better.

I never knew that a Hummingbird Moth existed until we saw one in the gardens at the Broadmoor. Apparently they are pretty rare, but we spotted a few that day.

Well enough boring you all with vacation pics! I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Girl Can Never Have Enough...


Glamour and Simon G have once again teamed up! This time it is to spread the word about Simon G's new free App on iTunes:

Above you will find just a few of my favorites, but check it out and find favorites of your own! There is also a feature which allows for you to share your finds with perhaps a boyfriend who is taking his time to pop the question! Or a husband who needs an early hint for Christmas! The possibilities are endless!