Guided Meditation: November 8th from 10:00-11:15 a.m. CST.
Register by November 1st.
Meditations are one hour long, with fifteen minutes of discussion following the meditation.
Reiki Workshop – The Reiki Bracelet
The Reiki Bracelet – learn a systematic approach to clearing and balancing from specific points in this life, from conception forward. This is one of the techniques in the Advanced Reiki Training (ART) Manual.
Register by November 1st.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Both classes are taught by Gina Briganti, Reiki Master Teacher.
from Gina Briganti, B.S., Certified Nutrition Consultant
After trying every protein powder in the health food store and in my Urthbox delivery for the last three years, I know this is the best. Why? It’s organic. It’s hemp, which is a known superfood for its complete protein profile. It’s 100% hemp protein, no sugars or flavors added. I love the grind they use, which isn’t too fine, the way you often see with rice protein powder, which means that it blends well and has a nice texture. More bonuses – widely available, gluten-free, dairy-free, and there’s no bitter taste like you see with rice protein powder or pea protein powder.
Here’s an easy recipe to try out. Once you know the basics, you can take your smoothies as far as your imagination will go.
Freeze the strawberries if you want a chilled smoothie and freeze the banana, too, if…
I am always impressed by a convenience product that doesn’t contain anything except the fruits and vegetables I’m looking for, which Ruvi does.
Ruvi comes in four flavors. I’ll review each one separately.
Tangy! I made mine into a smoothie with blueberries, protein powder, and unsweetened almond milk. If I wanted it sweeter, I would have started with a banana instead of blueberries. It may not really need the extra fruit, so when I try my next flavor, I will use just the plant milk, protein powder, and Ruvi packet.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Tasty. I’m starting to think of these as chakra food because the packets are colored red, orange, green, and purple. This powder didn’t blend as well as Active; I had to work it loose from the sides of the blender cup. I love getting these ingredients in one place, which is what I think the value of Ruvi is. I mixed it with protein powder and flax milk and the result is tasty. It’s sweet and good enough on its own to eat the powdery clumps off of the spoon.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Focus has a great ingredient list and tastes better mixed with water, using the blender ball and Ruvi bottle that came with the sample pack. When I tried to mix Focus with flax milk and hemp protein powder, I had to put muscle into it to get it to mix. I can deal with that, but in the end the smoothie didn’t have any flavor or scent at all. If I’m travelling with the sample pack, I would drink this flavor again.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Clean tastes green, which I like. The blend carefully uses the strongest tasting greens, spinach and kale, last, making the mix sweet and enjoyable. I liked it as a smoothie, blended with Good Karma flax milk and Nutiva Hemp Protein.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The reason these powders aren’t going all the way to four or five stars is based completely on flavor. All of the blends taste good, which is what my 3- star rating means. I like them. The extra half star means I liked them more, but didn’t move into the 4-star rating of I really like it.
In conclusion, I plan to keep a couple of boxes of the Ruvi sample pack on hand for days when I:
Want an extra juice boost
Am out of breakfast smoothie ingredients
Emergencies when fresh vegetables and fruits are harder to find
Is the cost worth it? For me, yes. I’ve been moving away from supplements and more into whole food nutrition (again) now that my allergies have recovered from moving to Dallas. Living in the southern California desert for ten years didn’t prepare me for everything that blooms here. Now that my body is catching up, I’m taking fewer supplements.
Ruvi is a convenience. I won’t need to purchase 8 different fruits and vegetables, bring them home, clean them, use them, or preserve them. I already trust the quality behind Thrive Life products because I was one of their independent consultants and have been to the production plant. They care about what’s in these pouches.
If you’d like to try Ruvi, you can order directly from my consultant, Diane Novack.
One of our favorite and fun ways to take care of our lips. A Joy Forever has a tempting selection to play with. We’re sharing our thoughts on our favorites.
Bailey’s Irish Creme – Cocktail Collection
The scent reminds Gina of what she remembers Bailey’s Irish Cream smelling like. It’s been years since she smelled or tasted the real thing. This balm goes on creamy, tastes great, and gets reapplied a touch faster than needed because it’s so much fun to smell and use. One of her favorites.
Apple Martini – Cocktail Collection
Apple isn’t a flavor we see often in lip balm, which made it interesting from the time we saw the pretty green label. The balm goes on very smooth, is moisturizing, and smells just like a green apple.
Pina Colada – Cocktail Collection
A pleasant nod to the coconut and pineapple drink. This balm goes on smooth, tastes fruity and sweet on the lips, and has a good aftertaste.
Sex On The Beach – Cocktail Collection
Gina’s thoughts: This balm offers subtle fruity flavor and scent. I noticed the orange, and also a blend of cranberry and peach. Nice flavors on the lips and a good aftertaste.
Nina’s thoughts: I have had AJF’S “Sex on The Beach” room spray and LOVED it. I looove the lip balm too. Fruity and delicious. Refreshing for the senses.
Strawberry Dacquiri – Cocktail Collection
Gina’s thoughts: I have so many excellent lip balms in my collection that adding another one to it means it is the top of the line. That’s how I feel about strawberry dacquiri. It smells amazing. I love the slight pink tint it leaves on my lips, the texture, and the aftertaste. I will definitely purchase again.
Nina’s thoughts: I almost pocketed this one into my purse after sampling it from our haul, but that wouldn’t have been fair. I really am digging the strawberry scent/flavor for summer this year.
We haven’t tried Mojito, Prosecco (sparkling white wine -infused), and Raspberry ‘Bernet (red wine – infused).
Gina’s thoughts: Smells like chocolate. Goes on smooth. Very hydrating. Clear balm. No distinctive taste once it’s on the lips, just a touch of sweetness. This is one of my favorites and I will definitely repurchase.
Nina’s thoughts: The packaging on A Joy Forever’s products is always ADORABLE to me IMHO. This one has little cookies on it that resemble Oreos (a guilty pleasure of mine). I can confirm that this lip balm smells like chocolate and is hydrating when applied to your lips. The waxes and butters Diane uses are reminiscent of the creme filling in a sandwich cookie.
Gina’s thoughts: Smells delicious with strong vanilla notes. Very hydrating. Clear balm. No distinctive taste once it’s on the lips.
Nina’s thoughts: I do not dig the smell on this one once I removed the cap, but I do like the smell when applied. It reminds me of a sweet, rich, and creamy vanilla custard with the rich taste of vanilla. YES, I have been applying lip balm and casually tasting it.
Pancakes + Syrup
Gina’s thoughts: Smells like syrup, tastes like pancakes. Very hydrating. Clear balm. Nice flavor on the lips. This one is pretty brilliant.
Nina’s thoughts: This is one of the most recent lip balms I purchased off of A Joy Forever’s website. I buy about twice a year from her because her products last such a long time. I wanted to try something new this time around. This balm smells like one of my favorite fluffy, buttery breakfast foods. Not too big on the taste of it. My five-year-old daughter said “You cannot make a lip balm like that.” She was truly amazed that there is lip balm this unique.
Gina’s thoughts: Smells like a fruity sorbet. Goes on smooth and has a slightly pink color. Tastes sweet on the lips. Very moisturizing.
Nina’s thoughts: When I first starting shopping at A Joy Forever, Pinkadelic is one of the first lip balms I tried. She has changed some product features since then. The color of the balm is a deep watermelon pink now versus the rosewater tint it used to be. I tasted more of the berry blend in the last tube I had. Pinkadelic grew on me. I received another tube with my recent order because if you buy 3 you get one free (usually) with the lip balms. The new flavor/scent profile of Pinkadelic is more almond-like to me nowadays. Not a bad thing, but also not my favorite.
Gina’s thoughts: It looks like a chocolate mint cookie, smells like one, and tastes like one when the balm is on the lips.
Nina’s thoughts: The balm has pictures of a chocolate cake with green frosting in the middle of it. I totally thought they were the Andes mints at first (oops). One of my favorite hacks for birthdays is spreading mint chocolate chip ice cream across a piece of chocolate cake…..anyway…..back to the balm! The balm smells like chocolate w/ mint once removing the cap. Personally, I could do with more peppermint in the balm because I believe it is lost somewhere in the balm upon application.
Gina’s thoughts: I enjoyed the first Chapped Smackers Lip Scrub with coffee grounds as well, and overall find A Joy Forever’s Bath + Body to make the best lip scrubs from the brands I’ve tried. At most I have to use this for two days to clear up any chapping.
Nina’s Thoughts: When I first tried chapped smackers, it was when Diane (owner of A Joy Forever Bath + Body) made them for the Dallas Donut Fest. These lip scrubs had coffee grounds, sugar, and shea butter in them. I can’t remember if they were exactly mocha but they were PHENOMENAL. The ones she has listed on the website advertise gentle exfoliation and an intense amount of moisture. Lip butter anyone?
As for the new blend pictured here, with raw sugar as the scrub, it works well, tastes good on the lips, and if some makes it into your mouth, that’s okay, too. It’s a delicate, sweet lemon flavor. Given the choice between the two, I’d still buy the original coffee option.
Gina’s Thoughts: I love the whipped texture of the soap. It smells and feels amazing on my skin. An unexpected bonus is that the whole bathroom smells terrific after using it.
Nina’s Thoughts: A whipped shower treat for anybody wanting to smell and feel like the fruity delight. I purchased this to compliment Pacifica’s Strawberry and Peach Pillow Mist & Body Spray. Smells reminiscent of a Bath and Body Works product without all the chemicals. Sugar gently exfoliates skin to leave it soft and radiant. A must have! Great to shave with in the shower. Reminds me of the shaving soap from Lush Cosmetics.
Gina’s Thoughts: Smells divinely like the name describes it. The scent is the perfect blend of noticeable on your skin without being overwhelming. The shower and the bathroom smell terrific after your shower. Highly moisturizing. Very gentle when it comes to the scrub action. We love the soft pink color and the soft feel of the soap.
Nina’s thoughts: Is this a pint of raspberry sorbet or shower soap? Moisturizing, fragrant, and pretty close to taking a bite.
Gina’s thoughts: I tried Love Potion, which was delicately scented, and definitely relaxing. I love how clean the tub is after and how there isn’t a pile of debris that goes down the drain. The bathroom and my skin smell lovely. It’s hard for me to identify exactly what the scent is to describe it, but I can say it’s mildly spicy, like chai. An added bonus: the tin smells great and I’m thinking of ways to reuse it. For now the tin is open, next to me, and I get a waft of the subtle spicy scent as I’m writing.
Nina’s Thoughts: I have steeped myself in tea for the first time in my life. I heard reusing tea bags as a bath hack is beneficial for the mind, body, and soul. A Joy Forever blends her own tub tea and offers a few unique fragrances for our us to enjoy. I have tried the Maui – Tropical Getaway tub tea because I thought $7.50 is an affordable price for a trip HAHA. You get up to 6 uses in a container that size.
Gina’s thoughts: Fruity, but not too sweet. Great lather like the majority of the soap AJF handcrafts. Smells like fresh, crisp apples.
Nina’s thoughts: This soap is easy on the eyes. The smell brings me back to a time I can’t quite remember. Great lather, a little goes a long way. Floral smells are really big for me right now and this scent compliments my natural scent.
Photo courtesy of A Joy Forever
Gina’s thoughts: I used my Thai Ginger sample up before the other two in the summer collection. It’s pretty, moisturizing, and I love the subtle scent it leaves on my hands.
Nina’s thoughts: Fresh, energizing scent left on my skin after washing my hands with this soap. I have yet to take a shower with it. I do like to begin the day with a shower lately.
Not pictured. Gina’s thoughts: I like the clean scent of the berry blossom soap, but didn’t get the berry notes until I used it. It’s very moisturizing and I love the pink marble look.
Botanical Body Mist
Bliss – sprays on and has a warm, non-floral scent. Reminiscent of perfume. Moisturizing. Absorbs quickly into the skin. It smells vastly different on Gina’s skin compared to when Nina wears it. Both outcomes were pleasant.
This one is not currently on the website, but make a request and/or keep an eye out for it.
Sweet Citrus – the custard has a delightfully light, whipped texture and appearance. The custard is concentrated and you don’t need much. It goes on a tad sticky, but absorbs quickly and leaves the skin very soft. Gina chose this scent specifically to keep Texas bugs from making her into a snack and it’s working.
Lavender Fields – 100% Soy, pure essential oils, wood wick, white massage candle. Smells nice when it’s burning. The melted wax massages well into the skin and leaves it soft and fragrant.
Tobacco + Vanille – 100% organic soy, wood wick (the most original thing we’ve seen in the candle industry), white massage candle. We think this candle tin is highly giftable. The scent is addictive. Once melted and massaged into the skin, the tobacco notes dominate over the vanilla.
Whipped Body Butter
Gina’s thoughts: this whipped body butter quickly turned into a smooth oil. I think if your skin is as dry as my feet can be, it’s a little too light to be a body butter. It’s definitely moisturizing, but didn’t absorb that quickly for me. I like the subtle glitter sparkle.
Nina’s thoughts: Fun in a jar! Great pastel colors, whipped appearance, and a fruity scent. It’s moisturizing, absorbs quickly, and leaves a little glitter sparkle on the skin.
This one is not currently on their website, but make a request and/or keep an eye out for it.
Nina’s Thoughts: I was FLOORED when I saw that A Joy Forever made laundry detergent. The packaging is adorable! I know, I know I say that A LOT. Patchouli scented ladies and gentleman, kids and pets. My clothes and linens offer a light, clean patchouli scent now. My hippie level has reached to over 9000 now HAHA. I am currently on my second bag.
Nina’s thoughts: I love this to freshen up a room or linens! I have had three scents from her so far. Sex on The Beach, Sandalwood Spice (I believe it’s called Sandalwood + Teak now), and Spa Day (my current one). I use it in my bathroom, on my bedding, clothes, and even a quick spritz on my person when I need to.
As I, Nina, perused the AJF booth at V-Market for the first time; I noticed little lego soap. That’s when I discovered I could not only get things for me, but for my five-year-old. I’ve received popsicle soap in blueberry scent with an order I made when I ran out of my goodies. AJF offers Bath-Doh for kiddies to play with while they scrub up in the tub. Pictured above is a nice present from AJF that features a toy cat to play with once my kiddo uses up all the soap.
We hope you enjoyed exploring A Joy Forever’s extensive product list with us. There’s still a lot we haven’t tried, but we have no doubt that we will find many more treasures.
Welcome to the month of freedom and liberty!
July has one of the longest lists of Independence Day anniversaries; more than twenty days of the month are Independence celebration days for various countries including good old Uncle Sam (USA)!
It’s as if a special July energy triggers the ‘freedom hormones’ in humans urging them to break both individual and collective fetters!
Welcome to the month of 7: the 7th month of the year, one of the 7 months with thirty-one days! 7, the number of wisdom, Divinity, royalty, Purple and so phenomenally interwoven with life and existence in Creation that it is rightly said “wherever 7 manifests the Will of God is present.”
Let us look as some familiar recurrence of the number: the 7-pointed star with 7 Tops, 7 Worlds, 7 candlesticks, 7 floors, 7 Gems in the Crown of Primordial, 7 niches, 7 days, 7 Chakras, 7 colors…