My Friend Heather

The first time I met Heather (aka Housewife Heather) is a memory that always makes me laugh. It was spring of 2010 and I joined my friend Beth Ann and her friend (Heather) for a walk along the bike path where Beth lived. Jackson was about 6 months old and I was still out of shape. Nevertheless, I had packed up my BOB jogging stroller to join them on their walk.

After we walked for an eternity and still hadn’t turned around to go home, I asked how long the walk was. “Six miles” they replied. I am pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head as my bursitis-riddled hip fell out of its socket. Despite venturing on a far longer walk than I had ever imagined, I was lucky enough to meet Heather and am proud to call her one of my best friends. Three years after that walk, she is a fellow Rhody Blogger and Faux Book Club member, we are all lucky to have her in our lives.

On Monday afternoon, she is having a hysterectomy to kick cancer’s butt. Please keep her in your prayers and send her all of your positive energy for a speedy recovery!

Love ya Heather!


Sitting for Belle #sit4belle

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably heard me talk about a fellow Rhody Blogger’s daughter, Belle Bradley. Belle is the beautiful 2 and a half year old daughter of our friend Melissa. Three days after Christmas last year, Belle was diagnosed with Leukemia. If you’d like to read her story in her own Mom’s words, read it here but be ready to shed some tears.

This is beautiful Belle:

Starting tonight, at 6 pm, I will be sitting at the Warwick La-Z-Boy Showroom with my fellow Rhody Bloggers for Good to help raise money for Belle and her family. There will be bloggers sitting for 48 hours straight while a TON of fun family friendly events are held, so come on down with the entire family– all proceeds will go directly to Belle’s family to help defray her medical expenses.

Please look at the schedule of events on the bottom of this post (or for more info and follow along with us on Twitter and Instagram with #sit4belle.

Not in Rhode Island but still want to help this sweet girl? Please make a donation (ANYTHING helps!) on her fundraising page at You don’t even need to have a PayPal account because they accept any credit card.

Please share this post with your friends and family (there are sharing buttons right on the bottom to make it super easy)– every little bit of help is appreciated!! THANK YOU!


Sit-A-Thon Schedule of Events

All weekend:

Raffle – enter to win the GRAND PRIZE of La-Z-Boy’s newest and best recliner, along with several other fantastic prizes.

Bake sale

Children’s movies and popcorn in the store

Kids craft area, Saturday 9 – 9pm and Sunday 9 – 4pm

Face painting, Saturday 9 – 6pm and Sunday 9 – 4pm

Hot dog sales, Saturday 11 – 7pm and Sunday 11 – 5pm

Balloon releases for Belle, $1, write a note of good wishes for Belle

Saturday, April 6:

Dave & Busters Street Team 9 – 12pm

Princess Visit 10 – 11:30am

RI Blood Bank Bone Marrow Registry Drive 10am – 1pm

Roger Williams Park ZooMobile 12 – 2pm

Sunday, April 7:

Yard sale 7am – 1pm

Former Patriots Jim Bowman and Roland James 11am – 1pm

Providence BYOI Improv Group 2 – 4pm

Other events throughout the weekend:

Munroe Dairy will hand out milk and cookies, Alayne White Spa offering hand and neck massages, and other exciting surprises in store!

We hope to see many of you at this event.

We are so excited and have a big goal to help a very special little girl!

Thank you for your support and please visit our generous sponsors!

yo gabba gabba

We got our sillies out at YO GABBA GABBA LIVE!

yo gabba gabba

Jackson is still dancing, 4 hours after the show ended. We saw Yo Gabba Gabba Live in Boston at the Orpheum Theater today and simply put: had a BLAST.

As soon as the kids saw DJ Lance Rock come on stage, they were dancing in the aisles (or in Sidney’s case, in my lap). We happened to sit behind my friend Kameron from and our kids became fast friends. Jackson had a new dancing idol and was copying of all her son’s sweet dance moves.

Everyone at the show was having fun, from the grandparents to babies and everyone in between. I loved that the show had good music and Biz Markie (now try to get the “you say he’s just a friend” song from the early 90’s out of your head, just try) made an appearance. He brought up some local Boston kids onstage to show off their own beat box moves, prompting smiles and applause throughout the theater. The show was the perfect amount of time too: 80 minutes including a 20 minute intermission. They know exactly how long kids can pay attention and the show didn’t go a minute beyond that.

If you have the opportunity to see Yo Gabba Gabba LIVE: GET THE SILLIES OUT, do it! It’s an awesome family event and will have your whole crew dancing their sillies out.

What’s in a Name?

My Rhody Blogger friend, Carla, over at had a fun writing prompt this week about names and I decided to join in on the fun:

Prompt #1: How did you get your name? Did you always love it? Have you ever wanted to change it?

I’m lucky enough to have my Mom sitting next to me for this first prompt. Apparently, she chose my name because I was the wrong sex and she needed to come up with a name before she left the hospital. She thought I was going to be a boy (never had an ultrasound) and I was supposed to be “Jonathan Howard” (after my grandpa who Jackson ended up being named after). My Mom’s name is Joann, hers is Joan, so I guess the next logical move was adding an “a” to Joann.

Once I was born, a girl, she wrote down some name options on a hospital napkin. Joanna. JoAnna. Johanna. She finally settled on Joanna and when they asked for a middle name, she called my paternal grandmother who informed her that her middle name was Lee. On that September day, I became Joanna Lee.

I’ve always liked my name but I did get bummed when I wanted personalized pens/placemats/you name it and they only had “Joanne.” I don’t think it was an adult until I really appreciated it. I love feeling close to my Mom and Gaga with our similar names. I actually tried very hard for Sidney Ann to be Sidney Joan but my husband said no. I’ve never wanted to change it, but my last name did change in elementary school when I was legally adopted by my Mom’s husband. My initials stayed the same though: JLD to JLD.

I’d love to read how you got your name, leave a comment with your story or link up over at Carla’s!

no leg seagull

Summer Memories: Stumpy the Seagull

My friend Carla, over at All of Me Now, is hosting this week’s Rhody Blogger blog hop.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Rhody Bloggers are linking up honoring and celebrating the beautiful beaches of Rhode Island. We’re each sharing a cherished memory of an Ocean State beach. You’ll find links to a wonderful collection of beach memories at the end of this post.

I grew up on a beach in Florida and am slightly embarrassed to admit that I have only been to a beach in Rhode Island a handful of times. Well, actually twice. The first time was in August 2007 and the only way my mama brain can remember that was looking through my old Picasa Web Albums and finding the pictures from that day.

My dear friend and {former} neighbor Marion introduced me to the lovely beach of Narragansett on a beautiful summer day. We spent the day lounging and reading books with the waves crashing in the background. My favorite memory of the day was the seagull that landed right next to us. First of all, you need to know Rhody sea gulls are obnoxious and would carry my baby away if they could lift her. They want your FOOD. NOW! So this little guy landed next to me, with a stump leg. He hung out around us for the entire day, begging for my pretzels. We spent the afternoon imagining this dude’s story and how in the world he lost his foot/claw/talon. He was a happy bird and you wouldn’t have even know ol’ Stumpy was missing a foot- except for the hopping I suppose.

Our coast line was beaten up pretty badly by Hurricane Sandy. The first picture in the post shows the Coast Guard House restaurant, which was completely destroyed by Sandy. I never knew I had a picture of it until I went rummaging around my online photo albums. That is one of the reasons I love keeping so many pictures- you never know when you’re snapping a piece of history… Please take a minute to check out the other lovely Rhody Blogger’s favorite beach memories.