NEW SITE COMING SOON

Please pardon this look! I am transferring over my website to a new server and working on a new design. I’m a writer, not a web site designer, so don’t mind me as I work this all out and learn as I go 🙂

New Children’s Book, Princess Genevieve: The Hero with Girl Power, Coming in 2020

I’m so excited to be releasing my first children’s book, Princess Genevieve: The Hero with Girl Power. I was inspired to write this as I planned my daughter Genevieve’s princess-themed 5th birthday party. I wanted to make and give out a book about my daughter as a special gift, because every princess needs her own story! But then, I decided to go even bigger and empower all young girls to chase their dreams and make the book available for everyone. So I hired an illustrator (the super talented Nancy Lane at Firefly Graphic Design), buckled down and wrote many drafts, had my friends who are teachers and media editors review it, re-wrote it and now, finally we are in the layout phase. I’ll be self-publishing in early 2020. The website is a work in progress and I will be sure to announce when that’s ready too.

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Click here to join my email list to get inspiring content for girls of all ages and life stages. Be the first to learn when Princess Genevieve is available for purchase!

Click here to join my online launch team. I need girl power. Literally! Join my Facebook group, Hero with Girl Power. There will be special incentives for those who help me promote the launch of the book (besides just feeling awesome, because you are!)

Hero With Girl Power is an inspirational community to empower girls of all ages and life stages. From recent college grads with aspiring careers, to those starting new chapters as newly single women, and of course, the moms reaching for the stars while they have a child reaching for their hand. The Facebook group is a forum to discuss raising daughters, dream chasing, women to help women and more.

Follow me on Instagram @hellojoelle for even more inspiring content you won’t get anywhere else.

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And if you’re wondering about my daughter’s princess-themed birthday party… it was an adorable royal ball–but no books were given out as favors! She dressed as Elsa and I scored this perfect tapestry of Cinderella’s Castle from Society Six to use as a photo area.

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2019: My Year of Self-Care

I was pretty selfish in 2019 and I mean that in the best way possible. Self-care was a big focus. If there’s anything I’ve learned as a book publicist for life coaches, it’s that we must be the best version of ourselves in order to properly care for our families and also to achieve our dreams.

Prior to this, I had a few challenging years. After Luca was born, I went through a health crisis. It took six months to get diagnosed and then cleared from having fatty liver from pregnancy. So basically, for six months while I was a brand new mom of two and full of post-partum hormones, I thought I was dying of an unexplained liver disease. It shook me to my core. I had so much anxiety that I lost all my baby weight and dropped over 50 pounds and weighed less than before I even got married. I eventually went to speak with a counselor to help find strategies and ways to manage this anxiety. (Note: I’ll write a post about that one day. I found the Headspace app to be a great tool, as well as using positive affirmations).

I am pretty sure I worked myself up so much that some other issues I encountered were a result of the stress. I got headaches that lasted 24/7 for THREE MONTHS. Yes. I saw a chiropractor, I got X-rays, I saw my doctor. Finally, a holistic bodywork therapist told me that I had inflamed nerves in the back of my head. He worked miracles and helped align my whole body. My spine was out of wack from pregnancy among other things.

Then and this is too much information, so I will be quick… For a year I kept seeing different OBGYN telling them that I had a cyst and everyone told me everything is normal, blah blah. I literally thought I was going crazy and even told my counselor about it. I knew my anxiety was not making up an issue. And what do you know, a year later, I saw a new doctor who told me that I have… get this.. a varicose vein in my lady bits that is a result of carrying pregnancies. And I’m fine! And it’s common. Who knew?! I am writing this extremely personal info because maybe it will help some woman out there. I wish I knew about it so I could have saved myself one year of additional health-related anxiety. This year, I cleared that up!

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Today, my health-related anxiety and just anxiety in general is a million times better but still a work in progress. I’m a mom and I’ll never stop worrying about being able to care for my children and to keep them safe, especially in this crazy world. But here’s the thing:

I’m channeling my anxiety to fuel my dreams and goals! And I’m using it to empower me against my worries.

An example: People are crazy and I want to keep my daughter safe. So, I signed her up for karate/mixed martial arts (MMA) classes to learn self-defense. She LOVES it. And I’m going to take private lessons, too.

Another example: I wrote my forthcoming children’s book, Princess Genevieve: The Hero with Girl Power, and filled it with important life lessons that I want to ensure my daughter learns. Things like the importance of chasing your dreams, being brave and conquering fears, making friends with all different types of people, and caring for animals.

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I know, I got a bit off track here talking about my anxiety but it was important to shed light on what I have been through the past two years and what I have learned and now how I have OVERCOME and am CELEBRATING health, dreams and just living life to its fullest!

I have kids now, not babies. Genevieve is 5 years old and sleeps through the night. Luca is 2.5 and usually sleeps through the night. That means FOR THE FIRST TIME IN LIKE 5 YEARS this mom is SLEEPING more than two or three hours a night! (I never sleep trained but that’s another blog). More sleep means I have energy to be a functioning human! I can stay up after the kids go to sleep and type this blog. I can wake up earlier and write a list of goals for 2020 while I sip coffee and the kids sleep. I can get back to “Joelle the Dreamer and Goal-Getter.”

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So I started that in 2019. I invested in myself, big time.

  1. I dedicated time going to the gym and doing yoga to build up strength in my body. The yoga was a kid’s class with Genevieve but still great. And I have been slacking on the gym for months but I am going back to this all in 2020. I will make the time by setting a recurring appointment in my calendar. The point is that I took the first step and started the process.81173332_10220937332524281_4437341604981768192_n
  2. I invested in my personal style/appearance. I’ve never felt quite as cool as I used to be since I gave up contacts and started wearing glasses 24/7 (my eyes just can’t deal with the dryness and headaches). I bought so many cheap glasses with different styles and colors and nothing made me feel happy with the statement I was making on my face. So I splurged and bought a pair of Warby Parker frames that I tried on while in NYC one day and loved. I feel confident and cool in them. And I haven’t felt that way wearing glasses in years. Sometimes you need to just buy the quality product.2019-01-23+14.20.24-3
  3. I got the luxury diaper/ mom bag that I shouts out my style and helps me organize and manage life on-the-go for myself and two kids. This is so important, especially as I need to carry my own snacks and food everywhere because I have food allergies. My Mina Baie Amelia bag (TIP: GOT IT DURING A SAMPLE SALE, SO I DID NOT PAY FULL PRICE) is a convertible tote, crossbody and backpack, so I can throw it on my back when I am out alone with both kids and need to carry my toddler. (Side note, the heavy weight did injure my weak back and I had to stop wearing it so I will just pray for a lightweight nylon version!) I still buy $5 shirts from Target so I think it’s OK to splurge on one style item that will last for years. I don’t go out and spend money getting my hair or nails done, or go out to dinner with friends, so this is something that makes me happy.
  4. I took a food challenge with my allergist so I can reintroduce things into my diet. This was a huge win. A food challenge is when you eat diluted or small pieces of a food you were allergic to previously but recently test negative to on bloodwork and the prick test. It’s the final OK that you can start to eat that food again. For 2 years, all my tests for a few types of fish came back negative but my anxiety kept me from doing the challenge. This year, before we went to Disney World and I had so much fear of flying with my peanut allergy, I made myself go for in-depth tests to see if I was safe to fly and what I really could eat while away from home. My food allergies are so bad, I have to bring my food everywhere and travel terrified me. But I did the challenge and got cleared to eat fish, which was the biggest win of my year and a total game changer for my dietary life. I literally eat the same thing for each meal every day (oatmeal, eggs, pasta or chicken) so having something new is amazing. Next, I can challenge peanuts and if that works out, I can challenge soy. That would be so awesome, you have no clue. All because I got the courage to go back to the allergist and do more testing!40591267._UY2400_SS2400_
  5. I made time to read inspiring books. Here’s to you Rachel Hollis. I don’t even need help getting motivated but I love Rachel’s books and her tips are so inspiring. I’m ready to take on 2020 thanks to Girl, Stop Apologizing! And I can’t wait to read Popsugar editor, Lisa Sugar’s book next. I started reading while on the bikes at the gym. Multi-tasking at its finest.
  6. I invested in my dreams. I hired an illustrator to work on my Princess Genevieve book, I purchased and built websites, I bought Instagram filter apps to improve my page, I tested the advertising waters doing sponsored posts, I designed and printed promotional materials for media kits and more. I’m working on my own brand.78152635_10220681064797748_2146802350222737408_o
  7. I practiced mindfulness. I got out in nature, read positive affirmations, self-help books, hid the social media apps on my phone and made tiny steps for living a life of gratitude and in the moment.
  8. I released negative people from my life. My attention can’t be spent on drama. I’d rather watch it on my soap operas.
  9. Speaking of that… I made time to watch my soap operas! I have literally been months behind on General Hospital and The Bold and The Beautiful and I found ways to have that important “me time” and watch them.
  10. Last but not least, I made time for FRIENDSHIPS. With real moms. In real life. I found that my dance moms are the best and we can get together and talk while all our kids play. I now have a social life and I don’t feel guilty by being away from my kids. These moms are like me. We don’t like to go out or be fancy. We want to sit in sweats and drink coffee and dish about life. It’s the best.

Lesson Learned from this Story: Taking time for self-care will help you live your best life. And it’s the best thing for everyone in your life!

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‘Tis the Season to be Jolly and Melancholy

Christmas always brings a mix of emotions. There’s the natural joy of the season. There’s the magic of experiencing everything all over again through my children. And there’s also empathy because I know not all children in the world are fortunate enough to have all their wishes come true. Since becoming a mom, I’m super sensitive to these things. I know not everyone has a merry season and our lives don’t turn perfect because of one dedicated day that we celebrate. Heck, I’ve had some pretty devastating Christmas seasons, too. And I almost forgot all about them this year because I’m in such a great place and time has ticked away. But I’m going to write about them here, to honor the experiences.

  1. My dog died on Christmas Day.

One Christmas Eve into Christmas morning, a tragic turn of events sent my family and I to the animal hospital and we had to say a sudden farewell to my beloved husky, Skye. I can’t even tell you how horrible that was and how many rivers of tears I cried.

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Turning that into a positive experience: We adopted our dog Lulu from the shelter soon after the New Year. A life lost saved another life.

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[Side note: This is detailed in my book, Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s].

  1. I had a miscarriage the week before Christmas.

The week before my daughter Genevieve’s second Christmas (she was about a year and a half), I had a miscarriage. That was a really rough holiday. I never thought I would be in the hospital having a D&C and leaving without a baby. But there I was, after learning the fetus lost its heartbeat. This was a slow miscarriage that we started watching at six weeks when I had some bleeding and then it was confirmed at nine weeks. The whole experience of living with that happening for three weeks and not being able to do anything is devastating as a mother-to-be. I said if the baby was a girl, I wanted to name her Jocelyn. That year, my brother sent Genevieve a Cabbage Patch doll as a gift. Each doll comes with birth certificate and a name. You don’t know the name until you open the box. I kid you not, this doll was named Jocelyn! Another sign from the universe I believe.

But now I have Luca, my rainbow baby. I also want to note to any moms out there that spotting early on doesn’t always lead to miscarriage. I spotted with Luca too and here he is healthy and strong!

So that’s my melancholy holiday tale.

But here’s one jolly one to conclude on a happy note! A few Decembers after we lost Skye, we found out the week of Christmas that we were expecting our daughter, Genevieve! I believe that timing was a gift from the universe and Skye for sure.

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Me, this year at Disney World. The happiest place on Earth because I got to see my children having the best time ever. And that’s the greatest gift.

I cherish every blessing and go above and beyond to make sure my kids have a memorable holiday. And I do my best to help others, by donating toys to families in need and money to animal shelters. Giving is way better than getting for the holidays.

Lesson Learned from this Story: We put so much pressure on ourselves over the holidays, but we all do the best we can. If you have a bad year, know that it’s just one experience and you’ll use that to learn and grow. The harder times make us appreciate the best times that much more.

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Princess Genevieve Layout Update

Little update on @princessgenevievebook. I got my first draft of layout back from the printing company and didn’t LOVE the final look, which is a bit of a bummer.

So I went back to my amazing designer @fireflygraphicdesign (who did not do the layout, I must clarify) and she is creating some more images for the book and editing others.

I’m not going to rush the process and won’t print until I am totally 1,000 percent obsessed in love with everything.

There’s so much to think about when writing and self-publishing a children’s book. Totally different than when I wrote @trashthedressmovement. I’m learning as I go and will be way better prepared for my next book (cause you know now I must write one for Luca!).

In the meantime, we’re gearing up the website and I have been working on media mailers and THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has submitted a quote for “What does girl power mean to you?” It’s going to help me get this project off the ground. I would still love quotes from women and also young girls! Will share more soon.

Email joelle @joellesperanza.comwith your response and photo.

Lesson Learned from this Story: Creating a children’s book takes vision for art and story…. and it might be smart to have your story finalized before you start the art process. ….

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What Does Girl Power Mean to You?

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What Does Girl Power Mean to You?

I want your quote!

As part of my mission to empower girls and also promote my upcoming children’s book, Princess Genevieve: The Hero with Girl Power, I am compiling quotes on “WHAT DOES GIRL POWER MEAN TO YOU?”

I want to feature quotes from women and especially young girls (hoping for some really cute responses!) These quotes will be featured on social media, a blog post on the new website I am launching (I literally bought my URL and put up a draft on Thanksgiving morning because once I have an idea, I get so excited I need to start getting it out into the world) AND pitching an article to a media outlet with all our quotes.

Please help me by submitting a quote from you or your daughter. Send along with your photo and name. For kids, include their age. For adults, I’d love to share your job title as well. Email to me at joelle @ joellesperanza.com.

THANK YOU!
I look forward to sharing and appreciate the support more than you know.

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Princess Genevieve is in Production

Right before my family and I left for our first trip to Disney World, I had one princess on my mind- -Princess Genevieve! That’s right. The main character in my new children’s book, inspired by my five-year-old daughter.

I worked my butt off editing, pulling later nights than I would have liked when I was exhausted from full days of work and momming– and I did it! I uploaded all my files to BookBaby, which I am using to self-publish.

I wanted to fully unplug and destress while on my trip and know that while I was away enjoying the most magical place on the planet, designers were laying out my book. I hate the anticipation of waiting to see the files, so at least I got my mind off it for one week.

And as for Disney World? It was amazing! Visit my Instagram@hellojoelleto see more photos.

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Lesson Learned from this Story: Work hard and totally unplug from work while on family vacation. Be present. That’s the biggest present you can give.

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Welcome

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Hi!

I’m Joelle- a publicist and author who aims to empower girls of all ages and life stages. From recent college grads with aspiring careers, to those starting new chapters as newly single women, and of course, the moms reaching for the stars while they have a child reaching for their hand. I write stories, I promote stories, I inspire others to turn their stories into positive experiences. I’ve been through it all and I hope to help others on their journeys whether it’s raising themselves up or raising children. This is me: a goal-getting mom, publicist, author, writer, tv show scout, rescue dog advocate, iced decaf coffee drinker, photography loving, soap opera watching, former music scenester, straight-edge, tattooed, glasses wearing, bag obsessed, 38 year-old from NJ. I have food allergies, chronic fatigue and worries, but I am a warrior. Now, I want to hear your story! Let’s connect.

Follow me on Instagram @hellojoelle.

Also be sure to follow my hashtags: #accordingtohellojoelle #lesssonslearnedfromhellojoelle

And the pages for my books!

@princessgenevievebook @trashthedressbook

Www.herowithgirlpower.com

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Letting Go of Control

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I let go of control yesterday and sent Luca for a haircut with Frank. Did I fear he would come back with a horrible haircut? Yes. Did I send specific instructions and photos of the haircut I wanted? Also yes. Did Luca do much better getting his haircut without mommy to cling onto? Actually, yes! Do I love fall because I don’t have to style my hair and I can wear my favorite hats? Heck, yes!

Lesson Learned from this Story: Kids won’t pose for photos when they just wake up from naps. As a mom you want to be there for everything your child does, esp if it’s during the weekend (basically the only precious full-time days working moms get with their kids), but it’s also important for dads to do one-on-one things with their kids. The guys got bonding time and my girl and I got to play #barbies uninterrupted. Wins all around.

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