Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Images Of Joyful Moments In 2014

We are just one week away from Christmas!  I know you are all busy with holiday activities.  So this blog post will require very little reading.  In the spirit of reflection on 2014 here are images of some of my most joyful moments this year.

It looks like I had a lot of good and joyful times this year.  To be honest with you I have not been in the best mood lately and was not really all smiles when I started writing this post.  Now after looking at these pictures and remembering this events I am sitting here with a smile on my face.  It is good to reflect on the good times in life that we would be reminded that good times will come again.

What were some of your most joyful moments from 2014?  If you posted them on Social media tag me on the image so I can check them out!

Monday, December 15, 2014

8 Blog Posts That Gave Me Joy in 2014

Where has the time gone?  I cannot believe 2014 will be over in less than 20 days.

The end and beginning of the year are times of reflection for many of us.  I am no different.  So my blog posts for the remainder of  2014 will reflect on the last 12 months.  Because I love making lists, this post will list (in no particular order) my favorite blog posts of 2014. These are posts that I read that are written by other bloggers. Here are 8 blog posts that gave me joy in 2014.
  1. Cat's Adventures in Dating: Is This Seat Taken?  I really enjoyed reading this post about a single woman going out to a bar by herself.  I have tried this a few times in an effort to build my confidence.  I loved hearing about another single ladies experience.
  2. Thoughts On Blogalicious -  I was not able to attend Blogalicious this year.  I had to settle for reading my blogger friend's recap posts.  I loved Lashawn's video talking about what she got out of the conference and what her plans were going forward.
  3. Chicken Shawarma -  I had never heard of the Arabic Dish Chicken Shawarma before reading this blog post.  The post gives easy to follow instructions to make it.  I realized I had all of the ingredients on had, made it and liked it.  I am a person who eats lots of chicken so I am happy to have a new recipe to add to the mix.  
  4. Me, Us, They -  With all of the emotions running high in the country over the last few weeks related to black men and teens being killed, this posts poetic observations on Me, Us and They is so timely and really hit a cord with me.  
  5. 5 Things I'd Tell My Overweight Self - As an overweight woman who would like to transition from fat to fit I really enjoyed reading this post.  The advice was empowering and really made me think about what I am currently saying to my overweight self and what i should be saying to my overweight self.
  6. Ten Lessons At Twenty-Six - Age 26 is in my rear view mirror however I could still relate to the life lessons being presented in this blog post.  If only I were that introspective back then.  
  7. My First Park Run - This post about doing a run was interesting to me because it was a park run.  A Par Run is a free run that is organized by volunteers that takes place in parks all over the world including in South Africa, the location of this blog post.  
  8. Why This Goddess Loves To Run - There is a part of me that wants to be a runner.  Then there is the overwhelming rest of me that does not like it at all.  But that little runner inside of me admires all of those who have found a way to love it.  I especially enjoyed reading this post from a curvy girl who has found many reasons to love running.  
What were some of the best blog posts you read this year?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Increase Blog Traffic on #FlashbackFriday: Free Printable Joy Bookmarks

Happy Friday!!!

I hope you a great week.  I had a fun one.  I am just back from a few days away from reality in Atlantic City.  I did not hit the jackpot so I will be reporting to the day job on Monday.

 This week on the blog I wrote about getting a Hope pick me up and family traditions.  I included quite a few PINable images.  Remember good friends Pin :-)

Now the weekend is here.  Before we dive into our weekend fun let's kick of the #FlashbackFriday and #FanPage Friday fun. Who is ready to increase blog traffic and Facebook engagement??? I am!!! Every Friday on Chasing Joy we flash back to some of our older posts to give them a moment in the spotlight for #FlashbackFriday and have some Facebook Fun with a #FanPageFriday post.

 Let's talk about #FlashbackFriday first. #FlashbackFriday is a blogger link up. It's fun and a good way to increase blog traffic, find new blogs to read, and new readers for your blog. Pick any older post from your blog and add it below. You can also increase blog traffic by sharing your post on the Chasing Joy Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #FlashbackFriday. Also, I will Pin your post to the new #FlashbackFirday Pinterest Board.

** Please Note** Linkys only work when everyone plays fair. Be sure to visit at least two other blogs from the link up and leave a comment. Pick any two you like or keep it simple and visit the two blogs linked up before yours. If you link up early be sure to come back and visit  blogs that linked up after you.

My favorite posts from last week's link up are:
Nicole Globe Trot 
Lynne at The Sweet Midlife
 This week I am linking up Free Printable: Joy Bookmarks.  Visit this post and print out your bookmarks complete with Joyful Quotes.

Now it is  your turn.   Add your link below.

Now for the Facebook Fun.  On  Friday's I post a #FanPageFriday status on Facebook.  The purpose of the post is to connect with other bloggers on Facebook and for all of us to grown our likes and our engagement.  It's really simple to participate.  Head over to the Chasing Joy Facebook Page.  Find the #FanPageFriday post.  Tag and /or add a link to your Facebook page in the comments.  Then like a few of the other pages that link up.  To boost engagement visit a few of the pages and saying hello and letting them know where to find you on Facebook.  The more energy you put into it the better your results.

What are you linking up and where can I find you on Facebook?  Have a Fantastic #FlashbackFriday and #FanPageFriday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Joy Of Sweet Potato Pie

Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas I make Sweet Potato Pies.  This is part of my family's traditions. My mom taught me how to make the pies. My grandmother taught my mom to make the pies.  My great-grandmother taught my grandmother how to make the pies.  We don't know how far back this recipe goes but I will assume the women in my family have been teaching their daughters how to make it since slavery days or shortly thereafter.  At a minimum I estimate our family recipe for Sweet Potato Pie is at least 120 years old.

The recipe is not written down so I cannot share it here. It has all of the normal homemade pie ingredients,  To learn it you'd have to come into my kitchen and make it with me.  We'd make it together several years in a row during the holiday times.  Each year you would take on more of the work and I'd do less.  Eventually I would only supervise while you did it all  yourself.  Once you had it down pact you would have the OK to make it yourself.  This is the process that I have gone through.  Every year that I make the pies and they come out successful I feel so proud.  I also feel connected to the women who came before me.

If there are special recipe traditions in your family I encourage you to learn them. Who cares if you are not a cook.  Take the time to learn that one special recipe that carries the history of your family.  Practice it until you get it right.  Create memories with your mom, grandma, or whoever is willing to teach you.  Laugh at yourself when you mess up. Then feel proud and connected to your people when you finally get it right.

Are there any special recipes in your family that get passed down from generation to generation?  What food must you have for the holidays to keep tradition?

Monday, December 8, 2014

#TisTheSeason For Hope

Yesterday as me and my mom were leaving church ( yes I have been attending Epic regularly) she said, "that was for you".  She was talking about the sermon and I have to agree with her.  I mean it even came complete with a hashtag, #TisTheSeason.  You know I'm all about that! The subject of the sermon was #TisTheSeason for Hope.  

Lately I have been feeling really down about some things in my life. Specifically feeling lonely, disenchanted with men and the dating process and worrying about turning 35 in a few months with no dating prospects and what that means for me wanting to have children. I have been dating for about 20 years now. I've always wanted to be a wife and a mom.  I am human and even while Chasing Joy I have my down moments where I feel like when is it going to be my turn. I guess I have been feeling kind of hopeless.

My mom said my hope cup needed to be replenished and that's why the sermon was meant for me.  I did enjoy the sermon and I do feel a bit better.  So with hope on my mind I decided to come up with a few HOPE acronyms that I can focus on when my hope cup is again in need of refilling.  

Can you think of any other Acronyms for HOPE?  How do you replenish when your hope cup is almost empty?

Now, speaking of hope.  A few of you entered the Chasing Joy Ornament giveaway and are hoping that you have won. The winners of the giveaway are..... drum-roll please..... Debbie and Heather.  Congrats Ladies!  I will be contacting you to confirm your prizes.

PS. Remember, good friends PIN!

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