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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Joy On My Hands - Giveaway!!!

We all have that thing that we feel naked if we don’t have it with us or have it on, that thing that people rarely see us without. For some people it is their purse or wallet. For others it’s a pair of earrings or a favorite shade of lipstick. For me the thing that I feel naked without, the thing you rarely see me without is a ring.

I’m single (and looking :-) so it’s not a wedding ring. It is not an heirloom. It is not worth a lot of money. But it is extremely valuable to me. It is my school ring. Not my high school ring but my college ring. And I LOVE IT!!!
I did not get my high school ring so when I had the opportunity to get my college ring I jumped on it. I was able to make many choices on the rings design so it does not look like most school rings. It is white gold, has a red stone with the Temple University “T” etched in white gold on it. It says Temple across the top and University across the bottom. The right side has my graduation year etched on it. The left side is etched with my major (Economics) and degree (Business Administration). My signature is engraved inside.

While I think my ring is pretty that is not why I love it and wear it every day. I love it because every time I look at it I am reminded of four of the best years of my life, College. I had a great time at TU. I am still very happy with my choice of schools. I learned a lot. But more importantly I met some of my best friends there. I had many firsts in college including my first time making decisions on my own, my first real job and my first real boyfriend. My ring also reminds me of what an accomplishment it is to graduate college. Every time I look at it I feel proud of myself.

Every time I look at my ring I am filled with Joy. Do you have a piece of jewelry or something else you wear regularly that fills you with Joy???

Now onto our give away: writing this blog has been such an amazing and uplifting experience for me. Your comments have made me laugh, made me feel not so alone in my way of thinking, and filled me with encouragement. As a thank you I would like to offer one of you loyal Joy Chasers a gift, your very own piece of jewelry. The jewelry is courtesy of Premier Designs by Janice, the Jewelry Lady. Check out her Facebook page to see some of her pieces. If you are in the Philadelphia or Maryland area and think you would like to have a Premier Designs party shoot the Jewelry Lady an email (

Here are the details: To become the owner of your very own premier designs Jewelry all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me two things. 1) What is your favorite piece of jewelry or (something else) that you wear regularly that fills you with Joy and 2) which of my past posts is your favorite and why. A winner will be randomly chosen from the comments using If you want to increase your odds you can always leave more than one comment. Let me know if you are following Chasing Joy on Facebook and Twitter. Let me know if you are following Premier Designs on Facebook. Let me know if you have suggested Chasing Joy to your friends on Facebook.

All comments to be considered for the giveaway must be posted by Friday July 1st. The winning Joy Chaser will be chosen on Saturday July 2nd. The winner will be notified by email and will have two days to respond via email claiming his/her jewelry. So if you typically post anonymously and would like to be considered for the giveaway please include an email address.

Best of luck and Happy Commenting!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Joy of Pets

Recently someone told me he never had/would have a pet because they are "pointless and a waste of money". Well he certainly could not say that if he saw this face.


My cat's Peanut and Pinto and dog Hurt bring a little Joy to my life every day. Do you have pets? Does their presence bring Joy to your life?

Summer of Joy

Summer Summer Summer time!!!

We all know the idle mind is the Devil's workshop. Well the Devil's workshop is is closed for the summer. No idle minds around here. There are plenty of Joy Chasing activities to keep idleness at bay. Here are the top 50 activities I'll be doing this summer. In no particular order:

1. Go to NJ Beach
2. Go to Rehoboth Beach
3. Go to a water Park
4. Go to Jamaica
5. Go to the Movies
6. Enjoy ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery
7. Read the red tent (thanks to a review by Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed)
8. Visit my brother
9. Go to the Art Museum
10. Enjoy this season of True blood
11. Train for my next attempt to Run for Joy
12. Register for Be Blogalicious in DC
13. Take Hurt for walks by the river
14. Go to happy hour alone
15. Go to church
16. Read Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
17. Read The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
18. Read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
19. Attend a BBQ
20 Host a BBQ
21. Have a Rita’s Water Ice
22. Go to the zoo
23. Go to an outdoor concert
24. Have real funnel cake
25. Go to the race track
26. Go to the spa for facial
27 Get a pedicure
28 Go to book club
29 Go to an aquarium
30. Have an I am worth the cheese dip night
31. Have mimosas
32. Swim in a pool
33. Cook pineapple on the grill
34. Cook dinner outside
35. Go to the Franklin Institute
36. Go see fireworks
37. Watch the next season of the Closer
38 Read the Murderer’s Daughters
39. Do my first give away on Chasing Joy
40. Play in the ocean
41. Go on a date
42. Buy a new swim suit
43. Go to Happy Hour with friends
44. Clean my car inside and out
45. Get some plumbing work taken care of
46. Get my roof maintenance done
47. By a new phone
48. Take a golf lesson
49. Spend an entire day in bed
50. Go to an open house

What Joyful activities will you be filling your time with this summer?

This post will be linked to Mamakat's writing prompt.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Joy on the Grill

This weekend was the first time I hosted my annual BBQ after losing my dad. Every year my street has a block party. And every year I would invite people over and have a BBQ out in front of the house. I would have pretty flowers in the planters, good food on the grill, and cold drinks in the cooler. I’d invite my friends over and have a great day.

But last year I just couldn’t bring myself to it. I could not imagine having people over and laughing and joking and being happy without my dad. What if I suddenly started missing him and got upset in front of my guests? What if someone forgot that he’d passed away and asked about him? What if my nieces or nephews did not understand his absence? It just plain old didn’t seem fair that there could be pretty flowers, coordinating d├ęcor, good food and laughter in a world without my dad…

The good thing is feelings change, that morning is a process not a constant state. While I will always miss him and imagine there will always be an ache in my heart. I am starting to get used to a new normal, adjusting to allowing myself to have fun, to appreciate nice things, to Chase Joy.

So this year I had the BBQ! I surrounded myself with people I care about and who care about me. 22 people came including adults and kids. This is the most people ever!!! And it was great! I was nervous as I always am before entertaining. But we did not run out of food or drinks. Everyone got along and the kids were not bored. And most importantly I am doing me again. I am doing the things that make me happy and I know that would make my dad happy. Despite the challenges of the grieving process I am Chasing Joy. I hosted my annual BBQ for the first time since losing my dad and it was a Joy!!!

How did you handle the first time you did something after a major life change a death, divorce, new baby, marriage, layoff, etc???

I am linking this post to The Red Dress Club’s Remember Red writing prompt.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Joyful Memories

Wordful / Wordless Wednesday

Dancing with my Dad. One of my most Joyful Memories!!!

Share one of your most Joyful Memories.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Joy of Dating???


I have been single for a while now, over a year. But I have yet to really get back out there into the dating world. While I have been experiencing the Joy’s of being single, I one day want to experience the Joy’s of Marriage and Motherhood. But one step at a time, first things first, get back out in the dating world.

I have been a part of the dating seen in the past and not had the best experiences. A few of my most not winning (in my Charlie Sheen voice) experiences include long term boyfriend having a baby with someone else, having my date get arrested during a routine traffic stop because of a pre-existing warrant, and discovering that I was the other woman. Needless to say dating has not always been so much fun.

However, I am not so scarred or jaded that I don’t believe that good men are still out there. And I am ready to meet one, or two, or a few of them. LOL The problem is past experiences have made me a little afraid and somewhat soured me on dating in general. I have been known to say “I hate dating”!!! And I wonder why I’m not having any dates???

Obviously an attitude adjustment is in order. How about from this point on I never utter the phrase “I hate dating” again? How about instead I discover the Joy of dating??? :-)

So what are your best tips for a Joyful dating experience?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Finding Joy in the Skin I'm in!


Today I was emailing with a friend and she mentioned wanting her daughter to grow up comfortable in her own skin. Of course I want that for her daughter, all my friends’ daughters, and my nieces and nephews. But the truth is I want it for me too. So much of this journey, Chasing Joy, is about learning to be happy with me and comfortable in the skin I’m in.

So when exactly did I stop feeling comfortable in my own skin? When did my birthday suit start feeling all itchy and uncomfortable??? I guess there was no single incident that caused me to lose that natural confidence that all kids are born with and start doubting and second guessing myself. More like random incidents that made me feel somehow embarrassed or inadequate.

Was it the time the DJ at my cousin’s sweet 16 party made fun of my weight in front of about 100 teenagers? I was 15. Was it when I was about 8, visiting my aunt and she quickly informed me that it was not my place to ask her who was on her phone? I was hoping it was my dad calling to say he was on the way to get me. Or was it the first time that the Dr. told my mom that I should be put on a diet when I was 12? I suspect that each of these incidents as well as other’s played a part in making me feel a little less comfortable with me.

But I suppose the incident that stands out the most occurred on a road trip. I was very young, I’m thinking pre-kindergarten. I was traveling with my Aunt (different one than mentioned above) and cousins. I don’t exactly remember where we were going. It was dark and we were all in one car. I was in the middle in the back because I was the little one. The radio was on and whatever was playing was so boring to me. So, I naturally asked if the station could be changed. My Aunt’s response was to ask me “how do you know I was not listening to that?” I don’t remember how I responded. I don’t remember what else she said. I do remember that the station was not turned and I felt ashamed. This was the first time that I remember feeling that it was not good to speak up. This was the first time that I remember feeling embarrassed. This was the first time I remember feeling that asking for what you want is selfish and inconsiderate. This is the first time that I remember feeling that it is better to be easy going and go with the flow than to speak up about what I want.

Now, I know that My Aunt and none of the adults mentioned here (except for the DJ he was just an ass) meant me any harm. I know they were all trying to help me to be healthy and have good manners. However, sometimes the lesson is lost when the delivery is harsh. I do not have any kids yet but I am blessed to be Auntie to four awesome kids. I never want to cause them to doubt that their feelings matter, feel insecure, ashamed, or otherwise uncomfortable in their own skin. I am careful with the words I choose when I feel the need to correct undesirable behavior not wanting the lesson to get loss in words spoken too harshly. They are confident girls and boys and I hope they stay that way. I want them to Chase Joy comfortably in the skin they are in.

As I list the things I want to do in pursuing my happiness, build confidence as I cross items of the list, find my voice by blogging with you, and otherwise Chase Joy I am becoming more and more comfortable in the skin I am in.

Are you comfortable in the skin you are in?
What kinds of things do you do to keep your kids or other young people in your life comfortable in the skin they are in?

This post will we linked up with Mamakat’s writer’s workshop :-)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

6 Words About Chasing Joy


This post is in response to a writing prompt from MamaKat.
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