Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekend Guest Lydia: Finding My Joy

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Over the last few weekends I have been pretty busy.  Last weekend was the first weekend that I did not have a blog conference, a social/networking event, or a friends and family event.  Lukily this weekend we have someone to keep us company. We have a Weekend Guest!!!  Whoot!   This weekend I am happy to welcome Lydia.  Lydia is the author of the blog Cluttered Genius. Cluttered Genius is where you go to read about the less than perfect life of a wife, mother, and virtual teacher who is pretty sure she's a genius (how else could she explain the crazy :-). I am thrilled to have her as our Weekend Guest. I absolutely love her post and have to say it is exactly what I needed to hear right now.   Here is her post: Finding my Joy

In 2004, I was expecting my first baby and was happily married. So I thought. Along with my bundle of joy came a sudden realization that my marriage was over. I worked hard to stay positive for my daughter, but it was extremely hard considering my best friend of ten years had decided he wasn’t happy being married to me anymore.


In the days and months that followed, I found myself searching for happiness. I found myself praying for help and for peace. I tried to make my marriage work and used every ounce of energy I had trying to rebuild a relationship that was mortally wounded.

Somewhere along the way, I began to have epiphany after epiphany about my failed marriage and about myself. There were parts of me that I had “given up” while married, and I was reclaiming them. When my daughter would spend a weekend with her father, I took the opportunity to do something just for me.

I rediscovered my favorite music. I started watching my favorite movies. I returned to church and became involved again.

Most importantly, I rediscovered myself. And I realized I’m pretty cool.

There were moments that I was so sad about my state of affairs. I was alone, and there were no romantic prospects in sight. I wanted to be married and have a family. I had not asked for this situation to happen to me. Quite often, I prayed and asked, “Why?” I never really got an answer – or so I thought.

In 2008, I went on a blind date and met Aaron. We immediately hit it off. Less than two months later, we were engaged. Less than a year later, we were married.

It would seem that I was chasing joy and found it via Aaron. That would be the easy answer. That’s not where I found my joy.

My joy lies within me. I have the power to be happy with myself no matter what my situation. Would I be devastated if Aaron were – for some awful reason – no longer in my life? Of course! He was and is the missing puzzle piece. But would I survive? Would I be able to keep going. Yes.

This is the most powerful part of the journey I’ve been on since before my daughter was born. The joy that I find with my family is one little piece of the joy that I found within.

Connect with Lydia's Blog at http://clutteredgenius.blogspot.com/. To find out more about Lydia visit her page on Facebook and follow her @lydsrichon Twitter. You can also grab her button, just copy the code beneth the image.
ClutteredGenius

If you'd like to be a weekend guest email me your post at joychasing@yahoo.com and find additional information on guest posting qualifications here.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Flashback Friday: Talking to Myself

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Happy Flashback Friday :-) This weeks Flashback is to one of my favorite older posts. In the post Talking to Myself, I go over the advice my present day self would give my past self.  The funny thing is most of the advice is things I still need to tell myself today.  Check out the post and comment on what you would say to the you of yesterday. 

Here is the deal for Flashback Friday.   Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and link up! You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. Flashback Friday is a great way to rediscover our earlier works and discover some new blogs. Just pick out your link and add it below. Use hashtags #FBF or #FlashbackFriday on twitter to advertise your Flashback post.

Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts. I suggest the two listed before your post to make it easy. Please leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts. I'm looking forward to reading all of your Flashbacks.


*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!
**Also don't forget to invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!
*** And really don't forget to join in for the #ChasingJoy twitter chat this Sunday July 1st at 2:30pm!



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Meditation, Not a Joy For Me

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A little while ago I invited all of you to join me for the 10 for 10 Challenge.  This challenge was to practice meditation 10 minutes a day for 10 days.  I had wanted to try meditation for a while.  I knew that it could be a good way to manage stress.  I had also heard that prayer was when you talked to God and meditation was when you were quiet enough to here Him speak. 

Did any of you take the 10 for 10 Challenge with me?  How did you do? 

I wish I could say meditation was a wonderfully enlightening experience.  I wish I could say that I felt closer to God.  I wish I could say I felt more centered (I have no clue what that means but sounds like a good thing).  I wish I could say I felt less stressed.  But unfortunatley I cannot say any of these things. 

Here is the run down of how the 10 for 10 challenge went for me.

Day 1 - I forgot to note where I was located during my 10 minutes of meditation.  During the meditation I kind of zoned out.  The 10 minutes felt long.  I felt kind of fuzzy minded afterwards.

Day 2 - I did my Meditation in the car.I had a hard time staying awake.  I felt like I was starting to either dream or have a memory but then I got distracted and was unable to recall it.  I tried to imagine the word Joy as I said "Joy" during the meditation.  I forgot to breath correctly wit the pause before the exhale.  One really interesting thing was that the heart burn I had been experiencing temporarily stopped during the meditation.

Day 3 - I forgot to do the meditation.  I made a note to add a day onto the end of the challenge to make up for the day I missed.

Day 4 - I felt calm during the meditation.  I forgot to note where I was located during the 10 minutes.  I started to fall asleep during the meditation.  I paid more attention to breathing properly and saying the word Joy.  I wondered if it was important to say the word out loud.  I found it difficult to say the word Joy in one exhale.

Day 5 - Again I forgot to note where I was located during the meditation practice.  I tried to focus more on the breathing and saying Joy outloud.  I had a harder time visualizing images of Joy.  I did managed to do the entire 10 minutes without checking the clock. 

Day 6 - I almost forgot to do the meditation.  I did it while I was in bed before falling asleep.  I had lots of thoughts competing with me focusingon images of Joy.  I fond saying Joy out loud helped me keep from falling asleep. 

Day 7 - I did the meditation the first hing in the morning while still in bed.  I wanted to get it out of the way.  After the meditation I felt a little dissapointed.  I was thinking that I was not sure if meditation was for me as I was trying to "get it out of the way" as opposed to looking forward to it.

Day 8 - I was actually kind of dreading the meditation.  I felt stressed about having to sit and focus.  I felt dissapointed that I was not getting any positive feelings from meditating.  I realized that the entire point of my trying meditation was to reduce stress and thereby increase my apptitude for experiencing Joy.  If the act of meditatin was making me more stressed than it defeated the pupose of the challenge.  I opted to not  Meditate that day and ended the Challenge.

I do not think meditation is for me. I am glad I tried it though, as a major part of my journey Chasing Joy is trying new things.  I have not written it off entirely though.  I think I may have a better experience with some sort of guided meditation (does that exist).  I notice during my 1st hypnosis session (which I'll be telling you about soon) that It was easier for me to relax and quiet my mind while listening to someone else talk. 

Do you meditate?  Did you or will you give the 10 for 10 challenge a try?  What was your experience, are you a meditation convert or did you have an experience similar to mine?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Learning from the Panelist of Blogging While Brown

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I won't make you wait any longer.  Today, I am finishing up my recap of Blogging While Brown.  I knew I was learning a lot but I did not think it was cover three separate posts.  The first post, Conferences, Conferences, Conferences I told you about the topic I have the most interest in, going from blog to book.  The second post, More Blogging Tips, I continued to tell you about other day one topics, blogs and brands, blogging and TV, and going from blog to business.  Today's post will cover day two of the conference.

Day two was actually my favorite day of the conference.  On day two there were panels with about 3 people same as day one.  The difference was on day two the panelist told a bit more of there personal stories and experiences before they dove into Q & A.  I felt this gave me a better idea of why they were successful.  Here is what I learned from the panelist on Day two:
  • You want your brand to generate an instant reaction.  Decide what you want that reaction to be.  What is your voice?  Make sure the  character/persona, tone, language, and purpose all work together to support that voice or instant reaction you want.
    •  For example I hope the reaction I want to this Chasing Joy is calming, inspiring, and non-judgemental.  Therefore the Character/Persona needs to be friendly and warm; the tone needs to be honest , personal, and humble; the language  used needs to be simple and fun; and the purpose of Chasing Joy needs to be to entertain, to encourage, and to educate.
    • To see what your voice's instant reaction is you can ask your readers for 3 words to describe your site. 
    • Be conscious of your voice so you can be purposeful with your content.
    • Make sure you are giving your readers the same consistent experience
    • Your personal brand should be conscious, consistent, and cohesive.
  • Make sure your target market follows your best social medium.  If your target market is mostly on twitter but you are a pro on FB then it's time to learn twitter.
    • Notice where you get most of your feed back to find your best social medium.
    • Make sure you can ensure metrics on you preferred social network
    • Know what your role is in your social medium. (ex: connector, encourager, educator)
    • Go to where your audience is and leave comments.
  • Rebranding
    • It is OK to change.
    • Do it slowly.
    • Rebranding is more than changing your background it is revising character, tone, language, and or purpose.
  • Understand Brand vs. Content Metrics
    • Examples of metrics to measure your content include views, likes, and comments.
    • Examples of metrics to measure your brand include subscribers, emails, inbox, and direct metrics, and interactions with companies.
      • Inbox, emails, and direct message questions are a signal that you are doing something right.
  • Pay attention to the design of your site.  Have a consistent visual presence.
    • Look at your site from your mobile.  Make sure it resizes properly to mobile devices.
    • Make what you care about be the most visual thing on your site.
    • Make sure your business cards web design, facebeook, and twitter are consistent.
  • Build Relationships.
    • Don't underestimate the power of face to face meetings. Get out and meet people
    • Don't underestimate the loyalty of your group.  Let people help you.
  • Create a save environment
    • Monitor your comments a discussion of differing views is fine.  Personal attracts and insults are not.
    • People should know what to expect if they come to one of your events.
  • Mentors
    • A bloggy mentor can help you figure out which opportunities to take and which are not really opportunities at all.
    • A bloggy mentor can help you figure out appropriate compensation.
    • A bloggy mentor can help you figure out how to get to your end goal.
  • Compensation
    • Move away from pricing by hour. (Why penalize yourself for being fast?)
    • Don't price by cost.  (Why penalize yourself for controlling your costs?
    • Price by the value of the service.  (a mentor can help)
    • If you are asked to speak at a conference ask up front if speakers are paid upfront. (After you say thank you)
  • Legal protection may be something to look into if you cover controversial topics and you fear being sued.
    • Media insurance is something that may be worth paying for.  (I'd never heard of this before the conference)
    • You can set your blog up as a LLC to protect your personal assets.
    • The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will defend bloggers. 
  • General Tips:
      • Be Patient If you believe and feel this is your calling don't give up. 
      • Do FB and Twitter polls to ask your audiences opinion when making decisions
      • Remember to bring skills from your everyday 9 to 5 job to make you a better blogger.
      • Make sure any brands you work with are relevant to your audience and a good fit.
      • Be able to articulate your value.
      • Social Flow is a pay site that schedules your tweets and posts them at the appropriate time based on what is happening in social media. 
Whoa! So much info!!!  Where other than a conference can you get so much info and personal examples about blogging?  What do you think of these tips?  Which ones do you like? 

*PS if you missed the first two post in the series check them out:
     Post 1 Conferences, Conferences, Conferences
     Post 2 More Blogging Tips

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flashback Friday: God is Good to Me!

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Happy Flashback Friday :-) This weeks Flashback is about waking up one morning and realizing I have been changing for the better. In the post God is Good to Me,  I as the questions, "How is God good to you?" and "How has Chasing Joy changed your mind set?" 

If you are not familiar with the Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and link up! You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. Flashback Friday is a great way to rediscover our earlier works and discover some new blogs. Just pick out your link and add it below. Use hashtags #FBF or #FlashbackFriday on twitter to advertise your Flashback post.

Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts. I suggest the two listed before your post to make it easy. Please leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts. I'm looking forward to reading all of your Flashbacks.

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!

**Also don't forget to invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

More Blogging Tips: Blogging While Brown Recap Continued

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About 3 weeks ago I was all excited and a little nervous as I mentally prepared to attend my 3rd blog conference, my 1st time at Blogging While Brown.  Excited about how much my blog would improve by attending and soaking up knowledge at yet another blog conference.  Nervous about networking and intermingling with strangers.  I was wrong to be nervous.  I learned a lot and made some new friends.  I even got to chat with an old friend.  One of the 1st people I saw on day 1 of the conference was an old friend from high school.  I also got to meet a Joy Chaser that I communicated with on Twitter, who participates in the #ChasingJoy monthly chat.  Connecting in real life is Awesome!
Me and my High School Friend
I was right to be excited about all of the knowledge I would soak up.  I'm sure you are excited for me to finish my recap of Blogging While Brown so you can soak up some of this knowledge too.  So here goes  :-

In addition to the discussion on blogs and books day 1 also included discussions on blogs and brands, blogs and TV, and turning your blog to a big business. Here are some of the details:
  • There is no single number that tells a brand you are the right blog for there campaign.  They'll look at your overall reach, influence, and readership.  Brands will look at your average post per month and the average number of comments per post.
  • Me & @mamaknowsitall Awesome
    to meet her in person.
  • Brands are looking for engagement.  Do your readers engage with you? Are you engaged in your community?  Respond to Comments** Do you spark conversations on twitter and respond to tweets.
    • Know who cares about the issues you write for better engagement.
  • When working with Brands ask questions about money.  A good question is "What are your budget parameters."  
  • When sending a brand a proposal:
    • Say who you are, what you do, why you do it, who your audience is 
    • Me &  new bloggy friend
      @msmdawson
    • Format should be a PowerPoint document of 5 to 10 slides
    • Include your numbers (facebook, twitter, klout), screen shots, Links, and info on past projects.
      • You can follow up with brands on past projects to see how you helped their campaign
  • Brands look at your about me page and most recent posts
  • Don't forget about Non-Profits when looking into brands.  They need the same type of promotion as for profit brands.
  • Bloggers can make the jump to TV. 
    • Learn to make your point in 20 to 30 seconds for sound bites
    • Use statistics along with your opinions to be more journalistic
    • Verify your info.
    • Record yourself to see how you come across
    • Don't do the "TV Voice"
  • To turn your blog into a big business be special and different to keep the attention of the reader. Stay relevant and know your reader to not lose them over time.  Be authentic and you will attract like minded peeps.
  • When you can't do it alone anymore bring on staff but keep it small.
  • Treat your blog as a business
    • Have a business Plan
    • Do research
    • Take advantage of business opportunities that arise
    • Be open minded
This is just a sampling of all that was covered on Day 1 of Blogging While Brown.  Don't you wish you were there?  I'll give you some time to mull over all of the ways you can improve your blog or online presence with the info above.  But fear not! I will continue my recap soon sharing all that I learned in day 2.  Day 2 happened to be my favorite of the two days.  :-) 

In the mean time, which of the above tips do you think is most helpful?  Which tip will be the most challenging to act on?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Morbidly Obese Temple

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My body is my temple.  My morbidly obese temple that is :-(  At least that's what my doctor's file says.  I recently went to get a check up to make sure that I did not have cancer.  Now, I knew most likely I did not have cancer and that what I was experiencing was just heart burn.  However never having had heart burn and having had my dad pass away from complications to treatment of esophagile cancer, my hypocondriatic inner voice had me a little, ok a lot, nervous. 

The doctor confirmed that I was just having heart burn, which was good.  But then proceeded to lecture me for the remainder of the visit on how I needed to lose weight.  He blessed me with the oh so wonderful label of morbidly obese (do you hear my sarcasim?) and even threw out the possiblities of my needing to have weightloss surgery in the future if I cannot lose the weight.  So that check up did leave me rather bummed.

The good thing is I already knew I needed to lose some weight and have already taken some steps to start treating my body like the temple that it really is.  As a matter of fact only 3 days before my check up I had met with a hypnotist to find out if hypnosis could be a technique to help with my weight loss efforts.  Here is the video I made after my meeting with her.
 


Now, as I mentioned in the video the hypnosis won't work by it self and behavior modification is necessary.  So I will be referring to my list of steps to Rennovate my Temple along with getting more exercise in the form of taking short walks during work and walking my dog more often.

Have you or would you ever try hypnosis for weigtloss, to stop smoking, or for help with some other issue?  If you have what was your experience like? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flashback Friday: Because of My Dad

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Happy Flashback Friday :-) This weeks Flashback is right on time.  My dad passed away almost 3 years ago.  Recovering from the grief of losing him is a lot of the inspiration behind why I started Chasing Joy.  Although I am not constantly overcome with pain and sadness anymore some days are still rough. Like Father's Day, which is this weekend.  I basically like to pretend its just a normal day and try not to miss him too much.  I'm sure some of you can relate.  I'm not quite to the point of being able to use the day to celebrate how awesome he was but I can dedicate this Flashback Friday post to him.  Today's Flashback, Because of My Dad, is about all of the things that I know, feel, and have learned because of my dad.
Now it's time to LINK UP!!! If you are not familiar with the Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and link up! You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. Flashback Friday is a great way to rediscover our earlier works and discover some new blogs. Just pick out your link and add it below. Use hashtags #FBF or #FlashbackFriday on twitter to advertise your Flashback post.

Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts. I suggest the two listed before your post to make it easy. Please leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts. I'm looking forward to reading all of your Flashbacks.

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!
**Also get updates from the Chasing Joy Facebook Page right on your I phone (click here) and download the Chasing Joy blog directly to your Kindle (click here) :-)

Blogging, the Key to a Better More Joyful Sociallife

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People have this notion that bloggers are geeky, anti-social, socially awkward misfits who are afraid to come from behind the monitor.  This could not be more wrong.  Since I started Chasing Joy I have become more and more social.  The blog has helped me to make new friends both on line and in real life.  I have done things that I would not have done without the idea of writing about it giving me motivation.  I have gone, and been invited to, social events that I would have not otherwise attended. 

This weekend is a prime example.  This Saturday June 16th you will find me at the Pink Elephant on South Street in Philly.  I will be attending the Walk the Talk Shoes and Accessories party.  Walk the Talk is a social networking event for fashion insiders and VIP bloggers to socialize, shop, and get free shoes.  I may not be a fashion insider, but I am a blogger, and for this event I'm a VIP blogger (how do you like that).  So if you are in the Philly area and looking for something to do on Saturday stop by the Pink Elephant and get your fashionista on.  The cost is only $10 for admission.  Make sure you look for me to say hi :-)  Who's coming???

In the mean time check out the hostess of Walk the Talk.  This amazing young lady, Tweety Elitou, is a Teen Fashionista, Blogger, and Co-Founder of Young, Hip and Chic.  She is also the host of Fashion Xpression on Urban Xpression.  Visit her site www.younghipchic.onsugar.com.

Have you ever been surprised by how seemingly geeky or nerdy activities like blogging or book clubs can actually help you be more social?


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Conferences Conferences: A Blogging While Brown Recap

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Conferences Conferences and more Conferences, that’s what blogging is all about. Ok. Not really but conferences do make it even cooler. When I first started this blog I was not happy and I was bored. While happiness and joy is something I have to decide on and chase/embrace daily the boredom has completely gone away. When I have down time I am all about Chasing Joy, writing blog post, hosting twitter chats, and connecting with people on twitter and Facebook, so, no time to be bored. Actually no time to get to the pile of laundry eternally on my floor but that is for another post.


 
Conferences. The conferences are what bring it all together for me. I love getting to meet people who actually understand how awesome it is to be a blogger. It is amazing to meet someone in person who you have only tweeted and or Facebooked with. It is wonderful to sit in a room with like-minded people and have them share all the secrets to their blogging success while I scribble it illegibly in my notebook and take pictures of their power point slides.

 
Conferences make it real! Conferences remind you that there is indeed another person on the receiving end of your blog post, tweet, pin, or status update. Conferences make blogging cool. I highly recommend if you have a blog to Google blog conferences right now and find one to go to. But for those of you who cannot do that you have me. So book mark this post and my other posts about blog conferences because right now I’m about to break down all the awesome info I absorbed at Blogging While Brown 2012.

 
This was my first year (won’t be my last) attending this conference. It was a blessing that this was also the first year where there was a full day devoted to the business side of blogging. This 1st day included a segment on going form blog to book. Tips included:
  • Consider your book a part of your overall brand. 
  • Decide what you want people to get out of your book and focus on that.
  • If you are pulling from blog posts for your book find your common theme that fits the book and pull from only those posts. 
  • Show publishers that you have a sizable Facebook and twitter following. While there is no rule of thumb regarding the number (1,000) is a good one.
  • Show that you have a plan for marketing your book. The publisher will not do much of that for you. Be ready to hustle!
  • Be able to explain to a publisher why people will pay for content they can get for free online via your blog.
  • A detailed book proposal with as much info as possible is better than just a pitch. Include
    • Info on competitive tittles of similar books that have done well to show there is an audience for your topic.
    • Your marketing plan.
    • Your bio. 
    • Sample Chapters
  • You do not have to have an agent to connect to publishers and editors. Use the Internet.
    • Google
    • Twitter
    • Linked In
  •  An Agent can help you make connections with some  publishing companies
  •  An Agent or a Contract Lawyer (well versed in the book world) should be involved when it is time to negotiate your deal
  • A resource mentioned that I plan to check out is “How to write a Book Proposal" by Mike Larsen
  • Most importantly don’t get discouraged if you are initially rejected
  • Even more important than not getting discouraged is JUST START. If you have a book inside, let it out. Make time to write. (this is a note to self)
  •  
I'll stop here as this post is starting to get long.  I will continue with my Blogging While Brown recap in a few days.

 In the mean time, tell me have you written or desired to write a book?  If not a book have you or do you desire to produce some other form of expression like music, art work, or photography? If so is there more Joy in the creation or the finished product?
 

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Joyful Summer With Your Girls

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It's Summer Time!  Ok well not technically.  But Memorial Day has come and gone.  The beaches and boardwaks are open. It is once again save to wear white.  All that = Summer Time.  Do you have any ideas of how you want to spend your summer?  Yes? No? Sort of? Well I have some good ideas for things you can do with your girlfriends (family, kids, etc.).  Just head on over to girlfrienology.com and check out my post on 10 Joyful Things To Do With Your Girlfriends This Summer. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Flashback Friday: Reality vs. Feelings

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Happy Flashback Friday :-)  This weeks Flashback, Life Lesson: Feelings vs. Reality, is about how feelings are sometimes just feelings and don't necessarily match up to reality. Have you ever realized that your feelings were not the true reality of the situation?

Now it's time to LINK UP!!! If you are not familiar with the Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and link up! You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. Flashback Friday is a great way to rediscover our earlier works and discover some new blogs. Just pick out your link and add it below. Use hashtags #FBF or #FlashbackFriday on twitter to advertise your Flashback post.

Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts. I suggest the two listed before your post to make it easy. Please leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts. I'm looking forward to reading all of your Flashbacks.

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!

**Also get updates from the Chasing Joy Facebook Page right on your I phone (click here) and download the Chasing Joy blog directly to your Kindle (click here) :-)
 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Free Printable: Joy Bookmarks

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If you’ve been reading this blog for the last couple of weeks then you know I attended the blog conference Bloggy Boot Camp, put on by the SITS Girls. Again I’ll say how awesome it was. I learned a lot and wrote all about it.
One thing that was suggested to enhance our blogs was adding printables. I included it in my blog post covering what you can learn at a blog conference but I really had no clue what it was. It turns out that a printable is exactly what it sounds like. It is a document that can be printed, it is printable. More specifically a printable is a craft or other item such as calendar or meal planner that is can be printed and used.

So in an effort to provide a more interactive experience for you Joy Chasers I have done my first printable. Now, I am not a crafty person though I’d like to be. I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler and it does not matter how many times I measure before I cut each measurement will be different. I blame it on my less than perfect hand eye coordination. One thing I can do is get creative with the computer. So with just a little messing around on the PC, I am happy to offer you the very 1st Chasing Joy Printable

I mentioned a while back that the escape and adventures of books allows me to see each book as a new literary guide towards joy. So what better Printable than something to help you remember where you left off when you have to step away from your book? Enjoy your very own Joy bookmarks!!!


This should be really really simple. Simply click on the link above that says Download your Free printable. When the file opens just print it on card stock. Then cut out your bookmark along the dotted line. Now, no matter what type of book you are reading your bookmark will remind you to keep your focus on Joy.

Did you download the Joy bookmark printable? If so please take a picture of it in use and share it on the Chasing Joy FB page  or email it to me at joychasing@yahoo.com so I can see it in action.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Joyfully Made in the USA

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I am not a very passionate person. I don’t claim a particular cause or movement. I have never been the type to protest or sign petitions. While, this is not necessarily a positive character trait it is not really a bad one either. I think this aspect of my personality is why I am able to relate to so many different types of people and am able to see both sides of most arguments. I tend to be rather diplomatic and people often open up to me. While I may feel certain decisions are not right for me, I am very capable of understanding why someone else may feel those decisions are right for them.


Passionate people do have a certain energy though that I like (unless they are passionate about something stupid like racism, sexism, etc.). Passionate people make you feel excited and often challenge your way of thinking. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being amongst a group of very passionate peeps. So passionate in fact that they left me thinking about them and getting this post up for weeks even, though I’m just getting to it. (Don’t mistake my tardiness with lack of support for their cause. It has more to do with my struggle with time management)

So what were these people so passionate about, you ask. These good old United States of America. Specifically, buying and supporting American made products whenever possible. Now of course I support American Made. I’m all for it… in theory. But I admit I do not go out of my way to look for American made products. I won’t often pass up a good price to stick with the USA made brand. And I’ll admit I drive a foreign car. And there is a good chance that my next one will be foreign too.

So I guess my meeting with these passionate people was an epic fail hunh??? Nope, and the reason why is that they have brought to my attention something I never even thought about. Sarah writes the blog Made in USA Challenge. On her blog she talks about USA made products, and often locally made products that are good quality and easy to access. She makes it seem like it’s not so hard to buy American Made. I don’t really have to go the extra mile maybe just the extra yard or two to get what I want and support our countries industrial base. Josh is just wrapping up a documentary, Made in the USA, The 30 Day Journey, which tests the feasibility of living off of only American made Products for 30 days. Is it possible? We’ll have to check out his documentary to see. Josh has traveled these United States seeing all that we have to offer and from what I heard we have some pretty awesome stuff being made right here in the USA.

So a little of their passion has worn off on me. One thing most of you don’t know about me is that I do not like to spend my money in places that don’t offer good customer service. I do not feel good wasting my spending power on businesses that don’t value the customer. After my meeting with passionate made in USA peeps Sara and Josh I am thinking, could using my spending power to support our US economy give my shopping habit a purpose other than the excitement of having new shinny things. Could making an effort to support American Made products bring a little more Joy to my shopping???

Do you ever think about where the things you purchase are made? Do you purposefully look for Made in the USA products? Do you think it would be possible or realistic to live off of only Made in the USA products?

Stay tuned for Josh’s documentary to see how he made out.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Let's Talk, A Chasing Joy Twitter Chat

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Hi everyone,

I hope you are all having a great weekend.  I sure am.  Today is the second day of the Blogging While Brown Conference.  I am making new bloggy friends and learning a lot.  Of course there will be a post in the future where I'll share all this new knowledge with you. I hope you are feeling as fulfilled as I am with whatever you are doing this weekend. 

Tomorrow is the 1st Sunday of the month.  That means we will be having our monthly twitter chat.  I'd love it if you could take a break from your Sunday routine and spend about an hour chatting with me on twitter about Chasing Joy.  The purpose of the chat is to for us to get to know each other better and to spend just a little time really thinking and discussing ways to have more joy in our lives.

The hashtag will be #ChasingJoy.  The chat will take place tomorrow, June 3rd, at 4pm EST.  It should last approximately an hour or as long as we all want to chat.  Please join me and invite a friend or two to tweet along with us.

Follow me on Twitter @Chasing_Joy  (don't forget the underscore)

How will join me for tomorrow's #ChasingJoy Twitter Chat?

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