Friday, August 31, 2012

Flashback Friday: Can of Joy

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It's Friday! It's Friday!

This Friday's Flashback, Can of Joy, is about the new car effect.  You know, you buy a new car and suddenly you see it everywhere.  Every third car on the highway is your car.  Well the same thing happens with other things you focus on.  Even Joy :-)

Flashback Friday is a great way to rediscover our earlier works and discover some new blogs.  If this is your first Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and give them new life through the power of the linky! Just pick out your link and add it below. You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. 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 invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!

***Make sure you register for The Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy Event here -->> Registration!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hypnosis for Weight Loss: The Disappearing Line

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I’m still investing in my health and desire to treat my body as a temple by exploring Hypnosis for Weight Loss.  Check out my thoughts on my last session.


I’m glad that I went to that session.  I found this session and the first session to be the most helpful.  I liked the idea of me getting to decide for myself what is good for me and not trying to fit my lifestyle into some predetermined diet plan.  From this last session I loved the visual of the barrier between the me that I am right now and the me that I want to be fading.  It is kind of a freeing idea that whatever is in the way and blocking my potential can be removed.  To help me hold on to that visual I came up with the following image for myself.
It is not easy to admit some of the ways I feel about myself now. I like to think I have higher self esteem but excess body weight weighs on the spirit just as much as it weights on the body. In some cases Honesty is the best policy. I hope it is true in this case. I hope being honest with myself about my true feelings and how I want to feel will be a great incentive to go for the healthy changes I have been working on. I also hope that focusing on how I want to feel and what I can do to get there will be bring about a more positive mind set.


But the most important part of the image is the faded line in the middle. Seeing the line between me now and where I want to be fading is a reminder that it is possible to make these transitions. To see myself as not only pretty but sexy, to no longer fear insults and feel confident. It is possible to look in the mirror and see that the way I imagine myself and the way I look in reality are one and the same.

Imagine the barriers between your life now and your more joyful life fading away. What would be on the sides of your movie screen? How do you see yourself and feel now and how do you think you will see yourself and feel after you tackle your own personal challenges?

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Time To Talk to Dad

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Dear Dad,


Lately your favorite bible verse has been on my mind.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
Today I am allowing myself A time to Weep as I acknowledge how much I miss you. I cannot believe it has been 3 years (today) since your passing. I still expect to see you sitting in your chair in your apartment and to hear you whistle coming in the door.
Today is also a time to Laugh as I remember all of the jig dances you’d do and pretend you didn’t know we were watching. I laugh remembering how you’d tease mom almost every day until she’d yell at you to “shut up” then you’d laugh and say “ah you said it!” I laugh remembering how excited you were to find out you were going to be a grandfather and declaring you had to have an original name that no one had ever been called before. When you came up with “One-Pop” it sounded so bizarre but now it sounds so normal :-)

Today I am having a time to heal as I remind myself and everyone else who has lost a love one that it is ok to be happy and have a great life. That constant sorrow and grief do not honor them. But focusing on happy memories and creating new ones is what they want for us. I know at times it seems like to be happy without them is a form or betrayal. But that is not the case. That is an example of how feelings are sometimes just feelings and do not reflect reality. Reality is that they want you to be happy and have a joy filled life.

Today I experience a time to Love. While I cannot say any good came from your death. I can say that one thing that I have learned is that Love truly can be unconditional. I still feel how much you love me as though you were still here. I feel it every day. It has not decreased in any way. I feel comforted by it always.

Today, sadly is also a time to Hate. What I hate is Cancer! I still have a hard time even saying that word. I think of it as a curse “the C word” is what I say in my mind. Since it took you from us it has also taken one of my oldest friend’s mom, another’s grandma, and one of my book club friends. It is currently attacking one of my college friend’s mom. It even came after Hurt but God blessed him with a healing and he is still with us. I hate it and pray for a cure.

Today is a time to Sow and Plant. This letter I write you is posted on my blog. This blog has helped me to not get stuck in grief and mourning. I don’t think you knew years ago that sharing the short story you wrote about the true meaning of Christmas, as learned by a family experiencing a fire during the holiday, would inspire me to become a writer. Well it did :-) I write about gratitude, trying new things, personal growth, health and happiness. On my blog I plant and sow seeds of Joy to be harvested by myself and any readers who can relate.

Lastly today is a time of Peace. Growing up attending Seventh Day Adventist Church and School I had the belief that when a person died their soul remained at rest until judgment day. But after your passing I keep thinking of the scripture that says something like “to be absent with the body is to be present with God”. I am greatly comforted by the idea of you as an Angel. Someone close to me dreamed of you flapping your Angel Wings. I can imagine you in heaven running track with Jessie Owens and listening to Whitney sing. For a while I really wondered where you were, meaning your spirit. But I’m not going to wonder anymore. Instead I’ll allow myself to find comfort in any thoughts of you that make me smile. I remind myself that I don’t have to know every about the afterlife. I find peace in knowing that if I have the faith of a mustard seed, God will take care of the rest, and that I will see you again.

Dad, I miss you greatly but I am well because I promised you I would be. I feel your love and know you would be proud of me.

Love Forever.

Chasing Joy does not mean pretending bad and painful things don’t happen. There is a time for every emotion even the bad ones. How do you experience but not become overwhelmed with grief after losing a loved one?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Flashback Friday: The Joy of Forgiveness

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Happy Friday!!! What are you thoughts on forgiveness? Do you forgive and forget or do you say forget forgiving all together. This week's Flashback, The Joy of Forgiveness, shares what I think about forgiveness.

If this is your first Flashback here is the deal. Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and link up! 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. You can also post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page. 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 invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!
***Make sure you register for The Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy Event here -->>Registration!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mini Coopers and Veggies, a Joyful Night

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Check out my book!!!
In my post on the Philly’s 17 days of Fashion I told you about how I’m not bored anymore because I get invited to all of these really neat events because of my blog. Well in addition to attending the kickoff for the 17 days of fashion I was invited to another event this past weekend. (I told you, not bored anymore :-) On Thursday evening I attended the Women and Wheels Event by Virtua health. It was held at the Holman Mini dealership in New Jersey.

I really had a great time at this event as. For starters I did not get lost. That is a big deal since I am known to get turned around every time I venture across the bridge from Philly into NJ. This event was jam packed with awesomeness. You could test drive a mini cooper, get a neck and back massage, get a hand massage, talk to vendors, sit in on short breakout sessions, and snack on yummy refreshment, no hors d'oeuvres, shrimp should definitely be considered and hors d’oeuvres. I was invited to Women and Wheels by Virtua Woman, who I met at Bloggy Boot Camp. (See that, if you are on the fence about attending a blog conference, take note of all the cool people I have met at them).

The atmosphere was very easy going and fun. Lots of laughter and chatter going on. At the end people got to win stuff that is always cool. It’s especially cool when I get to be one of those people. Winning!!!

But what I most enjoyed about the event was that I learned something new.  I attended the breakout session with Alene Brennan on seasonal eating and how to transition from summer to fall/winter foods. This session was right on time for me.  As regular readers know I am making healthy changes in order to treat my body like a temple. In her short 15 minute session Alene dropped some major knowledge on us. Here are the highlights:

  • While there are 4 calendar seasons there are only 3 food (or harvest) seasons. Spring, Summer, and Fall/winter.
  • Eating according to the harvest seasons is our original diet before mass production and transportation of food became commonplace.
  • At the Virtua Event!!!
  • When you eat foods in seasons you are eating fruit and vegetables when they are the most plentiful, flavorful, and the least expensive.
  • Eating foods in season allows you to take advantage of the natural cooling or thermal properties of the foods.
  • Foods good to eat as when we get into fall and winter include
    • Root vegetables - potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, etc.
    • Cabbage
    • Broccoli
    • Whole grains
  • When deciding whether to buy organic or non-organic fruits and veggies consider the thickness of the skin and weather or not you eat the skin. Go for organic fruits and veggies with thin edible skin.
  • Check out the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen for a list of what to buy organic.
That's a lot of info for a 15 minute session.

The final highlight of the evening was when my name was randomly picked from the names of people who attended the Seasonal Eating session.  As winner of that drawing I got to go home with the book If It Makes You Healthy by Sheryl Crow and Chuck White. 

Do you change your diet along with the seasons?  What fall/winter food are you looking forward to cooking when the season changes?

P.S. Make sure you are following Virtua Woman on Twitter and Facebook so you can find out about cool events like this one :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Joy of the Press Pass!!!

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When I first started this blog I gave it the title Chasing Joy Or Maybe Just Running From Boredom.  I knew I needed more joy in my life but I also was thinking maybe boredom was my problem.  You know how they say an idle mind is the devil's workshop.  I thought I had too much time on my hands and was filling it with negative self talk, self pity, and depressing thoughts.  Well I'm happy to say boredom is definitely not the case.

Nervous before the party

Since starting Chasing Joy I have been amazed at the places it has taken me.  I have been invited to more and more events. Who knew all of these things were happening in and around my city. Did you know that right now in we are in the midst of Philly's 17 Days of Fashion? 

On my way to the party.

Neither did I until I got invited to the Kickoff party by my bloggy buddy Your Chic is Showing.  I met Your Chic is Showing at Blogging While Brown.  See, you meet awesome people at blog conferences who then invite you to stuff :-)  I really enjoy her fashion blog and Your Chic is Showing is one of the sponsors of The Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy Charity Event.  So I quickly accepted her invitation to the kick off party.



Me and Who is Urban Buttafly

Before the party I was really nervous.  If you are a frequent reader you know Chasing Joy is not a fashion blog.  While I occasionally touch on the fact that putting our best foot forward appearance wise can boost our confidence and thereby increase our joy, I do not give any real  fashion advice. I was hoping I'd pull together a look that was fashionable enough to fit in amongst this crowd.  I posted pictures on Facebook and my peeps ensured me that I was looking good.  On top of being worried about fitting in wardrobe wise I was more nervous when I discovered that the R&B singer Genuine would be at this event.  This indeed was an A List crowd and I was included.  Butterflies were fluttering at olympic record pace.
Me and the Lovely Ladies from
Bellanor Boutique and Short Curvy Fierce

All of my nerves were for naught.  The event was great.  I fit in and had people to talk to.  In addition to Your Chic is Showing (who was looking very chic)  other friends at the party included my model friend  Short Curvy Fierce and two other Joy of Giving Charity Event sponsors Who is Urban Buttafly, and Bellanor Boutique (make sure you show all of our sponsor's some love and visit their sites). 

Me and the sketch artist Veronica
In addition to catching up with those girls I did meet a some new people.  There was a sketch artist (Veronica Marche) who was really cool!  She photographed me and then drew me in really good detail in about 10 minutes.  I loved the sketch!!!  I also chatted with the caterer, Chef Rashaun.  He had a really beautiful display out.  I did not eat much because I have yet to master the art of balancing my cocktail and my food while standing looking pretty in heels.  But what I did have was on point!!!

Chef Rashaun and his beautiful spread!
Another highlight of the event was when I arrived and got checked in I was given a press pass.  This was my first ever press pass.  Did you know bloggers were considered press?  Well now you know :-)  I did not really need the press pass as people were eager to talk about all of the up coming events.  But I did feel important having it.  I also felt even more important to find out that the entire event was invitation only.  For a girl who was never really part of the in crowd it is pretty cool to have made the list.
My press pass!!
My sketch!
For all of you Genuine fans, you will be happy to hear that he did indeed attend the event.  It was not one of those deals where an celebrity's name is used but they don't show.  He was in the building.  He even said a few words during the thank you address.

Feeling Fabulous at the party!!
I am so glad I did not give in to my nerves and stay home.  This was a great kickoff for the 17 days of fashion.  I'm sure all of the other events will be great as well.  You can check them out on the Philly 17 days of fashion page.  Of all the events I think I'll only make it to one other.  I plan to be at Bellanor Boutique for Fully Loving Me, on August 29th.  One event I wish I could attend but can't because of a prior engagement is The Curvy Closets Plus Size Fashion Showcase on September 1st.


Which of the 17 days of fashion events have you or would like to attend?  For those of you who blog, has blogging opened up a new social scene for you as it has for me? 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flashback Friday: Sanctuary of Joy

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Happy Friday!!! One of the great things about Flashback Friday is how quickly Friday seems to come around since I started this linky.  :-)  I hope you had a good week.  Mine was really good for the most part.  This evening I attended the Virtua Women and Wheels event (blog post coming soon) and tomorrow I'll be attending a fashion event for the kick off to the 17 days of Fashion here in Philly. It really is amazing to me the awesome places this blog is taking me.So it was a good week for me and is shaping up to be a good weekend as well.

This weeks flashback post, Sanctuary of Joy, is about me attempting to make my home more of a Joyful sanctuary by getting some new more comfy furniture.  I can't  believe it has almost been two  years since I got the furniture.  I'm happy to say that I was able to reclaim my soul from Raymour and Flanagan and paid off that loan.  I'm not happy to say that my efforts toward creating a more zen space must continues since I am still battling the clutter monster
If this is your first 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 invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!

***Make sure you register for The Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy Event here -->> Registration!!!



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Take Time to Play for Joy

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So you think kids have all the fun with there cartoons, handheld games, and toys?  Well think again.  Even adults need a time to play. Find out how I like to de-stress and find Joy but setting aside a few minutes for a child like escape.  Check out my post today on A Time To Play!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Less Clutter, More Joy

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A few weeks ago I visited on of my oldest friends. I have known this particular friend my entire life. She is the person I spent most of my social time with during my teenage years. Needless to say even if we’ve not seen each other for a while we still feel very comfortable around each other. So much so, that neither of us feel the need to go into that massive cleaning because “company” is coming over drill.

When my friend opened the door to her home and invited me in I was not at all shocked by what I saw. Her place was a mess! But I had to laugh, because at that every moment my place was a mess also. Then I started thinking of my other girlfriends and realized most of their places were a mess too. This lack of housekeeping skills is one characteristic we share that is not a good one.

Now don’t misunderstand. None of us have dirty homes. I would happily eat any food they prepared in their homes without a second thought. As they have eaten in mine. The kind of mess I’m talking about is Junk. Just stuff everywhere. Things that need to be put away but there has not been time to do it. Things that have taken up permanent residence on the couch or on the kitchen table that clearly do not belong there.

Not long after visiting my childhood friend I was texting with one of my friends from college. She felt not being able to get rid of the clutter in her home was an obstacle keeping her from pursuing some other goals. This clutter was definitely impacting her quality of life and definitely steeling some of her Joy.

I have to admit it too. This messy house has definitely been an obstacle that has been in the way since I started Chasing Joy. Never feeling like I can just invite people over on a whim is in the way. My mom helps me with my cleaning. I even took up housework as my own personal sacrifice for Lent. Yet, more often then not my house is way to messy for guests.

However, I do have one good friend who is changing. She has managed to make a significant dent in her clutter issue. Of course I asked her how she did it. She told me what she did and sent me an article to read that she found inspirational. I read the article and also did a little research on my own. Based on what I found here are my tips (tips I need to put to use) for getting the clutter out to make room for Joy:
  • Have a place for everything that way when you clean up you know where everything is supposed to go. This is my biggest issue I have more stuff than places for the stuff.
  • Get rid of some of your stuff. Most of us have clothes we don’t wear, DVDs we don’t watch, and books we won’t or have already read. Get rid of some of it. Having less stuff will make it easier to find a place for it.
  • My friend’s favorite tip is to establish a launch pad. The launch pad is a place for your purse, keys, cell phone, and any other things that you take with you every time you leave the house. Have a special place for them, the launch pad, instead of leaving them in random places. This tip should also save you time since you won’t be looking for these items on your way out the door.
  • Get rid of something when you buy something new. I surely don’t have an infinite amount of space in my house and I bet you don’t either. So let’s stop acting like we do and get rid of old stuff as we take on new stuff. (you can get rid of some of your old work clothes and accessories at The Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy Charity Event this October).
  • Make sure your kids and spouse know where things belong. I’m sure knowing won’t actually make them put things away but maybe they will 20% of the time, OK, 10% of the time, I think?
  • Every time you leave a room, look around for things that don’t belong in the room and take them out with you. This can keep things from piling up too much.
  • Work on decluttering a little bit each day. I found this calendar on tipjunkie.com that gives you one small task to do every day. If we all try it we can be clutter free in a year :-)
 Like I said, these are all tips that I NEED TO EMBRACE What tips can you offer to help me and my friends clear out the clutter to make more room for Joy?

I looked at the following sites for decluttering tips:
organizedhome.com, zenhabits.net and tipjunkie.com

Friday, August 10, 2012

Flashback Friday: Joyless Jobs & the Girlfriend's Guide to Goals

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Happy Friday!!!  This was a fast week for me.  What about you?  This weeks flashback post is perfect for a Friday.  I know you are sitting there at work watching the clock waiting for quitting time.  Well as you go into your weekend be grateful you won't be returning to any of these Joyless Jobs on Monday. 

If for some unfortunate reason you will be returning to one of those unfortunate Joyless Jobs maybe it's time to make finding a new job one of your main goals.  Not sure how to set a goal?  Check out my August Girlfriendology post, the Girlfriend's Guide to Goals and learn all about how to set goals. 

If this is your first 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 invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!
***Make sure you register for The Joy of Giving, Chasing Joy Event here -->> Registration!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

20 Dont's for a Joyful Life

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A couple weeks ago I was reading the fitness and weight loss blog posts of Phit-N-Phat.  One of the posts was talking about how when you are watching what you eat and say "I can't have" something it almost automatically makes people what you to have it.  They are not intending to be food pushers and are often not aware that they may be pressuring you to go off your plan.  The word can't implies you are being deprived and we don't want our friends to be deprived, right?  So as soon as you say "I cant have dessert" people immediately say things like can't you have a little piece, you can have some if you work it off, etc... Your friends don't want you to be left out or miss out on what they are experiencing.  Conversely the post said if you say "I don't eat sugar", "I don't eat fried foods", etc... people usually say OK and all those helpful suggestions on how you could still indulge stop. 

Funny how powerful words are.  The simple switch from "can't" to "don't" also brings about a completely different emotion.  Often the don't has a negative connotation.  But it does not have to.  Sometimes the word don't can be strong and purposeful.  For example when I say I can't go over my budget I automatically think of all of the things I want but cannot buy.  However when I say I don't go over my budget I feel strong, in control, and determined. 

I think it is time I embrace the word don't.
  • I don't have to please everyone!
  • I don't need to make other people's happiness a higher priority than my own!
  • I don't take advantage of other peoples insecurities or weaknesses!
  • I don't go a single day without praying!
  • I don't doubt my own intelligence!
  • I don't do things that will hurt me!
  • I don't expect to be perfect!
  • I don't hate anyone!
  • I don't delight in the misfortune of others!
  • I don't accept a life without Joy!
  • I don't need everyone to like me!
  • I don't give up on myself or my dreams!
I have those dont's down. Here are a few dont's that I need to adopt:
  • I don't overeat!
  • I don't eat to mask my emotions!
  • I don't let other people's decisions stress me!
  • I don't worry about things I can't control!
  • I don't engage in negative self-talk!
  • I don't doubt myself!
  • I don't over analyze the past!
  • I don't do things just because it is expected!
What are some of you dont's?  What dont's do you need to adopt?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Flashback Friday: Because of My Mom

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Happy Feel Good Friday Joy Chasers! It does not need to be mother's day, her birthday, or any other special day to give my  mom a shout out.  She is awesome and is largely responsible for the awesome parts of me.  It runs in the family you know :-)  This weeks flashback post is about all the things that I have learned and experienced Because Of My Mom.  Who contributed to your awesomeness Joy Chasers??

If this is your first 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 invite some of your blogging buddies to join the Linky too!

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