Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Joy Everyday!

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When I move life will be so much better.  I will have so much more fun.
When I get a car everything will be much less stressful.  It will be great.
When I lose this weight I will have so much fun.
When I get married I will never be lonely.
When I have kids I will have an excuse to do fun kiddy things again.

I am guilty of having had all of the above thoughts.  When I write them out I realize how silly and unrealistic they sound.  I am the girl who is always planning for the next big thing, the next goal, the next milestone.  I have found much happiness in having accomplished goals.  Not happiness while working toward the goal, but delayed gratification and then happiness at the time of dream fulfillment.  This way of thinking leads to lots of waiting for x, y, and z to happen before happiness can be experienced.  Lot's of "just get through this" and one day you'll  have fun, be less stress, not be lonely, and be a kid at heart, type of thinking.

There is nothing wrong with a little delayed gratification.  It is good for our waist line, wallet, and self-control.  But a life time of it is just sad.  I don't want this sad kind of life any more.  I want to experience the Joy of accomplishing goals but also enjoy every day in between.  I want to delay gratification only within reason and not as a way of life as though happiness is only deserved when specific milestones are reached.

I want a better life now.
I want less stress now.
I want to have fun now.
I want to ward of loneliness now.
I want to unleash my inner kid now.

Have you ever disallowed yourself to be happy until certain milestones or accomplishments were met? Are you ready to let yourself experience Joy just because it is Joyful to be alive and working toward those goals and milestones?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Create Personal Mantras To Feel More Joy

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Often on the Twitter or Chasing Joy Facebook page I have posted "No Negative Self Talk Today".  I'm not going to go into why we should not talk negatively to ourselves.  I'm not going to explain how it is bad for our self esteem or how most of us are way harder on ourselves than we'd be on anyone else.  I know you all know that already.  :-)

We are all in agreement that Negative Self Talk is a no no. The question then becomes what should we be saying to ourselves?  My answer is Mantras!  According to my good friends at Merriam-Webster  a mantra is defined as follows:
 1: a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating
2: a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone's basic beliefs 
You may remember that meditating is not Joyful to me therefore I am applying the second definition.  I am going to repeat words and phrases often that express my beliefs about me.  These Mantras will serve as Positive Self Talk.

To develop my mantras I considered what type of negative self talk struggling with the most.  Then I developed mantras of positive self talk to combat the negative.  For me these areas are confidence, body image, and anxiety.  Here are my mantras:

Confidence - I am a smart, talented, kind person who is an asset to those around me in all situations.  
Body Image - My body is strong and beautiful with feminine curves.  I nourish it with water, fruit, vegetables  lean meat and whole grains.  I enjoy other foods within reason. I take pleasure in the energy my body produces to maintain an active lifestyle.  
Anxiety - I am at exactly the time and place in my life to receive God's blessings.  I am not alone and have friends and family who love me.  God has delivered me from stressful situations in the past and continues to do so.  
I am going to recite these mantras daily and let you know my results :-)
Combat negative self talk with positive self talk.  Create your own personal mantras to feel more Joyful.  

Did you create your own? Do you have one already?

Friday, February 22, 2013

#FlashbackFriday & Blogaversary Giveaway Winners Announced

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Happy Friday Joy Chasers!!!  It's time for Flashback Friday once again.  But before we do that, we have some business to take care of.  Blogaversary Giveaway business!!!  Thanks so much for everyone who has supported me in 3 years of blogging and thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.

There was a total of twelve items up for grabs.  Each winner was drawn at random using Rafflecopter; therefore some entrants have won more than one prize.

Our winners are:
Megan - $10 Bredenbecks Bakery Gift Certificate -
Ashley Marie Morrissey - Creekside Naturals Gift Basket and Motions Shine and Hold Hair Spray
Madeline Brubaker - Epiphany Mobile Spa Gift Basket and Motions Shine and Hold Hair Spray
Carolina Thomas - Motions Shine and Hold Hair Spray
Kelly Falcone - How To Get Organized in 24 Hours E-Book and Motions Shine and Hold Hair Spray
Angel Amore - Motions Shine and Hold Hair Spray
Jenna Hudson - Creekside Naturals Soap for a year
Nancy Joy Hornig Bowers - How To Get Organized in 24 Hours E-Book
Nikki Cunningham - Emeralistic Treasures Item

Congrats Ladies!!!  You will be receiving an email and will have until 11:59 Pm Sunday, Feb 24 to reply claiming your prize.  If you do not reply a new winner will be selected.

Now on to the Flashback!!!

Here are my two favorite posts from last week's Flashback Friday Link up.

Twitter Tips for Business - An Oldie offers good easy to follow tips on how to use Twitter.

http://janeanesworld.com/best-pick-up-line-ever-the-communist-manifesto/  is a great story of how Janeane met her husband.  I love hearing how people meet :-)

My flashback this week is Running Towards Joy... Slowly :-( .  It is about the challenges I felt when training for my first 5k.  Check it out and share your thoughts and experiences on running.

Now it is time for you to link up.  Here is how it works.  Pick out your link for Flashback Friday and add it below.  Link to any post you like of any theme you want.  Then post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page so more Joy Chasers can read it.  Use the hashtag #FlashbackFriday or #FBF on twitter to promote your Flashback posts. Then, make sure you check out AT LEAST TWO other flashback posts.  I suggest the two links before your post to make it easy.  If you link up early be sure to come back and checkout those who join the linky after you.   Please leave a comment below saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts.

Give your old post new live via the power of the linky!!!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Joyful Inspiration for Wordless / Wordful Wednesday

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Happy Wednesday!!! Here is something for your viewing pleasure. Wordless / Wordful Wednesday!!! :-)




Monday, February 18, 2013

The Joy of Celebrating Black History Month with Macy's #IInconversation #BHMonths

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Do you celebrate Black History Month?  I have to say I don't.  I don't not celebrate it on purpose.  I just don't really do anything special to celebrate it.  Since I started blogging I do make an effort to share quotes from Black people during February and from women during March (women's history month) Aside from that I don't do anything special.  So my recent outing to Macy's to attend a panel discussion entitled In Conversation celebrating the accomplishments of Gordon Parks for Black History Month was a nice departure.

I had a great time at the event.  There was a nice crowd and a pleasant atmosphere.  The wine and hors d'oeuvres were an unexpected and pleasant touch for a free event.  Before the panelist came out for the "In Conversation" discussion we were entertained by the University of the Arts Jazz Band.  They were really good.  Coming from me that is a huge compliment because as a rule I don't like Jazz Music.  I particularly liked the saxophonist.  He was really talented and got shy when he was photographed.

Here is a quick sample of how they sounded.


When the Panelist came out I was pleasantly surprised to See Kim Coles as the only female panelist.  I remember her from watching Living Single back in the day.  I was struck by how beautiful she looked.

The other Panelist included Mike D. (founder of Reelblack), and Joseph Lewis (writer and producer).  The other celebrity guess that I'm sure many of you recognized was Eriq Le Salle.  I'm sure you remember him from ER and also from Coming to America :-)

The discussion was great.  I had never heard of Gordon Parks prior to being invited to this event, though I had definitely seen pictures of him before.  The panelist discussed the impact Gordon Parks had on their careers.  Eriq spoke about how he wants to move from genre to genre similar to Parks who moved from photographer, to film maker and composer.  Eriq has made the move from Actor to working behind the scenes and is now an Author.  His book is Laws of Depravity.

Here are a few highlights that stand out in my mind.

  • Gordon Parks never graduated High School.  That never stood in his way he believed there were opportunities out there for him and he was ready to take advantage of them when they presented themselves.  
  • We have Gordon Parks to thank for Shaft!  The original 1971 version.  
  • Gordon Parks traveled the world drawing attention to impoverished people. 
  • The panelist encouraged us not just go along with the flow but to instead define our own box and even jump outside of it every once in a while.
  • The panelist encouraged us to keep pushing for more and not to settle.
  • The panelist talked a lot about living and doing business with integrity.
  • Audience Q & A with the panelist touched on the consumer's responsibility in supporting images that we do not feel are accurate representations of black culture.
  • There was also discussion of the youth and our responsibility to guide them in the proper and improper use of social media.   
  • Here is a bit of the conversation on Social Responsibility




Overall this was a great event.  I am so glad I was able to attend. It was really nice to actually do something for Black History month.  I think I'll look for more events like this during the culturally themed months.    #InConversation and the Gordon Parks #BHMonth exhibit is at Macy's all over the country.  Go here to find out when it will be at a Macy's near you.
Black History Month at Macy's

Gordon Parks photographs

Do you do anything special to celebrate Black History month? Have you gone to an #InConversation event in your area?  What were your takeaways?  What do you know about Gordon Parks?  Let's talk :-)

Oh!  One of the most fun things about going to the Gordon Parks event at Macy's was I got to make a new bloggy friend @mamlatinaphilly.  Head over to her blog if you want to read about the event in Spanish :-)
Me and @mamlatinaphhilly :-) 


Friday, February 15, 2013

#FlashbackFriday : Fear Truth & Joy

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Happy Friday Joy Chasers!!!

Hope you all had a good week.  It was a fast one for me.  I can't believe we are back at the Flashback Friday Link up already.

Here are my favorites from last week's link up:

Hashtags During Storms exemplifies how people are turning to social media in situations where they'd typically turn to the news, like the weather.

The link Lynne was so beneficial to me.  It tells us what cancer patients are going through, as she sees it.

My Flashback Friday link this week is Fear Truth & Joy.  It is about that part of becoming an adult where you realize so many things you thought of as facts really are not facts at all.

What post are you linking up with?

Here is how it works.  Pick out your link for Flashback Friday and add it below.  Link to any post you like of any theme you want.  Then, if you want, you can post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page so more Joy Chasers can read it.  Use the hashtag #FlashbackFriday or #FBF on twitter to promote your Flashback posts. Then, make sure you check out AT LEAST TWO other flashback posts.  I suggest the two links before your post to make it easy.  If you link up early be sure to come back and checkout those who join the linky after you.   Please leave a comment below saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts.

Give an old post new life through the power of the linky!!!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February #ChasingJoy Chat Recap

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As a successful blogger (yes I consider myself successful, :-) I feel I should be active on twitter. Facebook is my social media medium of choice.  I find it to be much easier to talk to people and I get more interaction.  I don't dislike twitter but I find that my twitter feed often looks like a listing of links, no real conversations. In an effort to have more fun and more of a conversation on twitter I started hosting the monthly #ChasingJoy twitter chat.  It is a lot of fun and helps me get to know my twitter friends a bit better.

The chat is always the 1st Sunday of the month at 4pm EST. The February Chat was postponed because of the Superbowl and took place this past Sunday.  Don't feel bad if you missed it because here is the recap.  Make sure you join in the conversation next month on Sunday March 3rd.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day Gift, Free Love Joy Printable Bookmarks

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Valentine's Day is this week.  I know many people do not celebrate it.  In fact some people flat out hate it.  While I don't think it is a major holiday I do think it is a nice.  Hopefully most of us do not need a holiday to tell us to do something special for the people we love.  But some of us do need that.  Some of us are not comfortable expressing our feelings or being romantic and it is nice to have so many things available to show our loved ones what we are not comfortable saying.  I also think that if there is a day when lots of people are expressing their love for one another why would I not want to participate.

I have mentioned before that too much emphasis is placed on romantic love at Valentine's Day.  Valentine's Day is for all of us.  So feel free to show yourself a little love. Feel free to show you family a little love.  Maybe even show your pets a little love, whatever will bring you a little Joy.

With that being said I have a Valentine's Day gift for all of you. Here are your very own Love Joy Printable Bookmarks.  I've mixed pale pink with my signature green shade for these bookmarks.  Red is too romantic I mean I love you all, but not like that. Ewe, LOL!!! The bookmarks feature quotes from Linda Wall, Maya Angelou, Plato, Shakespeare, and James Wilcox.

You just cut them apart along the dotted lines.
It's easy enough for me to do it!  
Click here for your free Love Joy Bookmarks.  I hope you love them.  If you do, feel free to print out a set or two for your book loving friends.  Oh, and they come out the best printed on firm paper like card stock.  

Did you print them out?  If so please sent me a picture of your Love Bookmarks in action email me at Joychasing@yahoo.com, tweet me your picture @Chasing_Joy, or post it to the Chasing Joy FB page.

Have a great Valentine's Day!!!

PS. You can still download the Joy Bookmarks I created a while ago here.

Friday, February 8, 2013

#FlashbackFriday: The Joy of Volunteering... Or Maybe Not

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Happy Flashback Friday!

I hope you all had a great week.  Mine was pretty good.  Yesterday would have been my dad's birthday. I took off work and celebrated it with my mom by having a little fun at Parx casino and having dinner out.  Do you acknowledge the birthdays of loved ones who have passed away???

Anyway, back to Flashback Friday.  Here are a few of my favorites from last week:

Michelle @SSB is a quick do it yourself project that you can do with your little one.  You can even do something similar on an adult level for your significant other.
Fitness Friday Protein Shake via @Mommy Talk Show shares a healthy protein shake recipe that includes spinach.
Ask Doctor G offers parents advice on how to handle it when kids don't want affection anymore.


Pick out your link for Flashback Friday and add it below.  Link to any post you like of any theme you want.  Then, if you want, you can post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page so more Joy Chasers can read it.  Use the hashtag #FlashbackFriday or #FBF on twitter to promote your Flashback posts. Then, make sure you check out AT LEAST TWO other flashback posts.  I suggest the two links before your post to make it easy.  If you link up early be sure to come back and checkout those who join the linky after you.   Please leave a comment below saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts.

Wait!  Before you link up I want to remind you of a couple of things going on with Chasing Joy.   Be sure to enter my Most Joyful Things Giveaway.  There are lots of prizes and lots of ways to enter. Go here ->Most Joyful Things Giveaway.  Also be sure to get your tickets today for the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn before prices go up on 02/10.  Get your tickets here -> #CJBL Tickets 

My Flashback Link, The Joy of Volunteering... or Maybe Not is about a volunteering experience I had that did not go the way I expected.

Now, give an old post new life through the power of the linky!!!


*Make sure you invite your bloggy friends to join in the Flashback so our little link party can grow.*
**Come back and link up again next week. **

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Macy's Celebrates Black History Month & Gordon Parks

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Do any of you live under a rock?  I did not think so. Therefore, you all know that it is Black History Month in these United States of America.  I like Black History Month.  I think it's cool to focus on the accomplishments of Black people for a month.  I know there are other celebratory months as well (Women's History Month in March).  I like those too for the same reason.  As a matter of fact I think I'll look up what the other celebratory months are and share a post about them too.  Anyway I'm getting off topic.

Guess who is joining in on the Black History Month fun.  Macy's, that's who.  This month Macy's, The Gordon Parks Foundation and the American Black Film Festival are celebrating the 100th Birthday of Gordon Parks.  I'm excited because I get to join them in the celebration.  Next Wednesday February 13th I'll be heading down to Macy's Center City (1300 Market St, Philadelphia, PA) to attend "In Conversation".  "In Conversation" is a spirited discussion on Gordon Parks' influence on film and the future of African-American cinema with actor Malik Yoba.  "In Conversation" will be moderated by NBC's Monique Braxton and veteran writer & producer Joseph Lewis. The event is free to attend, so I hope many of you come out. Just register via Macy's Eventbrite.

So, who is Gordon Parks?  Here is a hint; he is not Rosa Parks' father, son, or husband.  Gordon Parks was the first African-American to work for LIFE magazine. He was hired as a staff photographer in 1948. Gordon Parks went on to find success as a photographer, film director, author and composer interacting with many prominent people of his era including politicians, artists, celebrities, and athletes.  He was a humanitarian who was committed to social justice.  His body of work documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights and urban life.

Because I love a good quote here are a few from Gordon Parks:
"There's another horizon out there, one more horizon that you have to make for yourself and let other people discover it, and someone else will take it further on, you know."
“Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.” 
 “The guy who takes a chance, who walks the line between the known and unknown, who is unafraid of failure, will succeed.” 
“You know, the camera is not meant just to show misery. You can show things that you like about the universe, things that you hate about the universe. It's capable of doing both.” 
I really hope to see some of you there next Wednesday. If you don't make it there, I will be live tweeting and commenting on face book so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Like the Chasing Joy Facebook Page  Also If you miss "In Conversation" make sure you stop by sometime this month.  All month long Macy's Center City will have photographic art installation featuring some of his most beloved works.  You can also visit macys.com/celebrate to enter for a chance to win a trip for two to The American Black Film Festival in Miami, courtesy of American Airlines, a $1000 Macy’s shopping spree and Gordon Parks: Collected Works, a five-volume set of his photography.

Macy's will be having "In Conversation" events in New York, Los Angeles, Concord, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, Miami, Atlanta, D.C., Pittsburgh, San Francisco Houston, Bowie, and Cincinnati. Visit Macys BHMonth to find details about the location nearest you.

Are you familiar with Gordon Parks?  Have you seen the photographic art installation already?  Will you be joining me in attending "In Conversation" in Philly or a City near you?
*Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post.  However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

$50 for Joy??

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$50 is a lot of money; at least it is for me.  $50 is just the price range where I pause and think just a little bit more about my purchase before handing over my card.  Never the less there are plenty of things that I have and will continue to purchase for $50.  Some I'm proud of and some, not so much.  Here are a few:
  • My Brooks Running Shoes.  These would fall in the category of proud of.  I get my first pair of Brooks when I was training to run my first 5k.  They were $100 and much more than I'd paid for any type of shoe, ever. As soon as I started working in them the my knee pain improved.  They were so worth the money.
  • Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Perfume.  This is my absolute favorite perfume.  Although now I do see it on sale at Target I have definitely paid over $50 for the entire set including body wash and lotion.  I feel so good all lathered, lotioned, and sprayed with Viva La Juicy.  So worth $50.
  • Concert tickets! If you are around my age, 30ish, you will remember the Jay-Z R-Kelly Best of Both Worlds debacle.  I purchased tickets and was so excited to see both of these artists at the same time. Hah,  by the time the concert got to Philly R- Kelly was out and it was Jay-Z and Friends.  I don't remember the exact price I paid for my ticket.  But I know it was over $50 and so NOT worth it.
  • Cable!  My monthly bill is definitely over $50.  Every month I say to myself this is so not worth it.  Yet every month I pay the bill.  As much as I hate to pay for it I'm not ready to let go of on-demand, DVR, and my favorite HBO original series True Blood, and Boardwalk Empire.  At least I got them to give me Showtime for free for 6 months so that I can enjoy Dexter.  So while I'm not proud of it. I have to say my Cable is worth it :-(
  • My hair.  I go to the salon every two weeks.  At a minimum it is $50 including tip.  Other times it is a bit more depending on the service.  I hate doing my hair. It takes longer and does not look as good as when the stylist at the sop does it.  Minimizing bad hair days is totally worth $50 to me.  
  • Clothes and costumes for my dog.  Now I have never spent more than $50 on a single purchase for my dog.  However when I add up the Dog Sweaters and  Raincoats that did not fit.  Not to mention the Dog Boots that he would not wear. The total is way more than $50.  This was so not worth the money.  Hurt would be just as happy with only his natural fur coat.  
There are also things that I'd just never spend $50 on:

  • Sunglasses.  I lose them, scratch the lenses, and break the arms.  It'd make more sense to burn the $50 with a lighter than to spend it on sunglasses. At least I would enjoy the drama.
  • A single bottle of wine and liquor.  These alcoholic beverages are supposed to improve in taste as time goes.  However, I just cannot phantom spending so much for something that will be going down the toilet a few hours later.  
  • A Hat.  I have nothing against hats. As a matter of fact I would like to wear them but they command a certain amount of attention that I am not comfortable with. Even if I did find a great hat that I felt comfortable in I just cannot imagine how a hat being so awesome that I would spend over $50 on it.
I know you are thinking so whats with all of the talk about $50?  I find it funny that there are so many things that we have spent and will spend $50 on yet when it comes to our personal development we hesitate.  I spend $50 regularly on things that don't enhance my knowledge or skills like my hair and perfume.  As a matter of fact I'm sure the time I spend watching cable could be better spent.  Yet I write the check each month and have no real plans on stopping.  Yet just this week I hesitated to pay for a blog conference that was $75 deciding to think about it.  Now granted there are other things I'm considering such as my schedule but I'd be lying if the price was not a factor.  It's funny we think we have our priorities all nicely figured out until we really think about our decisions and how we spend our money.

So my question to you is what will you spend $50 on?  When was the last time you spent $50 on your personal development?  If it's been a while maybe it's time to make that investment.  If so, I know just the place to start and it's less than $50.  Come to the Chasing Joy Brunch and Learn with me. Listen to speakers motivate us on ways to have a more joyful life. Meet some other Joy Chasers in person. And do it all while enjoying a yummy breakfast at Maggiano's.  Tickets starting at $38 are on sale now.  Find out about the speakers and the menu under Events.
“Invest three percent of your income in yourself (self-development) in order to guarantee your future.” ~  Brian Tracy
Will you invest less than $50 on your personal development and join me at the Chasing Joy Brunch and Learn? 

Tell me what are the most joyful and least joyful things you have ever spent $50 or more on?


Friday, February 1, 2013

#FlashbackFriday: Joyful Food Friend

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Yay!  TGIF!

I hope you had a good week and have fun plans for the weekend.  Who's having a Superbowl party?

Here are my favorite posts from last weeks Flashback:

Twitter Friend in Danger reminds us to look out for our online friends even if we have never met them "in real life".

Party Tips offered just that, tips on how to throw a good party.  The tips were practical yet unique. Some of which I have never seen before.

Liza (a)Musing  Foodie extols the virtues of chicken breast.

My Flashback this week is a poem about a battle I am overcoming.  Check out Joyful Food Friend.

Now it's time for you to share your Flashback.  Pick out your link and add it below.  Link to any post you like of any theme you want.  Then, if you want, you can post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page so more Joy Chasers can read it.  Use the hashtag #FlashbackFriday or #FBF on twitter to promote your Flashback posts. Then, make sure you check out AT LEAST TWO other flashback posts.  I suggest the two links before your post to make it easy.  If you link up early be sure to come back and checkout those who join the linky after you.   Please leave a comment below saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts.

*Make sure you invite your bloggy friends to join in the Flashback so our little link party can grow.
*** Be sure to enter my Most Joyful Things Giveaway.  Lots of prizes and lots of ways to enter. Go here -> Most Joyful Things Giveaway


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