Friday, March 29, 2013

#FlashbackFriday: I Survived!

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Happy Friday.  This is the first time in several weeks that I don't have anywhere I have to be this weekend. I don't do anything big for Easter so I'll have plenty of time to read lots of blogs, including yours if you join the linky :-)

Here are my favorite posts from last weeks Flashback Friday!
This week I am Flashing back to I Survived, a post celebrating my having made it through a particularly difficult week.  Do you ever give yourself credit for getting through difficult time without losing your mind or integrity?

Now it is time for you to share your Flashback Friday post.  Pick out your link for Flashback Friday and add it below.  Link to any post you like.  Now 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.

Now, give your old post new life via the power of the linky!!!

Once you've linked up head head over to the Chasing Joy Events Page and get your tickets to the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn.  Then help spread the word about it by retweeting:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marriage, Finances, & Mary Mary! Inspiration & Music Conference Recap Part 2 #PraiseIMC2013

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On Monday I started telling you about my experience at the Inspiration & Music Conference this past weekend.  Today, I'm going to finish with my recap.

After checking in at the conference my brother and I checked out the vendors and headed to our respective workshops.  I headed to the Single & Saved workshop that I started telling you about.  Here is a little more food for thought for us singles.
  • When considering a relationship with someone look for someone who brings things (joy, peace, support) to you not take things away from you..  "We all have baggage, find someone to help you unpack" said panelist Dr. Laverne Adams.  
  • Christians, there is more to being equally yoked than both people believing in Jesus.  
  • Your ego tells you to find someone like you.  Someone, "on your level". What you need is to find someone to compliment you. Find someone who is strong in the areas where you are weak.
While I was in the Single & Saved workshop my brother attended Marriage Beyond the Vows.  Below are his top takeaways from the workshop.
  • Do not attempt to balance your marriage with other priorities.  Balance implies there is something else of equal importance.  
  • Husbands and wives should be in a joyful competition to outdo each other doing for each other. Race to be the first to do something nice, give a kind word, or get to a household chore.  Be more concerned about what you can give than what you need.
  • Check out my brother on video talking about the Marriage Beyond the Vows workshop.

After lunch we headed over to Faith & Finances workshop.  Here are the highlights
  • Don't be Lot's Wife, Look Ahead!!!  We have all made financial and other decisions that were not the best.  Don't dwell on your past mistakes.  Look forward.
  • Know your rights when it comes to Bankruptcy.  There are different types of bankruptcies for different situations.  Bankruptcy can protect 100% of retirement income. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer before you go into your retirement income to pay your debts.  
  • If you enter a settlement agreement with a creditor and get your some of your debts forgiven, be prepared to pay tax on the amount forgiven.  According to the IRS forgiveness of debt = income that you have to pay tax on.  
  • Avoid going into debt in the first place.  "Wait for it, save for it, pay for it" says speaker Georgette Miller.  Use Cash.  It was pointed out that there was a time in the United States when Blacks could not borrow money.  Now many of us believe we cannot live without debt.  This point really hit home with me.  
  • While we don't like to think about it death is a part of life.  Prepare for it with a will and life insurance. Go through your budget looking for things that don't add value to your life.  Cut these things to free up money for life insurance.
  • Term life insurance is good for a certain period of time, a certain number of years.  For example the number of years when you will have a mortgage or have childcare to pay for.  
  • Permanent life insurance does not have a cut off time and can be used to offset retirement income. 
  • Get insurance early in life before anything happens later that could deem you uninsurable.
  • To determine how much life insurance you need think about what expenses your loved ones will have to cover.
    • funeral expenses
    • Loss of income
    • Childcare cost
    • Mortgage expenses   
    • etc...
The highlight of the day for me was the final workshop, a session with Tina and Erica of the gospel group Mary Mary.   They looked just as beautiful in person as on their reality show.  They acted the same way too, teasing each other as they answered audience questions.  Several people gave testimony on how Mary Mary's music had inspired and helped them to overcome obstacles.   It is amazing to see how others can be touched by our actions.  People asked several questions about how to get into the music industry, become song writers, performers, etc.  The advice Tina and Erica gave can be taken for any goal. Strive for excellence, be likable and be professional.  

Tina also gave advice that definitely applies to those of us who are Chasing Joy.  Tina said practice being happy. Practice being optimistic.  Focus on things that are praise worthy.  Misery takes work!  I don't know about you but I'd rather work on Joy than on misery.

There was so much info to soak up at the conference.  Which of the above tips can you apply to your life?   

Monday, March 25, 2013

Could You Live With You? Single & Saved Workshop, Inspiration & Music Conference Recap. Part 1

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On Saturday I had the privileged of attending the Praise 103.9's Inspiration & Music Conference.  The conference was great. There were workshops, vendors, followed by a concert.  I was not able to stay for the concert but I did go to several workshops including the Q & A with Mary Mary.  The Q & A with The Marys was a highlight for me as I love their show on WeTv.  It was an informative and inspiring day, one living up to the name of the event.

I invited my brother to come along with me to the conference.  He was an excellent choice.  We were able to split up for the first set of workshops.  I attended Single and Saved while he attended Marriage Beyond the Vows.
Here are my takeaways from Single and Saved:

  • Lots of us who are single say we are ready to have a relationship.  But are you really?  Are their parts of you that are not ready? What are you doing to prepare yourself for a partner? Ask yourself, what is it like to live with me???  
  • None of us are perfect.  Know the parts of you that are a mess so you can work on them.
  • Your relationship with yourself is non-negotiable.  Learn to love yourself.
  • Be comfortable in your singleness.  Take advantage of the fact that you have time to focus on yourself, your relationship with God, and the things that God has placed in your life like Chasing Joy.  Now is the time to focus on things that would suffer if your attention was divided.
  • When you have mastered your relationship with God and yourself God will see that you are ready for additional relationships.  When this has happened and when God decides that it is not good for you to be alone He will send your partner. 
  • We all have issues from our past that can get in the way of having a relationship or a successful one.  Regarding those issues we need to uncover and discover so we can recover so that you are ready for a healthy relationship.
I think a lot of these points can also apply to those who are married.  Have you ever thought about what is it like for your spouse to live with you. Do you know what parts of you are a mess?  Are there uncovered issues from your past that are impacting your marriage or how you relate to your spouse?  

Of the points above the ones that resonated the most with me were when you have mastered your relationship with yourself and God He will see that you are ready for a relationship.  I think my relationship with God is good and steadily improving.  My relationship with myself is still not where I'd want it to be. Just today I had to post on both Twitter and the Chasing Joy FB page, "No Negative Self  Talk" because I caught myself looking in the mirror engaging in that bad habit.  There is much room for improvement in my relationship with myself.  

There is much more info for me to pass on from the conference but I don't want to bore you with too much at one time. Later this week I'll continue the recap with more takeaways fro the Single & Saved workshop, my brother's takeaways from the Marriage Beyond the Vows workshop, tips from the Faith & Finances workshop, and the awesomeness of Mary Mary.

If you are single do any of the above resonate with you? Are you ready for a relationship?  If you are married which if any of the above do you feel is a beneficial takeaway for a married person?

Friday, March 22, 2013

#FlashbackFriday: Chasing Joy or Running From Fat

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It's Friday Again.  No matter how quick it comes I'm always happy to see it.  The best part of Fridays is the Flashback!!!

Here are a my favorites from last week's Flashback Friday link up.  

Heartache into Beauty: I Am A Giant Leprechaun  is an example of how to find the joy in something even when there are mixed feelings. Plus it is about my birthday, I mean St. Patrick's Day.  

Shake Off Those Blues and Bring Back Your Joy by Adrienne, the Soul Power Coach offers excellent advice on how to pull yourself up out of a low place.  

For this weeks Flashback.  My post is Chasing Joy or Running from Fat.  It is about my struggles with my weight loss.  

Now it is time for you to share your Flashback Friday post.  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.

Now, give your old post new life via the power of the linky!!! 


**Now that you have linked up head over to the Events Page and read the speaker bios, menu, and sponsors for the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn.  It will be a great event especially if you are there!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Birthday or Unhappy Birthday? You Decide.

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Have you noticed how much smarter and wiser and put together I am since last week? I know, it is so obvious, right?  That's what happens when you have a birthday :-)

This past Sunday was my birthday.  That's right I'm a Saint Patrick's Day baby.  I turned the big 33 and had a good time celebrating it.  I will never understand how people can hate their birthday. Every year is a blessing to be appreciative of and thankful for.

If you want to have a more joyful life, if you are Chasing Joy, then you will have to make some decisions.  You will have to decide how you are going to look at things.  Is your cup half empty or half full.  You will have to decide to look for reasons to be happy and reasons to celebrate.

If we are lucky/blessed each year we have a birthday.  The same time every year.  Each year you get to decide how you will look at the milestone.  I could pull out the short essay I wrote when I was 15 about how my life would be in 15 years and count the multiple ways my current life does not match up.  I could look at the lives of my friends who have spouses and children and calculate how lonely my life is.  I could look at my bank account and figure out to the penny exactly how far I am from being the millionaire I'd imagined I'd be by 33.  But what would be the point of doing any of the above.

Now I'd be lying if I said I never think about any of these things.  But, I make an effort, especially at the time of my birthday, to let these thoughts pass.  The thoughts that I hold on to are thoughts of how blessed I am to see another year. Thoughts of how special birthdays are in that they are all about all about you the birthday girl (or boy).  Thoughts of how birthdays provide a great excuse to do something fun, to celebrate.

That is exactly what I did this year. I treated myself like I was special.  I went to the spa for a facial, out to dinner with my mom and with new friends,  I had brunch with the girls and topped it off with wine, cake, and paint.  With all of the celebrating there was no time to be depressed or sad about getting a year older.

Now a couple days later it's back to business as usual.  While it would be cool to instantly be wiser, smarter, and more put together upon having a birthday.  That just is not the case.  I feel the same as I did when I was 32. Nothing changes upon just because you have a birthday. Even more reason to not view it in any negative way.

So now it is time for you to make a decision.  Your birthday is coming up (some sooner than others).  How will you view it?  Will you decide to focus on the blessing of another year and the excuse to celebrate and have some fun?

But before you answer look at all the fun I had.

Yummy St.Patty's Day cake from Bredenbeck's Bakery

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

My work in progress at Painting with a Twist

A Birthday Bracelet from BellaNor Boutique

My Masterpiece!

Birthday Present from mom! Coach Sneakers!

Our painting instructor and the original painting.

The Pet's dressed up to celebrate my birthday :-) 

Painting break to cut the cake

More treats from Bredenbeck's Bakery

Au-natural after my facial at Salon 3000BC. #NOMakeup!!! 
Now tell me, how will you be approaching your next birthday?

Monday, March 18, 2013

What Does Your Ring Back Tone Say About You?

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Source: go.raxan.net via Rex on Pinterest


Last week I attended a networking event with Penn State’s PhillySmeal organization.  Being Temple Made I did feel a little out of place and a little like an alumni event crasher until I found a couple of other Owls in the building.  A few jokes were made about security being asleep on the job while us Temple Alumni snuck into the event.  It was all in good fun and the Penn Staters were all very welcoming :-)

An interesting thing happened at the event.  After the panel of speakers shared their advice on how entrepreneurs can interact with media we had a few minutes to talk to them.  Me and one of the panelist, whom is well respected in his profession and whom I consider to be a great contact, had a nice conversation about this blog.  This led to him putting my phone number in his phone and then calling me right away so that I'd also have his phone number.  Immediately my mind flashed back a few years to when I had a popular Jay Z song as my ring back tone.  

I was so relieved to have classical music as my current ring back tone.  Not that there is anything wrong with Jay Z.  I am still a fan.  However, being fully aware that impressions can be lasting, I know that Rap, Hip Hop, Pop, or any other kind of lyrical music is not really consistent with my image as a girl who is Chasing Joy.  It is not what people think about when they see my logo (the little running girl) on my business card.  It is not what I want people to remember when they think of me or Chasing Joy.

A lot of time when people talk about blogging they talk about branding.  You are your brand when you are representing your blog, business, or organization in public.  It is important that your represent your brand accurately.  Something as simple as your ring back tone can inadvertently give an impression that is inconsistent with how you'd like to be perceived.  

Question: Do you look the part and sound the part of the Joyful person that you are, or want to be?  Could little things like your ring tone or ring back tone give an impression that is different than the one you want to portray? What would I hear when I call your phone???

Friday, March 15, 2013

#FlashbackFriday: 100th Post Vlog

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Hey Joy Chasers,

It's that time again.  Time to revisit some of our older posts for the Flashback Friday Linky!!!  But, before we get into that I want to remind you that early bird ticket prices for the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn end tomorrow.  They go to regular price on Sunday 3/17.  The purpose of the lunch is to take my pursuit of Joy off line and into real life.  I've invited speakers to share their path to a happier life with us. We will be discussing finding our passion and how we define success.  We'll also have a few giveaways, networking opportunities and good food.  I hope to see many of you local Philadelphia Joy there.  Get your tickets now while they are discounted. You can read more about our speakers and sponsors on the Events page.  Go to Eventbrite to Register and get your tickets!

Now back to the Flashback.  Here are my favorites from last weeks link up:

The link Hanifah Munadi is about maintaining creativity in the education system.
The Link Lisa is all about the different blogging communities you can join.
Fitness by Gillian Stephen gives us a great guide on what  fitness routines we should be doing in our 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond.

My Flashback this week is my first video blog in honor of my 100th post!!!

What is your Flashback post about? 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.

Now, give your old post new life via the power of the linky!!!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Have I Done for Me Lately

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Today I had an emergency with my dog Hurt.  For the last few months my mom has been under the weather.  I was talking about all of this today and was asked a good question.  The question was, with all that has been going on what have I done for myself. 

At first I was kind of stumped by the question.  Then I realized my answer was blogging.  I blog because I want to.  While I do the occasional paid post, I do not make enough money blogging to feel obligated to do it.  I know that I do have some loyal readers, and I am so thankful for you,  do write for me and only me.  Blogging is what I do for myself. 

When I thought a bit further about what I am doing to tend to myself I realized I do have a few opportunities for some self love coming up thanks to my birthday.  This weekend I will be indulging in some pampering at the spa, some creative girlfriend time, meals with friends, and cake (everyone loves birthday cake). 
Though things have been stressful as the often are from time to time.  I have been taking care of me.  

What about you?  How do you take care of yourself during times of stress? What have you done for yourself lately? 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Taking Social Media to Real Life via #CJBL

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This week is the last week to get the Early Bird pricing for the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn!!!  Some of you have your tickets already.  I am so excited that we will be meeting and hanging out IRL (in real life).  :-) If you are on the Chasing Joy mailing list then you received my email talking about why I am hosting the brunch.

If you missed it or have not signed up for emails I'll share with you that the main reason I am hosting the brunch is to connect IRL with other positive, Joy minded people and be inspired by motivators like Janeane Davis and Melissa Lopez (Check out their Bios) .  I am super excited to hear these ladies speak.  I am also super excited for Maggiano's breakfast.  I've been there for dinner before but not lunch and the menu sounds yummy.  In addition to the speakers and food we will have a few giveaways and the opportunity to network and make new friends, IRL!!!

Chasing Joy Events are Awesome!!!
If you will not be in the Philly area on 4/27 don't feel left out.  We will be live tweeting from brunch; sharing all the pearls of wisdom Janeane and Melissa have to offer with the hashtag #CJBL.  As a matter of fact we are getting the party started tonight with a #CJBL twitter chat at 8 pm EST.  We will be discussing taking social media off line and into real life as well as some of the topics to be discussed at the brunch.  If you have questions about the brunch & learn you can bring them up during the chat.

Writing this blog has connected me with so many new people and opportunities.  I am excited about connecting more deeply with my readers and fellow bloggers.  Twitter chats and IRL events make these connections so much deeper.

Use a site like tweetchat or search the hashtag #CJBL directly on twitter to join the chat tonight at 8 pm EST.  Also be sure to follow me (@Chasing_Joy), Melissa (@Ms_Positivity), and Janeane (@JaneaneDavis).

Get your tickets before prices go up by going to Eventbrite. Eventbrite - Chasing Joy Brunch and Learn @ Maggiano's

Join the Event on Facebook so you can invite your social media buddies to come and meet you IRL.

Have you gone to local events in your area to meet your favorite blogging, Facebook, or Twitter Friends in person?  What type of events would you like to attend to meet up with your online friends?

Friday, March 8, 2013

#FlashbackFriday:To Don't List for Joy in The Workplace

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Happy Friday Joy Chasers.  What a fast week.  We are back for the #FlashbackFriday Link up already.

Here are my favorite posts from last weeks link up:

@MommyTalkShow on Oprah & Gayle's Friendship is a good video blog about female friendships.
BoomerWiz is a post that is I could have written myself on the mental hurdle of asking others for help.

My #FlashbackFriday post this week is a list of behaviors to avoid at work, A To Don't List for Joy in the Workplace.   Check it out and let me know what you'd add to the list.

Now time for you to add your #FlashbackFriday post. 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.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

They F-ing With My Money!

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Yes! They are F-ing with my money.  By F-ing I mean Furloughing, cutting my hours by 20%, cutting my pay by %20 :-(

Many of you know I am not a full time blogger. I have a day job.  That day job is for the Federal Government.  The same Federal Government that has been the subject of spending cut and sequestration talk all over the news. (I am just a lowly worker bee with no knowledge of anything important so don't bother emailing me about anything Governmental)  Talk of cutting our hours by one day a week.  Talk of F-ing with my Money!

I guess you can tell I'm not pleased.  Would you be pleased? I think not!!!

Good thing I have an obligation. I have an obligation to myself and an obligation to you readers, to ,keep Chasing Joy. I mean someone F-ing with your money can really throw a wrench in the whole joy thing.  But I can't go out like that.  So here is my They F-ing With My Money But I'm Still Joyful Furlough Plan.

  • Look on the bright side.
    • 8 less hours per week with the few co-workers that I consider to be Joy Thieves.
    • I will get to sleep later and get off work earlier as I go from a 10 hour day to an 8 hour day.
    • I will have more time for blogging and having social media fun with you guys.
    • I will have a big incentive to live within my means.
    • I will have a built in excuse to not go to things I don't want to.  "I'm sorry my pay was cut because of the Furlough and I can't afford that right now"
    • I can read more blogs and books.
  • Have a plan to cut expenses and boost income.  
    • I can reduce my eating out to only 1 meal per pay.
    • I can cut back on what I spend on gift giving (sorry family) and charity.
    • I can cut my cable down to basic.
    • I can be more conscious of utility use in the house (lights left on, turn down heat, use less water)
    • I can decrease the amount I am paying on my debt.
    • I can plan my meals and grocery shop more conservatively.
    • I can plan my driving routes to not waste gas.
    • I will look for more paid blogging opportunities.
    • I will sell more tickets to the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn (though I'm sure you've all already purchased your tickets, Right? Right??)
Hopefully our leaders will come up with a more reasonable plan that will put an end to this Furlough talk.  But, if they do start F-ing with my money at least I have a plan that will keep me Joyful.

Have you ever been Furloughed or Laid Off?  Were you able to stay positive and Joyful? If so how did you do it?  Did you see it coming and already have a plan in place?  If you will be impacted by the sequestration and Government worker Furlough do you have a plan in place? What will you do if they start F-ing with your money???


Monday, March 4, 2013

March #ChasingJoy Chat Recap

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Yesterday was the monthly #ChasingJoy twitter chat.  Me and several of my friends all have birthdays in March.  So our March twitter chat topic was birthdays.  The chat was good and the overall consensus was Birthdays are awesome!!!  Here is the recap if you missed it.  Feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments below.

Friday, March 1, 2013

#FlashbackFriday: The Joy of Imperfection

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Happy Friday and welcome to the flashback!

Wow! What a fast week. I hope it was a good one for you.  If you were too busy to get any blog reading done you can start with these three.  These are my favorites from last week's flashback.

What do Blogs and Housework have in common?  Find out and decide which one you'd rather do.
Obsession & Social Media -  is about turning a negative personality trait into a asset.
( a) Musing Foodie | Chocolate Pomegranate Banana Bread puts a new spin on traditional banana bread.

If you are new to Flashback Friday,  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.

My Flashback this week, The Joy of Imperfection, is about doing things despite circumstances being less than perfect.  What are you linking up?

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



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