Friday, February 15, 2019

Authentic Friendships



Do you have a best friend?  Do you remember when you met your best friend?  When I was in college at Concordia University, I met my best friend and we just clicked.  We look nothing alike really, she has green eyes and blonde hair, and I have dark eyes and dark hair.  We were raised in completely different towns from different backgrounds, but one thing we did have in common…we were both genuinely nice women.  We are women who don’t compete with each other.  We both love dancing and watching entertaining live shows.  We like laughing and are always looking to watch funny movies or standup comedy.  We also really enjoy helping people, and that is why we both went into the field of education.  




What do you and your friends have in common?  See, what I look for are people who have good hearts, beautiful minds, and authentically accept who I am and also care about me as a person.  It doesn't matter how many friends I have, just as long as they are real friendships. I have friends who come from diverse backgrounds and feel that my friendship circle is an open, not closed one.  I believe that a bridge of friendship can be built, even if we don't always agree on everything...and that is okay.


Today, my best friend and I live miles apart, but the bond formed through Faith and Friendship will last for a lifetime.

What do you look for in a good friend?     


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Saving Your Face - Asians & Mental Health Awareness



Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

 Have you ever struggled with depression?  I have.  I still do.  Some days it can feel heavy, like there is a weight that is sitting on top of you that you can’t lift off.  Some days it is the feeling that you don’t want to get out of bed because you feel so hopeless.  Even the daily routine seems tough, and doing things like getting dressed, taking a shower, eating, socializing, and putting on a smile to get through your day so that other people won’t notice your sadness feels extremely difficult.  Making other people uncomfortable by talking about our feelings can seem scary, especially if we were raised in a culture where we were socialized to always be polite, kind, and respectful by putting other people’s feelings before our own. 
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy


I understand this ideology because I am Asian.  My father is Okinawan Japanese and was raised in Hawaii.  Growing up I understood what it meant to “save face”.  We are taught that it is not okay to show weakness or any imperfections, and whatever you do, definitely do not cry in public.  In doing so, it could not only reflect poorly on you, but also on your own family members.

Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

If you are not familiar with this concept, here is the definition for you on Saving Face (according to Psychology Today):

Saving Face - The concept is a core social value in Asian cultures, among others. The meaning has remained stable across time.  Saving Face signifies a desire—or defines a strategy—to avoid humiliation or embarrassment, to maintain dignity or preserve reputation.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

So, what happens when “saving face” becomes more important than saving our own mental health?  At what cost?  It could literally mean saving someone’s life, or having a better quality of life, both of which are incredibly important.  In fact, too important to “save face” or to stay silent on this topic about Asians and mental health.  I’d rather see someone I love “lose face”, instead of lose their own life to suicide because they didn’t get access to the help they needed due to cultural stigma.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

Have you ever tried to “save face” over taking care of your own mental health? Or do you know of any friends who struggle with talking about depression, anxiety, and other mental health related issues because they are trying so desperately to “save face”?  


It really is okay not to be okay, and it's okay to talk about it.  Talking about mental health saves lives.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy



Read more about Minority Mental Health Month here: 


If you need help, call the NAMI Help Line: 1-800-950-NAMI or  TEXT "NAMI" TO 741741


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Soar In 2019

New Year's Resolutions A Stylish Love Story giving back building community service goals


Hello! So now that some of us have set new year's resolutions, we can stop dreaming and start soaring in 2019.  How have you decided to soar in 2019? This can be a personal goal to take better care of ourselves by cooking healthy meals, sleeping more, or by exercising routinely. It can also be a professional goal to finish a degree, apply for your dream job, take a class, learn a new skill, or finally start that business you have been dreaming of.  You can also give back to your community by volunteering and serving others who really need your help.

Whatever it is, I have realized that I cannot do everything on my own like I have been trying to do in the past.  I am relying on my faith in God every day and trusting in His plan for my life. Don't worry if you feel lost, or don't know what or who you are supposed to be in this life.  We all feel that way at times.  Last year I faced personal struggles and financial setbacks.  Honestly, my life was a mess, but I came to God in daily prayer and began to read his word.  He filled me with peace, love, and more understanding of the people around me.  I have learned so much and feel that I have grown into a different person through serving the homeless community and low income youth.  I'm still learning so much about people and relationships, and I hope that never ends.  

How will you serve others and soar this year?  

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year and thank you for showing
your support for me this year! I appreciate you:)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Modern Day Christmas Carol


Joanna Joy Vintage Christmas Victorian Style Christmas velvet French settee burgundy lace chandelier poinsettia
Hello there! Merry Christmas to you!  




A Stylish Love Story Blog California lifestyle blogger Joanna Joy Vintage Christmas Victorian Style Christmas velvet French settee burgundy lace chandelier poinsettia
Who are you celebrating with this year?


A Stylish Love Story Blog California lifestyle blogger Joanna Joy Vintage Christmas Victorian Style Christmas velvet French settee burgundy lace chandelier poinsettia
It's time to get the party started.


A Stylish Love Story Blog California lifestyle blogger Joanna Joy Vintage Christmas Victorian Style Christmas velvet French settee burgundy lace chandelier poinsettia
Where is my Love?


A Stylish Love Story Blog California lifestyle blogger Joanna Joy Vintage Christmas Victorian Style Christmas velvet French settee burgundy lace chandelier poinsettia
It looks like it's just me and my books.

The lesson I learned this year is that we should be coming home and cooking and eating dinner with our families instead of working so much overtime.

We should be enjoying life instead of Instagramming every second of it.

We should spend more time cuddling in each others arms instead of always being too busy.

 You don't want to miss out on what really matters in life, finding love and happiness with the person of our dreams:)

Don't waste time, you only live once!

Dress: Vintage
Photography: Kendra Blair
Set Decoration: Joanna Joy
Decorations: Michaels and Jo-Ann



Saturday, December 8, 2018

When the Invisible Become Visible



Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about ways in which we can give back to our communities.  Personally, I consider my community most of Southern California.  Just think about it, if we can make a weekly visit to Starbucks, have a roof over our heads, and aren’t starving most of our day, then we can consider ourselves one of the “lucky” or “blessed” individuals living in the state. 








However, this isn’t the way we should see the homeless problem.  These people are hungry, lack shelter, clothing, medical, and mental health care all year long.  It’s not just a problem that occurs during the holidays, it’s unfortunately a very normal and real problem for a growing number of individuals living in this state.  How many of you know people who have been forced to live out of their cars or even on the streets? I do...and it has moved me to begin studying the issues surrounding the problem of poverty and homelessness.

The face of homelessness includes: 

  • Mothers
  • Children
  • The mentally ill 
  • LGBT youth
  • Veterans
  • College students





How we can help:



We can volunteer all year long at:



Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sharing Positive and Inspirational Messages with PleaseNotes by Cheryl Sutherland



Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes
Cheryl Sutherland, Founder of PleaseNotes

Hello! Today I would like to introduce you to Cheryl Sutherland, the founder of PleaseNotes.  I recently met her at the Female Founders section of the Wonder Woman Tech Conference in Long Beach, California.  The positivity in these notes and journal immediately spoke to me.  Her products are focused around personal growth principles with the themes of Confidence, Clarity, and Creativity.  Her specialty item is the PleaseNotes Guided Affirmation Journal touted as a “Personal Growth Seminar in between two covers” and 10% of the proceeds from PleaseNotes goes to organizations that support women in creating their dreams!  Nice:)

Now let’s get positive with Cheryl from PleaseNotes…

Please Nots Sticky Notes


Hello Cheryl!  Thank you for joining us on the blog today.  Can you please tell us about your background (work, school, hobbies, etc.)?

Certainly!  I was born in Calgary, Canada and have always found myself in occupations that allow me to interact with and help people. From retail sales, banking, coaching all the way to this!  I went to school for Sales and Marketing with a focus on Marketing Management, and have gone through a plethora of personal development courses and training.

Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes entrepreneur positive inspirational messages personal growth journaling journal positive affirmations mirror decals
Mirror Mirror Decal Affirmations


What are PleaseNotes and who are they for?

PleaseNotes is a brand of Affirmation-Filled Goods to help people become their favorite versions of themselves.  I feel like PleaseNotes are great for anyone that is attempting to feel better or be better. Whether your looking to change jobs, be more fulfilled or feel happier then you do now, PleaseNotes are for you.

Label of Love Cheeky Collection Reusable Water Bottle Stickers PleaseNotes Cheryl Sutherland
Label of Love Cheeky Collection Reusable Water Bottle Stickers
What steps did you take to go from a place of trying to figure out what you were passionate about to being an entrepreneur?

I knew I was ready to start something new, however, I knew that the person I was wasn’t going to be in the right space to build something and see it through.  I wanted to work on my sense of self, my confidence and really getting clear on what I was really passionate about.  I ended up quitting my job and building up the person I really wanted to be through working with affirmations, journaling and delving back into personal development work. I realized that I was always lit up when I participated in personal development work and that I wanted to do!

Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes entrepreneur positive inspirational messages personal growth journaling journal positive affirmations blue journa
Inspirational PleaseNotes Journal

What inspired you to start PleaseNotes?

When I had been going through the process of discovering what kind of business I wanted I wrote out a list of attributes of what the business was, what I wanted to do, be and feel while working. Some of those included being a product that I can sell in stores and online, something that helped people, something that was playful and fun and something I could do on my laptop by the beach. When I said to myself, I wish there was a way that I could surround myself with affirmations, I was able to recognize that my idea was the business I was looking for.

Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes entrepreneur positive inspirational messages personal growth journaling journal positive affirmations purple journal
Inspirational PleaseNotes Journal


I see that you describe the PleaseNotes Journal as a “Personal Growth Seminar in between two covers”, can you please tell us more about your journal?

The Journal takes a person through a journey of self-discovery.  My goal was to empower people with the tools to create the change they’ve been wanting themselves versus seeking the answers externally. It really mirrors the process I went through to discover my passion and my business To get people started, they would use the “Journal Juice” workbook that has 6 different exercises that support a person in seeing and appreciating who they are and the life they have, what they would want to change in their lives and what they really want to created and leave behind.  Every page has a different affirmation or inspirational quote that’s been chosen to be inspirational and relatable.  Quotes include Michelle Obama, BrenĂ© Brown, Drake, Elon Musk, Adele and Eckhart Tolle.  I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many times people have told me that when they are writing about something or working through a situation that the perfect message shows up at the bottom of the page. If you’re ready to get really clear, really fast, this Journal is for you.  Plus, you can always download and redo the work book as many times as you would like for no cost.

Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes entrepreneur positive inspirational messages personal growth journaling journal positive affirmations purple journal
Inspirational PleaseNotes Journal

How do positive PleaseNotes messages help people who are trying to accomplish a goal, increase their self-esteem and self-confidence, and where are the best places to put these happy feel good notes?

When you want to change or build a habit or thought process, it takes repetition and emotional involvement. A person gets started in their Journal however in surrounding yourself with continued reminders, you keep yourself in the feeling of what you want versus where you currently are.  That’s why putting messaging in Sticky Notes, Mirror Decals, Water Bottle Labels and Enamel Pins are so fun because it’s easy to see and share with others. 

Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes
Cheryl Sutherland, the inspiration behind PleaseNotes


Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes entrepreneur enamel pins positive inspirational messages personal growth journaling journal positive affirmations buttons pins
Empowering Enamel Pins 

When I was browsing through your website, I saw that you have a #HustleKit , can you tell us what’s in there?

Yes! So I created the #HustleKit to be a little sampler of all the items in the main line.  Curated for existing entrepreneurs or those looking to dip into entrepreneurship (wantrapreneurs) it even includes exclusive items like a super cool pen that says “I’m choosing to be…”  and 4 great tips with videos to help people draw out an idea, handle and use stress, set goals and more.

Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes #hustlekit hustlekit entrepreneur positive inspirational messages personal growth journaling journal positive affirmations


What other products do you offer and what new products do you plan to come out with in the future?

Right now I have the full sized Journal in some fab new colors, the “Mirror Mirror” Mirror Decals that are great for windows, walls and mirrors, the “Label of Love” which are dual-sided affirmation Water Bottle Labels, the new “Brightly” enamel pins and the Sticky Notes, which have a different affirmation on each page! Next up, I’m actually re-opening my coaching practice! I focus on Optimism and Authenticity for two reasons; when you decide things are going to work out for you, you are able to solve problems quicker, be less stressed and be more creative and Authenticity is essential for building anything you want to be long lasting, making clearer decisions, and building a life from your intuition and internal power versus your head.

Are there any final words of wisdom that you’d like to share?

Let yourself be happy, do the things that spark your curiosity,  say yes to what you want and self-doubt isn’t real.

Cheryl Sutherland founder of PleaseNotes
Cheryl Sutherland

Where can we find you?

www.CherylSutherland.com

Thank you Cheryl for sharing your positivity with the rest of us!

Thank you!!