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happy friday + something you didn’t know about me…

Oh Joy

Oh Joy

Happy Friday guys! The other day, I was chatting with a friend and learned about a talent of hers that I had never known about. So, I thought it would be fun to share something you didn't know about me…

I'm a second degree black belt!

Say what?!? You heard that right. Well, at some point in my past, I was a pretty kick-ass teenager. I started karate when I was 12 (which by the way was the best thing EVER for boosting my pre-teen self-esteem) and earned my first degree black belt in high school and then my second degree in college. I competed in tournaments, I taught karate to both kids and adults all during high school, and I loved it. It transformed me from a shy and self-conscious girl to a less awkward and more confident person. It's honestly one of the best things I've ever done in my life.

So, there's my little fun fact…do you have something funny/interesting/surprising about you that you can share?

{Photo by Casey Brodley. Outfit details here.} 


  1. That’s an unexpected fact! Do you plan on introducing your girls to Karate when they’re older? Something I’m really into that I never seem to talk about on my blog or social media is that I’m part of an Afro Brazilian drum group. I’m not sure why I don’t talk about it, I’m there practicing twice a week for the last 2.5 years. (this is us >>

  2. Oh my goodness, Joy. I don’t know why I am so stunned by this revelation but it is SO surprising! And totally interesting! :o) Well, all I can say about this big reveal is that you might be the prettiest and sweetest Karate black belt I know! (OK, we don’t “know” each other, but you know, I totally feel like I know you and your beautiful family. Haha. :o)
    My parents are both Koreans but I speak fluent Tagalog, which I never really tell anyone (no one is going to ask me if I speak the official language of the Philippines fluently…? ;o) but always shocks people whenever I do…

  3. I was the lead drummer in the marching band in high school! It was the by far funnest nerdy thing I did that none of my “too cool for band” friends did. I wish I had time for pursuing my musical talents as an adult 🙁

  4. That’s awesome! I think I remember reading this about you when you talked about your calligraphy designs or something (though I don’t recall you saying you were a 2nd degree blackbelt)? I am that girl who can say “Remember that one time in band camp…”

  5. I… am really good at telling corny jokes! Some say that I should’ve become a comedian, but really, I just like telling jokes to help break the ice. 🙂

  6. Actually, I’m not surprised. You mentioned before that you did karate when you were younger and it really helped your self esteem. I’d like my daughter to do martial arts when she is older.

  7. Ha! That’s some badass secret Joy, so cool!
    Mine is less fun though. What I don’t say in my blog is that I have a degree in PR, currently work as a secretary and wish I was a graphic designer. Well, I guess it’s never too late, right? Have a great weekend,

  8. A black belt?? I never would have guessed it! Good for you! Something about me? I often get teased for being a “word nerd” or a “grammar queen”, especially by close friends and family. I am quite fascinated with words and our language. I love spending time (now here is the really weird part) just reading the dictionary or thesaurus to learn new words, their meanings, origins and pronunciations. (don’t tell anyone…shhh.)

  9. That’s fantastic!
    Will you be teaching Ruby and Coco when they’re a little older? My eight year old has been taking karate classes for a year and a half now and is a yellow belt. My four year old joined in about 6 months ago and has a white belt with one black stripe. They both love it and it really helps boost their confidence and concentration skills. Their sensei is also an incredibly talented creative woman just like you (she’s an artist and singer) so it surprises many people when they discover that she’s also a black belt and karate teacher.
    Something that most people don’t know about me is that I was a DJ in a goth nightclub when I was younger! All of my older friends know this but it always surprises new friends when they find out as I’m much more “nicely dressed mommy blogger” than goth chick!

  10. Good for you! My little brother started karate when he was 5 or 6 and is a second degree black belt as well. Both my parents are black belts. I couldn’t take the smell of the practice room.

  11. I would NEVER have suspected you to be a BLACKBELT – that’s awesome!
    I guess my little fun fact is even though my main passion and career is writing, I make candles for etsy and my business is really taking off and I am reaching brick and mortar stores, which is awesome! Who knows, maybe I will become a candle millionaire 🙂 I hope everyone has a great weekend!

  12. Do you plan on signing up Ruby for karate lessons too? As for me, I was on Romper Room when I was a kid. You know, the one that put the wrong hand over her heart during the Pledge of Allegiance…. (on TV!!). Yup, that’s moi! 😛
    -Chanelle from

  13. I always wished that my parents had been able to put me into some sort of martial art. I really thin it does wonders for self-esteem and it’s an actual useful skill to have. That is so awesome and congratulations to you!
    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

  14. Oh, I can totally see you doing that! You are pretty badass right now, plus a motherly and nice woman..such a lucky man you have there 😉 The only thing I can do very well and constantly in the time is taking care of peope, so I’m becoming a social assistant and will specialize in community and children care ^.?

  15. Girl Power! What a fun thing to share! I’ve been considering having both of my girls sign up recently for some of those same reasons. Fun unknown fact about me… I met my husband online many many years ago. Still hard for us both to believe but for sure we know the stars were aligned.

  16. That’s awesome! My little know fact is that I was a pretty hard core ballet dancer, at least in my small little city. Even made it onto the poster for the Nutcracker one year, posted in every shop window in town. I was a little embarrassed to be broadcasted in my tutu at the time, but I learned a lot from those years of hard work and discipline. 🙂

  17. It is never to late! I received my bachelors degree from FSU in fashion and swore I would never go back to school. Well almost 3 years later and I am going back to school for graphic design at a local college. If you want to be a graphic designer, go for it!!!! I truly believe you can dream huge and achieve your dreams.

  18. catching up with your blog and youve got such great stuff in here!!! i could spend hours… did not know about your black belt and how long have i known you? thats awesome!


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