white gaming console on wooden surface

Level Up

With my birthday coming up this Sunday, January 2nd, I’m going to share a secret. Every year on my birthday for the past 5 years, I’ve posted the same Facebook status update: “Today, I reached LEVEL ##! Leveling up & defeating new bosses definitely doesn’t get easier as time progresses, but I’m so grateful to have all of your love & support as I continue to learn, grow, & challenge myself on this long, exciting adventure. Thank you for all the birthday wishes! ❤” I vow to do it every year until someone notices. But since I’m now on year 6, I don’t think it will happen any time soon. lol As I prepare to update my status for the 6th year in a row, I’m inspired to write about how little others actually pay attention to how and when you level up.


Typically, everyone focuses on their own story and timeline. So my 1st piece of advice is to forget about the opinions of others and don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Do you realize how much easier life would be if you focused on what you have done and want to do at your current age than obsessing over why you’re not at the same “level” as someone else at their age. I promise you; no one cares. And anyone who does is probably only pointing out your flaws to distract you from the holes in their existence.


Looking back, I rushed through everything. Whether it be dating, school, or work, I should have slowed down, cherished the moment, and appreciated the learning process. Life is not a race. Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? You’ll reach the finish line when you’re supposed to and win going slow and steady.

The bottom line is to accept your story as is, and let it unfold as it’s intended without trying to control or rush through life. No one is paying close attention to what you’re doing anyway, so level up by doing whatever you want. Always have fun and enjoy life to its fullest.

XO Denise

notebook mail business paper

Open Letter to 2021

Open Letter to 2021

Dear 2021,

You have been amazing to me, which inspires today’s open letter, blog post! Thank you for all the amazing growth and learning opportunities. I now wake up every morning and go to bed every night with a grateful heart.

From wrapping up my contract with Adobe to finding the perfect Community Manager role at Figma, I truly value my experiences and career progression. I completely rebranded XO Denise Joyce and exponentially grew my following across all Social Media channels. After a 3 year hiatus, I even got back onto YouTube. And most importantly, I started offering my NEW services and card readings.

In terms of mental and physical wellness, you have transformed my body. From Peloton workouts to playing Just Dance, I am so grateful to be able to move every day. Looking at myself in the mirror with pride, I am able to confidently tell myself that I’m beautiful every single day.

After getting COVID-19 vaccinated and boosted, I venture out in the world fearlessly. Exploring Lake Tahoe, Disneyland, and Chicago was so much fun. I saw couple of my favorite bands (Jonas Brothers and New Found Glory), and I went to a bunch of LIVE Sports events. I even started to occasionally go into the office in San Francisco for work.

Thank you again for everything! I look forward to jumping into 2022 fearlessly and welcome the new adventures it will bring with an open mind and heart. I will cherish these last days with you.

XO Denise

wrapped box with christmas present

Give From The Heart

The holiday season is upon us! I’m still proactively Christmas shopping, which inspires today’s blog post. I personally love giving my family, friends, and loved ones gifts. When it comes to compiling my shopping list and choosing the perfect gift, it’s easiest when I give from the heart.

How do you “Give From The Heart”?

To give from the heart, choose what you know the other person will love rather than what you love. In the process of finding gifts for others, more often than not people end up buying something they actually want. In turn, they’re basically expecting their recipient to want what they would want to receive. Similar to catering to someone’s love language, personalize your gifts to the person you’re giving to.

Give From The Heart Example

When I spend quality time with my loved ones, I do my best to always intently listen and remember our intimate conversations. This way, I can recall specific things that they like or even better, if they say exactly what they want to buy themselves one day. For example, my friend and I spoke about the reasoning behind his newest tattoo, which was a Daruma Doll. To quickly sum up our conversation, his new tattoo only had the left eye filled in. Daruma dolls are used for goal setting, by painting in the left eye. Then, once the desired goal is achieved, the right eye is filled in. For his birthday, I bought him a real Daruma Doll in his favorite color. Even though it was a small and very cheap gift, he loved it.

Why should you “Give From The Heart”?

Giving from the heart puts others before yourself. It makes every gift you give someone special. And most importantly, it feels good. When you give from the heart, you’re also showing the recipient how well you listen, know them, and appreciate having them in your life.

XO Denise

battle black blur board game

Sit Still Look Pretty

From my blog archives with a few edits, “I’m Not One To Sit Still and Look Pretty” was originally posted on September 26, 2016.

While riding in a car listening to the song “Sit Still, Look Pretty” by Daya, my sister turns to me and says “This song always reminds me of you.” I then proceed to really listen to the lyrics. After which, I realize how much of a compliment it is. I am truly not one to sit still, look pretty. Even though I do have a pretty face, do not think I’m just a pretty face, because I am so much more than that.


Most girls grow up wanting to be a princess, but I don’t need a knight in shining armor to come and rescue me. I’m not a helpless Princess, nor do I ever want to be. I don’t look in the mirror to ask who is the fairest one of all. Despite my imperfections, my reflection is still beautiful. I’m not looking for my other or better half, because I am not half. I am whole as I am. Only a true King will have the courage to approach me with good intentions. Love me as I am. Give me your trust and respect, and I will return it tenfold. 


My big eyes and freckled, chubby cheeks are adorable. I love to smile and laugh. I’m prone to spontaneous dancing. I love receiving and arranging flowers. I melt when I see dogs. Seeing my food coming in a restaurant makes me giddy. I take pictures of EVERYTHING. I’m silly and light-hearted. My hair is naturally curly, and I prefer no makeup days. But I can still rock lashes, winged liner, a bold lip, and step into an amazing outfit with a pair of killer heels for ME. Looking good allows me to conquer each day with confidence. Know that I could care less about the unwanted attention and compliments I get from strangers. As I walk down the street, I ignore the catcalls and whistles.

My value isn’t determined by superficial entities. My dreams and aspirations motivate me, and I’m not going to let anyone tell me what’s important. I am proud to be ambitious and driven, set goals, and crush them. In my lifetime, I will create a benevolent empire, by loving myself and showing the world exactly who I am. The sound of my heels on the pavement is my personal version of Darth Vader’s Imperial March. I never avoid eye contact when expressing myself, and I don’t care if it intimidates you.


No one should be too pretty to think for themself. I can make my own decisions. My thoughts and opinions matter. You don’t get to judge me. Don’t tell me to lower my voice. Don’t tell me to sit down. I am kind, caring, and loving because it makes me happy to see those around me happy. Maintaining a healthy nourished and strong body is important to me. I think, read, and learn because I want to keep expanding my mind. My thirst for knowledge and my capacity to grow and improve as a person is infinite. I hope, dream, and inspire, because I want to make my life and my existence in this world worthwhile. Everything that I am, I’ve worked hard to become. You cannot tell me who I am otherwise. I’m not one to sit still, look pretty, and know that you don’t have to either.

XO Denise