Why "Joy42"?

I honestly don't know. My family's lucky number has been 42 since before I was born. It's the answer to every question and it comes up a lot in our family in addresses, dates, phone numbers, times, etc. One day, I was driving home from work at Joy42 just struck a cord with me. I kept wanting to think it was stupid--and maybe it is because I can't really make sense of it--but it just sounded catchy. I've been blogging since 2009 off and on and I've had a lot of stupid blog names. One thing is for sure, I'm not great at coming up with a name for a blog. But hey, I like this one and I'm sure it stuck for a reason.

Why did you move to England?

I moved to England in June of 2017 because my husband, Luke, is a British citizen. We decided I would be the one to move, ending the long distance chapter of our relationship. To be clear, I don't live in London. Read more about my decision here.

How did you meet Luke?

Great question! I get asked this all the time. My church back in Colorado works with a great organization called Globalscope that creates campus ministries across the globe. In May of 2016, I went on a mission trip to visit their location in Birmingham, England. Luke had been a part of the ministry while he was at uni and was around that week because it was the end of term and lots of big things were happening. We stayed in touch after I returned to Colorado. Read more about our story here.

How did you get a visa to live in the UK?

It was a lengthy and expensive process, I'll tell you that much. We waited until we were engaged and then applied for me to move as Luke's fiancé, paying to have the application expedited because I would be returning to England for a visit sooner than the processing window and I needed by passport back. I received a six month visa to live in the UK, without working in the country. Luke and I needed to get married by 30 November 2017 for me to remain in the country. After we got married, I applied for my next visa that would last for two and a half years. Read more about the initial process here and the more recent process here, but please keep in mind that moving abroad will look different depending on which countries are on either end and the reason for the move.

What do you do for a living?

Before moving to England, I managed Pure Barre Boulder, a fitness studio in Boulder, Colorado. (Read my ode to Pure Barre Boulder here.) I wasn't able to work for my first six months in the UK due to restrictions on my fiancé visa, but I'm able to on a spousal visa. I currently work as a Project Administrator at Luke's company, which is nice because we drive to work together and have lunch together everyday, but we don't work together directly because he's on another project.

When did you get married?

Luke and I got legally married on 16 September 2017 at the Register Office with two of our friends joining us as witnesses. We were still planning a big wedding, with a blessing ceremony and reception, which took place on 16 May 2018, two years to the day after we first met. We'll celebrate September as our anniversary since we considered ourselves married from September, though still (mostly) publicly presented ourselves as engaged until May.

What do you use to create graphics and edit images?

First, let me say I am 100% an amateur at both of these things. I'm mainly self-taught, but I also take advantage of tutorials and the like when I can. I use Canva to create almost all of the graphics used on my blog. This is a great online tool that can do a lot with a free membership, but I've since upgraded to a paid membership so that my header graphics are exactly the correct size that will be displayed on my home page. I used the free service for everything when I was managing social media and client communications at Pure Barre Boulder (and often had many of my graphics reposted by dozens of other studios).

In the summer of 2016, I started using Lightroom, but I'm still learning. I use mainly use VSCO unless I'm editing a large number of photos or want a specific Lightroom preset. I take my photos on my iPhone 7+, taking advantage of the Portrait mode whenever possible, and my Panasonic Lumix G7, which we purchased at the end of 2017.

With Lightroom, came Photoshop. (The bundle is only $10/month.) I'm less familiar with Photoshop, but I did figure out how to do a few things in it and have used it to create .png images that I've then imported into Canva to create graphics.

Do you make money through your blog?

I'm a member of an affiliate marketer, which means if you click a link on my blog, I may make a commission. If I ever post paid sponsored content, this is explicitly stated, but all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.