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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 fiancé, 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. We got married at a Register Office on 16 September 2017 with two of our friends serving as witnesses. 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. On my current visa, I'm finally able to work after having exactly 6 months "off". I currently work as a Project Administrator at Luke's company, so we're able to commute to and from work together, but we don't work together directly because he's on another project.

When are you getting married? (Or, wait, you're already married?)

Luke and I are having a wedding ceremony in May of 2018 with our friends and family, here in England. (Yes, some people are flying out to come to the wedding.) However, as I previously mentioned, we are already legally married after a tiny ceremony while on my first visa. We originally intended to do the whole thing on 16 September 2017 (as in the ceremony and the legality of it), but after a few family conflicts and the realization that it would be too much to plan a wedding in seven months while I was living in the States for half the time and not working for the other half, we pushed it back another eight months and split it into two pieces. Honestly, we mostly present ourselves as husband and wife at this point. (It's hard to be married in secret because it's so exciting!) We just have to follow that up with an explanation that we're still planning a blessing ceremony that will be disguised as a wedding.

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 currently take all my photos on my iPhone 7+ since I stupidly sold my DSLR camera before moving to England since I never used it.

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, all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.