A Woman I Know is a special theme for my link up posts that only occurs on a fifth Saturday of the month and this month I’m featuring Joya, a fabulous woman I have the good fortune of being related to through marriage. Many bloggers will publish posts on other bloggers, which I appreciate for the introductions to other blogs and the exposure they afford to the bloggers showcased, but I developed this theme to be more personal and to be based a woman from my non-blogging life. This is the second post with the A Woman I Know theme; the first one featuring my friend Amy was published in July.
Joya’s mother and my mother-in-law are sisters so Joya is a first cousin to The Husband. Despite the distance, The Husband has been close with his east coast relatives all of his life and a lot of cross-country travel in both directions has occurred over the years to attend weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs or to just visit and spend time together. Most recently, it was The Husband and I who traveled to attend the Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of another cousin (who is also one of Joya’s brothers).
Back in April when I first thought up the theme of A Woman I Know and drafted an initial list of women to feature, Joya was near the top of the list because she is such an awesome person, beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside. Like most women today, Joya wears many hats throughout her day and she responds to each pull for her attention with a smile and a “can do’ attitude.
The Husband and I had a wonderful time with Joya, her kids, and the rest of the family during our recent trip. The photos for this post were taken during one of the afternoons both in Manhattan and in Hoboken. The interview is a mix of Joya’s written responses to questions I sent to her and conversations we had in person.
Questions on Life and Living
Rena: Is the glass half empty or half full?
Joya: DEFINITELY half full. I do not have a defeatist mentality.
Rena: Are you concerned about being age appropriate?
Joya: Yes. I’m always concerned about dressing my age but within reason. I like to have fun with flirty clothes. I think if you feel good in the clothes you choose, then you exude confidence and that’s the best look of all.
Rena: What do you do for you to put a smile on your face?
Joya: I go to watch my kids play sports, watch my daughter sing in her chorus or get a really good workout in.
Rena: What are the top five things on your bucket list?
Joya: I’d love to go on a safari, drive cross country, learn to play the guitar, own a few dogs, and do yoga retreats around the world.
Questions on health and fitness
Rena: You’ve had some health issues. How have you managed them?
Joya: I’m extremely proactive in recognizing that my health needs to be a priority and issues need to be handled and not ignored.
Rena: You are/were a personal trainer … how did you get started with this?
Joya: I’ve always loved fitness. I’ve participated in sports my entire life. I figured I could give my expertise and knowledge to individuals who could benefit from my passion for health, wellness, and exercise. Plus, who wouldn’t like to get paid for working in a job you love. I don’t train full-time anymore due to other non-fitness work I do but I get such pleasure out of it that I will continue with it on a part-time basis.
Rena: What is your philosophy about getting into shape and staying healthy?
Joya: My approach is about setting realistic goals for oneself. I’m very disciplined but really try to stay on an 80/20 formula. 80% I stay on track with exercise and diet, 20% of the time I allow myself to splurge. I don’t beat myself up if I go off track, I just move on. It’s ALL ABOUT MODERATION. I never say no to anything I want to eat, I just don’t eat the entire bag. LOL!!!
Rena: What is your typical weekly fitness routine?
Joya: My typical weeks are a mix of everything. I do A LOT of walking, I do hot yoga, cycle at FLYWheel, bootcamps, etc. I constantly change it up.
Questions on Fashion and Style
Rena: How would you describe your fashion style?
Joya: Relaxed yet not dressed down and sloppy. I love getting dressed up though and love love love shoes.
Rena: What influences your choices on what to buy and/or what to wear?
Joya: My style is based on what I think flatters my figure. I sometimes forgo the trends because they just don’t work for me.
Rena: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to buying clothing and how do you address it?
Joya: I’m very petite so finding pants is a huge challenge. I need to wear petite sizes because they’re more proportionate for my figure but I’m also muscular so my thighs can be a challenge to fit properly.
Rena: What trends are you keen on this year?
Joya: I love the bootie and bell bottom jeans look.
Questions on Parenting
Rena: You’ve got a daughter and a son like I do but yours are twins and now 13 years old. Double the pleasure or double the trouble?
Joya: They are definitely double the pleasure. They are so good and love each other. It’s so wonderful to see the bond between my twins. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to break in. I’m a third wheel in my house.
Rena: There are so many new things in life since you were a teen. What have you learned from your children that you didn’t know previously?
Joya: I think it’s harder to be a teen today. I’m learning that my kids need to know way more about consequences than I ever did. With all the social media and postings, everything is on display, so kids need to be aware of that impact and potential consequences.
Rena: What do you hope that your children learn from you?
Joya: I hope that my children learn forgiveness. It’s a hard thing. And that challenges in your life can always be overcome.
Rena: Are you a cool mom?
Joya: Of course, I’m a cool mom. The coolest!!!!! Just like the song says “Stacey’s mom has got it going on”. My kids’ friends will sing “Ava’s/Cameron’s mom has got it going on”. They’ll die if they read that! Ha!
Let’s Wrap This Up
Now, onto the Fine-Whatever link up for this week. My featured contributor is a relatively new reader and follower of this blog. BiTi, a co-collaborator from Pret-A-Vivre, which translates to “ready to live”. BiTi and her partner love to discover, learn and do new things. Her featured post shows the versatility of a skinny ribbed black turtleneck with five different looks.
I hope that you have enjoyed meeting my cousin Joya. Who are the awesome women that you know? What do you admire about them and how have they influenced your life? The next month with a fifth Saturday is December and I already have another awesome woman in the queue to introduce to you. However, I’m still looking for my 2017 line-up so be warned my other friends and family, I may soon be calling to ask you for a favor. Please consider saying yes.