How We Met, How He Asked 💍

How We Met, How He Asked 💍

How We Met

Our story began May of 2007. I was 19 and I had just completed my first year of college. New to the city of San Francisco, I had also just landed a summer job working in retail at the downtown Express. Why does this matter? Well, because that’s where I met Rey. It was a few weeks into the gig that a handsome man in a dark suit walked into the store looking for assistance and there I was, the helping hand. Rey and I chatted, maybe even flirted a bit….a successful encounter, so much so that I even persuaded him into buying his very first pink shirt. I rung him up, said my farewells and it was as he was leaving that he looked back at me and said, “you’re a beautiful girl”. Cheeeeesy, right? But yup, it happened.

Thankfully, he walked away just in time that he missed the blushing face and awkward nerves.
A few days passed and it was a shift or two later that Rey walked in through the doors again, looking for assistance, of course. Again, we talked and after a clear connection was made he made the move.

Rey: I’d love to call you sometime, can I have your number?
Me: Sorry, I can’t.

I couldn’t, really…but I did. I quickly scribbled my number on the back of his receipt and handed it right back to him as I rung him up AGAIN. This time, I got him to purchase his first purple shirt (in case you were wondering). And after that, I didn’t know what to expect, I don’t think I really expected much to be honest.

Fast forward a few weeks and months later. Rey did eventually call, and we dated that summer. But the summer fling that began also ended and genuine friendship evolved. I was young and pursuing a career, his was already established. I eventually graduated from college then landed a job in a foreign country. I moved back at some point and then pursued a life and career in Southern California, Rey was still in San Francisco. We always kept in touch…he’d update me on his ventures and so would I. Our friendship and common interests led us to travel and explore a bit together over the years but we kept it friendly until a random visit to the city and a kiss between us re-sparked the fire, and the relationship we have had since began. This was more than two years ago by the way.

Fate, Rey’s never been much of a believer of it nor did he ever believe that “If it was meant to be, it will be”…but I always did and I always knew he was the one.

How He Asked 

We had been planning a two-week vacation to Europe for some time. I wanted to visit Greece & he wanted to explore Croatia, we decided to visit both and add a few other destinations to our itinerary. From the moment we left San Francisco, the trip already felt like one-of-a-kind. It was magical and romantic and I was traveling with my best friend, exploring the world together… what else could I ask for? First, we visited Vienna then Prague, Croatia and finally Greece…Mykonos, Greece.

It was our first full day in Greece; we had rented an ATV & had spent the day hopping around from one beach to another, checking out all we could. Dinner reservations we had been looking forward to at M Eating were that night & as we strolled the beautifully painted alleys of Mykonos, Rey reminded me of them. So, we headed back to our hotel, dressed and headed to dinner. We had just arrived and Rey hadn’t been feeling too well the last few days, so I didn’t expect much. I knew we’d skip on the bottle we’d typically order & probably order less food than often (like we had the nights before). I sat across him and browsed the wine menu, maybe I’d get a glass for myself I thought. He told me he’d be right back but he’d already been to the bathroom, I chalked it up to him not feeling well–He was talking to the waitstaff but I had no idea, to me it was dinner as planned, so what happened next was completely unexpected. It all happened so quickly; I remember him walking up to our table, with the most unusual look in his eyes and that was when he got on one knee. Shocked, confused and so happy, I felt tears roll down my face and nothing else, I was frozen. At some point, I nodded yes as he asked me to marry him. I told him I loved him, we kissed and together, popped open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like, how it would feel and where it would take place. Mykonos Greece was absolutely perfect, that night was perfect and June 9th will forever have a special place in my heart.

P.S. Our story was featured on The Knot’s “How He Asked” site (yasss!). See more pics here!

Eating Meat Again…Pros & Cons

Eating Meat Again…<b>Pros & Cons</b>

April of 2017, I would have reached my six years as a pescatarian (yikes)…and based on the title of this blog, we all know that didn’t happen. Boo! I blame it on the carnivore bf. 👎🏼

Just kidding…

Real talk now. I’m still not sure if my decision was the right or wrong one or if giving up meat was ever really necessary. What I can say however, is how the past few years and now months have been, how changing a diet so drastically affected me in a good and not so good way. What not eating meat and now eating meat again has done for my body, mind & lifestyle. ‘Cause, let’s be honest…it wasn’t easy! Not when you grew up eating meaty meals and delicious Mexican food (tacooooos 🙌🏼)! It’s still not easy.

So, if you’re thinking about it…if you’re curious to know, I share some of the pros and cons of switching up the diet & trying something new below. Let’s go!

PROS

Restrict Yoself, Girl

Portion control, it’s so so very important. Giving up meat meant I had to explore new ways of eating…new places to eat & that meant no fast food. #winning

Luckily, I was living in Los Angeles at the time…looking for vegetarian places to shop and/or eat also meant shopping at healthier spots, this was all for the good. While it may be a little bit pricier, you do learn to pick and choose what you eat and therefore skip out on unhealthy snacks and unnecessary foods.

Learn About Your Bodyyyy

What fills you up, what makes you and your body happy…these are all important. Every year I completed as a pescatarian, I felt more educated on the topic of food and diet, even fitness. I needed to know what gave me the right energy to perform and tone up. For example, the first year I ate a lot of soy and tofu, I learned how to substitute it for meat and complete meals as if I was eating the same…this wasn’t the healthiest idea and I quickly learned it wasn’t what I wanted to continue doing; I then learned what I wanted to substitute as protein and that sometimes food wasn’t enough, I needed supplements.

Get Down in The Kitchen

My first month as a pescatarian, I dropped ten pounds. I wasn’t planning on losing weight and I hadn’t given up meat to lose any either. What happened was that I was cooking, two or three meals a day instead of eating out and not knowing what was going into my body. I am no chef (ask around), but I can get by and thanks to a change of diet…I know how to prep some stuff without a recipe or without having to go completely out of my way.

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CONS

Blah…Low in Energy!

The second or third month of my new diet, I had moved to a new city and I was riding my bike a lot. I clearly remember having to take one or two naps a day…whaaaaa?! I had never been the type of person to nap, I actually kinda hate it. I did some research, spoke to a few people & I learned that by simply taking some B12, I was giving my body the fuel it needed…but, I went three or four months without knowing that. It was tough!

Give Me Carbs

Biggest problema any vegetarian or pescatarian will face in the first month or so of giving up meat…substituting protein with carbs! Nooooo, SMH! Luckily, I’m not big on eating bread at all times of the day, but even after the first or second month of my diet change, I would find myself craving pastas to fill my tummy…so not the thing to do. Still something I’m working on.

No Meat? Mo Problems

It’s as if giving up meat means you will forever be the topic of conversation at any dinner party… “What? Why? How? Are you sick? No…” aaahhhh…it’s a bit of a challenge doing the no meat thing and then going over to any dinner party or any party for that matter. Then, there’s traveling.  When you’re used to finding vegetarian spots to eat at, you’ll find yourself a little lost when you’re somewhere where there aren’t any. No meat can be mo problems. 

So, there you have it…the pros & cons. While I didn’t make it to my six years as a pescatarian, can’t say for sure I never will. I am grateful for having tried something different, regardless of the challenges and for making it soooo damn far. As for now, I have learned that cooking is always a better option, and everything is best when balanced. My goals to be healthy are the same…I try to only eat good meat (grass fed) & I’ve been staying away from carbs and any processed foods. As for advice, I always say “give it a try” and you’ll eventually learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

Until next time.

XO, Jo

Side Hustling & That Full-Time Job 🙅🏻

Side Hustling & That Full-Time Job 🙅🏻

Working a full-time job and trying to get your hustle on is no joke.

Plain and simple…

On top of that, you’re trying to live a balanced life, look good, and stay sane. I mean, “Geeeeezus!” (exclamation, exclamation). I started my blog in 2010, I didn’t think much of it…I was graduating college and I wanted a job doing what I loved. I had no experience and I needed it…so, I started my blog. I wrote, kept writing, and the more I dedicated to it, the more visits my blog got. Slowly but surely, the emails started coming in, the questions and the opportunities. What I first thought of as a hobby, quickly became a side hustle.

Flash forward to an older me, older reality and a full-time job…I took a few months off recently. Not too long ago, I shared an Instagram post with a caption that read “you really do need to be passionate enough to dedicate so much time to a side hustle (the blog)”, that’s no lie. So, how does one do it, especially when you have a full-time job? As Gary Vaynerchuk recently explained in his latest You Tube vid, “you have to start documenting instead of creating…start”. His motto, just do it! So, below I share a few tips that may or may not help. If you have any questions after this, please feel free to reach out. If I can’t help, I promise to direct you to a person that can.

Do It, Mess up, Fix It, Do It Again…

When I first started blogging, blogging wasn’t what it is today. There wasn’t much help out there. So, in my case…I did a lot of trial and error. Now, you have tons of free resources out there. Still, I’d say take it as an example but find your own way of doing. What may be the “recipe to success” for someone may not work for you. First step, start doing, start trying…mess up and try again.

Commit

Those who are doing it and doing something good with it, aren’t putting in an hour a week. It takes a whole lot of commitment. Lately, I’ve been working on skipping a day at the gym to focus strictly on brainstorming and writing. Another day or two a week, I’m dedicating to photographing. What’s your work flow like and how much are you willing to commit?

Find Your Flow

Everyone has a different schedule, different goals in mind…what are yours and what will work for you? Try a few different things and I’m sure you’ll eventually come to a flow that works for you. Along with that, find the niche you’re most passionate about and find your voice and vision. Imitating is easy and the easy route is usually short-lived.

Ask for Help

You may or may not have made it this far down my blog post…if you have, you’re clearly looking for help and finding ways to get started or improve (yay!). Personally, I also study others’ work and see ways I can do it myself. Facebook communities for blogging are a great way to connect and ask questions to those with more experience…seminars and conferences are my fave though. Never stop learning, never stop asking for help. I am also constantly asking my friends, sisters, boyfriend for help in brainstorming and editing my work. It’s never really only one person doing it.

Take It Day by Day

My personal blog and brand are what I have put the most work into…along the way, I launched two, three, four different projects and blogs. Some did better than others, my personal brand is just the one I cared about the most, the one where I was able to be my genuine self and the one that’s given me the most satisfaction. I constantly tell myself this one thing, and so I’ll repeat it to you… “take it day by day”.

Questions, comments? Show me some love in the comments or shoot me a tweet, @Joanna_Renteria. XOXO