I’m on the left. A greater sage-grouse is on the right.

I’m Joy. An online editor/writer type, wife of a journalist named Brendan, mother of Adela (the most adorable preschooler in the galaxy), and a proud resident of Austin, Texas. Before moving back to Texas, I lived in Astoria, Queens, and also spent several sun-soaked years in Mexico City. I’m a Texas native, originally from Corpus Christi, the Sparkling City by the Sea. Or so they say.

In 2013, after developing severe preeclampsia–and being misdiagnosed and mistreated–I became a preeclampsia patient advocate and shared my story in Cosmopolitan Magazine.


55 thoughts on “About

  1. junemoon says:

    Hi Joy ~ I can’t remember now how I came across your blog recently but I am glad that I did as I em really enjoying reading about your experiences in your new home in Mexico. I have only been to Mexico on short vacations, Cabos San Lucas, twice, and Puerto Vallarta, once. I would really like to live in Mexico some day for a while, longer than a vacation at least.

    Thanks for such an informative and fun blog! junemoon

  2. Grace says:

    Hi Joy

    I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading about Mexico City since my husband and I will be visiting for a couple of days around Christmas. Coincidentally we live in NYC! I am thinking most of the museums will be closed on Christmas Day so I was wondering if you could recommend some other things to do. Also, I’m a fashion student and would love to know about some cool boutiques to visit, we’re staying in Polanco but I’ve heard Condesa is great for shopping. Muchas Gracias!

  3. Christine says:


    Thank you so much for your blogs! I recently found out I will be moving to Mexico City this summer. Like any good person moving to a new area, I hopped online and started researching. I think I started to have a panic attack after the second web page I visited. Hijackings, muggings, robberies, don’t take Taxis; don’t trust the police, don’t drink the water. All I could think was, how can anyone come out of there alive? To say I was getting a bit nervous would be an understatement. Then I came across your blog. After reading all your postings I’m actually starting to get pretty excited about the move. I love photography and so many of the pictures you have posted are full of life and color that I can’t wait to start my own collection. Your blog’s have greatly relieved me and for that I thank you!!

  4. Joy says:

    Thanks Christine! There are a lot of misconceptions about Mexico City, and reading blogs from those of us who live here is probably the best way to see the truth through the fear. Best of luck on your move!

  5. pelón says:


    I hope you’re back from Texas for Noche de Primavera. It’s my favorite night of the year in the D.F. Much of El Centro is shut down for traffic and in over 20 spots scattered throughout the streets and alleys you’ll find every flavor of music, dance, art, circus…from punk rock and surf-rockabilly to opera singers on street corner balconies.

    It starts at 6pm and ends sometime after 4AM.

    Here’s a schedule:


  6. Michele in Playa says:

    Hola from sunny Playa del Carmen. Just recently returned from the 1st Latin America Bloggers Conference held this year on Isla Mujeres. I met a great group of ex-pats whose blogs you may want to check out! They are all up on my blogroll and all uniquely interesting. So, come on over and visit us in cyberspace. We are planning next year’s Blogger Blowout already!
    Michele Kinnon

  7. Hannah says:

    Hey, I stumbled across your blog and now enjoy reading every update. I am very interested in visiting Mexico in early October. (I currently live in mid-town Manhattan) I am not interested in going to a touristy spot. I want to be able to absorb Mexico everyday life. DO you have any suggestions for me? I would love to hear your opinion!!

  8. Monica says:

    Dear Joy, I’ve been reading your blog for some weeks, since I found out I will pe living in Mexico City for 4 years. You’ve been of great help with your postings, for me, so far, but I still have some questions, by now. Is life safe there? I don;’t know why I made this fixation on robbery and kidnapping. tell me it’s not that dangerous, please! And tell me i can get soya or rice milk there:) All the best,…

  9. Joy says:

    We haven’t had any problems with crime, and there’s soy milk in my fridge as I type this. It’s a big city – has the same pros and cons of any big city. Just with better food.

  10. Terry says:

    Joy – ran across your site looking for some info to send to my folks on where Im living come September. Also my sister’s name is Joy so it caught my eye! Ja. After 5 years of coming down every 6 months, Im finally parking it permanently over on Citlaltepetl near Nuevo Leon -south side of Parque Mexico in Condesa. I had a quick question who you use for internet service since this blog would obviously require a reliable provider and I know options are limited [theres TelMex and TelMex, right? A joke.] As a designer I’ll need a relatively fast line with good transfer amount. All that aside, I really like the site and look forward to reading the updates and being “vecinos”. 🙂 Thanks for the help – take care -T.

    PS: Native texan – houston!

  11. Joy says:

    Thanks Terry — and welcome to La Condesa!

    There’s a few options. We use Cablevision for TV and DSL internet. There’s Prodigy Mexico, and yes, everyone’s favorite monopoly, TelMex. I’m pretty sure there are a few more but I don’t pay much attention to these things. I do recommend the Newcomer’s Club of Mexico City — they have tons of info on this sort of stuff.

    Cablevision has been really good so far, although it’s your typical giant corporation — installation and customer service issues can be a bit painful, especially if your Spanish is bad (mine sucks.)

  12. Suzy says:

    Hi Joy
    Love your blog voice! My husband is moving us to Mexico City in Sept. I will be reading a good deal of your posts in the next few weeks, but I thought I would ask you if you could give me any advice on actually moving. Also, as far as mapping the neighborhoods can you suggest a useful tool to learn more about neighborhoods such as yours?

  13. Suzy says:

    It is me again! You are from MN? Did you grow up there? I am originally from MN, too! Moved to SC a few years ago and miss MN so much.
    Small world!

  14. Monica says:

    Hi Joy,
    I’m Mexican-American living in Mexico City. I would really like to ask you a lof of questions, but the other way around (about New York). Is there any chance you could contact me through my email address? I do have a lot of questions… Also, do you know someone who might be willing to exchange English lessons (at a college level) for singing lessons…
    I hope you don’t find my requests sort of luny.

  15. Teresa says:

    Great Blog and Nice to meet you, I have had fun reading the blog, It reminded me of all the wide eyed adventures I have had since coming to Mexico for the first time.
    There have been many wonderful times of wide eyed wonder.
    .. and drooling as I have to try all the different foods.

  16. Jen says:

    Hey – Just wanted to say I love your blog. I am moving to Mexico City at the end of the year for my husband’s job and am utterly terrified. Your blog has assuaged some of my fears and made Mexico look like a lovely (though trying at times) place to live if you have some tolerance for adventure!!

  17. Sylvie says:

    Hi Joy,

    I came across your blog today and found it to be very useful as a complement to my business http://www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com

    I’m a Canadian woman who’s lived in Puerto Vallarta since 1995 and love it! I’m lucky to travel all-over Mexico for my work and have experienced so much of what this amazing country has to offer. I’ll be joining the Bloguesphere soon and am just now figuring it all out.

    Thanks for the information and point of view. It’s much more colorful and interesting that a guide book…

    Have a great day and I’ll be back to read more!

    Sylvie Laitre

  18. mexicoboutiquehotels says:

    Hi Joy!

    We as promised on my last post, I’ve started the Mexico Boutique Hotels blog and am doing a trial run right now. Finding it quite fun actually. Just wanted to say that I linked to your blog which I think is a great resource for my client base. Please let me know if you ever come to Puerto Vallarta. I’d love to show you around.

    All the best,


  19. Celia says:

    Hi Joy!

    I am from Colombia and have lived in Florida for 8 years, my husband is being considered for a job in Mexico City, we have 5 children born and raised in USA, I was wondering if you know any family oriented neighborhoods, safety is our No.1 priority. Thanks,

  20. Joy says:

    Celia, I wish I could be more helpful, but the best thing to do is to contact organizations like the Newcomer’s Club for advice. There are many safe neighborhoods — it’s no more dangerous than Florida, seriously — and it’s more about picking what schools/parks/cultural activities you want nearby. I live in Condesa, and don’t own a car, and live a very urban lifestyle, and love it. Best of luck and you’ll have a great time here.

  21. patricia says:

    Hi Joy! I am writing bceuase I want to be cool as you requested; I would like to use one of you amazing sugar skull pictures as a reference to make skull cookies.

    A reference is what I was trying to find when I found you here. I am very impressed and seeing you and what you do has triggered my sense of pride as a mexican native living in the united states for a few years now. I is hard to hold that pride on a daily rutine and away from the real Mexico…I love it. And I love seeing my native country from such beautiful and true perspective, you are a gifted lady.

  22. Joy Johnson says:

    Joy! Hi from Joy! Just outside Atlanta, GA, I used to dream of retiring in Florida. NOT so much anymore. I love Mexico, although my experience has been that of tourist on the coast. Still, I love the Mexican culture, understand enough Spanish to study it for the next 10 years until retirement!
    What would you say to a 50-something single woman thinking about that for future? Soy loco?

    • Joy says:

      Hi Joy – yes, there’s quite a large American population, and I think it’s all about what you make of it. There are lots of people your age in San Miguel de Allende, near Lake Ajijiic (not sure how that’s spelling) and of course, in many of the resort cities.

  23. Marta says:

    Great Blog!
    I would like to use one of your pictures of Taxco for our Bed and Breakfast – Hotel Mi Casita, newsletter. Your pictures are so beautiful, and we want to share this beauty with our guests. Can we use the one of the three little girls in the Taxco, Guadalupe?
    We also would like to link to our website.
    Thank you for making Mexico look so good.

  24. Eric says:

    Have lived many years in Latin American countries – enjoyed reading your blog. One pro photo suggestion: you may want to keep el horizonte recto en tus imagenes, in case you don´t want to show how crazy this world is : )

  25. Leah says:

    Hi Joy, I don’t know you and I happened to find your blog by accident one day doing a search on Mexico City. I just wanted to tell you I love reading your blog. I’m from San Antonio, Texas and I lived in Corpus Christi Texas from 2003-2006. I loved it there. I have your blog saved to my favorites. One day I want to visit or possibly live in Mexico City. It seems like an amazing place. Thanks for writing this blog, it’s always so interesting and helpful!

    • Joy says:

      Hi Linda — I’m sorry but I get this request a lot, to the point I get overwhelmed. The advice I give everyone: It’s AWESOME here and just go with the flow. Mexico is an amazing, beautiful place.

  26. roberto says:

    hi, joy,

    i like your blog name! i just linked into your blog from your wp post about getting featured on freshlypressed, i was wondering what does that feed thing mean? if you have a second, check out my blog and let me know if you’d like to publish it. I would be delighted! hope you enjoy the site as much as i do shooting and writing it. are you still in sf? if so, we should meet!

    best regards,


  27. mccarthymj says:

    Hey Joy, I saw two pictures you took of Cole Park in Corpus Christi on your blog and would like to ask your permission to use them. The two pictures are of kids walking on the pier, and the other is of some kids skate boarding at the skate park.


  28. Christi says:

    I get so excited when I find blogs that are readable and informative, while still having a sense of humor. This is one of them. I love the Spanglish, from one guera to another. I’ve been learning how to cook Mexican food, too. If you need a good cookbook, try Simply Mexican. Buen provecho from ATX.

  29. jaco223 says:

    Joy ….Just kind of following you around ….interesting. Wow NYC … my favorite city!
    Thanks for all the love you showed me ….Deepest thanks!

    Continued Success!

    P.S. Get on down to Joe’s Pier 52 for a great meal ..

  30. EdinburghExplored says:

    Joy I enjoy how you blog a mix of short and long pieces. Anyway if you are interested in all things Corpus Christi in Texas. I recommend to you a song by Todd Snider called Corpus Christi Bay. Have you heard of Todd? He is biggish in Texas I believe…


    Edinburgh Scotland

  31. Wylie Goodman says:

    Hey Joy, Fun discovering your blog! Astoria sure is different than Texas, but it’s a great place to call home. Look forward to checking out your blog. Awhile back I wrote a post about Mexican Martinis, a drink I’ve only been able to find in Texas. No bartender in NYC ever knew how to make it. : )

  32. Rosalia says:

    Hello Joy,

    I love your post about Ollinyotl Spa at Malinalco, we have meet before because I am the massage therapist there -let me tell you I never forget a face of the people I have massaged- well I used to be, now I am the manager, things are flowing so nice here…you should see the place now! So the reason I write you is because I would like to ask for your permission for using your pictures – you have a great eye! I never get the good angle;( – for my newsletters and stuff like that. Please say yes;) Well thanks for your attention. Have a nice day.

  33. Nick says:

    Hola Joy!
    Me gusta mucho tu blog. Pienso que atendiste una muy buena escuela para tu licenciatura, no? Que bien. Yo tambien soy Tejano. No muy lejos de la escuela que atendiste. Oye, aun tienes aquella computadora que te vendi? El monitor estaba para los rayos, no? HA HA HA HA…

    Espero te encuentres bien. Aunque no resido en NYC, estoy viajando a NYU cada semana para trabajar. Como te digo, me da gusto saber estas bien, y disfrutando de la vida. Este blog que tienes, esta chido!

  34. healingandliving says:

    Wow, I’m also Texas (not born there, but did spend almost 20 years there and my family is still there. Plus, Texas adopts you), but my heart is in San Francisco where I currently live. Dying to go to NYC. Also, have a dog named Charlie! Small world! Keep writing!

  35. greenfeetbeat says:

    Hello, I am from Spain and I like your photo on nature, very nice and wonderful and sorry for my bad Inglis.Muy bonitas tus fotos sobre la naturaleza.Enhorabuena.Un saludo desde España.

  36. fati's recipes says:

    Oh my god! I went to a high school called Corpus Christi College! 🙂 They recently changed the name, I believe 🙂

    I love your blog and pics! I’ve enjoyed reading the posts that I got the time to read! 😀 Keep them coming!

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