Wednesday, December 10, 2014

4 Tips to Find Time for God

I have been doing an awful job lately of making time to get in my bible everyday. I have wonderful intentions of creating the perfect bible study each morning when I get out of bed... and then the alarm goes off and my plans are shot.

I chalk it up to laziness and lack of a plan. I have all the tools I need: books, bibles, devotionals, music, a prayer list, motivation - but I'm big time lacking follow through.


Our church begin a daily Advent devotional through the YouVersion bible app. It includes readings each day leading up to Christmas. Obviously I'm a little late - but I'm the queen of catching up {and getting burnt out}.

So in an effort to shape up before my new years resolution life resolution begins... here are a couple tips that help me get back in the bible swing when life starts to compete:

1. Find a comfy spot and make it your own. 
I bounce between two different places in the apartment; the dining room table and the double snuggle {appropriately named for the best cuddle couch ever}. I bring my favorite cozy blanket, candles, hot tea; whatever you want to help you look forward to getting lost in your special space.

2. Make a plan not to have a plan.
Spending time with God should be organic. Don't force it or make it pragmatic. Sit in His presence and soak Him up. If you feel like reading, read. If you feel like praying, pray. If you want to listen to some worship music, sing your heart out. If you feel like listening to God, be quiet. If you keep Him at the center of your mind and are intentional with your time, He'll move you toward how He wants to connect with you.

3. Don't compare your time with God to anyone else's experience.
Don't watch the clock and think you need to spend 1 hour every day sitting in your special spot waiting for miracles to happen or expect to read an entire book of the bible in one sitting. Sometimes those things will happen. Sometimes they won't. Don't compare what your quiet time with God looks like to mine {or anyone else's; FB and Insta can be the worst}.

4. Try to keep distractions at bay.
My mind wonders so easily it's not even funny. It seems like when I'm trying to concentrate {God's Word or otherwise} there are even more things competing for my attention. Turn the TV off. Ask your family for a little alone time. Put your cellphone in another room. Bring out the bible book; not scrolling on your phone. When I'm chatting with God I want His undivided attention; the least I can do is try to give Him mine.

These are some of the things that help me focus and dig into my devotional time with God. NOW - time to get consistent with it. I hope some of these help you to get the most out of your time with God. <3

Good luck to you and wish me luck too!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fall Mini Session

Last weekend we had the opportunity to pose in front of the camera for Mrs. Beth Miller. She is such a gem! Kyle and I booked a fall mini session at a local park and donned our best plaid. I love having photos up around the house and am so happy we get to add some more to the collection.

If you're interested in purchasing a mini session visit Beth Miller Photography on Facebook and keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming opportunities!

We just adore these photos:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Birthday Girl

This week I celebrated 29 years on this earth. Pre-29-year-old Jenna would have 100 day countdowns and elaborate plans; this year was a little more quite.

I took the day off work and planned to do nothing. Instead, life happened... AND based off what happened next- I know I'm getting old.

I woke up early to stand in line, before the DMV opened, to renew my license (which expired that day); went home to clean a messy apartment; had a great lunch with hubby-to-be; back to more cleaning and an admirable attempt at a nap; quick trip to Disneyland for churros and fireworks; back home in time for bed.

Man oh man - time's have changed, but I love every minute of it. The out-pour of phone calls, text messages, social media well wishes, and in person hugs were so heart-warming. I am incredibly blessed with all the wonderful people in my life.

Twenty nine is sure to be an eventful year- and I can't wait! <3 Thanks God for keeping Your favor shining down on me.

Here's a little look into my special day...

 Lunch at Maggiano's

Dining table of birthday prizes!

Quick trip to the happiest place on earth

That castle, though!

Sometimes Kyle lets me eat cake in bed

Then tries to push it in my face

Came into work Friday with flowers and gifts from my amazing co-workers 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Amendola Party of 2

This is such a wonderful, exciting time for the Gough family. Offspring engaged in the same calendar year! What a blessing.

The coming year will hold lots of celebrations, money spending, and opportunities - but before you get too far down that road remember to bring those family and friendlies together to raise a toast to the newly engaged couple!

Tara and Frankie threw an Oktoberfest themed engagement party with all the crucial elements... booze, brats, shots, and drinking games. It was such a fun event complete with an awesome photo op!

To commemorate their relationship Kyle and I wanted to give them something special to remind them of where they came from, where they are, and where they'll go. In the frame below are all the important dates... relationship official, proposal date, and wedding date.

Thank you for letting us be apart of your special day! Best of luck in the wedding planning process and we can't wait to see you walk up the aisle as husband and wife.

Love you guys!


Friday, October 10, 2014

365 Days of Us

Relational anniversary's are a tricky thing when you're dating. Do you full blown celebrate the mini milestones or simply acknowledge them with a well wish and happy kiss? 

We chose not to celebrate the first date, first kiss, or monthly anniversaries... we held out for the real deal.

Kyle and I  celebrated our one year dating anniversary this week - 365 days of greatness. Honestly, I can't believe it went by so quickly... and I can't believe it's only been one year. As most know, we're newly engaged and on spending lock down; all extra money is going into the wedding fund. So it was time to get crafty with this anniversary gift. I wanted to make something special for him - and keep the cost super low. 

I took a photo from my birthday last year {Disneyland!} and made some edits on PicMonkey. Then I created the text overlay, centered it, and PRINT! 

I went to Hobby Lobby {frames 40% off!}, purchased the frame and picked up a card {coupon ready on my phone} and walked out spending less than $12. 

I had to create and assemble at work to make sure Kyle didn't get any early sneak peeks. I used the paper from the safety wrapping to wrap the gift and tucked the card open-faced under the twine. Ta-da!

I had some inspiration from Pinterest, Craftgawker, or somewhere in my daily aesthetically pleasing web browsing. 

This is one of my favorite verses. <3 

My ways must be rubbing off on the fiance... he did something similar BUT soooo much better for me! 

As soon as I'm done wiping the tears from my eyes I'll post about it. He's so good to me. 
Thank you Jesus.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekley Anniversary Gift

Last week my bestie and her hub's celebrated their first year of marriage. Such a special and wonderful occasion; I couldn't be happier for them. I wanted to do something crafty to honor their first milestone and create a keepsake of sorts to provide little reminders of the path they've taken to get where they are now. 

While April and Brett were celebrating their paper anniversary in Kaua'i I got to thinking about what I could do. My CraftGawker obsessed browsing led me here and I thought it was perfect! 

I purchased the frame (two for one at Michael's) and used my Cricut to cut out the letters, numbers, and words. I think it turned out darling! Hopefully the fiance and I will be able to lock down a wedding date soon so I can make one for us!

Here is the finished product!

Apologies for the poor images - I forgot to take quality photos before I gave the prezzie away! 
Bad crafter!! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

5 Tips for the Perfect Thank You Card

I am a firm believer in hand written thank you cards. I love getting things in the mail other than bills and coupons for items I don't even buy at places I don't shop. :) In our sensory overloaded days it's easy to get caught up in checking items off your to-do list and even easier to forget to thank the people that help to make that possible. Taking the time to stop slow down, look someone in the eye, and say thank you can turn someones day right side up - and that someone may even be YOU!

So here are my 5 tips for the perfect thank you card:

1. Stationary
Stationary doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. I keep my eyes peeled at the dollar section at Target for super cute thank you {and blank} notecards. My newest TY card shopping spot is TJ Maxx. See below for some of the darling cards I picked up recently. 

2. Recipients
Sending a text or an email is soooo convenient and quick however, handwriting a note shows you took time out of your day to express your feelings. Family, friends, co-workers, strangers, and future bosses {POST-INTERVIEWS!} will feel the appreciation and may be more willing to go out of their way for you next time it's needed. Tip: write out your message on a scratch piece of paper before you go pen-on-paper. 

3. Language
Take into consideration the person you're sending your note to and tailor your message to the recipient. When you write a note to a friend or family member you can be more relaxed in your messaging. Feel free to add extra exclamation points {my favorite!!} and happy faces. For your co-worker and definitely your future, hopefully, potential boss/ interviewer you'll want to present yourself more professionally. You know your relationships and dynamics best, so be sure to use great judgment when crafting your messages. 

4. Penmanship
Oh this makes my heart and hands happy! I love to write things down. I fake calligraphy and am a huge fan of cursive writing. I have this natural hybrid handwriting that doesn't look too bad. Everyone is capable of chicken scratch and this is the time to hide that far, far away. Use a nice pen {something that rolls smoothly and doesn't do crazy things with the ink} and tuck a few sheets of scratch paper under the card to create a cushioned writing surface. I love the Sharpie Fine Tip Pens but found a less expensive option I've been using on everything from Write Dudes

5. Delivery
Hand delivery or Snail Mail? I'm a fan of both. I also like hiding thank you notes for people to find later. The fiancĂ© finds his fair share of hidden notes in various places - usually weeks/months after the fact. For post interview and professional type notes I recommend snail mail. Be sure to track down the correct address and do your research about how to address {care of, mail box number, department name, title, etc.} the envelope. 

I encourage you to find someone in your life, anyone who could use a boost of happiness in their day, and write them a note today. Let them know you're thinking about them and thank them for something they've done for you recently. :)

Our  most recent batch of 'Thank You' cards

Special K and J wax seal from Monkle Joe from the Italy trip.

I love using wax seals to close envelopes

What are your 'Thank You' card tips? Let me know in the comments section below. 

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yoga - Pt. 1

Alright! I've got my first yoga practice under my belt and the second one starts tonight! Thanks to my place of employment {love benefits!!} I have the opportunity to practice my 'practice'. And the fact that I just have to venture across campus to make this happen 90% insures I'll actually get a workout in.

I'm not quite buying into the light and ora stuff, but I'll replace that with the light of God! and that'll work just fine for me {Thanks to Dana for recommending that perspective}. :)

I was a little apprehensive to get started - I worried I was too far out of shape {these arms haven't been worked out in quite a while} to be able to hold those crazy poses and I'd fall on the poor people standing on either side of me. 

Praise the Lord that wasn't the case. I felt so good after the class, it really heightened my mood and energy level. I've been so tired and lethargic the past few weeks. I'd like to blame it on the heat {triple digits on the daily} but I'm sure it's just me being lazy with sloth-like tendencies waiting for fall to arrive. I mean - come on mother nature! I've got my fall wreath on my front door, can't you see I'm ready?!?!

So - today - I brave the world of Vinyasa - Level 2. I'm hoping it's just a baby step up from level 1. My muscles still feel pretty used from Tuesday's class. 

In other news - Kyle and I have locked down our engagement shoot photographer! None other than the incredibly talented Nick Mitzenmacher. Woo Hoo! Time to slim down for the e-shoot gown! 

Wish me luck ... for both.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Woman Crush Wednesday!

Today I want to share two amazing things: 
1. My best friend April 
2. The Best Friend Mini-Session photoshoot we did with The Rock Studio 

April and I have been friends for over 8 years, best friends two separate times, and responsible for the blossoming #BrettandKyleshow. We have experienced our fair share of love, loss, losers, winners, long nights, and early mornings. 

This girl is absolutely one of a kind. Her heart is bigger than her booty smile and she genuinely wants to make a difference in this crazy world. I am so blessed to have someone I can go to no matter how big or small - just to talk me through troubles or pray for me when I can't find the words. Thank you for being you Ape <3

Introducing --- The Jenna & April Show! 

Bonus shots with the fiance! 

{love my man!}

Katie from The Rock Studio is amazing! She is a pleasure to work with and has a keen understanding on lighting, body angles, and loves to capture perfect moments. I would recommend her for any of your upcoming shoots {birthday, wedding, engagement, holiday, family & student portraits, any and everything!!} Love her!!