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 fiancé 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!! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

...and so it begins...


So this is what it feels like! OMG! <3-----<<<

Engaged. Wow. I can hardly believe it's been a week and some change since my wonderful, amazing, at-the-time boyfriend planned an incredible surprise, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. 

I tried not to do all the cliche things I pre-promised myself I wouldn't do, if and when, this moment ever came. I could hear the music, the soothing voice of my fiancé! and the shutterbug snaps from the photographer. All I could do was remind myself to keep my hands down, shoulders back, chest out, and don't fidget… a lot of good that did me. :)

I am so blessed and still coming down from the proposal hangover. I try not to look at my ring too much or get engulfed in the wedding planning process. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked when the wedding date is we could pay for this wedding. ;) In all seriousness - we're trying to enjoy this great season God has blessed us with. Stay tuned for wedding planning woes and wonders as we embark on the journey of Becoming Mrs. Gough {Cough with a G - gotta practice my soon-to-be new last name}.

Such a surreal moment - one million thank you's to everyone involved in our special day. Here is my hazy memory of Saturday, August 30, 2014. 

After a seemingly normal drive down to Rancho Capistrano Winery Kyle stopped me at the double door entrance and asked me if I loved him. What an odd question - 'of course' I answered. He said 'then go with whatever happens' and led me back on to the patio. Whaaat?!? I knew something was up. After what felt like a tornado whirlwind of hello's and new faces Kyle bossily told me to put my things down and follow him. I only turned around when I heard the opening cords of our song played by the acoustic guitar performer for the evening. I made eye contact to say 'nice! what a coincidence'; that's when it hit me. Kyle grabbed my hands and led me in front of the fireplace. He proceeded to tell me, what I assume, are some very romantic and important things… I've been told if I'm a good girl one day I'll find out what was said. He got down on one knee, asked me if I would marry him, and I'm pretty sure I said yes. 

We spent the better part of 5 hours being congratulated by our family and close friends. It was such a wonderful moment and so incredibly special. I can't believe he pulled it off without me knowing all the details. Food, wine, family, friends, fiancé - so many perfect things about that day. 

Here are some photos that I can't even stop reminiscing with if I tried:

Thank you Jess Santana for capturing our special day!