2016 A Year in Review

2016 // https://itsjoulife.com/2016/12/31/2016-year-review/

By God’s grace and love, 2016 was another epic year in the record books. I swear each and every year breezes on by. I’m certain it’s because we’re thoroughly enjoying life’s blessings to keep track of time.

2016 has been another big year of change, followed with a new mindset, challenges, adventures, and opportunities. Wayne has been woodworking and building furniture. I recently left my corporate job to pursue my creative passions full-time. Bentley is still a gem of a pup and loves napping and belly rubs.

2016 Highlights

  • Traveling near and far to celebrate eight weddings and a few births
  • Chaperoning high school students for a Model United Nations debate conference and hitting all the tourist spots in New York
  • Vacationing in Maui for a friend’s wedding and exploring the grand Na Pali Coast in Kauai
  • Camping and stargazing with family and friends in Joshua Tree
  • Celebrating our three year anniversary by eating our way through Japan during the autumn season
  • Our community garden growing strong
  • I booked a university ad campaign and am currently on a billboard (My first acting job!)

My favorite purchase in 2016 was the 1 Second Everyday (1SE) app. It’s a modern day video diary. Imagine your life as a movie. It’s a step up from just taking stills or making a photo album of the year. It’s nostalgic to see the finished video. I realized my day isn’t as mundane as I thought and this app enabled me to see the beauty in my everyday. I love how my year turned out.

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Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass

Celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a free 2017 parks Canada discovery pass

For all of 2017 this free Parks Canada Discovery Pass gives you unlimited opportunities to discover and enjoy National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas, and National Historic Sites across Canada! We’ve been wanting to go visit Banff, Glacier, Jasper National Parks for quite some time now. Perfect timing!

Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - https://itsjoulife.com/2016/12/12/2017-parks-canada-discovery-pass/

Please note:

  • You only need to order one pass for your group or family if you are all traveling together. A 2017 Discovery Pass is valid for everyone arriving in the same vehicle at a national park, or arriving together at a marine conservation area, or historic site.
  • The Discovery Pass is only accepted at national historic sites which are operated by Parks Canada.
  • Activities such as tours or parking that normally carry a separate fee may not be covered by the Discovery Pass.
  • Camping fees are not included with the Discovery Pass
  • Validity Period: January 1st 2017 to December 31st 2017.
  • Display: The 2017 Discovery Pass must be hung from the rear view mirror of the vehicle facing forward or it can be placed on the front driver side dashboard facing up.

If you have questions regarding the above information, please contact our National Information Service at 1-888-773-8888 or information@pc.gc.ca .

NPS Centennial Forever Stamps

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE (NPS) CENTENNIAL FOREVER STAMPs

Friday Favorites // NPS Forever Stamps via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/friday-favorites-stranger-things-happy-centennial-bday-nps-stamps-lynda-com

Happy 100th Birthday, NPS! The US Postal Service is celebrating the NPS Centennial by issuing 16 new forever stamps featuring national parks. These picturesque images will get you to find your hiking shoes, book a camping trip and get back into nature! I miss those vibrant, unreal colors of the Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park and the serene ceremonial sunrise on Haleakala National Park.

My NP bucket list: Acadia, Arches, Glacier Bay, Yellowstone (w/ Wayne this time), Zion. My favorite moment is ascending on top Half Dome in Yosemite (recap post, here). The best yet? These are forever stamps and you can share the love of national parks forever, just like all the memories you’ll create when you get out there and explore your inner wild. #letsgosomewhere

DIY / lifestyle blog got a makeover!

It’s Jou Life | a DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

Join our mailing list by entering your email (top right column section) and receive an email each time we post!

Friends of Ours.

Hello, and welcome to It’s Jou Life! We’re Wayne and Jennifer, a (relatively) newly wed couple who found love in the most unexpecting place. This is our DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

We started this blog because our family and friends always ask us how we grow our own organic vegetables, what is Wayne woodworking on now, to send over our miso black cod recipe, what snacks stock our pantry, a tutorial on that cute zippered pouch, tips for marathon running, where do we worship, what to bring for a camping trip, what’s Jennifer’s skincare regimen… you get the idea. This is our way to share life’s loves.

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What’s in my beauty bag? Paradise vacation edition // Beauty

What's in my beauty bag? Paradise edition // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/whats-in-my-beauty-bag-paradise-vacation-edition-beauty

I sure soaked up the sun during my recent vacation in Hawaii. Between the hours of hiking to explore waterfalls or snorkeling along the Napali Coast, I’ve gotten several shades darker and have gone through most of my sunscreen products I packed for the trip.

These are my favorite beauty products I used during my outdoor adventuring. Some are oldies and I have a new found love (Leaders Too Much Fun in the Sun? Mask from Petaluma & Co)!

  • Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 // When I’m on vacation I like to keep my beauty bag at a minimum, so I stick to this multi-tasking genius of a product that provides advanced brightening and anti-aging properties. I use it on its own , its natural-looking coverage minimizes the appearance of imperfections and evens the skintone. I even wore this at a wedding I attended in Maui. My skin is left looking smooth, perfect and natural. This is an everyday product I use in my day skincare regimen.
  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Wetforce For Face // This is my go-to product when I know I’ll be sweating during my hikes and snorkeling for hours. The waterproof formula keeps my face protected. Just remember to reapply every few hours.
  • Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Sunscreen // This does everything a broad-spectrum, waterproof sunscreen should do… and this smells fresh and beach-y clean. I love that it’s lightweight and fast-absorbing.
  • Honest Company Bug Spray // I didn’t get bit once! I just make sure to spray directly on to my palms, dab on my skin and reapply after a few hours. Best of all? It’s all natural and safe for babies.
  • Leaders Too Much Fun in the Sun? Sheet Mask // My after-sun remedy in a pack. I am so in love with sheet masks right now. There are so many beauty benefits and a cult favorite in the K-Beauty scene. After spending hours at the beach, my skin had some mild inflammation and was pink. This mask saved my face from the embarrassing redness! The olive leaf extract and moisturizing aloe soothed, protected and firmed my skin to help heal and hydrate. It was fun and easy to use too. I left the mask on for 15-20 minutes, ate some chocolate haupia pie, took it off and gently massaged the excess serum into face and neck until fully absorbed. Talk about pampering while on vacation. It instantly relieved my irritated skin and healed my overexposed skin.

 

What's in my beauty bag? Paradise edition // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/whats-in-my-beauty-bag-paradise-vacation-edition-beauty

The Dr Jart+ and Shiseido products are from the Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit 2016. Read more about this in a previous post, here.

The Leaders Too Much Fun in the Sun? Sheet Mask can be bought from Petaluma & Co., here.

 

Yosemite, my happy place // travel

2015 Mtn3

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir

Lately I’ve been itching to go camping and wanting to go to explore the Sequoias or Yellowstone. I’ve always been an enthusiast of the outdoors, but it wasn’t until meeting Wayne that I started loving camping in the wilderness and hiking mountainous trails. One of my favorite feelings is connecting with nature–the early morning dew on the tent, the shy rays of light peeping through the trees, the smell of dirt, the clean, crisp air, the quietness of the midnight hour, lying on my back, star gazing.

Yosemite is a favorite travel spot. Wayne and I try to make an annual pilgrimage and we’ve created so many epic adventures there. My favorite memory is Half Dome–pulling an all nighter to climb this beauty of a rock at sunrise. It was challenging and strenuous, yet so rewarding and worth it!

Some of my favorite photos taken from over the years. Can’t wait to go back…2014 HD22014 HD12014 HD20152015 Mtn42014 Pork2015 Mtn22014 Chicken2015 Hiking2015 Deer2015 Sandwich2015 WJ2015 Shoes2015 Yosemite_TinyMatters2015 Family2014 Tree2015 Peach2014 Sloth2015 Mtn2015 Waterfall2015 Feet2015 Yosemite_BeyondtheTrees2015 VV2015 Waterfall32014 Night2015 Wayne2015 osemite_IHeartYou

Thank You for My Every Day

Thank You for My Every Day // http://wp.me/p3cljj-jg

Yosemite // July 2015

Thank you for my Every Day.

Thank you for my first breath this morning.

Thank you for giving me my two legs to do the things that I love.

As easy as it is to get caught up in the busyness of life and its demands, I always start out my day with this daily prayer. It’s my breath of fresh air. My morning coffee. My Me Time.

It not only calms my heart, opens my mind and sets my day for what lies ahead, but a constant reminder of the fragility of life. It’s being thankful for the simple daily pleasures as waking up to another beautiful day, loving and being loved and physically able to live life.

The Lord has truly blessed me with an eventful 2015 year filled with new adventures, new loves, new friendships, new happiness, new chances and new challenges. It is He who gives me the strength, the power, the courage to push myself beyond my limits.

Thank You, Lord, for my Every Day.

{ bargain } Free Museum Admission Nationwide

Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163

Photos by Wayne // The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163

Beautiful outdoor space // The MET, New York

Museum lovers listen up!
As part of Bank of America’s Museums on Us program, the first full weekend of every month (this weekend!) Bank of America or Merrill Lynch cardholders get FREE general admission at 150 participating museums, science centers, botanical gardens and more nationwide! It includes places like LAMCA, The San Diego Museum of Art, de Young Museum in Los Angeles; The MET and MOMA (!) in New York and so many more! All you need is a photo ID and your Bank of America card or Merrill Lynch card.

If you’re curious, there are also other museums on the list nationwide – http://museums.bankofamerica.com/. You can sign up for email and text alerts and they’ll send reminders before the qualifying weekend.

Let the adventures begin!

Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163

{ jou travels } we run dc…

Last month Wayne and I had the pleasure to travel to our nation’s capital to run in the inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC, benefiting the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. (We seem to like destination marathons) We ran #BostonStrong, all 15,000 of us. The course was absolutely beautiful–running 13.1 miles with historic views of the Washington Monument, Memorial Bridge, Potomac River and the US Capitol Building. What else is wonderful about this race? The gorgeous limited-edition Tiffany finishers necklace! The necklace this year is a tasteful dog tag design of a woman running alongside cherry blossoms. The back is inscribed with NWM Half  ’13 Washington.

Post-marathon certainly deserves a guilt-free feast. After our race we trudged through the city (what felt like a journey) in search for Georgetown Cupcakes and Shake Shack. Georgetown Cupcakes was heavenly and we conquered practically the entire menu at Shake Shack. My favorite is the ‘Shroom Burger (vegetarian), crisp-fried portobello burger filled with melted meunster and chedder cheese, topped with lettuce, tomatoes and ShackSauce.

On our tourist days we visited the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, searched for cherry blossoms, fine Indian food dining at Rasika, helped Sara garden and ate Mexillant fish tacos. Thanks to our lovely friends Jeff & Sara for hosting us!

NWM DC via itsjoulife - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNWM DC via itsjoulife - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNWM DC via itsjoulife - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adGeorgetown Cupcakes via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adGeorgetown Cupcakes via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adGeorgetown Cupcakes via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adShake Shack via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adShake Shack via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-ad'Shroom burger via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adShake Shack DC via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adcherry blossoms via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adcherry blossoms via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNatural History Museum via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNatural History Museum via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNatural History Museum via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adThe Capitol Natural History Museum via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-ad

We Run DC

NWM_WeRunDC

As if running the Nike Women’s Full Marathon in San Francisco last October wasn’t enough, we signed up for another race! This time it’s on the East Coast–Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington DC. We’re pumped and excited to run another race together and explore the sites of our nation’s capital.

Our goal is to finish 13.1 miles within 2 hours (sub 9-min mile). Wayne can definitely do it. I’m… hoping I can survive the pace for a LONG period of time. Ideally we want to average 8.5-9 minute miles. Either way, we’ve been in training mode.  I created a 11-week training schedule (below) with runs every other day, including a long run on the weekend. On our off-days we cross-train (xt) with spinning, circuit training classes, yoga and/or swimming. Our training runs aren’t too bad, but we’ll have to do speed intervals if we want to improve our time.

I had an awesome 7am spin class this morning. Now, I just want to eat. Pretty hungry right now.

# WEEK SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT
1 Feb 10-16 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 4
2 Feb 17-23 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 5
3 Feb 24-Mar 2 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 6
4 Mar 3-9 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 8
5 Mar 10-16 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 5
6 Mar 17-23 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 9
7 Mar 24-30 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 11
8 Mar 31-Apr 6 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 9
9 Apr 7-13 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 11
10 Apr 14-20 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 9
11 Apr 21-27 rest 3 xt / rest 3 rest rest rest