Life Resolutions For Growth & Happiness

10 Life Resolutions for Growth & Happiness // https://itsjoulife.com/2017/01/02/life-resolutions/2017 is here and I’ve always been an enthusiast of new year’s resolutions. However, resolutions shouldn’t only be made at the beginning of each year, but a continual practice throughout the year. Instead of writing resolutions for just this year, I compiled Life Resolutions that I can base yearly resolutions on.

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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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DIY / lifestyle blog got a makeover!

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

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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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a whirlwind week // racism, love, cancer // weekly thought

mourning // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/a-whirlwind-week-racism-love-cancer-weekly-thought

Last week has been an ever changing rush of feelings–a whirlwind of emotions, thoughts and confusion in response to the chain of events that has happened in our nation. As I try to make sense of it all, tears fill my eyes when I think of those who are suffering  and those who are mourning.

Hatred and racism breeds from places of fear and insecurity. And it’s clear as ever to be reminded we must practice love, empathy, patience and understanding with one another. We must continue to stand with those who are marginalized and oppressed and raise our voices to be heard.


Over the weekend Wayne and I celebrated the marriage union of our good friends, Kelsey and Dave, at an elegant outdoor ceremony in Newport Coast. Their officiant, Pastor Kim, gave a beautiful speech. What resonated with me is his wish for them to keep Christ at the center of their marriage and hearts. That is the perfect advice for a long-lasting marriage. When you have true Union with Christ, that is when you understand what it’s like to have Christ in you and you in Christ that you start asking WWJD and He guides you in life’s decisions with confidence. Just as long as the intense love for Jesus and the gospel is hearts center, the marriage will be just as everlasting. Because God is love.


My heart broke again hearing the shocking news of my high school friend, Chelsey, pass away from breast cancer. She was diagnosed just two months ago and left this world too soon. She was a kind soul with a spark inside her. She is my symbol of hope and strength as she never once questioned her circumstance and was always the foundation for her family. She has a strong community behind her. The outpouring of love and support for her is beautiful. Chelsey–you are dearly missed and your spirit lives on in our hearts. Our thoughts, hearts and prayers are with your family. Please keep her husband and 9-month old daughter in your prayers.

If you know Chelsey from Cerritos High and/or want to help in any way, feel free to donate to her GiveForward page, here. Anything helps.


It’s always difficult to find comfort when we’ve been rattled by violence and tragedy, but it sure is comforting that it’s our community who comes together, looking for hope and healing.

Through my transformation, I excel // Weekly Thought

my transformation | itsjoulife.com

When I think I am content with life, my earth shakes. I struggle. I fight. I learn. I adapt. I change. Through my transformation, I excel.

Life is never certain, but what I know for sure is that I’ll never have life figured out. It’s ever changing and I’ll continue to adapt and evolve with my experiences. Life is a series of lessons learned and struggles aren’t always a curse. Struggles, whether they’re physical, emotional, or intellectual, build character and determine my success and make me uniquely strong.

There are times that I’ve been shoved, stressed, and slammed against immovable forces too strong to fight, yet through endurance and the Lord’s strength and His belief in me, I push harder and stand taller every time. It’s about learning to adapt in whatever circumstance I’m in and having the courage to seek opportunity, embrace change, and be my best.

Looking back I’m always in wonder how I overcame those obstacles. It reminds me I can do anything in life if I put my mind, heart, and strength in the Lord. He is the creator of all great things in my life and I owe it to Him for my transformation.

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Image: Jennifer Jou // Half Dome, Yosemite // July 2015

why i write // weekly thought

I have a friend who once asked me why I find my writing so important to me. Why I get the urge to write a letter to myself. Why I have post-it notes with phrases on the back of my phone. Why I analyze and interpret a song, book or movie.

On why I write: I write as my authentic form of creative, self-expression. Reminding me of how I felt at that moment. It immortalizes and serves as my time capsule into my thoughts, my loves, my beliefs, my hopes, my feelings. It’s how I learn from life. It’s an intimate relationship. Feeling my most vulnerable is when I’m most creative. It’s to be understood. I’d liked to look back to what I’ve expressed and be reminded of the fire within me, the obstacles I’ve overcome, the growth I’ve experienced and relenting to the fact that I’m still learning and will never stop changing.

I want to capture all the feels.

2015 recap // my transformation

2015

2015 has been a transformative year. I’ve been on a personal and spiritual journey since my epiphany in March. I’m learning what it means to be a follower of Christ and discovering the path to true happiness and contentment. I’ve been challenged physically, intellectually and spiritually. The Lord has opened my eyes to the beauty around me, the fears that have enslaved me and the hunger for life within me.

Throughout 2015 I’ve composed phrases that have sparked compelling thoughts within me, about me.

When I think I am content with life, my earth shakes. I struggle. I fight. I learn. I adapt. I change. Through my transformation, I excel.

Embrace change. I hope I never stop learning and changing.

Happiness isn’t something you capture, it is something you create.

You are far more lost than you ever imagined and you are far more loved than you ever dare hoped.

Stop sleepwalking through life. Do great things with God’s gifts given to you.

 Live and Love with Purpose, Passion and Perseverance.

Pain is mental. Struggles build character. Challenge yourself to be the best you.

Fear is a friend who is misunderstood.

Work hard. Everyday is a new opportunity to be better.

Everything I have and everything that is good in my life is because of Him.

I’m thinking of starting a Weekly Thought to be published every Wednesday. Topics will range from growing up to body image to life’s lessons to passion and everything in between. Hope you stick around to hear what goes on in my brain!

My recap of 2014.

// 2015 photos

Hipster Bentley with homemade mustache cookie

Yosemite view at Cathedral Lakes hike

LACMA Lamps

Seattle city view

Yosemite

Oregon coast at sunset

Kauai

Succulents at Terranea

Wildlife Deer at Yosemite Valley