Walking in Hope

| Shop shoes here, similar shorts (same brand) here, and similar top (same brand) here. |

(About the Outfit:: Comfy shorts are my new favorite thing. Paired with this flouncy crop top, this outfit has a relaxed, airy look. The sandals, courtesy of  Oka-B, are my new favorites! They’re flexible, have amazing arch support, and are rainy day friendly!)

I’m currently perched on my sofa with a cup of tea, my favorite quilt, and a bowl of oatmeal. The funny thing is–It’s actually 10 p.m. What can I say? I love me some oatmeal, not just for breakfast. Healthy dessert, y’all. Try it. 😉

I contemplated what to write this evening for a great while. Just about every idea ran through my head: recipes, the online shopping trend, which Disney princess I relate to the most (just kidding! But that would actually be really fun. 😏), and the list goes on. But the funny thing is, I can plan posts. And I do. (You should see the list of content I have planned for the fall!!!) However, the best blog posts are the unplanned. The messy spontaneous-can’t type fast enough-posts.

Today I’m talkin’ hope. 

There’s different phases of everyone’s journey. I’m in the particular season where change is foreseeable. Timing not so much. Details? Don’t have those either. It’s so tempting to try to figure it all out for myself. To plan. But you can’t plan what you don’t know.

And that’s where hope comes in. I learned a long time ago to stop making plans. It’s good to have goals and pencil in some plans, but bearing in mind that these are not set in stone. That I am not the author here. And thank goodness for that! The hope for the unknown is in God’s hands, and there’s no safer place I’d rather be.

The other day I was amidst a minor trial. It was short lived. Popped up unexpectedly. But a trial, nonetheless. Amidst the crazy, one of our cars needed repairs, so Billy had to drive me to work. He put the Christian radio station on. I never listen to the radio while I drive, so it was fun to start the morning with some encouragement by a pastor. I was sleepy, sipping my breakfast shake, and gazing out the window. When all the sudden the pastor’s sermon hit me right where I needed it. He was talkin’ about hope. I can’t remember his exact words, but they were something like this…

If your put your hope in your abilities, those can go away. If you put your hope in your education, that can one day mean nothing. If you put your hope in your income, that can dissolve. If you put your hope in relationships, they can fail you. The only thing that is certain is: we can put our hope in the Lord! He never changes!

A little lump formed in my throat, as I tried not to completely break down. I had peace that day, and it didn’t even make sense. That’s when you know it’s from the Lord. 😉 So thankful I can have hope in Him!

So today, I encourage you to stop worrying. Stop trying to orchestrate everything. Just start walking in hope. It’s an enjoyable walk, with a peaceful destination. 😉


Summer ’17 Recap

This was the post I was dreading all summer.

Because writing this post means summer is coming to a close and school is about to begin. (Any teachers/aides out there? #wereallinthistogether)

All jokes aside, this summer has honestly been the best of my life.

It wasn’t overly extravagant. In fact, it was rather simple and modest. Yet, it was a darling time of rest, reflection, growth, and gratitude. I am overwhelmingly thankful for this time spent off from work, and the time spent with Jesus, my hubby, and my sweet family.

There were many a quiet mornings that began with oatmeal and a cup of tea. Followed by afternoon sun showers that turned the sky into arrogant sunsets. Peaceful evenings accompanied by popcorn and a movie. This summer wasn’t without flaw, but it was precious and appreciated.

At the start of the summer, I shared a few Summer Priorities I had. Goals, if you will. Here’s a little recap of how that went:

1. Quiet time with the Lord

This is an area that needs constant cultivation. Time spent with the Lord can never reach a point of arrival. We can always grow more. And that’s beautiful. With that being said, I have been working on dedicating more devotional time with God. One of Billy’s friends told us about a Bible app called “Read Scripture”. It’s designed to help guide you through reading the Bible from start to finish– and understand it more. Look up the free app!

2. Fitness

I’ve enjoyed being a little more active this summer. Working out has become more habitual and less of a dread. For me personally, I’ve come to find that fitness is less about looking a certain way, and more about feeling a certain way. Focus less on physical goals, and more on simply making long term healthy habits. 

3. A Little Bit of Everything

Among my two larger goals, were a series of smaller goals. Like read more, floss more, etc. I conquered those as well! Although, I must say, having the accountability of this blog certainly helped.

In closing, here are a few snapshots from this summer. I can’t wait to order prints of these photographs. What were you thankful for this summer?

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Gingham Style

| Shop dress here and shoes here. |

This feminine summer beauty was a birthday gift from my hubby this past June. I think it’s truly adorable and it’s so fun wearing a dress he surprised me with! It has affectionately been named “My Birthday Dress.” 

I love gingham. I think it’s so classic. I especially love the cut of this dress. The square neckline gives it that extra timeless look. It’s lightweight, yet fully lined. Since it’s very breathable, I’ve been really enjoying wearing it on these hot summer days!

I truly adore a lovely little summer dress. I’m sure I’ll enjoy this dress for many summers to come. This one reminds me of my birthday, iced coffee dates downtown, and the 4th of July spent in Georgia. It’s fun to make memories in certain outfits. It brings those memories back when you wear it. ❤️

If you like this dress, you can view it here and see the other colors it comes in!

Everything (But) Plastic

Disclosure: The products featured in this post were gifted to me by EverythingButPlastic.com. All opinions are my own.

It all started with a conversation.

It was Father’s Day. We were all gathered around the table at an Italian restaurant. When my cousin (Will) and his fiancé (Shaleece) ordered their drinks “with no straw”, I naively chuckled to myself, thinking it was some funny quirk they had.  Their request for “no straw” started a conversation—a conversation I’m really glad we had.

They went on to explain the tragic plastic problem going on in the world. For example, did you know that Americans use 500 million straws each day? Yet, the problem extends far beyond just drinking straws. Plastic bags. Food packaging. Water bottles. Tooth brushes. Cups. Plasticware. The list goes on and on. It’s almost impossible to escape it. Here’s a few facts to help you wrap your mind around this problem:

  • Every piece of plastic that has been created is still on our planet in some capacity.
  • 50% of the plastic we use is single use plastic.
  • 1 million plastic bags are being used every minute.
  • On the surface of the ocean, there are 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.

Plastic is killing sea creatures. Dolphins. Whales. Sea turtles. Fish. Seabirds. We love to enjoy God’s beautiful and detailed creation, yet we are hurting the very creatures we love to admire.

Plastic is hurting us. BPA and other plastic chemicals are causing major health complications.

What can be done?

While recycling is a good practice to have, it is not a total solution for the massive problem that is plastic. There is simply too much plastic being produced. Recycling can’t keep up.

Make new (plastic free) habits. While plastic seems to be in every direction we look, plastic free living is being made possible. That’s where Shaleece and Will come in.

EverythingButPlastic

Shaleece and Will started a company called EverythingButPlastic.com, where plastic-free products are put all in one place.  Finding non plastic products with no plastic packaging can be extremely difficult. EverythingButPlastic.com serves as a solution. They sell everything from plastic free food wraps to dental floss. You can check out their amazing products here.

I was so stoked to try out a few of their products for myself!

1. Meli Wraps

I’m kind of obsessed with these. Made with organic cotton, beeswax, tree resin, and plant oils, these wraps bend and mold around your food or over a plate. Each package includes a small, medium, and large wrap. They are a reusable solution to plastic wrap. You can wash them and reuse them for up to a year. And they smell like honey. 🍯❤️ Needless to say, I’m sold.

2. Tall Kitchen Bags

The plastic bag is such a huge problem. These plastic-free kitchen bags are a huge game changer. They are made from GMO-free potato starch and are completely compostable.  I found these bags to be strong enough to hold a lot of food waste. Impressed.

3. Brush Naked Bamboo Toothbrush

I am loving this toothbrush. Not only does the bamboo make this toothbrush aesthetically pleasing in your bathroom, it gets the job done. I’ve had bamboo toothbrushes before, but I always felt like they were too harsh on my gums. The plant based bristles on this toothbrush are really gentle.

4. Dental Lace

This floss is yet another great solution. It comes in a glass tube and the floss itself is made from natural mulberry silk. I also liked that it still has the minty flavor that I like. I do typically use floss picks, versus traditional floss, so I’d be very interested in perhaps a bamboo floss pick.

Shaleece and Will recommend watching “A Plastic Ocean”. You can view it on Netflix. I watched it, and it completely opened my eyes to a problem I thought very little about. Ever since I watched it, I haven’t stopped thinking about this issue. It stuck with me, and that’s what starts change.

I encourage you to spread the word. People don’t realize how great the problem at hand is. If they knew that birds and sea creatures were dying from eating plastic, they would be more likely to make a lifestyle change.

If you’d like more information, feel free to reach out in the comments below. Be sure to check out the huge selection of plastic free products at EverythingButPlastic.com.

Let’s take care of God’s creation and the bodies He gave us!

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The “Joanna” Dress

| Shop dress here , watch here , and similar shoes here. |

I’ve quite enjoyed creating fashion content for The Youthful.  Not only is it delightful to share my favorite styles and pieces with my darling readers, but it is most amusing to use blogging as an excuse to shop.

“Billy, do you mind if I order this dress? It’s for the blog.” See what I did there? In all reality, it is for the blog, but it is certainly a fun little perk. I have a very patient and giving husband indeed!

Despite the title of this blog post, this dress is actually called “The Jewel Floral Dress.” However, Billy comically penned it “The Joanna Gaines Dress.” It couldn’t be more fitting. This dress screams southern charm with a whisper of simplicity.  Not to mention, I’m a huge fan of Chip and Jo, so I quite like the fun little nickname this dress has come to have.

While visiting Billy’s mom in Georgia, we shot some pictures for this blog post on her property. I’m positively smitten with this front porch. The woods in the background make the most serenely beautiful backdrop.

With pockets to hold safe keepings, and stretchy material to venture in, I absolutely adore this peach colored floral print. This is such an easy dress to throw on, and yet feel so beautiful in. While it makes for a fun summer dress, a cardigan or denim jacket paired with booties would make this outfit radiant in the fall. (Is it shameful to admit I’m already craving the fall?! I’ve found myself thinking about pumpkin spice lattes far too much lately. #sorrynotsorry)

I urge you to check out the other charming and affordable styles at the Piper & Scoot website!

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That LulaRoe Legging Life



Disclosure: The LulaRoe leggings in this post were gifted to me by 2 Sweet Sisters Boutique LLC. Thanks, ladies! All opinions are my own.


I’m going to be totally real with you here.

I was a LulaRoe skeptic. I used to think “Leggings are leggings.” I’ve come to discover that not all leggings are created equal. In fact, I can honestly tell you, LulaRoe leggings are not yo average leggings. And here’s why.

Comfort. I have a pair of VS leggings. I spent a pretty penny on them. They’re pretty constricting in the waist band and the over all stretch is mediocre. When I tried on the LulaRoe leggings, I was literally blown away. Not even kidding. They have so much give, yet they don’t get saggy or baggy after wearing them for awhile. They retain their shape flawlessly, while stretching with literally every move you make. The material itself is very soft to the touch. I feel like I can do anything in these leggings. Errands. Lounging. Yoga. You name it. Literally living in these.


I received my leggings the day before a road trip to Georgia with my husband. After trying them on and instantly falling in love, I packed them in my suitcase. Now let me tell you: I always overpack clothes. You know how it goes…I pack an outfit for each day. And an outfit for each night. But then I wonder, “What if it rains?” So I pack alternate outfits for different weather conditions, and before I know it, I’ve packed over 20 outfits for a 5 day trip. Whoops 😉 Anyone else do that? Anyways, while in Georgia, despite my plethora of a clothing selection, guess what I kept reaching for the entire trip? Yup. The LulaRoe leggings. Guess what I washed while I was there and wore it on the 8 hour car ride home? The LulaRoe leggings. Yes, they are the best travel outfit.

Needless to say, I am a new fan, and I am absolutely going to purchase a few more pairs of leggings.


Okay, so if you want in on all the comfortable Lula-goodness, let me tell you about.

Whether you’re interested in LulaRoe leggings, a variety of comfy dress styles, tops, and more, Natalie and Brittany of 2 Sweet Sisters Boutique have it all. They started selling LulaRoe in November 2016, so they are very seasoned in what looks good and how to combine different styles.  Not to mention they are two of the sweetest girls ever! Their business name is very fitting ;). Natalie and Brittany started their business after quickly becoming obsessed with LulaRoe’s comfortable and versatile clothes. “Selling it together means we get to spend more time together. We love that we spend more time together now,” says Natalie regarding why they love having their business.

Natalie and Brittany have a huge inventory, so be sure to check them out on Facebook! You can also find them on Instagram or email them at lularoenatbritt@gmail.com

They welcome people to schedule a time to stop by Natalie’s house to browse, try different styles on, and buy! This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the different styles they offer, and find what you love the most.

I encourage you to check out their Facebook group page! If you want to feel pretty and polished, yet comfortable and at ease, you’re going to love their products!

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My Road Trip Tips

Ahhh road trips. There’s something about them. Perhaps it’s the slight adventurous edge they have. Or maybe it’s the old fashioned simplicity of being on the road for awhile. The slow change of the scenery. The unexpected memories that are made. 

I’m no travel guru. However, over the past few years I’ve come up with some road trip habits that have made traveling so much easier. It being summertime and all,  I thought I’d share them with you! Buckle up-let’s go!

1. Have dinner ready for when you get back.

This can go for any trip you take, but always have a meal in your freezer that you can heat up when you get home. There’s nothing worse than having been in a car for 10 hours and having to figure out what to eat when you get home. I just love knowing that a frozen pizza is waiting for us, no matter how late we get back home.

2. Healthy Food Stops

There’s nothing worse than eating a bunch of greasy fries and sitting in a car all day. Eating healthy is important everyday, but especially on the road. We love a light sandwich/sub on the road. Either pack some in a cooler (Time saver! Hello, rest stop!) or stop by Publix or Jersey Mike’s for a refreshing sub.  If you want to save on time, figure out which Publix you will be near around lunch time, and order your subs online! They’ll be ready for you the second you arrive. Yesssss.

3. Stay comfortable.

By this I mean, wear stretchy material and breathable clothing, pack blankets and pillows, and whatever else keeps you feeling at ease on the road! Since I’m typically the passenger on road trips (thanks, babe!), I love to pack a sleep mask. It helps block the sunlight so I can get some decent beauty rest! Hehe

4. Pack lots of healthy snacks

Making sure you are well stocked on snacks is an easy way to save time. No need to stop for some eats. Here’s a list of my go to snacks on the road that keep me refreshed and full:

  • Apples (My all time favorite road trip snack!)
  • Homemade popcorn (recipe here)
  • Bananas (keep you full)
  • Grapes
  • Granola bars
  • Raisinets (for a little chocolate fix)
  • Hawaiian Rolls 
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter

5. Stay hydrated!

We all love a nice hot cup of joe on a road trip, but coffee can dehydrate you. Make sure you drink plenty of water too! Billy and I love our Swell bottles. They keep our water so cold for up to 24 hours! A road trip must! #refreshing

6. Keep your car well stocked.

Make sure you have everything you may possibly need! Umbrellas. Car phone charger. A portable phone charger. Trash bags. Paper towels. Tylenol. Pepto-Bismol. Tums. Motion sickness medicine. (To help you during the packing process, check out my travel pack-list here!)

7. Leave your house clean for when you return.

Billy and I just returned from Georgia, and let me tell you–coming home to a clean space is well worth it! Our bed was made. Everything was tidy. It makes the return home much more peaceful.

Thanks for reading! I hope you find these tips helpful and enlightening! Where are you headed on your next road trip? 

Forgiveness 


Forgiveness is one of those things that we are going to have to do time and time again as humans.

I was driving home the other day. It was cloudy. A few raindrops were scattered across my windshield. The scene seemed to really manifest itself for gloomy inner thoughts. I found myself dwelling on my hurt feelings.

I was just like, “woah.” I need to get a grip here. I am a sensitive person and that’s okay. But my sensitivity is no excuse to not forgive. 

I prayed right then and there. I asked the Lord to help me forgive. “70 x 7” as the Bible says. I’m really trying to work on this. On softening my heart towards people who continuously hurt my feelings. On not holding a grudge. Unforgiveness ultimately hurts me.


Unforgiveness is kinda sneaky. You don’t realize it sometimes. I remember one day thinking about the concept of forgiveness. I tried to think of a list of people that I struggled with forgiving. No one came to mind. So I was like, “okay, cool.” And went along my merry way. Then, that person says something rude, and ALL the hurtful things they’ve done rush back, and the bitterness makes its entry. I realized I struggled with forgiveness more than I realize. In fact, there are a few people that I’m really trying to forgive. God is working on that with me.

People are going to hurt our feelings. People will be mean. Cold. Harsh. Selfish. If we let people’s actions create bitterness and grudges, we are going to be miserable people. 

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. – C. S. Lewis

I think the above quote kind of says it all. The greater the offense, the harder it is to forgive. But if God can forgive us, surely we can forgive each other.

I urge you to bring your unforgiveness straight to the Lord. He will really help you. He’ll help reveal unforgiveness you might not even realize you have. He’s helping me and I’m already feeling lighter and more joyful! I want to be a person who is oozing with love and kindness and forgiveness. And God is helping me become that person.


For the Love of Wood: Featuring JORD Watches

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch

Disclosure: The watch featured in this post was gifted to me by JORD. I only partner with brands I truly love. All opinions are my own. Thank you, JORD!

I love wood. So much, in fact, I would live in a cabin if I could.

Upon discovering JORD wood watches, it was really a love at first sight kind of situation. After seeing the unique watch in person–opening it’s beautifully crafted wood box, feeling its quality, admiring its details–I’m smitten. Positively smitten.

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch
I’m a nature lover. I love me some lofty mountains, tall grassy fields, thick forests you can get lost in…funny thing is: I live in Florida…In the city. This watch not only tells the time, it takes me to another time. The wood material brings me straight back to my happy place: the mountains and the forest.

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch
JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch
Here I am, sipping my iced mocha, enjoying my favorite local park. Surrounded by city sounds and the summer heat, it just takes a glance at my wrist to remind me of what lies close to my heart. Perhaps I could pretend I’m drinking hot cocoa and enjoying the Smoky Mountain National Park instead…😉

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne WatchJORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch

I am wearing the stunning Frankie Series in Zebrawood and Champagne. Head on over to their website to swoon over their men’s watches and women’s watches. (Giveaway: To enter to win a $100 code to their shop, click here. All entrants will receive a $25 code! Contest ends 7/16/17.)

JORD has created a timepiece that fuses class and elegance, with simplicity and an earthy rawness. There’s a lot to love about JORD Watches. The best part is, to each person, their JORD wood watch represents something different. Maybe it was a Father’s Day present, an engraved anniversary gift, or a gift to yourself just because. Whatever it may be, JORD Watches are a beautiful reminder. And they do it so well.

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch

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Luxury Wooden Watch

Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream Recipe

It’s no secret I love my fruits and veggies. But if I had to choose between the two, I’d hands down pick fruit. I’m obsessed. Even as a little girl, I would turn down a cupcake for a handful of grapes. That is true love, my friend.

I love finding new ways to enjoy my favorite fruits. Since peaches are in season in the summer, I’ve been buying them a lot lately.

The other night, I decided to pull out my little George Foreman grill (#apartmentliving) and grill up some peaches. Then, I topped them with some ice cream. It was delicious. However, the next time I made it, I took it to the next level by marinating the peaches in some dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Um WOW. So good. Billy literally said, “This the best dessert I’ve had in a long time!”

What’s funny is, this recipe is so easy. Like, it’s such a fake out. It’s all like, “I’m so fancy.” Yet, it’s not. Gotta love it.

Because of its delicious simplicity, this is the perfect dessert to make when you have guests over. You won’t be slaving away for hours in the kitchen, and your guests will be impressed.



The warmth of the grilled, marinated peaches with the coldness of the rich ice cream, is an unbeatable combination. I guarantee you I will be making this on many summer nights to come! My new favorite little recipe has me feeling just peachy! (I had to! 😉)  🍑🍨

Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter pecan ice cream

Directions:

  1. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit.
  2. On a plate, sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Massage sugar and cinnamon mixture all over peaches.
  4. Place peaches flesh down and allow to marinate in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Grill the peaches. If you do not have a grill, use a grill pan or George Foreman grill.
  6. Once grilled, top with butter pecan or vanilla ice cream. I recommend butter pecan, because peaches and pecans are a delightful combination! Enjoy!