Come on Over

Well it sure has been a minute, hasn’t it?  I’ve stepped away from blogging just for the sake of catching my breath and refueling my creativity.  I had no idea when or if I’d return to this little space.  But I literally woke up charged with ideas and a fresh vision for The Youthful Home.

No longer will this space be about meeting some sort of deadline in my head.  No pressuring myself to deliver a certain amount of posts in a certain amount of time with pictures to go with every paragraph.  Because that’s what took the joy out of it for me.

So no picture today. No crazy proofreading and editing. Just words.

I want my blog to not only give you ideas for your home, but to invite you into mine.  When you come over, maybe we will talk about interiors and maybe we won’t. Maybe we will talk about that book everyone is reading or the weather, and that’s okay.

So yes, this is still a home blog.  But a more relaxed, natural version of itself.  A resting place you can put your feet up after a long day.  I want to virtually invite you in for coffee talks and the like.

So come on over.  I’ll put the kettle on and get some tea ready.

We have some catching up to do 🙂

DIY: Spray Painted Light Fixtures

We’ve saved hundreds of dollars.  Not by switching to Geico. lol.  (Sorry, I had to.) But by spray painting the light fixtures that came with our home!  Today, I want to share with you the before and afters of our 90s brass fixtures.

I can’t stress enough the power of paint! It can transform almost anything.  Our 90s home had some faded brass light fixtures.  They dated our house.  But instead of buying all new light fixtures, we bought a can of spray paint and made them more classic.  I’m all about design that can stand the test of time.

Here’s what some of the light fixtures looked like before. ( I didn’t get a before picture of all of them, but you get the idea.)

You can see how the brass finish has faded.  They also needed a good cleaning from all the renovation dust. We taped up any pieces of glass to prevent them from getting painted on, and we removed the glass domes on the chandelier for good.

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I believe it took about 3 or 4 coats of black spray paint to achieve a solid finish.  I can’t even begin to describe how NEW the lights look now.  Shiny and classic. For the chandelier, I had the idea to buy Edison bulbs for a vintage look.  It honestly looks like something you’d buy at a store brand new!

Here are the light fixtures now!

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The moral of the story here is: work with what you have.  For $6, we updated 5 light fixtures! Often times, a little paint and creativity can go a long way.  See the beauty in what God has given you.  Get a little crafty.  It’s so gratifying to look up at our light fixtures and see how we used our resources and creativity to save money.  These light fixtures give me joy when I look up at them.

So tell me, what projects have you transformed with a little paint?

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At Home Photoshoot with Zulie Rego Photography

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|Photos in this blog post are courtesy of  Zulie Rego Photography.|

So I’ve got my laptop here with me in the kitchen.  Billy’s baking Magnolia chocolate chip cookies and I like to watch him. Quality time is one of my love languages haha.

I wanted to share with you all the fun photo session Billy and I had in our home.  It all started with Instagram.  I had connected with a photographer named Zulie awhile back.  Maybe like a year ago? Anyways, she reached out recently and wanted to photograph Billy and I and our dog.  Well, Zulie is a very talented photographer, so that was an easy “YES.”

So the plan was to do a whimsical shoot in a local preserve, but Florida decided it wanted to rain literally non stop all day.  But Zulie had the brilliant idea to do an in home session.  Really chill and cozy.  So that’s exactly what we did!

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Zulie and her assistant, Elizabeth, came by and were the absolute sweetest.  So fun and warm.  They had us laughing the whole time and made us feel so at ease.  And they are both insanely talented.

Our dog Lady was very much involved and wanted to be in every picture.  But she’s adorable so we let her.

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We made some green tea…had some ’40s music playing.  A good time was had by all.

There was a particularly cool moment where they asked us to grab our Bible and read a passage out loud together.  So precious.

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Zulie is based in Miami, Florida.  But, she is always up for traveling!  So, Brides, you need to reach out to Zulie.  Her work is positively stunning and professional.  She is excellent at capturing authentic moments and she has a great eye. You can check out her website here and her Instagram here.

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Interested in having an in home photoshoot?  Here’s some food for thought:

  1. Dress comfortably.  You want your photos to look cozy and true to your daily life.
  2. Make your favorite beverage or snack.  Try to emulate activities you do in your home.
  3. Open all your window coverings to let in as much natural light as possible.
  4. When it comes to posing, if it feels weird, it probably will look good.  haha. I know that sounds backwards, but sometimes you have to tilt your head a certain way, but just trust the process.
  5. Have fun.  This isn’t a yearbook photo. Be silly.  Laugh a lot.  Enjoy the moment!

Well, this was so much fun.  Enjoy the pictures and check out Zulie Rego Photography if you want to book a session of your own.

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Faux Fireplace + Vintage Mantle

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I’d say 2018 was one of the fastest years of my life.  It literally flew.  I attribute this to the whole home buying process.  The pre-approval process, the house search, countless hours on Zillow, and then of course the renovation.  It really was a great year.  It had some rough points.  But nothing God couldn’t heal.  It’s funny, because if we were to sit down and chat about the worst thing that happened to me in 2018, it would directly lead me to tell you about the BEST thing that happened to me in 2018.  Isn’t that just classic Jesus?  He has this beautiful way of taking a painful mess, and turning it into something beautiful.

2019. Is it really you? I know we haven’t known each other long, but I like you already. 🙂 So far, 2019 has been the year of organizing and goal planning.  Go watch Tidying Up on Netflix. Don’t question it, just do it.  You’ll want to have Marie Kondo as a friend.  She makes cleaning a joy-filled thing and I love that!

God has already provided in so many little ways this month.  It’s cool how He provides even for my insignificant, unnecessary wants.  Like two free mid century dressers from my Grandma-that are both special and my style.  Like, wow! God loves us in ways that are so personal.  He gets us.

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This vintage painting gives me all the Prince Edward Island vibes!

Okay, so now let’s talk about that faux fireplace that I mentioned in the title of this post.  We found this beautiful wood mantle at a vintage store.  It’s from the 1800s, ya’ll.  It was one of those pieces that I knew we would regret it if we passed it by. (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

I’ve always dreamed of having a fireplace!  And this mantle made that a reality in a way. It really adds such a cozy ambiance.

I wish I had a lot to say about HOW we did it, but it was pretty simple to install.  (Other than the fact that it was so heavy!) We just used L shaped brackets to attach it to the wall in the studs, then hid the brackets with some bead board.  The bead board also adds a different texture than just drywall.  So it makes it look like its own structure.

And that was it! Now the fun part–I get to decorate a mantle each season! I think it’ll be a fun little space for me to change and refresh throughout the year.  Eventually, I want to get a larger vessel for the firewood, so that it fills the space better. But for now, I’m just using what I have! We also plan on getting some white cord covers to conceal the tv cords.

Got a dream for your space? Chances are it’s achievable with a little imagination and creativity.  Don’t be afraid to do something different. Your home isn’t about achieving Pinterest perfection.  It’s a dwelling you create to bring YOU and your family joy—and that looks a little different for everyone.

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Renovation Progress

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Okay! So this whole “design blogging ” thing has me so excited! So let’s get to my official first blog post as The Youthful Home!

Since purchasing our home, we’ve tackled a handful of projects. And assuredly, will continue to do so. The list never seems to end haha. But, I wanted to share with you all the initial updates we made to the house before we moved in!!

For starters, huge thank you to my dad and Billy’s dad, and his brother for all their help! We couldn’t have done it without them.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Literally the day after we bought the house, Billy started removing the popcorn ceiling. He simply sprayed the ceiling with water and then scraped away! (Note: Some homes have asbestos in their popcorn ceilings and must be removed by professionals.) I was so impressed he knew how to do that! Removing the popcorn ceiling really brightened the rooms.

Ceiling Texture

We hired someone to texture the ceilings and it turned out so nicely! Really updated the home.

Interior Paint

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Okay, if you’ve ever tried to choose a white paint color, you know how confusing this can be. There are SO MANY WHITES. Like, what?! Each shade has a slightly different hue. My greatest concern was choosing a white that would come off cold. Well, somehow I picked the most beautiful warm, milky white on the first try! It’s called “Whisper White” by Behr. Amazing you guys. We had Sherwin Williams color match it because we have a connection there thanks to a kind friend. 🙂

For the ceiling, we just did the standard ceiling white and it turned out great! Love the subtle contrast between the ceiling and the walls

Billy and his dad used a paint sprayer to paint everything. This made the process so much faster.

Floors

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Billy ripped up all the nasty, stained carpet. It was in terrible condition. Like, you wouldn’t want to walk on it barefoot. lol.  Which is kind of important in a home.

Then, we hired someone to install our Coretec Luxury Vinyl Planks.  They are 100% waterproof, which is really important for Florida humidity. We chose medium, warm brown with neutral undertones.  I really like how wide the planks are and how much it looks like real wood!

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Now, all the hard labor is complete and we’re moved in and making it home!  We are taking it one project at at time.  I can’t wait to take ya’ll along for the ride.

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Introducing The Youthful Home

I’ve been on quite the journey with blogging.   I’ve been at it for a few years now, and it’s become a happy little hobby of mine.  You see, I love writing. I love taking pictures.  I love creating.  And if I can do all that, and maybe inspire someone at the same time, then mission accomplished.

With all that said, I’m excited to announce a little change happening around here. This blog is now titled The Youthful Home.

To some of you, you may have already seen this coming. Because honestly, decorating and making a home have become my greatest passions.

I’ve mulled this idea over for awhile now. When my husband and I bought our first home a few months back, the timing seemed right to focus in on a topic more.  My favorite place. The home.

So what does this change mean for the blog? Here’s the type of content you’ll be seeing:

  • Our Home Renovation Journey
  • Budget Friendly Home Decor Tips
  • DIYs
  • Seasonal Decor Tips
  • Interior Inspiration
  • Vintage and Thrift Shopping Hauls
  • Recipes
  • Faith Inspired Content

The Youthful Home is where I hope to inspire you to love your abode.  To create spaces that tell your story.

You can read more about the heartbeat behind The Youthful Home in the About Me page!

I passionately believe the home should be a peaceful sanctuary in which you can be your utmost, childlike self.  A place where your faith grows.  A place where your love is shared. My goal is to never lose my young, joyful spirit and I’m inviting you to join me.

Welcome to THE Y O U T H F U L HOME

Ahhhh this little homemaker is so very excited and joyful about this! Love to you all!

A Readied Heart

Ahhh dear friends, it feels good to be writing again.  It’s been a little while, but life has been so busy. And I’ve come to this place where I only want to write if I feel completely and entirely inspired. I’d say tonight feels right.

There’s a gentle rain outside, Lady is curled up at my feet, and I’m feeling all sorts of cozy.  Just thought I’d set the scene for ya.

Christmas time is fast approaching.  It’s hard to believe that my favorite time of year is breezing by so quickly. Since December is almost here, I wanted to share an important project with you all.

Last December, I did something that made my Christmas season so very special.  On December 1st, I started a Christmas Bible reading plan.  I read about the true reason for the season straight from God’s Word at the start of each day, all month long. It was truly amazing because my heart was ready from the very start.

It’s so easy to get all caught up in the shopping and the decorating. The hustle.  Events. Dinners. Constant happenings. And these are all so fun and beautiful and special.  Yet, it can be so easy to make Jesus an afterthought.  A Christmas Eve service. A quick reading of Luke 2 on Christmas morning. Check and Check. Okay, now back to food and presents.

So, by starting each and every day of December reading about what Christmas is all about, your heart is fixed on the eternal.  Meditating on the reason Christ was born.  It brings about a readied heart. 

Last December I made a new tradition that I plan on continuing for the rest of my life–reading from God’s Word about Christmas every day in December.

So I thought I’d give you the opportunity to join me! Below are some links to various Bible reading plans that I’ll be using this December. You can choose one or do a combo. The Bible App has a huge selection. You’re more than welcome to join me, as we ready our hearts for this divine season.  I assure you—You will be blessed.  Time spent with the Lord is never wasted.

Journey To The Manger With Charles Stanley

Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas

The Bible Project | Advent

Each of these plans contains a short devotion and then scripture that coincides with it.  Note: The third plan I listed has really neat videos to watch each morning and is only 4 days long.

Join me as we embrace this joyous season with a heart of worship.  An intentional admiration.  Take moments to be still and let the Lord quiet you with His Love.  That is ever important in such a busy time of year.  Let’s gather and have a readied heart.

Oh, and always feel free to message me.  It’d be fun to share thoughts on what God teaches us throughout the month of December.

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Obvious Christians

When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world. – C. S. Lewis

Let me start by saying I didn’t want to write this post. Convicting posts are scary. What if people call me a “Pharisee”? Judge-y”? But what started as a bedtime conversation with my husband, ended with him urging me to write about this topic. Because fear isn’t a good enough reason to keep quiet.

Christians’ behavior isn’t talked about in a very detailed way because churches fear sounding “legalistic.” Judgmental. Preachy. Etc. But the fear of sounding legalistic has gotten us to a place where anything goes and nobody speaks up about it. So now we’ve got a bunch of believers indistinguishable from the rest of the world. Now that is something to fear.

Why are we here? To bring glory to God! To go and make disciples. To share the good news of the Gospel. But let me tell you–this is not a part time job. It is 24/7. And that can be really hard. It takes a lot of sacrifice. A lot of saying “no.” A lot more of God, and a lot less of us and what our flesh wants.

I want to clarify one thing right away–I do not have this down. I am writing to myself just as much as to you. I write from a place of my own conviction. This is a daily battle in the life of a Christian.

Moving on. So here’s a question:

Would someone know you are a Christian if you never said you were? Simply by your actions (by your fruit), would it be evident that your life is different?

Could someone tell by your Instagram? By the movies you watch? By the way you spend your Friday night? By the places you go? By the words you say?

There are Christians living double lives. We make bad habits. Then we get used to these habits. Desensitized. Numb. Then we make excuses.

Here’s one I hear a lot:

“Oh everyone has different opinions on that.”

And my response–does it bring glory to God? Is it honorable?

I’m going to get super real with y’all for the sake of showing you I’m right there with you.

I have a pretty clean vocabulary. But if I stub my pink toe on the corner of a coffee table, all of the sudden words start flying that I simply can’t type. Instead of just being okay with that, I’ve been praying about it. Asking God for forgiveness. Asking God to help me choose pure speech even when someone cuts me off in traffic. Would it be easy to grow numb to that? Yup. And I have in times in the past. But I’m really trying to make sure my words line up with who I am and what I believe. Even when no one is watching. Because being a Christian isn’t just a show. It’s every hour of the day. In the work place and in the quiet of your home.

The Christian life isn’t easy. No one said it would be. But it’s worth it. For the sake of the Gospel, Oh is it worth it!!

We need to be more OBVIOUS.

We need to start standing out!

Because the way some Christians are living, Christianity looks like a joke. It looks like how C. S. Lewis described it–“Unbelievable.”

Doesn’t that just break your heart? Our actions can make our faith look unbelievable? But isn’t that why we’re here? To be proof of God’s love? So why are we just blending in?

This can’t go on.

As Christians, we’re going to have to say no sometimes. No to posting that bikini picture. No to seeing that movie. No to going to that club. No to saying those words. No to certain music.

Because our testimony is a huge tool in sharing the Gospel.

If someone weighed 2,000 pounds and was trying to sell you diet pills claiming they work, would you buy them? Of course not. There’s no evidence in their life that those diet pills did a thing.

If we are going to call ourselves Christians, we need to live above reproach. Our life needs to be evidence that the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Because the Gospel is worth that!!

So how do we do it? How do we live more obviously for the Lord? Friends, turn your eyes towards Jesus and don’t take your eyes off of Him. If we try to clean up our lives on our own, we will fail. Every time. But when we let Jesus clean up our life, He gives us the power to do it. Through Him.

Pray. Read His Word daily. Fellowship with other believers.

We will fail. But it’s the act of getting up and trying again. Fixing our eyes back on the Lord.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe

Making granola is so cozy. I like to have a vinyl playing while I make it.  It’s fun to skip about the kitchen to some music, ya know?

Granola is so simple and quick to make, yet it makes my kitchen smell like I’ve been slaving away all day. It’s the perfect snack. I don’t know why, it just makes me happy!

My five ingredient granola is a reader favorite. You can check out the recipe here.

NATURALLY, I had to develop a fall granola recipe to up the coziness factor. This idea was born many months ago in the heat of summer, when I was daydreaming of fall. Oh fall, you are a darling and I’m so glad you’re almost here.

This pumpkin spice granola is basically everything you adore about granola and fall, all baked into crispy morsels of golden perfection.

With maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, festive spices, and juicy dried cranberries, this granola makes a thoughtful gift or a happy snack.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe

  • Servings: 1 1/2 Cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 and a 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 4 TBS of pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 5 TBS of dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice
  2. Add the oats to the mixture and thoroughly combine.
  3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Spread oats in an even layer across the cookie sheet. Pack down slightly if you want more granola clusters.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir at 15 minutes to prevent the granola from burning. At the 15 minute mark, add the pepitas.
  6. During the last half of the cook time, check often. Granola can burn easily.  If you’re not sure if it’s done but it looks done, it probably is! Granola will continue to cook a little when you take it out of the oven and will continue to harden and crisp up.
  7. Add dried cranberries once it is out of the oven.

Note:

If you want more granola clusters, don’t stir immediately after taking out of the oven.  This will allow the clusters to form and bind.

Ordinarily, I add a pinch of salt to granola.  However, the pepitas are salted, so I do not add any additional salt to this recipe.

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I wish you could smell how deliciously fragrant this granola is! With a splash of almond milk, you’ve got yourself a healthy breakfast. All you need is a hot cuppa pumpkin coffee.

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Our First House!

I remember when I was younger, I used to wonder, “How will I know what God’s will is for me?” I have since discovered that God shows His will for me through His peace.  I always try to pray that He will steer my heart towards what He wants for me. And He has done just that, time and time again. With His peace.

I had peace when I met Billy. Peace when we got married. Peace when we found our first apartment. And our second. Peace when we went to our new church. And now peace as we found our first home!

We didn’t put an age or a year on it.  We knew we wanted a home one day, but we weren’t in a rush. We weren’t trying to keep up with anyone.  Rather, we knew God would give us His peace when it was time. And He did.

A few months ago, we started the whole mortgage process.  Not the fun part. haha. We looked at so many home listings. Went to an open house here and there, but nothing gave us that peace, ya know?

When I saw the listing for our now home, I was intrigued.  What’s funny is, the pictures were awful. You couldn’t really tell what the house even looked like. The lighting was bad. Paint colors were gross. Usually, I would keep on looking when I saw such a listing.  But for some reason, I could see potential.  I could see that the yard was large, the ceilings were high, a pool, a beautiful neighborhood, and great location–close to Billy’s job and close to my sister and brother in law.

I kept the listing at the top of my mental list. Then, when the list price dropped, I was like, “Woah! We gotta see it.” Billy was on board, and we viewed the house that weekend.

So. Beautiful. We could see past the popcorn ceilings and stained carpet. The house was in good condition, with so much potential.  It was so bright and airy.  WE FELT THE PEACE. haha. We both knew without saying a word to each other.

That weekend, we put in an offer, and it was accepted. And now, we are officially homeowners.

The day before our closing, we were at church and our pastor was talking about how the only thing we have is what God has given us.  It’s all His.  All for His glory.  Billy and I looked at each other and he squeezed my hand. What a beautiful reminder right before our house closing.

So yes, we legally are homeowners. But more literally, we’re just using what God has blessed us with.  We are really praying that God will show us practical ways to use our home for Him.

We can’t take an ounce of credit for this new chapter. God truly is in all the details.


Before we move in, we are doing some DIY renovations.

  1. Remove popcorn ceiling.
  2. Retexture ceilings
  3. Remove tile and carpet.
  4. Paint all the walls.
  5. Put down waterproof luxury vinyl plank flooring.

It’s been such an exciting process.  In just two weeks, the popcorn ceilings are gone and have been retextured.  The tile is gone and Billy has ripped up all the carpet. We are so thankful to family and friends for helping us tackle this project!

We’ve taken lots of before pictures, process pictures, and soon–after pictures. Can’t wait to take ya’ll along for this ride. Lots of blog content is in the works!

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