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!

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.

Reading Lately

My! It’s been a minute since I’ve written to you all. Life has been very busy, but very blessed! After a hectic couple of months, Billy and I are homeowners! And that is ALL GOD! Can’t take an ounce of credit for that. He is in all the details. There will more to come on all that soon…

Amidst the crazy, I’ve been reading a lot lately. It’s become a favorite source of entertainment! So, I thought I’d share the past few books I’ve read. I’m thinking of making this a regular series on the blog, once I’ve read some more books. It’s fun to share one’s literary love, isn’t it?

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

With its witty banter, beautiful development of the characters, and sweet romance, you must read this classic. Not going to lie–pictured Kiera Knightly the whole time. I recommend you read it while listening to the movie soundtrack! It makes it a complete experience.

2. The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe

This book read like a movie, which is always so fun. I first saw the Hallmark movie and loved it, so Billy bought me the book for my birthday! It’s set in the Charleston area of South Carolina, which was fun, since I’ve been there. This novel focuses on complicated family relationships, with some romance thrown in! Highly recommend.

3. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

I read this book the week I waited for my next novel to arrive. It’s an easy read that could change your life! Dave Ramsey teaches you why you don’t need credit cards, how to budget, pay off debt, and live with financial peace! Spend, save, and GIVE! You NEED to read this book! And then message me so we can talk about how awesome it is.

4. Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

My Mom got me this cook book for my birthday, and let me tell you: it doesn’t disappoint! Anything Joanna Gaines touches is a delight, just saying. We’ve dabbled in a few recipes already. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe is insanely good. What I like about this cookbook, is all the recipes are good olé classics. Recipes you can make over and over again. Like “Fluffiest Pancakes.” Um, YES.


Currently Reading: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

I’m just about halfway through this book, and love it so far! Very witty and humorous. Oh and the Netflix movie is a must watch. I’ll let you know more in the next “Reading Lately” blog post!

img_2493-9

Working From Home

About 6 months ago, Billy and I moved about an hour away from our hometown due to his job relocating. It doesn’t sound too far, but it’s far enough to change life up a little bit. It’s crazy how different this area is–we went from hustle and bustle, to cows in our neighborhood. And I honestly love it.

One of the changes that came with moving, was finding a job. A job that I enjoyed and looked forward to. I found a listing online for an online job, and it had my name written all over it.

After a couple weeks of interviews and training, I was hired by a company called Qkids! I am an online ESL teacher to children in China. Basically, I teach English to adorable kids each morning through a computer software program. It’s pretty much the happiest way to start my day!

Interested in possibly working for Qkids? Keep reading…

Why I Love It:

  • I get to choose the amount of hours I want to take on. The flexibility is so nice.
  • I totally work in pajama bottoms. (That’s just our little secret, okay?)
  • It pays well!
  • I make money from within my home. On my sofa. How legit is that?
  • It is such a rewarding experience interacting with children across the globe! They make me laugh and smile. It’s so fun to learn about them and what they like, their hobbies, favorite foods. My heart melts just about every morning.
  • Working from home frees up my time to do what I love: blogging and being a homemaker.

Qualifications:

  • Native fluency of English
  • Live in the U.S. or Canada with strong internet connection. The upload speed should be at least 2mb/s, and the download speed should be at least 10mb/s.
  • Have a degree or are currently enrolled in college
  • Prior teaching experience preferred
  • Outgoing personality
  • Digital literacy
  • Availability to work at least 6 hours a week

What It’s Like:

  • Each class is 30 minutes long.
  • Children are 5-12 years old and you will have 1 to 6 kids per class.
  • You don’t need to speak Chinese. The program uses animation, games, and virtual flash cards to help you guide the students. It’s really quite fun!
  • I work every weekday morning. And then I’m done for the day! My schedule is open for all the cooking, cleaning, reading, and Netflix my little heart desires!

Does this sound like something that would suit your lifestyle? If you’re interested, please contact me via the contact page, comment below, or DM me on my Instagram! I’d be happy to give you more information and to referyou!

This is honestly the best job I’ve ever had. It has been such a blessing to work from home, have a flexible schedule, and have a home cooked meal on the table when Billy gets home! Very much so an answer to prayer. I’d love to help you if this job sounds like a good fit for you!

Youthful Faith

Faith came a lot easier as a child. Heights didn’t bother me as they do now. I’d gleefully perch a lizard on my shoulder. Now I can’t stand the sight of them. If I was told something, I would believe it. Without question.

I really like grapes. I always have. When I was little, I recall my dad telling me if I kept eating so many grapes, a grape vine would grow inside my belly. And I believed him.

Then, somewhere along the lines, that blissful, unwavering faith dissipated. As I grew older, I took life’s blows a little harder. Worry and doubt lurked on every corner. “Anxious” became a word I used to describe myself.

Jesus wants us to come before Him as children. With reckless abandon. Faith without hesitancy. Childlike faith. Or as I like to call it, “Youthful Faith.” When I was a teacher’s aide, I was blessed to witness this childlike faith lived out daily. It’s amazing how we adults can learn so much from God’s precious children.

As an adult, having youthful faith goes against my nature. I want to swim through my mess and try to fix things myself. Then, I find myself washed up on shore, breathless and drenched with defeat.

I love this quote by Oswald Chambers: “Faith is absolute trust in God—trust that could never imagine He would forsake us.”

And that’s just it. God will NEVER leave me nor forsake me. I can KNOW that.

My Nonno (that’s Italian for “grandpa”) was an amazing example of youthful faith. Every night he kneeled by his bed and prayed. And believed in the power of prayer. On his death bed, he had absolutely no fear. He said, “I am going to the place He has prepared for me.” And he said so with joy and confident anticipation. THAT is youthful faith!

When I first started blogging, I originally named my blog “The Young Wife”, because I was married at 21. A little while after, the name “The Youthful” came to me, and I felt the Lord telling me to change my blog’s name. It’s funny because “The Young Wife” had everything to do with age, while “The Youthful” has nothing to do with age and everything with attitude. Since renaming the blog, God has revealed new depths of its meaning: My name (Julia) means “youthful.” My goal is to live joyously and simply, seeking adventure along the way. And recently, the concept of “Youthful Faith” hit me. God is in alllllll the details, friends.

I am encouraged that I don’t have to “adult” my way through tough situations. I can cry out to my Heavenly Daddy, and KNOW that He will provide. That He will take care of me. That He will give me peace. That He will carry me through.

Whether you’re on top of a glorious mountain, or down in the depths of the valley, trust the Father. I encourage you, my spiritual siblings, to live a life of Youthful Faith.

(Walking in faith with these darling (comfortable) sandals, courtesy of Oka-B.)

Fate? or something Greater?

As I went to take a small nap one afternoon, I gazed out my window. Words starting coming to mind. Lots of them. Almost poetic in nature. I lifted my head and wrote whatever came to me. Here’s what I wrote.

Deep down humanity knows they come from something Greater. In their lame attempt to explain what only is defined by God, they created “fate” in His place. We hate what is wrong, what is immoral. But what makes something wrong? Something immoral? We all yearn so desperately for love. Yet what is love and why do we want it? In our hearts we feel things. Know things. Things that have been created in our nature by God. And yet, this world explains them away. Oh how they miss such fulfillment in life. The depth of their being could be so much more. And what a grave tragedy it is to deny God.

You credit your favor in life to chance? Fate? Coincidence? In that case, you think far too little of the good in your life. The realization that Someone, that cares so deeply for you, takes the time to orchestrate all the blessings you have acquired, makes the good fortune in your life so much more meaningful…so much more grand. We are so little, yet a big Creator gives so much.

Or do you credit your success to your hard work and talent? Where do you think you received the talent and means to perform so highly? Chance? …It all leads back to the Creator. Step down from your pedestal and stop fighting what you know deep down to be true. We were created by a God, through whom all blessings flow. Stop resisting and get to know your Maker. He is a truly remarkable, personal, loving Father.

The more intimately I converse with Him through prayer…the more I hear Him through the Bible…the more deeply I enter relations with Him…the more I see Him move.

To Be Brave


(Photograph by the lovely Yazi Davis Photography.)

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a heart rambling blog post. These typically go unplanned, and I wait til God leaves one on my heart. And He has. So here it goes.

The other day I was ill at work, and it was decided that a trip to the ER would be best, just to make sure I was okay. It wasn’t anything crazy, and why I was there is besides the point of this post. (But don’t worry, I am okay ☺️)

I will tell you that going to the doctor is one of my least favorite things in the world. Being in that ER waiting room (for 3 hours) sent my anxiety through the roof. Thankfully, Billy distracted me by pulling out his phone and putting on Netflix for me. Nothing better than a Gilmore Girls episode to lift my spirits.

I was eventually brought to a room where they were going to run some tests. The room was divided by a curtain, with another patient on the other side. I couldn’t see her, but I could hear her yelling at the nurses, telling them they weren’t doing their jobs, among other unkind things.

I was already nervous about what sorts of tests were going to be done to me. The tension in the room increased as I heard her yell at any nurse or doctor who entered.

Whenever a nurse left the room, she started talking to Billy and I from behind the curtain. Telling her life story practically. And it was heart breaking, honestly.

A nurse entered. She’d yell at them.

Nurse left. She started talking to us again. She’d crack jokes, start crying, and then change the subject again.

“Crying helps, you know,” she said.

My heart sank. There was a moment. A moment where I felt like I should say something. Something about Jesus, and how He can mend every broken heart. That He saves us. My heart pounded.

Let me warn you, this is a sad story.

It’s actually embarrassing.

But it was an eye opening experience, so I feel led to share…

I didn’t say anything. I got scared.

“But I can’t even see her,” I thought.

“She might yell at me the way she yelled at the nurses,” I reasoned.

A nervous wreck from the events that had transpired through out the day, and honestly a little afraid of her, I said nothing. I let my fear take hold of me. I allowed my discomfort with the situation to dictate what God was telling me to do. I was a coward.

When I arrived at home after 6 hours at the hospital, I immediately broke down in tears. Overwhelmed with guilt by the missed opportunity to share Christ with someone who needed him so desperately.

Thankfully, I follow a God who loves. Who forgives. Who listens. He laid on my heart a valuable lesson: I need to be ready. Sharing the Gospel can be uncomfortable. It can be offensive. It can be inconvenient. But, I need to be ready at a moment’s notice to follow God’s call. His still small voice. I need to be brave.

Since that day, I’ve prayed. For her. And for courage. That each time I step out my front door, I’ll be ready to speak the truth of God’s gift of Salvation. That He sent His Son to die on the cross for each and every one of us. That He took on all our sin. That death could not hold Him, so He rose from the dead 3 days later. All so He could save us. All so we could spend forever with Him in heaven. And all we have to do is receive. Receive His free gift.

Sharing the truth of God’s love and grace may be inconvenient. It may be scary. It may be uncomfortable. But it will be good.

 

Pumpkin Face Mask


Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or a skincare expert. I’m just a girl who loves pumpkins in the fall! Whenever making a diy mask or using a new skincare product, always apply a small amount to your arm before using to test how your skin will react.

There’s two things I’m currently all about right now: pumpkins and selfcare. There’s just something about fall: the way it looks, feels, tastes. I yearn for it more each passing year. And with that longing, my love for pumpkins grows. They really are a delight, aren’t they?

While amidst my favorite season, I’m also in a season of change in my life personally. This presents challenges at times, but I’m learning to take time to breathe in the fresh air, and lean in to my Savior.

So since pumpkins and selfcare are two things I am loving right now, I thought I’d combine the two! A pumpkin face mask! 🎃


As if I even needed another reason to love pumpkins, they happen to be really beneficial to your skin! Pumpkin smoothes and brightens your skin, contains acne fighting zinc, has lots of fatty acids and vitamin e, and contains antioxidants for radiant skin!

This simple mask only contains 3 ingredients, and is so fun and festive to use! Hmmm fall themed spa-night, anyone? 🍁😏

Pumpkin Face Mask

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 TB of canned organic pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp of raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the ingredients and stir in a small bowl.
  2. Apply to a clean face and leave on for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse skin with cool water and blot dry.
  4. Enjoy hydrated, plump skin!

Note:

This recipe yields enough for two to three uses. Store covered in the fridge and use within a couple of days.

Light a candle, grab your favorite book or magazine (The Magnolia Journal), and enjoy the pumpkin-y goodness!


September Favorites

Here we are. September has arrived and I’m ready to be swept away by cozy turtlenecks, warm sips of pumpkin lattes, crisp air, crunchy leaves, camping, smoky bonfires, suspenseful movies, evening walks, and delicious aromas coming from my kitchen. 🍁

With a few more weeks left before fall, I thought I’d share some things I’ve been quite taken with lately. Perhaps this will be a fun new feature of the blog!

1. Brown Tote

I typically use two purses: one is a purse I use strictly for work. The other is used for weekend fun. I purchased this tote as a work purse, but I’ve been loving it so much, I’ve been using it constantly! It’s large enough to fit a laptop, a small umbrella, and even that fresh eucalyptus from the market. At a great price, I’m happy with the quality so far. I’ve been seeing this style tote everywhere lately. Figures Target would come out with an affordable option!

2. Oka-B Flip Flops

These flip flops (courtesy of Oka-B) are perfect for “Florida Fall.” The black combined with the leopard detail doesn’t look too summery, but instead rather cozy. I love these paired with some rolled up jeans and a cardigan. Effortless. Keep your eyes peeled for these flip flops in their fall collection!

3. The Magnolia Journal

I read this magazine like a book: from cover to cover. This magazine always leaves me inspired and motivated. Amazing design ideas, beautiful (tear-jerking) stories, and recipes that have you reaching for your grocery list. Each issue is better than the last. I can’t recommend it enough! The Fall issue is on newsstands now!

4. Sips By Tea Subscription

Calling all tea lovers! Sips by is a monthly tea subscription box. If you know me, this is seriously a match made in heaven. With some natural light and a cup of tea, I’m in my happy place. The subscription has you fill out a profile so they can select teas from around the world, specifically catered to your tastes. This is also a great way to get a little adventurous and try new types of tea!

5. Rifle Paper Co. Recipe Box

This darling recipe box could easily become a family keepsake. It’s as pretty as it is practical! There are also a few other patterns to choose from. I find a daily little joy, reaching for a well loved recipe from this box, and adding a new favorite to the collection.

Welcome to the Rebrand

This wasn’t in the plan. I was happy with The Young Wife. I had no intentions of renaming the blog. Then, suddenly “The Youthful” popped into my head one day. I instantly knew this was it.

I started this blog a long while ago. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I began to really get serious about this. The blog got a mini rebrand where I switched the photography style from dark and moody to bright and clean.

The past month or so, I’ve really been finding my tune. It takes awhile to find your place in this blogmosphere.

And then “The Youthful” hit me. It was like the final touch on what I’ve been creating here. I was literally overflowing with excitement. It felt like a God thing.

You see, my name is Julia and my name literally means “Youthful.” So there’s that. But there’s more to it. I’ve always told Billy, “I don’t ever want to lose my playful spirit.” My zest. My singing-and-dancing-around-the-house- joy. The kid in me. My goal has always been to stay “Julia.” To stay youthful.

My body will age. But my heart and my attitude don’t have to.

That is the philosophy behind The Youthful.

The content of this blog will not change. I will still continue to write faith, food, and fashion based posts. But in a fresh, new, “youthful” light.

To the young hearts, creative romantics, and lovers of simplicity,

Welcome to

THE

Y O U T H F U L

For more information about the blog’s transformation, read the About page.

Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”