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 🙂

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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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.

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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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!

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Meekness is not Weakness

“You’re too sensitive.”

Words I’ve heard my whole life and believed. Words I’ve let steer my view of sensitivity as a flaw. A disadvantage.

Yet, God has been teaching me—not only is it not a flaw to be sensitive, it is a gift. It is not a weakness, it is an opportunity.

For the sensitive person, words are very impactful.  Either refreshingly encouraging or devestatingly hurtful.  I used to think the power of words over me was a negative trait.  Recently, however, God has revealed just the opposite to me.  I read the book of James a couple times in the past month.  One of the overarching themes is…words. Yup. Taming the tongue (See James 3).  The Bible has a lot to say about it. Words are a big deal to God. And so, it’s okay if words are a big deal to me.  Because what we say is so important.

Proverbs 15:4“Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

Woah! Words are LIFE-GIVING.

Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Words are a big deal. When I look on sensitivity and meekness as a flaw, I am demeaning the power of words.  But the Bible repeatedly tells us words can satisfy and refresh, or words can wound and destroy.

Being sensitive allows one to feel and to feel deeply. Showing emotions is a sign of strength and courage. Sensitivity allows the simple things to be enjoyed and appreciated.

Really, sensitivity goes hand in hand with empathy, gentleness, and meekness.

For years, I’ve apologized for being sensitive.

Not anymore!

God has shown me how I can use my sensitivity to give people the encouragement that I thrive on. To care deeply for others’ trials and feelings. To channel that into the need to pray. To understand how people feel. To rejoice with them. To mourn with them. To appreciate all the details around me.

God has also revealed to me that since words are so impactful to me, that I should be all the more careful with what I say to others.  Sensitivity is something we can use to be sensitive to others.

Billy Graham once said in a devotional of mine, “Meekness is not weakness.”

A biblical definition of meekness is “strength under control.”

In other words, God’s strength imparted to us to feel, be kind and humble, loyal and honorable.

If you are meek and sensitive, stop apologizing for this beautiful gift God has given to you!

Sensitivity and meekness do not mean you let people run you down. It is exhibiting strength under control. Kindly and honorably standing up for yourself and what is right.

Here is an impactful quote by A. W. Tozer:

The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority.  Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself.  He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life.  He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels.  In himself, nothing; in God, everything.  That is his motto.

So friends, meekness is not weakness. Sensitivity is not a flaw. God is our strength and these are our gifts. Thankful the Lord has given me new perspective and invigorating encouragement!

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Happy Summer in a Happy Dress

sundress, dress, fashion

Shop: DRESS


Oh, Summer. You’ve never been my favorite season. Fall is a tough one to compete with. But I will say, this is my favorite summer yet. It is off to such a beautiful, joyous start. And honestly I’m starting to fall in love with this season!

Bright. Flourishing. Evening storms. The most marvelous sunsets that look good enough to eat. Pool days that make me feel like a kid again. Peaches and watermelon. That feeling when you leave the grocery and thaw out in the Florida humidity.

Summer, you’re so sweet and I like you.

Recently, I celebrated my 25th birthday! It was a day of much needed joy and family.  It started with a few surprises, brunch at a favorite restaurant, pool time with the fam, and ended with homemade pizza (recipe coming soon!).

The past few birthdays, Billy gets me a “birthday dress” and I absolutely adore this one!

I seriously enjoy a dress that feels like a nightgown. You feel?  The pattern on this cream dress is so rich and colorful! Its so comfortable, yet makes an eye-catching statement.  Loving mid-length dresses lately with buttons down the front. A summertime staple I’ll be wearing year after year.

This summer, I want to encourage you to read more books, spend more time outside, and hug your loved ones a little tighter.  Bask in the summer joy that rises with each morning.

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Have Faith in Yourself?

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I was scrolling mindlessly through Instagram (is there any other way?), when I saw a quote that caught my eye:

“Have faith in yourself.”

This way of thinking has been thrown in my face since my Disney Channel-watching days. “Believe in yourself.” Such a humanistic, prideful approach to life.

It’s really quite simple: Anything I have accomplished, is because God did it through me. The air in our lungs, our legs to walk, our hands to touch, our voice to speak, our brains to think: it’s all because of Him. Everything is by His Grace.

Have faith in myself? You mean, me? This sinner? This weak, emotional wreck? I’m so glad I don’t have to have faith in my fickle little self. I have a God who already has my future all written out. I have a God that loves me more than any human could, and who wants the absolute best for me. I have a God who created the entire universe!

So when you’re facing a challenge of any kind–think of it this way:

I can be strong, because God is strengthening me.

I can be brave, because God is with me and will help me.

I can do this, because God is for me.

I will get through this, because God is in control.

Refocus. Less me, more God. It’s such a freeing feeling knowing, I don’t have to have it all planned out. Because, God already does.

I AM NOT IN CONTROL. God is. And “it is well with my soul.”

Things going awesome? That’s because of God, not you. He empowered you to accomplish what you’ve done. All blessings flow from Him.

Things rough right now? That’s because God is refining you, drawing Him closer to you, and strengthening your faith in Him. These trials prevent us from “believing in ourselves” when things go awesome again.

So no more of this, “have faith in yo-self” crapola. Shift your thinking to God. All because of Him. All Glory to Him. Make Him the center of each step you take. Don’t let Him be an after thought, just when you need help getting out of your mess.

“Have faith in God.”