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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A Weekend in Charleston

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A couple of weeks ago, Billy and I hopped in our little Prius and traveled to the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina.  Each year, we dedicate a weekend away to celebrate our anniversary. It’s a sweet tradition we’ve come to look forward to so much.

I had been wanting to go to Charleston for…I don’t know…a really long time! So my little photography-lovin’ heart couldn’t wait to capture all the historic adorableness of Charleston.

We wanted to make this trip all things southern–sweet and simple.  And it was just that! We also wanted to try to keep this getaway as cost-effective as possible, so throughout this little travel diary, I’ll share my budget friendly tips.


Where We Stayed

A huge part of what made this trip so easy on our wallets, was staying at an Airbnb. This was our first time staying at one, so we were a little skeptical.  But we did our research and chose a place with amazing reviews.

I gotta tell you–I am officially hooked on Airbnb. We LOVED our little Charleston home away from home.  It was so relaxing! Bright, airy, minimal, and clean.  And the best part–only $100 a night.

Staying at an Airbnb allowed us to save so much money on food! This was a HUGE bonus.  We had a full kitchen, which enabled us to eat out way less.  We went to the local Publix and stocked our fridge for the weekend.  And I must say—being able to make my nightly cup of green tea made me feel so at home and peaceful. Yet another, wonderful perk.

Oh and I must mention–this Airbnb had a vintage Nintendo! We played Mario Brothers every night and it was a complete blast.  Pretty sure I’ll always remember that. 🙂

Where We Ate

Our favorite restaurant was Poogan’s Porch.  We went there for brunch, and the food was delicious, and the charm! Ah! Adorable.  It’s basically a restaurant that used to be a house.  “Poogan” was a stray dog that used to hang out on the porch. *heart melt*

For breakfast one morning, we ventured to the renowned Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. Oh my. It was just the cutest little hole in the wall. And it was packed! Not hard to tell why–their assortment of biscuits were melt-in-your-mouth amazing! Comfort food at its finest.  Reminded me of a little place in New York.

Now let’s talk coffee.  There’s little that Billy and I enjoy more than a really good coffee shop. You know, the ones that have that perfect balance of aesthetic and warmth. Black Tap Coffee has come to have such a special place in my heart.  It was so relaxing, the atmosphere was really awesome, and the COFFEE! No words. I literally had the BEST latte of my life there. Not exaggerating. The Lavender Latte. *sigh* So smooth and flavorful. We hung out their twice. Can’t wait to go back one day.

My best friend recommended Carmella’s, and oh how happy I am she did! We fell in love with this darling gem.  We selected two mini cakes to go, and enjoyed them at our Airbnb. The cakes were so moist and flavorful! A perfect pairing with our tea!

Where We Shopped

I was immensely impressed with the quality of shopping in Charleston.  There was a delightful balance of big chain stores, as well as local boutiques.  Shopping along King St. could easily take a whole day.  Not complaining… 😉

There are two shops that you absolutely must visit if you go to Charleston.  The first is Candlefish.  It really is the most divinely beautiful candle shop.  They even offer candle making work shops.  The service was exceptional, and the candle library kept you lingering and enjoying all the scents.  Quite the experience indeed.

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My second favorite shop was an adorable boutique called TheSkinnyDip. They had everything from sweet little dresses to darling local souvenirs.  I purchased the cutest coffee mug of my favorite site in Charleston: Rainbow Row! Upstairs, they have a fun coffee/lounge with a co-work space.  A rooftop patio made this place such a memorable stop.  Highly recommend!

What We Saw

The lovely thing about historic places, is that you can just wander. For hours. And wandering is free. But oh the memories you will make!

One of my favorite things about Charleston is how vast it is. The streets keep winding, and every little nook and alley was so picturesque.  Everything was blooming. Cobblestone streets lead to homes with darling shutters, window boxes overflowing with flowers, statement wood doors, and vintage gas lights. It is a lovely feeling knowing that everything your eyes happen upon, has a story.

Here are some pictures from our brick-lined explorations . . .

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It was such a joy celebrating 3 years of marriage with my hubby in Charleston.  It is honestly a new favorite city of mine.  I eagerly can’t wait to return!

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Three Years

View More: http://sgamblephoto.pass.us/billyandjulia

:: Written for Bill-Bill ::

I remember our wedding day so vividly. Weeks. No, months in advance I was so worried it would rain. (Our wedding was completely outdoors.) I literally looked up the weather probably two months in advance, and kept doing so til our day arrived. lol. God blessed us with the most beautiful spring day I’d ever seen. The sun sparkled over the bay, there was a gorgeous breeze, and I had never felt to peaceful and excited my entire life.

I remember excitedly peeking out of the window of my dressing room, watching the staff decorate the tables. I remember walking down the aisle to the theme from Anne of Green Gables.  I remember his face, filled with tears, as I walked towards him. I remember our friends and family laying hands on us.

I remember the happiest moment we both realized–we’re married.

The dance floor was full the entire night, and it was on our wedding day Billy realized his mad dance skills. lol.

It’s been three years since that day.  The crazy thing is– I love him even more now. I’m so thankful to the Lord. The best part is– I know I’ll only keep loving him more.

Here is our beautiful wedding video.  Pull up a chair and welcome to our wedding day.

I love you, Bill-Bill. Thank you for the three best years of my life. Here’s to forever more.

Love,

Jules

View More: http://sgamblephoto.pass.us/billyandjulia

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How You Know You Met “The One”

Perched on my couch, I write to you with tea in hand and a smile upon my face. This post is written in honor of Billy and I’s upcoming 3 year wedding anniversary. Mmmm God is so good. He’s blessed me so beyond what I deserve. I will forever thank the Lord for the man that He has given me.


Talking about love and marriage always inspires me to share the wisdom I have gained through the years.  Finding the one looks different for everyone.  Everyone traverses a different path. A different distance. A unique journey. But God is near and He wants you to trust Him.

I believe we all desire love.  Many people desire a forever love. A spouse. I believe God put that desire in us. It’s a good desire.  It is from Him. Trust Him, follow Him, serve Him, and KNOW that He will provide.

Finding the one seems like a mystery. Until you meet the one. haha. I know it’s cliche, but the saying is true–When ya know, ya know. But, hindsight is 20/20. So here’s my insight on how you know you met the one.

  1. You can be yourself.

I remember when I first met Billy. One of the things I kept saying to myself was, “Wow, I can be my complete self around him.” It was astounding. Like nothing I had ever experienced before. I didn’t have to tame my silly side. He liked me. For me. My goofy, happy, loud-laughed, music-loving self. We were able to really embrace who we were.  There were no fronts. No performances. Just us. And that is SO important.

2. You have the same values.

I remember when Billy first told me he liked me, we were sitting on the beach at John’s Pass.  We realized our time together was headed towards relationship.  Billy asked, “Can I pray for us?” That’s when I knew, this was different.  This was something beautiful.

I can’t stress this one enough. You can have different hobbies. You can have the same hobbies. That really doesn’t matter, as long as you support each other.  What matters is that your values and beliefs, are the same.  Billy and I are both Christians.  We believe that we are sinners (duh, we’ve all done crap), that the payment for sin is death, that Jesus paid that price for us on the cross, and conquered death 3 days later so we can go to heaven when we die. Billy and I have a relationship with each other, but first we have a relationship with GOD. If your values are not the same, the relationship is not worth pursuing.

3. There is so much peace.

I am a firm believer that God reveals His will for us through His peace.  I had never experienced such peace in my entire life.  There was no turmoil.  No constant battle.  Just peace.  It felt right.  It felt good.

4. Everything is simple.

Now, life isn’t always simple, but we humans tend to overcomplicate things.  A right relationship shouldn’t feel like constant tug of war.  This goes back to there being peace.

When Billy and I were dating, we typically drank tea and watched movies when he would come over. One day he told me the moment he knew we were going to get married. “We were drinking tea, and it was the happiest, yet simplest moment of my life. I knew I wanted to drink tea with you forever.”

Being with the one isn’t about some over-planned, highly orchestrated moment. It’s about simple, real, life moments.


I hope you enjoyed my little nuggets of wisdom.  Most importantly, remember the One who loves you more than any human ever could. So much so, that He died for you.

Psalm 143:8: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

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2 Things We’ve Learned in 2 Years of Marriage


I am very excited about this blog post for a couple of reasons. For starters, this post is in honor of my two year anniversary with my husband! That’s right! As of March 15, we’ve been husband and wife for two years! I love that. I can finally say years. haha. Secondly, throughout this post I am sharing a selection of our anniversary photoshoot pictures! They were taken by our lovely wedding photographer, Stephanie Gamble. She has become a dear friend of ours, and is truly a remarkable person. So much love for her. Lastly, my husband Billy will be a guest writer in this post, as we both share 2 things we’ve learned in 2 years of marriage! This is sure to be a treat!


~2 Things I’ve Learned~

Obviously, in marriage every day offers some sort of lesson to be learned. I’ve learned many things in the past couple of years. However, I decided to narrow it down to two.

1. Be joy to each other.

I say this time and time again. Life is too stinkin’ hard to be another source of pain to your spouse. Stuff happens in life. Hard stuff. Stress. Jobs. Finances. Kids. Sickness. Grief. Depression. You name it. The last thing we all need is to top off all that stress with being bitter, rude, mean, insensitive, or even just absent in your spouse’s life. No one’s perfect, but honestly if you try to make this a goal in your marriage, it will have a beautiful effect.

Throughout the day, Billy and I send each other sweet, encouraging texts. Sometimes it’s something simple like, “You’re so fun! You make me smile.” Or sometimes we will send each other a typed out prayer.  We always try to uplift each other throughout the day. In our actions and our speech.

We also love just being goofy together. Disney songs are belted out quite frequently in our home. Dance parties can break out at any moment. Laughter is such a gift, and we indulge in it often.

People grow as they go through life. We are choosing to grow together and in the Lord. Sometimes we ask each other silly questions like, “What’s your favorite song right now?” Because sometimes you just need to stop, and get to know your spouse some more that day.

Don’t be a nag. Don’t be snippy. BE JOY.

2.  Communication is ALWAYS the right decision.

I always say, “When in doubt, talk it out.” Don’t hold anything in. Don’t bottle things up or tuck it away.  If something is bothering you, communicate that. Right then and there. Communication will never be the wrong choice. This is something that couples can always work on, but something we’ve gotten a lot better about, especially in our second year of marriage.

Communication isn’t always about conflict. Sometimes we think something positive, but don’t bother expressing it out loud. Your spouse did the dishes. Thank them. You liked how they stood up for you. Tell them. They look nice in that new outfit. Compliment them.

Communicate if you’re stressed about something, even if it has nothing to do with your spouse. Because, honestly, if you’re stressed, and your spouse doesn’t know you are, they won’t be able to help you, encourage you, and pray for you/with you.

Most importantly, communication is most effective when done with love and respect. Kindness and patience. Openness and good intent.


~ 2 Things Billy’s Learned~

Hey guys, Billy here! So this is what it feels like to write for a blog, ay? I have to be honest, I’m experiencing a little bit of stage fright, being this is my first time writing on here. Is that a thing?-“Writer’s stage fright”? Because, you know, I’m not exactly standing on a stage. I’m probably just getting worked up for nothing…

Is it hot in here?

Anyways, Julia asked if I would contribute some thoughts to this post. And after a few “Yeah, maybe tomorrow” replies, and a couple “But, babe, I don’t know how to write” excuses, here I am.

1. Be the ultimate team.

Julia and I do virtually everything together.

*Deep inhale.*

We shop together. Do chores together. Brush our teeth together. Go to appointments together. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. Read together. Travel together. Sit silently together. Dream together. And when Julia needs some more makeup, you better believe we’re walking through Sephora together.

Julia and I have been living this way since the beginning of our marriage. I’m not trying to brag about it, but we somehow kept it up for so long that it became habitual. I’ve found that, instead of tiring us out from each other, this has really helped draw us closer to each other. Investing this time in my wife has brought about so many fun moments and conversations that would not have occurred otherwise.

I’m not implying that couples need to spend every waking hour with each other for everything they do. But couples should certainly invest plenty of time in each other.

Be a team.

Tackle the daily chores together. Budget your monthly expenses together. Pray together. Work together. Enjoy accomplishing as many things in life together as you can.

No earthly relationship you have in this world will ever be as strong, driven, intimate, and meaningful as the relationship you have with your spouse. You are literally one living body.

Gen. 2:24; “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

How can you find a better teammate than that?

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2. Be the ultimate teammate.

As our spouse’s teammate we should be doing everything we can to encourage, support, inspire, and uplift our spouse in everything they do.

Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Especially when you don’t agree with what your spouse is doing. Those situations will require prayer and seeking God’s direction. But for the day-to-day things, there’s no reason why we cannot lend our support.

For me, I love bringing joy to my wife. And I love seeing her happy.

When Julia first had the idea to really tackle this blogging thing, I stood right beside her and cheered her on. I still do. I want to see her pursue a meaningful hobby that brings joy to her and others, and brings glory to God. Honestly, it was hard not to support her.

Of course, I have my shortcomings. I’m not perfect. But I’ve learned to seek out these opportunities where I can encourage, support, inspire, and uplift my wife.

This has had a big impact in how I approach my role as the spiritual leader of our household. That sounds so epic doesn’t it?

“I am the spiritual leader of my household!”

But if you’re a husband, that’s exactly who you are. God calls us to lead our wife and family by the instruction of The Word.

I would recommend giving Ephesians 5:21-33 a quick read for reference.

By seeking opportunities to support and encourage my wife, I am in turn seeking opportunities to lead her along God’s will for the dreams and pursuits that come her way.

……………….

It’s Julia again! Thank you for reading what’s been on our hearts. We’ve prayed over this blog post for quite some time. If even just one person benefits from our marriage lessons these past two years, our prayers have been answered.

 

My Valentine…’Til Death Do Us Part

“Will you marry me?”

Barbie planted a huge kiss on Ken.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’!” Ken replied.

My sister Carla burst out laughing as she revealed that she was watching me play Barbies. Five-year-old me turned bright red with embarrassment. I chased her down the hall.

I’ve always been quite the hopeless romantic.  I dreamed of having a guy love me the way Gilbert loved Anne Shirley.  Little did I know, one day, God would make that dream come true.

I was 20. Working hard at a summer camp. The Lord had recently brought me out of a depressed, dark time. I was emotionally tired. I was wondering when it’d be my turn to find the one. I had been discontent for a long time. Impatient. Joy didn’t come as naturally as it used to.

I finally surrendered to the fact that it just wasn’t happening, and it probably wouldn’t happen for a very long time. So, I let my heart be free.

Then, BAM. It was as though God was like, “Finally, now she’s ready. She’s given me control.”

A co-worker I had only known for about a month, said she had a friend. A friend named Billy. She didn’t know why, but she said she could just see us together. I did what any girl would do, and looked him up on Facebook. He was really cute. (Win.) He loved the Lord. (Win.) He liked the same things as me. (Win.) It’s kinda crazy how much you can find out about a person through Facebook. lol. Anyways, I told her I was interested.

She told him about me and asked him if he’d want to do a double date. Billy was all like, “Nah, I don’t do blind dates.” She kept persisting, but he wasn’t interested. Finally, she sent him a picture of me. That sealed the deal. 😉

I’ll never forget when we first saw each other. He was even cuter in person. I loved his sweet speaking voice, and the silly jokes he cracked. We were totally clicking on our first double date.

I remember coming home and telling my mom, “Mom, I actually like him.” I didn’t fall for guys easily, so I was just so surprised by how quickly I was crushing. She told me, “I don’t know why, but I have a good feeling about this.” How do moms do that? 😉

Billy and I started seeing each other regularly, and it was becoming more and more obvious that we had a real connection.  One night, he took me to John’s Pass, and he told me he liked me and thought I was beautiful.

“Can I pray with you?” He asked as the wind blew the salty air. It was right then that I knew this guy was special. He prayed about our blooming relationship and for God’s guidance.

That same night, we talked further about our goals and dreams. Life. The way we are. We talked about how there’s beauty in simplicity. That became the motto of our relationship ever since.

A few weeks later, he told me he was at class in Orlando. (He was going to college there at the time.) I remember the sky was particularly lovely that night. It was all pink and orange and the clouds separated in such a way that it looked like a heart. I remember standing on my driveway taking pictures of the sky.  Little did I know, Billy was in the Publix parking lot down the street from my house…also taking pictures of the sky. I went inside to eat dinner, and heard a knock on the door. It was Billy. With a rose. Asking me to be his girlfriend. (Carla always teased me that it was very “The Bachelor” of him. haha.)

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And that was the very beginning of it all. As time went on, God’s hand was so clearly seen and felt in our relationship. There was so much peace. We were engaged 10 months later. And we were married 9 months after that.

God is writing our story. I’ve learned that He always provides, in HIS timing. He took two broken people, and made them stronger through Him, and through Godly relationship. Our love grows and deepens every day. Our prayer is that we will be an example of what a Christ-centered marriage can look like. We are not perfect. But, God’s WILL and TIMING is. May our love be a beacon of what GOD’s love is like.

1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”

Chicken Bryan (easy) Recipe

Well let me just start by saying…this week has been…crazy. There aren’t really words, guys. But I’m sure most of you can relate, so there’s really no need for elaboration. Thank goodness the weekend is upon us.

Okay. So now that I’ve vented, I’d like to share a quick and easy recipe, that you can make on a crazy weeknight.

If you’ve ever ordered Chicken Bryan from Carrabbas, and love it, this one’s for you! I crave it so much, so I decided to start making it at home. I found a few recipes on Pinterest, but I decided to simplify it even more. Let me tell you–it’s delicious. Billy literally can’t stop telling me how good it is.

So here’s a great, filling meal to add to your weeknight meal plans!

Easy Chicken Bryan Recipe

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Tyson frozen pre-grilled chicken
  • Montreal chicken seasoning
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 TBS of white wine
  • A handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • A handful of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Goat cheese

Directions:

Start by placing the pre-grilled chicken on a baking sheet and sprinkle with Montreal chicken seasoning. Put in the oven, following the heating instructions on the bag. While that is cooking, melt the butter and garlic in a small skillet. Next, add the lemon juice and wine. Keep heat low so the butter doesn’t brown or separate.  When the chicken is almost ready, take it out of the oven and add a slice of goat cheese on top of each piece. Put back in the oven for one more minute to melt and warm the cheese. Then add the basil and sun dried tomatoes to the lemon butter sauce. When the chicken is ready, pour the sauce over the chicken. Enjoy!

And there you have it! The creamy goat cheese tastes delicious with the bite of the sun dried tomatoes. This’ll be a favorite in our house for a long time! The pre-grilled chicken is my new favorite thing! Quick homemade meal on a weeknight? I’m all about that life.

 

Shaking the Post Christmas Blues

No more Halmark Christmas movie marathons. Christmas decor is being stripped down. The energy in the air has dissipated.  Strangers walking by me are no longer humming “Jingle Bells.”

While some people rejoice when the holidays are over, I am among those who simply don’t know what to do with themselves. My home looks sad without all of its trimmings. And don’t even get me started on how DEPRESSING it is to take down the Christmas tree.

I find myself utterly bummed that the magic of the holidays is over.

For the hot cocoa sipping, “Elf” watching, Christmas sweater fanatics, I’ve crafted 3 tips to shake the post Christmas blues. This one’s for you, my fellow Christmas carol lovers.

  1. Make plans. Plan a trip to some place new. Plan a dinner party with your closest friends. Schedule a fancy date night. Go to a local event. Give yourself something to look forward to. I think that’s the key.  Christmas time, there’s so much to do. However, once the holidays are over, we tend to go back to our daily grind. Plan something that’ll give you motivation to get through the hectic work day!
  2. Redecorate. It’s a fresh new year. Perhaps your home needs a little pick-me-up. Redecorating doesn’t have to cost a lot, nor does it mean you need to gut your kitchen, put in a pool, add another room, and undergo a complete renovation. Instead, maybe switch out the photos in your picture frames. Rearrange your furniture if your space permits. Buy some new throw pillows to liven your place up. After taking down all of my Christmas decorations, my apartment looked empty. I wanted to freshen it up! We hung a few pictures we had lying around frameless and added lots of green! A faux fiddle leaf fig tree (that tree you see everywhere on Pinterest) and a new potted plant on our coffee table completely transformed our living room. It’s amazing what some minor tweaks (and a whole lot of green) can do!
  3. Go outside more. Get some fresh air. Have a picnic. Go to the beach. Go hiking. Heck, just go for a walk. True, there’s no Christmas lights to admire. But there’s a whole lot more. And it is beautiful. And it is good.

Well, there you have it. We’re in this holiday hangover together. Grab your calendar, take a trip to Target, and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

Xoxo

~Julia

Homebody

I think it’s safe to say, I’m a homebody.

Curling up on the couch with a sweater blanket, a hot drink, and an Ella Fitzgerald vinyl playing in the background is pretty much my favorite hobby. While my hubby and I don’t have a “house”, we’re quite fond of our little downtown apartment we call home.

Our place is very special to us. I mean, isn’t everyone’s home special to them? Home is where family gathers, memories are made, and where we rest. It all sounds so cliche, but it couldn’t be more true.

Back in October, Billy and I wanted to find a way we could remember our first place together. As I was browsing Pinterest, I discovered the “At Home Photoshoot” trend. Perfect. Genius. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Couples and families are having photoshoots in their homes instead of going to the beach or a park. I mean, where are we more ourselves than we are at home? Home photoshoots are so raw and genuine. I love it.

So Billy set up his camera on a tripod, and now we have a precious collection of pictures we can remember our quirky first apartment by. Enjoy.

Here’s an idea for you–gather your loved ones and have a photoshoot at home. It’s fun to capture everyday life, in your everyday setting. Get some coffee brewing, some pancakes flipping, and treasure everyday moments. Life is a vapor, and we need to soak it up.

Fun Fact: It was like 90 degrees out when we shot these pictures, but I insisted we wear long sleeves for a “cozy fall look.” Oh the things we Floridians have to deal with.

#DateYourSpouse


My husband literally came out of nowhere.

One day I didn’t know him, the next day we were set up on a blind date. The rest is history. (There’s more to our story, but that’s the sweet and simple version. We’ll save that for another time 😉)

God literally gave me him. He knew exactly what I needed in a husband. Billy is a testiment of God’s love for me personally.

Everything is so amazing when you’re dating the one. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, butterflies fly by, the skies are blue; etc. Why is that? It’s new and exciting. You’re going places, romancing each other, going out of your way to make them happy.

Then, the M word happens. Marriage. And that’s where people lose all their zest for their spouse. Laundry. Dishes. Work. Money. Stress. Kids. Life.

Now I’m not claiming to know it all. Yes, I’m young and don’t have years of marriage under my belt. However, I do believe God has gifted me a lot of wisdom at a young age. For this I am grateful.

I don’t want a mediocre marriage. I want a beautiful, Jesus-filled, joyful marriage. There are so many factors that come into play in sustaining a healthy marriage (God being number 1.). However, today I’d like to discuss “dating your spouse.”

If you know Billy and I on a close level, you know that we have a very special love. Our relationship has always been founded on simplicity. We keep things light and simple, and enjoy simple moments. Like drinking green tea together. We don’t take a moment for granted.


I think a key ingredient to a healthy marriage is to never stop dating. I don’t think I could explain it better than Billy himself. Awhile back, this is what he wrote as a caption on an Instagram photo:

“The most common misconception among married couples is that dating ends when you get married. Giving up on the wooing, courtship, and pursuit of your spouse is a sure way to an exhausted marriage. I’m thankful to God for the shared values within my marriage with Julia. Dating my wife has been a blast, and I can’t believe that this is how I get to spend the rest of my life! I have the biggest crush on this pretty lady, and I fall for her even more every day.”

Marriage is fun. Spending every day with my best friend is a precious gift. Our motto has always been, “Beauty in simplicity.” Let that ring true in every aspect of your marriage. Don’t sweat the little things. Each day is a gift. Enjoy it. Enjoy the coffee run. Enjoy the Netflix binge. Enjoy holding hands in church. Enjoy the walk in the park. Enjoy the weekend brunch. Enjoy your spouse.

So let’s promote healthy, loving marriage! Next pic you post of you and your spouse, use the hashtag #dateyourspouse