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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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!

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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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.

The Ultimate Love Triangle


(Moment above captured by Stephanie Gamble 💗)

You gotta love the love triangle. I’m not talking about a girl trying to choose between two guys that we see on all the television dramas. I’m talking about the ultimate love triangle.

God

 Him                  Her

This is the answer to every failing relationship, to every broken heart, to every argument, to every sleepless night. If God is first, if He is the ruler of your life and your relationship, everything will fall into place.

In order for a couple to grow closer to each other, they must seek God first. He is the glue to keep you together; He is the author of your love.

Sadly, this is where so many relationships go wrong: God isn’t part of the equation. Or even in God-centered relationships, the moment we take God off the top of the triangle, things begin to crumble. It is in those moments where things are weak, that we need to pray. When it’s hard to pray, that’s usually when you need to pray most.

Let me tell you something powerful: Amidst a fight, stop and pray together. It may be the last thing you feel like doing in that moment, but there is power in prayer, my friends. Bring it back to the Lord and He will do the healing.

We’re broken people. We don’t have to fix ourselves or a messy situation. Give it to God; bring it to His feet. That’s what He wants to do: He wants to carry the load. Because He loves us. So much.

God is for US.

Make praying together a habit. Not just before meals, not just before bed, but when it’s hard to pray. Keep God at the top of the love triangle.

How to Eat for $100 a Week

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Organic eggs, freshly baked bread, almond milk, baby spinach, apples, bananas, ground turkey breast…the list goes on. Quality ingredients, especially healthy ones, are pricey.

Don’t let your budget stop you from buying healthy food for you or your family. I can honestly say that my husband and I grocery shop each week for $100, sometimes less. (Obviously, if you’re a family of four, then $100 might not be possible. However, the words healthy and budget can be used in the same sentence.)

Do we live off of ramen and beans and rice? Nope. In fact, we do most of our shopping in the “outer rim” of the grocery store. By this I mean, the produce department, bakery, deli, and meat department. We venture very little in the aisles, for they mostly contain highly processed and prepared foods. (Know what you’re putting in your body!)

But how is this possible? Can two people really eat healthy for $100 a week? Yes indeedy! We’ve been eating on that budget since we got married. My husband and I have adopted the Dave Ramsey budgeting practices. I will go into our budgeting life in a future post, but I’ll tell you right now–budget together. It’s something that has really strengthened us.

So basically, we walk into the grocery store with an envelope of $100 in cash and our grocery list/meal plan. Can you buy all organic for $100? No, unfortunately. But select items, yes. We like organic eggs and we splurge on certain vegetables. This $100 covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two for an entire week.

Shop sales, choose grocery store brands over name brands, and don’t buy a ton of “extras.” Purchase snacks and whatnot, but don’t go overboard. That’s what’ll bring you over budget.

Some meals I make require more ingredients than others. Therefore, when I meal plan for the week, I try to select one simpler (and cheaper) meal and one meal that requires more ingredients. This helps me stay on budget. Read more about how I meal plan here.

The moral of the story is, eating for $100 a week for two people or less is totally doable. If you eat out for dinner every night, you would very quickly go over $100. So, grab your purse, head on over to your local grocer, and enjoy healthy food that’ll make your body (and your budget) happy! 🍅😊