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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Dressing Fall in Florida


Fall certainly knows how to cozy its way into our hearts. Pumpkin patches, warm and spicy drinks, and the beloved sweater weather. 

Oh wait, it’s 90 degrees where I live. *facepalm*

To my fellow Floridians and residents of warmer climates, this blog post was written with love, for you! How to feel festive and autumnal, without risking heat exhaustion.

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There’s two elements I want to focus on:

Color and Texture.

While I can’t exactly break out my turtleneck just yet, dressing in fall colors certainly gives me all the Fall vibes.

Think cranberry, caramel, mustard yellow, olive green, orange, different shades of brown, gray, and black.

Pictured below is the perfect example of me wearing a cool, breezy dress in a very “fall” appropriate color.


When it comes to texture, think knit, sweater-like, fuzzy, and cozy.

Pictured below is this darling sweater vest. Gives off that cozy vibe, but still leaves plenty of breathing room.


Now, how you accessorize in the fall can be of equal importance.

Since wearing a beanie isn’t exactly an option right now, I love a wide brimmed felt hat. Makes me feel like a little lady. Hehe.


Boots are just too warm right now. And honestly, it’s almost embarrassing to wear them in 90 degree weather. I like to lean towards ballet flats (How cute are these pictured below (courtesy of Oka-B) in the port wine color?!), loafers and mules, and ankle boots.


I hope I was able to give you some fresh, festive, Florida, fall fashion! (I love me some alliteration! 😜) If I inspired you in any way, use the hashtag #theyouthfultribe in your photo. I’d love to see what you’re sharing and wearing. Here’s to hoping we can wear actual sweaters sometime this season!  🍁🌻🍂

Bringing Back Print…With Artifact Uprising


Photographs. Real, tangible photographs. The kind that can send you straight back to another time, another place, another era…with just one touch.

I remember going over to my Nonna and Nonno’s house as a child and spending hours looking through boxes of photos. My tiny fingers perused the photos with admiration. Their adventures in Italy made me dream. Their stories of moving to the United States fascinated me. Pictures of my mom and aunt growing up warmed my heart. (And made me laugh.)

It’s amazing how a simple photo can freeze a moment.

We live in the era of smartphones. We are taking pictures constantly, and with ease. Which is awesome. And yet, we are seldom printing these photos. They are at the mercy of our camera rolls. Lost in infinite scrolling.

This is honestly heartbreaking. There is a rather large chunk of my life that I have little to no tangible photos. If I had continued down this path, I would have very little to show for my kids one day.

Unfortunately, there’s something so utterly unappealing about drug store prints. The quality is rubbish and this takes away from the art of the photo. And I think this is why people don’t bother printing their photos anymore. Because the quality is so low. I was taking beautiful photos, yet I had no beautiful way of bringing them to life.

Then one day, I was introduced to Artifact Uprising.


Beautiful, thick prints. Matte finish. With an eggshell texture. A classic white border. Rich color. Timeless and quality. From the moment I held an Artifact Uprising photo in my hands, I was hooked. And a new habit was formed: ordering prints.

I think all it really takes is seeing these photos in person for yourself. My husband has a few prints on display on his desk at work. His coworkers were instantly intrigued, and one of them even ordered some for himself. That’s the power of displaying the everyday.

Bringing back print is something I am quite passionate about. Getting a box of Artifact Uprising prints in the mail is a little like Christmas. They come housed in a lovely box that allows you to label the collection. I am now in the regular habit of getting my pictures off of my camera roll and into my home.


My heart beats so greatly for the #bringbackprint movement, that I’d like for you to experience these divine keepsakes for yourself. Now through October 9, 2017, you can use my code JULIA10 to receive 10 free everyday prints, any size, excluding shipping. Everyone is a winner with this one! Get started HERE.

If you choose to order your ten free prints, please reach out to me and tell me how you love them! It would certainly make my day!

Remember the soccer game. The anniversary trip. The late night icecream run. The selfie you took by that funny looking statue. Get it all off your phone and IRL. ✌🏼

I hope I’ve inspired you to bring your Instagram feed to life. To display the everyday. To #bringbackprint

*This post is in collaboration with Artifact Uprising.


Nonna’s Dress


Little Julia, perhaps 9 or 10 years old, had a huge imagination.

In her closet was a large plastic bin. A bin of possibilities. What some may call a bin of dress up clothes.

There was a Pocahontas costume. A shawl (that also doubled as a “net to catch fish”). A little house on the prairie outfit. A gypsy costume. Among other things.

There was one dress that was particularly beautiful. It was white and blush pink with a flowing cape. It was little Julia’s favorite. While it was much too big on her, she loved wearing it around the house, pretending she was a princess.

That dress was her Nonna’s.

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Now I’m all grown up. Well, at least on the outside. On the inside, I’m still the same little Julia, with the wild imagination.

And now Nonna’s dress fits me. Nonna is in heaven now with the Lord. (And my Nonno ❤️)

When Billy and I decided to do a photoshoot for our 2 year anniversary, I knew exactly what I wanted to wear. Nonna’s dress. The usual “what should I wear?” dilemma never occurred. I knew it would be a lovely way to honor her.

You see, the beautiful dress in the pictures is more than just a beautiful dress. It is Nonna’s dress. The dress that little Julia couldn’t wait to grow into. The dress that reminds me of the beautiful person that my Nonna was, on the inside and the outside.

Wearing her dress made the photoshoot that much more special.


The above photo shows me holding a picture of my Nonna wearing the dress. 💗

I often wish Billy could’ve met my Nonna. She passed away before I ever knew Billy. But, sometimes I wonder if maybe in heaven she and my Nonno can see what’s going on down here. Perhaps one day they’ll say, “Billy! It’s nice to finally meet you in person.” Probably followed by, “Try this, it’s yummy.” Because that’s the Italian way. 😉


* All photographs in this post were taken by Stephanie Gamble.

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.

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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.

 

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.