The Young Wife

A life & style blog that embraces beautiful living, from the inside out.


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The Little Linen Romper


| Shop romper here, and shoes here. |

Oh the romper. So much love for you. Whoever invented the romper, I’d love to give them a big hug, drink coffee with them, and be their friend. Because the romper is just about the comfiest garment that is socially acceptable to wear in public.

In all seriousness, rompers are not new in the fashion scene. They date back to the early 1900’s, as children’s play clothes. No wonder I love rompers! This kid at heart loves something that’s easy to play in! 😉 Women started wearing them in the ’50s, and they’ve reemerged through the years. Yet another reason to love rompers: timeless.

This romper in particular, is so effortless. It has a relaxed yet put together look. Being so versatile, you can dress it down with footbed sandals or dress it up for date night with some wedges.

And it couldn’t be more true: it’s all in the details. The gold buttons down the front. The low back. The linen material. It is all done so tastefully.

Well I’m off for a little adventure downtown! Being that it’s almost 90 degrees outside, I’m thinking I’ll throw on this romper. 


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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Green Apple and Soy Sauce Recipe


“Just one. You have to eat one, Julia.” My parents spooned a brussel sprout on my plate.

8 year old me was the last one at the dinner table. I stared at the lonely brussel sprout on my plate. Oh the dilemma. Spinach I could spread around my plate to make it look like I finished. But that trick won’t work on a brussel sprout.

I sat there and slowly worked it down, for what felt like, 20 minutes. (It was probably only 5 or 10.)

This situation repeated itself through the years. Yet, my dislike for brussel sprouts never changed.

Then one day (recently) I tried roasted brussels sprouts. I’m not sure why roasting them makes them so much more appealing, but I’m not going to question it.

A few weeks ago, Billy and I were having dinner at Locale Market, here in St. Pete. As a side, Billy ordered roasted brussels sprouts with soy sauce and green apples. I tried them and was like, “Yes. Just yes.” They were absolutely delicious.

About a week later, the roasted brussel deliciousness was no longer available, as the market is constantly changing their menu. My mind was set on figuring out how to enjoy them at home.


I only recently started creating my own recipes. But by some miracle, I created this recipe on the first try. Crunchy and loaded with flavor, I am officially hooked.

When I purchased the bag of brussels sprouts from the grocery, I felt as though I am now officially doing this adulting thing. I mean, goodness me I’m buying brussels sprouts! Before we know it, I’ll be telling my kid to eat “just one.” Yikes! Time needs to slow down!

So there you have it. A story about a girl and a brussel sprout.

What makes this recipe extra special is the green apple! 🍏 With a hint of sweetness, and a bunch of crunch, I hope this recipe works its way into your recipe box!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Green Apple and Soy Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 16 oz. bags of brussels sprouts
  • 1 green apple, diced with skin
  • 4 TB of low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of honey
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rinse the brussels sprouts and cut off the brown stem. Remove any discolored leaves.
  3. Halve the brussels sprouts and lay them on a baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with pepper. (Do NOT salt them, because the soy sauce is salty.)
  5. Toss the brussels sprouts to evenly coat them.
  6. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing them halfway through so they brown on all sides.
  7. While they are in the oven, heat a small skillet and add the soy sauce, apple, and honey. Allow apples to soften.
  8. When the brussels sprouts are done roasting, toss them with the cooked apples.

* If you are cooking for one or two, you can cut this recipe in half.

Let me know in the comments below how you liked it!

Happy cooking!


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Roasted Parmesan Potato Recipe


Hectic schedules call for cooking shortcuts.

I totally get that. It is so easy to pop a bag of frozen waffle fries in the oven. In fact, that was one of my favorite sides to use when cooking cube steak or something like that. Because–easy.

But you know what? Roasting potatoes is also really easy. And it’s real food. No crazy ingredients. Not fried. And tons of flavor. There’s nothing wrong with cooking some frozen fries every now and then. But my new go-to is this recipe I created. I make these all the time now!

I could literally eat these potatoes like candy. Dipped in ketchup, they taste like fancy French fries that you can actually feel good about eating!

What makes these so special is the PARMESAN sprinkled on top. Oh man. I can’t get enough. You know me. Always gotta put an Italian spin on things. 😉 The combination of the cheese with the spices creates an explosion of flavor. It’s like a big Italian-family get together for your taste buds. Hehe. Not to mention, the aroma that will escape your oven as these roast! You’ll have your whole family asking, “What’s for dinner?!”

Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think! This side compliments so many entrees. I’d love to see what you pair it with.

Happy cooking!

Roasted Parmesan Potatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 red potatoes, chopped (I leave the skin on.)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano or Italian spice blend
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 TBS Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

On a sheet pan, place the chopped red potatoes. Drizzle them with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and a little bit of garlic powder. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Using your hands, toss the potatoes to coat evenly. Cook for 25 to 35 minutes until brown and your desired crispiness.


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Lady in Linen




| Shop dress here, similar hat here, similar shoes here, and similar purse here.  |

When I was younger, I was quite the shopper. If there was a new trend, I would buy it. If it was on sale, I would buy it. But what ended up happening is, I had way too many clothes that I never wore. Half of my purchases were only in style for a couple of months.

As I grew older, I learned to buy more timeless clothes. Clothes that would never go out of style. If Audrey Hepburn would wear it, then I consider it a worthy purchase. Today, I’m all about quality over quantity. (But I still love me a good sale!)

Today I want to introduce you to this classic white linen dress.

Not only is this dress impeccably made, but it makes me feel like such a lady. It stirs up my yearning for travel. I’m pretty sure this dress would fit right in on the streets of Rome. Can’t you just see it? This dress. A charming Italian cafe. A bottle of lemoncello. A basket of fresh produce from a local market. It’s seriously giving me major Audrey Hepburn vibes from Roman Holiday.  

Pockets that I can sink my hands into. Classic button detailing. Perfect length. Breathable linen material that sways in all the right ways.

I’ll take this dress with a scoop of gelato and a cappuccino, please! You can bet you’ll see me wearing this darling sundress year after year!

(Great. Now I’ve inspired myself to look into tickets to Italy! I’m seriously dreaming. But dreaming is good. 😉)


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Seasons


I live a humble little life in a 675 square foot apartment. And I love it. 

I love it’s creaky wood floors, it’s old charm, and all of its little quirks. 

Sure, I look forward to owning a home one day. But dreaming of my future home doesn’t stir up discontentment of where I am right now. I love where God has me.

Life has its seasons. There are seasons of trial. Seasons of waiting. Seasons of nothing. Seasons of opportunity. Seasons of hope. Seasons of bliss. Seasons of grief. Seasons of simplicity.

It is so easy for us to constantly be looking for the next season. But if we live like that, we will never be happy or content. God has you right where He wants you. Look for the joy in the season you are in. 

I’ve gotten pretty good at this concept. Honestly, I am very content right now. But every now and then, someone will try to bring me down. You know…those subtle comments. They may not even be aware that they’re doing it.  It may not be intentional. But, you start comparing and feeling inadequate. (Social media, I’m talkin’ ’bout you, ya little contentment-killer!)

Take a step back and revel in the fact that you are incredibly blessed. 

So decorate your 675 square foot season. Make it beautiful.  Have joy in it.  Joy is not found in a nicer car, or a bigger house, or whatever else you’re looking for next.  Joy is found in the Lord!


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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.

…………..

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.


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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.