The Truth About Waiting Until Marriage

Disclaimer: I know this is a more personal and controversial topic, but I want to share my story and experience. I won’t be going into all the nitty gritty details, but I will be sharing my view and opinion. I want to be as real and honest as possible in my blog posts. This post is not to shame or judge people, I just want to share my experience to help others who may be in the same situation. 

I know this blog is a little different than my normal content, but this is something that has really been on my heart to share. For a few weeks now I have been trying to figure out the best way to share this story, so I am going to put it into words the best that I can. 

So lets talk about sex….

I know in the Christian community talking about sex is seen as a taboo topic, and most of the time it is avoided. Now, I’m not saying to put your sex life out in the open for everyone to hear. However, I think it should be normalized to talk about sex because it is a natural part of life and God created it to be a good thing. 

One thing that stuck with me from my purity class was that our youth leaders and pastors never told us sex was a bad thing. Instead, they took the time to teach us that God intended it to be within the boundaries of marriage, and that it was a GOOD thing. I think a lot of Christians can be scared into thinking that sex is a bad thing and it can affect them when they do get married because they still have the notion in their head that it is wrong or dirty. Or they rebel as a teenager because their parents tell them not to do it.

Now, I am not going to lie waiting until marriage isn’t easy all the time. Waiting is not a popular trend amongst young people. You have to deal with peer pressure, influence from social media, society, music….it is EVERYWHERE. If it is something you have decided for yourself you are going to have to deal with the temptation, being tested in your faith, and in your decision because it is not the “popular” thing to do.

For some comedic relief: I have a funny story that I am going to tell that just shows how you can be tested and how God has a sense of humor. 

So, I went to the ceremony for the end of my purity class and my now mother in law asked me to come over after the ceremony because they had a present for me. So, my parents drove me over to their house and to my SURPRISE, my boyfriend (now husband) had come home for leave since he was in the military….THE DAY OF MY PURITY CLASS GRADUATION…. In uniform…. And I hadn’t seen him for like 6 months…. TALK ABOUT TEMPTATION! That story has ALWAYS stuck with me haha! Moral of the story you will be tempted!

ANYWAYS……

On a more serious note, waiting can be such a positive experience, but I did face a lot of backlash. In highschool, my husband and I were a target for jokes and mocking. People would ask my husband “Why are you dating her if she’s not going to give it up?” or “She doesnt really love you if she doesnt have sex with you” and it was a really hard time hearing all of these things but I knew in my heart that it is what I wanted to do. My husband always respected my decision and stood up for me and for our relationship. HONESTLY, it’s nobody else’s business besides you and your significant others.

I made this decision because I wanted to be able to give that to my spouse who I knew I would spend the rest of my life with. It honestly made our relationship a lot stronger by going through that stage of our life. When my husband joined the military the mocking only got worse (all of my military people know how that environment is). However, We both stayed strong in our decision and when we got married that helped us to have a different type of bond by sharing something that is on such a personal and intimate level.

Frankly, you will both be inexperienced and not know what you are doing, but in the beginning NOBODY does. That is all a part of the experience. Whether you choose to wait until marriage or not. That also applies to anything in life, you are not going to be good at anything the first time. Learning and growing with each other can help to strengthen the bond in your marriage because you get to know each other like no one else does.

If you choose to wait until marriage you’re labeled as a “prude”, and if you choose to have sex before marriage you are labeled as “easy” so you really cant win no matter what decision you make. Someone will always have something to say!

Again, I know this isn’t the content I normally post. I just felt it in my heart to share my experience for someone who has gone through it, is going through it, or someone who wants to pursue waiting until marriage. I don’t want to make anyone feel ashamed or judged because we all sin and no sin is greater than another! This was just to share some of the challenges I faced in a really intimate portion of my life. In my blog, I want to be as transparent and honest as possible even if only one person can relate to me!

As always, feel free to message me or comment with any questions or if you just want to chat!

Until next time…….

Riley Jo XOXO

4 Lessons You Learn In Young Marriage

Getting married young was definitely a rollercoaster!  We are only 22 and 23 so let’s face it we are still young, BUT we have come a long way since we got married at 19 almost 3 years ago! In those 3 years we have moved to a new state, got a dog, spent more time apart in our first year of marriage than we did together, and lived the military life for a while. When we moved back home we realized just how much everything we went through shaped us and the marriage dynamic we have. 

Everyone says your first year of marriage is the hardest and I think that’s true because that is when you do A LOT of growing and changing. With that being said I am going to talk about 4 lessons you learn when you get married young. 

  1. Communication is VERY important 

Communication is one of the most important things in young marriage and just marriage in general. You have to learn the best way to communicate with your spouse. This makes talking about big life decisions A LOT easier when you are on the same page. It is also important to communicate with your spouse about things that are bothering you, and helps you have more productive discussions about the hard things. 

  1. Don’t Compare Your Marriage to Someone Elses

In the age of social media it is SO easy to compare your situation to someone else’s.. We are all guilty about comparing ourselves to other people, but on social media you only see a glimpse into someone’s life. Almost everyday you see someone getting engaged, getting married, going on trips and it can be so easy to get discouraged and caught up in what you don’t have. The truth is my husband and I argue and disagree about a lot of things, but that is HEALTHY to do in a relationship. You have to learn what dynamic works best for you and your relationship. We are all individual people and God gave us our own unique personalities for a reason. EVERY marriage is different, and figuring it out is just part of the process.

  1. Learn Your Spouse’s Love Language

In our premarital counseling we received an audiobook about the 5 love languages and I think that was one of MOST helpful things that I learned especially in our first year of marriage. My husband’s love language is physical touch, and acts of service and my love language is quality time and words of affirmation. It took us a while to figure that out and it was a big transition. Your wants and needs will change over time, but I think it is really important to let your spouse know you appreciate them. Different people express their love and appreciation in different ways. In your marriage, you get to understand your partner’s dynamic on a deeper level and I think it only brings you closer together.

  1. If You Want Something to Change You Have to Change Too

This is the MOST important lesson I learned especially in our first year of marriage, and I still have to sit back and reevaluate my actions sometimes.  I spent a lot of my time not knowing how to effectively communicate my needs in the beginning of our marriage, especially when I would want/need help with things. I found that when I would ask my husband to help me out with certain things, they would change for a little while and then go back to the way they were before. This would often leave me frustrated and upset because I felt like he wasn’t listening to me or helping me in the way that I needed. One day, I said to myself maybe this is a “ME” problem. So, I changed my approach of how I asked him to do things and asked him what is the best way to communicate my wants and needs to him….. let me tell you this CHANGED our marriage dynamic so much. Learning how to look at what you need to change in yourself to help see the change in your spouse is so important BECAUSE if we don’t address it we can find ourselves building up with resentment and anger. 

Now this isn’t an overnight change, but more like “sprinkling salt” to make things better a little at a time and building up to be where you want to be in your marriage and your communication with your spouse. 

These are just a few things I have learned and I am still learning in my young marriage, but I feel like they can be helpful to you even if you are currently married, looking to get married, or are in a young marriage. Let me know in the comments some of the lessons you have learned in your marriage or how long you have been married to your spouse! 

Until next time…..

Riley Jo XOXO

5 Things to Know When Building a House

This is our first time building a house so I am not an expert, but I wanted to share some things we have learned and are learning along the way to hopefully help your house building journey go a little more smoothly. 

We are having a contractor build our house for us so this may be a little different if you are building your house on your own (props to you!) but I hope these tips will be useful to you! 

  1. Prepare Yourself 

Building a house can be a little stressful at times and it is easy to get impatient! However, it is important to trust the process. Our home build is going fairly quickly, but the amount of time can depend on your builder, size of your home, even the season you’re building in. It is important to prepare yourself for the timeline of the build but I promise it is worth it, because in the end you have a home that is EXACTLY how you want it! 

  1. PLAN….and Then Plan Some More

If you are building a house, planning is SUCH an important part of the process! When you meet with your builder to pick the finishes on the inside, have an idea of what you want in the house. My husband and I have the same style (THANK GOODNESS) but if you and your partner don’t, it can make the process a little more challenging. So have a plan of the color you want for your cabinets, what kind of flooring you want, paint colors, tile colors, etc trust me it is so important and will help the process to be less stressful. 

What I did was put together a “mock” interior design plan on Google Slides with my Pinterest Inspo pictures to help pinpoint my interior design style! I have a separate blog about that, and I will link it here for you. This helped us so much when picking out our finishes for inside and outside of our home, it was definitely a lifesaver!

  1. Take A LOT of Pictures

Pictures are nice to have to look back on if you want to put them in an album to have for a keepsake, but they are also helpful if you have any issues with the construction of your home. 

This can also be helpful later down the road if you have any issue with any of the wiring,plumbing, etc and you have a picture of where they are located. 

We take pictures of concerns we have during the build and send them to our builder for clarification, this can be helpful because it shows them what is going on rather than trying to explain it over a phone call.  

  1. If You Really Want Something, Do it Now Rather Than Later

One of the main tips my parents gave us was to get what we want now rather than trying to add it later. For example, we wanted laminate flooring throughout the house.(Because dogs haha and future kids).  It was a little more expensive to do that, but it will save us from ripping up carpet or vinyl flooring later and having to spend more money to replace it ourselves. This way it is also under the warranty of the home!

If you can swing it within your budget it is definitely worth it to splurge a little bit on something that you really want so you don’t have to change it and probably spend more money on it in the future. Trust me in a few years you will be glad that you did it!

  1. Visit the Build Site Often

This is my most important tip of all during the construction of your home! We trust our builder to do a great job on the home, but we are all human and make mistakes. Especially since Sub-contractors do a lot of the work on the home, things can get lost in translation. If you can visit the build site daily that is best, but if not I recommend going at least 3 times a week just to check the progress and make sure everything looks correct and that there’s not a wall where it;s not supposed to be!

Some houses will go faster than others but it is important to go check when everything is being framed to ensure your layout is correct. Another important stage is the final stages when the finishes are going in just to make sure your paint colors, cabinets, countertops and other interior finishes are what you chose. 

Building a house is one of the most exciting experiences, but it can be stressful at times! Don’t sweat the small stuff and be patient, it will all come together in time. Try to enjoy the process and to keep your mind busy you can always plan how you want to decorate the inside 😉

I hope these tips were helpful to you, and if you are building a house or have built one before please share your story or your favorite part of building in the comments! Until next time……

Riley Jo XOXO

Nightly Routine for Less Stress

When my husband and I were working from home, we had a lot more free time on our hands since we didn’t have an hour drive to and from work. This meant the evenings were more relaxed rather than having to spend a portion of your night preparing everything for the next day. In the mornings, I could get my workout in and read my devotionals. In the evenings, I didn’t have to worry about what I was packing for lunch for the next day, I could take my time making dinner and watch a show or two with my husband.

However, when we went back to work we had to get back into our normal routine so things changed up once again and I found myself DREADING the evenings! I would come home, cook dinner, make lunch for the next day, shower, and go to bed. I wanted some sort of downtime at night that I could implement even if it was just for a little while, so I decided to change my night routine. 

I am going to share some of the things that I do in my nightly routine that help me to destress and hopefully this will inspire you to do the same for yourself because sometimes you need to TREAT YO SELF, am I right??

Face Masks/Beauty products:

Now I don’t do this EVERY night, but at least a few times a week I try to do a face mask or use a product that makes me feel good. For me I use the Mary Kay ClearProof charcoal mask (if you are interested message me and I will hook you up with my girl!) and wear my favorite robe. If I don’t do a face mask, I will usually paint my nails or do something that makes me feel good! This could be anything that makes you feel good, like wearing your favorite PJs or using your favorite lotion, just make a little time to pamper yourself. Trust me it seems like a small change but it makes a big difference in my nightly routine. 

Reading My Bible:

Another thing I try to do every evening is get into the word. I used to do this in the morning, but since I have to wake up at 5AM I had to switch it to the evenings throughout the week! I will usually spend at least 30 minutes reading through and journaling. Lately I have been studying God’s teachings in the book of Matthew and I usually try to read Proverbs daily as well. Reading my Bible is something I want to be more consistent about, so I make time for it in the evenings.

Reading a Book vs. Scrolling Through Social Media

One of the biggest things I am trying to implement which is probably the most difficult is getting back into reading and being on my phone less. With starting my blog I feel that I have been on my phone more than usual, so to take a break from screen time I want to get back into reading more books and spending more time “phone free” with my husband and our sweet Golden.

 I have been asking for book recommendations and my boss suggested The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and I will link it here for you. If you like fiction and biographies I think you would enjoy it! It is about the author and her family trying to stay safe as a Jewish family in Nazi Germany. Not to spoil anything but she talks about the struggles they face in concentration camps all while still seeking God.  If you have any other book recommendations please send them my way! 

I think the most important thing when trying to switch up your nightly routine is finding what brings you peace, mine is spending time with my husband, my dog, doing a little face mask, and reading my Bible and a good book. Like I’ve said before, I am a GRANDMA in a 22 year olds body!

For you it might be watching your favorite show, cooking your favorite dinner, or going for a run (I’m still trying to make time for working out haha!) Whatever it is, implement it in your nightly routine to take care of yourself,because you have to take care of yourself to take care of others! I hope you enjoyed my little blog today, share down in the comments some of the things you do to destress 🙂

P.S. Enjoy this picture of my sweet Maverick trying to distract me from reading 🙂

Until next week….

Riley Jo XOXO

Bible Verses to Bless Your New Home

When we started our house build I knew I wanted to write something on the “bones” of our home just to make it more personal. I had seen other people write their names on their walls and little sayings, but I remembered when they were building our church our pastor asked us to write our names or some scripture on the wall and I loved that idea. So I set out to find some verses that went with each room of the houses as well as some of my favorites just to bless our new home. 

Whether you are building a home, buying a new house, or have been living in your home for a while I hope you can incorporate some of these into your home as well or even pray these scriptures over your space. Because let’s be real we all need some Jesus!

For the Entryway:

“You will be blessed when you go in and blessed when you go out” 

Deuteronomy 28:6

“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord”

Joshua 24:15

Kitchen:

“They broke bread together and ate together with glad and sincere hearts”

Acts 2:46

“Taste and see that the Lord is good”

Psalm 34:8

Living Spaces:

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise,like a person who builds a house on solid rock”

Matthew 7:24

“Unless the Lord builds a house the work of the builders is wasted”

Psalm 127:1

“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything”

Hebrews 3:4

Master Bedroom:

“Be fruitful and multiply”

Genesis 1:28

(hey we have to have a little humor haha 😉

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety”

Psalm 4:8

Extra Bedrooms:

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he endures forever”

Psalm 107:1

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself, each day has enough trouble of its own”

Matthew 6:34

We wanted to keep this home build as least stressful as possible, we know that we will have hiccups in the process but doing this just brought a sense of peace. I love that these verses will always be on the foundation of our home no matter if it is our forever home or not. I have also wanted to share my faith more this year and I hope our construction workers walked in and felt blessed as well. 

If you did this to your home or plan to please let me know I would love to see it, also share some of your favorite verses in the comments! 

Riley Jo XOXO

6 Ways to Save Money on Your Groceries

If you are anything like me, it is so easy to overspend on groceries! Whether you grocery shop every week, every two weeks, or every month the expenses add up. I learned most of these tips after becoming a wife when I started to cook and buy groceries for my husband and myself. 

Previously being a military spouse and money being tight, I had to get creative and find ways to save money on our grocery bill. However, I also wanted to make somewhat healthy meals for us. Below I will give you some money saving tips that help you when you go grocery shopping, and they may not be what you think!

  1. Make a Meal Plan for the Week 

This may seem like a no brainer, but this really helps me to save money! If you have a plan for the meals you are making, it will help you not to overspend. You can go in for specific ingredients rather than just winging it, and picking up whatever sounds good. Before I make my grocery list I try to think of at least 4  meals to make. Since I shop weekly this works for me, but you may have to adjust depending on how often you shop or how often you make meals. Then, I plan our lunches for the week along with making a list of  the basics I buy every week to help me compile my final list. 

  1. Check for Coupons or Deals 

I mainly shop at WalMart for my groceries, and I usually check the app for coupons or roll back deals to see if there are any coupons I can use for that week. Usually produce always has a roll back. I usually shop online but that tip will come later! 

  1. Don’t Buy More Than You Need

This may also seem like a no brainer but it is a big reason for overspending. When you go to the store stick to your list and don’t buy things that you don’t need for that week. My philosophy is if it’s not on your list don’t buy it.  

  1. Try a Meatless Meal 

Meat can be expensive to buy especially if you have a large family with a lot of people to feed! You can try a meatless meal once a week. I usually will try to do a pasta dish so that it is very filling but is still cost effective! If you don’t want to go meatless try looking for meat that is on sale, most stores have a section where it is marked down. 

  1. Try Money Saving Apps

Some Apps I use and have used in the past have really helped me to save some money and earn rewards when I shop! I have used Swagbucks and Ibotta and they are both user friendly, and work fairly well! The only downfall is that you have to keep up on them, and it can be a little time consuming but hey if you want to find some deals and save money then its worth it!

  1. Shop Online and Pick Up Your Groceries

THIS is my BIGGEST lifesaver and money saver! I use Walmart pick up every week and it saves me so much money! Since I can see everything I am adding to my cart and I can see the total I am able to stick to my budget so much easier! I still go in for certain items like produce or meat that I want to pick out for myself but doing an online pick up service saves me a TON or money! I was able to cut my grocery bill almost in half by not going into the store.

However, if you are a person that likes to go into the store I would just add all of the items you need to your cart like a list and check them off as you go. That way you still know what you are spending even if you go into the store. I have to do this on the days I am unable to do pickup or I need to run into the store really quick for some groceries! 

These tips may be a little basic but they have truly saved me a ton of money! Our grocery bill is fairly cheap for the time being since it is only the two of us, but the main thing to think about when grocery shopping is to stay within your means! Just set your budget based on your family size, income, or other factors unique to your situation. I hope these tips were helpful to you, let me know in the comments some ways you save on your grocery bill 🙂

Riley Jo XOXO

5 Budgeting tips to get Out of Debt

When my husband and I got married we had quite a bit of debt for a 19 year olds. We had negative equity on a car, a personal loan, and some credit card debt. This made our finances a little slim at times and we had to learn how to work with what we had to pay off our debt and build up our savings, 

We didn’t really crack down on our budget and saving money until we started looking to buy a house. We were naive to how much it would cost to buy a home and all of the fees that came with it. We decided to make a budget, and follow the guidelines of the Dave Ramsey Snowball method,and with a few tweaks it has been working well for us so far! 

I want to share five tips that we have used and are currently using to pay off our debt and work our way to financial freedom. Our end goal is to be smart with our money now and set up healthy spending habits to use for the rest of our lives.

  1. Get Help Making a Budget

My husband and I started by watching Youtube videos on the Dave Ramsey method, and learning how to budget our money based on our income and expenses. We started out using an app called Every Dollar and it was one of the best ways to break down all of our monthly expenses. It has multiple sections and is customizable to your monthly income. It helps you to target the areas where you spend the most money, and how much is essential and non essential spending. I will also link the Dave Ramsey’s website here as a resource, there is a ton of helpful information there. 

You can also meet with a financial advisor if you feel that you can’t do it on your own. Your bank could also be a helpful resource with advice to get you back on track to saving money if you didn’t want to use an online method

  1. Get Rid of Your Credit Cards

Credit cards were and still are a HUGE chunk of the debt my husband and I are working to pay off. The swipe now and pay later attitude is so EASY to do but it can get you into so much trouble if you aren’t careful. My husband and I got rid of ALL of our credit cards except for ONE that we keep for emergencies. 

My best advice would be to keep one credit card and if you buy something with it, make sure you have the money to pay it off.  Credit cards can be a good way to build credit, but they can also be a huge gateway to overspending! 

  1. Cash, Cash, Cash

This goes along with the previous point,and was probably one of the hardest things for me to do! My husband and I try our best to do a Zero based budget through the Dave Ramsey method. This means that every week we split up all of our money down the cent, and we take out cash to use as our spending money.Since we get paid weekly we can do this but no matter what time of the month you get paid you can make it work for you and your specific situation. Only using cash allows us to get away from the “card swiping” mentality and we can physically see our money going away. It may not be this way for you, but for me it helps me to save money if I can physically see my money being spent versus swiping my card and forgetting about it. 

To help me with this I use cash envelopes and it helps me a ton to stay organized and they are pretty cute too! I will link the pack I bought on Amazon, they even come with little labels to help you personalize them to your needs! I will link those for you here!

  1. Budget TOGETHER

Of course this would apply to those who are married or in a relationship where you share your finances, but I think this is an important budgeting tip! If you are both on the same page with your spending habits it can help you to be transparent and communicate more effectively about your money. Seeing where your money goes and knowing how much your spending and saving can lead to less arguments about finances and money if you are both aware of what is going on. My husband and I have definitely had arguments about money, but knowing that we are both contributing helps us to stay on track and reach our goal together!

  1. GIVE. YOURSELF. GRACE. 

Budgeting is HARD. So cut yourself some slack the first few months that you are trying to figure everything out. It takes awhile to make such a huge lifestyle change.  Every month, even every week is different! Try not to compare yourself to others, just work hard and save your money. Everyone has to start somewhere and most of the time starting is the hardest part. 

My husband and I are not completely debt free yet, but we are on track to have all of our debt paid off besides a house and car payment by the time we move into our new home. We are also building up our savings in the meantime, and preparing for our future goals. 

Set big goals for yourself and stick to them, feel free to comment below about any questions you may have or other tips I may have left out that have work for you 🙂 I love hearing from you all! 

Until the next time…. 

Riley Jo XOXO

Being an Old Soul in a New Generation

This blog is going to be more of a personal story. It is a little out of my comfort zone, but it has been on my heart to share it. I just hope that it can help someone in my same situation not feel so alone.

 Disclaimer: I mean no judgment to others who live differently than I do. (Do you Boo) I just simply want to share my story with others 🙂 

My whole life I have always felt a little out of place within my generation. I love old music, movies, antiques, thrifting, you name it.

But the real story is that I have always been a rule follower, people pleaser, and a “goodie two shoes” as some would say but it was always seen as negative by many of my friends. I never went through a big rebellious stage in my teenage years. I’m sure I talked back to my momma a time or two, but I never ran away, went to parties to drink underage, or hung around with the wrong crowd. I WANTED to do the right thing even when everyone around me was telling me to “live a little”, but truthfully I was content with the decisions I had made. 

High School was when I started to realize this about myself. Anyone who says that your highschool years are the best years of your life are WRONG. I didn’t hate high school, but there is so much more to life than those four years. In highschool I was involved in my church and my youth group. 

With being involved in my church, I had decided to take a purity class, which means I had vowed to wait until marriage to have sex (maybe I’ll talk more about this in another blog). When word got out that I decided to do this so many people mocked me and my husband who was my boyfriend at the time. They would tell me that I was a “prude” or that it was just a show because I wanted to keep my good reputation.  I didn’t understand why so many people put me down for making that decision, when I never put them down or mocked them for their decision to do the opposite. I learned to brush off the negative comments and not let them get to me. This is when I started to learn to stand my ground for what I believed in  and not care so much about what others thought of me. 

Fast forward a few years to being a freshman in college. I loved the friends I had made in college (you know who you are ), but again I still felt out of place. I went into college as a nursing major, but I was struggling with my classes no matter how much studying or tutoring that I did. I wasn’t into the party scene and I was in a long distance relationship with my now husband who was in the military at the time. After struggling my whole next semester and not getting accepted into nursing school I decided that I needed a change of pace. 

My husband and I got engaged at only 19 and FINALLY something felt right. My college friends were super supportive and  I knew in my heart that this was what I wanted to do and what I had prayed for. Being engaged that young was not the easiest and again we faced some struggles with making a decision that was out of the norm, if you want to read more about that I will link that blog here for you. This was probably the MOST “rebellious” things I had done in my whole 19 years of living. With all of the negativity from my family, on top of my husband being deployed I felt pretty alone during this time. It was supposed to be the most exciting time of my life but it was pretty lonely for awhile.

We got married and  I moved to North Carolina to my husband’s duty station. I didn’t know ANYONE there.  I had to step out of my comfort zone to make friends and meet new people. I couldn’t get a job for almost 6 months and I applied EVERYWHERE that I could think of. When I finally got a job and started making friends and I felt like I had finally found my place. The people I met understood my struggle of being different from my friends back home and most were married young just like me. I met so many people from different states, cultures, and backgrounds. I ended up meeting two of my best friends there, you know who you are 😉  and they helped me through a lot and I still keep in touch with them every week if not everyday! 

Three years later, once my husband got out of the military, we went through the same struggle again of moving away from the life we had built and feeling like outsiders again. We moved back to our hometown and back to square one. In North Carolina everyone was married young and now coming back to our hometown none of our friends are in the same season of life as us. We are building a house, settling into our jobs and looking to grow our family in the next few years. We are happy with where we are but it can also be a lonely time for a little while. We are currently navigating this new season of life and adulthood, but I am so excited for what is to come! 

On a lighter note: I am ready to move in, decorate my new home, have my own little garden, and eventually my own bee hives (that is my real dream) Im telling you I am a grandma in a 22 year olds body!

Being an old soul in a new generation can be challenging and a little lonely at times, but I am so proud of my husband and I for being true to ourselves and doing what is best for us despite what everyone around us has to say. That is easier said than done sometimes, but if you struggle with this too feel free to comment or email me. I would love to hear your story! 

My biggest piece of advice is that no matter what anyone else has to say be true to yourself and what is best for you. Pray about it and give it to God, he will always lead you to where you’re supposed to be. 

Riley Jo XOXO

Building a House at 22

When I was younger, I never would have imagined that I would be happily married at 19, have a great job, and building a HOME! It was definitely not an easy road to get here. You can read a little about that story on my getting married at 19 in my blog post linked here. But for now I will give you a little back story of how we are able to build our house at 22 and why we decided to build instead of buy.

My husband and I moved back home to Indiana after he got out of the Marine Corps. We waited to buy a house until we came back because we wanted to be able to look at houses in person, and the uncertainty of the military… plans change A LOT! So because of this my parents offered to let us stay with them during this big transition. 

When we came back to Indiana we sat down with a realtor and started looking at houses right away. We weren’t afraid of a fixer upper since our budget was pretty small. We knew a brand new, move-in ready house wasn’t in the cards for us…. (or so we thought). After struggling to find a  house in our budget and area, we decided to live with my parents for a little while longer to save up some money because honestly  that was one of the things that we REALLY  weren’t prepared for. 

We did not have NEARLY enough money saved up to buy a house, so we had to re-evaluate. I also talk about this in my transitioning out of the military blog. It can give you some helpful tips if you’re transitioning out of the military and in the same situation. However, We decided to live with my parents a little bit longer and get our finances in order. We adopted the Dave Ramsey budget plan and really cracked down on our monthly income to put all of our extra money towards a house and build up our savings. 

After looking at what seemed like tons of houses and months of saving, none of the houses we looked at felt like “home” to us. I was praying that we would find the right house at the right time, and our prayers were answered. 

One night driving to dinner at my in-laws we saw a sign for a home builder in our area. I decided to take a gamble and message them as a last resort. We didn’t get our hopes up because we figured it would be out of our budget….but there’s no harm in asking! At this point we had a little more money saved up and were hoping for a miracle, and then this happened…..

The builder agreed to meet with us and discuss options within our budget! He believed he could do it, but it still seemed way  too good to be true! When we finally met with him, and went over what we could do within the budget we had, everything just kind of fell into place! We picked out our floor plan, and when we stepped into the model house it truly felt like “home” to us.

It was definitely a big leap of faith, but we are so glad that we did it, even though it means living with my parents longer than we hoped. We are still working hard and saving as much as we can while it is being built.  I want to keep updating on the building process and share all of the details about future decor, and eventually our new house tour!  We know now more than ever about how much it takes to buy or build a home. I hope to share this journey to home ownership with all of you! Stay tuned for updates of our home build 🙂

I know everyone’s situation is going to be different at this season of life, but if you are wanting to set big goals for yourself like buy a house no matter what age or season of life you are in it takes a lot of hard work to get there! Save as much as you can and educate yourself and improve your financial situation. We adopted the Dave Ramsey snowball method to get out of debt and save for our future. However, there are also financial advisors you can speak with and tons of resources online to help you get on track with goals you want to set 🙂 Comment down below what kind of home updates, or blogs you would like to see in the future!

Riley Jo XOXO

My Favorite Drugstore MAKEUP for a Five Minute Face

If you are anything like me and have a busy schedule or very limited time in the morning then a five minute face makeup routine is a game changer for you! I wake for work at 5am every morning and makeup is my last thing on my list. This quick routine helps me to feel better about myself and not break the bank.  Below, I am going to share some super affordable makeup that you can find at almost any drugstore to help you feel a little more put together. 

Also, for reference I have dry/combination skin so some of these products may not give you the same result, but you can always play around with different products to give you the look you’re going for without taking up a ton of time. These products are just what work the best for me! 

I will be linking the products below! They are not sponsored, they are just to make them more accessible to purchase if you would like to try them out too 🙂

So, in the morning I start by washing my face and putting on my face lotion. I currently use the CeraVe face cleanser and face lotion. I will link those both here! I love CeraVe products because I have very sensitive skin and they don’t make my skin feel oily. I will let this soak into my face while I do my hair. 

Now onto the makeup:

  1. L’oreal Infallible Pro Glow

I love this foundation, and  I have been using it for awhile now. It is my HOLY GRAIL. I  love how it feels and looks on my face. It is a light/ medium coverage so if you’re looking for more full coverage this may not work as well for you.

 I apply it with a beauty blender, and it gives you a very smooth and dewy finish. They also have a matte foundation option as well, if you prefer that look. I love the pro-glow because it is oil free and it helps to even out your skin tone to give you that “no makeup” look.  If you would like to try it, I will link it here for you!

  1. ELF 16hr Camo Concealer 

This is also a staple in my five minute face routine ,especially if I have any blemishes or need to brighten up my under eyes! (let’s face it I always have bags at 5am haha). This is a great dupe for the tarte shape tape and I love it. It is a little on the heavier side, but it is very hydrating and great for dry skin. It is super easy to apply. I usually use a small brush to apply onto my blemishes and blend them out with my beauty blender. Another bonus is that it is very affordable, I will link it here if you want to try it out for yourself!

  1. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

I have tried a lot of different powders and this is by far my FAVORITE! Since I have combination skin I can get oily in my T Zone, and this powder works really well. It is a pressed powder and doesn’t leave my face looking cakey or dry.They do have a loose powder option as well, so feel free to play around with what product suits your skin the best. This powder is also very affordable and so worth it! I will also link this one here if you would like to try it out for yourself!

  1. Maybelline Lash Sensational 

I personally use a few mascaras when I am doing my makeup to get a more dramatic effect, but when I’m doing my five minute face makeup the Maybelline Lash Sensational is my go-to. It gives me volume and doesn’t smudge like other mascaras I’ve tried, and stays on all day. I prefer waterproof ,but they also have a non waterproof option. If you would like to try it out for yourself  I will leave the link here for you!

  1. Maybelline Eyeshadow Quads

I know these are a little old school but I honestly love the colors in these little pallets! They are so pigmented and are very affordable. I love this because they are quick and easy when I am having trouble narrowing down my eyeshadow choices. They also have small stamps on each square for where to put the different shades if you want to follow their steps! These are a quick and easy way to make your eyes look  a little more pulled together while you are in a rush! I will also link this here for you!

  1. NYX Butter Gloss

This is by far my favorite gloss that I have tried, and it just helps pull the whole look together! It comes in a variety of shades so you can switch up your look, and it is very hydrating. My favorite shade is called “Angel Food Cake” and it is a neutral light pink color. If you want to try this for yourself (and I think you should 😉 ) I will link it here for you!

Once I am finished I top it off with a setting spray I use the brand Skindinavia.  I love the finish that it gives and helps my makeup to stay on all day! It is a little pricey but it is worth it. Elf also has a great option if you’re looking for something more affordable. I will link that here for you as well!

These products help me to feel a little more put together in the mornings before I go to work and I hope they do the same for you, comment down below your go-to makeup products you use and leave a comment if you try these products! 

Enjoy! 🙂

Riley Jo XOXO