thrifty finds: boutique clothing at garage sale prices

You know you've hit the thrifting jackpot when you keep smiling every time you see your score. :D

I felt that way after I got this outfit at a garage sale (!!) the other day:

The girl who was hosting the sale actually owned a clothing boutique, so the top was new with tags and a name brand, and the pants were a really good brand as well- one of my favorites for how long they last too! The flowy top fits now {with an undershirt} but the jeans will have to wait a little while. :D I looked both items up and they would have cost around $250 new together.

The total for both items thrifted? 


It was one of those garage sales where you get there and can barely decide where to start shopping. :D It reminded me of the time I felt like I went shopping at an Anthro garage sale. {even stranger coincidence? They were on the same street and I posted about it 2 years ago this very week! Weird. :P}

What good deals have you scored lately? {and are they still available? LOL}

things I want and don't want to do this week :)

It's back to the old grind at our house. Every new school year I'm surprised at how homeschool life puts everything else on the back burner. :) I try not to get too bummed when I have to say no to lots of other things I want to do {teaching at the gym in the morning, going to Bible studies, imaginary free time at Starbucks, lunch dates, cleaning the house, fun projects, etc.}.

It's probably silly to even say this out loud, but it's hard to not do what you want to do. But truly, of all the things I want I also want to homeschool, and even though it would be around #180 on my personal desire list it has to take up #1 for most of the day if I want it to go well. :) And it's good that it does, because it should at this point in my life. I have to remind myself of that pretty often, honestly. :) As my friend Sheila would say, "there's joy in being poured out." It feels good to know I have worked hard at the end of the day, and really it's good for me {and my family} to stop putting my own desires first.

All that to say, with school now taking up the majority of the day semi-necessary things I like to have done are starting to fall through the cracks, and I'm trying to figure out where to put them in the schedule. :)  I know if I write goals down I am much more likely to use my extra/free time to get them done. So here are my goals for the next week or so:

// do //
  • finish cleaning out/organizing nursery
  • finish paint projects x3
  • family exercise 3-4x per week, personal exercise 3-4x per week
  • install 2 light fixtures {Rob}
  • catch up on laundry folding {kids}
  • clean toilets + wipe showers {kids + me}
  • sweep bedroom + master bath {me}
  • work on special project for 30 minutes
  • wash and change sheets
  • hang shelving {Rob + me}
  • make artisan bread for dinners {kids + me- they're learning how to make bread and it's AWESOME}
  • order two items I need online
  • return/ship unneeded school items ordered
  • tweak chore schedule to include things that aren't getting done :P

homemade bread + butter= irresistible

// read //
2 ebooks from the Healthy Living bundle
2 Timothy, Titus, 7 chapters of Psalms
currently re-reading Discipline, The Glad Surrender for fun

// learn //
John 1:3
Genesis 2:7
Deuteronomy 32:3-4
Ephesians 1:3-4
{These are the kids' individual verses for the week, and I'm memorizing them along with them}

// be //
disciplined- I've probably had this one on the "be" list before, but it's time again. I've been having to work myself into getting organized and just doing the next thing as Elisabeth Elliot would say. I feel like I've gone back to working full-time {school from 8-3, dinner, cleaning, chores, constantly directing children, exercising, etc.} after having the summer free, and this week I'm just focusing on staying on the schedule I've made without deviating unless necessary. I've been repeating the phrase "be disciplined" over and over again lately, and it helps me to keep doing things I don't want to do. ;) I know the Lord will provide the strength I need if I ask Him! He always does! :D

What motivates you to do hard things? Are there any helpful tips/tricks you use? :D

What are you reading lately? I'd love to know!

I'm getting old, real life with a toddler, and something new

Outside of homeschooling and getting ready for all of that, we've had an busy six weeks! Since Ivy was born, we celebrated an anniversary, two birthdays, and had family in town for two weekends. :D I spent the majority of the first three weeks in my room recovering and I loved every minute of it, so when we had the chance to go on dates it was even more fun to get out:

We had a gift card I'd been dying to use for almost a year to our local winery B&B/restaurant. I'm totally admitting I'm getting old here, but I love to be the first person there when they open the restaurant. Plus I'm hungry at ridiculously early times. :D It was so lovely:

 I had chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables- so so yum. {now I'm craving it!}

I love getting away for a few minutes, but real life with littles looks more often like this:

Lots of holding and keeping babies happy {99% of my day now}:

Lots and lots of diaper changes:

And toddlers wanting to hold their baby sister:

And toddlers trying to kill their baby sister:

And of course, there's always lots of "helping" going on:

He's the in your face kind of friendly.

With a toddler and newborn in the house I finally decided to jump in and buy essential oils to maybe help us stay healthy this fall/winter. Last year it may have been living in tight quarters with lots of stress, but we were constantly sick and I'm pretty much desperate to avoid that again.

I signed up for a YL membership when it was on sale last month and got the dewdrop diffuser and a bunch of other stuff with it:

I'm a total newbie to the whole oil thing, but I'm having so much fun figuring it out.  I asked for tips on Instagram and had so many helpful ideas of what to do with my kit. And the other day I was stretching and pulled something in my neck {I told you I'm getting old...Who does that?} and I tried Panaway on it and it felt like Icy Hot and now I'm addicted. My midwife Melena gave me Valor when I was feeling anxious about labor and I don't even get it, but smelling and rubbing it on it really did feel calming.??! I can't figure out why your sense of smell is tied to calmness but I'm completely intrigued. There is SO much I want to learn!

I really believe food and what you put in your body changes the way you feel and live, so it would make sense that there are other things in God's creation that help your body too. :)

I'd love to hear your tips on essential oils!! Tell me your favorite one and what you do with it?

What did you do on your last date?

How many diapers do you currently change a day?
I think I'm currently running at 1,004,357/ day right now.

our first day of homeschool + pics of our school room

Praise the Lord, we made it through our first day of school! :D

It was far, far better than I expected! Thank you for praying- seriously! The Lord hears. :) Our alarms went off bright and early for the first time, and after we all got dressed I made the kids come out and take a picture:

2015-2016 Elijah- 6th, Noah-5th, Bella- 3rd, Ava-1st.

I kept after it until every shred of loose paper and broken crayon was tossed or boxed up, and around 6 last night, we finally got here. 

It was a ton of work to get ready and organize the 1000x reams of paper we were sent but it feels SO much better to start fresh and ready. :)

I surprised the kids with pin boards this year, and we rearranged the room so we still need to move the map up a little. :D We decided to go full BJU Distance this year so all the kids have their own preassembled BJU curriculum and watch a video lesson for each subject.  I hope to get a chance sometime to share more about their schedule and how it works for our family, but this is our 3rd year of using it and we {still} really like it. :D

I forgot to get a good pic of my desk on the left side of the room, but here it was a couple of weeks ago:

Today it had a few more notebooks on it, and I took away the plant and lamp, but it's pretty much the same. :D

One day down, only 179 more to go. ;)

Oh, homeschooling... you're definitely not easy, and I'm not sure you're fun at all, but I do enjoy getting to spend all day with your students. They're pretty awesome. :)

our new weekly meal system + messes galore

A couple of weeks after the baby came we implemented a new meal plan system to make things easier in the kitchen and it's been working really well for us! I decided since we pretty much eat the same easy things every week, why not just eat them on the same day? :D It's simplified both meal planning and meal making altogether. And the kids love knowing what we're having for dinner. :D

Here's the weekly menu we have now:

Mondays: meat and potatoes 
Tuesdays: beans and rice {a surprising favorite around here?}
Wednesdays: taco/tostadas
Thursdays: spaghetti/ Italian + salad + bread
Fridays: pizza
Saturdays: salads or sandwiches {chef salad this week}
Sundays: oatmeal, eggs, or other breakfast foods

School starts tomorrow for us, and the kids have been dying to get back to it! {not sure where they got that gene? ;) } But I'm glad we waited a bit longer than usual to go back. The baby is six weeks old today and she's starting to get in a sleeping routine a little more and I'm finally feeling a little less overwhelmed at the idea of school now that she will sleep in the sling.

I've been slowly able to get a bit more done than I could when she was four weeks. And hey, that afternoon cup of coffee I've been indulging in certainly hasn't hurt either... :P

It took all day today, but I finally organized this mess to get ready for school:

I'm going to try to pop back in tomorrow and show you the "after" if I can! :D I'm cautiously optimistic that I might have a little more computer time since we'll be in the office all day, every day.

I can't believe we're starting our second year with four students. This year we have one in 6th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st grade, and then a toddler and a 6-week-old thrown in as a bonus. :D Wish us luck- or better yet, please pray. :P I know God can do anything! If this year goes smoothly, it will only be because of Him, I already can tell you that. :)