boys' room before and after

The white paint struck again! :) We loved it so much in our family closet that we went for it upstairs this time!

The boys' room had this basketball floor since we moved in. They loved it, but it had seen better days:

Here's what the room looked like 4+ years ago when we moved in, was slightly better than this year:

And then- the ahhhhhhfters, a gallon of primer and porch paint later: 

Oh, happy day!! :D It reflected so much more light that it suddenly felt like a huge room!

You can tell what we're doing in our free time this summer, right? Paint, paint, and more paint! :) It's so much fun to see big results for so little money.

If you're wondering how living with white floors is practically- so far, the white floors do show dirt more than the old ones that already looked dirty but the white is way easier to clean them than the previous ones. You can see what to sweep and scrub instead of feeling it with your feet! ;) Also- we don't allow shoes in the house {which I find really helps keep our floors cleaner in every room}, so the white has been great for us so far. :D

Have you ever had a shoes-off rule in your house? :)
We didn't until the last couple of years, but I LOVE it. Having kids and a baby crawling around really changes the way your see your floors! ;)

Do you have the 10 second rule instated at your house? ;) 
My kids will eat pretty much anything off of the floor, unless it has hair on it...hahahah!! :P It's good for the immune system, right? :)

the best deal on designer jeans ever {you won't believe the price!}

If you follow me over on Instagram, you might already know I scored big thrifting on Saturday! Plato's Closet was having a huge summer clearance sale, and I felt like nearly stole my 10 items for $10!! :)

I'd never been to their big clearance sale before, so I was floored I got to the store and saw there was a line to get in. 

I waited my turn, and I'm so glad I did. ;)

Here's what I made it out with:

Tops from Gap, Old Navy, and Lux {Urban Outfitters}, and designer jeans: Paige, Citizens of Humanity, Joe's, True Religion, and Cabi by Juicy Couture, along with a pair of Mossimo and American Eagle jeans. All for $1 each. And in perfect condition.

I certainly didn't need 7 more pairs of jeans {though they did all fit! crazy!}, but if I can sell even just one of them on eBay or at a consignment sale, I will pay for all of my clothes plus some!! :D Yay for shopping for profit! :)

Though there was a line around the store to checkout, I couldn't resist asking for a moment to pause and take a picture of this:

I couldn't believe I saved $201.00 off of their used clothing prices!! And I know at least four of those pairs of jeans would be more than $125 each new... I imagine that stack of clothing would have retailed for at least $600- $750 originally. And all of it only cost me $10 plus tax. :D

That's some pretty sweet savings if you ask me!! :D

Do you ever shop at Plato's Closet?
I rarely do but I also love Clothes Mentor, their sister store.

What's the best clothing deal you've found recently? I'd love to hear!

Do you have any luck reselling your clothes? What's your favorite way to recover your investment?
I've never done a consignment sale, but I have taken them to a store, and sold them on Craigslist and Facebook. :)

this spray paint is magic in a can.

Early last year I started seeing shiny gold spray paint popping up all over blogland and apparently, the Rust-oleum $4 version is one of the very best out there. {or second, according to Chris loves Julia and their test! :)} Of course I had to try it for myself... and I only waited a year plus to buy some. Back in the old days {you know, 2012}, I had to hand paint my gold frame instead of spraying it. ;)

I bought this outdoor lantern at Goodwill for $3 years ago, and I thought it might look amazing in a fresh coat of shiny gold. 

I think that little DIY intuition was right!! :) 

I hope gold never goes out of style again {though I seem to remember gold being quite big in the late 80's?}. Remember when Home Interiors was so popular? I can't believe I've already been through repeating fad cycles at 31!! ha! I totally remember the bleached shorts and plastic neon sunglasses and Keds, and what in the world? They're back already. 

I'm not doing those fads this time around because they make me feel like I'm 8 years-old again. But gold? I'll happily repeat that trend. ;) Especially if I have low-commitment spray paint to do the job for me!

p.s. do you think that big bangs will ever come back? I could totally rock that style with my curls. 

just kidding.


What trends have you already lived through? Did you do them twice {or more?}?

Gold- yay or nay? :)

sweet moments to remember: chilly summers, tornado messes, and blessing upon blessing

I don't know about you, but July keeps surprising me by being amazing. :) 

There were lots of moments from the last week that I want to these girls washing dishes together:

They were just babies yesterday, and now they can do the dishes!! I hope to see that sight hundreds more times. ;) 

Then there was a very memorable tornado-like mess in the office...possibly the first time in year we did a full closet cleaning:

And of course I can't contain it to just one room... ;) {and this is after it was mostly done!}

And then... oh my goodness- it was the coldest week in July I can ever remember! It was 68 degrees and overcast at noon one day, and the highs were in the low 70's several days in a row! :) What is happening?? 

The boys look like they're trying to be friendly here but it was really a ploy to stay warm while we ate outside:

Same with the girls. :) It was so strange- it felt like early November!! 

And in honor of nearly a week of pretend fall we had our first peach cobbler this year:

And then on Saturday, I took my first trip to Tuesday Morning:

I didn't find anything there, but it was interesting! I can't believe I hadn't been before. The prices were higher than I expected on most things. Do they have good sales? I couldn't figure it out.

We actually ran lots of errands on Saturday, and while the hubs and kids went to Lowe's, I hit the gym and got on the stair climber for the first time in ages...

That thing is insane. You're dripping sweat from head-to-toe about 45 seconds in! :) I love that burn, man.

Good thing too, because on Sunday, I ate this entire brownie by myself:

Brownie points for you {ha!} if you can tell me where it was from!!! 

And then a fun {and productive} weekend ended with my some of my very favorite moments during every week:

God is so gracious to allow us to have sweet times like those. I know it won't be long before those little girls and boys are going to be starting life on their own, so I want to enjoy this season all I can while it is here. :)

How was your weekend?

Do you ever have moments when you look around and feel that you are ridiculously blessed too?

Did the cold front come through your neck of the woods last week? 
I loved it!!

laundry room cabinet: before and after {years later}

After a year-and-a-half of it looking like this, I finally got the urge to tackle our laundry room cabinet:

Oh my stars, why did I wait forever? {maybe it was the year of having a baby or something :P} The Zaner napped long enough for me to get a coat of super primer and one coat of semi-gloss paint on, and then I finished it while he played with the older children later in the afternoon. I decided against gray and went with regular white, and I love how it turned out!

So.much.better!! :D Now every few hours I'm standing there I get to enjoy a beautiful cabinet!! ;)

Have you ever started a project only to finish it years later like me? hahahah!! :P

Washing machine: front loader or top loader? Or the 1990's version? which do you prefer?
We went with a nice big top loader when we replaced ours last year, and guess what? They still break. :( I'm not sure if I overloaded it or what to make it leak like it does, but it seems like they just don't make 'em like they used to. I'm thinking about getting two cheap non-fancy ones with the center turbine thing to replace it! I probably won't, but I did consider it. ;)

the things we'll do for free food + lots of summer fun

It's likely that nearly 1/3 of all Americans were dressed like this last Friday:

It's a rare disorder called, "I'll do anything for free food-itis" and it looks a lot like this:

We secretly think the bigwigs were out shooting guns one day, and one said to the other, hey- how many people do you think you can get to dress up like a cow at one time?

The answer? From what I can tell, millions. ;)

We bought t-shirts, lots of duck tape, and spent close to an hour on our costumes, but hey, we got all of this for free!! :)

Our total? $47.52!

I bet you'd dress up like a cow for $50 bucks too, wouldn't you? :P There's no shame in that game!

{We did it last year too, two weeks before my due date. I think being 38 weeks preggo qualified as a costume on its own! hahah! ;)}

We've been having such a lovely summer. In between working on lots of house projects, we've been swimming:

And then targeting... ;)


And thanks to a very mild Texas summer, enjoying being outdoors:

We found a little river park on the side of the highway, and we decided to explore. 

And, thanks to a very sweet friend who watched all of my munchkins, I got to sneak away and get my toenails painted and have some alone time after a long, hard couple of weeks. :)

Friends are the best aren't they? What a blessing! :)

Summer 2014 = friends, parties, food, fresh air...all good for this girl's soul after a long, hard winter. :)

How was your weekend? 

Did you score any free Chick-fil-a?

Favorite season of the year? 
Mine's usually fall, but this summer? Amazing.

unexpected answers from God: when it's not what we think.

Oh I just wanted to pop and share this Desiring God article with you before the weekend. It was so encouraging to me!! It's about receiving unexpected answers from God:
...we pray for greater faith, love, holiness, wisdom, discernment, experience of God’s grace, boldness, joy in God, and less satisfaction with worldly things. 
Such longings and prayers are sincere and God loves them and loves to answer them. But we do not know ourselves very well, nor the depth or pervasiveness of our sin, nor what it really requires of us in order to receive what we ask for. We can’t help but have unreal, romantic imaginations and expectations about what God’s answers to our prayers will be. 
Therefore, we are often unprepared for the answers we receive from God. His answers frequently do not look at first like answers. They look like problems. They look like trouble. They look like loss, disappointment, affliction, conflict, sorrow, and increased selfishness. They cause deep soul-wrestling and expose sins and doubts and fears. They are not what we expect and we often do not see how they correspond to our prayers.
I'm still surprised by how God answers my prayers! I know He refines in the fire, but somehow I'm always thinking it should be easy if I want to be more like Him. But it's not- it's so sin-revealing, humbling and heart-wrenching, and very painful sometimes!! 

And that's okay- we are being made like Him in our sufferings- He's molding our hearts to rely on Him fully. His ways are higher than my ways- and so, so much BETTER. He knows what He is doing and we can always trust Him- even when the battle gets harder! If you're in a season that's hard right now- take heart- He is was, and is, and is to come. He is Holy, just and the Almighty God. He is worthy of your praise, in all situations. Draw near to Him.

you know it's going to be a good week when...

You know it's going to be a good week when:

1. Amazon accidentally sends you a box full of yummy gluten-free carbs and then tells you to keep them. :D

2. You see an animal you've never seen before in your whole life. God never ceases to amaze me. I don't know how I missed the lion monkey, but what an intriguing {and strange} little creature he is:

3. You are pushing around a stroller at the zoo with this view:


I remember taking Elijah to the zoo for the first time with my mother-in-law 10 years ago, and feeling my heart flutter at the realization that I'm really a mama now. 10 years and 4 more children later and I still get excited when I have a little one to push around. :)

4. And then you know it's a great week when your husband works miracles in your backyard. :) 

We had a really informal get-together for the 4th and it was so fun to relax out in the backyard! Instead of hamburgers, we had a potluck sandwich bar on the grill:

The kids loved it {and so did the flies! :P}. I didn't manage to get a picture of them all together, but in four families, we had 17 of our 18 children present! :)

5. You also know it's going to be a fun week when you get to go on a date with these guys, and get to have your very favorite salad:

6. And then when you visit the Asian food store, and they have kabocha squash in stock:

7. And then? When you get to visit Chuy's and this is fajitas for one:

I didn't eat it all, but I could have. :)
And the name of Jesus is prayed on the silverware package :D:

8. And I'm pretty sure it's an amazing week when you're on a date and your husband stops in the park to buy you an ice cream- but you know he really stopped mostly because he wanted to share the Gospel with the park vendor. :D  Oh, my heart. Thank you Father, for redeeming my husband three years ago.

The Lord has been convicting and moving us out of our comfort zone so much this year, and I can't wait to share more about it soon. :) Our God is doing such mighty things!! 

9. And that best part of the week might have been a close tie with this one- our little children wanting to learn how to share the Good News on their own:


The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that wins souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

Lord Jesus, may it be so in us. 

10. The good weeks and the bad weeks both come {one right after the other, in fact if your life is like mine?!}, and yet you know one thing will always be certain and unchanging:

For the LORD is good; 

his steadfast love endures forever, 

and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5

How was your week? How has July been treating you? :)

Your favorite food lately?
I'm all in for fajitas, salads, and rare sweet squashes! At the moment, I am loving salad the most I'd say. It's so easy to eat them when it's hot outside. :P

Did you ever have a moment you really felt overjoyed to be a mama? :D