Peek Into Our Week: Soccer, gardening, sourdough, a visit from a friend, a book launch party, and yes, I learned how to use a glue gun!

It’s been a full few weeks! Here’s a peek at the behind-the-scenes goings on at the Paine household…

Peek Into Week

Our kids were over the moon excited that they got to meet Phil Vischer from VeggieTales and What’s In The Bible? at the God’s Awesome Word event here in Nashville.

Honestly, I have never seen our kids so stoked about getting to meet someone!! It made me realize anew how grateful we are for how this man has impacted our children and taught them so much about God and His Word through the What’s in the Bible DVD’s!

Peek Into Week

My baby boy is getting all grown up! He’s loving soccer — especially his Saturday morning games. I’m so proud of his determination, focus, and team spirit!

Peek Into Week

We spent part of one afternoon weeding/cleaning out the front flower bed as a family. This has been on the to-do list ever since we moved here in May (I’m a little ashamed to admit that!).

We finally all decided to jump in and tackle what had seemed like a BIG project that we’d been putting off for months. Guess what? With all of us working together, it took less than 30 minutes!

This was a great reminder that sometimes a seemingly big project won’t be nearly as time-consuming as you think. So stop procrastinating and just do it!

Peek Into Week

I made my first ever sourdough bread starter that I got for just a few dollars as part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale. Move over, Ma Ingalls!

I was excited that it actually worked like it was supposed to, but was very disappointed in the taste of the sourdough bread. I learned so much about how to make a starter and keep it alive, but I think I’m going to try a different starter recipe and see if we like it any better.

Peek Into Week

I was SO thrilled to discover that Dollar Tree here in TN has my family’s favorite sandwich bread for just $1 per loaf here in TN just like they did in Kansas! Our freezer is now well-stocked for the next few weeks! It’s often the little things that can make a new city feel like home.

Peek Into Week

Huge highlight of the past few weeks: My good friend Ginger who blogs at Just One of the Boys got to come visit!

We laughed, drank coffee, window-shopped in downtown Franklin, talked blogging and books, shared our hearts, and stayed up way too late… And it was such a blast! Our whole family was sad to see her leave!

Friendships like this — where you can just be completely yourself and someone can just come and make themselves feel right at home — are such a gift!

Peek Into Week

When we made our first sourdough bread from our sourdough starter, Silas made his own little loaf with chocolate chips (his idea). I have trained him well: pretty much everything is always better with chocolate! :)

Peek Into Week

Ever have moments when you’re just so proud of a friend you want to burst? That was me at the book launch party for Angie Smith and Breezy Brookshire’s new book, For Such a Time as This. I love these women so much and was honored to get to celebrate their hard work tonight.

Also? I can’t wait to read through this book with our kids! It’s beautifully done and the pages contain deep truths and messages that are written at the level that a young child can grasp. Watch the trailer for this book here.

Peek Into Week

Getting to spend time with this group of women one evening last week was an honor. Each of them have inspired me and blessed me through their writings and lives. And it was worth driving for an hour in very crazy Nashville traffic to make it there. :)

Peek Into Week

After a long, exhausting day as a parent at the end of last week, this little gal brightened it up so much by surprising me with this freshly made cup of coffee with whipped cream and a special straw… Just because she wanted to bless me.

For me, it was much more than a cup of coffee: it was a reminder that God sees me in my feeble attempts to parent these children He’s given us, that He loves me, and that He’s at work behind-the-scenes even when I don’t see it on the surface.

Peek Into Week

I’m not a crafter at all, but these dear gals let me join them for a fun afternoon making Christmas crafts. It was a blast and it was great to step out and learn some new skills… Like the basics of using a glue gun (I told you I wasn’t a crafter!!)

Lots of Personal Processing Going On

The past month I’ve been hit hard with processing our move. That’s been good and needed, but also hard. I think that there was so much going on for the first few months and I was so focused on helping my family settle, that I didn’t have time to process things myself.

So it finally hit — a few months after the fact! I’ve cried multiple times per week (which is very out of character for me!), I’ve struggled through doubts and “what ifs”, and there have been some rough patches for me these past few weeks as I’ve continued to figure out how to navigate the new waters of this completely new lifestyle we’ve embraced as a family, new friends, new community, new situations, and so much unfamiliar territory.

I’m grateful for the people God has placed into my life who have let me be completely honest as I’ve processed. Who have listened, prayed, cared, and loved on me. Every day, I’m learning more and more what it means to be a friend and how important it is to take the time to cultivate these relationships in our lives.

So that’s a little recap on our lives from the past few weeks. Life has been full and I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of personal processing, but I also have this deep inner sense of peace and joy and gratitude. There are so many blessings in the midst of the everyday and I want to take time to notice them and be grateful for them!

How has life been at your house? Anything new, exciting, or difficult going on?

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10 Goals For This Week + My Reading Update

10 Goals For This Week

Can I be really honest with you? I kinda bombed last week.

I haven’t been getting enough sleep recently… mostly due to the fact that I’ve been trying to work on my book-writing in the wee hours of the morning. And well, that caught up with me after 2 and a half weeks.

You’d think that I would have learned my lesson by now that trying to push through when you are already running on empty is a recipe for burnout! :)

I limped through the first part of the week, but by Thursday, I was pretty much toast. So I re-arranged a bunch of deadlines and took Friday and Saturday almost entirely off. It felt so good and it was exactly what I needed.

After three nights of good sleep, I feel SO much better and much more inspired and invigorated about life. Which I’m grateful for!

Needless to say, I didn’t get much done in the way of reading or goals this past week. But I’m giving myself grace and trying again this week.

I’m committed to going to bed at a decent hour and making sleep a much higher priority this week. I’m wondering if I’ll end up being more productive as a result? If anything, I know that I’ll feel a lot better and be a lot more cheerful. :)

Last Week’s Goals:

Marriage/Mothering/Homemaking Goals

1. Read Teddy’s Button aloud to the kids at lunch time.

2. Have a movie night with Jesse.

3. Write a love note to Jesse.

4. Spend 30 minutes decluttering our house.

5. Finish a craft/sewing project with Kaitlynn.

Personal Goals

6. Work on reviewing and memorizing Romans 1 and Romans 2:1-2.

7. Finish reading I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t), A Proper Pursuit, Manage Your Day-to-Day, Love, Skip, Jump, Eight Twenty Eight, and All In.

8. Run or exercise at least 5 times.

Business Goals

9. Work on chapters 4-6 of my book manuscript. (I worked on chapters 4 & 5 and they are getting closer to being finished — yay!)

10. Write one more post for the Time Management series.

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Mothering/Homemaking Goals

1. Read Teddy’s Button aloud to the kids at lunch time.

2. Have a movie night with Jesse.

3. Write a love note to Jesse.

4. Spend 30 minutes decluttering our house.

5. Finish a craft/sewing project with Kaitlynn.

Personal Goals

6. Work on reviewing and memorizing Romans 1 and Romans 2:1-2.

7. Finish reading I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t), A Proper Pursuit, Manage Your Day-to-Day, Love, Skip, Jump, Eight Twenty Eight, and All In.

8. Run or exercise at least 5 times.

Business Goals

9. Work on chapters 4-7 of my book manuscript.

10. Write one more post for the Time Management series.

How did you do on last week’s goals? What are your goals for this week? I’d love to have you share your progress on last week’s goals and your goals for this coming week in the comments. Of, if you’ve blogged about it, leave your direct link below. Let’s cheer each other on to live purposeful and productive lives! You can download a free customizable weekly goal-planning sheet here.

 

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Have a business? I’d love to hear your input on marketing!

I’m working on the section of my upcoming book on marketing right now and I’d love your input! If you’ve started a business, can you share your best marketing tips?

I’d especially love specific stories or details related to have you marketed by:

  • Offering try-it-for-free opportunities
  • Offering a free consultation
  • Word of mouth
  • Cross-promoting other businesses
  • Social media
  • Any other creative (and mostly free) ideas you have tried and been successful with are more than welcome!

You can leave your answers as a comment on this post or email them to crystal @ moneysavingmom.com. Thank you so very much for your help!

As always, any comments left on this post or emails you send it will be considered for publication in my upcoming book. If you would prefer to remain anonymous or not to have your comment or email published, please let us know when submitting it.

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7 Simple Ways to Save Everyday

7 ways to save

Guest post from Sarah of Saving Money Never Goes Out of Style

When it comes to savings, we often spend a lot of time focusing on coupons, special sales, and the hottest deals of the week. However, some of us frugal moms know it goes much further than that! Saving money for your family isn’t just about hunting down the next deal, but about making small lifelong changes in your home.

Here are 7 simple ways to save money every day that are easy to implement into your daily life. While not all will work for every family, you’ll easily find some tips that are simple changes you won’t even notice or feel like you’re sacrificing.

1. Ditch Paper Towels

If you have kids in the house you know that paper towels can be a monthly investment. Between meals, cleaning spills, and wiping sticky hands you are throwing away a ton of money each year.

Instead of buying paper, invest in some nice cloth napkins for your kids to use at meal time. Grab some old hand towels and wash cloths and designate those for cleaning up spills.

Tip: Colorful bandanas make great color coded dinner time napkins for large families! Each person has their own color to use.

2. Turn Off & Unplug Electronics

This is a great way to save money. While the savings are small, they do add up over time. Turn off all electronics when not in use and make a habit of hitting light switches as you leave a room as well.

Go even further by unplugging in between uses, too. That toaster sitting out on your counter that is rarely used? Simply unplug it and save yourself some money.

3. Plan a Menu

Taking the time to make a menu plan will cut back on last-minute take out and wasted food. And don’t forget to utilize your slow cooker during the school year or a busy season!

By having a plan in place, you will use more of what you have on hand and cut back on extra spending. No more running to the store for that one ingredient you forgot!

4. Learn To Sew

This is a great tip for those with girls, especially. Old pillowcases, t-shirts, ladies’ dresses, or men’s shirts can all be easily revamped and tailored into dresses for little girls. Shopping the thrift shop for gently used clothes in different patterns and styles can also lead to fun new revamped ensembles with a bit of sewing.

If you’re not a seamstress, even something as simple as replacing a button instead of throwing an item out is helpful. Or, if you have a son like mine, when he blows out the knees in his jeans, you can easily make them into shorts for the next season!

5. Brown Bag It

Taking your own lunch consisting of healthy portions of leftovers or specific lunch items can really save you a lot of money over time. If you also learn to make your own snacks and gourmet coffee, you’ll significantly increase your savings.

Don’t have time to make your own snacks all the time? Buying a box of granola bars in store is far cheaper than buying a single bar from the gas station or vending machine.

Do your kids like Lunchables? Make your own! All it takes is Ritz crackers, some deli meat, and cheese singles, and you’re good to go.

6. Cook From Scratch

It may seem like it will take so much more time, but simple things like making soups and beans in a slow cooker can cost a fraction of what canned varieties do.

Grab dry beans for $1-$2 a pound and cook them in your crock pot all day. When cooked, a $1 bag of dried beans will often be the equivalent to 4-5 cans you would have purchased at $1each. Over a year’s time, that can add up to quite a bit of savings in your grocery budget.

7. Pay With Cash

Make a point of paying for things with cash. There is a lot to be said about the concept of not buying anything else for the month once you run out of cash on hand. It helps you stay within your means, and not rely on credit cards. It also gives you a chance to save that change in a piggy bank for rainy days, treats, or vacations.

No matter what your household budget is, you can easily put into place a few of these 7 simple ways to save money every day and increase the money in your pocket. These things can free up money to pay off debt, or simply help you stop living paycheck to paycheck.

What simple things do you do to save money every day?

Sarah is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children. From homeless to well-off, this single debt-free mom is most known for her ability to live well on $18k/year. Sarah loves encouraging others that dreams do come true if they are willing to consistently work for it. Follow her blog: Saving Money Never Goes Out of Style.

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