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5 Things I’m Loving This Week {new feature!}

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know I’ve recently been sharing a picture almost every day with a “5 Things You Should Know About This Picture” caption.

So many, many of you have told me how much you love me sharing this real-life, behind-the-scenes, every day stuff, that it sparked an idea for a new Saturday series called “5 Things I’m Loving This Week”.

This series — which I plan to post on Saturday nights — will be random things I’ve been digging the past week. It could be a link to an article I loved, a recipe I loved, a book I loved, something we’re doing as a family that I loved… or any other thing or idea or something that I’ve been loving that week.

I’m going to try this idea out for a few weeks to see how it goes! It may or may not be something that I continue long-term. We’ll just see!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1. Berries — I’m on a berry kick right now and have been eating a big bowl of berries every night before bed as a late-night snack. So yummy! I may also have a wee bit of whipped cream with the berries, too. Ahem. 

2. Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum — Y’all. My kids have never been more excited about starting a new homeschool curriculum. Never. And we’re headed into our sixth official year of homeschooling.

We are completely and totally eating up Core D (Intro to American History)… we love the read alouds, the history, the geography, the Bible, and even the creative writing.

Kathrynne has already begged if we can please continue doing this curriculum every year until she graduates. We’ll see if the momentum continues, but I have to say that I am just soaking it up and enjoying it right along with them.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3. New Schedule — In addition to a new homeschool curriculum (we school year-round, so our 2015-2016 year started this past week), we also have a new daily schedule (or probably more of a “routine” since it’s not rigid.)

One of my big goals for this new school year was to find a way to work quite a bit fewer hours each week and to be completely offline for more hours in the middle of the day. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to work, but I’m finding — so far — that being much more compartmentalized and turning off all electronics for chunks of the day actually means that I’m a lot more productive and relaxed in all spheres of life.

I’m really hoping this continues because this past week was one of the best weeks I’ve had in a very, very long time!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

4. Podcasts — I dabbled in podcasts for the past year or so, but didn’t really fall head-over-heels in love with them until this past month. I’m not sure why, but I now see why people love them so much.

I’ve found a handful of shows that I really love and a few times during the day when I’m finding it so fun to turn on a podcast and listen while driving, while folding laundry, while working in the kitchen, and while straightening the house.

It’s also inspiring me to start seriously considering the idea of producing my own podcast sometime down the road. We’ll see! 5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5. Tough Mudder photos — So I know I’ve talked about this quite a bit, but the official race pictures were released this week and it was SO fun to look through them and relive the highs and lows of the race. Plus, get to see our reactions as we did different things — like come up out of a huge tub of icy water we had just plunged into or trying to climb up out of a mud pit.

The picture above was taken right after we’d gone through the Electroshock Therapy and were almost to the finish line. You can tell we are exhausted but oh-so-happy!

What about you? What 5 things are YOU loving this week?

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  • Anne says:

    I’d like to hear which podcasts you’re listening to. I finished Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin a couple weeks ago and got the idea to pair her Happier podcasts with housework. Since I can only listen to podcasts while cleaning, it’s very motivating, but I’ve run out of podcasts to listen to.

    • Some of my faves are Inspired to Action, Sorta Awesome, This is Your Life, Ted Talks, The Art & Business of Public Speaking, and Andy Stanley. I’m still trying out a bunch, so if you all have suggestions, I’m all ears.

      I just downloaded Gretchen’s and am excited to try it out. You might also check the comments here for some other ideas:

      • Lavinia says:

        Hi, Crystal!
        My first comment here, on your site, even though I discovered you a few years ago, on Pinterest, if my memory serves me well. I also heard you on Pat Flynns podcast a few months ago, so I would definitely recommend his podcast, too! Congrats, it was a great interview, and I gave me another example of a success story among us, women!
        I am also loving the 100 Dollar MBA podcast. I love it for really short car rides, as it is only 10-15 minutes. Omar, the host, offers really helpful advice for those on the online world. Check it out!
        Blessings, Lavinia

  • Nichole says:

    What am loving/talking a lot about this week?
    *Excited to have gotten a crazy discount code on a Father’s Day Book that I got 75% off entering two different codes. One I bought off ebay (which I heard about from one of your readers) and one I entered from Shuttefly website. Totally was skeptical about the ebay code. Started out $70.00. Ended up paying $15.00! I wish I would have gone through Shutterfly with my daughter baby book. Not expecting to get that good of discount when I finish the book over at
    *I’m excited/loving putting together my husband 40 birthday. Will be sending out a letter soon asking people to share memories, word of encouragement, or wisdom.
    *I’m loving a new podcast I started listening to where I heard a conversation about parenting and the different perspective it offered my husband and I on how to love our daughter the way our heavenly Father loves us. Podcast called God centered mom.

    • Heather says:

      Oh Nichole!! Was reading through comments and saw your sweet words about the podcast!! So very thankful your family was made stronger through the wisdom of one of the guests. Hope you have a blessed day!

    • I love your birthday idea for your husband’s birthday!

      • Nichole says:

        It’s been on heart after losing friend and family member this year to celebrate my husband TODAY and not wait until the end of his life.

  • Daphne says:

    Love this post! I’m going to check out Sonlight and see if it may work for my family. We have pretty much finished up this school year (Kindergarten & 4th grade are so close to being done) and I’m looking for something different for next year. It can be so overwhelming with all the choices!!
    I’ve been sick all week and basically running on auto-pilot in all areas of my life but there have been things I’ve LOVED this week!
    1. The weather! I’m in NE NC and we hit the jackpot this week/weekend with the cool temps and beautiful blue skies! I think it’s going to get super hot next week so in the meantime, I’m enjoying it!
    2. My husband. Of course, I love him all the time but this week, I’m loving that he has gone above and beyond taking care of pretty much everything while I’ve been sick! Of course, we have had take-out a couple of times and the dishes piled up in the sink until the last minute but we survived, the house didn’t burn down and I was able to rest 😉
    3. The possibility of getting to move back to Florida. A lot of “things” need to happen before we can make that move but it’s exciting to think about being closer to family again.

  • Victoria says:

    Love all the race pictures!

    5 highlights of my week.

    1. Having my son finish his homeschooling part of the school year. He will finish at his private school this week. We went out to Rally’s together to celebrate (he picked it).
    2. Heading to a locally owned garden center with my daughter and letting her pick all the flowers for my flower beds. She picked out colors I never would have picked. We went to the locally owned ice cream parlor afterwards together.
    3. Watching my kiddo’s play in the backyard yesterday with their friends. Spending the money to make the backyard a great teenage hangout space was worth every penny spent. Seeing them jump in the trampoline ,play in the above ground pool, while laughing with their friends made me think it was worth every penny. Although I did just about have a heart attack when I saw them using the old swing set as a balance beam that is 6 feet in the air.
    4. Running with a friend in the early morning hours 3 times this week. Pure therapy!
    5. Watching my son’s soccer game sitting beside my hubby . A little bit of mamma pride here but my son made some awesome defensive moves. He has improved so much in his soccer skills this year.

    • It’s so fun to see our kids work hard, improve, and develop skills! And I love how you’ve invested in making your backyard such a fun place for kids to hang out!

  • Love this! I just got into podcasts, too, and have been listening to them while driving. My car has kind of become my own rolling university 🙂
    1. My brand new niece. I got the opportunity to spend the night with my beautiful new girl and there truly is something magical and nostalgic about waking to a newborn after yours are older. I am absolutely in love 🙂
    2. Freezer Meals. This past week was crazier than most, and having our meals set and ready to go proved to be a real lifesaver!
    3. Candles. I have been very intentional in having them lit whenever we are home these past few weeks- it is amazing how a nice scent can add to your atmosphere.
    4. Bikes. My daughter just took her training wheels off, and it has been so much fun riding around the neighborhood with her!
    5. Most important of all, my happy little family. The extended weekend has given us a ton of time to hang out and enjoy each other. It makes me so excited for summer when we will all be home together 🙂

  • Fun idea for a post! I am loving…
    1. Strawberries. They are in season where I live, so we went strawberry picking and got a bunch!
    2. A new book I’m starting, “All the Money in the World” by Laura Vanderkam
    3. Having a new evening routine that includes doing one homemaking project each night. Breaking down the big tasks into small pieces helps me accomplish more. For example, I organized our master bedroom closet one night and folded a big pile of laundry another night.
    4. Spending time with my husband. He’s going to Greece for 10 days soon, so we’ve been more intentional about our time together this week.
    5. Porch time. As a part of this time together, we’ve been hanging out on the porch each night watching the sunset (at least on the nights it doesn’t rain). Talking over a glass of wine has been a nice way to end the day.

  • kariane says:

    I’m loving the idea you mentioned above of being unplugged during the middle of the day. I know this is going to bounce around in my head and likely change some things around here.

    This week I’m loving this Grain-Free, Fruit-Sweetened, Cinnamon Apple Cake, also with whipped cream. Yum!

  • Lana says:

    One, time to spend with hubby on an eleven day road trip.

    Two, our old van is paid for and running great on said road trip.

    Three, four days with our middle son and his wife who live 1000 miles from home.

    Four, Mother’s and Father ‘s Day gifts to is that were a fun experience yesterday by them making the plans and purchasing the tickets in advance.

    Five, our son in law graduated with his PhD after long years of work and a huge financial commitment of doing it debt free. Now they can breathe!

  • lynn m. says:

    Love this post and have been loving your instagram ones too!

    Here’s mine:

    1. summer is in full force in Florida, which means lots of beach and outside time for us
    2. We got the official paperwork for finishing registering my son for preschool
    3.I have amazing friends and family that have been here while my dad has been in the hospital. Thankfully he’s out now

  • Congrats on finishing the Tough Mudder! 🙂
    My 5 things are all wrapped up in enjoying the first weekend I’ve had at home to myself in aaaaaages. I never thought doing laundry could be so fun. 😉

  • What a fun addition, because I agree, it’s nice for a casual, every day look at your life – and the blessings!

    This week, I’m loving…
    1. Hearing my 14 month old “talk”. It’s just so cute!
    2. Pleasant weather for afternoon (or evening) walks.
    3. The newest book, Taken, by Dee Henderson.
    4. Counting down the final days of school for my teacher husband.
    5. Quiet nap times and evening hours after my son’s asleep to work, read and blog.

  • 1) I have been loving my new tie dyed sundresses; cotton, drip dry, sale-prices, and paired with sandals and beads, makes me un-apologetically happy.

    2) I have been working on upcycling items for my home flowers beds; I’ve made planters out of old, salvaged chairs (spray painted bright, cheery Caribbean-inspired colors, which hold pots of perennials, and they are awesome!

    3) I have been using fruit infuser water bottles, and have cut down nearly all of my carbonated drinks; I have been purchasing whatever fruit deals pair with app deals, and this week I have been enjoying Pineapple infused water, thanks to a Checkout51 deal!

    4) I have been going through my home this week, and each day filling a recycling bin with boxes, bins, magazine, and plastics I no longer need; I call it ecological de-cluttering.

    5) I have also been taking a few of my husbands vintage college tee shirts and have turned them into upcycled cat tents, for our 18 year old cat, Shadow.

    I’m loving this idea of a series, and thank you for helping me to focus on things that make me happy, too! Happy Memorial Day!

    • Isn’t it amazing how a simple thing like a fun tie-dyed dress or colorful shirt can make you feel so happy?!

      Also, I noticed how so many of your 5 Things included color… I love it!

  • Joyce says:

    Good job on the mud run! I’m not usually good about taking in audio content, but I love listening to Kat’s podcasts when I’m doing the dishes- so inspiring!!! 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    I am loving:
    Summer foods: fresh corn, watermelon, and ice cream
    Graduation season
    The For Sale sign in my yard
    Boss who lets me pick my summer schedule
    Word Searches

  • Angela says:

    This is a great feature. Please keep doing it.
    This past week I loved:
    1) Listening to podcast (Crystal, you should totally do one if you have the time. I’ve loved listening to you being interviewed).
    2) Going to my son’s Open House & seeing all he’s learned.
    3) Planning for a breakfast out w/a good friend to kick off summer.
    4) Wrapping up praying for my daughter’s high school (Moms in Prayer group) w/four other ladies who were strangers, but became friends throughout the year.
    5) Making cauliflower rice for the first time (pretty easy & taste better than plain cauliflower 🙂 ).

    • How wonderful for you to have developed close friendships with your Moms in Prayer group! I used to babysit for one of those groups when I was first married and I thought it was such a fantastic idea!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m enjoying reading what everyone is loving. Here’s mine:
    1. RAIN!! I live in California and we don’t get much of it.
    2. Making the decision to shut down my business after 10 years and go out to get a job with a steady paycheck and letting someone else worry about taxes and insurance.
    3. Having AMAZING friends who listened to me think out loud (and cry out loud) while I made the decision.
    4. Homemade pumpkin granola bars. YUM! We have to limit ourselves to two a day so we don’t plow through them and cancel out the savings from making vs. buying.
    5. The mental clarity I’m having after doing a Candida cleanse.

    • mrl says:


      I, too, am struggling with the idea of shutting down my business of 10 years and getting a job. Should I, shouldn’t I. I can’t imagine not running my business anymore, but I am also facing the reality that running my own business might not be the right thing for my family financially – though it has been awesome in allowing me flexibility to work from home, attend my kid’s school functions, stay home with sick kids. Ugh! Why isn’t the decision easier to make.

      • Jennifer says:

        mrl –

        Those are the exact things I struggled with. It took me years to come to this decision and it was not made lightly. If you want to chat or think outloud with someone, feel free to contact me. It would be nice for me too to have someone to talk to that “gets it”. You can find my contact information through my website (I don’t want to post my phone number due to spam bots)

  • Cindy Rezkalla says:

    If you’re liking podcasts, you should check out my brother’s: Radical Personal Finance. He started it recently and it’s been pretty popular. I keep telling him he needs to interview you! 🙂

  • Vanessa says:

    I love Kat’s podcast! I’ve tried a few but pretty much stick with hers. I would definitely try out yours, too, if you started one!

  • Adriana says:

    Which podcasts are you listening to? I listen to The Dave Ramsey Show, Paperclipping Roundtable (scrapbooking), YNAB (budget). Healthy Moving, and Sparkle Stories for my kids (great stories!).

  • LP says:

    Our new puppy named Lucky.
    The random thoughtful gift from an unknown person we received yesterday.
    I found a way to “pay it forward” this week by helping a stranger and her doggie and a dog rescue organization.
    Rediscovering my love of iced tea.

    • LP says:

      Oh, I am also loving that I finally figured out how to disable my cell phone’s unbelievably loud weather alerts that were going off at all hours of the night this week. No more waking up at three AM because it just might thunderstorm twenty miles away from me at some time in the next day or two!!!

  • Jamie says:

    These are fun!


    1. Last Week of School Success
    2. Hubs’ graduation party = fun
    3. Home office was (frugally) completed and now is one of our fav rooms in the house
    4. The ability to host others
    5. Putting the extender in our table. Every time we do that, I like to leave it for a bit. Makes it feel very spacious and luxurious.

  • Sounds like you had a good week – and great job on that race! You go girl!

    1. My husband graduating from Seminary. He has to finish up his current internship (which will happen in July) and then he’s doing a one year residency as a hospice chaplain. This time next year we’ll have our first call!
    2. Having my parents visiting from out of state. They’re in their 80s and I’m so blessed that they are healthy and able to travel.
    3. Our children’s junior high band concert – the bands were really good and the soloist was amazing!
    4. Getting the seedlings put in my garden – I love looking at my beautiful flowers and growing veggies. The weather has been cooperating perfectly too!
    5. Putting paid on another semester of college teaching – final grades submitted! Hurray! (never mind that summer session starts this week…)

    Have a great week everyone!

  • Awesome and inspiring post 🙂
    What I loved the most of last week:
    1. My son’s Saturday class graduation party (he is 4!).
    2. My son’s singing performance.
    3. It is finally warm outside and sunny 🙂
    4. I FINALLY found the time to experiment with some new recipes and these came out delicious!
    5. I have got some awesome letters from my customers that made me happy 🙂

    Let’s always stay positive and see the good around us 🙂

  • Maryalene says:

    Would love to hear more about your new routine and which podcasts are your favorites!

    • Some of my podcast faves are Inspired to Action, Sorta Awesome, This is Your Life, Ted Talks, The Art & Business of Public Speaking, and Andy Stanley. I’m still trying out a bunch, so I welcome any and all suggestions!

      Our new schedule a nutshell: wake up around 6-6:30 am, do my short morning routine/a little blogging before kids get up around 7:30- 8 am, then electronics are shut off while we do breakfast, showers, chores, laundry, our morning school, lunch and Latin. By about 1:30 pm, the house is picked up, laundry is run through, and the bulk of school is done. Jesse then takes over with kids/school and dinner prep while I hop online until 6:30 pm and get all my business/blogging work done. Then it’s dinner as a family, kitchen clean up, bedtime routine, and the kids are in bed by 7:30-8 pm and I finish any laundry that needs to still get done and then get to hang out with Jesse or read. I’m shooting to go to bed by 9:30-10:30 pm so I can get close to 8 hours of sleep every night.

      • Maryalene says:


        I’m still trying to work out a household routine that covers all the bases every day and looking for inspiration wherever I can. Thanks so much for sharing yours, and I love that you guys are doing Latin!

        As for the podcasts, I just discovered them myself and am trying out a bunch to see which I like best. Will add these to my list. 🙂

  • Sounds like this will be a fun series! So excited!
    “The Busy Brunette”

  • debbie says:

    Since I’m clueless about podcasts, can someone enlighten me where you even go to find them?

    Crystal, since so many others are posting in the comments, it would be great it you could do a blog link-up on these weekly posts. I’d like to find some new blogs to read, and I might even join in myself. I need to get back to blogging on a regular basis, even though I’m just a ‘for fun’ blogger.

    • I have the podcast app on my phone (downloaded it for free from iTunes) and I just search on there for podcasts I hear about or subjects I’m interested and then can subscribe to those I think I might like.

      I had thought about doing a link-up, but kind of wanted to see if there was interest/participation before committing to that. I am definitely going to seriously consider it based upon how this week went. Thanks for suggesting it!

  • Kim says:

    I love this idea!! I recently got into Podcasts myself and LOVE them! Why not put our smartphones to good use instead of playing little games?? haha Although, sometimes–those games are fun too. 😉 I listen to Inspired To Action as well. Also, Zen Parenting is a great one. I enjoy the couple on there, they are sweet.
    Berries and whipped cream. Yes, please!! Berries are my favorite treat year round. Never been an apples, oranges, bananas fan. lol

    My 5 Things this week:
    1) It is getting closer and closer to June. Which means, school is almost out, which also means, I have the whole summer off with my son! Where I work is very flexible and I feel so blessed to be able to spend these special times with my son.
    2) Coffee on the deck in the morning. The weather is getting warmer. Ahhh.
    3) Our extra freezer in the garage. So easy to just pull out a meat, add a veggie and potato–wella! Dinner!
    4) Rock Paper Tiger…current book I am into at the moment reading with my book club. Good read so far. Not something that I would pick on my own either.
    5) My bed. Since purchasing our house a few months back, it has been my great retreat. The breeze blows through our window upstairs, it is quiet and comfy.

  • Kimberly C says:

    I rarely ever comment here but love, love, LOVE these type of posts so please keep ’em coming!!! 🙂

    My list:

    1. Lovely day spent at local park, taking in nature and basking in the warm weather
    2. Spending lots of quality time with family & enjoying great cook-out
    3. Beach trip!!
    4. Lost 6 lbs in one week due to reducing carb intake and gaining energy in the process
    5. Loving a new easy, peasy recipe for strawberries romanoff….sliced strawberries, sour cream, brown sugar (or sweetener of choice), sprinkle few chopped pecans atop

  • Yum. I’m eating strawberries every night these days, too. Yea for Sonlight and good books and getting unplugged and taking on a challenge and conquering it! Always inspired by you. I’m glad to have the podcast suggestions to branch out from Ted Talks while I clean. If I want to listen in the car I will have to fight my kids away from their Narnia CDs 🙂

  • Deana says:

    Oh my word…..we went berry picking today and came home with a small container of blackberries… yummy! I’ve never had them with whip cream before and I have to say that they are awesome!!!!

    Thank you for the great idea!

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