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5 Things I’m Loving This Week (Amazing grocery markdowns, Snapchat, + more!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1. Great Markdowns at the Grocery Store

I’ve been finding all sorts of great markdowns at Kroger recently! For instance, I ran in yesterday and found the eggs we usually buy for $1.49 per dozen!! There were about 20 dozen marked down, but they expire in a week and I don’t like to use eggs much longer than 2 weeks after their expiration date, so I only bought 7 dozen.

I also found blueberries for $0.99, pineapple for $0.99, kale for $1.49, and peppers — 4 for $0.99!! Yay for markdowns and Kroger sales!


2. Homemade Chai Lattes

I’ve been making myself homemade Chai Lattes recently as a treat. I don’t really have a recipe that I use, I just steep Chai, warm and froth almond milk, and then pour the frothed milk over the tea. I add in a little Coconut Sugar. So, so simple and yummy!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3. A Tea Party With My Kids

Last week, Kaitlynn came and asked, “Mom, will you have a tea party with us?”

Jesse was gone with Kathrynne at swimming. It was my afternoon work time. I felt the pressure of needing to get a few projects done so I could wrap things up and be done by dinner.

But was finishing up my projects really more important than a tea party with my kids? No, decidedly no.

So I put the computer away and for 15 minutes we sat on the floor, drank tea, talked about our day, and laughed as we tried to use British accents. (“Would you like a spot of tea??”) It was beautiful, fun, and soul-filling. And those 15 minutes were just the break I needed and I came back to my projects with fresh enthusiasm and ended up finishing early!

There will always be another to do, another project, another task. But the days of tea parties with my kids won’t last forever. People always trump productivity. Every. Single. Time.

5 Things I'm Loving THis Week

4. Snapchat (Yes, For Real!)

Okay, truthfully, I didn’t think I’d like SnapChat. I kept hearing smart business people talk about it and friends rave about it, but I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was.

I decided to sign up and give it a short-term shot to see if I felt like there was potential there for using it in a way to inspire or encourage others and/or connect with you all better. Well, and also, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. 🙂

At first, I didn’t think I’d like it at all. But I stuck with it for a few more days and started to like it more and more.

It’s SO easy to upload a snap and I love that it’s real-time. So often, I’ll be somewhere and wish I had time to take a picture or a video to share with others, but I only have 30 seconds and don’t have time to capture a great photo for my blog or Instagram (because I try to at least put forth effort to get decent lighting for those and sometimes that takes me a few tries to get the right shot!).

SnapChat is perfect for these kinds of posts. Plus, it’s a fun way to give readers/followers a behind-the-scenes look at our family life, daily adventures, and business.

If you aren’t following me on SnapChat yet, I’m crystal.paine on there. And I welcome suggestions on what kinds of snaps you’d like to see from me. Leave a comment and let me know!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5. Audiobooks

I mentioned this earlier in my books read post, but I have to mention it again here. Because I’m SO in love with audiobooks.

I don’t know why it took me so long to get on the audiobook bandwagon. I guess maybe I just was making it too hard or I was thinking that since I’m a visual learner, listening to books wouldn’t work well for me.

Inspired by my Facebook Live viewers, though, I looked into our library’s free audiobook programs and I’m thrilled that I did. Because not only does our library offer an amazing collection of audiobooks on their app, they are all FREE!

They don’t offer every single book in existence, but the collection on our library’s two apps (OneClickDigital and OverDrive) is quite extensive — enough to keep me supplied with good audiobooks for a long, long time!

I’ve found that the best audiobooks for me to listen to are ones where the audiobook reader is very engaging and where the book is not a book where I’d want to underline and catch every single word. I’m also finding that it’s a great way to get through long books that might feel overwhelming or intimidating to read (for instance, I put off reading Unbroken for forever, but I’m over halfway through listening to it — and I just started it about a week ago!).

I’ve been listening to audiobooks while cooking, cleaning, and while doing my evening routine before bed. I’ve found that I have at least an hour to two hours every day when my hands are busy but my mind is free that I can turn on an audiobook and enjoy it while doing activities I’d already be doing anyway.

I listened to Big Magic two weeks ago, just finished Unbroken yesterday (SOO good!), and then started All the Light We Cannot See. At this rate, I think I may be able to get through one entire audiobook every single week — which I’m super excited about since that means I’ll be able to get through a lot more books!

What are YOU loving this week? Tell us in the comments!

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  • Angel P. says:

    Unbroken had me weeping in my driveway as it ended! I was soooo happy that I was listening to “All the Light” because it got kinda technical and I just know I wouldn’t have continued to read it. But listening to it made all the difference! (Lots of weeping with this book too!) Enjoy!

    After these two book you should put “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” on your Wish List in Overdrive! So so good!! (WWII historical fiction as well!)

  • Mary says:

    We just finished listening to “Right Ho Jeeves” (free audiobook on and it was hilarious. The book wasn’t read – it was performed. Picture Downton Abby as a sitcom where the butler always gets the upper hand. There are some drunk jokes so it may not be suitable for everyone. There were so many laugh out loud moments. The book was written in 1934 by the way yet so many of the punch lines sounded fresh and current (at least to me).

  • Karen says:

    I am a new convert to audiobooks as well, overdrive and hoopla from the library being favorite sources ) love listening to them when I walk, takes all the excuses away from fitness walking 😉

  • Jamie says:

    A rotisserie chicken that stretched to 4 meals, air conditioning, text accountability on eating healthy, 24 gorgeous roses at Costco for cheap, and a spontaneous date night with hubs ?

  • I’m with you on the audio books and Kroger markdowns! Here are my five things:

    1) Getting to go to the She Speaks conference!!! SO unbelievably phenomenal, it exceeded my every expectation and I have a full brain, full notebook, and am emotionally filled up.

    3) Time alone. Drove to She Speaks alone, had my own hotel room, and found quiet places outside a few times to recharge. So very soul filling.

    2) Audio books! Snagged a copy of The Help for $2.99 at Good Will and listened to it on the drive to & from the conference 🙂

    3) Home sweet home with my family tonight!

    4) My baby turns 7 tomorrow. CRAZY!!

  • Theresa says:

    Vacation is in 2 weeks! Loving that!

    My 16 year old cat, Squiggy. Lately it seems someone has been giving him some pep pills or something. He’s got a new vigor about him. I love it! <3 It's like he's a kitten again.

    My good friend, Katrina. She's such an encouragement to me.

    My pastor. He has a heart for God and such love for people. I can't help but be blessed by him.

  • Victoria says:

    LOVE audio books I made a goal to listen to one business book a month this year and once I got started I completely stopped listening to podcasts–which cut my “I should do…. if I want to be a good blogger ” guilt significantly.

    My 5 things.

    1. Last week’s RV vacation in Holland Michigan.

    2. Chocolate chip cookie s’mores. My daughter made these at the camp ground one night and OH MY.

    3. A quiet week ahead.

    4. Sunsets over Lake Michigan–so spectacular.

    5. Little Library boxes. I found one on vacation and dropped off two titles and picked up one by an author I have not heard of before.

  • Katie says:

    You can freeze eggs! Crack them & use ice cube trays to keep them in. Just poke the yolk, add a pinch of salt or sugar, and volia!

  • Jessica says:

    1. I finished my first pair of knitted socks! I learned how to knit 9 months ago after trying and not getting it for almost 20 years. I’ve crocheted for 29 years but always wanted to learn how to knit so that I could knit myself socks! I used a free pattern on Ravelry (Vanilla Latte socks), a 9″ circular needle only (no DPNs! no not so magical loops!) and some basic Patons Kroy sock yarn. Now that I am confident, I will dip into my stash of fancy indie dyed sock yarn! Knitting socks has been a LIFE GOAL of mine. Yes I know I can go to Target and buy socks. For cheap. For less than the yarn cost, not to mention the time it took! And I know that 200 years ago, little kids knit the family’s socks. And I know it’s 93 degrees in Ohio and who wants to wear wool socks right now?! But I will be so pleased to put these on come winter 🙂

    2. My son was so enthralled that he put in a request for socks. Blue/green ones. The experts in my knitting group advised tube socks for kids so that they will fit them longer since there’s no defined heel. Super easy!

    3. I wrote to the writer of the Vanilla Latte socks pattern to thank her for such a well-written pattern. She wrote back and said I made her day!

    4. I went through my yarn stash and removed what I know I won’t use (a bunch of cheap acrylic that doesn’t knit up very well), and I donated it to the no-kill cat shelter’s resale shop. 100% of proceeds go for cat care. Now I can more easily find what I need, which will be helpful!

    5. An incredible deal on great sock yarn. Sock yarn should have about 20% nylon in it for elasticity and durability. I found a deal online for a 10 pack for just $6.20! One ball of that yarn runs $13.99 at my local yarn shop. I thought it was too good to be true, but the order was delivered! So I see many more pairs of socks in my future!

  • Aimee says:

    Crystal! You may have just convinced me to try Snapchat. I’ve been resisting for a while but… You may have just talked me into it!

  • Sarah says:

    I looove audiobooks, too. I am taking college classes and after reading textbooks all the time, my brain just doesn’t want to take in any more information.

    As a lifelong reader, this truly saddened me. But then I discovered audiobooks and they have been such a blessing. I’ve been able to listen to so many books while driving to work, at appointments, and even at the dentist’s office, it really helped calm my nerves!

    I haven’t tried Hoopla but might give it a try. Although, OverDrive has enough books and I also have a subscription to Audible for the newest releases.

  • Amanda says:

    You can float eggs in water to see how fresh they are. Ones that sink and lie on their sides are very fresh, ones that stand up are still good, and ones that bob to the surface should be tossed. Generally, eggs remain fresh well past their best-by dates, though you’ll occasionally find one that should be fresh and isn’t, or which has a tiny crack in it. For whatever reason, my son LOVES testing eggs, so he does that job in our house.

  • Alisha says:

    Crystal, your tea sounds amazing! Do you have some favorite brands? I live overseas as missionaries, and where we are, I haven’t been able to find any “spicy” type teas…people love straight black, but I miss my favorite flavors, like Oregon Chai. I am thinking of ordering some tea and getting them shipped in…anyone else have some favorite brands??

  • Dianne Smith says:

    I love your blog and follow it. Just a small suggestion – it is just chai latte or tea latte, and not chai tea latte. Coffee shops have commercialized it and call it chai tea latte. Chai, as you probably know already, is the Indian word for tea. So calling it chai tea is like calling coffee as Coffee coffee or another beverage as hot chocolate hot chocolate. Bloggers in the past have mentioned they write chai tea to boost the number of viewers on their website. Since you have so many followers, it may help to disseminate the right information.

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