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Category: LITE Feed (non-deal) Posts

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How to Love Someone You Disagree With

Recently, on Instagram, I got asked the following question, “How do you handle friendships and disrespect in this political turmoil and pandemic.” I shared the slide above to answer it, but I had so many more thoughts swirling in my head as I wrote the answer that I realized it would be the perfect topic to tackle more in-depth in a podcast episode.

So this week on the podcast, Jesse and I share what we have learned and are learning about how to love someone you disagree with and how not to ruin relationships because of differing opinions.

In addition, we talk about new recipes Jesse is trying using duck, granola and Greek yogurt, wearing real PJs, my habit tracker, a book I loved recently, a funny story about mispronouncing words, and what Jesse has been reading.

In This Episode: 

[01:47] Duck poppers are saving Jesse’s life this week. They were so good!

[05:38] Granola and greek yogurt are saving my life these days.

[07:08] Why I’ve been trying to wear real pajamas to bed.

[09:18] I posted about my habit tracker and came to find out… Jesse was right.

[11:35] I have been reading/listening to We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.

[15:53] A quick story about how I used to pronounce Yosemite.

[16:58] Jesse has been reading SOG by John Plaster.

[17:53] The question that inspired this episode.

[19:27] There is so much fear circulating in the world causing us to feel reactionary.

[21:06] Then to add on top of the fear is the nature of conversations on social media.

[23:28] We often lose so much context and empathy by not having face-to-face conversations.

[26:22] Why you need to listen with a heart to understand the other person.

[28:07] Don’t make sweeping generalizations.

[30:00] Always remember to care about the person more than you care about their opinion.

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

A Peek Into Last Week (+ my goals!)

Welcome to my weekly update post where I share my weekly goals each week. These goals are based (somewhat) on my yearly goals for 2021, with some extras thrown in depending upon the week and what other short-term goals I have.

But first, a little peek into last week…

She is obsessed with going up the stairs right now… and is getting better and better at going down the stairs!

We got to babysit for him two days last week. He is just growing and learning so much! We are so proud of him and how far he has come. He’s thriving with his mom and we are just so grateful for the gift of continuing to be involved in his life.

Did you check out my $68 Grocery Shopping Trip from last week? I shared lots of in-store pictures this week!

Also, don’t miss my post on the 12 Books I Plan to Read to Kierstyn.

From My Heart…

I walked out to the kitchen to see him feeding her oatmeal for breakfast and reading the Bible to her.

This a picture of who this man is. Day in and day out. He selflessly gives to serve our family.

From the time I was a baby, my parents prayed for my spouse. I don’t know all of the specific prayers they prayed, but I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that God has answered those prayers abundantly in this man.

Jesse: You are one of God’s greatest gifts to me! Your self-sacrificial love is a continual reminder to me of how much I am loved by God.

Thank you for loving me on the good days and on the bad days. Thank you for choosing to stay when it would have been much more convenient to leave. Thank you for committing to love me — even on the days when I’m not very likable at all.

Thank you for listening to me, praying for and with me, pointing me to Jesus, and making me laugh. The past 18 years have been a way wilder ride than either of could have imagined when we stood at the altar and said “I do” but there’s no one else I’d rather be on this adventure with than you!

I love you — and happy anniversary!

And now, onto my goals update…

Last Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Log 8,000 steps/day = 56,000 steps for the week.

2. Finish 2 books: We Were the Lucky Ones + Something Needs to Change.

3. Fill out my habit tracker every day.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 10 pages of A Boy’s War as a family. Finish reading Charlotte’s Web to Kierstyn.

5. Whole House Clean Out spaces to go through/organize/declutter: Laundry room, bedside table, kitchen cupboards.

Work/Blog Goals

6. Finish all the content and emails for the 10 Days to Be a Happier Mom Challenge.

7. Write a post on the books I plan to read to Kierstyn in 2021.

8. Write a post on how I use my Habit Tracker.

9. Put together details for my book launch team.

10. Film the trailer for my book promo.

Fun Goals

11. Get a manicure with a friend.

12. Do a craft project.

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Log 8,000 steps/day = 56,000 steps for the week.

2. Finish 3 books: The Water Keeper, The Things We Cannot Say, and Made Like Martha.

3. Fill out my habit tracker every day.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 10 pages of A Boy’s War as a family. Read 5 chapters of The Trumpet of the Swan to Kierstyn.

5. Whole House Clean Out spaces to go through/organize/declutter: Pantry, under kitchen sink area, drawers in kitchen.

Work/Blog Goals

6. Run the live coaching event for the 10 Days to Be a Happier Mom group.

7. Write a post on the books I’ve read so far in January.

8. Record 8 hours of the audiobook narration for my new book.

Fun Goals

9. Have a family game night.

10. Do a craft project.

What’s on your list of goals for this week? I’d love to hear — and help keep you accountable!

12 Books I Plan to Read to Kierstyn in 2021

Why I Prioritize Reading Aloud

From the time our three older kids were little babies, I prioritized reading aloud to them. And not just reading picture books — although we enjoy lots of those! — but also reading chapter books.

I know that some people find it strange that I would read chapter books to babies and toddlers. Yes, they can’t understand a lot of what is being read when they are little, but developing a long for reading and learning can begin at a very young age. Plus, as they get older, they will begin to understand and comprehend much more quickly than we often give them credit for.

One of the biggest reasons why I love reading aloud to kids — even when they are little — is because it encourages them to develop a love for books and literature and it helps me establish the habit of reading aloud from a very young age. When they are tiny, I’m the one who enjoys the books more than they do. But as they grow, they quickly begin falling in love with read aloud time, too (or at least that’s what happened with our older three!)

Our older three will tell you that they learned so much from the books we read when they were little and the audiobooks and audio dramas they listened to. And I have so many special memories of the hours and hours we spent reading together.

(The three older kids when they were much younger. Oh the sweet memories I have of all the reading we did together!)

How to Get Started Reading Aloud

If you are looking for some advice and ideas for reading aloud to preschoolers and grade schoolers, be sure to read my post on How to Get Your Kids Excited About Reading Aloud + this post on 10 Tips to Read Aloud to Kids.

By the way, I have listed some of our favorite read alouds when my kids were younger here. I also have a few more suggestions and chapter book ideas here.

For a long list of book ideas, check out my post on 37 Books I Planned to Read Aloud to My Kids in 2013 (this was when they were 8, 6, and 4 and we were homeschooling). Spoiler alert! We didn’t get through that entire list, but we read a lot of them.

When I Read Aloud to Kierstyn

Right now, Kierstyn and I read together in the mornings. It’s either usually while I’m nursing her or right after I nurse her. We read a chapter from the Bible, we read through her ABC verse book, and we read a chapter from our current read aloud. We also often we a picture book or two. By reading a chapter of a book aloud almost every day, we can pretty easily get through more than one book a month!

12 Books I Plan to Read to Kierstyn in 2021

I picked out the books I want to for sure read to Kierstyn based upon what books we already had on our shelf. I tried to go for a variety of books — some I loved reading to the older kids, some that are classics I’ve wanted to read aloud, and some that are newer.

I love the E.B. White classic book shown above because it has three E.B. White books in one. We’ve already read Stuart Little (the first book in it) and now we’re working our way through the rest of it. So these are the first two books on my list for 2021:

1. Charlotte’s Web

2. The Trumpet of the Swan

And here’s the rest of our stack:

3. The War That Saved My Life

4. The BFG

5. The Imagination Station: Voyage with the Vikings

6. The Imagination Station: Attack on the Arena

7. The Imagination Station: Pearl in the Palace

8. The King’s Highway

9. Fantastic Mr. Fox

10. The Story of Eli Whitney

11. Robinson Crusoe

12. Amy Carmichael

What are your favorite children’s chapter books?

Last Week’s $68 Shopping Trip

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family (two adults, two teenagers, one preteen, and one baby). This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunch for Jesse and me (the kids have lunches at school most days), snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

This week, I decided to do a Shop With Me feature on my Instagram Stories. Which means, I took my Instagram followers along with me from start to finish of a shopping trip at Kroger — including the planning, how I look for markdowns and re-arrange my list while at the store based upon what I find, where I find markdowns, and what I ended up buying for $70 this week.

If you are interested in watching this, I saved it as a highlight on my Instagram stories. You can view it here or go to my Instagram profile and look for the bubble at the top that says “Shop With Me”.

The bakery clearance cart was pretty empty, but I still found some garlic bread and rolls marked down to about $1 each.

Our store has started to have this section in the health food/natural area with markdowns on frozen healthy/allergen-free foods. Does your store have this?

The Mom’s Best Cereal deal is still going — and the iBotta rebate is still available, too! If you’ve not done this deal yet, you can get 5 boxes of cereal for $0.97 to $1.49 each and then submit for 5 $1 rebates from iBotta. This makes the 5 boxes of cereal either free or just $0.49!

I found a lot of closeouts at the store this week! If you have time when you’re shopping at Kroger, go through the aisles and look for these white tags. I was especially excited about the $0.97 granola! I got 3 bags at this price and it’s SO yummy!

I’ve been eating the granola over the honey Greek yogurt I found marked down to $1.99. Delicious!

Does your store have a section for dairy markdowns? You never know what you’ll find in ours!

There were lots of Thanksgiving/Christmas markdowns in the clearance section this week.

I got yeast, StoveTop stuffing, Snickers bars, and lots of canned goods!

And pasta is on stockup price at Kroger again!

My Kroger Shopping Trip

  • 9 boxes pasta — $0.49 each when you use the Kroger digital coupon
  • 2 boxes StoveTop stuffing — marked down to $0.49 each
  • 2 packets of yeast — marked down to $0.49 each
  • 2 boxes Jell-O pudding — marked down to $0.25 each
  • 2 Snickers bars — marked down to $0.29 each
  • 2 cans Campbell’s soup — marked down to $0.25 each
  • 4 cans beans — marked down to $0.29 each
  • Baking powder — $0.99
  • 3 bags granola — on closeout to $0.97 each
  • 1 bag rolls — marked down to $1.09
  • 1 loaf garlic bread — marked down to $1
  • 2 cups yogurt — marked down to $0.39 each
  • 2 bags Tyson chicken breasts — $5.99 each when you use the Kroger weekly digital coupon
  • Half & Half — $1.99
  • 5 boxes Mom’s Best Cereal — $0.97 to $1.49 each with Kroger digital coupon
  • Bananas — $1.63
  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce — $3.58
  • Red Leaf Lettuce — $1.79
  • Radishes — $0.99
  • Carrots — $1
  • Honey Greek Yogurt — marked down to $1.99
  • Whole Chicken — marked down to $3.36
  • Deli chicken — marked down to $4.99
  • Diced pork — marked down to $3.91
  • Milk — $2.99
  • Total with tax: $68.14

Want to learn some of my best tips and tricks for cutting your grocery bill? Sign up here for my FREE tip sheet on how to cut your grocery bill by $50 this week.

Brigette’s $87 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

My older sister, Brigette, shares her shopping trips and menu plans every week! You can go HERE to see all of her weekly menu plans and you can go HERE to read all about her family!


2 bags frozen Riced Cauliflower – $2.98

2 pkgs Mixed Caulifornia Vegetables – $1.58

1 bag Steamable Mixed Vegetables – $0.75

1 bag frozen Broccoli Florets – $0.85

2 pkgs fresh Bone-In Split Chicken Breasts ($0.99/lb) – $9.79

1 pkg Pepperoni – $1.99

1 pkg (5.45lbs) 73/27 Ground Beef, discounted – $7.94

1 8-oz pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.25

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99

2 16-oz bags Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $5.10

1 16-oz bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $2.55

2 64-oz cartons Orange Juice – $3.18

1/2 gallon Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.49

1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.45

1 gallon 1% Milk – $1.45

5 Greek Yogurts – $2.95

1 jar Salsa – $0.89

1 jar Strawberry Jam – $1.39

1 32-oz carton Egg Whites – $2.95

3 dozen Eggs – $2.40

1 large jar Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

2 Cauliflower – $3.98

1 bunch Bananas – $1.00

1 bag Red Grapes ($0.95/lb) – $1.73

1 carton Grape Tomatoes – $0.99

1 pkg Zucchini – $1.70

1 bag Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 3-ct pkg Colored Peppers – $2.69

1 7-lb bag Grapefruit – $4.19

1 bag Baby Carrots – $0.79

1 3-lb bag Sweet Potatoes – $1.99

1 box Kid’s Krunch – $1.95

1 box Frosty Flakes – $1.99

1 box Marshmallow & Star Cereal – $1.25 (This is what happens when my husband does the shopping and I write the non-specific word “cereal” on the list :))

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.59

Total: $83.73

Harris Teeter

4 pkgs Mueller Pasta – $3.18, used 2 $0.55/2 Smart Source 1/10/21 (doubled) – $0.98/4 after coupons

1 pkg Southern  Biscuit Mix – $1.29, used $0.75/1 Smart Source 11/15/2020 (doubled) – FREE after coupon

1 box Quaker Life Cereal – $2.00, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – $0.50 after coupon

1 pkg Sargento Breaks – $1.99, used $0.75/1 Smart Source 1/10/21 (doubled) – $0.49

5 Yoplait Yogurts – $1.85, used $0.50/5 printable (doubled) – $0.85/5 after coupon

1 Larabar – $1.00, receive $0.10 rebate from Ibotta (any snack bar), plus $2.29 rebate$1.39 MM after rebates

1 8-oz block Kraft Cheddar Cheese – $1.99, used $1.00/1 evic coupon – $0.99 after coupon

1 8-oz carton White Mushrooms – $1.00

1 Light + Fit with Collagen & Antioxidants Yogurt – $1.25, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – FREE after coupon

Total after Coupons and Rebates – $3.42

Grocery Total for the Week: $87.15

Weekly Menu Plan


Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:

Oatmeal, Cereal, Fruit, Yogurt, Smoothies, Boiled/Fried/Scrambled Eggs, Veggie Omelets


PB and J Sandwiches, Peppers, Cheese Sticks, Grapefruit x 2

Stovetop Mac and Cheese, Applesauce, Carrots x 2

Leftovers x 3


Crustless Ham Quiche, Mixed Vegetables, Biscuits

Oven Baked Chicken and Rice, Tossed Salad, Broccoli

Taco Salad, Spanish Rice

Grilled Chicken, Mashed Cauliflower, Cranberry Orange Muffins

Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Cauliflower Rice, Baked Sweet Potatoes

Meatloaf (I use half venison/half beef), Baked Potatoes, Sauteed Zucchini

Pepperoni Pizza, Mixed Vegetables