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One Fairly Big Blogging Change I’m Making in 2015

One blogging change I'm making in 2015

Over the past month or so, I’ve quietly been thinking, mulling, pondering, talking with my husband, and considering blogging changes for 2015.

This past year has been one of much growth for me as a person and as a blogger. I’ve truly loved going back more to my roots. And I want to do even more of that in 2015.

One of the changes I’m really excited about for 2015 and have been slowly rolling out over the past few weeks, is that I’m planning to have themes for each day of the week starting the week after Christmas.

I thought through which posts were the most viewed and the most commented on from 2013 and 2014 plus considered which posts I most enjoyed writing. Based upon this information, I put together a list of themes I wanted to cover on a weekly basis and this is what I came up with:

Daily Blogging Themes for 2015

  • What I Cleaned/Organized This Week — This post will be on Monday and will be in the vein of the Clean Your Home for Christmas posts that you all really enjoyed. I’ll post a cleaning project in the morning and a Day in the Life sort of post in the evening to share the results of my cleaning plan. I thought this would be a great way to start off the week. And it would also help keep me accountable to keeping our home organized.
  • What I Cooked/Baked This Week — This will either be a post on a freezer cooking session, a new recipe, or a kitchen flop — something I’m really good at. 🙂
  • What I Read This Week — This will be a post recapping what I read/watched/listened to/read to the kids over the past week + mini reviews on each item. Plus, I’ll also share what I’m planning to read in the upcoming week.
  • How We Saved This Week — This post will share some simple ways we saved that week. From little to big ways, it will give you encouragement for living a frugal, simple, contented life.
  • What I Tried This Week — This post will either be a DIY idea I tried, something I sewed, or a new idea I tried implementing and whether it was successful or not.
  • What We Did This Week — This will be a peek into our week type of post. I’ve kind of fallen off the bandwagon in sharing these and I’ve missed it (and many of you have mentioned missing these, too).

And That’s Not All

That said, don’t worry: I still plan to share my goals for the week, regular Q&A posts, regular content pieces on a wide variety of subjects as I’m inspired to write them, regular guest posts, and, of course, plenty of deals and freebies and coupons and giveaways.

In addition, you can still count on finding a regular smattering of other eclectic posts on wide variety of topics — as you’ve likely come to expect (or be surprised by!) here.

My goal in having daily posting themes is that having a sort of set posting schedule will help keep me on track and will also provide variety around here, as well as a bit more predictability.

I know that I sometimes get side-tracked with topics I’m inspired to write on and I know some of you enjoy this, but others of you would love a little more consistency here. So I’m aiming for the best of both worlds with this!

As always, I can’t promise that I will follow this outline 100% perfectly every single day of every single week in 2015, because you know how life goes, but I’m really excited about this concept and am hopeful that it’s going to work well and be something that I’ll be able to follow through with. I’m at least going to do my best to stick with it!

I know I say it often, but I feel I can’t ever say it enough: Thank you for being on this blogging journey with me. I am grateful for each and every one of you and what you mean to me. Without you, there would be no reason to blog.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate all of you more than words can express and am excited for what 2015 has in store!

Coming Up After Christmas

After Christmas, I’ll be sharing my personal goals and some of our family goals for 2015, some thoughts on why I struggled with my goals in 2014, and what I learned from a year that was packed with a lot of new and stretching opportunities. Look for those posts soon!

What would YOU love to see more of here in 2015? What are some of your favorite types of posts? I’d love to know as I plan out posts for the beginning of the year!

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  • Wonderful! I am always motivated to both clean and save money after reading your posts.

  • Great! I like tips for saving money, but I’m looking forward to what sounds like some more personal posts.

  • What a great idea. And as for posts I enjoy, I always love reading your posts about marriage. I am always very encouraged by them, so I would love to see more in 2015!

  • Debbie says:

    I love all your personal posts. I can see saving money tips everywhere but you have a unique gift and way with words- which is exactly why I come regularly to your blog (for many years now :)) thank you for all your hard work!!!!

  • Jody says:

    Looking forward to the changes in 2015! I’m always so excited when I see a personal post up from you. I really enjoy the Book posts you do, the peak into your week and the clean your home ones. I also always enjoy the random or more eclectic ones that show up from time to time :-). . I am hoping this year to grow to look forward to the cooking ones as I increase my own cooking skills which are a bit lacking now!

    I am also really really really looking forward to your organization and inspiration line coming out in 2015. I have a question about that I don’t know if you are able to say or not but will there be an address book? I have been wanting to purchase an address book but was waiting to see if you were going to have one in your products or not. I am really enjoying sending handwritten cards as of lately. Thank you so much Crystal!

    • We don’t have plans for an address book in 2015, but that could always change down the line. Maybe someone else here has a suggestion of one that they use and love?

      Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement, by the way!

      • Jody says:

        Thank you so much for getting back to me! I had my eye on one so I will go ahead and get that one. Looking forward to the other products in your line

  • Liz says:

    I can’t wait to read your upcoming posts! I use a “theme” schedule and it helps streamline my blog so much!

  • Denise says:

    Really looking forward to these themes! I love all of them! I especially enjoy the food and reading ones! I also love the glimpses into your life with your family and any marriage/family tips!

  • Jen says:

    Yay!!! I am so excited! The themes you mentioned include some of my favorite types of posts to read! I really, really loved the Christmas house cleaning ones. Is it weird that it actually made me excited to clean my house?! I was thinking, I would love if you did a “top 10” (or 15) books you read in 2014. I love your posts on what you’ve read…and it would be nice to see what your all time favorites from the year were! Also maybe any sort of “best of 2014” post like your favorite memories, recipes, routines/systems that really worked for you, etc.
    Thanks for all that you do and always striving to evolve and grow as a blogger! I have been catching up on reading your past posts and you are truly an inspiration to me!! 🙂

  • I find it amazing that you are always so down to earth in admitting that you are aiming to do better but not sure if you can. That’s awesome! You’ve always been a huge inspiration for women and mothers everywhere and I’m sure that whether or not you are able to do this ppl will be pleased. I will say that I would love seeing more post written by you. Yes, I love the deals, and I even place them on my own site but I think every blogger that loves blogging – blogs. LOL! You are an amazing woman Crystal Paine, just don’t put too much pressure on yourself because we naturally love you, no matter what!

  • Nicole says:

    Oh wow! I am so excited:) I LOVE the recipe ones. THose along with the cleaning ones are my favorite. We used the recipe for the protein packed omelet bites along with the pumpkin pancakes I made today (for lunch because of my husbands schedule.) And I’ve been sort of following along with the cleaning posts..just kind of randomly trying to clean each room when I find a good time to do it. I actually managed to clean my four year olds room with the “help” of my four year old three year old and one year old 🙂 I would love to see more homeschooling posts. I have been meaning to ask you what you use for kindergarden for Silas. We are kind of homeschooling my son and kind of not. Hes only four so we have a little time. I’ve been collecting suggestions from different people and trying out different things. Anyway great idea on the posts I am very very excited.

    • My favorite Kindergarten curriculum is My Father’s World. We did that with both of the girls and loved it. Silas does really, really well with math but has struggled with figuring out phonics and reading (he’s still 5, so I’m not stressing too much about it… I know he’ll get it in time!). So we’re doing Alpha Omega with him this year as it’s really step-by-step. So far, it’s been a good fit for him.

    • Busy Mama says:

      I’m a public school teacher (11 years) turned full-time mom (15 years) and have been home educating my kids for 9 years.

      In my opinion, Abeka offers the absolute best phonics/reading instruction. Hands down. It is incredibly systematic and thorough, teaching special sounds and incorporating the concepts into their spelling curriculum.

      Now, as for the rest of the Abeka curricula, I am not nearly as impressed. I am a picker and chooser and strongly recommend using the Abeka phonics/reading K-2, and looking at other options for the rest of your classes.

      • Nicole says:

        Because there is so much abeka has to offer I’m a little overwhelmed trying to figure out which abekaa phonics program you are suggesting. I did recently get another reccommendation for the abeka phonics but I cant find the exact book. Do you have a linbk? to amazon or on the abeka site. i would like to purchase it used if we decide to use it

  • I love these ideas for a new posting schedule! I’ve enjoyed your blog so much more this past year with the personal posts. I also like to hear update posts about how things are going with changes you incorporate (ie. how you shared about the new method you’re trying to “stop yelling at the kids”, Jesse’s grocery shopping and meal planning for the family, etc.)

    I also loved the posts last week, cause it gave a glimpse into your day to show your daily “routine”. Even though every day isn’t perfect (with kids, it’s unlikely to be so! ha!) but that you have a plan for the day. I don’t like “schedules”, but I love “routines”….and always look to optimize my days to be intentional about the things I do vs. just busy/”productive” days.
    I loved that you took time to do puzzles with the kids the other day! Since your home is pretty well maintained on a daily basis, It gave you that flexibility to do so 🙂
    I’d like you to dig even deeper sharing things you’ve learned, or reasons “why” for things you try. Like sharing ideas or tips you’ve learned from books you’ve read. My most favorite posts have been your “silly” posts (for lack of a better word) like being an airport ninja, biting your fingernails habit, etc….it’s fun seeing the various aspects about your family 🙂

  • Luba says:

    What a great idea, Crystal! I am looking forward to your “themed” posts. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to your family from ours. 🙂

  • Ellen Russell says:

    Excited for the changes coming up! I was just thinking yesterday that I missed your “How I Saved Today” posts. Thanks for all you do Crystal! I’m constantly encouraged when I stop by your blog.

  • katy says:

    I can’t wait! I’ve never been disappointed by any of your posts! I’m excited for anything you want to try. Thank you!!!

  • Heidi @ says:

    I love your book posts! I always come to your site to see what business-related books you are reading. I have found a number of great time-management books from you. Can’t wait to see what you’re reading next!

  • e e cooper says:

    I enjoy your blog, but some reason I am no longer receiving your daily email. I have checked my Junk folder and it is not there either.

  • Sarah Baehr says:

    I love the idea of themed days!! And as you mentioned the posts can be simple things you did because we all know how busy you are writing other pieces for the blog too. Looking forward to 2015!

  • Kristy says:

    I love your review posts (what works and what doesn’t) and personal recommendations. I’m thinking of posts like your experience with Stitch Fix, which I’d always wondered about anyway… and I also found Andy Traub’s book because of your recommendation and it was extremely helpful to me.

    Speaking of books, I actually visit your site almost daily to see what freebie e-books I can download to my Kindle. I’m an avid reader and enjoy “most” of these.

    I also love your goal setting posts. I’m not great at follow through and would love to know what strategies you use to keep you on track with your goals?

  • Karyn says:

    Sounds really great Crystal. I have missed YOU – living in South Africa I scroll through all the other posts and don’t read them but look for the ones you have written. Sounds like your plan will help have more of you on your blog 🙂 Blessed Christmas to your family! love, Karyn

  • How fun! I’ve been thinking about doing themed days for my blog in 2015 too. Not sure yet if I will or not. I love seeing the peeks into your days – it’s really helpful for me to see how yours day really goes as a work-at-home homeschooling mom.

  • WHOO HOO So excited about this announcement! These are exactly the type of posts of yours that I LOVE!
    Don’t get me wrong I love the deals that you post but these “personal” posts are the main reason I read your blog! They inspire me and motivate me to get more done in my own life.
    I think your announcement is one of the best Christmas Gifts I have gotten this year!

  • Leah says:

    Oh look, you just made a list of my favorite posts!!! 🙂

    I love that you make these knock-your-socks-off, superwoman goals and actually complete them!!

    From a long-time reader, so happy to see you being blessed for your diligent hard work!! 🙂

  • Aliesha says:

    This sounds great, Crystal! I love all of those types of posts, so I can’t wait to see more in 2015!

  • Jenny says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

    Yes to all of this! I can’t believe how many years I’ve been reading you and how far your family has come during this time. Looking forward to spending 2015 with you as well…

    Merry Christmas!

  • Joy says:

    I’ve read your blog for a long time! You helped us start on our moneysaving, live within our means journey! Looking forward to watching your plans unfold for 2015! As a homeschooling mom, I’d love to hear some thoughts on schooling upper elementary age children inexpensively!

  • Patty says:

    I’m looking forward to reading your upcoming posts for 2015, and love the themed days! I’ve gleaned so much from you in the short time I have been following you, and I thank God for your influence! Merry Christmas!

  • Dereth says:

    I love the “We Paid Cash!” posts.

  • Sarah says:

    I can’t wait! I always enjoy reading your blog, no matter what the topic, but I’m super excited to hear these ideas. Thank you for putting your successes (and failures) out there for us.

  • Ashley says:

    I like the peek into our week and simple ways we saved posts … the simple ways we saved posts always encourages me to be content with the things I have and enjoy the simple things like doing a puzzle with the kids. That being said I like and read almost every post whether its random or consistent. If a particular post didn’t interest me it doesn’t matter, because its your writing style and the way your always being authentic that keeps me coming back everyday.

  • Robin Y says:

    Yea! It’s like you read my mind. You picked all of my favorite topics! Looking forward to 2015 with MSM 🙂

  • Taylor Schnitzler says:

    I love this idea! Honestly, your blog is the only one I follow and I love this idea! Thanks so much for all your posts. Your blog has helped me to think about being more grateful, have goals, and be present for my children. Keep up the great work 🙂

  • Amy says:

    Congrats! As someone who thrives on structure, I can totally get how this will simply blogging for you. 🙂 I, too, find your personal posts inspiring, so I’m glad to see that they’ll be such a big part of the blog next year.

  • Jackie says:

    So exciting! Been following your blog for a while and can’t wait to see what else you have for us! 🙂

  • Wendi says:

    Hey, thanks so much for the enjoyable blog! I love reading it! I was encouraged by your deep clean challenge and finally made time to clean out my bathroom closet! Trust me, your messy drawers were nothing compared to or drawers and closet shelves. I bought 8 $1 basket at Dollar General so I could organize my shampoo, deodarant, etc. I have been challenged to declutter and get rid of more “stuff!” I know it would make my house so much easier to keep tidy. With a 1, 3 & 5 yr old, toys & stuff accumulate! Thanks for the inspiration! Looking forward to your new format in 2015! Sounds perfect!

  • Tia says:

    I already love your blog and I am excited for your additions in the upcoming year.

  • Sarah W says:

    Sounds great! I’m really looking forward to your book recommendations. I have actually been going through your archives lately and putting a few of the books that looked interesting to me on hold at my library. I’ve put others on my “Books I want to read list” on my library account. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Sarah P says:

    i love this idea. I am looking forward to 2015!

  • Amanda says:

    I’m especially excited about your cleaning/organizing posts – its always inspiring for me to see your goal, and then the follow up post on how it went!
    I enjoy seeing your book reviews as well 🙂

  • I love reading your blog and look forward to the new format. Since I don’t see all the posts in my fb newsfeed, I think the new schedule will be great for me knowing when to go looking for a particular kind of post. 🙂

  • Charity says:

    Very excited to see what you’ll be sharing this coming year! I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 years. I’m excited that you’ll be sharing more of what you’re cooking.

  • Tammy C says:

    Your new look will be fun to see.Hard to believe that I have been following you for almost 10 years.

    As always I look forward to reading your personal stories about the goals that you struggled with.Love your open honesty.

  • I love this idea and look forward to your posts! Thanks for giving us a window into your world to help inspire us!

  • Julie says:

    I have enjoyed the “how I saved” segment. even if it wasn’t each day—-a weekly overview would be great—enjoys the readers comment also !

  • Jessica says:

    Do you know how much you influence me? I know God made each of us unique, but my situation is so close to yours (homeschooling three children the same age as yours, although mine are all boys, making money from home, loving intentional simple living…) that I use your personal posts as inspiration. You have taught me not to use your life as a blueprint – my family is unique and I should not cave to “pinterest pressure”. But I do love knowing the books you’re reading, the meals you’re making, the ways you’re saving, and especially the goals you’re making. Thanks for all you do. You are a true blessing to my family!

  • Marte says:

    I have loved your blog for many, many years. I particularly enjoy your personal posts about family and daily life. You’ve been an encouragement to me as I homeschool and raise 4 kids. Looking forward to reading in 2015!

  • It’s always fun to hear your thought process, especially with a new year. As a busy home schooling mom, I always like to see how you squeeze in schooling with your busy schedule. 🙂

    • I think the best thing we’ve done this past year was for Jesse and I to divvy up the homeschooling responsibilities between us and then to take shifts.

      I currently am in charge of the morning homeschooling shift and he does the afternoon homeschooling shift. This way, we’re able to make it our main focus during that time block while the other person works. This has worked out really well for us and has allowed us the best of both worlds — a focused time block to just spend with the kids/homeschool and a focused time block to work.

  • Dee says:

    I would love your to list your top 10 favorite books you’ve read this year.

  • Kim says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to us readers and to you and your family! I love big, healthy and wonderful changes. 🙂 I always enjoy reading your blog and ESP the posts mentioned even more so than the deals posted on here. (although that is a big help and money saver as well) It is just so inspiring to read about a Christian faith based family. Love, love, love. <3

  • Emily Adams says:

    I love all the posts you will be adding in 2015! I love reading your blog you are so inspirational. 🙂

  • Hannah L says:

    I absolutely love reading your blog for so many reasons and these are the kind of posts I enjoy the most. Thanks for being so authentic and letting us into your life. It has been such an encouragement to me as a mom of young kids.

  • Tracy says:

    Crystal, I love all your posts! I really enjoy anything related to cooking or baking or saving, looking forward to reading more in 2015!

  • Rhonda says:

    I discovered your site through the Brilliant Mom’s Podcast and have enjoyed your posts! Any a way a family of 6 can save the better. We have recently downsized because of a move and it has really impacted the way I look at my needs and wants, your posts hit home! Merry Christmas

  • KMC says:

    I really enjoy reading the posts about people’s shopping trips, but I would really love to see some shopping trips that were more relevant to me and my life and budget. My husband doesn’t hunt and we don’t have any close family to bless us with things in our budget. I don’t have a lot of grocery stores that double coupons. Sometimes reading the shopping posts from the two women you use makes me depressed, that I will never be able to get my budget that low because I don’t have those things to help. I shop at Sam’s Club and Aldi and Trader Joe and I feel like I have a good handle on my budget, but would love to see some shopping trips and menus from women who are more in line where I am. I hope that makes sense. Thank you.

    • KMC, it’s always so hard to watch others make things “look easy,” isn’t it?! The shopping posts are so great…all we want to do is the exact.same.thing! LOL

      I feel your pain when it comes to grocery shopping. Most of our grocery stores don’t accept double coupons, and food costs are much higher, too. It’s a bummer, but I’ve found a way around it.

      Year after year, my family’s total spending on groceries is less than 1/2 of what most of our friends spend (in many cases, we spend about 1/3…and eat better!).

      We use one simple technique: if it’s not on (a good) sale, we don’t buy it. We shop at two grocery stores and Sam’s Club for some items.

      It’s surprising where the best deals are…it’s often the opposite of what you would expect. For instance, Sam’s club toilet paper is more expensive than sale-priced at the grocery store, but their quality Parmesan cheese is always cheaper…it’s surprising where the best deals are!

      You’re invested in saving your family money, and you should be proud of that, Mama! Way to go!

  • Janka says:

    Dear Crystal,you are awesome and my personal hero mom 🙂 I love your posts about goals and everything about personal development and also I like posts about what did you read and your free kindle ebook tips.
    Thank you! You are my inspiration.
    Merry Xmas to you and your beatiful family.
    I am looking forward to read all from you.

  • Wendy Howard says:

    Welcome to Tennessee. Your 2015 plan sounds great.

  • Allison says:

    I love everything you have! I enjoy reading it all!
    Some things I am searching for are…

    Would love to see posts on:
    -How you are taking care of your self?
    -How to shop, cook, and save for a small family of 3?
    -How do night owl’s operate well?
    -How can a night owl operate as an early bird?

    I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

  • Danielle Bradbury says:

    Awesome! Just be careful not to overload yourself! 🙂

  • Amanda Long says:

    I love this idea. It will keep you going for sure… writers block no more.
    I’ve always enjoyed your posts.
    Merry Christmas from

  • Holli says:

    Crystal – Even as a “seasoned” wife and mother I find your blog to be very insightful and inspiring. You voice, many times, what I think but never open my mouth to say out loud. I love your transparency. I love that you are “real”–doing your best to live life everyday to God’s glory…all the while sharing your journey along the way. I look forward to your posts. I am anxious to your new ideas for 2015! Blessings!

  • Stef says:

    I live for your free daily e-book posts…thanks for everything–LOVE your blog! 🙂

  • Sounds like something fun to look forward to!

  • Kathy says:

    Very excited….Looks like a fun year ahead so much helpful tips. Looking forward to this…Thanks!!!

  • louise b says:

    I would like to see how you are taking care of yourself, and your fitness routine to stay strong and healthy. I don’t know how you get it all done but I want your energy lol. Looking forward to the changes!

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