Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Peek Into Last Week: A birthday date, new hairstyles, freezer cooking, watching the World Cup without cable TV, and a trip to Dallas!

A Peek Into My Week

This past week was a full week, but it was packed full of wonderful times with dear people, special memories, and many blessings!

We have a tradition at our house where the birthday child gets to go on an outing of their choice with both Dad and Mom separately. Kaitlynn went out with Jesse to Cracker Barrel last Saturday her birthday date with dad.

For her birthday date with mom, she chose to go to the mall — which I was not in the least surprised about since she is becoming quite the little fashionista. She asked specifically to go to Forever 21, Aeropostle, Bath & Body Works, and Pottery Barn.

Not sure where she got the fashionista/decorating gene from, but it clearly wasn’t me. She did, however, get some of my frugal gene because she chose fragrance that was 75% off at Bath & Body Works and a shirt that was 20% off at Forever 21. Total spent = $18 out of pocket. Memories made together = priceless.

Also, I totally cracked up at her comment when we were walking around Pottery Barn. She said, “It’s too expensive to actually buy anything here, but I love to look around the store for ideas.” That’s my girl. 😉

Peek Into Our Week

Silas is quite the little sports fanatic, so he’s been closely following the World Cup scores and games. Only, we don’t have cable, so the guys have had to get creative in finding ways to watch the games. The above was how I found them on Sunday — all cozied up watching together on the iPad — whooping and hollering their hearts out.

For Thursday’s game, they figured out a way to hook up the iPad to the TV so they could watch it on a larger screen. When there’s a will, there’s usually a way. 🙂

Peek Into Week

Kaitlynn has been attempting to learn how to do a beachy waves look on my hair using a new curling wand I got from a sale & credit on Zulily.

Peek Into Week

This is another look Kaitlynn did on my hair this week. She’s also been practicing on my make up, learning how to do smoky eyes looks and more.

At the rate this girl is learning (thanks to YouTube and Bethany Mota), I will soon have my own live-in cosmetologist, hair stylist, and personal shopper!

Peek Into Our Week

This is my new dear friend and neighbor, Tam. I wish you all could meet her. She and her family have been direct gifts from God to our family as we settle in TN.

They’ve loved on us, brought us food, watched our kids, made us cookies, listened to us, made us salsa, laughed with us, prayed for us, introduced us to many of their friends, and been the hands and feet of Jesus in this big transition.

We had fun going to get manicures on Monday with a gift card I had! It’s amazing how close you can feel to someone you just met last month!

Peek Into the Week

On Tuesday, I did a little No-Oven Freezer Cooking and made Energy Bites and Healthy Protein Peppermint Fudge while Jesse made pancakes. I love getting to work in the kitchen with my best friend!

And I was SO happy because the fudge was a HUGE success. More details on my freezer cooking session and the recipes I used coming tomorrow or Wednesday.

Peek Into Week

Kaitlynn is always creating beauty and art wherever she goes. On Wednesday, we made snowflakes (her idea — who says you can’t make snowflakes in June??) and then she used them as a stencil for painting watercolor pictures. It was a fun indoor project on a hot summer day.

Peek Into Week

Thursday, I flew to Dallas to speak at a conference there on Friday and Saturday. If you go on business trips regularly, you’ll want to check out my post I wrote on 4 ways I save hundreds of dollars each year on business trips.

Peek Into WeekThe conference on Friday was such a blessing. I started the day rather out-of-sorts and ask some close friends to pray for me as I just felt so inadequate to be there speaking. Well, God answered their prayers and gave me so much energy for the conference, but also brought a number of unexpected blessings my way, too.

A dear mom of four adorable kids and longtime blog reader made me an organic salad and homemade salad dressing (her delicious recipe is here) and brought it to me at the conference… Because she knows I love salad so much and try to eat a salad everyday. She even wrote down all the ingredients so I’d know exactly what was in the salad and dressing! I was blown away by her thoughtfulness and kindness!!

Peek Into Week

It was so fun to get to spend time with my dear friend, Rachel, at the conference as she and her family live near Dallas. We have so many wonderful memories of time spent together in our teens… Just wish we didn’t live miles & miles apart now!

Peek Into Week

After a busy, tiring, but oh-so-blessed two days speaking in Dallas, I was thankful for a few minutes at the airport to put my feet up and read this book I’ve been loving on finding margin and breathing room in your life.

Also, notice my shoes? We had to run out and buy those at Kohl’s on Friday night because the Aerosole sandals — one of my beloved pairs of speaking shoes that I was planning to wear on Saturday — broke beyond repair on Friday. I was just grateful we were able to find a replacement Aerosole shoes that I love and that I had a Kohl’s gift card with me that covered the unexpected purchase!

You just never quite know what will happen when you’re on the road. I’m just grateful it wasn’t a run-in with the escalator this time! 🙂

Peek Into WeekWe had a quiet Sunday & Monday — which was a blessing after a busy week. Lots of hanging out together as a family, cooking together, cleaning together, playing games together, watching movies together, and just being together. It was bliss!

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 10.03.15 PM

Kathrynne had me teach her how to make Homemade Energy Bites tonight so that she could make them every week instead of me (we’ve been going through a batch per week recently!) I was so impressed with how well her batch turned out, but most of all, I loved her willing initiative and desire to save me time and effort!

I’m working myself out of job — and it’s a bittersweet thing.

Peek Into Week

And I’ll close out this long post with my favorite picture from this week: Not much in the world can rival this. So blessed that this boy still loves his nightly Mama Snuggles! I’m soaking them up!

How was YOUR week last week? I’d love to hear!

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • I am just LOVING your real life blog posts. Thanks so much for sharing. Please keep it up. I especially love to hear about the different ways you are making memories with your children. I am not creative and I am always looking for new ideas.

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for speaking at the conference in Dallas! My sister and I really enjoyed hearing your session on Friday morning.

  • Challice says:

    Each week has it’s moments and memories taht we tuck away but last week was dear to me since I was able to host my first baby shower. The sister of the Mama did so much work, I was so so grateful for her help, especially since she is still in her first (sickly) trimester! We had so much fun and it was so great to see all my friends that I grew up with, most have all left our little town but they all came to celebrate.
    Even with all the hiccups we had, it went so smoothly, I just thank God for His care in everything.

  • Beth McMillan says:

    Crystal, I’ve followed your blog since 2009 and was so excited to hear you are going to be a speaker at FlameFest next week. Thanks for the coupon tips and your recipes throughout the years. Looking forward to meeting you! Beth M.

  • My kids and I tried making the homemade energy bites today. It was a success! Even my 3-year-old tried to make some, but eventually, he just ended up licking his fingers and getting the crumbs from the table. We all laughed together because sometimes they would fall apart in their hands. We made quite a mess of oatmeal all over the table and floor, but it was worth it just to have that moment to savor with them. The bites are super-addicting … and, like you, I’ve been eating them straight from the freezer. Love your last photo!

  • jen says:

    Your post says that you would show how you are watching the world cup without cable. Other than saying an ipad, how ARE you watching it? We are also without cable and have been trying to watch without success. It seems like all the services that let you watch on a mobile device just direct you back to comcast where you have to log in only to be denied access. Please advise website or app.

    • Margery H. says:

      I would really like to know, too! Someone said you could watch on Univision on-line (Spanish Language channel) and get English commentary streaming on another on-line site. Is there a simpler way?

  • Jennifer says:

    I survived my third week as a mother of two boys under two! I started getting out of the house with both boys and learning rhythms and routines to make outings as easy as possible. My oldest turned 18 months old which feels so old and so young at the same time!

  • Sarah says:

    Any plans to come to Michigan? Please, please, please!

  • Crystal, I love that you do dates with your kids! We also have three kids and I try to have an “alone date” once a month with each. It’s such a special and important time. I especially love to pick them up at lunch from school for it. It’s an easy way to fit it in my day and a super special treat for them. Keep up the wonderful parenting work. You are a powerfully positive influence on the rest of us!!!!

    • Thanks so much for your kind encouragement!

      My dad and mom used to sometimes pick me up from school (for the two years when I attended private school in grade school) and take me out on a “date” and I remember those times with such great memories!

  • Deborah says:

    We had a busy week last week with ups and downs and fun and memories too! I enjoyed reading this post and peeking into your week. 🙂 I’ve been writing “memory” posts for a while and love writing them and I also love going back through my blog and reading the old ones and remembering the stuff we’ve done.

    How cool~your own live-in stylist! And we’ve done the same type of creative hunting to watch football and other sports on occasion!

    Have a blessed new week!

    • I’m loving compiling these posts, too! A great way to keep track of the blessings and ups and downs of everyday life.

      I hope you have a fantastic week this week, too!

  • Amy Lauren says:

    I love reading your blog and these personal posts- it makes you seem so real, instead of being a big-time blogger, it seems more like you’re a neighbor or friend and it’s really nice to get to know the person behind all the deals and advice :). It looks like your little girl had a great birthday and so awesome that she’s already frugal (she picked a great time to go to bath and body works with that sale going on haha).

    • Yes! I know! I had no idea the Bath & Body Works sale was going on… perfect timing and she got an amazing deal on perfume that she was so excited about!

      Thanks so much for your encouraging words, too!

  • Victoria says:

    That last picture is adorable!

  • Lana says:

    I am so glad you could find some shoes when you needed them. Years ago my husband had to be in New York City for a week at IBM in a cold and snowy January. His dress shoes developed a hole in the leather bottom right after he arrived for the week and because of just not knowing where to go and lack of time he had a wet and cold foot all that week. It just made me feel so bad for him walking the city streets in that shoe.

    Isn’t it fun how little girls grow up and develop their style and interests while they are so young. God groomed our oldest daughter, now 31, to be a pastor’s wife from the time she was small. She has always had a heart for others.

    • I was so very grateful that we were able to find a good replacement shoe… I’ve learned how important good shoes are when you’re traveling/running a booth/speaking and on your feet a lot! That’s so sad about your husband’s shoe experience! 🙁

      And yes! We’re just amazed at how our kids’ bents and gifts have been springing to the surface in so many ways in the past two years. We’re really trying to encourage them in each of their interests and love seeing them blossom, learn, and grow!

  • Aimee says:

    I love your personal posts. Thanks for sharing your life with us! PS…I love those Aerosole sandals and have to say that I was very surprised when you said the brand. I adore comfy shoes but they aren’t always the most stylish. 😉

    • I was SO excited when I found them… I’ve been searching for a new Aerosole sandal that was cute and comfy as I knew that my current pair were on their last leg. So far, I’d found nothing… but just when I needed something, I found some. Such a blessing!

  • Thank you so much for coming to speak at the conference in Dallas. I was there with my husband and 5 kiddos and was really blessed by your sessions. There were exactly the practical help I needed in this season, I went to 3 of them and ordered the audio session for a 4th. 😉 I especially loved sharing your heart and vision for WHY we do the things we do to organize life and save money, to be blessing to others, to change the world. That’s meant a lot me! Blessings on your family and ministry!

  • Cheryl says:

    I just love these posts, they inspire me to enjoy each day, I work part time and took 2 planned vacation days and these were our highlights:
    daughter went to a knitting camp, learned to knit!
    visited friends, very nice!
    celebrated my birthday!
    celebrated our anniversary and our 2 kids waited on us and served us at the picnic table by our lake, so much fun! Enjoy your day everyone. I’d love to see you in MI too.

  • Jennifer says:

    First, love Kaitlynn’s comment about Pottery Barn, too funny. And the hairstyle she gave you is so cute! She does such nice work!

    Second, insanely jealous that you’re still having snuggle time with your son. My guy is 11 now and will only snuggle with me occasionally and I miss it so!

    Third, can Jesse do a post on how to hook up an iPad to a tv? We have Netflix and Hulu but it would be nice to watch the occasional sporting event on our tv.

    • I’ll have to ask Jesse about the post on how to hook up the iPad to the TV… he’s pretty handy in figuring out stuff like that when it comes to techie stuff. I’m so NOT techie, so I’m very grateful! 🙂

  • Yari says:

    Hi Crystal,

    Just wanted to let you know that you can watch the World Cup on Univision. It’s a Spanish network. That’s how we watch it. Thanks for all that you do!

  • Kim says:

    Your “Peek Into Last Week” posts have inspired me to create my own found here: I’m trying take more pictures and focus on the fun times rather than on the mountain of house work I need to do! Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration! 🙂

  • Jen says:

    I moved from the Phoenix area to Austin and am trying to adjust to the time change, new work place, apartment living, and humidity. I am feeling very homesick today and am working on reminding myself of the reasons I moved.

    • {Hugs!} I’m so sorry that you’re struggling… that’s a BIG move! I just finished the book, After the Boxes Are Unpacked, today. If you are interested in reading it, I’d love to send it to you. Just email me your mailing address and I’ll send it your way.
      {crystal @}

  • Lor Alessi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with me. I homeschooled my two and now they are adults. My daughter turns 18 in a week and off to college out of state next month. My son is 21 and across the country serving in the Army. I leave to visit him for 5 days tomorrow and I’m so excited. Sharing insights into your life with your precious little ones brings back so many memories. Thank you and remember to snuggle with them as long as you can. Blessings to your family.

  • Dawn says:

    Such precious pictures!! My 7yr old still loves to sit in my lap, thank goodness!!!! Cause he’s the baby, so there’s nobody to take his place.

    As you know, I’ve read your blog for a very long time. Last year sometime, I started checking in only once a week or so. I wasn’t really into store deals anymore, and there wasn’t anything personal to read. But now, I find myself looking forward to some computer time in the evening and excited about what I’m going to find here!! Thanks for “coming back.” I am thoroughly enjoying it. It encourages me to do the same on my blog!!
    PS- I sometimes pay my girls a dollar to give me a spa treatment; brush my hair, head massage, shoulder massage, foot massage. Best dollar I spend!!

    • I LOVE the idea of paying for the $1 spa. Brilliant! 🙂

      And thank you for your kind encouragement… I’m so grateful you are enjoying the personal posts. I’m enjoying writing them!

  • Leanne says:

    I love these personal posts and hearing about your family. I also love your sandals and am so glad you mentioned where you got them!

  • Jen says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying your personal posts. I was a reader from the beginning but had stopped on the last few years. I’m looking forward to this blog again. Thanks! I am a mom to five and love the posts about being a mom. I’m going to purchase your book for my kindle to take on vacation next week. Keep up the great work:)

  • Jennifer says:

    We don’t have cable either, so we have been watching the World Cup on the Spanish TV station. We don’t know anything they have said, but enjoy hearing “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!”

  • Cindy says:

    I can’t thank you enough for recommending Teach Them Diligently a few months ago. It was such a blessing for our family. My only regret: I did not make it by your booth to thank you personally. We are already planning to go next year in July. I hope to see you there.

  • Kristy says:

    I’ve been a reader for the last 6+ years! I was so excited to hear you speak in Dallas last Friday afternoon. You did a fantastic job talking about Saying Gooodbye to Survival Mode. Even though I sat in the front row, by the time I packed up my things, there was already a line of women waiting to speak to you and I had to run 🙁
    I stopped by your booth a few times throughout the conference, but always seemed to miss you!
    Anyway, thank you for speaking at the conference; I enjoyed and learned from it immensely!

  • Vikki n says:

    I just received your MSM email and read about the ‘shameful’ nail biting incident. I think that many times when we see ourselves in the mirror, we are drawn to see the imperfect. I was a chunky kid growing up and have always been about 25-30 pounds overweight. I LOATHE pictures of myself, even when they are taken with people I dearly love. I recently realized that I am the only one who is offended–everyone else looks at me every day, including my children who think I’m the most beautiful person in the world. If something were to happen to me or one of them and there were no photos to treasure, how would I feel then? Like your feelings of shame, I realized that I needed to ‘get over it’, live the life God has given me with my beautiful family and friends and make memories and take pictures! Regarding your posted photo; I see two beautiful new friends (women and mothers) enjoying the gift of friendship and a rare minute of pampering. A true gift from God! Blessings!

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *