About Me

My Name is Crystal! I am a former teacher now stay-at-home mama to two kiddos (Reba-6 and Ty-2). I love crafting, reading, and making bentos!

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Pizza rolls

The kids love when I use crescent rolls in their lunches. These included "pizza rolls" which really just means that I rolled pepperoni and mozzarella inside of a crescent roll. They also had potato fries and a clementine. I was excited about the new little pies I found at Food Lion. They are peanut free and the kids love them!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Progress on One Word - Quiet

So here are some ways that I hope to incorporate "quiet" into my new year.  I decided to check in to give myself some accountability.

1. Continue morning devotion time.

I am doing well with this one. I get up each morning and do the Proverbs 31 First Five App. Then I read a chapter of the Bible. I am following a plan that should help me read the Bible in one year.

2. Be quiet and avoid gossip. I am currently reading Keep it Shut and will be facilitating a study that's starts in January.

 I started the study. That's something, right? I had 14 women at the meeting on Wednesday night. I wrote a big note that says "Quiet" on it that I keep on my desk at work. When I find myself about to say something, I point at my note. The other day I put it on top of my head!  I was being silly, but it does help remind me to HUSH!

3. Try to have quiet moments with my husband and actually listen. We need to bring back our monthly date night.

 No date yet, but we will after inventory.

4. Try to be quiet about things over which I have no control.

 I have actually done quite well with this one. Other people's problems can't consume me. 

5. Listen to my children with a quiet and gentle spirit.

 I have been working hard at trying to listen to the kids, be more engaged with them, do more activities, and try to get down on their level to talk about things.

6. Be quiet and listen to God. "Be still and know that I am God."

 Yes! God has some insights for me during my prayer times.

7. Quiet my own thoughts and anxieties by trusting God's plan.

 I am trying so hard to just trust.There are some things up in the air right now but they are in HIS hands.

8. Quiet our lives by continuing to rid our lives of clutter.

 I am still working on throwing away and donating. We are doing great.

9. Work on limiting the noise of the world (social media).

 I feel like I am doing a bit better on this one but it is always an ongoing battle.

10. Spend more quiet time out in nature.

 Well this week has been rainy and cold, but last weekend we went on a family bike ride. That's a start in the right direction.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Being a Quieter Mom

My one word for 2016 is "quiet." And already it is being put to the test. Yesterday, my husband took our kids to see the new Star Wars movie. My youngest was so excited and could hardly wait to go. He looked like a cartoon character pulling clothes out of his dresser

But when they got there, he became upset. We aren't sure if it was the loud explosions or the fact that they saw the movie in 3D.  But 30 minutes into the movie, I had to go pick up our youngest child.


I decided on my way there that I didn't want to punish or reward our child.  It wasn't his fault that he got scared but at the same time I don't want him to think that we can always get up and leave an expensive movie (or experience).


So, I took him to the park. We sat on a bench and talked about the movie. He explained why it scared him and we talked about how he needed to apologize to his daddy, who missed a good chunk of the movie he really wanted to see.

Then we walked around the park.  We looked at the fountain, we ran on the bridge, and then he found a bird's nest high in a tree. Then we started looking for birds' nests high in the trees and found several more.  My sweet boy even insisted on picking some flowers for me.

When we came home, he wrote his daddy a card that said he was sorry and loved him.

We could have easily just gone straight home and started our normal routines back again, but if we had we would have missed the opportunity to share these sweet moments of quietness together.  I am hoping to be a much quieter mom in 2016! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Decision to Continue The 100 Happy Days Challenge

I have completed The 100 Happy Days Challenge twice. It is truly a challenge. Why? At some point during your 100 days, life will suck. You will wonder why on earth you should continue documenting.  You will worry that you will offend someone with your happiness (craziness, right?) and you will consider stopping.

I don't share everything from my personal life on Facebook. Most of what I share is happy. I will be completely honest though and say that during both 100 day challenges, I was forced to stretch myself and think of something that made me happy. Doing so creates an attitude of gratitude. There is always something to be happy about each day. At some point in our lives, we will all struggle with depression or anxiety. Being intentional about happiness becomes crucial. It doesn't mean that it is easy though.

I would encourage others to try this challenge. Taking a picture each day helps you to be more aware. Sometimes I find myself taking a few pictures a day and then trying to select just one.  Other days I buy myself some ice cream because that's the only way it is going to happen. And so like it or not, I am going to continue my 100 days challenge beyond 100 days.

A few moments from the most recent challenge.






Thursday, December 31, 2015

My One Word for 2016: Quiet




Amazingly, I have already decided on my one word for 2016...Quiet.

Over the summer, I decided that I needed to work very hard on getting up before my children. I have made it a priority to journal, read the Bible, and pray in the mornings. Now, I am not perfect. It doesn't happen every single day but it does happen most mornings. It has been life changing.

So here are some ways that I hope to incorporate "quiet" into my new year.

1. Continue morning devotion time.
2. Be quiet and avoid gossip. I am currently reading Keep it Shut and will be facilitating a study that's starts in January.
3. Try to have quiet moments with my husband and actually listen. We need to bring back our monthly date night.
4. Try to be quiet about things over which I have no control.
5. Listen to my children with a quiet and gentle spirit.
6. Be quiet and listen to God. "Be still and know that I am God."
7. Quiet my own thoughts and anxieties by trusting God's plan.
8. Quiet our lives by continuing to rid our lives of clutter.
9. Work on limiting the noise of the world (social media).
10. Spend more quiet time out in nature.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mightier than the sea..


Living by the coast of NC means that I can do crazy things like get up at 5 am to go walk on the beach to watch the sunrise. I have the ability to drive a few miles from my home and hear the crashing waves.

Perhaps that is why Psalm 93 resonated with me so much this morning.

"The seas have lifted up, Lord,
The seas have lifted up their voice;
The seas have loved up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thundering of the great waters,
Mightier than the breakers of the sea - 
The Lord on high is mighty."

Stop for a moment and just think about the ocean. In this version, you are sitting in a chair alone, perhaps with a book. This is not the version where you have kids throwing sand toys around and asking for snacks. Imagine peaceful waves crashing, a beautiful sunrise...Sometimes we get so busy rushing around and begin to depend on our on ways. We forget the might power of the Lord. We worry about all kinds of things that don't matter and that are out of our control. We forget to see the beauty and power of the Lord around us.

Have you ever experienced the power of the ocean? Have you ever sat still long enough to let the waves drown out the worries of this world? It can be hypnotizing. God is mighty and able to give us this peace daily if we are still and accept it. Now maybe it is at the kitchen table instead of on the sand, but it is always there waiting on us. 

Have you ever experienced the power of the ocean?  It can be a bit frightening to watch children playing in the ocean. You can't quite see what is under the water and so you take a bit of a risk. You trust that everything will be okay because the giggles and splashing are worth it. We know and worry about the rip currents that  can quickly sweep an adult away. The ocean is that powerful. You are never really in control.  It takes seconds for a big wave to knock you off your feet. Yet we continue to take the risk. In many ways the ocean is symbolic of our lives and the risks we take, the faith we must have, and a constant reminder of how mighty our God will forever be. 

Have you ever experienced the mighty power of the Lord?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Honest Review - Why I Love the 21 Day Fix

If you are interested in following my journey you can join me on my Facebook page or order from my Beachbody site.


First of all, what is the 21 Day Fix

In my own words, it is a system that enables you to eat well, exercise, and lose weight without a lot of fuss.  You can do the 21 Day Fix for 21 days or you can opt to repeat it..  I have completed two rounds of the 21 Day Fix and moved on to the 21 Day Fix Extreme, which I will review some other time.

Who Am I?

I am a mother to two children, ages five and nine.  We also have a yellow lab!  My husband works crazy hours as a retail manager and I teach full-time.  Our lives are busy with church, family outings, schools, Girl Scouts, walks, and more!  Like anyone else, I have laundry to do, bills to pay, and not enough time in the day to get it all done. That's why the 30 minutes a day approach works for me.

The Containers


When you order the complete challenge pack you will receive the containers and a recipe book. Each color container represents certain foods that you can eat. The idea behind this program is that you don't count calories, you eat healthy.

I will be completely healthy and say that I don't stress myself out over this part of the program. I feel like I have an understanding of portion control and I like to eat. Since I am now on my third round of 21 Day Fix, I don't want to continually eat out of little containers. So I used the myfitnesspal app to help me keep up with my calories.

The Workouts


The 21 Day Fix workouts are my favorite part of the program and here's why:


  • My husband's schedule is crazy so I pretty much have to workout at home.
  • I love that there are different workouts for each day of the week. I feel like this helps sculpt your whole body.
  • I can FEEL the changes in my body.
  • I won't lie.  The second day of the FIX, I thought I might die. Every muscle in my body hurt. But I did my day three workout and kept going. After that I was fine.
  • The exercises last for 30 seconds - 1 minute and then you have a break.  This is just enough time that I don't quit, but I get results.
  • I am NOT athletic. I was the girl who convinced the PE teacher to let her sit on the bleachers. I can do all of the exercises except for a couple and I have been working on those!
  • There is a true sense of accomplishment when you finally do it. I wasn't able to do surrenders when I started, but now I can do them! I KNEW I was stronger the first time I did my whole set.


I was completely skeptical about Shakeology when I started the program.. So much so that I told MY coach that I just wanted to get the workouts and containers.  I ended up regretting this and bought Shakeology later. I was using protein powder in it's place but didn't see any effects from it.  So why am I hooked on Shakeology now?
  • It's a meal replacement.  I rarely eat breakfast because I don't have time and I take a thyroid hormone that requires me to wait an hour before eating.
  • At first I was unsure of the flavor (I ordered chocolate), but after playing around with it I love to mix it in various ways. It is fun to experiment. I like to add a banana and almond milk.
  • I have always suffered from IBS and having my gallbladder out five years ago didn't help matters. I have experimented with some IBS medications but hate taking medication daily or with every meal.  Shakeology has helped tremendously with my digestive issues. I haven't taken any stomach medication since starting Shakeology.
  • It helps supplement with the vitamins I know that I don't get. I am not a huge vegetable fan, but I know with Shakeology that I am sneaking in some things that I would never eat otherwise.
And Why I Became a Coach:


I have always had body issues, dating back to when I was a teenager.  After having my first child nine years ago, I stopped wearing a two piece bathing suit and would only wear a tankini.  Flash foward to my son being born and it got worse. He was an almost 10 lb. baby.  3 months after he was born, I had emergency gallbladder sugery.  I lost fifty pounds in a matter of a month. I was tiny but I was a big ball of extra skin.

I have tried dieting, I have tried walking, I have tried having a gym membership, and I have tried pilates videos at home. I made some progress, but I still had a muffin top and extra skin.  

My thyroid issues have increased and so has my weight. When I discovered that I was starting to get "back fat" something had to change. Haha! So, I reached out to a coach and purchased the 21 Day Fix.

This summer I have lost 16 pounds, but way more important than that I am stronger.  My legs and arms aren't jiggly.  My pooch is disappearing (still not perfect but it is so close to being gone).  I have actually worn a two piece bathing suit for the first time in 9 years without being self-conscious about it.  Which living at the beach is a big deal! Plus being a coach means you are more motivated to keep going and not to give up.

If you are interested in following my journey you can join me on my Facebook page or order from my Beachbody site.  


* This is an unsolicited review based on my results from 21 Day Fix. I am currently a Beachbody Coach.