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Peek Into Our Week: Florida, FlyLady, Disney World, and a fun afternoon in Historic Franklin

Peek Into Our Week

Whew! The past five days have been quite eventful! I flew to Florida to speak at the Social Media Summit on Thursday afternoon.

I love speaking on the topic of Monetizing Your Platform, so this is always a fun session for me to share. And the attendees were so engaged and interested in the topic — which always makes it even more enjoyable!

Peek Into Our Week

On Friday, I had the privilege of giving two different presentations (Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life) at the Florida Homeschool Convention. I loved getting to meet so many of you after the sessions and at our booth!

Peek Into Our Week

One of the highlights of the conference was discovering that FlyLady was there! She was at a booth near ours, so I was excited to get a chance to meet her and thank her for how she’s impacted my life over the past almost 12 years!

Peek Into My Week

On Thursday evening, as we were heading to grab some dinner, we had this crazy idea that we should see if we could go to Disney World on Friday evening.

As we looked at our schedule for Friday, we didn’t think it would work since we wouldn’t be finished until around 7 p.m. However, since we were staying so close to Disney World and I’d never been before (My only experience at a Disney park was when I went to Disney Land once when I was two years old and I don’t remember it at all!), we decided to look up the hours for the park.

Well, guess what?? They just happened to be keeping Disney World open all night long on Friday evening!!

So I told my amazing team that if they hit a really ambitious sales goal at the Florida homeschool conference on Friday, we’d go to Disney World on Friday night after we were finished at the conference.

Want to know where we ended up from 8:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. on Friday night/Saturday morning??? 😉 Let’s just say, my team was highly motivated… and I’m SO glad they were as we all had a blast at Disney World!

Peek Into Our Week

Me with my wonderful road manager, Liz, on the train at around 10:30 p.m. We were slap happy by this time, but having so much fun. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard!

Peek Into Our Week

I LOVE this picture! It was taken around 2 a.m. in the morning. We were tired, but just so happy for all the fun memories we’d made as a team that night!

On Saturday morning, I gave two more presentations at the Florida Homeschool Convention — on How to Slash Your Grocery Bill Without Clipping Coupons and One-Hour Freezer Cooking. Afterwards, I headed to the airport and hopped on a plane back to Nashville to be reunited with my family. Oh how I always miss them when I’m away from them!

Peek Into Our Week

I slept for 11 hours solid on Saturday night and it felt amazing! After church on Sunday, we headed to Historic Franklin as a family.

We tried out Mellow Mushroom for lunch and were very impressed with it. My kids especially loved that they had inexpensive arcades. 😉

Peek Into Our Week

Then we walked down Main Street to Sweet CeCe’s for some delicious frozen yogurt. This was our first time to this adorable shop and we loved it! I have a feeling we’ll be back often. 🙂

Peek Into Our Week

We also walked around to some historic sites… In light of Memorial Day, it was good to be reminded of all the brave souls who gave their lives for freedom in America.

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  • Misty Nicole Overstreet-Roberts (The Lady Prefers To Save) says:

    The mellow mushroom is an awesome chain restaurant! You should also be sure to check out McAlister’s for their sweet tea!

    • Jo says:

      I was so impressed with it — especially the Kid’s Meals!

    • Ann says:

      What did you order? Our family went to the one in Knoxville last week and it was $50 for two pizzas 🙁

      • Jo says:

        We ordered: Kid’s Meals, a salad (for me), an appetizer, and Jesse got a pizza (not sure which one — I had a few bites, though, and it was GOOD!). It was a little on the pricey side, but well worth it for all the yummy food and a fun splurge.

  • Becki @Running with Team Hogan says:

    Thanks for sharing places you go in Tennessee! We’ll be driving through this summer so I just looked up historic Franklin on a map to see if we’d want to stop. I’ll keep an eye out for anything else you visit as well. We’ve been having fun planning our route and stops through Tennessee.

    • Jo says:

      We’re hoping to check out some more nearby places in the next few weeks and I’ll report back with details. 🙂

      • Becki @Running with Team Hogan says:

        I look forward to it! (and I already mapped out the Aldi’s on our trip for food shopping along the way) 🙂

  • Teri says:

    Next time you’re in Franklin, check out Carnton Plantation and the Carter House – the tours are excellent!

  • MJ says:

    I never comment, but wanted to say thank you for returning some personality back. I find you to be an inspiration in my motherhood journey and am glad to see the balance returning between real life and deals.

  • Meg says:


    I know that you are going to not publish this – but I can’t believe how you could go to Disneyworld without your family, especially your children.

    • Jo says:

      I’m happy to publish it — because I’m sure you’re not the only one who thought that!

      I SO wish they could have come with us… we were all wishing we could have brought our kids! Next time, for sure! I was thinking the whole time how to make that a reality and how to do Disney on a budget with a family. 🙂

      • Antonella says:

        Crystal, your sweet way of handling snarky comments always amazes and inspires me. As a busy mom (entrepreneur, mom, wife etc etc) you deserve a fun night with girl friends/coworkers. All women do! As they say, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, right? Way to go, girl!

        • Jo says:

          Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement!

          {And I don’t think the comment you’re referring to was necessarily meant to be snarky… just someone who was surprised/confused and I was happy to clarify for them since I’m sure they weren’t the only one wondering!}

          • Anne says:

            I admire how you give your readers the benefit of the doubt in their comments, too. I tend to read comments assuming negative motivations and it is inspiring to see how you see the best in everyone.

            • Jo says:

              Aw, thank you for your kind encouragement! I know that communicating through a computer screen is sometimes difficult!

              {And also? I truly have the most amazing readers ever! You all constantly encourage and bless me so much!}

      • Robyn says:

        I love Disney! I grew up in California and went to Disneyland constantly as a teenager and young adult. We’ve taken our kids twice…once to Disneyland and once to Disney World.

        I’m so glad you were able to “seize the moment” and go with your team!! I would go without my kids in a heart beat. It’s a totally different experience with / without kids, and they’re both a blast!!

    • Mikki says:

      People go to Disney without their kids all the time. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s not just for kids!

    • Jessica says:

      One benefit would be getting a good feel for the park before they go. No matter how much you read or advice you get, Disney is just one of those places that is easier to navigate once you figure out what “tricks” work for your own family. With that being said our disney vacation as a family was AMAZING! We cannot wait to go again. Nashville isn’t a horrible drive either. We drove from WI?

  • Anna says:

    Love the FyLady shot!

    • Jo says:

      It was SO fun to get to meet her — especially since I didn’t know she was going to be there until the night before! She’s been such an inspiration to me!

  • Denise says:

    Crystal, do you ever get “recognized” when you are out and about? Just curious!

    Looks like some great educational opportunities all while spending great time together as a family! My husband and I went to the zoo today. It was quite fun. Hope to do it someday with kids!

  • Lana says:

    Yum! We love Mellow Mushroom! Check for their weekly specials. Ours has kids eat free days and $5 small pizzas one day.

  • erin says:

    How fun!! You have hit some of our favorites! FYI Sweet Cece’s has a loyalty card with a free ice cream every 10 purchases and Mellow Mushroom has a good coupon on the bottom of the receipt if you fill out an online survey:)

    • Chris Markferding says:

      I was going to mention the card too! You get a free yogurt your birthday month, and I think you also get a free one when you register your card online too!

  • Donna says:

    Your adventures and advice are wonderful. Pretty sure you went to Disney ‘World’ not Disney Land. Disney World is in Orlando – Disney Land is in Cali –

    • Jo says:

      We went to Disney World this time around… I went to Disney Land in Cali when I was two. That’s my only experience with Disney — and I don’t remember it! So I was excited to get to go!

      {And my apologies if that was confusing in my post; I hope that clarifies things!}

  • Courtney says:

    Mellow Mushroom is always a win with the kids, but def. check out Pucket’s Grocery for a meal when in Franklin next. Meridee’s also has wonderful sweets…lots of great local eating choices in Franklin!

    • Jo says:

      Someone gave us a gift card to Puckett’s so we hope to try it soon — maybe even on Sunday afternoon! We’ll see! And I want to try out Meridee’s, too!

  • Roma says:

    So glad you found a church. Did you have a difficult time searching for one? Praised God He gave you the strength to be attentive in service. This would have been difficult for me.

    • Jo says:

      After 11 hours of sleep, I felt GREAT on Sunday morning! 🙂 We’re so grateful to have found a church that is a good fit for our family and one where we we’re going to be really challenged and encouraged spiritually!

  • Jesenia says:

    Looks like you had a blast!

  • Lety says:

    I was expecting to see pictures of you with your children in Disney World. I felt sad for a split second when I didn’t, but then felt super happy that you had a chance to do something so out of the ordinary for you!! And that you enjoyed it!!! You sooo deserve moments like these. You must know it was meant to be when the park happened to be open all night…It was a fun blessing you could not pass on!! Kudos for doing something to nurture yourself!!! ^_^ xoxoxo

    • Jo says:

      I’m hoping we’ll figure out a way to go as a family sometime in the not-too-distant future. We’ll see!

      And thanks so much for your sweet encouragement! You bless me!

  • Sam says:

    Crystal, slightly off topic, but I was curious how you fit in homeschooling your kids with your schedule? I am a mom to one child, work full time as a science teacher, and feel frazzled all the time, lol. I’d love to homeschool him in a few years and work at home for my husband, but I just can’t see working full time and homeschooling. Tips?

    • Jo says:

      Since my husband and I are both self-employed, we share the responsibilities of homeschooling — unless he or I are out of town, we both do about 50/50 of the work/responsibility/teaching and it works well for us and our kids. I know that this wouldn’t work for most families, but that’s what’s currently working well for our family.

  • lea ann lund says:

    we just had my 4 year old daughter’s birthday at Sweet Cece’s. it was VERY economical. they charged $2.50 per cup for each child– they each filled their own, and each got a free water bottle. the place is already so cutely decorated…all we had to bring was the cake and we fed a room full of girls for $25! ours is right next to a park so we went over there to run off the sugar 🙂

  • Robyn says:

    That’s awesome! What a fun and spontaneous way to spend Friday night! My husband and I went to disney in novemeber without out kids–it’s fun for adults too! However-I know what you mean because the whole time there I was thinking “I can’t wait to bring the kids!!!”. Now we are going this September and surprising them! It sure is it expensive but it’s not awful–I look to find the balance between convenience, vacation, splurging, and a budget for disney!

    • Jo says:

      How fun and exciting!!! It wasn’t at all as expensive as I’d always imagined… and I was encouraged to realize there are definitely ways to do Disney and not spend a boatload of money!

  • Kathryn says:

    Crystal~ I have looked around your posts and can’t find anything about your thought process on moving to the Nashville area. My family and I have tossed around the idea for about 3 years now… and are, in fact, spending focused time there this summer, with the intention of hopefully finding some more direction. I know MY reasons for choosing the area, but would love to hear yours. I have a lot of respect for you and the way that you process life in general (at least what I can glean from your blog, not personally knowing you). When I told my husband you guys were moving there, he had the same question….”how did they process that decision?” Would you be willing to share any thoughts on that? Moving is such a huge, huge decision!!! Anything you would be willing to share would be appreciated. Thanks for considering!

    • Jo says:

      It’s a LONG story that would take a book to share and if we meet in person sometime, I’d be more than happy to share the more condensed version… but suffice it to say, it was something that we mulled over long and hard, prayed over much, and got counsel on from some of our closest friends and mentors. In the end, we both had such a peace about making the jump and are so glad we did as over and over, God’s truly confirmed to us that this was the right choice for our family.

      I just prayed that you’d have wisdom and clear direction in what’s best for the future for your family!

      • Kathryn says:

        Thank you, Crystal…I appreciate your thoughts…and definitely the prayers. I know you’re busy, but if you can steal away for coffee for an hour, sometime the week after the 4th of July, my husband and I would love to hear your story about this, while in Nashville. 🙂

        You are truly a blessing to others. I love how God is using you in so many lives. Take care!

  • SusanL says:

    Oh man, I totally LOVE the Flylady!!! How awesome that you got to meet her!

    • Jo says:

      I know; I was pretty stoked — especially because I had NO IDEA she was going to be at the conference! {She wasn’t a speaker, she just had a booth… so it wasn’t listed on the program. A very, very fun surprise!}

  • Yvette says:

    Crystal~ I had the pleasure of meeting you at the FPEA conference and sitting in on one of your presentations. I was so excited to find out that you were presenting. I have been following you for the past 5 years. 🙂 Even my husband was excited for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, inspirations and words of encouragement over the years. You have been such a blessing to my family. 🙂

  • Becky says:

    Without kids is a great way to experience Disney for the first time – congrats! And you probably had a nice relatively stroller free time at those hours. I hear the energy at the parks was high that day – pure Disney magic.

  • Tara says:

    You must try Jeni’s Ice Cream in East Nashville! So amazingly creative and tasty. These people are passionate about ice cream.

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