The Seasons of Depression

An old cherry tree sits just outside my bedroom window. For several seasons I’ve watched it blossom to life—ripening with evergreen and fruit. I’ve also witnessed that life slowly drifting away in the cool autumn breeze. As the branches empty one by one, I sit and gaze without expression. Each leaf that falls reminds me of a ten-year-old girl buried deep in a closet, hiding behind bags of old clothes. Ashamed of the tears, she desperately tries to hide her Read more

How to Survive Walmart in Five Easy Steps

Walmart is a scary place. It’s like the convergence of Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompa Land with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest all rolled up into a gigantic chocolate-covered meatball. Most of us could trade horror stories about trips to this Prozac-riddled fun park—one of the only places in the world where you can buy guns and ammo, knives and swords, and toys and groceries, yet have to be 18 or older (with a valid ID) to buy Wite-Out. Read more

Dear Toddler, Screw Your Tantrums

Dear Toddler, I woke up this morning with every intention of having a great day. Outside the window, playful little birds bounced through the trees. Mother Nature gleefully peeked her yellow face from behind the clouds. The new coffee I purchased tasted like paradise in a cup. I was so in love, I tried finding the number for the grower in Antigua so I could properly thank him. A day like this … how could anything go wrong? And then you Read more

I’m a Closet Pooper

I have a huge confession to make. I can’t poop when anyone is around. For some reason, I completely freeze up and my shooter shuts down. I call it the emergency shit switch. It’s like a catastrophic event when I need to poop and there are people nearby. The switch gets flipped and shit just stops. Literally. My husband, on the other hand, has an open door policy when using the bathroom. It’s like he needs morale support when taking Read more

Give Your Children the Online Tools They Need to Succeed

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

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Every child is different. Each thinks differently, learns differently, and applies knowledge differently. Educators understand this but, because of budget cuts and the varied abilities of teachers, they need to teach as if every child is the same. For good or bad, the new Common Core Standards have placed the learning ability of children and the teaching skill of parents under a microscope. The good news is we do not have to teach our kids alone. Numerous online resources can help children become academically successful, no matter how gifted they are. Read more

My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Losing and Leaving Friends (Book Review)

Posted on by Crystal in Book Reviews | 3 Comments

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Some of the greatest memories I have stem from my childhood, which was rich in adventure and friendship. My best friend lived five minutes up the road, just a quick bicycle trip away. She was a year older and as beautiful as anything I’d ever seen. Together we shared moments that are now treasured memories: me peeing my pants a mile away from home while sledding and in full snow gear; outrunning a fierce bull who eventually won (the three-inch scar on my calf, no pun intended, is proof); and entering beauty pageants only to find out we often didn’t have the right stuff (or cute enough shoes). Read more

Clash of the Couples Cover Reveal

Posted on by Crystal in Book Reviews | 11 Comments

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A year ago, I published the parenting bestseller The Mother of All Meltdowns with some fellow lady bloggers. I had such a great time, I’m doing it all over again! This time around I’m tackling relationship meltdowns in the upcoming anthology Clash of the Couples: A Humorous Collection of Completely Absurd Lovers’ Squabbles and Relationship Spats. Here’s more: Read more

Book Review: The Power of the Heart

Posted on by Crystal in Book Reviews | Leave a comment

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I recently had the pleasure of reading Baptist de Pape’s forthcoming book The Power of the Heart. From the very first page, I was captivated and pulled in to a spiritual awakening. The Power of the Heart shows how you can overcome limitations in your daily life to find your true potential–and reveals the heart to be a source of love and wisdom that far surpasses that of the mind. The book includes wisdom and advice from eighteen of the world’s greatest spiritual thinkers including the late Maya Angelou, Paulo Coelho, Jane Goodall, Michael Beckwith, and Deepak Chopra. On a quest to find out the true power the heart holds, de Pape traveled around the world to interview these incredible thinkers. They each shared personal stories and profound insights, co-creating a masterful book. Read more

Celebrate Fall With the Febreze Home Harvest Collection

Posted on by Crystal in Product Reviews | Leave a comment

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Here in Maine fall has unofficially arrived! The leaves are changing to bright hues of orange, yellow, and red. And the apple orchards are ripe for the picking. Inside, it’s a little hard letting go of all the tastes, sights, and adventures of summer, but I have to admit, I live for fall. I love all of the amazing scents: pumpkin, vanilla, apple, gingerbread, and more! I’m also an avid baker and this is the perfect season to get my cooking on! Check out some of my favorite apple and pumpkin recipes! Read more

Spicy Crock Pot Potato Wedges (TO DIE FOR!)

Posted on by Crystal in Gram's Recipe Tin | 2 Comments

Spicy Crock Pot Potato Wedges

I love roasted potatoes and, as you know, I love using my crock pot. But when you think of crock pot potatoes, you often think of soft, mashed or scalloped style. This recipe for Spicy Crock Pot Potato Wedges (TO DIE FOR!), breaks the mold by producing a rather crisp wedge-style side dish. You can double the recipe, just make sure to use a larger crock pot. Read more

Mom’s Watching: 4 Tech Solutions to Keep Track of Everyone

Posted on by Crystal in MommiFried Extras | Leave a comment

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With a busy schedule and always being on the go, it can be tricky tracking your kid’s every move online. Sure you’d love to and you know you should with the prevalence of cyberbullying, but it’s not easy to carve out that time in your busy schedule of work, school, and shuttling everyone back and forth to activities. Since cloning yourself is out of the question (for now, at least) here are some high-tech solutions to help you keep track of where your kids are and what they’re doing online. Read more

I Did a Headstand, and My Boobs Fell Off

Posted on by Crystal in Confessions of an Older Mom | 8 Comments

Over the weekend, I was an adventurous soul. I LEFT THE HOUSE! More than once. For me, that’s an extreme sport. Or some kind of World Record. But the adventure didn’t stop there. Read more

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