Sweater Hugs, Here and Now, and From Beyond

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | Leave a comment

At the far end of my closet, a familiar sweater sways from a bamboo hanger. It’s no longer the lush white it once was, and the scent of Chantilly perfume faded away years ago. But it’s hers, and it’s mine, and with it, we will always be together. At least, that’s what my grieving mind still tells me.

Its rows of intricate stitches are cool from weeks of being tucked away in the dark. I give it a gentle shake and hold it up near the bedroom window, warming both my hands and the fabric in the evanescent rays of sun. Light drifts through its many diamond-shaped holes – the open chasms between loops of knotted yarn. I drape the soft remembrance around my shoulders, as I have many times before, and crisscross the sides just above the bridge of my nose. It’s a secret ritual, and one I perform alone. Read more

Children and a Puppy: Helping Kids Learn to Interact

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

The excitement of getting a new puppy addition to a family is palpable. Especially when you have kids. Having a pet in the house is something that kids of all ages love and something that can also be beneficial to the development of children as they grow. A pet in the family teaches children about respect, and can actually positively affect a child’s self-confidence. Children can also learn about empathy and communication from their little furry friends.

Bringing a puppy into your home is not unlike having a baby in the house again. Cleaning up toilet messes, making sure they eat, sleep, and play. Then there’s teaching them how to behave well around other animals and around people. Kids don’t always understand that a puppy needs to be taught as they are too excited at the prospect of playing with the puppy. In this respect, there are two parts to puppy socialization – teaching the puppy and helping your child learn and learn from their mistakes as training progresses. Read more

How to Make Your Own Healthy Acai Bowl

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | Leave a comment

Do you feel like starting your day on a healthy tip? Why not go with an acai bowl for breakfast this morning? It’s hard to believe this delicious treat is good for you – bursting with color, flavor, and nutrients for your body.

There are various recipes to try, and it only takes a few minutes to put together. Take it with you to work for a healthy snack or enjoy it at any time of the day when you feel like an energy boost and some extra calories. Read more

How to Help Your Child Improve Their Writing Skills

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | Leave a comment

Have you ever seen that Grammarly ad on YouTube? The one that emphasizes how important writing skills are? While I have been interrupted and highly annoyed by it at least half-a-hundred times, it does have a point. We should all focus on improving our writing skills at some time or another. Even as adults. However, our children are the ones who can benefit from giving them a boost – being able to write easily, effortlessly, in different styles and on different subjects makes all kinds of aspects of life more enjoyable and less stressful.

From kindergarten to university and beyond, writing is a skill that will never let you down – I should know, I’ve turned it into a career and have firmly stuck to it as a hobby as well. Let’s look at 10 ways you can help your child improve their own writing skills: Read more

The Pros and Cons of Distance Education

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | Leave a comment

We continue to pilot our new way of living amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, and for many families, this includes adjusting to remote learning. As more schools have put restrictions on the number of students and teachers allowed within school buildings, parents have now taken on the role of playing a larger part in their child’s education.

Although distance learning brings new challenges and adjustments, there are also many exciting advantages to this education style. Here are a few of the pros and cons of distance education and what to expect when schooling from home. Read more

Telehealth Therapy for Kids: Benefits and How it Works

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

We are all facing unprecedented challenges right now from a range of sources. With schedule changes, working from home, remote learning, social distancing, and other drastic changes to our daily lives, everyone is dealing with a lot. While we focus on taking care of ourselves and adapting to all these changes, we might forget about other people in our lives that do not have the skills to handle these trying times. Amidst all this uncertainty, we might forget that kids are going through all of these changes too, and they do not have the maturity or life experience to cope with these extreme changes. Thankfully, the current times have created a way for anyone, kid or adult, to talk with a therapist to help manage these stressful situations. Telehealth can help anyone, but it is particularly essential for kids who do not have the skills to deal with the drastic changes happening in their life. Read more

How to Navigate Distance and Hybrid Learning With Your Kids

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | Leave a comment

This school year is a little bit different – how is it going? Whether the schools in your area have opted for distance, hybrid, or in-person learning, finding your footing as a support system for your kids has become a bit more challenging. These tips can help effectively navigate the world of distance and hybrid learning in your home. Read more

5 Ways to Declutter Your Home and Mind

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Clutter can come in many forms. From physical clutter like things you don’t use, you don’t know the purpose of, or you don’t have a place for, to psychological clutter which is anything that creates guilt, anxiety, or the feeling of being overwhelmed, clutter has a way of consuming your life. 

Especially now that roughly 40% of people are working from home, clutter can build as kitchen tables double as classrooms and bedrooms as offices. Studies show that clutter can negatively impact mental well-being and that it can induce a physiological response, including increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Experts even say clutter can begin to represent the pent up negativity in our lives and translate to increasing feelings of depression. 

When clutter takes on a life of its own, personifying our inner anxieties and giving them a voice it’s time to kick it out. A clean and clear home is a clear headspace for not only you but your family!  Read more