The Best and Worst Things to Buy on Black Friday

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year and has been a culture installation for generations. Many people use Black Friday to kick off the holiday season, and businesses are more than happy to keep the tradition alive. There are certainly some fantastic deals you can find on Black Friday, but there are also some deals that are not as good as they seem. Some items are ideal to buy on Black Friday, but not Read more

6 Truths About Helicopter Parents

My parenting style can be best described as a hybrid mashup—a combination of authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. But if one parenting style was to surface and all others sink, at the end of the day I would emerge a predominantly helicopter parent. The term "helicopter parenting" was coined back in 1990 by child development researchers Foster Cline and Jim Fay in their book, Parenting With Love and Logic. Helicopter parents, according to the official definition, take an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of Read more

Top of the Tingles: The ASMR A-List

Relaxation. Euphoria. Tingling. These are the words used to describe the result of an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR, trigger. In a piece I recently wrote for Sanity & Self, I describe the concept as "the physical response to auditory, visual, or tactile triggers, usually a tingly sensation similar to feeling chills. Think of the goosebumps you might get when someone whispers into your ear. That’s ASMR. Most experts attribute ASMR’s relaxing sensations to the release of endorphins, Read more

Self-Discovery Questions to Ask Yourself Each Day

In today’s uber-connected world, it’s so easy to get caught up in your phone wherever you go. Whether you're responding to work emails, organizing your kids’ schedules, or updating your Instagram, the hours can fly by before you know it. While this is certainly convenient, it can become unhealthy if it turns into a habit. Because we’re all so busy, your mental health could be suffering and you wouldn’t even know it because you’re too preoccupied to pay attention Read more

Self-Care With Hygge

Taking time for yourself as a mom can be difficult between appointments, errands and keeping everyone fed, on time and in clean clothes. Finding ways to fit in self-care and moments to yourself are so important, even short breaks can have a positive impact on your day. One shortcut to make sure you get the change to recharge is make your house ready for relaxation whenever you are. You may have heard of it as an emerging decor trend, hygge Read more

Ghetto Nuns and Margarita Handshakes

Posted on by Crystal in Cadenisms, Pontilicious Moments | 2 Comments

On our way to Wal-Mart yesterday and after leaving Applebee’s where one Pontilicious had several Happy Hour margaritas (have you ever seen the size of those puppies?!), we stopped at a convenience store in a rather – unpleasant? – part of town. This resulted in the following conversation:

PONTILICIOUS: Did you really lock the doors when I went inside?

ME: Yes!

PONTILICIOUS: Why? I was right there (points to inside of store). Literally, feet from you. Only that glass window was between us.

ME: I don’t care. This is not the best area of town. I didn’t want someone car jacking us or taking one of the kids. Read more

It Has Nothing To Do With Boobs

Posted on by Crystal in Cadenisms | Leave a comment


ME: Did I just hear you say “righty tighty, lefty loosey”?


ME: What the hell?

PONTILICIOUS: I couldn’t figure something out and that helped. Shoot me.

ME: Wow.

CADEN: Doesn’t that have something to do with boobs? Read more

Crystal Stands for Whaaaat?

Posted on by Crystal in Cadenisms | 7 Comments


Today was not a good morning around the Ponti household. After waking up again at 4:00 AM and cleaning the entire house by six, I was feeling a little worn out and hostile. Caden got up shortly after six, came out to the kitchen and set a stack of papers on the counter. I happened to glance down and noticed the word “lier” written on a red piece of decorated construction paper. Here’s what unfolded: Read more

And the Bat Says “Beep Beep Beep”

Posted on by Crystal in Cadenisms, Pontilicious Moments | 2 Comments

PONTILICIOUS: Do bats have sonar?
ME: Yep. Bats do indeed have sonar.
PONTILICIOUS: Like the kind that goes “beep beep beep?”
ME: (paused – in a state of confusion and disbelief) Are you serious?
ME: You’re dead serious, aren’t you? Read more

No More Passive Parent Homework Participation

Posted on by Crystal in Cadenisms, Kids | 4 Comments

As parents, we are held accountable for our kids doing their homework. I totally get this and completely agree with the mentality and approach. What I don’t agree with is a relatively new tactic that teachers are using. Google docs! Just look: Read more

You know you’re tired when…

Posted on by Crystal in Cadenisms, MUDDies | Leave a comment

I’m tired. Deeply, deeply tired. It’s been a rough couple of nights. I know I’m that special kind of tired because while watching a movie with Caden, I commented that the figure in the shadows looked like “an alien with testicles.” He looked at me and burst out laughing. Read more

The Drink That Will Bring You Back to Life

Posted on by Crystal in Cadenisms | Leave a comment

My 12-year-old son, Caden, has a lot to say. And often, what he says is truly comical. I’ve been sharing his funny outtakes, quotes and sayings on Facebook for years and thought I would capture them here, too, with an entire category devoted to him: Cadenisms!

A recipe I found online today reminded me a something Caden said at Christmas time this past year. After taking a sip of egg nog he cheered:

“Yum! This egg nog is good. It tastes like that Reincarnation Breakfast mix!” 🙂

Forget Gatorade. Caden has the drink that will bring you back to life.