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

New Year’s Champagne Crock Pot Chicken

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New Year's Champagne Crock Pot Chicken

Around the holidays, the crock pot becomes my best friend. It alleviates some of the stress of having to spend hours preparing meals and dishes for celebratory events. And New Year’s is no exception. If you’re planning a small get together or intimate party, consider making this New Year’s Champagne Crock Pot Chicken. It can be prepared in under a half hour and is absolutely one of the tastiest crock pot dishes I’ve ever tried. Read more

A Trio of Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes to Try This Year

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 1 Comment

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

For pumpkin pie fans, Thanksgiving is like a personal holy grail. And while pumpkin pie is certainly fine and dandy, it also has a bit of a been there, done that element to it. If you are ready to take your Thanksgiving dessert options to the next level, try one of these three recipes: Read more

Cinnamon-Schnapps-Spiked Candy Apples; A Devilish Treat

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 3 Comments

spiked candy apples

Planning an adults-only Halloween party? If so, consider spicing things up with these Cinnamon-Schnapps-Spiked Candy Apples! Skip the caramel and go for a devilish treat that can be paired with shots of cinnamon schnapps or red hot candies! Read more

Easy Candy Corn Cake Pops

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 3 Comments

cakepops

Since childhood, I’ve had a love affair with candy corn! It’s my little bit of heaven on earth. Many of my friends and family, however, would rather eat raw liver than put a piece of this sweet treat in their mouths. Whether you like the taste and texture or not, there’s no denying that candy corn is a quintessential part of every Halloween. So get ready to jazz up your holiday with these Easy Candy Corn Cake Pops! There’s very little baking required, since all you need is a box cake, can of prepared frosting, and several colors of candy coating. Read more

Spicy Crock Pot Potato Wedges (TO DIE FOR!)

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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

Crock Pot Walnut-Stuffed Glazed Apples

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 3 Comments

apples

Fall is right around the corner! That means it’s time to get ready for apple season. A few years ago I posted a Crock Pot Apple Cake recipe that went nearly viral. I hope this one is shared just as much because it’s low in fat, so easy to make, and one the whole family will enjoy. Crock Pot Walnut-Stuffed Glazed Apples come out tender (but not mushy) and will have your entire house smelling like a bakery (or apple farm). Read more

Fruit Wonder: Banana Three-Way Batter

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Banana Three-Way Batter

Digging through my gram’s recipe tin today, I discovered a really cool recipe called the Fruit Wonder. It’s a three-way banana batter that you can use to make a coffee cake, loaf, or muffins. I threw together a batch of the muffins, which cooked light and golden brown. They were packed with flavor and delicious warm right out of the over and smothered in butter. Since there is a star next to the recipe, I’m thinking this was a good one. Next weekend, it’s on to the coffee cake! It’s a great way to use up all those really ripe bananas. Read more

Crock Pot Cream of Zucchini Soup

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 1 Comment

Crock Pot Cream of Zucchini Soup

It’s that time of year! Gardens are overflowing with delicious fruits and vegetables. One that has a tendency to overflow more than others: zucchini. This little plant can turn into a beast overnight, yielding a high volume of squash. If you’ve found yourself buried in green gold, consider making a batch of Crock Pot Cream of Zucchini Soup. Make it on a day that is rainy or overcast. We have plenty of those during the summer months! Read more