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

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 5 Comments

pumpkin spice muffins

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I am a pumpkin addict. I cannot wait for the holidays or fall weather to roll around to get my fix. I’m eating this squash (yes it is) twelve months of the year! These Pumpkin Spice Muffins with a simple glaze are full of pumpkin flavor and a hint of spice which fill my addiction. Pumpkin Spice Muffins are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a snack. They’re not too sweet and are rather low in fat. Read more

Summer Fruit Skewers & Crock Pot Chocolate Fondue

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 11 Comments

fruitskew

Get creative with your crock pot this summer! These colorfully sweet summer fruit skewers have always been a backyard barbecue favorite. Dunk and drizzle them in a rich chocolate fondue made in a crock pot for convenience. Read more

Five Manly Cocktails for Father’s Day

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 1 Comment

manly cocktails

Although women are the primary consumers, men have been drinking cocktails for decades. If the drink makes the man, then cocktails make a man very sexy, suave, and adventurous! If you’re on the fence about putting down the beer, PUT DOWN THE BEER! Expand your horizons. And indulge on your day.

Here are five very manly cocktails for Father’s Day: Read more

Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 3 Comments

mini cakes

According to About.com, legend has it that chocolate lava cake was the result of a major culinary disaster. If that’s the case, I’m so happy someone goofed in the kitchen! And that it wasn’t me for once! I’ve had some epic disasters of my own recently–none creating something better than what was originally intended. I even ruined a simple box of Hamburger Helper! The horror!

I can assure you that this recipe for Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes is one that never fails. It’s my go-to when we are craving something sweet on a busy day. It’s also a crowd pleaser when several batches are made and served as dessert. Or the main event! There are a million recipes out there for chocolate lava cakes. This one is a little different because they are made mini-sized in a cupcake pan. They’re also a little less “wet” (runny?) than those traditionally made in individual ramekins or custard cups. But they’re every bit as delicious. Read more

Crock Pot Picnic Lunch

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 6 Comments

Crock P

Okay. So you can’t pack a crock pot in your picnic basket. That doesn’t mean you can’t whip up some heavenly perfect-for-the-outdoors eats before heading out for a special feast. Outdoor dining doesn’t mean you have to settle for drab dishes! Here are 10 highly recommended recipes for the perfect crock pot picnic lunch. Several are from my Gram’s Recipe Tin: Read more

Budget Friendly Family Meals: Easy Beef Stroganoff

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 14 Comments

beef stroganoff

I’m excited to share with you a meal that I have been preparing for years and one that came directly from my grandmother’s recipe tin–Easy Beef Stroganoff! Fit for a family, this recipe is easy to prepare and extremely versatile. It can be served on egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or your favorite pasta. You’ll find the recipe at the end of this post. Read more

Crock Pot Dark Chocolate Pudding

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 4 Comments

Crock Pot Dark Chocolate Pudding

If you’re looking to try dessert recipes for your crock pot, start with this easy and super yummy recipe for Crock Pot Dark Chocolate Pudding. Hips be damned! This is a heavy, cream-infused treat that will leave you full, but longing for more. It’s been kid tested and husband approved, so grab your crock pot and get busy! Read more

Crock Pot Beer Steamed Sausages

Posted on by Crystal in Food & Recipes | 17 Comments

BEER STEAMED SAUSAGES

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! And you know what that means, right? Beer, beer, and MORE beer! Even though I despise the stuff and wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot leprechaun, I love cooking with ales and stout. What’s on the lushful menu this year? Crock Pot Beer Steamed Sausages is one of my favorite beer-infused meals. Forget about beer brats. You’ll drool over these babies! I’ll be whipping up another batch this weekend! Read more