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

How to Plan the Ultimate Staycation

Who wouldn’t want to take a vacation every month, or even every weekend? Unfortunately for most, there isn’t room for a trip in the schedule—or budget. Plus, as most holiday vacations prove, it can be exhausting and overwhelming to coordinate a family trip out of town. That’s why many people in need of a small getaway take staycations instead. Staycations allow you to relax and do fun activities with your family, all without the expense of travel or booking 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

Stress-Busting Tips When Balancing Work and Family

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, Motherhood | 5 Comments

Mother with  daughter

Working mothers are more stressed and spend more time multitasking at home than working dads, according to a study in the American Sociological Review. A survey by Pew Research reported 41 percent of moms who work full time and 40 percent of those working part time said they constantly feel rushed. But moms don’t need a survey to tell you that you’re feeling stretched thin without much left to give at the end of the day. There are ways to carve out some time and indulgence just for you. After all, a happy mom makes for a happy household. Read more

Give Your Children the Online Tools They Need to Succeed

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment


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. Learn how to create an online course and more with these gems. Read more

What Kids SHOULD Do On Summer Vacation…

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 7 Comments


A lot has changed in the thirty-somewhat years since I celebrated the semester’s last school bell in anticipation of summer vacation. Life was simple back then. We didn’t need the latest gadget or movie to keep us entertained. We relied on our surroundings, a few bucks in our pockets, and, for the most part, our own two feet. While I love seeing today’s kids enjoy their Kindles, motorized scooters, and Minecraft, much can be said for getting back to basics. Here’s what kids SHOULD do on summer vacation… Read more

Showing Your Children How to Stay Safe in the Sun (Infographic)

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 1 Comment


Playing outside in the sun is an important part of growing up. Parents have shooed their children out of the house to get a moments rest as well as helping their kids get some exercise. It is important to make sure that they are well protected. Along with some common sense the only other thing you can arm them with is some good sunscreen lotion and proper clothing. Once they’re outside and out of sight they may adventure in ways you may not have expected but knowing that they aren’t going to get a sunburn takes at least one of the worries away. Read more

6 Ways Your Life Gets Harder After Your Children Have Grown

Posted on by Crystal in Confessions of an Older Mom, Kids | 5 Comments


If you’re one of the millions of people who believe that life gets easier after your children have grown, please form a single line so I can forehead thump the first person and watch the rest of you fall like dominoes. Life does not get easier when the birds have flown the coop!

Here are 6 ways life gets harder after your children have grown: Read more

Our Brush With Death and Support of GiveForward

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, Product Reviews | 4 Comments


On the night of April 1, 2006, an attending ICU physician walked sheepishly into a small crowded family room where we huddled together waiting for news. “Your son only has a 5 percent chance of making it through the night. We believe he has encephalitis,” he said nervously. At that moment, the world around me came to a screeching halt. It was as if time froze. Only when I felt my oldest son’s arms around me, would I find myself standing in the far corner of an unfamiliar room, unable to process what was happening. I immediately fled the room and rushed down a long corridor. I had to get to my son Adam. I had to help him hold on, to fight whatever was happening to his body. This was not the end. Read more

Pool Party Games for Kid Birthday Parties (Guest Post)

Posted on by Crystal in Guest Posts, Kids | 3 Comments


I sure didn’t want to see the kids at my son’s birthday party sitting around looking like they were not having fun. When we had the party at our family pool – the pool was the main entertainment, and fun was in abundant supply. The kids would play for a while on their own, but they still might need some organized games to liven things up. Here are some great possibilities I found: Read more

What Having Five Kids Has Taught Me

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 11 Comments


In December, I was honored and humbled to be featured on Jill Smokler’s site Scary Mommy. My post How to Raise a Small Army was well-received, with other moms nodding in agreement (I’m not a creeper. I couldn’t actually see them. I’m just assuming that’s what they were doing.) or sharing their own stories about raising a buttload of kids. Reflecting on this post, I thought of some of the things having five kids has taught me.

Here they are in no particular order (like my kids): Read more