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

And Then She Was 2…

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 2 Comments


Where does time go? It seems like just yesterday I heard you cry for the very first time. And here you are, two-years-old today, my Alessandra Rayne! I waited over 20 years for you to arrive and not a moment goes by that I don’t cherish having you in my life, my beautiful daughter. Thank you for giving mom everything she had always hoped for and more! I love you. Every moment, every day, for always!



Our Little Sunshine – Gone, But Never Forgotten

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 3 Comments


You were a little miracle, born of love, yet totally unexpected. At first, your dad questioned your existence. Could you just be late, well, because you’re late, he asked me repeatedly. I knew better. I knew you were there before the first little pink plus sign appeared. And the second and the third, just to be sure. I felt your presence, the little flutters of life growing inside of me. And I loved you. I loved you deeply and could not wait to grow with you…to feel your kicks and see your little nose, hands, and feet on a blurry black and white picture. I would hang it on the refrigerator. Proud to be your mama.  Read more

Family Time Pictorial

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, Pontilicious Moments | 7 Comments


I’ve seen more of my family in the last few weeks than I have in the past year. It’s been AWESOME! I love having my kids around and enjoying some downtime with them. There’s nothing like family time. Here are just a few pics we’ve snapped along the way… Read more

MommiFried’s Laws of Toddlers

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 24 Comments

laws of toddlers

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” said the infamous Murphy. He (whoever he was or is fabled to be) must have time traveled and discovered my house eons into the future. Lately, it’s been a lot of down and relatively little up. But that’s a story for another day. From Murphy, a lot of makeshift “laws” have been written. Some of the more popular include, “The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet” and “The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.” Well, maybe those aren’t the most popular, but they made me smile. It also makes me wonder what Murphy would have said about toddlers. Read more

6 Foods that Should be Banned from Highchairs

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, MUDDies | 9 Comments

6 foods that should be banned

I’m convinced there’s a reason why 30 or 40 years ago babies and toddlers were placed into hard, wooden highchairs with stiff, rigid backs. There were no fluffy padded inserts like those found in today’s seats. Back then they were smart and had it figured out. Forget comfort! They were not about to waste their time washing down seat padding and trying to scoop gunk from all the little cracks and crevices found in modern highchairs. Babies are freakin’ messy eaters! Read more

5 Things We Wish Our Kids Didn’t Do

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 16 Comments


As parents, we love our kids unconditionally. Through their ups and downs, during and after every hissy fit and temper tantrum and even when they push us to our absolute limits, we never stop loving them. It’s parenthood and, while stressful and challenging at times, it’s the most rewarding job on the planet.

There are things, however, that our children do that gnaw away at us like someone dragging their nails on a chalkboard; little annoyances and irritations that question our sanity. I’m sure the triggers differ from parent to parent, but we can all relate to those things we wish our kids didn’t do.

Here are five things that top my list (and other parents I spoke to): Read more

What I’m Really Thinking While Watching Kids’ Cartoons

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, MUDDies | 16 Comments

watching kids' cartoons

Caden officially outgrew watching cartoons about a year ago. Aless, on the other hand, has just reached the age of being totally intrigued by dancing sponges and doodling dogs. What does that mean for mom? Well, whether I like it or not, I’m subjected to watching hours of nausea inducing animated characters doing things that would cause us real people to get arrested. As you can tell, I’m not a big cartoon fan. Never have been. But I do behave as my daughter enjoys the colorful escapades unfolding before her tiny, impressionable eyes. Inside, however, is a whole different story. Inside, I’m flipping off Johnny Test and trying to figure out how to pronounce “Lalaloopsy”. La-la-loop-say. Lala-loop-see. I know. I’m going to hell.

Here’s what I’m really thinking while watching kids’ cartoons: Read more