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

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

Why Kids Find Food Yummier When There Is a Cartoon on the Box (Guest Post)

Posted on by Crystal in Guest Posts, Kids | 4 Comments


Sometimes getting children to eat properly can be a nightmare. Most of the time children only want sweets, crisps and chocolate because these are foods they see as exciting. They know they can only have such treats now and again and, thus, they become an exciting choice. However, when it comes to eating other foods – such as cereal, fruit, biscuits, bread, vegetables and so on and so forth –  children seem to simply move their food around the plate and barely eat anything. They sense that you want them to eat the food and, therefore, in their eyes it is deemed boring. However, there is a way you can try to get your children to eat all sorts of foods. Read more

Confessions of an Older Mom: Being a Teen Mother

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 7 Comments


I’ve decided to start a weekly thread called: Confessions of an Older Mom. Each week I’ll share or confess something from my years of parenting. This week, I’m confessing that I was indeed a teen mom and, yes, it was freaking hard. Read more

Help Kids Beat Type 2 Diabetes this New Year (Guest Post)

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 1 Comment


The holidays are a time of struggle for many people as they try to balance eating healthy while still enjoying all the delicious goodies that tend to come around in November and December. My family is the same as any, but this year we had to make a drastic change in how we spent the holidays. November was American Diabetes Month, and ironically, November was the same month that we found out that one of my younger cousins was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Read more

5 Unconventional Ways to Choose a Baby Name When at Odds

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, Lifestyle | 4 Comments

iStock_000021783862_SmallExpecting a baby is a magical, yet very busy time for parents. Amidst the flurry of preparing an ideal room, purchasing all the necessities and attending doctor’s appointments galore, there’s also that minor detail of choosing the perfect baby name – one that both parents like and can appreciate. Although this might seem like an easy task, there are times when mom and dad find themselves at odds. If you’ve suddenly found yourself in this situation, don’t fret. Rather than toss pacifiers at one another, here are five unconventional ways to find the middle ground and choose a great name for your baby: Read more

Valentine’s Day Ideas – A Heartbeat Away

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, Lifestyle | Leave a comment


It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been this excited about Valentine’s Day. It’s not that it has been without meaning or significance, since I’m happily married and adore the beautiful flowers that typically arrive on this day. I’ve just discovered a renewed desire to decorate since Aless is older and can now enjoy the festivities. Read more

Boy or Girl? Don’t Know? Don’t Guess!

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, Lifestyle | 4 Comments

I woke up a little pissed off today, which was a rollover from yesterday, and it’s not because Pontilicious got drunk on cheap farm wine last night or that the house looks like Santa’s workshop collided with Whole Foods smashed with Toys-R-Us or that we are literally in the middle of decorating a 9-foot Christmas tree that is more cooperative than we are. Nope. These little calamities are not what has me wanting to pluck the fingernails slowly from two ladies hands while making them drink Kool-Aid straight from the packet – unflavored and raw. Read more