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

10 Best New Mommy Bloggers

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | 9 Comments

In recent days and months, a number of new mommy bloggers have emerged – some focused solely on blogging about their families, others taking a broader approach. Like all the great women before them, the pioneers of the mommy blogging industry, they’re already making footprints and catching the eye of loyal readers and brands. Here are the top 10 best new mommy bloggers: Read more

Michelle Obama, An Exemplary First Mom or “Mom in Chief”

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Despite my feelings on politics and non-existent thoughts on our current President, I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Michelle Obama. She has been a quiet force, working diligently behind the scenes and somehow single-handedly managing to shield her daughters from the public eye in ways that First Moms before her could never do. For that achievement alone, I commend her.

Last night, the self-proclaimed “mom in chief” gave an inspirational speech at the Democratic National Convention 2012 in support of her husband. She encouraged patience and understanding as we work together to revive our economy and get the heart pumping again in our nation. She did what any mom would do – she used the age-old art of persuasion, speaking to her “children” in a warm, positive, “I will do everything in my power to see this through” manner. I believe if it were within her reach, she would do anything to help her country. Read more

Is the term “mommy blogger” unacceptable?

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | 3 Comments

I’m rather new to this whole mommy blogger world. It’s been exactly two months since I started my mommy blogging efforts, and I’ve been having a fantastic time meeting other mommy bloggers and moms around the world. It was brought to my attention, however, by a mommy blogger no less, that mommy blogger is now an unacceptable description; that I should use a term like “lifestyle blogger” or just blogger. What?

Unsure if I should take this advice to heart, I went in search of an answer as to why “mommy blogger” might be considered an unacceptable description (because I didn’t think to ask – I was too shocked to hear this) and what the general consensus was on using the terminology. In a recent article mother and author Kate Hopper stated, “Once something is labeled “momoir” or a “mommy blog” people don’t take it seriously as literary venture.” Fair enough, but a difficult statement to substantiate. Heather Armstrong, whose writing is impeccable, is one of the most well-known mommy bloggers. She is taken seriously as literary venture and deeply respected in the literary world. There are others, as well, including Scary Mommy’s Jill Smokler, The Bloggess Jenny Lawson, Alice Bradley of Finslippy and the list goes on. These women have written bestsellers, author popular columns and have been featured in countless publications. And they have achieved literary venture through their respective mommy blogs. Read more

Decadent Whoopie Pie Cake Recipe

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

As many of you know, I was born, raised and still live in Maine. I love this state which is home to the likes of L.L. Bean, lobster, Moxie and the infamous whoopie pie. Although some states claim to have “invented” whoopie pies, it is considered synonymous with New England and believed to have been “invented” in Maine back in the 1920s.

Also “invented” in Maine is the whoopie pie cake, a decadent, melt-in-your-mouth dessert fit for a King (or Queen). It’s relatively easy to make and a great treat for the kids! Enjoy! Read more

My Thoughts on Lance Armstrong, Self-Serving Tygarts and What Martha Stewart Would Say

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | 3 Comments

It was a sad morning to wake up and read headlines talking about Lance Armstrong on the verge of being banned from the world of cycling FOREVER and losing his seven Tour de France titles (which is now a reality) – all at the hands of a little outfit known as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency or more specifically, it’s fearless (and obviously narcissistic) chief, Travis Tygart. Non-analytical evidence is being used this time around – testimony from fellow cycling teammates, several who claim they saw Armstrong inject himself with “EPO”, a naturally occurring hormone.

No one can say for sure what really happened – but Armstrong has stressed time and time again that he is innocent. Whether or not you believe him, he has passed hundreds of drug tests and was exonerated of all charges years ago. Obviously, that wasn’t good enough for some. Read more

Stonewall Kitchen: Great Products for Busy Moms

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

I mentioned in a previous post that I recently placed second in a Pinterest contest winning a gift certificate to Stonewall Kitchen. If you’ve never heard of Stonewall Kitchen before, let me just say, it’s to die for! This purveyor of specialty foods got its start at a local farmer’s market. Today, the company has 9 stores throughout New England and is featured in retail establishments nationwide. And I happen to love their products! Read more

How Mommy Bloggers Can Use LinkedIn

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | 28 Comments

Think LinkedIn is all about showing off your resume and qualifications or simply a tool for performing a job search? Think again. LinkedIn is actually a very beneficial tool for mommy bloggers and can be an incredible resource for your blog. Considered the ultimate B2B social networking platform, I use it extensively for my social media clients and believe it is one of the most effective drivers of leads, traffic and referrals (when used correctly).

Now you might be cringing at the thought of adding yet another social media platform to your efforts. I promise you will not be disappointed. Thankfully, once set up, LinkedIn requires less time and effort than maintaining a Facebook page or keeping up with Twitter.

Here are a few reasons you want to be on LinkedIn: Read more

Old-Time Fried Cakes Recipe

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Still digging into the old recipe tin I found stashed in a moving tote. Another gem turned up, again in my grandmother’s handwriting, a recipe for “Fried Cakes.” I had to improvise because I think she assumed we would all know how to whip these up. Enjoy! Read more