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

Cinnful Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | 1 Comment

I love to bake. I’m really good at it, too, when I’m paying attention and not trying to be a vigilante Martha Stewart and guessing amounts using the palm of my hand and counting. Despite being a half-decent baker, I have certain recipes that I stick to over and over again. One is my Cinnful Cinnamon Bread. I make this on all the major food holidays – Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas – and often double the recipe so that I can send a loaf to my oldest boys’ grandmother’s house for them to enjoy as well. I whipped out a couple loafs a few days ago even though I had to improvise on pans since my bread pans went missing in the move. Here are a few pics and the recipe follows: Read more

Sugar Cookie Bars – Bliss!

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

I’m on vacation, which means I’ve been trying to sneak in some baking time. Yesterday, I found a recipe on Pinterest that made my mouth water – Sugar Cookie Bars. They were easy to make and turned out to be absolutely scrumptious!


Read more

Aebleskivers for Breakfast!

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Caden’s grandparents are up visiting from Florida and grandma had the opportunity to teach Caden how to make aebleskivers this morning. Aebleskivers are traditional Danish pancakes. Unlike flat pancakes made in a pan or on a grill, aebleskivers are cooked to perfection in a special type of pan producing a round puff-like pastry or popover. Read more

What has happened to the Olympic Games?

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | 2 Comments

Growing up I remember anxiously awaiting the return of the Olympic Games, watching wide-eyed as iconic figures such as Scott Hamilton and Mary Lou Retton took to the ice and uneven bars, respectively. With signature moves and million-dollar smiles, they wowed us with their pure athletic prowess and genuine love for the games.  My grandmother and I often watched together on a small black and white TV. We didn’t have high definition, a 50-inch LCD screen or extravagantly produced commercials filling in the gaps. But we didn’t need these things. All we needed – all we wanted – was to see and experience the excitement and competition. Read more

Working from Home is Not a “Luxury”

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | 46 Comments

Like millions of people around the world, I have successfully worked from home for many years – since 1998 to be exact. As a remote worker, I believe my efficiency, availability and output far exceeds the vast majority of traditional workers. I’m not plagued by office politics, constant interruptions and distractions or a draining commute. What I am plagued by, however, is the condescending comments often made by those who have either never worked from home or worked from home unsuccessfully. Read more

Tap Water For Sale! Bring Your Own Cup (BYOC)!

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

The summer Olympics are almost upon us.

In other news, you really can sell snow to a polar bear. Did you hear about this “water-only café” that opened in Manhattan? That’s right. For just $2.50, you can get ridden like…I mean, you can get yourself a one-of-a-kind 16-ounce glass of water. Tap water. Now, don’t get me wrong. This tap water has journeyed through a $20,000 filtration system, making it Queen of all Water. And you can add a bunch of different supplements that sound like they replace The Hair Club for Men, Viagra and penicillin all in a sip. The only requirement? Bring your own container. Yep. Don’t expect to find any red SOLO cups here. But they will do the rest of the work for you. You know, turn the lever on and fill up your cup. All for the bargain price of $2.50. Read more

Do I have skin cancer?

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

I’m headed to the doctor tomorrow to have a suspicious spot on my face checked. Strangely, in just two days a once silent brown “spot” has turned a pearly, pink color and is very sore and itchy. Naturally, I’m worried. And have every reason to be freaking out just a bit. Until two years ago, I worshipped the sun and spent hours upon hours in tanning booths. I started when I was just 15-years-old. Any chance I could get to lie out in the sun or take advantage of a tanning booth, I was there. It wasn’t until I noticed the skin on my arms and legs taking on a leathery appearance that I finally gave up this dangerous addiction – which I do believe it is. Read more

The End of Twilight

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Since the release of the second trailer for Breaking Dawn Part 2, I’ve been having a hard time coming to grips with the notion that the Twilight era is coming to an end. Laugh at me all you want, but like millions of mature women around the world, I’m a huge fan of this dark, romantic series – an addict, in fact. I’ve lingered like a lust-filled Shakespearean character for each new taste of Twilight. From the moment the first book hit store shelves in 2005, there has always been some vampirish, Forks-induced, Bella-inspired event on the horizon – something to fuel the fantasy just a little bit longer. But soon, this mystical era will see its final days. Read more