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

I’m a Sony Pictures Sex Tape Blogger! Woot!

Posted on by Crystal in Movie Reviews | 8 Comments

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This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of Sony Pictures. 

Sony Pictures is releasing a little (HUGE) movie called Sex Tape this week starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal. They play a married couple who are very much in love, but struggling to keep the passion alive in their relationship after ten years, two kids, and two jobs. They decide to spice things up by making a private video and, as I’m sure you can guess, quickly find out their private video was made not so private. Can you say “Welcome to the Cloud?!” The film chronicles the lengths they’ll go to (and hijinks that ensue) to recover and erase the evidence. Read more

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (Review)

Posted on by Crystal in Movie Reviews | 2 Comments

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When I was recently contacted by Paramount Pictures online team for a possible review of their new film Cirque de Soleil: Worlds Away, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d never seen a Cirque du Soleil performance in person or on TV, but had heard they were exhilarating and mind blowing. The film is no exception. Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, executive produced by James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar and The Terminator), is a beautifully crafted film that entertains the mind and feeds the soul. I enjoyed every second…every gymnastically impossible feat, every mesmerizing costume and every earth moving musical note. It is an infusion of contemporary artistry and old world charm worth watching. Read more

Submit the Documentary (Review) – Inside the World of Cyberbullying

Posted on by Crystal in Movie Reviews | 12 Comments

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The way we hurt each other has evolved™ is the powerful message behind a new documentary chronicling the frightening reality of cyberbullying. Produced by Les Ottolenghi and Ashley Reid of PLAT4M STUDIOS LLC, Submit the Documentary took me on an emotional hour-long journey where I was moved by first-hand accounts of cyberbullying and inspired to help bring about change. Through the eyes of victims, families, experts and actual perpetrators, Submit depicts this growing and pervasive problem in rich detail, backed by thorough research.

When I was asked to review the documentary, I gratefully jumped at the opportunity. The topic of cyberbullying is near and dear to my heart, not only because I’m a mom, but because I’ve been working in Online Community Management for close to 10 years. Read more

Delhi Safari: An Entertaining Fusion of Animated Escapades

Posted on by Crystal in Movie Reviews | Leave a comment

Produced by Krayon Pictures and originally released in India (October 2012), the 3D animated film Delhi Safari follows the misfortunes and adventures of a small group of animals as they travel from Mumbai to Delhi in an effort to appeal the destruction of their habitat by humans. Under consideration for an Oscar, the film has now been recast for the U.S./Canadian market with some pretty impressive names: Jason Alexander, Tara Strong, Brad Garrett, Vanessa Williams, Christopher Lloyd and Jane Lynch.

I was recently selected as a Brand Ambassador and received a promotional pass to preview the upcoming North American release. Although skeptical at first, I’m glad I took the time to watch this gem of a film and highly recommend it for families with older children. Because the movie deals with the sensitive topic of death and contains some additional mild violence, crude humor and a few suggestive scenes featuring a scantily clad animated female, I am not recommending it for viewing by younger children (although parents should use their discretion). With that said, venturing out to see this film would be the icing on an awesome family night! You will not be disappointed. Read more