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

Where does time go when you’re a mom?

Posted on by Crystal in Motherhood, Oh Aless! | 10 Comments

where does time go

As I’m sitting here writing this blog post, I realize the day has completely flown by. It seems just a few hours ago it was 5:15 am and Aless, our human rooster, was letting us know it was time to get up. Precisely 14 hours has passed since then, and I’m trying to remember where it all went. I suppose 80 percent of every minute is attributed to taking care of Aless – any infant/baby/toddler for that matter – which is a huge chunk of time. In fact, there are 840 minutes in 14 hours. Less approximately two hours of nap time (it was not a sleepy day) Aless time accounted for 576 of those 840 minutes. WHOA! Read more

How to Eat Soup – Toddler Style

Posted on by Crystal in Oh Aless! | 8 Comments

how to eat soup

Toddlers love soup. It’s wet, tasty and most of all, sticks to everything. My Aless seems to love soup more than the average toddler. She especially loves the broth, which is used like a bird bath each time she has a bowl.  Read more

Memories Captured: Quiet Moments

Posted on by Crystal in Oh Aless! | 22 Comments



Pitter-Patter Go Little Feet, She Is My Heart

Posted on by Crystal in Oh Aless! | 3 Comments


Pitter-patter go little feet as she runs up behind me. Her arms wrapped tightly around my legs, the soft giggles begin. I reach back and gently grab her wrists, growling loudly like a bear. “GRRRRRRRR! I’ll get you, Alessandra!” The giggles turn to laughter as I feel her collapse to the floor. Bent down, I softly kiss her forehead, taking in each smile and loving gaze from her eyes. She is my heart. Read more

My Daughter, the Redhead

Posted on by Crystal in Oh Aless! | 14 Comments


I worry about my daughter. Somehow she got the dominant Irish genes on both sides and this has produced a classic redhead. You know…one of “them”. And by “them”, I mean totally awesome humanoids! I can’t help but love her hair (and eyebrows – which are fire red), but at the same time I’m worried as shit. Redheads are often singled out and teased. My gawd, I’m guilty of it myself. Over the years, I’ve called some of my closest friends gingers, carrot tops and bushfires. Of course, this was always in fun. We were being playful. But what happens when a stranger calls my daughter a ginger for the first time? Or something even more insulting like Agent Orange or Garfield. This ninja-inducing, med-deserving mom will go ape shit in thirty ways. It could very well be the first time I’m arrested. Read more

A Happy First BEE-day!

Posted on by Crystal in Oh Aless! | 3 Comments


Aless turned one last Friday, which I begged her NOT to do. I’ve asked her to stay six-months-old forever, but she has declined each and every month. In fact, she keeps growing and doing all kinds of crazy stuff! First she dared show teeth. Then there was crawling, which quickly led to walking. Now she’s running around saying “hi” and climbing onto benches and chairs (to which she finds herself incredibly stuck and incredibly unhappy)! Can you believe her defiance?

On Sunday we celebrated her Queen Bee status in full attire – with a bee-themed first birthday party. She was quite impressed. It’s a good thing we love her more than life itself. Here are some pics from the big event… Read more

Happy First Birthday, Alessandra Rayne!

Posted on by Crystal in Oh Aless! | Leave a comment

It’s been a busy month around the Ponti household. A baby shower, Christmas planning and prep, our first wedding anniversary and today – our daughter’s first birthday! Hard to believe she is now a year-old. Time flies, so cherish it! Here are a few pics from this morning. We’ll be having a bigger birthday bash on Sunday! A First Bee-Day Party! Happy First Birthday, Alessandra Rayne! Read more

Things I Don’t Want My Daughter Growing Up Believing

Posted on by Crystal in Motherhood, Oh Aless! | 8 Comments

I always wanted to have a daughter. After having three boys and knowing instinctively each time that I was carrying XYers, I kind of gave up on the dream. I didn’t think being the mom of a little girl was in the cards for me.  And I accepted that reality. My boys were the greatest gifts, and I was a pro at raising the male population.

Things really do change in a heartbeat. Twelve years after having my last son, I became pregnant again. From the moment we first read the positive result on a home pregnancy test, I just knew. I knew she was coming.  Everything told me that inside I was carrying a little girl, an XXer.  She arrived in December 2011, Alessandra Rayne. Read more