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 Easy Activities You Can Do With Your Kids Right Now

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

“I’m bored,” is a phrase no parent ever wants to hear. When kids are restless and feel like they have nothing to do, it can be tempting to hand them an iPad or turn on the TV. But there are better ways to keep them entertained. Stop boredom in its tracks with these ten easy activities you can do with your kids right now. They require minimal equipment and materials and offer satisfyingly instant results. Read more

Saying ‘Goodbye’ to Elf on the Shelf Comes with Unexpected Grief and Sadness

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

“Parting is sweet sorrow,” they say. In our case, parting has been a confusing and very unexpected side of the Elf on the Shelf tradition—one that placed a dark cloud over our holidays.

Unlike 13 million current owners, for more than a decade I resisted the temptation of buying an Elf on the Shelf. I didn’t want the responsibility of another “living” thing, and, I knew I might forget to move the Elf and ruin the game. So, I dismissed the awkward glances from other parents when I told them we’d never have one of those disturbing little Scouts in our house. I closed a plethora of ads urging me to jump on this “fun” and “endearing” bandwagon. And, I declined my children’s requests to let Santa send one of his elves to keep an eye on them. “We’ll be sooooo good!” they promised. Nope. I was Team #NoElfontheShelf and nothing could change my mind.

Then, around Thanksgiving, my daughter caught me at just the right moment—no doubt when one of those ASPCA commercials aired—and broke me down. A few weeks later, the very anticipated box arrived on our doorstep. What could go wrong? Read more

Holiday Road Trip Printables for Your Next Family Trip

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | Leave a comment

The holidays are right around the corner and many of you may be getting ready to hit the road to visit family or simply go on an adventure. Whether you’re expecting to hit a lot of traffic, as one does during this time of year, or your destination is just a long ways ahead, keeping the kiddos entertained will help make the ride go a lot smoother.

Although phones, tablets and video games are great to keep kids busy for quite some time, it’s always best to mix in some screen-free activities and downtime. These can be printable games, coloring pages or any other family bonding activities you like to play in the car. With that in mind, I thought I’d share these adorable holiday printables from Car Rentals Read more

Attracting Cheerful Backyard Songbirds

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Birding with children is a fun and educational outdoor activity. On average, kids spend more than seven hours per day with electronic media. Studying birds at the convenience of your backyard can teach children about wildlife and ecology as well as engage all of their senses. You could take up birding with your kids year-round — even in winter. Here are some ways to get your youngsters excited about birdwatching. Read more

How to Choose a Guardian for Your Child

Posted on by Crystal in Motherhood | Leave a comment

No one can replace you as a parent and the thought of someone else raising your child is unbearable. However choosing a guardian for your child is an arrangement all parents must make. Read more

Activities For Children With Autism

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Did you know that children with autism spectrum disorder can benefit from physical activity just as much as typically developing children? Exercise not only helps kids with autism engage in social environments, but it also aids in weight loss and leads to better overall health. Studies show that vigorous activity for more than 20 minutes may decrease hyperactivity, aggression and stereotypical behaviors. Participation in regular sports or fitness programs might enhance social and motor skills, boost self-esteem and even improve performance on academic tasks. Here are a few tips on how parents and caregivers can motivate a child with autism to keep active. Read more

Face Yoga for Anti-Aging

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

These days there are countless creams, serums, and injectibles available to help reduce signs of aging. While they’re effective, they can also come with numerous unwanted chemicals. For example, did you know that anti-wrinkle injections are actually botulinum toxins? Yes, that’s botulism. And while there are all-natural creams, you never know what’s in something unless you make it yourself. If you’re the kind of person that likes to avoid these altogether, or if you’d just like another anti-aging tool in your box, you may consider face yoga. Read more

What an Ideal Holiday To-Do List Should Look Like

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Being surrounded by friends and family during the holidays is a time of year like no other. We all love the warmth that it brings with the holiday music playing, putting up the Christmas tree, decking the halls with essential christmas decorations, and baking cookies. Preparing of all of these holiday endeavors goes right along with that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling. Getting prepared in advance for the holiday season will make the feeling that we all adore come sooner, as well as make your holidays smoother and more enjoyable this year. Read more

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