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

Baby Strains On Your Veins

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Pregnancy brings a number of changes within the body—some expected and some unexpected. Among these changes are increased blood volume, which can lead to spider veins, varicose veins, and other vein diseases.

While vein diseases are not exclusive to pregnant women, the unique physiological changes associated with pregnancy may result in these vascular complications or worsen existing ones. In order to support the uterus during pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume may increase by up to 50% so that oxygen and proper nutrients are delivered to the fetus. Caused by an increase in both blood plasma and the number of red blood cells, this increase in blood volume puts pressure on the veins, which can lead to visibly enlarged veins—usually in the legs—more commonly referred to as varicose veins. These bulging, sometimes discolored veins are just one of the signs of an underlying issue known as venous insufficiency, or vein disease. Vein disease can also cause painful symptoms such as swelling, restlessness, cramping, and even fatigue in the lower legs. Read more

How to Plan the Ultimate Staycation

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

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 hotels. No matter where you live, there’s likely someplace you’ve never been locally that would make for an excellent afternoon for the whole gang. Or if you prefer a relaxing vacation, a spa day at home is an excellent way to unwind. Read more

Top of the Tingles: The ASMR A-List

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

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, a chemical in the brain that leads to feelings of happiness and euphoria, and a surge of oxytocin. You experience a surge of oxytocin during orgasm, which most likely parallels the chemical release of ASMR and why devotees refer to this phenomenon as brain or head orgasms.”

Common ASMR triggers include whispering, personal attention or touch, humming, tapping, role playing, crinkling materials, and hair brushing. Learning what triggers ASMR for you involves trial and error. Begin by exposing yourself to a variety of sounds and content. “A major source would be ASMR video channels which contain a large selection of quality content,” says Dr. Craig Richard, an ASMR researcher, biopharmaceutical sciences professor, and ASMR University founder.

The ASMR community has exploded since it first appeared on whisper vlogs and chat rooms around 2009. Search ASMR on YouTube, and there are over twelve million results. Here’s a look at the top of the tingles: Read more

90 Inspiring Quotes to Uplift Your Life, Love, and Career

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

The holidays are a time to come together and have a good time with your friends and family. But if you’re feeling more dreary than cheery this time of year, you can learn a lot from those who have struggled but ultimately overcome their hardships.

Bestow compiled 90 inspirational quotes to pick you up on challenging days or keep you motivated on good ones! These success quotes will go a long way toward making you happy in every facet of your life. 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

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