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

A Wild Year! Happy Anniversary!

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 1 Comment

One year ago today, Pontilicious and I got married. I was VERY pregnant! An hour after saying our vows, I went into labor. The next day, we brought a beautiful baby girl into this world. It’s been a wild year! Happy Anniversary, babe!

Elephants and Butterflies Baby Shower

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, Parenting | 1 Comment

This past weekend we celebrated the upcoming birth of my first grandbaby – Genavera Thor – by throwing a baby shower for my son, Keith, and his girlfriend, Darian. It was an elephants and butterflies themed baby shower decked out in light pink, hot pink, white, brown and lime green. For the decor I incorporated a lot of tulle, hanging tissue balls, butterfly and elephant accents, pulled in some outdoorsy elements and added lots of chocolate and candy. Festive Christmas music and softly lit candles set the overall ambiance of this laid back, “soothing” affair.

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A Wife Saver & The All-Female Delegation

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | Leave a comment

I found this clipping in my grandmother’s recipe tin, cut from the September 1953 edition of Farm Journal. I’m not sure what possessed her to snip and save this nostalgic piece, the back did not have a recipe or contain anything relevant, but it was a treat to find it buried among cherry tart, Scottish scones and thumbprint cookie recipes. It adds a little mystery to a woman who I considered to be a role model. I wonder what the purpose was behind keeping an upright freezer ad. Was she secretly hoping that someone would buy her one? Did she laugh at the headline like I did? Read more

Being a Woman IS Rough

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 2 Comments

Feminism, sexism, equal rights, binders…let’s shelve all of that BS today and agree that being a woman IS rough. I mean, come on. We have the weight of the world on our shoulders trying to balance work, kids and home. We always feel guilty about something or that we are not doing enough. We have the media painting this picture of what an ideal woman should look like – a picture that has been photoshopped, cropped, colored, matted and Crayolaed into a fictional piece of work. It’s a reality that we can never replicate, nor should we feel like we have to. Do you hear that Vogue Italia? Screw size 0!

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What do you miss most from your childhood?

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 4 Comments

After poking around on Pinterest for awhile last night, I found myself reminiscing about things that I miss from my childhood. The biggest thing I miss is my grandmother. Gosh how I adored that short, grey-haired spitfire. She was definitely the anchor that kept us all grounded and glue that kept things together. Her passing left a wake of brokenness in the family and void that could never be filled. Some of my fondest memories are of her knitting endlessly and magically and always kicking her leg out to block me from trying to sit on her lap – both of us laughing in hysterics the entire time. Sheesh. I really miss those days.

Here are some other things from my childhood and teen years that I desperately miss: Read more

What Really Happens at Kids’ Birthday Parties

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 4 Comments

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I’ve never been a fan of kids’ birthday parties – whether throwing or attending. I know this makes me sound like a horrible mother, but there’s something about these parties that, for me, is like having to go to the dentist on a Monday morning. They might look fun and innocent on the surface, but you can damn well bet there is shit going down – sinister, weird, mean, crazy shit. Read more

Recommended on Netflix: TV Series

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

I’m not a huge fan of movies on Netflix. To me, the choices are pretty slim and what movies are available are those you have either seen a hundred times on The Hallmark Channel or simply passed on the first time around. But! I do love the TV series they have on there – all those shows you saw advertised at one time, got excited about, said “I’m definitely watching that when it comes out this fall (or summer)!” and never actually got around to watching even the pilot episode of a single one. Well, Netflix lets you redeem yourself! Read more

Listen to Your Mommy Gut

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | Leave a comment

We made our first trip to the ER last night with Miss Aless. At first we thought she had a head injury, because she knocked her noggin off of the side of the coffee table while trying to stand yesterday. Don’t judge. Stop thinking we’re horrible parents. It happens when kids start learning how to walk. And most of the time – like yesterday – there is very little reaction time.  One second she was up and then the next, BUMP, she was down. It was a double whammy, too. After hitting the front of her head, she landed on her butt, lost her balance and fell over backwards – another BUMP! Neither hit was particularly hard, but sometimes you just never know. Read more