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

Hit the Road This Summer: Planning a Family Road Trip

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 1 Comment

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A family road trip is a great way to spend time and create memories that will last forever. And, if you do it right, road tripping can also be more affordable than you think. School is almost out; how about packing up and piling in the car? Here are a few tips for planning the family road trip of a lifetime. Read more

5 Unique Things to Do on Your Family Staycation

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 3 Comments

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Why hit the road when you can have fun in your very own hometown? Staying home allows you the opportunity to have exciting new experiences in the day and still sleep in your own bed at night. The trick is finding those memorable events so the family forgets you are still at home. Try these fun, quirky suggestions: Read more

6 Reasons Your “There’s No Snow in Florida” Jokes Suck

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 5 Comments

Spring is Here,,,,Michigan Snow Storm

Floridians, I’ve had just about enough of the “sucks to be you” jokes and memes plastered all over Facebook. I get that it’s warm where you are and that there are luscious beaches in all directions. Wahoo! I know the temperature rarely falls below 60 degrees and that normal footwear does not include wool socks. Yippee! I also understand that you have gators waiting to bite your asses off and dog-sized spiders crawling through your bathroom plumbing. But we won’t talk about those. I’m here to tell you why your warm-weather jokes REALLY suck—especially this time of the year, when it’s spring and snowing simultaneously like both ends of the flu. Read more

You Want Some College Boobs? (An Excerpt)

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 1 Comment

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My second book, Clash of the Couples, came out Monday to rave reviews! Someone actually said that we made them pee! I’m going to rent a billboard and put that up there. LOL! Yay for couples fighting over absurd stuff. I’m so excited for this release. Thank you for all the support!

Rather than make you wait to read my story “You Want Some College Boobs?” I thought I’d share an excerpt here: Read more

Kids Cast Their Votes for the Best Toys of 2014

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

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Children may not be able to vote for the president, but they do learn about the democratic process at a young age. In the United States, the democratic process is linked to civic leadership and personal empowerment. So it makes sense to have kids vote on one of their most beloved topics: toys. There are a few notable lists of kid-voted favorites for the parent who is looking to buy what kids want. Read more

What Casey Kasem and the American Top 40 Taught Generation X

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle, Parenting | 6 Comments

Casey Kasem

In the eighties, I never missed the American Top 40. Each Sunday I’d eagerly wait for the countdown; a blank cassette tape on hand to record my favorite songs. When Casey Kasem’s voice came over the airwaves, “This is Casey Kasem in Hollywood, and in the next three hours, we’ll count down the 40 most popular hits in the United States…,” I’d grab the nearest hairbrush and turn into a lip-synching diva. Read more

I Would Never Do THAT

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 18 Comments

I Would Never Do THAT

Over the weekend, my husband and I watched the infamous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on one of those sports channels that doesn’t see much love unless my better half is around. (Here I am thinking that eating was only a competitive sport when you make ONE box of macaroni and cheese and dish it out in two bowls, at which point two children cagefight over which bowl has more noodles and who gets the biggest helping.)

As the contestants were introduced, the screen revealed their individual world records. A few caused my gagging reflex to come to life. One very voluptuous dude held the record for eating twenty-four dozen oysters. Another was King of shoving pounds of octopus down his throathole. Apparently, gluttony has no limits. This set off a firestorm of “I wouldn’t eat that or that.” Which somehow led to “I wouldn’t do that or that.” Which revealed some key differences between men and women (and how incredibly stupid we are sometimes) … Read more

The Confessional: I Was Once a Cathotant

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 11 Comments

the cross shining through the gleaming sun!

I grew up in a household that was split down the middle on religion. My grandmother was old-school Protestant, while my mother was a devout Catholic. This made things both interesting and confusing, but mostly confusing–for me. I was baptized and christened. Went to Sunday School and catechesis. Attended services in a cathedral and also a small corner church. I received Communion and didn’t receive Communion as it was “ever-present.” Confused? Well that was me, the once “Cathotant.” Read more