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

5 Things Charlotte’s Web Taught Me About Being a Mom

Posted on by Crystal in Lifestyle, Parenting | 7 Comments


My all-time favorite book that I will cherish until the day I die is Charlotte’s Web. I was hooked immediately, falling instantly in love with the plight of precious Wilbur.  If I ever had a pig child, I’d want him to be just like this “Radiant” porker – a pet mommy’s dream come true. Aside from a brilliant story that I find entertaining time and time again, Charlotte’s Web also taught me some things about being a mom – very important parenting and life lessons. Here are six: Read more

The Sock Monster Does Exist

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 6 Comments


It occurred to me this morning that, in fact, a sock monster must exist. It must exist because there is no logical explanation for why I am wearing one red sock and one white sock and why Caden claims he has no socks and why Pontilicious is sporting knee-hi Christmas socks with 80’s headphones on them and why poor little Aless is subjected at this very moment to two socks of different sizes. Like Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman, the sock monster is out there. We just haven’t been able to catch him on camera yet. What I have been able to catch on camera is pretty pathetic. These are my socks (the ONLY socks I have left to my name): Read more

When All Else Fails…

Posted on by Crystal in Parenting | 4 Comments


The Ponti household is in pretty rough shape this week. Neither of us has felt like venturing into a store and, as a result, we’ve been doing a shitload of improvising. This morning after spilling coffee all over the countertop and floor, I reached for the roll of paper towels that usually sits poolside the sink. Nada. So I opened the drawer that holds our hand towels and dish cloths. Also a big fat nada. On top of not wanting to grocery shop, it appears we’re also foregoing our laundry responsibilities. No food, no clean underwear – two of the biggest sins EVER. My grandmother would have my ass in a sling. Realizing that I was in a bind, I quickly grabbed the two pot holders hanging near the stove. Have you ever tried sopping up a wet mess with a pot holder? They’re like the anti-Christ of absorption. What a mess! 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