MommiFried

http://mommifried.com

I started MommiFried as an outlet for my creative writing and to share my later-in-motherhood experiences with all women and parents. Just published The Mother of All Meltdowns, which pretty much sums up my life!

Crystal is a winner of Top 25 Family Blogs by Moms - 2013

What's your favorite family tradition?

Thanksgiving for sure! I love having the entire family together under one roof and cooking up a storm. I also love our sleepover weekends when the grown kids come home and we spend the weekend watching movies, eating pizza, and being goofy.

What's the most challenging thing about being both a blogger and a mom?

Finding the time to write. I now have two under the age of two. It's demanding, it's crazy, it's motherhood. I'm just glad I was able to publish my book "The Mother of All Meltdowns" (along with 29 fellow bloggers) before the baby was born. I'm still trying to find my groove - balancing work, blogging, being a mom, etc.

What's the most rewarding thing about being a mom?

Seeing your happy and well-adjusted. You want nothing but the best for them and when they are happy, you're happy.

What's a delicious meal you can serve to your family when you're trying to lose weight?

Crystal Ponti

Dig out that slow cooker (crock pot)! There are endless healthy recipes you can prepare in the morning before leaving for work or getting a start on your day and allow to simmer to perfection until dinnertime. One of our favorites is creamy country chicken. Simply place 3-4 boneless (skinless) chicken breasts into a slow cooker. Add a dash of salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine 1 can of low fat, low sodium cream of chicken soup, 1 can of low fat, low sodium cream of celery soup, 1/3 cup white cooking wine and choice of seasonings. Pour sauce over chicken breasts and cook on low about 8 hours (high 3-4). Serve with veggies or a salad. Delicious!
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What are the most important things to do while on maternity leave before going back to work?

Crystal Ponti

Aside from much needed rest, spend as much time as possible with your little one. The bonding experience between mom and baby is so important. Also make sure to complete all necessary paperwork related to your baby's birth and obtain copies of important docs (birth certificate, social security card, etc). It's nice to have these things out of the way so that you do not have to worry about them after you head back to work.
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What helps you stay organized? Whether it's a special coupon binder, calendar app or color-coded closet, we want to know all the little tricks and products that help keep your life organized. Please share a photo if you have one.

Crystal Ponti

When it comes to budgeting and paying bills on time, I am VERY old-fashioned. I have a notebook where I keep handwritten checklists with dues dates. As I pay each bill, I place a checkmark in the appropriate box. It sounds like an ancient approach, but it works for me - us. I've tried software and online apps, but I prefer the pen and paper route for clarity and efficiency.
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Are your kids hooked on a toy, clothing item, or style trend that makes you crazy? If so, tell us why and share a picture!

Crystal Ponti

My 14-month-old daughter is totally into books! It's the first thing she grabs when she wants to "play". I'm such a proud mom! The drives me crazy part is actually reversed. I think I possibly drive her crazy when reading to her due to my goofiness. For example, in one particular picture book "What Does Baby See?", I swear it's a Twitter, not a bird! :)
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What's your go-to meal for a romantic dinner at home, after the kids are asleep?

Crystal Ponti

I'm married to an Italian so our go-to meal is always Italian! My hubby whips up a mean lasagna that I have dubbed "Lasagna Pontilicious". The twist on this old-time favorite is the addition of cheddar cheese, which gives it a nice bite. Perfect with a glass of wine and roses!
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What unhealthy eating habits or cravings have you developed since becoming a mom? Please include a picture if it's relevant.

Crystal Ponti

Chips! Sour cream and onion chips! I have no idea why, but they are the almighty now. I limit my intake to a few a day, but really need to find an alternative. I'm tempted to say this is connected to breastfeeding, but why? LOL
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What's the single most precious memento you have from your children's infancy that's not a photo? Please incude a link to a picture if you're willing to share!

Crystal Ponti

I have a keepsake box for each of my children. Inside are photos, of course, their baby books, the outfits they wore home from the hospital, first pairs of shoes, locks of hair from their first haircuts, school papers and artwork and other various momentos that mean everything to me. When I'm ready, I'll pass along the box to each of them. They have no idea that I have been doing this throughout their childhoods. They are aware of the baby books, but not the extent of the collection and memories that I have saved and cherished from each of my precious kiddos. :)
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What's your favorite kid-friendly sandwich that serves well in a lunchbox, too? Please provide a link to a recipe with a picture if you have one.

Crystal Ponti

Some might say "ewwww", but leftover meatloaf makes an outstanding sandwich. Between whole wheat bread or even cut up and placed in a bulky roll - absolutely delicious! My grandmother used to pack these for me when I was a kid. They hold up well in a lunch box and are perfect come lunch time. I've shared a quick and easy meatloaf recipe perfect for busy moms. Enjoy!
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What's the strangest thing your child has made and given you for Mother's Day? Please share a photo if you have one.

Crystal Ponti

My middle son is a bit of a humorist. Last year, he gave me a Christmas ornament as a Mother's Day gift. He had made it in school the previous December and forgot to give it to me! Not only did it make my day, we all laughed for a long time. :)
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What's your go-to potluck recipe? Please share a link to the recipe and photo if you have one.

Crystal Ponti

I would definitely have to say that my go-to potluck recipe would be my Crock Pot Wimpy Chili. It makes enough to feed a small army and is mild enough that everyone can enjoy it. I typically make a batch to bring to family functions, cookouts and special events. This is SO easy to make and really is a crowd pleaser.
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What's your kids' favorite recipe or meal to make themselves? Please include a link to a recipe with a picture.

Crystal Ponti

My 13-year-old loves making my thin chewy cocoa brownies. The recipe requires no sifting or sorting, which simplifies the recipe. Anytime there is something special at school, he automatically gets out the cocoa powder and starts whipping up a batch! Makes this momma bear proud!
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