Are You a New Reader of Crystal & Co.

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Are you new to Crystal & Co.? Welcome to my site. I am a Dallas mom blogger and I am so very happy to have you here! I know there is a sea of mom blogs out there and I am thrilled that you have taken time out of your busy day to stop by mine.  Let me give you a quick tour so that you know what to expect here and so you do not miss out on anything!

Mom Advice

This site is all about mommy solutions and resources.

mom advice

You will find some of the best mom advice on the internet here! Over 100 readers share their ideas and tips every single week.

 Meal Planning

I am a firm believer in meal planning. Every Monday you will find a new meal plan from me with links to all the easy recipes I am preparing for my family.


If you struggle with getting dinner on the table for your family, I can teach you how to meal plan.  I am proof that you do not have to be the most organized mom on the planet and it is so much easier than you think!

Easy Recipes

As a mom of many, easy recipes are the only kind I make. I refuse to stand in the kitchen for hours just to get dinner on the table- my children would tear my house down!

chicken recipes

My recipes have short ingredient lists and require little to no babysitting. My slow cooker is a blessing!

Recipe Types:

 Craft Tutorials

Even though I am the only girl in the house, I love a good craft and so do my kids. If you look in my Nav Bar you will see the topic Crafts.

how to make heart crayons

You can get to all of my tutorials from there, or, better yet, click by category to find something special you can make for every holiday. The best part? Most of the tutorials include a free printable!

Crafts By Category:

 Ways to Save

We are a large family and a frugal family. My husband owns his own business and I am a stay at home mom. We live on a budget and still have a great life!

saving money at home

My car is not brand new, my house is not fancy, but I am at home with my kids enjoying their childhood. Amen, sister!

Save Money:

Homeschool Resources and Activities for Kids 

We homeschool four of our children. I share all of our homeschool journey as a resource for other moms. Homeschooling was not something I was 100% confident I could do, but it is something my husband really wanted. We are almost at our one year mark and we are plugging along and enjoying every step of the way. I love to share what works for us and what our homeschool day looks like.

Five year old boy with hands painted in colorful paints ready for hand prints

I also share some of my pointers for navigating through dyslexia issues in public school. This was a nightmare battle for us.I share our experience and tips for 504 meetings as well as accommodation and modification suggestions. My stepson is now homeschooled, so this is no longer a battle for us but I can relate to what you are going through if this is part of your story.

I also have tons of activities for kids shared on my site. I love to create lists of things you can do with your kids that are free or inexpensive.

Activities for Kids by Season:

Blogging Tips

This blog will be 5 years old in April of 2013. I have learned things along the way, on a technical side, that I never expected to know. And it was hard to find other bloggers who would help. All the secrets of blogging seem to be…. well, secrets.

blogging tips

I am here to share with you my tips on how to blog and grow your site.  We are adding lots of videos that are full of top notch information as well as posts that share my tips on exactly how I have grown this site from 100 pageviews a day to 140,000 a month.

Learn to Blog   


All of the categories and topics that we discuss here are covered in the Nav Bar and/or the Topic Graphic in the sidebar about half way down the page.

Also, make sure you subscribe to get Crystal & Co., once a day emails delivered to your inbox, and follow us in all the social media channels which you can get to from my Welcome Box in the sidebar.


  1. Naomi Martin says:

    Wow, I love your website. I am glad I found the link to your website from Pinterest. I’m really interested in the blogging information and will be reading the information you have to offer. Thanks for being willing to share the info! 🙂

    1. Awesome to hear Naomi. So glad you found my site and let me know if there is any information I can help you find.

    2. Melissa Clemens says:

      Your site sounds fantastic! Thank you for sharing about your divorce, because mine was recently final, and life is kind of hard at the moment. I know it will all get better!

      I googled apple butter recipes and found you that way.

      Melissa C.

  2. Looking for great deals and printable coupons!!! Thank you!!

  3. BB Godfrey says:

    You are SO right! When I need help, I’m just on my own. I’ve tried asking other bloggers and it seems to be that everything’s a secret! There’s no where to go when you have trouble. You get lost in forums and it seems your question is never answered. Thanks for the blogging tips!

    1. BB- my friend Kelli Miller and I do a weekly Learn to Blog hangout over on Google Plus each Tuesday at 10 am CST. We cover a new blogging topic each week. All of the hangouts have been recorded and are available for viewing on YouTube. Search the hashtag #LearntoBlog on G+ and YouTube to see all of the videos. Also, join us on Tuesdays. We answer lots of questions.

      We have a blog we are compiling all of this information on as well. Check it out too.

      1. BB Godfrey says:

        Thanks Crystal! I will check it out!

  4. All I can say is where were you 30 years ago! I too am a mother of 5 boys (and twins!!). We later included in the family my stepson and niece. It was a crazy and fantastic adventure. The twins had us going for a while but now one is a surgeon and the other an engineer. Your site will help me with my next adventure…. grandchildren!! Thanks.

  5. This site is awesome. The craft activities are so creative! I am a pre-k teacher and I use the letter of week activities.

  6. Aida Rodriguez says:

    love your website can’t wait to learn some good ideas from you.I’m a teacher in a daycare center I work with two and three year old kids every week we have a diffrent theme activitynext week it will be family me some tips on what to do thanks I appreciate it

  7. Love your blog! You have some great recipes that I’m definitely going to be using 😀 Even though we have no kids there is lots of great stuff here even us young couples can use. In Fact, I see a few crafts I’ll have to try with my Sunday School class!

    Sad thing is that this is really hard to read on a mobile device, because all the icons are overlapping and the page is getting cut off on the side. 🙁 hope you’re not paying to have it optimized for mobile.

  8. Susan Gebren says:

    You have a very informative blog! I intend to use some of the ideas with my 3 cute (of course!) granddaughters.

  9. Michelle Padgett says:

    Hi Crystal, Right now I basically have an online diary that I have been posting to for a few short months. I enjoy it and know that I would like to grow it into a blog in the future. Can you give me some ideas on what I should do first? For instance I don’t have any visitors and really don’t know where to begin. I am at a total loss as to where to start. I’ve been enjoying the tips and advice on your #learntoblog google+ hangout but don’t really know how to start at the ground level. I appreciate any advice.


    1. I would start by:

      #1 Developing a social media community on every platform and linking to them from your blog. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, G+, Pinterest, etc. Have icons for these communities above the fold on your blog so readers can easily follow you there.
      #2 Have an easy option for subscribing my email to your daily posts. I use MadMimi for my RSS feed. Feedburner from Google is also an option and it is free. This reminds folks to visit your site every time you post.
      #3 Develop a consistent posting schedule and stick to it. Decide if you want to post 3 times a week, 5 times a week, etc., and stick to it.
      #4 Visit other blogs and comment. I would make a commitment to do this at least to 5 blogs a day. You are doing this to get your name out there but also to build some community and relationships with other bloggers. Your comments need to be genuine and focus on their blog and not yours.
      #5 Share your posts on all of your social media platforms. Every post should get pinned, shared on Facebook, tweeted out, etc.

      Hope that helps.

  10. Hey! I just found you and I’m loving all the information in one place! I really wanted to subscribe but when I clicked the link, it wouldn’t allow me to subscribe by email. Any idea why? I definitely want to subscribe!!! 🙂 Thanks, Cayla

  11. Sarah Jane says:

    A friend shared the link to your blog on FB. I love it so far!

  12. Just wanted to say you rock! haha I’ve been trying and trying to find writing printouts for my daughter with really no luck… until I found you! So, Thank you THANK YOU!! 🙂

  13. Hi Crystal,
    I teach PreSchool in Hingham,MA. I just downloaded the “Find the Letter Ff” worksheet. I love it! Is there a way to download worksheets for the rest of the alphabet?
    Thank You, Denise Neville

  14. I love your alphabet writing practice sheets for letters A – I. Would love the rest of the
    alphabet. I am a preschool teacher and they would be perfect! Thanks for sharing.


      1. I work with special education kindergarten and first grade students.. I found the preschool handwriting practice alphabet and love it. I have come to the letter M and the rest of the alphabet. I can not print them because they are not available. I thought after the holidays most of the letters would be available for printing. I found this comment from another person who is also interested in the handwriting alphabet for preschool, stating that they would be done by the end of last summer. Can you please let me know the status on the alphabet being finished.

  15. The last name is from my first marriage. I would not be related but maybe my oldest son would be related. The name is not familiar.

    Thanks for reaching out. Glad you like my site and I hope you find useful ideas here.

  16. Janie Burkes says:

    Hi Crystal, I just watched you on good morning Texas and loved the recipes. I was wanting to know what brand were the crockpots you were using or where to buy. Interested in the blue rectangular one that you can travel with. I am excited to try out some of your recipes.

  17. Fam Bless says:

    Hello Crystal:

    Glad I found your site. I am new to the state of Texas and would like to ask you about how is homeschooling here in the state? Do you have any guide of any type of what your children should be learning? I have 2 little ones and since we are new around here, haven’t found much of homeschoolers where we live.


    1. Texas is one of the greatest states to homeschool in. There is no one to report to and you do as you wish. What is the largest city you are near?

      1. Fam Bless says:

        We are near Denton. I have gone to mardels and look at there books but is like you choose what you will like to teach and that is great but i have no knowledge of what they need to learn grade by grade.

      2. Do you have any suggestions that could help me in my search?

        Thanks you

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