The Chirping Moms

November 23, 2014

Hosting Holiday Gatherings & Holiday Traditions With Hickory Farms

One of my favorite things about moving back to New Jersey, has been hosting holiday gatherings. The main reason reason, of course, is that I can welcome so many of my family members into my home and entertain. Another reason, is that being able to celebrate holidays in our own home, has been great with little kids. I spent about 10 years "traveling home" for holidays. It always included the stress of the cheapest/most convenient was to travel, packing up gifts, etc. Now that we celebrate many holidays right in our own home, we've started some special family traditions. Our house is not very big, but we try to make it a warm, cozy place to celebrate with family. 
This year, we're hosting Thanksgiving, a family Christmas party in December, Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day. This might seem a little crazy, since our 3rd baby just arrived 3 weeks ago, but I've gotten pretty good at asking family members for help with the hosting. Our house is a central location for many of the family members, and I honestly think it's easier to stay home and host with 3 little ones, than packing up all the gear and going anywhere. Another way to simplify the job of hosting is to get some easy, delicious and festive food that "arrives" ready to help you entertain. Hickory Farms is perfect for this. There are so many great options from sweets to wine and cheese. I love that I can order items that will come ready to look festive and presentable when my guests arrive. Then I can even add some items to the order to use as gifts. A new tradition in my crazy house of 3 kids under 5: make holidays as simple and enjoyable as possible! 
In addition to making hosting easier, Hickory Farms items make wonderful gifts. For more than 60 years, Hickory Farms gifts have been a classic holiday tradition. Many Americans have a distinct memory of Hickory Farms at their holiday gatherings. As soon as I mentioned Hickory Farms to Julie, she said she remembers her mom sending Hickory Farms baskets as gifts since she was young. Hickory Farms prides themselves on not only passing down traditions through generations of families, but also creating new traditions and sharing them with loved ones. 
You can now find Hickory Farms items in nearly 600 Holiday Market stores and kiosks across North America, as well as in select retailers. Another way to easily shop for Hickory Farms is by ordering online: 
I'm truly looking forward to welcoming family and friends into our home over the next few weeks. There's so much to celebrate and to be thankful for. Enjoy the holidays with your family! 
Disclaimer: Compensation and products for review were provided by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms. 

November 21, 2014

Yellow Friday is Here : Shop 20 Awesome Deals All Weekend Long

Yellow Friday Weekend is Here!
unless otherwise noted

Why wait for Black Friday when you can shop all of these wonderful small businesses now? This is a chance to sit back, relax & get your holiday shopping done from the comfort of your own home.  These deals kick off today and will run through Sunday at midnight so you have all weekend long to take advantage of these great deals.  Below you will find each company / Etsy shop participating, an idea of what they sell & what their Yellow Friday deal is.  Just click on the store name & it will take you right over to their site to shop.  ALL of the stores are using coupon code : chirpholiday (unless a different code is noted).  You also will find that several shops are participating in the Ultimate Yellow Friday Prize Package in a giant giveaway.  To enter, scroll down below the deals and you will find more details on this fun giveaway.  
Here's to happy shopping during Yellow Friday 2014!

Yellow Friday Weekend Deals
unless otherwise noted
1.  Pop Pop's Children's Furniture Company : Unique wooden's children furniture
All stools are 25% off and have free shipping (domestic only) with code chirpholiday2014

2.  Zoe & Piper:  Jewelry with a conscience
25% off with code TCM25.  Free shipping for orders over $25.

3.  Designed to Shine:  Custom Jewelry And Accessories
25% off with code chirpholiday2014.  Last day for holiday orders is December 1st.

4.  I See Me:  Personalized Books & Gifts for Children
20% off

5.  Sila Boutique:  Online Shopping Boutique Catering to Moms & Children
15% off.

6.  Tickled Peach Studio:  Personalized Kids' Gifts, Invitations, & Stationary
20% off and Free shipping for orders over $50.

7.  Brown Eyed Boutique:  Hairbows & Headbands
25% off

8.  Words to Live By:  Decorative Wood Signs
25% off

9.  Festive Home Decor:  Decorative Throw Pillow Covers
20% off

10.  Project Cottage Ink:  Personalized Prints, Canvas, Invitations, & Wall Art
25% off

11.  Project Cottage Textile Co.:  Pillows, Poufs, Duvet Covers, & More
25% off

12.  Our Sweet Home Alabama:  Handcrafted Treasures with a Southern Touch
20% off orders over $15.

13.  Simply Made Greetings: Custom & Personalized Mugs
20% off

14.  Paper Etiquette:  Fine Paper Goods
20% off

15.  E Ogden Ave : Picture Words Images.
25% off any picture words.

16.  Babychelle : Online shop for children's shoes.
15% off with coupon code YELLOWCHIRPS

17.  Ooh Baby Infinity : Infinity Scarves, Tote Bags, & Table Runners
10% off

18.  Opposite of Far : Unique & High Quality Felt Masks and Tails
Buy 2 Masks & Get A Surprise Mask for Free AND Free Shipping with coupon code SURPRISEME

19.  Bloomz : Felt Flower Headbands & Clips
15% off purchase $15 or more.
Anyone who shops Bloomz during Yellow Friday with coupon code chirpholiday and "likes" Bloomz on Facebook is automatically entered to win a $50 shop credit from Bloomz.  Shop owner will contact a winner. 

20.  Style Smaller : Online Children's Boutique Shop
15% off

We are also excited to announce the Ultimate Yellow Friday Giveaway!  
One winner takes all of the following prizes.  
All you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

Yellow Friday Prize Package
I See Me : A Christmas Bear for Me Gift Set & Choice of Personalized Ornament
Designed to Shine : Custom Handwriting Charm Bracelet
Sila Boutique : For the Birds Swaddle Blanket, 2 Pack
Simply Made Greetings : Choice of Mug from Shop
Words to Live By Signs : Santa Claus is Coming to Town Sign
Tickled Peach Studio : Christmas Nativity Puzzle for Kids
Project Cottage Textile : Choice of Pouf from Shop
Project Cottage Ink : We Love You More Than All Canvas Print
Paper Etiquette : Free $15.00 Holiday Invite or Christmas Card PDF/JPEG
Opposite of Far : Rudolf Mask

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 20, 2014

Turkey Crafts & Activities for Young Children

For more Thanksgiving inspiration,  please follow our Pinterest boards for our latest pins!

One week until Thanksgiving!  Today, I wanted to share some super easy turkey crafts & activities.  These Thanksgiving crafts can be completed with children as young as a toddler.  We hope you enjoy our turkey crafts for kids!   
Turkey Crafts & Activities : The Chirping Moms

Starting with one of our favorites...

Turkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping Moms
(For directions, click link above)
Turkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping Moms
2.  Thumbprint Turkey.
Cut a turkey shape out of brown paper.  Glue to white paper.  Add an orange beak and two wiggle eyes.  To make the feathers, stamp thumbprints onto paper to look like feathers!

Turkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping MomsTurkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping Moms
 (For directions, click link above)

Turkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping Moms
4.  Turkey Puppet
With packaging tape (or another strong tape), tape a craft stick to the back of a paper plate.  Color the plate brown.  Add feathers and use foam stickers to add eyes and beak.
Turkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping Moms
 (For directions, click link above)

Turkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping Moms
6.  Pom Pom Feather Turkey Craft
Cut out a brown circle.  Add wiggle eyes and use a foam sticker for the beak.  Staple on two pipe cleaners that are cut for the legs.  Glue pom-pons onto paper to look like feathers.

Turkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping Moms

 (For directions, click link above)

Turkey Crafts for Kids : The Chirping Moms

8.  Pipe Cleaner Feather Turkey
Color a paper plate brown.  Use a hole punch to punch holes along the top.  Wrap the pipe cleaners around a pencil to give it the curled effect (my kids loved this part!).  Thread through the holes & either tape or staple to hold in place.  Add wiggle eyes and nose.  Bend pipe cleaners to look like feet & staple.  

Also, make sure to check out our Thanskgiving Bucket List as well with fun ideas & activities to do with your family this Thanksgiving season!


Frozen Sing Your Heart Contest Finalists Announced!

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Kohl's. I received Kohl's gift cards to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating" 

This fall, we have shared about a fun singing contest that Kohl's was hosting called the Frozen Sing Your Heart Out Contest.  Frozen fans were asked to share a video of their kids singing "Let it Go" and over 4,000 entries were submitted into this fun contest.  Today, we are excited to announce that Kohl's Department stores in partnership with Disney has announce that America now has the power to decide which Frozen fans will be a part of the Kohl's holiday commercial.  You can now view the top 10 finalists and vote for your favorite!  All you have to do is visit until November 23rd to cast your vote.  On Sunday, November 23rd, the finalist with the most votes will have their performance air in a Kohl's holiday commercial during the American Music Awards (AMAs).  

After you go submit your vote (quick!), make sure you take a few moments to check out the fun Frozen finds at Kohl's.  We got a chance to enjoy some of the great Frozen items from Kohl's when a special Frozen gift box arrived last week. Our favorites were the Disney Frozen Olaf Snow Cone Maker and the Disney Frozen Elsa Musical Light-Up Dress. The Olaf Snow Cone Maker was easy to use and made a fun, Frozen dessert for the kids! The girls love dressing up, playing Frozen and singing the songs. The musical dress makes that even more fun. They can dance and twirl around while it lights up and plays "Let It Go". Their favorite part: the "real" cape! 

Here are some of my other favorite finds that you can find at Kohl's:

So make sure to head to Kohl's to check out their great selection of Frozen finds AND don't forget to vote for your favorite and tune into the AMAs on November 23rd at 8 pm ET on ABC to see if your favorite won.  Click here for more details on this fun contest!


November 19, 2014

Hot Holiday Toy Finds for 2014

It's that time of year.  It's time to get those holiday wish lists made & sent to Santa!  My kids sat down last week, in anticipation for the holidays (and their upcoming birthdays!) and created their own wish lists with all their favorite toys and finds using the printable Santa Letter that we shared earlier today!  

Watching my kids make their Christmas wish lists takes me back to my own childhood days when I would sit on our living room couch, next to my dad reading the newspaper, and browse the toy catalogs and newspaper advertisements that we received in the mail making my own holiday wish list.  Of course, first on my list was an American Girl Doll (that I never received!).  My wish list continued with Barbies, Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, board games & puzzles, and a giant list of books.  With a brother just two years older than me, we also would browse through the Sega Genesis games and VHS movies that we could enjoy together.  Wish list making was more about the tradition and the joy of browsing through the toy catalogs, not really about actually receiving the gift (because trust me, I knew I was never going to get an American Girl doll being the youngest of four children!).  

Fast forward fifteen years later & I am now watching my own children create their own holiday wish list!  To create their wish lists, we browsed catalogs and searched some of our favorite shopping websites for their own recommended toys, including Kmart's Fab 15 holiday toy list.   This holiday toy list features the ultimate toys that kids want for the holidays which gives parents and gift-givers insight into the season's hottest trends.  Kmart selects it's Fab 15 toys based on industry trends, input from kids and parents, as well as more than 50 years of experience in knowing what toys resonate with different ages, stages, and play patterns.  From big toys that make great, unexpected gifts to toys inspired by characters that kids know and love like Elsa, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - the Kmart Fab 15 list of hot holiday toys includes:

    • Disney Doc McStuffins Sleepytime Lambie by Just Play (Kmart exclusive)
    • Holiday Auburn Barbie 2014 Doll by Mattel® (Kmart exclusive)
    • My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks Mane Event Stage Playset by Hasbro® (Kmart exclusive)
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® Power Wheels® Lil' Dune Racer by Fisher-Price® (Kmart exclusive)
    • Transformers Age of Extinction Optimus Prime and Grimlock 12-Inch Electronic Figures by Hasbro® (Kmart exclusives)
    • WWE® Cardinal Red John Cena 31'' Figure by Wicked Cool Toys® (Kmart exclusive)
    • Zoomer Dino by Spin Master
    • Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll by TollyTots
    • FurReal Friends Get Up and GoGo My Walkin' Pup Pet by Hasbro®
    • LEGO® Super Heroes Line from Marvel and DC Comics
    • NERF® Zombie Strike SlingFire Blaster
    • Nickelodeon PAW Patrol Look-Out Playset, Vehicles and Figurines, and Rescue Racers by Spin Master
    • Play-Doh® DohVinci Style and Store Vanity Complete Design Set by Hasbro®
    • Simon Swipe Game by Hasbro®
    • VTech® Kidizoom® Smartwatch

I have to say that there are several of these items that are on my children's wish lists.  
  • Aiden would love the Lego Super Heroes set & the Simon Swipe game.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Power Wheels Lil' Dune Racer.  I'm in love with this for my middle son, Andrew.  He would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!
  • Little Abby fell in love with the FurReal Friends that our friends had at their house so this would be a fun addition to our house, although the Sleepytime Lambie is so cute!  I have to admit that she could use a few girl toys of her own!
  • All my kids are huge Paw Patrol fans so the new Paw Patrol toys that are out this year would be a great addition under our Christmas tree this year so they can recreate and imagine their own story lines with the Paw Patrol characters.
Make sure to take some time and visit the Kmart Fab 15 list for the holiday season.
Right now, exclusively for Shop Your Way members, with any online purchase of a Fab 15 toy now through November 22, Kmart is extending it's free trial of the Shop Your Way MAX program, which includes free two-day shipping for six months.  Customers and members can shop for any of these items on the Fab 15 list at their local Kmart stores nationwide or online anytime.  Also, this holiday season, Kmart is encouraging members and customers to give the gift of hope by joining them in support of St. Jude's commitment to saving children's lives.  Beginning December 7, when customers purchase any of the Kmart Fab 15 toys, $1.00 will be donated to St. Jude - up to $25,000.  Customers also have the option to donate at check-out at any Kmart store or online through December 27th.  Kmart is the all-time leading corporate fundraiser for St. Jude where 100% of the donation to the St. Jude Thanks & Giving campaign goes towards understanding, treating, and defeating cancer & other diseases in children.  We hope you enjoy making holiday lists with your kids as much as we do.  There's something magical about this time of year & these special holiday moments that you create for them will stay with them forever!

Happy Holiday Wish List Making! 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Dear Santa Letter (Free Printable)

For more holiday inspiration,  please follow our Pinterest boards for our latest pins, including all our favorite holiday ideas!

Last week, I took some time with the boys to write their own Santa letters.  I created this template for them to write their letter.  I didn't want a GIANT list of things that they want.  Instead, I wanted them to really take some time and think about a few things that they wanted, a few books they were hoping to receive, one thing to wear, & also challenge them to think about a few things that they may want to give to someone else.  I thought I would share my printable letter with you today:

Dear Santa Letter (Free Printable) : The Chirping Moms
Click here to download & print or Right click on the image to open it in a new window.  You can save it or print from there.  Make sure to scale it to size when printing!

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