The Chirping Moms: December 2012

December 31, 2012

Monday Funday: T-Shirts.com Giveaway!

As a stay-at-home mom of two ROWDY little boys, I have to admit that ninety percent of my Christmas shopping was done online.  Seriously, these two kids at the mall---NO WAY!  So when I was introduced to T-Shirts.com, I was excited to find a t-shirt site with a wide variety of styles that are comfortable, affordable, and stylish!  I could pick unique gifts for husbands, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, and friends all on one site!

T-Shirts.com has a huge variety for men and women.  Their categories range from Movie T-Shirts to Vintage T-Shirts to Comic Book T-Shirts.  I have to admit that I LOVE t-shirts---you will often find me wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants in the comfort of my own home. And my favorite kind of t-shirt---the ones that I have had for at least ten years!  Yes, I still sport some of my high school track shirts:)  So I was super excited to find that many of these shirts from T-Shirts.com have the same soft feel as a worn-out shirt!




There is also a great selection for boys and girls of all ages on T-Shirts.com.  I think my toddler needs the Grumposaur shirt for the morning time---he is not a happy camper first thing in the morning.  And I'm pretty sure my action-hero loving nephew would want about every shirt that is carried in the boys' line, including the Star Wars shirts and Superman and Batman shirts!  And if you know anyone that loves Justin Bieber or One Direction, you better head over to see some of the great choices in the girls' t-shirt selection.



T-shirts.com is a family owned online retailer that offers a huge range of designer and creative t-shirts from every walk of life. From extremely unique tees to what’s trending in sports, music and movies, T-Shirts.com will have you covered (literally) no matter your preference and style. With unique features like a “Fabric Softness Gauge” and a “Custom T-Shirt Design” generator, any design and fabric preference is a reality. Not to mention, T-Shirts.com supports independent artists by paying commissions for their “Artist Designed” tees. With such a huge selection, T-Shirts.com is dedicated to helping you look and feel your best – whatever that might look and feel like.  To learn more about T-shirts.com, click the following links below.



Courtney's husband, Tom, loves his new vintage Led Zeppelin shirt that he found on the T-Shirts.com website.


While, I picked out an adorable vintage Cubs t-shirt for myself (and now you will see the 28 week baby bump that I'm sporting!).  
Maybe 2013 will be the year for the Cubs?!?!?!?!


Head on over to T-Shirts.com to see their awesome selection now!  And we are excited to announce that one lucky reader will win a t-shirt of their choice from T-Shirts.com, up to a $25 value.  (Limited to United States residents only)

Good luck!  (And Happy New Years Eve to all of our Chirping Moms readers!)

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 30, 2012

2012 Year in Review: Finding My Mom Groove

First off, thanks for following along with me & Julie this year. 2012 brought the start of The Chirping Moms & the start of a wonderful journey writing about our daily adventures & interacting with all of you. I'm so thankful for my friend Julie & that one rainy day in May, we decided to get this blog going.
I'm one of those people that gets sentimental as New Year's Eve approaches. I think of all the things that happened throughout the year & nervous/excited about what the year ahead holds. I've been reflecting a lot about 2012 & all of the things our family did. I realized, looking back, that it's been a big year for me, because it's the year I found "my mom groove". Yes, I became a mom back in 2010 & since then have had 2 babies. But, I think it took me the 1st two years to really figure it all out. 
I have always been a pretty relaxed person & when Maggie came into the world I thought I would be a pretty relaxed Mom, and I tried to be. Then Maggie caught whooping cough. She got it in between round 1 & 2 of the vaccine, so thankfully it wasn't a terrible case, but it scared me. We didn't know how she caught it, so I always thought I must not have "worried enough" about germs. Then they told me I just had to watch & monitor her while she had the coughing fits. I felt pretty helpless just watching my tiny baby cough until she was blue in the face for months. My nervousness after that made me a much less relaxed Mom than I wanted to be. After a few more months, I was starting to find my groove & then we found out we were pregnant again. 

To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Another blessing, but another big surprise! I had a baby, how could I be having another?! Once that news started to sink in, I found out we were moving states away. We moved into our house in NJ just a few weeks before Alex joined our family. We were a wonderful family of 4, but 2 kids under 2 is not easy. It took a few months to figure that out. I blinked & Christmas arrived & then it was 2012 & everything started to calm down. 
Alex was on a pretty consistent eating & sleeping schedule & Maggie was a ball of cheerful energy. Tom & I really started to sit back, relax & realize just how blessed we were. We had made friends in our new town & I fell into a happy routine of library classes, parks & more. As the year went on, the girls started to really act like "sisters": interacting, laughing together, fighting etc. 

We traveled all the way to Ireland with the two girls & the trip could not have gone any smoother. We joined the town pool & both girls turned out to be real little fish in the water. We traveled to the Jersey Shore a bunch & even drove all the way to North Carolina to enjoy a week at the beach there. We started going on lots of little "daily adventures" & this Fall I began showing my girls around my favorite city in the world: New York City. I've found my groove as a mom; I'm brave enough to try new things & go to new places with the girls, but I know their limits & how important sleep is. 

My kids are goofy, loud & not always behaved, but I've taught them both to say please & thank you this year. I've learned to stay calm while out & about, & also to enjoy the days we are just sitting around enjoying an afternoon in our playroom. I'm not complaining about my first two years of motherhood & as nervous as I was, I did enjoy every minute (almost). The first 2 years were all about learning & I think that's ok to admit. They were about learning how to raise babies & also learning to relax & enjoy the ride. 


I'm excited for what 2013 has in store. Alex is starting to talk & Maggie is acting more like a little girl than a toddler every day. I pray for many more blessings in the New Year & I'm so thankful for what 2012 brought. This year, now that i've "found my groove" it's going to be all about ENJOYING the little moments with my family.
What did you learn this year? 
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Two pictures above are courtesy of Lifesong Photography.

December 28, 2012

Friday Favorites: Sweet Loren's

A new favorite in our house: Sweet Loren's Ready-To-Bake Desserts. Sweet Loren's is the easiest way I have found to bake all natural delicious desserts. I am not the best baker. I used to be better when I had more time & more space in my kitchen. These days, I am usually baking 20 min before guests arrive, while holding Alex. 
Tired of baking Christmas cookies, but know you need some New Year's Eve desserts in a few days? Sweet Loren's would be perfect. They are easy, taste great & there are many flavors to choose from. This will be the easiest "holiday baking" you do!
Sweet Loren's are break & bake cookies that come in a convenient resealable bag. You can find them in the frozen desserts section. They also have a take & bake brownie batter that comes in a disposable pan! They are currently the only ready-to-bake desserts that are made from whole food; unrefined ingredients. They are made with 100% whole grains & all natural sweetners. They contain no dairy or preservatives. These are a great treat for anyone with a dairy allergy. 
The other thing I love about Sweet Loren's, you can bake as many or as few cookies as you want. Just break off the ones you want to cook & put the rest back in the freezer. Last week the oven already set at the right temperature for Sweet Loren's while I was cooking the girls dinner, so I threw in 2 cookies for a special dessert! 
Lately, Maggie likes to do a lot of things on her own. She tells me she can do it herself because "it's easy". As you can see here, baking yummy Sweet Loren's cookies are one of those things. 

You can order Sweet Loren's online or find check out their "Where to Buy" page to find out the closest place to buy them. They are available at Whole Foods & Fresh Direct (end of January). 
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December 27, 2012

Co-Host: Friday Chaos Link-Up

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!!!!!!!
  
Courtney and I are cherishing the time with our families, hence the lack of posting.  But we will be back soon and are working on some fun blog ideas for the new year!  We are very excited to join the fun of the Friday Chaos link-up.  Join the fun and link up your blog below!

Hi everyone! 
Welcome to another week of The Friday Chaos!
WOW week 19 already!?
Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Looking for advertising in 2013? Check out my ad page for info!


This is a link up for bloggers who want to increase traffic to their blogs and meet new friends! 

RULES:
1. Follow both hosts (The first two links below on each link up) 
2. Follow all of the co-hosts (the next 5 link ups)
3. Grab the button and put it on your blog somewhere to be seen.
BericeBaby
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.ohsoamelia.com" title="ohsoamelia"><img src="http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj578/BericeBaby/Untitled7.jpg" alt="Ohsoamelia" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
4. Don't just add your blog hoping to get followers, join in the fun and visit a few blogs.
4. Tweet about this hop Tweet
If you would like to co-host one of the weeks let us know.

Okay, Lets get this chaos started!
Your Hosts:
Kerry @ Ohsoamelia
Lotte @ Bericebaby

December 20, 2012

15 Holiday Crafts for Kids

We wanted to share some of our favorite holiday crafts that our little ones have done this season---some at home, some at school!  So check out the BIG list below for some great Christmas project ideas for little ones...

Santa Mask:  Cut out a; triangle out of red construction paper.  Cut out a wreath (face) from a white paper plate.  Staple the hat onto the face.  Glue cotton balls onto Santa's hat.  Add little white strips of paper for Santa's beard.


 Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer:  Have child color Rudolph's face.  Add red pom-pom for nose.  Add wiggly eyes.  Trace child's hand onto brown paper.  Cut out and add to Rudolph for antlers.



 Christmas Angel:  Make a white handprint on paper.  Cut out a head from peach construction paper.  Have child add eyes and mouth and hair.  Draw on a halo over the angel's head.



 Christmas Tree:  Use a paper towel roll/toilet paper roll for your paintbrush.  Dip in the green paint and paint all over the white paper.  Add a stump with brown construction paper.  With finger paint, add different colored Christmas lights.  Add stars or other stickers for ornaments.



Paper Ornament:  Cut out an ornament shape on construction paper.  Paint with glitter glue all over the ornament.



Kissing Reindeer:  Make two upside down handprints on a piece of construction paper with brown paint.  Add antlers, nose, and eyes.  Add stickers, if you would like!


Reindeer Ornament:  On a small circle, make a fingerprint using brown paint.  Add eyes and antlers!  This was backed on construction paper and a pretty paper doily.  What a cute addition to our tree this year!


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Reindeer Frame: $1 frame from craft store, painted brown. Then handprints on brown paper for antlers, eyes & a pom pom nose!

Salt Dough Ornaments & Handprints: 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup water & 1 cup Flour. Kneed dough, roll & make shapes or handprints. Bake for 2 hours at 250 degrees.



Hand painted ornaments: We got these for .50 cents at the craft store. Maggie painted them & we used them for teacher, neighbor & family gifts. We added colored pom poms & glitter to some of them too.



Finger Print Gift Tags: Cut card stock & punch a hole in it (or buy plain white gift tags at craft store). Then have the kids use their fingerprints to make these fun designs. 



Rice Christmas Tree: die uncooked rice with food coloring or paint. Make a tree shape with glue & let the kids make & decorate a tree. This makes a cute card.



 Reindeer Handprint Cards: This is perfect for grandparents! 



Snowman Puppets: Since everyone had so much fun with the Leaf Puppets, here's a winter version. Use cotton balls or white pom poms on a popsicle stick. Glue on eyes & pipe cleaner arms. The scarf is a small piece of ribbon.


 Baby Jesus: Felt, glitter, popsicle sticks & "straw". This is my favorite project Maggie made at school. Ours is hanging on our tree. 


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