Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pretty Much Sums it Up...

I am having a very "bleh" kind of day. The soup that I'm making for dinner doesn't taste as good as all the reviews made it seem. It's raining. And I have so much laundry to fold and put away. As I'm walking around in circles getting things done I thought about this video. This is my life almost to the tee. Without the extra kid or the super long hair.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Chic Thanksgiving: The Menu

I have been anxiously waiting for this week to come so that I could start my series on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I do love what Christmas is about but because that is often lost with the "fuss" of Christmas, Thanksgiving has hands down become my favorite holiday.

I love the time of togetherness with my family. I love the way Thanksgiving smells and the way the air feels outside. Y'all already know I'm an Autumn girl and Thanksgiving is one of the main reasons why.  It's a great time for reflection and recognition of all of our blessings. It's also a time to enjoy some amazing food guilt free.

During this series I will be sharing four different posts. The first is about a traditional southern Thanksgiving menu. Right after I got married my Mother made me a Thanksgiving cookbook full of all of our family's recipes. It has everything from appetizers to desserts. She even wrote me a beautiful letter about life, love and marriage. I hope to pass the book down to Savannah with a letter for her when she gets married. 

As a young woman it was so helpful to have this menu. At the time, I wasn't the cook I am today. As an Army Wife, not living near family, I needed this book as a guide. It taught me how to pull off a very successful Thanksgiving dinner with no help. I actually get excited about Thanksgiving. It's like the Super Bowl for women who like to cook, it's a big deal. I find that part of my success comes with keeping it simple and traditional. 

So. If you're someone that doesn't live close to family but you still want to have a bomb Thanksgiving... OR you're someone that just needs a plan for how to do Thanksgiving dinner without getting all stressed, this series is for you.

Here is what we're making for Thanksgiving this year. It's very simple but it's PACKED with comforting flavors. You will love this easy to do meal. 

Coming Up in this series:
A Chic Thanksgiving: The Shopping List & The Grocery Store
A Chic Thanksgiving: Getting It All Done
A Chic Thanksgiving: Decorating and Hostess Tips

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Trunk or Treat 2013

Like most kids, Savannah enjoys Yo Gabba Gabba. The first time we watched it I thought it was a little weird. She seemed to really enjoy the songs and dancing with them so the show slowly grew on me. So. This year I thought it would be fun if we all dressed up as Yo Gabba Gabba characters. 

Savannah was the cutest little Foofa and my husband made DJ Lance look good! He was a big hit with all the kids at the Trunk or Treat this year. 

How cute were they?

If you aren't familiar with the show I was Plex the robot.

Yo Gabba Gabba Halloween costume family

Baby M was in the stroller sleeping during the photo session. He woke up once Savannah and I started making the rounds. Savannah's BFF and her Mom joined us and the girls had a blast! I didn't get permission to post her BFF here but she was the CUTEST little dragonfly!

Yo Gabba Gabba Family Halloween costume

And here is Baby M once we were back at home. I couldn't find a Yo Gabba Gabba costume in an infant size. I looked every where online and didn't have any luck. I was able to find him a Yo Gabba Gabba shirt from The Children's Place so he still fit the theme!

We had tons of fun. This is such a great alternative to trick or treating. My husband was a volunteer for the trunk or treat through the Audie Murphy club. Savannah has other parties to attend all next week so I'll be getting all the bang for my buck with her costume. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Face to Face Friday

Happy Friday!!! This weekend we'll be going to a Halloween Trunk or Treat at my husband's job. Fun! I can not wait to get all dressed up for a little fun with my family. Love it! Savannah has a field trip tomorrow too so we'll be very busy.

Feel free to link up your video post or YouTube video. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

PreSchool at Home: Mixing it Up

Today I thought I'd share some of the other activities we do to create days full of learning. I have recently figured out that chopping up activities and offering different learning opportunities throughout the day really work well for Savannah. It keeps her from getting bored with what we're working on. 

Another thing that I like about this new way of offering activities is that it limits her "free" time. There really isn't much time for TV when we're both actively engaged in an activity together. Now. I know for some people you're wondering how I can do other things if I'm so glued into this new way of learning. The truth is much of it is self directed by Savannah. I set up the expectation that we're going to do something and then she does it independently for the most part. 

While she's working on the Starfall site or doing a page in her workbook, I'm cooking. When she's doing her phonics board in her room, I'm folding laundry. It's a great way to multi task. I can get things done while she's learning. It's great. 

Here we are together working with her phonics board...

Other activities that we've been adding to our day include playing the matching game, playing alphabet bingo and she's recently really taking a bug interest in cooking.

She received this alphabet bingo card during her weekly PreSchool class and she's been playing with it ever since. 

And here she is in her kitchen. I've been letting her help me in the kitchen more since she seems to have a genuine interest in cooking. I think I'm going to let her be my little sous chef when I make the baby's food this weekend. She's going to love that.

By sharing how we've been filling the day I hope it's giving you more ideas. Does anyone have any ideas for me? I'm always open to trying new activities!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Baby M Update: 4 Months

I feel like I just had Baby M like two seconds ago but he's already four months old. This morning we had his four month check up and shots. Things have been going pretty well. He's such a sweet baby. Steals my heart. I can see so much of my husband when I look at him. Sometimes it's frightening.

Baby M smiles, laughs and coos. My favorite thing to do is talk to him. He responds with all his coos and it's the best. He's a pretty good sleeper right now. In the morning he takes a nap for about an hour. Around lunch time he goes down for another two to three hours. At night he goes down at eight sharp (right after his sister) and sleeps until about three before waking up for a feeding. Not too bad, right?

I'm breastfeeding and I pretty much feed him on demand. I started Savannah on cereal and veggies when she was four months old. I plan to start him on solids by the end of the month. I ordered some more freezer trays with lids and they should be here by the end of the week. I'll share more about my baby food making process in another post. We'll more than likely start with peas or green beans. He's ready for food. He's started sitting on his own a little. He stares at us with pure jealousy when we eat and after nursing for a while he still wants more. I've started doing actual feedings and "snacks" via nursing. Cluster feedings I guess. It's time for him to have a little more of something else at least once a day. I'll still continue to breastfeed until he's at least twelve months.

During his appointment his Doctor was very impressed with his strength and how well he moves. She told me that it was time for him to start working out in an exersaucer or standing activity center. I'll be picking up one today. I plan to sell some of the baby gear we have here to a resale store. I can not believe we are already getting rid of baby things! 

I'm feeling so blessed and thankful that our little guy is hitting all of his milestones. When he was born early I was very nervous about how his development would possibly be delayed. Thank God for miracles big and small. Baby M is right where a four month old should be. I guess that means he'll be crawling and getting into everything very soon. Can't wait!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thought Bubbles...

I have a cold and I'm so over it...

I'm not a big Burger King person but those new Buffalo Chicken Tenders are my newest addiction...

I can not believe baby M is 4 months already...

Savannah is hooked on the Starfall site. She calls it the "letter reading" game...

I'm so happy that it is finally cooler in San Antonio...

I've been watching I Dream of NeNe on Bravo. I'm trying to figure out why they won't give her her own show. I don't need all those other subplots when I have NeNe. She's good TV...(and she's RICH) RHOA fans will get that...

I recently figured out how to flat twist my hair. I looked like a Color Purple extra reject until I pinned my twist up....

Small children are like little Outbreak Monkeys. As soon as they get sick whatever they have spreads to all of us...

I keep forgetting that I have a cute LB(skater)D that I need to wear. Waiting on the perfect time to debut that stunner...

Ray Donovan stole my heart over the summer....

My husband did a deep cleaning on all the bathrooms over the weekend. So lucky to have him. Sometimes it's the little things...

I'm still trying to figure out where we went wrong at the beach. For a place that photographs beautifully Corpus Christi was a real dump...

Am I the only one excited about Being Mary Jane? C'mon January...

I have already started planning my Thanksgiving menu. I may or may not have an idea to turn the famous chewy cake into a delicious pie...

I'm excited about dressing up for Halloween this year. I don't want to spoil it but make sure you check back here or follow me on Instagram to see us in our costumes...

Every time I look at an unused piece of baby gear all I see is dollar signs...

I have been accidentally texting people messages meant for someone else. So glad that hasn't turned out badly yet...

We finally found a decent Chinese restaurant. You can order online and they deliver on base. Winning...

I didn't feel like watermarking these photos. Steal them at your own risk...

I bought the Shape Magazine with Kelly Rowland on the cover then I signed up for a subscription. My first issue came in the mail yesterday. Now I have two Kelly Rowland covers...

We are approaching that time of the year where Pinterest will be taken over by Elf on the Shelf ideas...

I just realized it's Thursday and I got excited. Yes for Tamar and Scandal...

So happy to have kids that don't fight me at bedtime. They go down at eight sharp...

My computer is about to die so I'll have to end my ramblings now. See you tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Teaching Your Toddler How to Treat You...

I mentioned recently in this post that I was giving myself a break when it came to my behavior expectations for Savannah. Her personality has blossomed quite a bit over this past month and I can not say that it is agreeing with me. Actually. Her sassiness is just not going to work for me. On any level.

Now. While I am still holding true to the statements made in that first post I am back with another "revelation". It came to my attention one day last week as I was repeating myself for the fourth (or fifth or sixth) time that just as Savannah begins to assert her independence this is a great time to teach her how to treat me. After all, she is in a learning stage. She is figuring out what she can and can not get away with, and I am here to let her know that certain things just aren't going to work for Mommy.

Somewhere between repeating myself and being told "No, Mommy." it hit me. "I am going to have to teach this girl how to treat me." Don't we do that with everyone else in our lives? We teach them what we will and won't accept. As a (somewhat) new Mom I had been focusing all my discipline efforts on teaching her what to do and not to do but not necessarily teaching her how to appropriately address me (and other adults). I grew up in a house where we said "ma'am" and "sir". Now that Little Miss Vocabulary has started getting a little bit too sassy for my taste it's time to start nipping this in the bud. I remember when my youngest brother went through this stage it drove my parents nuts. Now I understand why...

So while I still don't expect her to behave like a five year old I DO expect her to act like a very well behaved three year old. We never experienced the "terrible twos" so this has been a crazy past couple of weeks. She's real slick too. She doesn't yell and scream like you see the kids on TV doing. Her tone is very grown up which I think is more insulting, ha ha! Anyway. Moral to the story is if you spare the rod you'll spoil your child. If you allow them to be a sassy three year old they'll be cursing you out by the time they're in second grade. It's not happening.

Welcome to the Sassy Threes where little girls get their first attitude adjustment.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Face to Face Fridays

Happy Friday everyone! This week I am talking about how taking a break in our activity schedule really helped me out. Of course, my kids are video bombing! Enjoy! I'll be visiting everyone's videos. Be sure to grab the button for the link to help get the word out. I'd love to see some new faces around here! Have a great weekend!

The Chic Stay at Home Mom

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chic Link Up: Ask Away Friday

This week for #AskAwayFriday I am linking up with my girl Baby Teems. Teems is not new to The Chic SAHM. She has been a guest blogger here before and Savannah and I have been featured in her #AWiseKid series. Head over to her blog after you read my answers to her questions. She's a DC Mama with a good sense of humor and the cutest little boy ever. 

Baby Teems

Do you think you could live outside the U.S.? If so, where?
I could absolutely live outside the US. Being an Army Wife I may actually get the chance to live abroad one day and I'm looking forward to it. I would love for us to get stationed in Germany. We would be able to bounce around Europe and really see some amazing places. Taking the Army out of the equation I would say I'd love to live in Sydney, Australia. Whenever Sydney is on House Hunters or Living Abroad I am always so in awe of their beautiful beaches and laid back lifestyle.

Which TV/Movie H.S. crowd best describes your crowd when you were in H.S? (I.E. Mean Girls, Gossip Girls, Saved By The Bell, Clueless)
I would say my HS crowd was a mix between Saved By The Bell and Clueless. I grew up with a very smart, progressive and forward thinking bunch of teenagers. We all were involved in either a sport, student council or some other type of school organization. On the weekends many of us had jobs. We all had our license at 16 and had cars. So. Saved By The Bell because our school was VERY happy go lucky, pep rally and Friday Night Football like. But Clueless because we had very adult ways of thinking and socializing. Oh. And everyone in my group of friends went on to graduate from college. Some of them are lawyers, my BFF is a Recreational Therapist and some work for the government. Not too bad.

Name something on your bucket list.
Seeing Beyonce in concert and (I am still sour about missing the Mrs.Carter show. I was too busy having a baby.) taking a dream vacation.

If your instincts tell you to give a stranger a fake name, what would it be?
Whitley Gilbert. ;-)

What is your most used phrase/word?
Lately my catch phrase has been,"Won't He do it." I say it under my breath. Sometimes as a statement but mostly as a question. It drives my husband nuts. I can thank Tamar Braxton for that.

I also have become a fan of the term "shade". 

Your kid dresses him/herself with pride wacky one day.... Do you let them leave the house with their outfit or do you suggest small change in clothes?
As long as it's not pajamas she/he can wear it. 

Which current reality show cast would you most likely fit in?
Gosh, this is tough because I am a big reality TV fan. (judge if you must) I don't think I'd fit in with any of the Housewives because they fight too much and my life is not drama filled in the least bit. So. I would have to say that I'd probably be a good candidate for a show like Wife Swap or some show that follows the life of a stay at home Mom. I really do think my little family is funny. While we may not be watchable for an entire season we could definitely give you one or two really good episodes.

Name one bad habit.
I'm a Coca-Cola drinker. Always have been and probably always will be. I need it in my system. I haven't been drinking it as much because I'm still nursing but I love me some ice cold Coca-Cola.

What kind of food are you usually in the mood for?
I am ALWAYS in the mood for Chinese food. Living in Texas, good Chinese is hard to come by. I dream about and live for the moment that I am living in a place where Chinese is available the way Mexican is here.

What is one thing we wouldn't catch you doing?
You would never catch me smoking a cigarette or tossing back a beer. I think smoking is the single most unattractive thing a woman can do. I have never liked the taste of beer so you'll never catch me drinking one. I'm a wine girl.

The Real Housewife of Caroline County

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

PreSchool at Home: Update

It's been a while since I've shared some of our PreSchool activities. In an effort to get into a really good routine I have been trying to simplify our schedule. Now that Sav is going to a Preschool class once a week I have been using what she's learning in class to guide what we do at home. We still do our own activities but I really try to reinforce the lessons she learns in school.

My main focus with her right now is reading and phonics. We've been spending the majority of our "learning" time on that. We had been doing letters and phonics for a while but I didn't really know how to take the next step to help her start learning to read. Her teacher suggested that I try Starfall. I had heard of Starfall before but never really looked into it. Sav loved the site.

This month we are working on the short "a" sound. At first, I couldn't tell if she was really reading or if she had memorized the book from reading it so much. When my husband came home from work I had her read it to him to see if she could do it and I was very surprised that she could read it to him with a little help from me. She was also very proud of herself.

Today we did our reading in the morning (after I realized a planned trip to the zoo wasn't happening) and some pumpkin painting in the afternoon.


So slowly but surely we are settling into a routine that I am happy with. Can't lie. Cutting out a lot of play dates and moving dance to the evening has given me more time to spend with her. I have also been able to get so much more done around the house. These past few weeks have been really great. Anyone using Starfall? How do you like it?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Family Photos 2013

As promised here are some of the images from our Fall family photo shoot. I am in love with these pictures. If you are in the San Antonio area and need a good family photographer I highly recommend Crystal Claire Photography. She is great with kids and I really feel like we got a lot for our money.

I love that Baby M was yawning and checking out the sites! As Kevin Hart would say, "We look good as a unit!" LOL! 

family photography black family love

And one with my love...

And one of the littles...

There were so many great shots from our session. Pretty sure that file has been open on our computer since we got our pictures back. I had the hardest time trying to find something for all of us to wear. I'm really happy with the outcome. How often does your family have pictures made? 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Face to Face Fridays: Super Mom Tag Edition

Happy Friday! This week I am linking up with The Real Housewife of Caroline County for the Super Mom tag on YouTube. Since I do a video every Friday I was very happy to join this link up and meet some other Moms. 

Share your video posts with me! I love watching them and hearing about what's going on with every one. Please grab the button or mention the link up in your videos going forward. I really want to get the word out about this link up. I want to see some more pretty faces around here and I know some of y'all "working" on a video, LOL! 

Have a great weekend!

The Chic Stay at Home Mom

Chic Link Up: #AskAwayFriday

This week I am linking up with Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County for #AskAwayFriday. In this hop bloggers swap questions to learn more about each other. Hopefully you all will learn a little bit more about me. Thanks again, for being my blogger buddy this week Penny!

The Real Housewife of Caroline County

1.  If you could be any age again what would it be and why?
If I could be any age again it would have to be 19. I wasn't as smart as I should have been back then. If given the opportunity to go back and do that year over I would.

2.  Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
As I tell my daughter all the time...Feel free to share my quote.

3.  Can you impersonate anyone famous?
I do a pretty good Whitley Gilbert (from A Different World) and Abby Donovan (from Ray Donovan impression.

4.  What's your most expensive piece of clothing?
I have a couple pair of jeans that cost a pretty penny. I also have a ball gown that I used during my Mary Kay days.

5.  Have you actually ever had a surprise party that was an actual surprise?

6.  How many texts do you receive on an average day?
It depends. It can range anywhere from 0-50. More than that if I'm chatting with my girlfriends during the day.

7.  What's the peak of your day every day?
When my husband gets home from work.

8.  If you could swap genders for a day what would you do?
That's an easy one. Work out and sleep.

9.  What was your greatest day ever?
If we're not considering births or wedding days then I would have to say my college graduation. I will always remember how I proud I was for earning my degree and working two jobs during school.

10.  What's been the hardest thing to give up in becoming a parent?
Free time. I knew I wouldn't have as much free time but I had no idea I'd barely have any at all. I'm pretty sure I could fill every day with errands and list of to-do's. I'm getting better about carving out some me time though.

San Antonio: Holiday Ole Market 2013

Last night was so much FUN! I haven't had good girlfriend time like that in a very long time. It's so nice to get out without your kids and husband every now and then. I want to thank Tyesha from Diary of a Chic Mommy for being my date last night for Holiday Ole Market 2013.

Here is a recap of the event. Sorry the pics are a little blurry. These were done with my phone and I can not seem to locate the USB cord for our actual camera so these will have to do for now. Sigh. Blogger problems. In the process of ordering a new cord right now...

Last night I wore some black high waist skinny jeans, a peplum top with leather shoulder detail and my new booties. Loved my look! 

There was SO MUCH jewelry at Holiday Ole Market. I have more jewelry shots on my big girl camera but you already know that story...

I want to shout out Julie's Boutique! They are a Charlotte, NC based store. Since I am a girl from the Queen City I was beyond excited to see them at Holiday Ole Market. Their stuff was super cute and well priced. The girls working their booth were super sweet too. All of my Charlotte girls should check them out. They're located off Park Rd. Happy Shopping!

Loved these pants from Julie's Boutique...

These ladies were giving out glasses of Smirnoff's new limited edition Peach Bellini. Yum. Get some.

Soo tasty...

Tyesha and I both agreed that the highlight of our night was this frozen slushie wine. Frappe Vino was the bomb. (Do people still say that?) That's the only way I can think to describe it. It's super easy to make and is delicious. 

Now that you've got your drinks together the next thing you'll need is a good snack. Alamo Seasoning had the yummiest dips. I purchased the spicy jalapeño dip. Can't wait to try it during my me time!

These bundt cakes were so good there barely any left by the time we made it to this booth. I tried the red velvet cake. Amazing.

Here we are on the way home. I had an amazing time. Get a group of your girls together and check out Holiday Ole Market. The market will be at the Freeman Coliseum until October 5, 2013. Do not miss out! There was everything from apparel and jewelry to novelty gifts and holiday decor. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ladies: This Video is a MUST SEE!

A friend of mine loves me enough that she shared this video with me. After viewing it I knew I had to pass it along. This is a message and reminder for all of us.

What did you think? Spread this love to a woman in your life. You never know who might need to be told that they are worth it and more than enough.