Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! Time For A Giveaway!

Happy New Year!! 2014 is here! I figured I'd celebrate by offering you all a giveaway. I recently received this digital Braun Forehead Thermometer as part of a social media campaign for Influenster. I loved it. It came right on time because as some of you might remember Savannah got really sick recently. 

I was checking her temp every 30-45 minutes. This thermometer was so accurate and easy to use. It was such a blessing to have it and know that I could trust the readings.

 Here was one of Savannah's reading from when she was sick. Very high. I love that the thermometer has a color code. It's green for the safe zone, yellow for a mild temp and red for a kid down situation. (or woman or man down should you find yourself ill)

There is a $10 rebate offer available through the website so if you don't win the giveaway check that out. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy New Year!

This is us tonight. The reality not the fantasy...

- posted from my chic iPhone

Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's Our Anniversary! Celebrating 8 Years...

It's hard to believe that I've been married for eight years already. Whoa. Time is flying. I don't talk much about marriage or my husband here. Mainly because I feel like we're so incredibly normal (in a good way) that there really isn't much to say that would be overly entertaining. 

You might remember I told you a little bit about how we met in college and got married before I even graduated. (i graduated the following semester) He had already graduated from school and joined the Army. I was 21 and he was 25. Crazy, right?

After our wedding I went back to school for my last semester and he went back to Virginia to finish his training. I remember driving to see him on Thursdays after school. I didn't have class on Fridays so we'd get three days to hang out. I'd stay until Monday morning and I would haul butt to make it back in time for my eight AM class. Very crazy. So many speeding tickets. 

It was all worth it though. Since then we've moved four times and welcomed two beautiful babies into our lives. Here I am below pregnant with Savannah (and newly natural). These years have flown by. We have our fair share of disagreements like most people. However, I think what makes us work is our ability to laugh at everything. I also think that keeping additional people out of your business helps too but I'm really trying to keep this post light…

So. Raise a glass for us tonight. Eight years down. Forever to go...

Preschool at Home: Learning Sight Words

Now that the holiday season is over we are getting back to our routine. Slowly but surely. For Christmas Savannah received a literacy set that focuses on sight words. I will share the set and my review on it in a separate post. It came with DVDs and books. We've started using it but I want to use it a little more before I do a review here.

Anyway. While we were watching the video and reading the books I was trying to think of other ways to get her to recognize her site words. Part of learning to read is recognizing these words without having to figure them out. Since repetition is everything  I thought it would be fun to make large flashcards that can be used in several different ways. This way, not only is she learning to recognize her words but she's also having fun. Double win. Go me.

In this particular picture I put the words down on the floor, called out a word and had her bring the word to me. She really enjoyed this. Savannah thought it was so fun to look for words. She starts a literacy class in a couple weeks and I can't wait to see her turn into a little reader.

The kit that she received for Christmas says that you can start as early as 15 months. When Sav was that age I was teaching her the baby book of 100 words. It didn't include these type of sight words but I think I will start early with BabyM. When you know better, you do better, right?

What do you think about this idea? Have you started doing sight words with your little one?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ask Away Friday w/ Carissa from Green Eyed Lady Blog

I haven't done Ask Away Friday in a few weeks. I'm not sure why. Maybe I've been busy with the kids being sick and getting ready for Christmas. Anyway. When Carissa asked me to be her partner this week I was very excited. I enjoy her blog so much. Her daughter, Emma, is the cutest! Check her blog out to see the questions I had for her…

The Green Eyed Lady Blog

1. How was your Christmas? What did you all do for the Holiday?
Christmas was great! We hung out around the house all day. After we opened gifts I made breakfast. Once breakfast was done we played with all of toys the kids received. We put together puzzles, played board games and watch movies. Very low-key.

2. I love how you incorporate fitness into your blog...for someone that has to get it ALL THE WAY together in 2014, what are 3 things that can give me a kick start to losing weight and getting back healthy?
For some reason I feel the need to throw out a disclaimer here, LOL!! I am not a doctor, dietician, physical trainer or nutritionist BUT I do like to eat right and I am slowly starting to add workouts to my daily routine. My advice would be to drink lots of water (and green tea), eat as clean as possible and try to workout for at least 30 minutes everyday for the first 22 days. They say it takes 22 days to form (or break) a habit so hopefully you'll start hitting a stride by day 23. Good Luck! Oh. And join the #OperationSnapback movement going on at Baby Teems.

3. What are some of your goals for 2014? And how do you keep track of them(write them out, keep them in your phone on a special app) how do you hold yourself accountable?
In 2014 I want to be more patient with these kids (mainly Sav and her case of the 3s). I want to get into great shape. And I'd love to work some personal writing projects that I've been putting off. To keep up with my goals I put them on our family's "big board". It's where all things important to the people that live here go.

4. What was your favorite blog post from 2013?
Hmm. That's a tough one. I would say that I really loved my series on Thanksgiving and I also loved adding videos to the blog. Check some of my videos out on the Chic TV page.

5. Its a few of us bloggers that are turning the big 3-0 at the same time...what are you looking forward to most in your 30's?
Going to Vegas. I have never been. I am also looking forward to living fearlessly. For some reason I associate being authentically you without fear of what others will think with turning 30.

6. How do you plan to bring in the New Year?
Hahaha, I plan to ring in the new year right here at home. We might have champagne and food if we decide to stay up. If not, I'll be ringing in the New Year getting some beauty sleep.

7. You know I have always admired the "Homeschooling with Savannah" where did you get your lesson plans, or your ideas?
Thank you! It's a big mix. I get some ideas from Pinterest and some ideas from Sav's teacher. A lot of what we do is done on the fly though. I make up stuff as we go. Like the paper plate snowman that we made was something that I came up with that morning during breakfast.

8. What would you do if you had a "day to yourself"? 
I would get a mani, pedi, facial and massage. Then I would get something really amazing to eat, cuddle up in my bed and watch TV all day.

9. Its your turn to plan date night, but it cant be a traditional date night...what do you plan?
Oh gosh, LOL! I think a scavenger hunt or an Amazing Race type date would be fun. My husband is competitive and he would really like something like that.

10. What do you love most about living in Texas?
I am going to be honest here, LOL!!! I really love the friends that I have here and that's probably about it. I am an East coast girl and I always will be. I like having four seasons and being able to find yummy Chinese food when I want it. I also miss being in driving distance to family. Of course we could drive back home but an 18 hour car ride with two kids is not my cup of tea at all.

I had a great time linking up with Carissa. Don't forget to swing by her place to see the questions I had for her and see the cuteness that is baby Emma.

Ask Away Friday is a link up hosted by Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County.

REPOST: The Mom Gene

Originally posted October 2, 2012...

The "Mom Gene". I saw this story on Good Morning America online after my parents told me about it. They said the story made them think of me and that I should check it out. Did any of you see this? I wasn't sure what to make of it so I had to watch it a couple times. Apparently researchers at Rockefeller University believe that some women are born with a "Mom Gene" that gives them the instincts they need to be good mothers.

I'm not sure if I totally believe that some women are born with a "Mom Gene". I do however, believe that some women are just more maternal than others. Some women are just better with kids than others. I think the way this issue was covered made it seem like women without this gene are bad Moms, or maybe not as good as their Mommy peers. There is a wide range of Moms out there. I talked about that a little in my post about the Smother Mother.

When I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a Mom, but it certainly wasn't my life goal. I think that I am pretty good and patient with Savannah. I naturally transitioned from a working woman to a stay at home Mom without any problem. Does that mean I have the "Mom Gene"? If a woman chooses not to stay at home, loses patience easily or sends their kid to Grandma's every weekend (cause y'all know that those Moms exist) does that mean that she doesn't have the gene? I always thought that once you became a Mother that instinct to nurture just took over. Even if it's just to do the basics and nothing else.

I'm still trying to form an opinion about the "Mom Gene". I don't quite know what to think of it. I'd like to think that I have it, but I honestly wasn't mommy focused until I got pregnant. I baby sat my younger brothers as a teenager and no one died so I guess I was pretty nurturing then too, right? Does that mean this ability was always in me? What do you think about the "Mom Gene"? Do you think you have it? Do you know anyone who clearly does not?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mommy Style: 12232013

mom style fashion blogger accessories pretty black girl

Since this pic got a such a nice response on IG & FB I figured I'd share the details of what I'm wearing.   The hat is from Target. The sunglasses are Tommy Hilfiger. The scarf is from Express and I'm wearing a burgundy Express dolman sleeve sweater.

The weather here has been so nice. It's been in the upper 50s to low 60s. Loving it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

REPOST: The Smother Mother

Originally posted March 5, 2012

A term I resent. What is a smother mother? She can only be defined as a woman who is most often times surrounded by her children. She keeps a close eye on them. Some would say that she is over protective. The smother mother has the ability to hover in a way that makes others wonder about her technique. Other mothers would probably say that the smother mother needs a little break. I disagree.

As a self diagnosed smother mother I would first like to make it known that a smother mother can not help it. Mainly because she doesn't see her behavior as anything but loving. I can only speak for myself but I truly do not see what the issue is. Honestly, it hardly ever crosses my mind to do anything without my daughter. It's almost as if my mind can't even compute the thought. Apparently the part of my brain that tells you to hire a babysitter just doesn't work.

I have had several people offer to babysit so that my husband and I could enjoy some time alone. I do not mind leaving her for the occasional dinner, it's the idea that something is wrong with me because I won't leave her more often that disturbs me. For the record, I am not afraid that anything is going to happen to her. I trust that my friends and family are more than capable to watch her. The truth is, I just like having her around. I enjoy her company. Go figure. As tiny as she is, she is the life of the party. My family is more complete with her and I feel like something is missing when she's away. Would I have an amazing time on a solo date with my husband? Absolutely. Do I feel like our experience is different when we're out as a group? Not at all.

I have enjoyed every second of my daughter's existence. I have not missed a moment. I remember her first tear, her first laugh and the first time she got the hiccups. I even have two out of those three on tape! Whenever I do decide to spend a weekend away I want to make sure I can do it with no regrets. Right now, I can't say that I could do that. I also know that if I am going to spend any long period of time away it needs to be worth it. I'm not dropping her off somewhere, just to return home. What kind of "break" is that? My break will involve sand between my toes and the sun on my skin.

So, in conclusion, do not fear the smother mother. Her heart is in the right place, she just wants peace of mind. We should all focus our attention on the "other mother". The woman who's children are always with a nanny or a family member. Her weekends are always free, and unlike the smother mother she appears to not have a care in the world. That mother will wake up one day and wonder where the time went. I won't. If you check my laptop I can show you where the time went. I have the pictures and videos to prove it.

Who am I kidding? I have to admit, there is something to be admired about the other mother. Who knows, maybe when my daughter is a little older I'll become a nice hybrid mix of the other and the smother. I'm getting there, but until then I'm smothering and hovering my life away.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

REPOST: Balancing Act

Originally posted on May 17, 2012...

In my former life I worked in the sales industry. It was competitve. It was aggressive. It was what I did. In that field you have to be turned on at all times. For every minute that you spend checking your personal email or having a chat at the water cooler you miss out on money. That's what sales is about. A commission. You must be consistently productive to achieve any type of success.

Since becoming a mother and staying at home I have had a hard time adjusting to the lack of pressure. Motherhood isn't a competition and there certainly isn't a commission to be earned at the end of the month. Just hugs, kisses and milestones. So what keeps you going? What keeps us from becoming frumpy old housewives? Well, for me I think it has to be my type A personality. No matter how hard I try I just can't seem to turn it off.

I actually feel guilty if I don't take my daughter on an outing everyday. It feels strange to stay home for the entire day. I also I have not been able to do that whole "sleep while the baby is sleeping" thing, or even take a break when she naps. I feel that those are my opportunities to cook dinner or clean. I can get it done much faster when she's not clinging to my leg or asking to be held. However, after a few weeks of the constant going I do hit a wall. Today, I ran into one full speed. So, I did something I rarely ever do. When she went down for her nap I turned on the tv, peeped inside the DVR and caught myself up on one of my favorite shows.

I just sat there with a glass of tea. I must admit that midway thru the show instead of fast forwarding thru the commercials I got dinner started. What I realized was that it is completely okay to have one day a week where we don't have a plan. We don't have to go anywhere. I discovered today that she is completely happy playing with her toys right here in the comfort of our own home. I do not have to be turned on all the time. Every second doesn't have to be filled with flash cards or story time. She is happy playing and dancing and pretending. It's okay for me to have an hour of downtime. After all, I'm a Mom not a Ring Master. No one is buying tickets to this show. It's not a competition. I'm not going to get an award for doing the most housework or having dinner done by five. So, I can relax. It's ok.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

This Blog In 2014...

someecards.com - 2014 is going to be MY year. Said everyone everywhere.

So the New Year is approaching and it's time for goals and declarations about what will be. I don't know about you all but I have never really been a big fan of New Year's resolutions. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about goal setting but I just don't get into the hype surrounded by the New Year.

In February this blog will be two years old. What started out as a hobby kind of started turning into more of a business. I started to feel the competitive pressure to do more and get more numbers so that I could qualify for more opportunities. It became exhausting and time consuming. I like this space and what it does for me and I don't want it to start feeling like a chore. I want it to stay fun and effortless.

With that said, in 2014 you can expect more fun on this blog. I'll be doing some fun things with Baby Teems. There will still be reviews every now and then. I have already planned a pretty nice giveaway for February to celebrate my Flirty30 so be sure to be on the lookout for that.

This blog is about my motherhood journey as a stay at home Mom. Sometimes I'll write about fashion. Sometimes I'll share quick dinner ideas. You might find a fun craft to do with your kid. Hopefully you'll see more of my real life personality here. Some may like it and some may not. If you have ever talked to me offline you know that I'm a little bit more "fun" than I have been online. 2014 will not be a year to be demographically friendly or politically "blogger" correct. I'm getting back to why I started this.

The only goal I have for this space in 2014 is to continue to grow it organically. My numbers may not be as high as some other bloggers but at least I know I didn't beg, borrow or steal for the readers I have. I appreciate everyone's support of The Chic Stay at Home Mom. Please continue to interact with me on social media and in the comments. While I do love to make a dollar that will no longer be the only driving force behind the content here.

For the rest of 2013 I will be reposting some of my favorite posts from the past. I'll see you in 2014. It will be fabulous. It will be more real. It will be more me.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Mamas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

BabyM Update: 6 Months

Can you believe my baby is already six months old?! I sure can't. He's a six month old busy body. I could barely get him to sit still long enough to snap a pic for this post. BabyM is doing well. He's sitting up by himself. He's still trying to balance his head out so sometimes he topples over but he's getting better and better.

He's eating really well and his doctor recommended that I go ahead and start doing three solid food meals a day. She thinks he'll be ready for finger foods soon. So far he's had cereal, apples, peas, carrots and potatoes. He's liked everything except carrots. I don't like carrots either so maybe he got that from me.

Baby M is really good with flipping over and getting from the seated position to his belly or back. He scoots backwards and forward but isn't crawling.

His absolute favorite thing to do is play with Savannah. They laugh and play almost all day. It's so cute to watch. He thinks she's hilarious and loves to watch her misbehave. It's so weird. He actually knows when she's doing something wrong and he cracks up laughing at her.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Witness for Fitness: Getting Right for my Flirty30

Well. Earlier this week I told you I was going to do the Sexy Abs DVD this week. What I learned from that was that it is hard to get in a DVD during the day. I have to either get up earlier than the kids or get my workout in after they go to sleep. With Savannah being sick and her sleep schedule being off I had to adjust what I was doing. So until she's back on her regular schedule I will be getting workouts from my fitness interest board.

This particular workout is my goal. By the end of these twenty four days Sav should be feeling better. I can also add my DVDs back in to the rotation should things get back to normal sooner. So I'm moving forward. Still working out. Just had to change my plan a bit.

How is your workout plan going this week? Did you have to change up your plan?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Preschool at Home: Using What You Have

Savannah is finally starting to feel better. She had no fever today and she was playing as usual. I didn't have an activity planned for us today. I was expecting her to still be a little sick. She asked me if we could do "homework" and that's when I knew she must be feeling a lot better.

So. I pulled out her workbook and we did a few pages. She then requested to do numbers. This made me happy because we really need to focus on her numbers. My focus has been on her letters, writing and phonics and because of that we haven't really focused on counting/numbers as much.

After completing a few pages, I remembered an activity we had done with her class. The teacher had us doing simple addition using candy. Since Sav loves marshmallows I added those to some m&ms. We counted from zero to twenty a few times.

Then we sorted the treats and counted them.  This was a fun activity. It was quick and luckily I had somethings in the pantry. We had previously decorated Christmas cookies so I just pulled the candy and marshmallows from there.

You could do this activity with anything you have that your child likes. You could use chopped fruit or nuts. Another cool idea would be to use colored pasta. My point here is to use whatever you have on hand. Everything doesn't always have to be so thought out and perfect. As long as your child is learning and you both are enjoying it that's all that really matters.

What do you think? Isn't this so easy? I love getting ideas from Savannah's teacher during class and using them at home.

Monday, December 16, 2013

30th Birthday Countdown: #OperationSnapback w/ Baby Teems

I am officially getting my butt in gear for my Flirty30. Literally. I have had my share of all the holiday eats and now it's time to start trying to get in shape. I have had several false starts with my fitness routine. I'll do something for a couple days and then go back to doing nothing at all.

What makes this time different you ask? Well, this time my mind is made up. I am mentally focused on working out. I actually think about it and have a desire to do something. My homegirl over at BabyTeems has this big #OperationSnapback movement going on. You have to check it out! (there's even a giveaway going on right now!!!) She has inspired me to start pulling it together. 

With that said. I will be sharing what I'm doing everyday in terms of my workout here on the blog or on my instagram account. Today I am going to do the Jeanette Jenkins Sexy Abs DVD featuring Kelly Rowland. 

So. Who's with me? Follow me on Instagram at 'chicsahm' to see what's not posted here. Make it a great Monday! We're headed to the pediatrics office and I'll be working out after our appointment!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

BEYONCÉ: My Thoughts & Funny Reactions


Well. I'm sure you are all aware by now that Beyonce has released an album. I woke up Thursday morning to nurse a crying baby and figure out why my phone was blowing up. A friend of mine was informing me that Beyonce had released an album super sleuth style while I was getting my beauty rest.

Once I finished feeding babyM I pulled up iTunes and started checking out snippets of the songs and videos. Being the big Bey fan that I am I was beyond excited. After downloading the album and giving it a good listen (all day) I have to say that I love it. I love the unapologetic, raunchy and grown-up lyrics on this album. You can tell she really is more confident in who she is and I am here for it. All of it.

I have always enjoyed music that called for a little booty tooching, she gives you that. I have always enjoyed music that makes you feel or think about something, she gives you that. And lastly, I have always enjoyed learning about my favorite artists through each album. Done. 

Now. I completely understand that many people are not here for her music. Many people don't like it or they simply don't get her. That's fine. This post isn't for you. All I can say is that I am happy to have new music from her and if she offers a another tour date in a Texas city near me my behind will be there. I don't care if I have to go with a baby strapped to my chest, LOL! I'm in there! 

Another great thing about her album release was the internet reaction. Here is a (long) round-up of the memes that made me laugh, enjoy!


Did y'all like these? I thought they were hilarious and sadly some of them are probably true, LOL!! I know my friends and I can relate to the Shanaynay meme. Anytime I hear someone say they don't like her I'm like, "Wait, what?" Very funny! Anyone else get the album? What were your thoughts? I think the album comes out in stores on December 21. I'll be getting a copy for my car too!

Beyonce's Surprise Album Trending Towards No. 1 on Billboard 200 | Billboard

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thought Bubbles...

I'm sitting here watching Scandal. This show has got to be one of the best things TV has done for me in a while… Where is Cyrus' little black baby they adopted last season? Baby Ella got laid down in her crib on one episode and I ain't seen her since…

There are Christmas presents that need wrapping. I've gotten behind on them. I'm not a good wrapper so I need to get on that. Like yesterday…

Tomorrow I'm not doing anything other than feed these kids and hang out around this house. Maybe I'll do a load of laundry. Maybe…

My posts are now aligned to the left. Today it's the margin, tomorrow it's the world…

I will not exhaust myself trying to turn this blog into a business. Started as a hobby and we still here…

Savannah will be in an upcoming video honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. I can't wait to see it...

I would also like to add that she did very well listening to everyone on set. We took her for a smoothie afterwards for doing a great job…
It has been pretty fun putting outfits together for my trip but now I understand why people have stylists…
I have cut back on the amount of Dr.Pepper I consume. I can already tell a difference in my skin and tummy…
I'll be glad when this "fun food" season is over…
Very excited about switching up my hair soon…
This isn't shocking to my regular readers at all but I'm now watching Andy Cohen…
I really wanted Face to Face Fridays to happen. It didn't…
Look at my big boy sitting up at Sav's class this morning. He's doing so much these days...

Is anyone watching Rihanna's Styled to Rock?…
I can hear Savannah coughing in her sleep. I hate what Texas has done to her. Never even had a cold until we moved here…
Did I mention how excited I am about lounging tomorrow…
Oh. And Bey just dropped an album. And it's fire…

UPDATE: Loving Bey's album and all the catchy lyrics…