Pine Cone Christmas Trees

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‘Tis the season! We got our first snow last night, although it was just a dusting. We have been watching tons of holiday movies, and it really feels like the Christmas season! Last year at our PTA holiday party we made these Christmas trees, and they were a hit! They are easy enough for young toddlers to make, but fun for the older kids as well. Placing the “bulbs” on the tree are great for their fine motor skills!

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We bought a bag of pinecones at the craft store for a few dollars and I had the small pompoms in our school box, so it was an inexpensive and fun activity for the twins! You just dab a little glue on the pompoms and let the kids put them on the pine cones, super simple! It takes a little while for the glue to dry, so it’s best to let them sit for awhile before the kids play with them. We are thinking of hanging ours from the tree:)

What are your favorite simple holiday crafts or activities? We are always looking for new ideas!

Until our next adventure,

Moving Mommy

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Pine Cone Bird Feeders

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My sister-in-law had this fun activity for us to do while we visited for Thanksgiving last week! The kids enjoyed it, and although I’m pretty sure we don’t have many birds around right now, we brought them home and put them outside. It was a bit messy and Will kept trying to eat the peanut butter:) Enjoy!

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You will need:
1. Peanut butter
2. Pine cones
3. Bird seed
4. Twine, or something to hang them with

We spread newspaper out on the table to keep the mess to a minimum, and had the kids spread peanut butter all over the pine cones. Then we rolled them around in the birdseed. That’s it! Super easy and fun for the littles!! After they dry a bit, just take them outside and hang them in your tree or off the deck.

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Until our next adventure,
Moving Mommy

Gluten-Free?

I’ve always been a little skeptical of the gluten-free craze that has taken off over the past several years. It seemed like out of the blue tons of people stopped eating gluten; why? Then I started doing some research, and maybe there is something to it. Obviously, people with Celiac disease cannot have gluten, but that is only about 10% of the population. What I’ve found is that many more people have gluten sensitivities, which can only be diagnosed by cutting out gluten. Many people who I have spoken with feel so much better since going gluten-free. Wheat is in a much different, more processed form than it was when our grandparents ate it. Maybe it’s the gluten, maybe it’s the process used now, I’m not sure. I still didn’t really have any desire to go gluten-free, as it would be a total nightmare for the kids.

Will has eczema, and has since about the time I stopped nursing. It comes and goes, and until now I just used Cetaphil to moisturize his skin and it has worked ok. All of a sudden, it has gotten really bad. He’s covered in it and I feel terrible for him. The only thing the doctors can do is put him on steroids, which I only want to do as a last resort. Hydrocortisone cream works some, but I would much rather find the source of the problem than constantly have to treat it. The problem is that no one really knows what causes it, only that it is an autoimmune condition. That’s probably because it isn’t one thing that causes it in all people.

My goal is to figure out what is causing it in Will. It could be candida overgrowth, an unhealthy balance in gut bacteria, a food allergy, lots of things really. I may not find the answer at all. The first thing that we are doing is cutting out gluten. If it’s a food sensitivity, that is the most likely one. Even if it isn’t, cutting out gluten will help with the other likely culprits too. We will see!

I’m baking a loaf of gluten-free bread right now, wish me luck!

Does anyone have any advice on eczema or going gluten-free? What are your thoughts?

Until our next adventure,
Moving Mommy

Misconceptions of Stay-at-Home Moms

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I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with the kids since the twins were born. I can’t believe I have been out of the real world for three years! It has been really fulfilling and really, really difficult. Especially since we moved here where I have no support system. The majority of my day is spent talking about poop, pee, or cartoons, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Our kids are little for such a short time, and I’m blessed to be able to spend so much time with them and to teach them while they are young!

I watched a video on Upworthy the other day that was really cute. It was a little girl talking about her mom, and she called her a doctor, a chef, an angel, and some other things. I took the video as being about all moms, not just those of us who don’t work outside the home currently. Then I read the comments, which is always a mistake. One comment really got under my skin. It went something like…

All of you stay-at-home moms should go out and get a job and do something with your lives. You’ll be sorry when your husband divorces you for a younger woman and you don’t have rights to his pension or salary. Then you’ll have to get a minimum wage job and the taxpayers will be paying for your kids.

Seriously?? I’ve heard some of the stereotypes, but I’ve never really been witness to one. That blanket statement pretty much says
A) All men are jerks
B) SAHMs are lazy
C) Raising productive citizens isn’t “doing something with your life”
D) SAHMs are uneducated and unqualified to be anything but a Walmart greeter (and there’s nothing wrong with being a Walmart greeter!)

Most SAHMs that I know don’t plan on doing it forever, I know that I don’t. And even if I did, that wouldn’t make my value as a person any less than someone who works full-time. Raising kids is hard, whether you work or not, and being a parent is important. Everyone’s situations are different, but we all try our best to be good parents and that’s what matters. We are all in this together, shouldn’t we be supportive of each other along the way?

Until our next adventure,
Moving Mommy

Holiday Shopping Madness

The holiday shopping madness has already begun. Today I went to Target to pick up a few things for our trip this week, and I could already tell that the season had started. People were crabby, inconsiderate, and all over the place. What is it about shopping during this time of year that brings out the worst in people? I went to the store knowing that I would have to park far away, wait in line, and make my way through the crowd just to get a few toiletries. Doesn’t everyone realize that? I was ok with it, the world wasn’t going to stop because it took me 15 extra minutes in Target. I just don’t think it’s necessary to ram your cart into the lady pushing two kids because she’s not moving fast enough for you. Excuse me would be fine, really. Then as we were walking to the car, some crazy person almost ran over Will. Literally. He fell and instead of waiting for the three seconds it would take me to get him up, she decided to speed right by. The only problem was that she didn’t cut her wheel enough and I had to dive on top of him to prevent her from running over his hand. He was fine, but he was scared. A couple of people ran over to make sure he was ok, which was nice, but I think it scared him even more.

If you will be joining the masses this weekend, try to be patient and kind! I know we all want to save a little money on our holiday gifts, but remember that it’s not the gifts that this season is about. It’s about love and kindness and being grateful for what you have.So smile at the cashier working 12 hour days to provide a great Christmas for her kids, let the mom with all the kids cross the street without mowing her down, tip your server well, and be nice to other shoppers:)

Until our next adventure,
Moving Mommy

I Have a Confession to Make…

I already put our Christmas decorations up. Yes, on November 18 I was in a Christmas frenzy. I dug all of the decorations out of the garage, and to my children’s dismay, sang Christmas carols while decorating the house. If you had asked me 5 years ago if I would ever decorate before Thanksgiving, I would have rolled my eyes at you.

Last year I was never able to get warm and fuzzy about Christmas. Right around Thanksgiving we found out we were moving to New Jersey, so I spent almost the entirety of the holidays packing our house. My husband was working in New York the whole month of December, so the kids and I were on our own. When the kids opened their gifts on Christmas morning, I immediately put more than half of them in a moving box and they weren’t opened until we got settled in our new home.

So this year, I’m a little over-excited! I’m almost completely done with my shopping and I really want to start doing Christmas activities with the kids. I’ll wait until after Thanksgiving for that. The kids are happy, they love all of the lights but my husband thinks I’m a lunatic:) I’m hoping I won’t be disappointed when I have nothing left to do come mid-December!

When do you decorate for the holidays? Do you think it’s too early?

Until our next adventure,
Moving Mommy

Blackberry Chia Seed Smoothie

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The Blueberry Kale Smoothie I posted awhile back is one of my most popular posts and was even featured at Adventures in Mindful Living, so I thought that I would share one of my other favorite smoothies!

Blackberries are rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin C and have high antioxidant levels. They also have a high tannin content which can help to reduce intestinal inflammation. They provide a sweet, rich flavor which is the part I like best! Chia seeds are a wonderful source of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (they contain more Omega-3 than salmon!). They are also packed full of fiber and minerals. I find them in ground form on the natural food aisle at my grocery store.

Blackberry Chia Smoothie

1 cup organic frozen blackberries

1 cup organic greens (I usually use spinach or kale)

1/4 cup organic vanilla yogurt (you could replace this with a little more water for dairy-free)

1 tbsp ground chia seeds

1/4-1/2 cup of water (start with 1/4 and add as needed)

Add the yogurt first, followed by the greens, chia seeds and blackberries. Pour the water over the top and blend! Enjoy!

-Moving Mommy