Monday, December 24, 2012

Doing it all…..{Clueless Chick Style}

I can’t tell you how many times people say to me “I just don’t know how you do it all!”  Honestly, it happens at least once a day.  I’m really not trying to “do it all,” I’m just one of those chicks who likes doing 10 things at once.  The truth is that I don’t sleep much.  Between a husband and two little ones, a demanding career, and The Clueless Chick, there really aren’t enough hours in the day, so I’ve turned the night into working hours :-)

I jokingly tell people that The Clueless Chick is my 9pm to 2am job, but most weeks that is true.  But what can I say, this is my passion, and we always find time for what we are passionate about, and thanks to Starbucks and a super supportive husband I’m able to make it work.

How do I “do it all”?  Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize, which is even more important around the holidays with so many demands on our time and pressure to make everything perfect.  The most important thing to do is to determine what is most important to you – the way I see it is if you are just too busy playing with the little ones to ever get the ornaments hung on the Christmas tree, oh well :-)

So here’s one of the ways I make it all happen:

I LOVE cooking all day for Thanksgiving, roasting the turkey, pealing and mashing potatoes, but in order to get away with doing all of that work I had to make a deal with my husband.  He doesn’t like the idea of me “slaving over the stove” all day, and since he’s no cook, his solution is to order in so that we can kick back and watch football all day.  HA! That is sooooo not happening in my house…or so I thought.

Two years ago we made a deal – if I could cook all day for Thanksgiving, we would order a fully cooked Turkey dinner from Whole Foods for Christmas dinner.  O.M.G. this has been one of the best deals ever.  I still make our favorite side dishes: Pineapple Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Baked Brie, etc. but we’ll spend most of the day watching White Christmas, teaching the kids to play Go Fish and just enjoying spending time with family from out of town.  Not a bad deal for $120 ;-)  I don’t know about you, but I usually spend at least that much on groceries for the holidays + hours and hours and hours of prep time and cooking.

This morning I got up (after being up half the night with a toddler who has a fever of 102...), got ready, headed to my local Whole Foods to pick up dinner, and now I’m home, writing this blog and chillin’ like a villain with the fam.

My Christmas wish for you is that you will be able to find a little way that you can uncomplicate your life to save yourself time and stress so that you can enjoy yourself.  Worry less about making sure everything is perfect and more about spending time with your loved ones!

Happy Holidays from The Clueless Chick!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

Friday, December 21, 2012

Stress-Free Party Planning {Clueless Chick Style}


Earlier this month we were lucky enough to share some of our favorite Stress-Free Party Planning Tips with two of our favorite Raleigh, NC blogs:


These tips are perfect, for Holiday Parties, New Years Parties, or just about any party you’ve got on your calendar.  So check out our tips, and all of the other great info both sites have to offer!

Thanks Sintilating Simplicity and Sweeps for letting us share our tips with your followers!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Party Planning Tips for The Clueless Chick

You've read all about our party planning tips in Party Planning Tips for The Clueless Chick, now you can see them LIVE on My Carolina Today!

One of our favorite tips is to create Stations at your party so that guests are not hunting for a fork for their pasta salad or a bottle opener when they grab a beer.  By placing everything your guests need in one spot, you can improve the flow of your party and save yourself a lot of running around and re-organizing.

Check out a Station in action:
 Lonerider Beer Station as seen on My Carolina Today

Lonerider Beer Station
(a must have for any party)
1.  Lonerider Beer
2.  Cooler with Ice
3.  Koozies
4.  Bottle Opener
5.  Container for bottle caps
6.  Recycling bin for empty bottles 
(there will be a LOT)

Even more great Party Setup tips:  The Four "S"s of Party Planning:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Treat Cups

As a mom, I LOVE making favors for all of the little ones at Day Care, but I always struggle to find fun, sugar-free, peanut-free favors that the kids will actually enjoy.  For recent holidays, we done everything from making home-made play doh, to holiday rubber duckies and heart shaped chalk.  For this Halloween I decided to create more of a fun treat bag.

Challenge:  Pick up everything at Target in the only 30 min I had to spare last week.....oh the life of a busy woman :-)

Luckily I was able to find everything I needed (minus that bags which were in my craft stash) to make these adorable Halloween treats!

Halloween Treat Cups

  • Orange Ice Cream Cup
  • Cello Bag
  • Mini Play doh cup
  • Cookies 'n Scream Zbar
  • Halloween Pretzels
  • Pumpkin Tattoos
  • Halloween Bubbles
  • Pirate Eye Patch
  • Happy Halloween Sticker
The mini Play doh cups made the perfect base for this treat cup, and the sticker was such an easy way to finish off the look!

Tips:  If you can't/don't want to print your own personalized stickers, just pick up some cute pumpkin or ghost stickers.  To save a couple of bucks, skip the ice cream cup and play doh.  If you have more time, decorate the ice cream cups to look like adorable little Jack-o-lanters!

Most importantly, have fun with it and stay within your budget.  I hope the kids at day care will be excited to see these tomorrow!

AKA Chick #1

P.S.  Don't forget to hit the 50% off sales the day after Halloween to stock up on goodies and decorations for next year!  You may even find a great deal on Halloween theme foods like the pretzels we used here!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rumble in the Jungle 2nd Birthday Party

Anyone who has read Rumble in the Jungle, knows what a fun book it is and for this special 2-year-old it was the obvious choice for a party theme!  From the personalized binoculars, DIY Safari Mix buffet for the little ones, and snake-wrapped wine glasses for the big ones, this Rumble in the Jungle was anything but a boring kid's party!

Jungle Decorations

Skip the tacky streamers and expensive banners - make your own jungle decorations!  There is no need for helium, simply, blow up your balloons, attach a string and hang a staggered bunch from your light fixtures, doorways, etc.  We used 2 shades of green balloons, brown string and jungle garland for that added jungle feel. 

Tips:  Adding a marble or floral stone to the balloon before it is blown up will help to weigh down each balloon just enough to prevent them from constantly swinging around. 
Since you are not using helium you can blow up your balloons the day before the party.
If there will be little ones at your party, make sure the balloons are out of their reach.


Are you tired of the same old cupcake toppers?  Try finger puppets instead!  These adorable animal finger puppets were the perfect addition to our mini cupcakes and the kids were so excited to play with them after devouring their cupcake.  Just remember to wash anything you plan to put on top of your cupcakes.

Tips:  Mini cupcakes are a must for a little one's birthday party - they are the perfect size and do not require a fork and plate.  
If you aren't planning to make your own mini cupcakes, The Clueless Chick's mini cupcakes of choice are these from Whole Foods.  They are a bit pricey but worth every penny and then some!
Be sure to have plenty of wipes or wet towels handy to quickly wipe up frosting mishaps.

My Safari Mix Buffet 

A fun and unique way to serve snacks is to make a kid-friendly snack buffet!  All you need are a few containers, scoops and cups.  Don't forget to place your buffet out of reach of little hands :-)  For this Safari Mix we used: Goldfish, Pretzels (no salt), Animal Cookies, Cherrios and M&Ms.  We also added a personal touch by labeling each snack cup with a "My Safari Mix" sticker.

Tips:  If you don't have snack dispenser or scoops, simply use a few bowls or vases and a spoon or ladle.  Or, skip scoops all together and use plastic pitchers with a handy pour spout. 
Keep in mind that little ones will be walking around with these snack cups, so avoid anything that may make a sticky mess.
Don't forget to label each snack on your buffet in case anyone has a food allergy.

Fun Safari Favors

For a Rumble in the Jungle party, what is more fun an personalized binoculars and safari hat?  Simply pick up multi-colored binoculars and personalize them with letter stickers, or use your paint pen to write each child's name on the side.  Don't forget about any mini guests, these adorable monkey rattles were perfect for mini guest under 1.

Tip:  To save yourself the stress of maintaining an exact list of guests for your personalized favors, skip the personalization, they will have just as much fun playing with everything. 

Toy Decorations and a Jungle Safari

A fun way to decorate your party is to incorporate toys.  We used 12 inflatable animals, placed around the house as fun decorations, and incorporated them into a fun Jungle Safari activity.  

Jungle Safari:
1. Make a map of the party location for each child, 
naming each nook something fun and safari 
like (i.e. Lagoon, Watering Hole, etc.)
2. Place animals around the house for the little ones to find 

Tip:  Unless you plan to use these animals again, send them home with some of your little guests.

Safari Bowling

What could be more fun than a safari theme little kids bowling alley?  This is a very inexpensive a fun DIY activity.  It is always a good idea to have multiple activities for little ones since we know their attention span is a bit limited :-)
Safari Bowling Alley:
1. Inflatable Safari Buffet $11
2. Empty water bottles $0 
3. Pour a small amount of water into each water bottle (just 
enough to weigh it down) and add a drop of food coloring
4. Seal each bottle with tape or glue
5. Arrange water bottles like bowling pins and grab one of your 
little one's medium size balls to be used as a bowling ball

Jungle Juice

A fun and easy Kid-Friednly Signature Drink: Jungle Juice!  
Jungle Juice = White Grape Juice + Frozen Grapes
Simply wash red and green grapes, place them in a ziptop bag in your frezer the night before the party, and add them to your drink dispenser.  Frozen grapes are an adorable decoration and will keep the juice cold without watering it down.  For an additional twist, add a few clean mint leaves

Tip:  When hosting a party for little ones at your home, it is a good rule of thumb to only serve clear liquids (water, white grape juice, apple juice, etc.) so that you're not cleaning up grape juice stains!

Beverage Station

When you're planning your little one's party, don't forget to have some grownup drinks too!

Tip: To avoid a wet mess on your counter, table or tablecloth from a bucket filled with ice, simply place a Cork Mat (just like you would use under a potted plant) under the bucket and you'll be mess free!
Don't forget to clearly mark your recycling bin if you are serving any caned or bottled drinks.

Wine Glass Markers

When you're decorating for you little one's party, don't forget to throw in a decoration or two aimed at the parents.  Wrapping a small snake around the stem of the wine glasses as a glass marker was the perfect grownup safari touch!

Tip:  Don't forget this trick when Halloween rolls around!
These snakes are also the perfect addition to your hanging jungle balloon, and each of your serving dishes.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Key to Doing it All: Recycling Great Ideas

Can you believe that Summer is over and Fall is right around the corner?! With the craziness of preparing for Fall, breaking out your jeans, going back to school, and getting ready for football season, who has time to plan a Labor Day celebration? Good news, you don’t have to put any energy at all into brainstorming ideas for your Labor Day cookout! One of the great secrets behind “doing it all” is reuse, repurpose, recycle!

For Labor Day, all you need to do is pull out your menu, decorations, and activities from Memorial Day, 4th of July, or last year’s pool party. If you have time, sure it’s great to come up with the latest and greatest party ideas, but let’s be honest, you really don’t have the time. So, take the pressure off and recycle your last great party! After all, your guests had a great time the first go around, didn’t they :-)

The same holds true for back-to-school teacher gifts; remember all of the great ideas you compiled for Teacher Appreciation Month? That’s right, just open that old Pinboard, or check out ours.  And don’t feel pressure to have your teacher's back to school gift ready the first day of school if you simply can’t fit it in.  Surprise your little one’s teacher with a “Thanks for a great 1st week (or month)” gift.

Whatever you do, remember to not put so much pressure on yourself and recycle your last great idea (or even better, someone else’s - ours)!

Happy Fall from The Clueless Chick :-)

Until Next Time,
Jennifer AKA Chick #1

P.S. For even more great Fall tips check out our September Newsletter

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Choo Choo 1st Birthday!

We were so pleased when Little Max's mom contacted us about planning a Choo Choo 1st Birthday Party for the little man!  For a little guy who loves trains, this Choo Choo theme birthday party held at Pullen Park in Raleigh, NC, was the perfect way to celebrate his 1st Birthday!  Not only were we able to create countless train-theme decorations, treats and favors, all of the little ones had a chance to ride on a real live train.  It was the perfect setting and luckily the weather was even perfect.

Here is just a peek at what we created for Max’s Choo Choo 1st Birthday:

Edible Cupcake Train
This adorable, and edible train is the perfect way to display your cupcakes!  
Tip: Be sure to wear gloves when you are assembling the train so that little ones (and big ones) can enjoy the pieces after the cupcakes have been served
  • Electrical tape
  • Large marshmallows
  • Toothpicks
  • Graham Crackers
  • Oreos
  • Cupcakes 

  1. Use electrical tape to create a train tack on your tablecloth 
  2. Attach 2 large marshmallows to each other by inserting a toothpick in the center of the flat ends
  3. Place 2 sets of marshmallows on your track and place a full graham cracker on top to create your train car
  4. Set an Oreo wheel in front of each marshmallow (Oreos will stay put on their own.  If you are concerned about little hands knocking them over, attach them with a dab of frosting)
  5. Place 2 cupcakes on top of each graham cracker, being sure to place them above the large marshmallows to support the weight (If you are adding cupcake toppers to your cupcakes, be sure to do so before you place the cupcakes on your graham cracker cars.

Personalized Mini Goldfish Cups

Plastic Shot Glass + Personalized Sticker + Goldfish = A Toddler's Favorite Grab-n-Go snack!
Tips: You can fill these adorable cups with everything from pretzels to cherrios to apple slices

Veggie Shots

For a fun twist on a plain old veggie tray, put ranch or hummus in the bottom of a small cup and add a few colorful veggies.  
Tip: Avoid small shot-size cups because they have a tendency to fall over under the weight of the veggies.

Fruit-filled Ice Cream Cones  

These Fruit Cones are the perfect way to serve a healthy treat to little ones.  Simply place small bites of fruit into ice cream cones and you've got the perfect, portable, healthy treat!
Tip:  Place a cupcake liner in the top of each cone before you add fruit to avoid a soggy mess

Die Cut Train Centerpiece

Create a cute centerpiece by attaching bamboo skewers to festive die cuts and inserting them in floral foam inside a cute pail.
Tip: Get creative with your centerpiece container, you can use everything from a traditional vase to a mason jar or a clean soup can

Animal Cracker-filled Mason Jar Plate Stands

The perfect way to add height and style to your buffet table - simply use an animal cracker-filled Mason Jar as a plate stand!
Tip: You can fill your Mason Jar with just about anything that coordinates with your party theme 

Animal Cracker boxes and Train Whistles 

For a super simple table decoration, simply stack up a few adorable animal cracker boxes in the center of the table
Tip:  These are also fun favors for your little guests to encourage them to take home a box!

Personalized Gable Boxes 
filled with Animal Cookies and a Train Ticket
The kids loved these fun favors!  These small clear gable boxes are the perfect size for little ones to carry around to enjoy their animal cookies on the go.  Decorated with personalized stickers and topped off with a ticket for the train!
Tip:  Clear gable boxes are such a versatile favor box that can be filled with anything from a sweet treat to bubbles or play doh

Choo Choo!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yoga Tips for The Clueless Chick [and a FREE app!]

In my never-ending attempt to relieve stress I have started doing yoga again.  As many of you know, I am a huge proponent of pre-natal yoga which I did through both of my pregnancies (the benefits are nothing short of amazing!).  But alas, yoga is yet another activity on the long list of things I have not managed to work back in to my busy schedule… until now!

I have discovered the perfect solution to my “I just can’t manage to fit in a trip to the yoga studio problem” – an app!  It just so happens that my new favorite Yoga app, Pocket Yoga - Practice Builder, is this week’s Starbuck’s Pick of the Week.  That’s right – it’s FREE!  So now you don’t have any excuses either.  Go pick-up a Pick of the Week card at your local Starbucks or e-mail me and I’ll hook you up with a download code.

The Pocket Yoga app is fantastic – you can create your personalized yoga routine literally in just a few minutes, complete with music, personalized background and audio post instructions.  If you are a novice, the app will even suggest the best transitions between poses.  If you are a master it will also allow you to pick from all available poses and time each and every one.

You can even create multiple practices for different days or moods J  I’ve got a quick 5 min “I need to re-center” practice and a longer practice for when I have the time. 


P.S. I did not receive any compensation for the above glowing review of Pocket Yoga - Practice Builder.  If you happen to know someone connected to the app, please let them know I do accept cash, checks and all major credit cards ;-) 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Healthy Pregnancy Tips from Invidia Health & Fitness

We all know how important it is to remain healthy throughout your pregnancy; after all there is another little life depending on you! Plus, all of the weight you put on while you’re pregnant will have to come off at some point…  If you’re eating for 2 now, you’ll be exercising for 2 later!

But how do you safely stay fit throughout your pregnancy?  We went straight to the experts at Invidia Health & Fitness in Austin, Texas for some advice:

Invidia’s Top 5 Tips for Exercising While Pregnant

1.     Continue exercising - just listen to your body
Your doctor will advise you as to what types of exercise you can safely do while pregnant.  Luckily most doctors agree pregnancy doesn’t have to sideline you from running, yoga, cycling, or even step aerobics.  Continue exercising BUT start listening to your body.  Some days you might feel better than others so work with how you feel. Monday you might have little energy and barely finish your jog.  On Tuesday you might have a little spring in your step and run a little faster or swim a few extra laps in the pool.   Listen to how your body feels and follow accordingly.

2.     Make exercise a habit
If you haven’t done so before, this is the time to commit to a consistent exercise routine.  You might as well do it now because it won’t get any easier when the baby comes!  Pencil your workouts into your schedule and treat them like a meeting with your boss.   On days when morning sickness, backaches or indigestion leave you on the couch, commit to at least a short walk.  Nine times out of 10 that short walk turns into a longer walk once you're up and at ‘em!

3.     Give swimming a go
As you progress in your pregnancy the extra weight and pressure might make exercise seem like the least appealing thing in the world.  You might even vow to give up chocolate for the remainder of your pregnancy if it means not having to exercise!  Don’t stress; give swimming a try!  Fitness experts agree that swimming is one of the best forms of exercises to engage in while pregnant.  The weightless sensation of the water alleviates joint and back pain.  Further, swimming provides a two-for-one punch: a cardiovascular AND strength workout in one.

4.     Hydrate
One of the most important tips to remember when exercising while pregnant is to stay hydrated.   Make sure to drink plenty of water before you exercise, while working out, and continue drinking long after you’ve finished.  Early contractions, raised blood pressure, and increased body temperature are all possible side effects of improper hydration.  There isn’t a recommended amount to drink but aim for 8 oz. before, during and after exercise.

5.     Don’t get overheated
Perhaps the most important tip for exercising while pregnant is to avoid getting overheated.  During pregnancy the increased blood flow and increased metabolic rate contribute to you feeling slightly warmer than normal.  When exercising, this sensation increases even more!   So, if pre-pregnancy you braved the heat for a 4 pm run, you need to second-guess yourself now. Head out in the early morning when temperatures are cool and humidity is low.  Avoid exercising in direct sun and stick to cooler, shaded areas.

Thanks for the great tips Rhian!  No matter how you chose to exercise throughout your pregnancy, remember to talk to your healthcare provider or certified personal training and above all else listen to your body.

Invidia Health & Fitness transforms the way you look and feel with Rhian’s personal training and nutrition consulting philosophy. Her clients work incredibly hard, but they have a lot of fun along the way!  Not only can Rhian help you shed that baby weight after you deliver, but she can also make sure you stay healthy and fit throughout your pregnancy.

Learn more about Invidia at and like her on Facebook.

“Come over to the fit side!” –Rhian Jenks Sigman

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shark Attack 7th Birthday!

What could be more fun than hunting for shark teeth at the beach for your 7th Birthday?

Have you ever found yourself just a few weeks away from your daughter's birthday party or your best friend's bridal shower with no clue what to do?  You are not alone!  The good news is that we are here to help!  In just a few days, The Clueless Chick can turn your blank canvas into the perfect party plan.  Take a sneak peek at some of what we prepared for "Walker's" 7th Birthday Party when his mom called and said "Help!  I want to throw the best 7th birthday shark tooth hunting party but I just don't know where to start."

Contact us today to get your own custom Clueless Chick Party Plan!

7th Birthday Shark Attack!

    7th Birthday Party
    Inspiration Pinbord: 7th Birthday Shark Attack!
    Saturday June 16th
    10am - 1pm
Guest Count
    Beach Shark Tooth Hunt
    Home and local beach
10-10:30am: guests arrive
10:30-11am: travel to the beach and setup
11am-12pm: hunt for shark teeth and play trivia game
12-1pm: travel home, open presents and serve cupcakes
    “Help us take a big bite out of Walker’s 7th Birthday with a shark tooth hunt!”
    Thank You Notes:
    Front Door/Yard Sign 
    Shark Happy Birthday Banner: 
    Blue Tablecloths, Shark Plates, Napkins and Blue plastic silverware

Favor Options
1.            Each guest will receive a Personalized Shark Tooth Collection Jar

2.            Each guest will receive a small Personalized Shark Tooth Collection Jar (similar to a tic tac boxes)
    The main activity will be the trip to the beach to hunt for shark teeth!
Supplies: beach towels, large sheet, baby wipes, shovels (all supplies can be thrown into a plastic tub or large beach bag for easy transportation)
    Shark Tooth Trivia (perfect for either at the house to get the kids excited to head to the beach, or at the beach):

  1. - Sharks have seven rows of teeth; each row consists of 40 or more teeth.
  2. - A shark’s front row of teeth is used to feed until they wear out, at which time they are shed and a new row of teeth moves up and into place
  3. - A single shark can produce as many as 2,400 teeth in one year!
    Most food will be served on the beach post-shark tooth hunt, while cupcakes will be served at the house
    Lunch will be prepared and packaged in easy to carry Chinese Take Out Boxes for each guest containing a sandwich and snacks:
Pizza Rollups 
Turkey Tortilla Wrap (made as a wrap or Pita Pocket) 
Ham & Turkey Tumble (made as a wrap or Pita Pocket) 
Individual bag of Goldfish
Grapes (in a cupcake liner)
Carrot Sticks/Celery (in a cupcake liner)
Tortilla Chips
String Cheese
Granola Bar

       Family style side dishes can be prepared to supplement packed lunches for allow parents to snack:
pasta salad, fruit salad and Chex Mix; all of which should be served in plastic tumblers/highballs
       Drinks are easily transported to the beach in the same cooller as the prepared lunches.  Tip: pack ice in large ziploc bags so that nothing gets wet and ice can be used for drinks.
Juice and Milk Boxes
Water Bottles