Friday, July 26, 2013

How to Save {and MAKE} Money During Maternity Leave

If you are preparing for maternity leave you may be a bit worried about stretching every dollar.  Most of us can expect to receive only a portion of our salary, or even no leave pay at all, while on maternity leave.  So whether you are planning to take 6 weeks or 6 months off of work, it’s time to start planning!

Today I shared some of my favorite tips for saving and making money on maternity leave with Amber Rupinta on ABC11 from Babiology:

Cut “work related” Expenses
  • Skip the dry cleaners, morning trips to the coffee shop and lunches out
  • If you have an older child, pull her out of day care during your leave
  • Trade trips to the gas pump for long walks with the baby to save money and the environment while shedding a few pounds

Shop Smart
  • Stock baby’s closet with clothes from your local consignment store or seasonal sale – or search  They outgrow those adorable little outfits so quickly you can find outfits worn only once for ½ the retail price.
  • Clip coupons.  Now that you’ve got a little more time on your hand, spend it planning your shopping trips.  Record a few episodes of Extreme Couponing and find a local coupon swap – use your downtime during feedings to advance your money saving mission.
  • Plan ahead and shop sales.  Use your free time to pre-plan menus, shop around store sales and make freezer friendly meals you can use you go back to work and life gets crazy.

Make Money, on your own schedule
  • If you aren’t on short-term disability or being paid while on leave, consider taking a flexible part time job. Check with local temp agencies, local churches/non-profits and for postings.  You can act as a virtual consultant in your area of expertise or provide administrative support. 
  • See if your company will allow you to work 10-20% (hrs you could squeeze in over the weekend).
  • Put your hobby or favorite craft to work for you.  Create an Etsy site or find a local craft fair to exhibit your handmade jewelry or hand knit newborn hats.
  • When you’re comfortable exposing your newborns to other little ones, consider taking care of a friend or neighbor’s little one.
  • If the day care center you’ll be using offers a referral discount, start finding new friends to refer!
  • Don’t forget about the cash hanging in your closet.  If you don’t plan on having another baby take your maternity wardrobe to a local consignment store like Babiology or sell them on

The key to saving money during your maternity leave is planning ahead and getting creative.  Be sure to talk to your HR department to determine what income you can expect during your leave and whether or not you can choose to defer certain taxes until you go back to work.

If you’re lucky, you may not even feel the financial impact of your maternity leave!  Shoot, you may become so adept at stretching your dollar that you decide to extend your maternity leave, or not go back to work at all.

For all of my maternity leave tips pick up a copy of Pregnancy Tips for the Clueless Chick.  Use coupon code SAVE25 to get 25% OFF!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

A BIG thank you to Babiology for letting us film in their adorable store in Raleigh, NC!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Perfect Birthday Breakfast {Clueless Chick Giveaway}

S'mores Waffles + Breyers Vanilla Fudge Swirl 
= The perfect Birthday Breakfast

Based upon the fabulous response to my early S'mores Waffles post, I am excited to bring you our July Breyers Delicious Moment: The Perfect Birthday Breakfast! 

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for tradition and breakfast in bed on your birthday is one of my all-time favorites.  I LOVE planning the perfect birthday breakfast in bed complete with the birthday boy's favorite foods.  Sometimes I *may* go a bit overboard (shocker, I know).  Like the year my husband got a tower of tower of Krispy Kreme donuts and all of his favorite guilty pleasures from the local drive-thru (gasp!).

What, you ask, constitutes the "perfect" birthday breakfast?  Well, all you need are S'mores Waffles: 

With two scoops of Breyers Vanilla Fudge Swirl (or your favorite flavor) and a candle and voila! You've got the perfect Birthday Breakfast!

S'mores Waffles + Breyers Vanilla Fudge Swirl 
= The perfect Birthday Breakfast

Not a morning person?  No problem!

  • Make your S'mores Waffles the night (or week) before, freeze them (with waxed paper between each waffle), and toast or warm them in the oven the morning of
  • Have breakfast for dinner, or serve your S'mores Waffles for dessert

Breyers Delicious Moments

In addition to the fabulous Party Planning Tips you’ve come to expect from the Clueless Chick, is bringing you all sorts of fun ideas to create Breyers Delicious Moments throughout the summer.  What could be more fun than cold ice cream on a hot summer day?  Don’t worry; we’ll have plenty of healthy delicious moments ideas too!  

I am thrilled to be working with Breyers and I can’t wait to share with you exclusive recipes, product sneak peeks and host some fun giveaways!  Breyers is kicking off a summer of Delicious Moments where you can enter even more contests online and attend some Yummyfun events in Orlando, Richmond and Raleigh in July.  Join me at the Raleigh, NC event Friday 7/26 at Marbles Kid's Museum.


Without further ado, our second Breyers Giveaway of the summer!  Enter to win a $25 Target Gift Card and some awesome Breyers coupons so that you can create Delicious Moments of your own - or pick up some paper towels ;-)  I’ll be drawing a winner on August 5th so enter early and often.  Good luck!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 8, 2013

S'mores Waffles {a Clueless Chick Original}

One of my favorite treats are S'mores which is no secret given my previous S'mores Favors blog and extensive S'more S'mores Pinboard :-)  I mean come on, what's better than Graham Crackers, Chocolate and Marshmallows?  These days S'mores are not just for campfires, they have become a high end dessert - cheesecake, cookies, dip, truffles, cupcakes, you name it!  

So why not waffles?!?  That was the stroke of genius I had last weekend when planning my hubby's birthday breakfast.  So I grabbed some graham cracker crumbs and came up with this fabulous new recipe. 

It starts with a simple list of ingredients:

S’mores Waffles

by The Clueless Chick 

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups whole milk (or buttermilk)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
  1. Combine all dry ingredients, flour, sugar, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl beat eggs, add milk, oil and vanilla.  Add egg mixture to dry ingredients, stirring only until moistened then add chocolate chips.
  3. Pour ~1 cup of batter onto a preheated, lightly greased, waffle iron.  Quickly sprinkle batter with mini marshmallows.  Close lid immediately and leave closed until waffle is fully cooked.
  4. Remove waffle with fork or bamboo tongs.  Repeat until you have used all remaining batter.  Serve warm with Breyer’s Chocolate Ice Cream and a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff.

Sprinkle mini marshmallows over waffle batter 
and immediately close the waffle iron.
You can also skip this step and sprinkle marshmallows
on top of the warm waffles. 

Be forewarned that it is nearly impossible to make 
S'mores Waffles without snacking on them :-)

S'mores Waffles are the perfect addition to your:
~Birthday Breakfast
~Breakfast for Dinner
~ Late Night Snack

Happy Waffle Making!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1