Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Nanny for the Family {Guest Blog!}

{I'm so excited to bring you this guest blog from our good friend from Best of Both Worlds, Kelly}

So you’ve decided to hire a nanny? Now what?!

As parents and parents-to-be, the most stressful part of preparing for a new addition to the family is not making sure you have the nursery ready and stocked or adjusting to a new schedule, but searching for child care. It has to be one of the most difficult tasks that all parents face. Should I choose a day care center or hire a nanny? This question can be daunting for those who may not even be expecting yet, but it definitely requires a lot of thought, time and research. Both choices are great for their own reasons, but the bottom line is that you should have a plan in place (and a back up plan just in case your situation changes) well before your bundle of joy arrives.

Hiring a nanny versus placing your child in day care has numerous advantages. With a nanny, you get a very personal kind of care. And not just for your children, but for the whole family. Generally, a nanny not only cares for your children, but they look after your household and pets too. Nannies offer routine and consistentacy, but they can also be flexible when something unexpected arises as well. With a nanny, your children can have excellent care in a familiar environment and get the same educational and developmental experiences they would get at a day care center (but with less germs).

When hiring a nanny you should have these things in mind:
  • type of nanny needed: full time, part time, live-in or au pair, teaching nanny or evening/night nanny.
  • child care budget
  • days/hours needed
  • vacation/sick time
  • insurance benefits
  • incentives such as a vehicle to use or paid days off
  • "on the books" pay vs. paying under the table
  • length of time you need/want a nanny
  • preferences (bilingual, certain age, nanny with children)
  • additional services like light housekeeping, laundry or errands

When contacting potential nannies about their services you should be open and upfront about what you are looking for and what you are willing to offer. You may include things such as:
  • general information about your family and your child care needs
  • your basic requirements (education/experience, background check, CPR/First Aid certification, car)
  • your budget
  • days/hours needed
  • comfort with pets in the home

Also, be sure to ask for a current resumé, a list of references and any letters of recommendation and a contact number for a phone interview. Phone interviews help narrow down your choices.

When interviewing potential nannies, here is a list of questions to be sure to ask:
  • How did you get into the profession?
  • Tell me about your last/current job. Why are you leaving?
  • Tell me about your best day as a nanny?
  • Tell me about your worst day as a nanny?
  • What are your long-term and short-term goals (personal and professional)?
  • Describe your discipline philosophy.
  • What are you looking for in a family?
  • What is your dream nanny job?
  • Do you have a portfolio? Any special certifications?
  • Are you okay with nanny cameras?
  • Are you okay with driving the children?

Additional questions may need to be asked to fit your family's individual situation. Just be sure to be open and honest.

After you have narrowed down your choice for a nanny, there are a few things you should do before she/he starts. Formally offer the position to your potential nanny by phone or email and set up at least one "trial day." Trial days are set so that you, the children and the nanny can get acquainted and see how a typical day would be for everyone. Also, if the nanny requested a contract, details should be discussed at length, agreed upon and signed BEFORE he/she starts. This will protect both you and the nanny if anything happens.

Nannies also have their own requirements and preferences when looking for potential families. They may want a lower hourly wage than others, but they may ask for benefits. Be willing to compromise on things for the right nanny. I have worked in the child care industry for over 14 years now and I have learned a lot about what I want in a nanny position. Generally, I look for a warm, young family with a traditional work schedule and bit of flexibility. I really appreciate families that have been undertanding about me having a family of my own. Especially the ones that have allowed me to bring my son with me to work. Openness, honesty and genuineness are my top priorities when searching for potential families.

Hiring someone to care for your children is never easy, but I hope this helps you with your nanny search-Good Luck!

A little bit about Kelly:
I am a 28 year-old college-educated, Georgia Peach currently residing in Raleigh, NC with my awesome husband DeAntony, and our beautiful little boy, Preston aka PAC Man. I am what I call a ‘Non-traditional Southern Belle’ with a touch of Mary Poppins. A bit of a perfectionist and germaphobe. in my spare time I love to cook/bake, run and write. Other than being a wife and mother, I am also a full time nanny during the day. I am happily living the Best of Both Worlds!

Be sure to follow Kelly's blog for even more great tips!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich {Clueless Chick Giveaway}

Mmmmmm Ice Cream Sandwich.  Who doesn't love an ice cream sandwich?  Did you know that National ice cream sandwich day is in August?  That plus the inspiration I got from last month's YummyFun event with Clare Crespo at Marbles Kid's Museum resulted in, dare I say it, the perfect ice cream sandwich!  Well, maybe not perfect (given that it was my first attempt) but pretty darn close.

I've always been a bit leery of making ice cream sandwiches, worrying about the cookies falling apart, making a huge mess, and getting generally frustrated.  And that my friends is no fun.  Thankfully I finally bit the bullet and made these beauties. 

A Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich
  1. Make your favorite cookies (my personal favorite is a Clueless Chick variation of the classic Toll House recipe).  To ensure uniform cookies size use a mini (or full size) ice cream scoop.
  2. Allow cookies to cool completely then place in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
  3. Take your favorite Breyers ice cream out of the freezer and allow it to soften for 10-15 minutes (I chose Cookies & Cream).  
  4. Remove cookies from the freezer, turn 1/2 of cookies upside down on a cookie sheet, scoop ice cream onto cookies and gently press other cookie on top.
  5. Place assembled ice cream sandwiches back in the freezer for at least 30 min to allow ice cream to firm up so that you don't have an ooey gooey mess on your hands.

Psst!  Don't forget to enter your perfect ice cream sandwich in the Breyers Delicious Moments Giveaway!

Looking for even more delicious inspiration?  Check out these fabulous recipes:

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 more exclusive recipes, product sneak peeks and host some fun giveaways!  The Breyers summer of Delicious Moments where you can enter even more contests online and enjoy some Yummyfun tips from Clare Crespo continues so don't forget to enter today.


Without further ado, our final 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 September 10th so enter early and often.  Good luck!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Anatomy of a Mason Jar Favor

Is there really anything as versatile than a Mason Jar?  They make the perfect container for a small gift, a candle holder, salad shaker, and favor container!

Mason Jars filled with a variety of teas, Lindor Truffles and a cupcake note card adorned with a personalized favor tag designed to match your shower theme were the perfect favors for an Afternoon Tea Sprinkle.


  • Mason Jar
  • Decorative Note Card
  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Favor Tag
  • Colored Twine

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hiring a Photographer for Your Next Party {Sara Davis Photography}

Sara Davis Photography

A fun fad in the world of party planning is to hire a professional photographer to photograph your little one’s birthday party, holiday party or whatever fun event you have planned.   Just think of how much more you would enjoy the party you’ve spent weeks planning if you didn’t have to worry about capturing a picture of all the most special moments.  Plus, you’ll save yourself hours of photo editing time.

I am very excited to bring you some fabulous tips for having a professional photograph your party from Sara Davis Photography.  Sara Davis was the amazing photographer who took all of the photos as the Clueless Chick Release Party that was featured in the November 2012 issue of Walter magazine.

How to Hire a Professional Photographer for Your Next Party

1) Book your photographer as early as possible if your party date is not flexible OR book your favorite photographer before you set your party date.

2) Be sure to let your photographer know if there are any “must have” pictures of special guests or moments you want captured.

3) Try not to take pictures yourself during the party; let the professional handle it.  This is your time to celebrate and enjoy all of your hard work. 

4)  Introduce your photographer to important family members and friends who are on your “must have” picture list.

5)  Whether the party is outside or inside, be aware that photographs are best in really good light.  Give the photographer flexibility to position your guests in the best available light for special moments like blowing out candles, fun games, or opening gifts.
So book your favorite photographer and sit back and enjoy your special event! 

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

For all of my party planning tips pick up a copy of Party Planning Tips for the Clueless Chick.  Use coupon code SAVE25 to get 25% OFF!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

A BIG thank you to Sara Davis for these great tips!