Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Parent Gift Ideas!

When a friend or neighbor has a new baby at home it is nice to help out by bringing over dinner or running an errand for them.  After all, they are sleep-deprived zombies for the first month.  On WNCN Today this morning I shared some easy ideas for helping out new parents:

·      Dinner & Dishes
o   Warm and Serve Dinner. The first few weeks after baby is born can be quite crazy for mom and dad.  A great way to help them ease into parenthood is by taking over a premade dinner.  Whether you cook your favorite masterpiece for them or pick up a pre-made dish at the grocery store, your friends will be so appreciative that they don’t have to cook tonight (and maybe tomorrow!).  TIP: Be sure to ask about any family allergies or dietary restrictions before you start cooking!

o   No Dirty Dishes. Who ever likes to wash dishes, especially when you haven’t slept more than two straight hours?!  Save mom and dad some time and a lot of effort by bringing along paper plates, napkins and plastic utensils.  This could quite possibly be the gift they appreciate the most.
·      A Bountiful Basket
o   Snacks and Special Gifts.  When you think about taking food to new parents, don’t forget a few snacks.  While full dinners are fabulous, mom and dad also need a snack every once in a while, or a fresh piece of fruit.  And what better way to deliver these special treats than in baby basket with a few of your favorite gifts.  You can fill a Sara Bear Diaper Caddy with fruit, snacks and feeding essentials for baby: a Hooter Hider for the first few months, Spunis for the next few months and then my favorite NumNums Dips!  That is how you take feeding the whole family to the next level ;-) 

·      Perfectly Personalized
o   Birth Story Blanket. There is nothing sweeter than welcoming baby with a personalized gift she can cherish for years to come.  These personalized birth story blanket by Merle & Velma include all of baby’s special stats and will arrive in just a couple of weeks – perfect timing for newborn pictures or to decorate baby’s nursery.

Don’t forget to label any dishes you’d like mom and dad to return, or better yet, make the dish itself part of your gift so they don’t have to worry about returning it.

For all of my tips pick up your own copy of my Tips for the Clueless Chick books and following the Clueless Chick on Facebook and Twitter.

Tune in next week for the 4th of July edition of #TipsonTues!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Family Movie Night

Planning a family movie night is a fun way to spend a low key evening at home and with these few easy tips that I shared with Phil Sanchez on WNCN Today #TipsonTues this morning, your next movie night will be a blockbuster:

·      Movie Night Snacks
o   Popcorn Possibilities. You can’t have movie night without a little popcorn and there are soooo many ways to enjoy popcorn:  breaking out the old air popper, to microwave popcorn and pre-popped popcorn.  Then of course there is the choice between buttered or unbuttered, kettle corn or lightly salted.  Regardless of which type of popcorn you are serving, be sure to use a fun popcorn box like these from Celebrateexpress.com so you don’t have multiple little hands digging into (or spilling) your popcorn bowl.  In a pinch, plastic cups also make the perfect popcorn holder.  TIP:  Don’t forget your favorite sweet treats and popcorn mix ins and spices.  Throw them all together and you have your own popcorn buffet!   

o   Concessions. If you like to enjoy a sweet treat or two during the movie, create a mini concession stand!  Put all of your favorite candy in a small box or basket to set out with your popcorn.  This makes the perfect centerpiece for your snack table.  TIP: Use this as a fun opportunity to teach the kids about money by charging everyone for their concessions.  You can even offer extra paying chores leading up to movie night.

·      Put Yourself IN the Movies
o   Dress Up.  Really get into your next family movie night with a little movie-theme dress up!  Pull out last year’s Buzz Lightyear costume for your next Toy Story marathon, or surprise your daughter with a Dorothy costume from BuyCostumes.com on The Wizard of Oz night. Dressing up in costume is a fun and easy way to make movie night even more exciting.  Who doesn’t like dressing up like their favorite character?!

Don’t forget all of these tips when you’re planning your next birthday party!

For all of my tips pick up your own copy of my Tips for the Clueless Chick books and following the Clueless Chick on Facebook and Twitter.

Tune in next week for fun ideas for celebrating a new baby’s homecoming!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

p.s. A big Clueless Chick thank you to celebrateexpress.com and buycostumes.com for all of the props for today's segment!!  My boys of course had to test drive the Buzz Lightyear wings last night :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Father’s Day Favorites

Father’s Day is this weekend and we all know that dad doesn’t need another tie.  So what should you give him?  This morning on WNCN Today I showed Page Crawford some of my favorite fun ideas for dad on Father’s Day:

·      A Forever Candy Jar
o   Love You to Pieces. Show dad you love him with a forever candy jar. For your Reeses Pieces loving dad, find a glass jar and use alphabet stickers to write “Love You to Pieces” on the side of the jar.  Before giving the jar to dad, be sure to fill it to the brim with Reeses Pieces and throw in a backup bag just in case.  When dad polishes off all of the candy he’ll be able to refill the jar with anything he likes.

·      The Bouquet Dad Really Wants
o   Candy Bouquet. Dad is always getting mom a bouquet of flowers on Mother’s Day so why not make dad a bouquet?  Now, don’t just make dad any old bouquet, make one with all of his favorite candy!  Simply fill a flowerpot, bucket or can with floral foam and insert candy.  You can turn any candy into a “flower” with a bamboo skewer or lollipop stick and tape or a hot glue gun.  Tape dad’s favorite candy bars to bamboo skewers, or use a hot glue gun to attach truffles to the top of lollipop sticks and arrange them like flowers in your floral foam.  Use small candy, like Kisses, at the base of your arrangement for added yumminess.

·      A Gift Dad will LOVE
o   A Bucket of Beer.  Make dad extra happy with a bucket full of his favorite beers and a gift certificate to his favorite beer shop or brewery for Father’s Day. You can even add a little extra flair with pretzel filled tasting glasses from Bottle Revolution.

Today, I also said goodbye to Page :-( who will be moving to Charlotte to host the Fox morning show, Rising.  While I am beyond thrilled for Page, #TipsonTues just won't be the same without her.  Lucky, I'm not the only one who will be missing Page!  I had the privilege of surprising her this morning with farewell gifts from our good friend Holly Aiken and the wonderful folks at PDQ, plus some awesome tasting glasses from Bottle Revolution for her hubby:

Have fun getting a little crafty for dad this Father’s Day!

For all of my tips pick up your own copy of my Tips for the Clueless Chick books and following the Clueless Chick on Facebook and Twitter.

Tune in next week for fun ideas for your next family movie night!  

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

p.s. A BIG Clueless Chick thank you to Holly Aiken, PDQ and Bottle Revolution!

p.p.s. PDQ is offering all dads a FREE meal on Father's Day with the purchase of a kid's meal - you can't beat that :-)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Planning a Poolside Dinner

Now that the pool has opened and swim team season is in full swing, many of you are trying to pull off a healthy dinner on the go, or at the pool between heats. This morning on WNCN Today #TipsonTues I shared some tips for your next poolside dinner with Page Crawford:

·      Pre-Practice Snacks
o   Feeding the Kids in the Car. When you are running from school to a swim meet it can be tough to fit in a healthy snack to keep your kids going.  An easy way to serve a light snack in the car ride is to pack grapes, crackers, and salami or goldfish and cheese.

o   Fruit on the Go. Packing your on the go fruit is even easier if you put some of your toddler snack tricks to work!  The Little Green Pouches you used for homemade baby food back in the day are also perfect for applesauce or yogurt on the go.  Plus, a reusable pouch will save you money since you can buy a big tub of applesauce instead of individual servings, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting a spoon.

·      Healthy and Hearty Dinners
o   Think Beyond the Sandwich. Dinner on the go does not have to mean a boring old sandwich.  Mix things up by making fun pita pockets or a chicken pasta salad.  A hearty pasta salad is even easier to make than you might think: 1. Make your favorite pasta, drain and rinse with cold water 2. Add chicken, broccoli, onions, peppers, carrots, cheese 3. Toss with Italian salad dressing and youve got a great on the go dinner.

o   Warm Wings.  Having a warm dinner at the pool does take a little extra planning, but isn’t impossible.  When you have a little extra time, maybe on Sunday night, whip up a batch of BBQ wings.  The night of the big swim meet or when you plan to spend the evening at the pool, throw the wings in the oven to warm them up, wrap the warmed wings in tinfoil and place them in a cooler or insulated lunch box.  They won’t be hot, but they will still be warm by the time you sit down to eat.

In a pinch, or during a crazy week, don’t forget that take out is your friend.  Put your favorite local restaurants on speed dial so that you can pick up dinner on your way to the pool.  Or, check to see if your favorite pizza place will deliver to your pool – the kid’s need to load up on the carbs for their meet, right? :-)

For all of my tips pick up your own copy of my Tips for the Clueless Chick books and following the Clueless Chick on Facebook and Twitter.

Tune in next week for fun Father’s Day ideas!  

Until next time,
aka Chick #1