Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back to School To Do

August is just around the corner and many of you are getting ready to send your kids back to school which means shopping for school supplies, planning lunches and coordinating after school activities.  But what about the fun stuff?!?  Today on WNCN Today #TipsonTues I shared my list of fun back to school to do’s:

·      Back to School Clothes
o   The Perfect Fall Outfits. Are you looking for the perfect outfit for the first day of school?  If you’re like me, you are always looking for a good bargain and something fun your kids will love.  After all, a first day of school outfit isn’t quite as exciting if 2 other kids in class are wearing the same shirt!  My favorite new find is Naartjie Kids, a brand which originated in South Africa and can now be found locally at The Streets at Southpoint, but what’s even better is that you can also order everything online and have it shipped to you for just $7. TIP:  Since we won’t have a tax-free weekend this back to school season, finding a good deal is even more important!

·      An Apple a Day and Other Fun Teacher Gifts
o   Welcoming Your Teacher Back to School.  The first day of school is also the perfect time to give your teacher a little gift to kick off the school year in style.  Whether you surprise her with some extra markers and crayons for the classroom, a school water bottle, or a teacher inspired gift basket, she’s sure to be thrilled that you thought of her.  TIP:  If you don’t know what to get your teacher, you can’t go wrong with a grocery or craft store gift card.

·      Making Learning Even More Fun
o   Are You Ready for School?  As parents we always want to make sure our kids learn everything they can in school so that they are ready to move up to the next grade and ever since I can remember, Lakeshore Learning has been making learning fun.  You can now pick up a fun new Are You Ready? game to play with your kids throughout the year to assess their progress and you can even download free printable activities online.  Just for back to school, they are offering a $10 OFF coupon online for Are You Ready? this week!

For all of Jennifer’s tips pick up your own copy of her Tips for the Clueless Chick books and follow the Clueless Chick on Facebook and Twitter.  Tune in to #TipsonTues next week to celebrate S’mores Day!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

p.s. A BIG thank you to The Raleigh SchoolNaartjie Kids and Lakeshore Learning for the props for today's #TipsonTues segment! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hot Dogs! Get Your Hot Dogs!

Tomorrow is National HotDog Day, that’s right, National Hot Dog Day.  This is the perfect excuse to fire up the grill for a little mid-week cookout.  And what would National Hot Dog Day be without hot dog inspired party ideas from yours truly who would love nothing more than to make you forget about a plain old hot dog with ketchup and mustard:

·      All the Fixins
o   Hot Dog Buffet. The best way to serve your hot dogs is with a hot dog buffet.  There is really no better way to let your guests dress up their dog however they please.  Whether you put out a full Chicago Dog spread, a Hawaiian spread with pineapple, onions and BBQ sauce or a cool bowl of coleslaw, your guests will be in heaven. Just be prepared, with all of these options they are bound to go back for 2nds and 3rds!  TIP:  Create a fun menu board that lists the official ingredients for your favorite dogs.  You can even create a signature dog just for your party!

o   Handle with Care.  What is the only downside of loading up your hot dog with ALL of your favorite toppings?  The mess.  After all, every topping that falls off your dog is a scrumptious bite lost.  Save your carpet and your taste buds by serving your hot dogs in coffee filters.  Yes, coffee filters.  No need to go hunting around for paper hot dog holders or plastic baskets, just grab a few coffee filters out of your pantry – they make the perfect hot dog holder!

·      Hot Dog Love
o   A Hot Dog with a Heart.  Make National Hot Dog Day even more fun for your little ones with hot dog hearts.  Simply cut your hot dog in thirds with short diagonal cuts, take the two ends, flip one over and join them together to look like a heart!  Then insert a skewer or toothpick to hold your hot dog heart together and add a cheddar cheese arrow to either end.  Your kids will be so impressed.

·      The Perfect Food Truck Treat
o   A Southern Comfort Hot Dog.  It just so happens that my favorite food truck, FoodStans is the perfect place to celebrate National Hot Dog Day.  Stanley, the owner of FoodStans, has created the Southern Comfort Dog.  This all beef hot dog is served on a freshly toasted bun piled high with homemade mac and cheese and topped off with fresh bacon bits.  I mean come on, does a hot dog get any better?!? TIP:  You can get your very own Southern Comfort Dog from FoodStans at the RTP Food Truck Rodeo every Friday, 11:30 am-1:30 pm at 800 Park Office Drive.

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

Tune in next week for some fun back to school ideas for all of you parents and grandparents!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We all Scream for National Ice Cream Month!

July is National Ice Cream Month, and with all of the hot weather we have been having, it’s the perfect time to celebrate! Today I shared some deliciously easy ice cream treats with Sharon Tazwel on WNCN Today #TipsonTues :

·      Sweet Treats and Special Favors
o   Ice Cream Cups. An easy, inexpensive and mess-free way to serve ice cream to little ones at your next party is to make your own ice cream cups using cupcake wrappers.  A day or so before your party fill your cupcake pan with cupcake liners and simply place one scoop of ice cream in each cup and place the entire cupcake pan in the freezer.  Once the scoops re-freeze you can transfer them to a jelly pan or any freezer safe container.  TIP:  If you have to travel with your ice cream cups simply put them in your cupcake holder or a foil roasting pan for easy storage in your cooler.

o   Ice Cream Cone Favors.  You can even celebrate National Ice Cream Month in style without a single bite of ice cream with these ice cream favors!  All you need are ice cream cones, bath salts and a colorful bath sponge.  Fill each ice cream cone with bath salts, top with a bath sponge and then wrap your ice cream cone favor in a clear bag.  Your party guests will love their calorie-free, stress reducing ice cream treat!

·      Just Add Ice Cream!
o   Crazy Cones.  Have fun with your ice cream cones by adding toppings directly to the cone itself.  All you will need is a little melted chocolate and your favorite ice cream toppings.  Dip the top of each ice cream cone in the melted chocolate and role the cone in crushed nuts, coconut, mini chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs or nothing at all.

I can't take all the credit for my awesome DIY Dipped Ice Cream Cones - I had a little help:

o   Ice Cream Sundae Kit.  There is no better way to thank your hostess, welcome new neighbors to town or wow a new love than to make them an Ice Cream Sundae Kit!  Find a pretty box or grab a foil brownie pan and fill it with some ice cream sundae must haves like sugar cones, ice cream cups, chocolate or caramel sauce, a banana and your favorite toppings: nuts, marshmallows, sprinkles, coconut, chocolate chips
Top your ice cream sundae kit off with a gift tag that says ‘Just Add Ice Cream!”  TIP:  An ice cream sundae kit is perfect for date night at home or girls’ night in!

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

Tune in next week as we celebrate Nation Hot Dog Day, yes hot dog day :-)

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Throwing a Kickin’ Soccer Party

With the World Cup in full swing, soccer has become our favorite pastime, which means everyone is throwing a soccer party.  Today I shared some fun Kickin’ Soccer Party ideas on WNCN Today #TipsonTues :

·      Soccer Party Gear
o   Party Supplies. Party decorations can be expensive so when you’re on a budget it is important to pick and choose your decorations carefully.  I often recommend that you skip the themed paper products, but in the case of your soccer party, soccer ball plates and napkins may be all the decoration you need!  I found these great Soccer Packs which include 8 large plates, 8 small plates, 8 cups and 16 napkins for just $9.99 from CelebrateExpress.com – now when you find a deal this good, I say grab it.  You will actually save yourself money on your party because your paper goods will do double duty as your decorations and food service must haves.

o   Soccer Straws and Grassy Patches. Think outside of the box when you are picking out your d├ęcor for your soccer party, hunt around the house and repurpose!  Pull out your Boon PATCH bottle drying rack to act as the perfect grass patch and favor display.  You can also pick up black and white polka dot straws for your drinks – they look just like little soccer balls!

·      DIY Favors & Decorations

o   Perfectly Girly Party Favors.  When it comes to party favors, there is nothing worse than spending too much money on favors that will end up in the trash which is why I always recommend practical or edible favors.  For the girls at your soccer party, there is nothing better than a soccer hair bow that they can wear to their next soccer game.  I’ve made these adorable soccer hair bands for less than $0.50 each, if you can believe that!  All you need is some adorable ribbon and black hair bands.  Tie a bow on each hair band and voila, you’ve got a fabulously functional party favor! 

o   DIY Menu Board.  Making custom menu boards, game instructions and scoreboards is much easier than you might think.  For your soccer party, put a piece of themed paper inside of a picture frame and grab a whiteboard or window marker.  You can easily write and re-write on the frame and swap out the paper for your next 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 to celebrate National Ice Cream Month on #TipsonTues! Just in case you needed an excuse to have a little ice cream.

Until next time,
aka Chick #1 

p.s. A big Clueless Chick thank you to CelebrateExpress.com for the awesome props for today's segment!