Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Playing with Play-Doh on National Play-Doh Day

Today is National Play-Doh day and whether it has been 20 years since you’ve touched a tub of Play-Doh, or your little ones play with it every day, I shared some easy DIY Play-Doh ideas on WNCN Today #TipsonTues this morning:

            Homemade Play-Doh
o   DIY Play-Doh Recipe. Don’t let the idea of making your own Play-Doh overwhelm you; it is as easy as making a box of mac & cheese, honestly. 
1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
½ cup salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tbsp. cream of tartar
food coloring (optional)

Simply mix all of your ingredients together in a small pot and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until a dough forms and the mixture pulls away from the sides.  Cooking time ~5-10min.  Your play-doh will naturally be a pretty white color.  Kneed in a few drops of food coloring to add a bit of color.
TIP:  Store your Play-Doh in a airtight container to keep it fresh for months to come.  If it happens to get a bit crusty just kneed it for a few minutes.  Feel free to double, or even triple, the recipe if you are feeling ambitious.

All Natural Play-Doh
o   Eco-Dough.  If you aren’t up for making your own Play-Doh, but you do want to make you’re your little ones are playing only with non-toxic, natural ingredients, all you need is some Eco-Dough from Eco-Kids.  This all natural Play-Doh was developed by two parents who were looking for a non-toxic dough for their children to play with.  Eco-Dough is made in Maine and can be found online and at a number of natural toy stores in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. TIP:  Eco-Dough also makes a great stocking suffer for grownups.  A little all natural Play-Doh is perfect for carefree stress relief at the office.

Containing the Mess
o   Cookie Sheet Fun.  Many parents dread the idea of popping open a new tub of Play-Doh for fear that it will end up all over the place.  One easy way to keep your Play-Doh contained is with a cookie sheet from the Dollar Store.  These cookie sheets are super lightweight and allow for the Play-Doh to stick just enough to build on but not enough that cleaning isn’t still a breeze!  TIP:  Be sure to mark your Play-Doh cookie sheets so you don’t accidentally cook with them.

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 to #TipsonTues next week to see how easy it is to make your own baby food.

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How to Throw a Perfect Little League Party

September is National Little League Month, which means it is the perfect time for a baseball theme party. This morning I got to share some of my favorite ways to work baseball into every aspect of your baseball inspired party with Phil Sanches on WNCN Today #TipsonTues:

            A Baseball Keepsake
o   Autographed Baseball. A fun way to commemorate your baseball theme party is to have a baseball or wooden baseball bat for all of your guests to sign.  Simply leave your baseball or bat out with a few permanent markers.  The autographs you will receive from your littlest guests, and the funny comments from your goofy guests, will be priceless for years to come! TIP: If you use a wooden baseball bat, you can simply paint on a tin layer of lacquer to preserve the signatures for years to come.

The Perfect Baseball Snacks
o   Cracker Jacks.  You can’t have a baseball theme party without Cracker Jacks, it would simply be un-American :-)  These days it can be tough to find Cracker Jacks in the store, but it is super easy to make them yourself.  All you need are caramel corn and peanuts (I prefer honey roasted).  Mix your popcorn and peanuts together and serve them as a snack or put them in individual bags as favors for each of your guests to take home.  Either way, Cracker Jacks are the perfect edition to your party.

·      Baseball Donuts.  If you are looking for a sweet treat for your baseball party, all you need are some powdered donuts and read cake gel.  Use the cake gel to make curved stich marks on each powdered donut to make adorable baseball treats.  Your guest will get a kick out of gobbling up these sweet treats.

Simple Decorations
o   Plates and Accessories.  An easy way to work the baseball theme into every aspect of your party is to order a few baseball plates from CelebrateExpress.com as well as a cute baseball and glove.  Well-placed baseball gear is one of the easiest ways to decorate for your party.  TIP:  If you are throwing a party for a little one, surprise them during the party by telling them that they get to keep all of the fun decorations!

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 to #TipsonTues next week for fun ideas for your next Play Doh Party.

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

p.s. A BIG thank you to CelebrateExpress.com for our adorable baseball props, and my oldest for letting me borrow his glove.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Keeping Baby Safe During Baby Safety Month

We all know how important it is to keep baby safe, which is why September has been named National Baby Safety Month.  Baby safety is much more than putting baby to sleep on their back and properly strapping them into their car seat.  This morning I shared some of my favorite #TipsonTues baby safety reminders with Sharon Tazwel on WNCN Today:

            Proper Product Usage
o   Bumbo FLOOR Seat. The Bumbo baby seat is one of the neatest baby products introduced in recent years which gives babies the ability to sit upright before they are able to on their own.  The only trouble is that many people have misused the Bumbo.  Please be sure to read all of your baby product instructions before using your gear so that you and baby can safely enjoy all of your baby gear!  TIP:  A Bumbo Floor Seat is perfect for feeding baby their first solid foods on the living room floor, it’s what I used!

Protecting Little Fingers
o   Jamm Doorstop.  Anyone who has seen a little one slam his or her fingers in a door knows how important a good doorstop is.  My favorite new doorstop is from Jamm and works on hardwoods and carpet.  By locking a door in place, the Jamm doorstop can safely keep little ones from slamming the door, or opening it too quickly.

Travel Safety
o   Current Baby Pictures.  When you are traveling with your little one, it is always a good idea to have a current picture handy.  We all have multiple pictures of our kids on our phone, but consider also carrying a current printed picture in the diaper bag, just in case.  Should the need arise; it is much easier to share a good old-fashioned photo than one on your phone.

Swing Safety
o   SwingEase.  Taking your toddler to the park is the perfect way to spend the afternoon, but it can be quite frustrating if there are not toddler friendly swings to use.  Enter the SwingEase by HoneyBee Child, invented right here in North Carolina!  With the SwingEase you can turn any swing into a safe toddler swing.  It easily attaches to any park swing and folds up into your diaper bag.  This is also the perfect way to keep baby germ free on the swing, we all know they like to lean forward and chew on a toddler swing :-)

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 to #TipsonTues next week for fun ideas for your baseball inspired party.

Until next time,
aka Chick #1