Easy Bite Before Date Night

Greetings, all!

Picture yourself about to head out the door for date night, when you realize you wanted to prep a meal for your little one(s) before the sitter arrived. With only minutes to whip something together, you go into a frenzy thinking about what to make. Today, I’m here to help, by providing five easy bites to make before date night.

1. Crockpot Mac & Cheese
Everyone introduce yourself to your crockpot, because it should be your best friend. It’s also an added bonus that mac & cheese is scientifically proven to be loved by kids. Check out the recipe by Pipp and Ebby here.

2. Breakfast
Is breakfast food always delicious?  Yes, yes it is. Whip together some eggs, toast with jam, and a side of fresh fruit or raw veggies. I also like all the hype behind breakfast muffins. Take a look at a variety of them from Thriving Home.

3. Lasagna Grilled Cheese
Once you see the photo and the simple recipe for this sandwich, you will want to make one for yourself. Consider it your appetizer before you go out.

4. Homemade French Bread Pizza
Try making one off of this impressive list. Quick, easy, and always a crowd pleaser.

5. Chicken and Broccoli
What’s better than chicken and broccoli? How about a 12-minute chicken and broccoli. Take a peak at the recipe here.

Have a great weekend, readers!

Ava_Amelia_eat

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

The New Golden Age

Greetings, all!

Today’s blog is featuring some excellent artwork from one of our own, Michelle Blaser - a Boston girl with Texas charm, and New York City grit. Following her passion of water color and calligraphy, she brings us her simplistic and colorful designs, and we are so thankful that she did!

We did a short Q&A with Michelle to learn more about her work and here is what she penned out.

1. Tell us your story and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Dallas, Texas and went to school in Austin. I studied advertising at UT and moved to NYC upon graduation to pursue a dream job at an advertising agency. I lived in New York for three years and babysat for Bell Family Company throughout my time in the city. The families I babysat for became dear friends and I still keep up with them. I met my husband in NYC and we moved to Boston one year ago for his job. With much more time on my hands I decided to start my company that I had always wanted to create!

2. What made you want to start your own company?
I have been passionate about art my entire life and it has always been a creative outlet for me. Both of my parents own their own companies and I always knew I wanted to start one myself, it was just a matter of time. I took a calligraphy class when I got engaged and absolutely fell in love with it. Once we were married and in Boston it was the perfect time to start my company. Golden Quill Designs came into being in December 2014 and I focus on using watercolor and calligraphy to make cards and artwork.

3. What are your plans for your company and starting a family one day?
My plans for my company are to grow it as much as possible while I am still working in advertising and once we start a family my hope is to stay at home with them while they are young and continue to grow GQD on the side. Although owning your own business has many challenges, I see this as a perfect opportunity to be able to work on my own schedule while caring for children.

Thanks, Michelle for sharing your golden touch! Everyone go and check out her artwork on Etsy, and use code “BELLFAMILY” in the checkout to receive a 30% discount on any orders $15 or more.  You can also learn more about her, and Golden Quill Designs here.

TInkerbell_artwook

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Mama Bell and LB’s Baby Must-Haves

Greetings, all!

The blog this week is brought to you by the one and only Lindsay Bell! Both her and Ma Bell went to register for the first time, where they were introduced to the longest list they’ve ever seen. Ma Bell was able to quickly cut that list in half as they roamed the store. Here are the essentials they came up with for first time moms that are a bit overwhelmed by the list.

1. Sleepy Baby

  • Crib
  • Crib mattress
  • Sound machine
  • Swaddle blankets
  • Crib bedding set
  • Fitted crib sheets (at least 4)
  • Monitor
  • Humidifier

Bedroom Accessories

  • Changing table
  • Changing pad (if it doesn’t come in the diaper bag)
  • Changing table pad covers
  • Dresser
  • Hamper
  • Hangers

2. Mobile Baby

  • Car seat
  • Running stroller
  • Easy travel stroller
  • Diaper bag

3. Playtime Baby

  • Infant swing or bouncer
  • Play yard
  • Baby gym
  • Infant toys
  • Books
  • Music on  your iPad

4. Dress Up Baby

  • Body suits
  • Sleep and play
  • Side snap shirts
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Caps, mittens, booties

5. Hungry Baby

  • Breast pump (rent or buy from a friend if you can)
  • Nursing pads
  • Breast milk storage containers
  • Nursing covers
  • Nursing support pillow
  • Bottles (different sizes) and nipples
  • Bibs
  • Burping cloths
  • Pacifiers
  • High chair

6. Clean Up Baby

  • Diapers (huggies are our favorites)
  • Wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • Diaper pail
  • Bathtub
  • Towels
  • Wash clothes
  • Shampoo, body wash, and lotion

7. Healthy Baby

  • Grooming kit
  • Thermometer
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Baby laundry detergent (we love this!)
  • Think about baby proofing (gates, outlet covers, etc.)

 

Special thanks to Mama Bell for her baby expertise! See you all next week.

-LB

Mom_LindsWedding

Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell!

Halloween TREATment

Greetings, all!

Today I’m here to share 8 creative Halloween treats to make for the little goblins in your house. Don’t worry, I won’t tell if you hide some off to the side for your enjoyment.

1. Boo-nana Pops: Not a big fan of ingredients? Then this treat is for you! Head to the market to buy bananas, white chocolate, and mini chocolate chips. After that, a fun treat is in your hands!

2. Spider Crackers: Spiders have never been so yummy. Fill two Ritz crackers (try peanut butter or cream cheese), stick pretzel sticks into the filling, and dot with some raisins for eyes.

3. Clementine Pumpkins: Hate commercials? Me too. In your next commercial break, peel an orange, grab a stick of celery or tootsie roll, and stick it into the top of the orange. Then head back to your show.

4. Hot Dog Mummies: Consider this your main course. Just make sure you wrap the hot dog in crescent rolls, not toilet paper. I know that could easily be confusing.

5. Jack-o-Lantern Orange Packet: Did you forget it was your turn to bring the snack today? No problem! Head to the store and get the to-go plastic containers of either mandarin oranges or peaches. Grab a sharpie and doodle a jack-o-lantern face on the top.

6. Band-Aids: Don’t worry, no actual blood here. This is another recipe with only three ingredients, so no need to create a note in your iPhone for the recipe.

7. Sand-Witch: Grilled cheese might be best fall sandwich of all time. It also helps that it is one of the quickest meals to make. Try cutting a witch hat out of the bread, and let the cheese soup through (see what I did there?).

8. Jack-o-Lantern Snack Plate: This is like the appetizer sampler at your favorite restaurant, but BETTER! Take these ingredients and build your best face (gold fish, raisins, banana, cucumber).

I hope all of our readers have a great Halloween! And special thanks to Listotic, who brought us all of these creative ideas!

TB

Riley_Jim_Halloween

 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

How To: Ace a Childcare Interview

Greetings, all!

in·ter·view  /ˈin(t)ərˌvyo͞o/
noun
Commonly referred to a meeting between a small group, where one or all feel awkward through a series of random questions that no one in the real world would actually ask you. Most often deals with sweating, nervousness, and filling awkward silences.

Don’t fight it, you have felt some of the feelings listed above in at least one interview in your life. To better your experience in a childcare interview, our coordinator, Ali Sheppard, put together a list of 10 things to know prior to going in. I hope you can redefine my definition of an interview in your next go around.

Good luck interviewees!

1.   Prior to the interview review the Caregiver Sample Interview Questions and the Family’s Job Conditions; you won’t be asked every question, but its good practice to review!

2.   Ask questions about the children; about their personality, interests, do they play sports/play instruments, get to know them better! Do they have any allergies?

3.   Discuss the typical day and responsibilities. Ask questions.

4.   Do not bring up salary in the first interview. The first interview is about the connection, which is the most important factor in finding your family. If the family brings up salary – simply say that you are comfortable with the salary range indicated on their Job Conditions and you are more interested in making sure you and they are a good fit!

5.   Make a connection with the parents, but always engage the children if they are present! Ask about there parenting philosophy and their house rules.

6.   Be open and flexible. Listen!

7.   Be ON TIME. No matter what! Plan for weather and transportation delays. Being late to your interview is never a good sign.

8.   BE professional. NEVER ever get too personal. Do NOT discuss religion, politics or personal problems or other hot topics. Do not over share personal information about yourself.

9.   Dress professionally, but do not overdress! Business casual is a safe bet! A nice top, pants, closed toed shoes and hair pulled back with no tattoos showing, piercings, big jewelry is a great professional look for a caregiver interview.

10.  Be sure to connect with the Placement Coordinator to discuss the position and review any questions prior to the interview.

 

See you all next week!

TB

Introducing NY’s First Premier Nanny Concierge

The New York Nanny Center (a Bell Family Company) and Parenting Expert and author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer,” Tammy Gold, partner to create NYC’s Premier Nanny Concierge Service

 

NY Nanny Concierge Services is the first nanny search and management service run

by licensed psychotherapists, former nannies, educators and mothers who match families with nannies suited to the specific developmental needs of their child. Instead of focusing on the physical match (days, hours, location) we match based on the psychosocial needs as well.

 

FullSizeRender

 

Childcare matched to the developmental needs of your child

 

Our nannies go through rigorous recruitment process that assesses each nanny

based on psychological and social behavior profiles as well as the childcare skills

and experience. We know that “one nanny does not fit all” and our nannies are evaluated against their abilities to deliver the specific developmental needs of Erickson’s 5 stages of child development as every stage, from infancy to teen hood, needs a specific set of caregiving skills.

 

Childcare matched to each specific family’s characteristics and needs

 

We make sure your nanny can handle the specific and diverse childcare needs of today’s families. For example we match nannies to specific medical needs, e.g. Type

1 Diabetes, or psychological needs, e.g. skills to handle the complexities of children

with ADHD or specific family needs, e.g. divorced dual family households.

 

Each Search Includes Nanny Trialing and Assessment

 

You really don’t know if you have the perfect nanny match until the nanny, children and parents are interacting on the job.  That’s why we build Nanny Trials into our search process to that nannies and families can experience working together before an offer or placement is made.  During the trial period we work with both families and nannies to be gain objective feedback and assessment of the suitability of the match.  This ensures a more successful, happier and long-term placement for families and nannies.

 

2 hours of post placement Parenting and Childcare Coaching for Nanny or

Family

 

We have licensed therapists, certified coaches and former nannies there to help with any childcare challenges (e.g. children not listening to the nanny) or relationship challenges (e.g. communication issues between parent and nanny) that commonly arise during the beginning stages of the parent-nanny relationship. This added support to family and nanny allows for stronger relationships, placements that last much longer and most importantly better caregiving.

 

Access to 24/7 Sitter Services coverage for Sick Days, Weekends and Vacations

 

We know that nannies can get sick, may need to travel or leave for an emergency and therefore included in your search fee, is a complimentary one year membership to our premier on-demand caregivers from Bell Family Company. Weekends or at night, our Nanny Concierge covers all your childcare needs and emergency childcare situations.

 

We know we are the best way to find the ideal nanny for your child. If you are interested in learning more please call our office at 212.265.3354 or start your application by clicking JOIN TODAY here. To receive a copy of Tammy’s book please contact us for details:

 

Lindsay Bell, lindsay@bellfamilycompany.com or Tammy Gold, tg@tammygold.com

Pram for the Fam

Greetings, all!

Envision yourself standing in the baby section at the store searching for the ultimate stroller for the newest addition of your family. Suddenly, you find yourself  doing endless repetitions up and down the aisle, while picturing yourself pushing the perfect stroller. You’re thinking about becoming royalty, and pushing a Pram alongside Kate Middleton, or maybe  you have a trendy Bugaboo for your Central Park run-ins with Sarah Jessica Parker. Before you know it, two hours have past, and you are still roaming the aisles. Well today, I’m here to help make that stroller purchase  more seamless, because let’s face it, you were ready for lunch two hours ago.

Over the past week, I’ve done online research to find the best stroller in each of these four categories:

1. Portability: Britax B-Agile Stroller

Are you a mom that is always on the go? If so, having a light weight, easy-to-use stroller is like music to your ears. This stroller got five awards  through BabyCenter’s 2015 Mom Top Pick Awards, including best quality, ease of use, and space saving. The only reason this stroller wouldn’t be a good pick, is if you count lifting it as your workout for the day.

2. Comfort: Simmons Tour Buggy

If the Kate Middleton reference from earlier describes you, this stroller may be a great and affordable option. It works best for newborns up to the age of two, and during this time in your child’s life, he/she will surely feel like royalty from its comfort. It’s made by Simmons Mattress, yes you heard me correctly. This stroller also converts into a standard Pram model! Here’s a quick 8-minute video from Baby Gizmo showing all that this stroller has to offer.

3. Cost: Graco LiteRider Stroller

If your shoe addiction has forced you to scale down your budget for a new stroller, then take a look at this one.  BabyCenter has provided all of the details behind this one, ranking the stroller as the “Best of 2015″ in the 2015 Moms’ Picks Awards. This stroller starts at only $60! Its nods go to its lightweight and one-handed fold up option.

4. Storage: Jeep Cherokee Sport Stroller

Let’s face it, the list of items that you need to take with you and your child on an outing is getting longer than your grocery list. If you’re looking for a place to momentarily hide these items, this stroller does a great job doing so. These wheels are accompanied by a child tray with cup holder, a parent tray with two cup holders, side storage pockets, and full bottom storage basket underneath. Consider this The Container Store of strollers.

Stay safe, riders!

TB

Ava_pushing stroller

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

 

Infant 411

Hi all!

Here’s the quick 411 on Infant Care. These are tips I’ve learned through my nannying, sitting, and now in house job here at BFC. I’ve pulled together this list from doing much research and consulting with top experts in family and child care. You can also check out the links provided under each tip for videos and additional tips,  with thanks to Baby Center.

TIP 1: Swaddling

  • Lay a blanket on a flat surface like a diamond and fold down the top corner about 6 inches to form a straight edge.
  • Place your baby on his back so that the top of the fabric is at shoulder level.
  • Bring your baby’s left arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his left hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the leading edge under his back on his right side.
  • Bring your baby’s right arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his right hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the cloth under his left side.
  • Twist or fold the bottom end of the blanket and tuck it loosely behind your baby, making sure that both legs are bent up and out from his body, his hips can move, and his legs can spread apart naturally.

If you’re a visual learner like me, take a look at a short “how to” swaddle video  here.

TIP 2: Bottle Prep and Feeding

  • Rule of thumb is to ALWAYS follow the parent’s directions. Every parent does things differently, so its important to do it their way.
  • You can heat up a bottle in a bowl of warm water or run it under the tap.  Microwaving is not the way to go as it heats unevenly, which can cause hot pockets and lead to burns.

Quick read on bottle basics here.

TIP 3: Changing

  • Always wash your hands before and after diaper changes.
  • Make sure you put on the diaper correctly! Snap is in the back and you pull it forward and around on top.
  • Be sure to use wipes and diaper cream if necessary (per the parent’s request) and wipe ALWAYS DOWN, not up.
  • Never leave a baby unattended while on the changing table.

Because diaper changing is everyone’s favorite activity, catch a short video on it here.

TIP 4: Nap Time

  • Nap time isn’t one size fits all, so make sure to check in with the parents as to how they would like you to handle their little ones down time as every child has a different routine.
  • Some tips: make sure the room is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature. Be safe by placing the baby on its back and making sure there isn’t anything in the crib they could get tangled up in.

Who doesn’t love a good nap? Interested in becoming a napping expert? Take a look at some additional tips here.

TIP 5: Burping

  • Helping a baby to burp will release air trapped in their stomach, making them more comfortable. It helps their tummy to settle and get them to feed longer.
  •  If a baby is squirming or fussy during a feeding those are signs they may be uncomfortable and it’s time to burp them.
  • There are three common ways to burp a baby: On the chest or shoulder, sitting on your lap or face down across your lap.

Burp tips – yes, we have those! Take a look at the link here.

TIP 6: Playtime and Tummy Time

  • Play and Tummy time is super important for a baby’s development, it helps them to get stronger.
  • Tummy time will help them to learn how to push themselves up, roll over, sit up and crawl.
  • Wait until at least a half hour after feeding to lay them on their bellies.
  • Play with them during tummy time! Rattles, funny faces, toys and talking are a few things that may help them to feel more comfortable during this time.

Tummy time is fun to say. So is watching a video about it here.

See you all next week!

TB

IMG_3027

Written by our in house sitter services coordinator and former full time nanny, Meredith H!

American Cancer Society’s Annual Mothers of the Year Luncheon

One of our fantastic former sitters who is now an expecting mom invited the Bell Family Team to the the American Cancer Society’s Annual Mothers of the Year Luncheon. Bell Family will be at the front door greeting guests & supporting this year’s event.  Read below for more info & get your ticket here http://main.acsevents.org/Mothersoftheyear  Hope to see you there!

-Lindsay

 

On Monday, October 19th, 2015, the American Cancer Society will host the  20th Annual Mothers of the Year Luncheon at The St. Regis Roof in New York City.   Proceeds from the event will benefit critical cancer research, education, advocacy and patient service programs supported by the American Cancer Society. Marion Scotto, Rosanna Scotto, Elaina Scotto and Dr. Susan R. Drossman are the 2015 Mothers of the Year Honorees.

 

The Mothers of the Year Luncheon, is supported by prominent members of New York City’s social and philanthropic community and is one of the American Cancer Society’s signature events in Manhattan.  The Luncheon was created in 1995 to shine a spotlight on mothers – celebrating their daily duties as caregivers to their families and the extraordinary work they do to care for their communities.  Since the event’s inception, the Mothers of the Year Luncheon has raised nearly $5 million dollars for the fight against cancer.

 

Previous Mothers of the Year honorees include former First Ladies of New York, Libby Pataki and Matilda Cuomo. Katie Couric, Paula Zahn, Vera Wang, Kathie Lee Gifford, Susan Bloomberg, Anne and Charlotte Ford, Carolina Herrera, Sarah Ferguson, Cynthia Lufkin, Ann Curry, Tory Burch, Grace Hightower De Niro, Muffie Potter Aston, Anne Hearst McInerney, and Deborah Norville. Ambassador Brenda L. Johnson and Cricket Burns are the event Co-Chairs. Diana K. Feldman, Volunteer Chairman, of the American Cancer Society’s Special Events Committee will receive a Special 20th Anniversary Outstanding Leadership Award for her dedication and leadership to the cause.  Paula Zahn will return as Mistress of Ceremonies.

 

The event will begin with cocktails and a silent auction at 11:45AM followed by lunch and the awards presentation at 12:30PM.  Tickets begin at $500 and Bell Family Company clients will be entitled to a discounted ticket at $395.00.

 

Please visit the events website http://main.acsevents.org/Mothersoftheyear  to reserve your spot!