HOW TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE WITH KIDS

 

We live in a day and age where we have an overwhelming amount of things. Sometimes it’s super hard to be grateful for what you have, and be grateful for the things someone does for you rather than buys for you. For tiny humans that is just the same, especially after December when they usually get an enormous amount of things that they don’t even know what to do with.

I get it, I love buying presents for loved ones, but I’ve come to realise over the years that the most important thing is my relationship with the person, I want to give a gift to, and my time with them, no present can substitute that. So, I wanted to write down a few ways we can practice gratitude on a daily basis with children. It does matter what we instil in their little minds from early on, what patterns we shape, so I think this will be a good thing to do all year around, but especially around and after holidays.

 

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The Gratitude Game

The game needs ideally three or more players and one person to serve as a timekeeper. Have everyone sit in a circle with one person starting off saying, “I am grateful for [fill in the blank].” That person has five seconds to come up with something for which they are thankful, whether it be their favourite stuffed animal, food or activity. As soon as the first person finishes, the person to the left goes. “The key is to say what you are grateful for without repeating, and without pausing for more than five seconds,” by Lennay Chapman.

Goodnight Gratitude

Every night before or after bedtime story we can say what we are grateful for. This makes for a nice finish to the day and leaves us feeling good and happy.

Be Thankful for Others’ Hard Work

Teaching your children to be thankful for the hard work everyone put into making the life easier and happier for us is crucial to raising unspoiled children. No matter how many staff you have at home teaching children to appreciate what everyone does for them is just right.

Random Acts of kindness

Being nice and kind in never overrated. Teaching by example and letting children know that just doing a small thing like helping an older lady with the groceries or picking something someone lost and give it to them can make their whole day and change the world for better. That might sound silly but that is exactly how we start, with small things in our community.

Say Thank you and Mean It

We throw thank you around a lot, but do we really mean it? Maybe say thank you less but when you do, really mean it. When we teach children to say thank you, let them say it in a full sentence like: ‘Thank you daddy for repairing this for me’. That way ‘thank you’ is not just a word, but a mean to let someone know they appreciate them.

Think of Others

Do small things/surprises for your loved ones, like buy their favourite fruit, make a card, make the bed or clean the office and involve kids in it. Ask them what they think would make someone happy.

 

 

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There is really many many ways we can practice gratitude with kids and create a happy life. I hope this will give you some ideas and bring you joy while doing it. I would love to hear how are you practising gratitude? Let me know in the comments!

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

P.S. I originally wrote this blog post for blog of a lovely Nanny from Australia that live and works in London.

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How to be a great NANNY

I’m so happy to be able to collaborate with my fellow Nanny. I had the privilege to write a blog post for The Australian Nanny that she posted on her blog which you can read here. 

I wrote about how to practice gratitude with kiddos, and if you need an inspiration go check it out!

This post is all her, writing about what it makes a great nanny. I think you will like it!

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What makes a great Nanny?

There really is no other profession quite like being a Nanny. I was out for drinks with some friends last week and someone said to me “I don’t think I could be a Nanny. The emotional investment that you have in your job is so incredible”. Now, this wasn’t just some random dude at the bar who lives at home with his parents and hasn’t worked anywhere but Subway since finishing high school, this was a friend of mine who is a successful writer and journalist. It felt so validating to hear those words from him, and it also got me thinking: what makes a great Nanny?

At the crux of our profession is working for a family unit. We are there to assist a family in living. Nannies are trusted individuals who care for children, manage comings and goings of the household, take responsibility for the home and assist in keeping the space clean. Oh my God, and then there’s the washing. Dishes, clothes, toys, children, it feels like everything needs washing constantly. Bloody hell, we do a lot. I’m a bit tired just reading this.

I have no doubt that we are all, or try very hard to be, good Nannies. So, what separates a good Nanny from a great Nanny?

Here’s what I think:

-Adaptability. I think that a great Nanny will take adversity and change in her/his stride. She or he will remain a pillar of stability through anything that gets thrown their way. This could be anything from no milk in the fridge so you have to make your kiddos something different for breakfast, to a family emergency that requires you to carpool the entire squad to the hospital.

-Flexibility. Not just the physical kind. Although that is also good too. No two days as a Nanny are the same, kids get ill and have ‘off days’ (i.e. tantrums over Barbie’s shoe falling down the drain), parents have last minute meetings and the weather always has a mind of its own. Somehow it always seems to rain on the day you planned to go to the zoo… A great Nanny will say ‘stuff you’ (silently, of course) to things that get in her way and will be as flexible as a yoga instructor fresh out of training.

-Understanding. Families are weird and crazy and eccentric. Everyone has some weird things that they do and as someone who is employed to operate as a member of the family team a great Nanny needs to embrace this. If the family you work for only eats purple carrots and hemp seeds and does a naked rain dance before bed every night, just go with it. As long as it’s not physically or psychologically harming the children, it’s your job to support whatever life choices they’ve made.

There you have it folks. That’s what I think makes a great Nanny. I wonder if you feel the same or if you have some extras you’d add to the list?

SO much love to The Lovely Nanny for having me feature on her blog!

The Australian Nanny
P.s if you liked this blog post, there’s more where that came from over at theaustraliannanny.com

Cookie heaven

I like easy – trow in a bowl – cookie recipes that you can easily do with kiddos. This one is exactly that! We did the dough before lunch and baked it after so we could enjoy a nice little treat in the afternoon! Baking with kids is so special and they are always so proud when they do something! So here we go, have a try yourself!

 

 

180g spelt flour

60g coconut sugar

90g nuts (almonds or hazelnuts)

120g dark chocolate

160g butter

Vanilla

pinch of salt

1/2 table spoon of cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven on 170 Celsius
  • mix butter, sugar, chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon together and add it to flour and nuts
  • make balls and bake for about 15 min (give or take depending on the Owen)

 

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We of course added some sprinkles and I made a quick frosting with sugar and lemon so they could stick on. But the cookies are delicious on it’s own as well!

Let me know if you try them! Sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

Presents with love

I really don’t have time to do anything more complex now, but I love doing creative projects. Like renovating old furniture, painting a wall, or doing a small artsy gift for a loved one. I decided to share this one with you.

I bought this jewellery box in 1 eur store (like a Poundland or Dollar shop) and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! Using things I have on hand anyway and some creativity I manage to do just the perfect gift for one very special little girl.

First I sanded the edges a little- such a pro like me with no sand paper but many nail files – and it worked just as well ( have to get a tad creative there already!)

Than I paper-mache dusty pink tissue paper on in a few layers. I wanted some colour but not all too much. I used half and half water and glue (the clear one).

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Than next I cut out this snowflake that I found on my Christmas wrapping paper. It looks so pretty and soft almost like a lace, plus pink is her favourite colour and I happen to know that she adores Frozen – so no brainer!

I glued the snowflake on top and than I paper – matched the top as well. I wanted to add some glitter so I dusted the inside of the cover with silver glitter and I used lots of glue so the glitter was nicely secure and will not go anywhere while the jewellery box will be used. Than the rest around I painted with white colour.

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I love a little contrast and you know how lovely are bags that have a really nice lining. I wanted to get that look, so I used a spotty tissue paper that goes really well with pink and I paper -mached it inside the box. I think it look really well, and it completed the look I was going for – cute and girly but also nice and not too tacky.

I bought some nice plastic rings and hair clips. I can never resist buying those, especially for little girls and I added them inside.
Than all I had to do is wrap it nicely and give it! The best part!

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I really enjoyed doing this project, and I hope to do a few more in the near future. Maybe I will post another one I did a while ago. If you are in to things like this ( I am so so much!) than I would love to hear from you, and if you have any other ideas, that would be nice to hear as well!

Until then – don’t forget – sharing is caring!

TLN xx

 

P.S.: By now the gift was given and she loved it so so much! 😍

 

More than Inspired

Sometimes it happens, and there is  time in your life when you feel uninspired. At first you’ll feel sorry for yourself, than you’ll feel sorry for yourself a little bit more and than if you are anything like me you will try and strategically plan the way out of your uninspired days.

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Most of the times there is a solution for everything. Many times the solution is letting it go. If you are a planner that might be easier said than done, but there is a always a way. Once you collected yourself you can start thinking about the way forward. Does not have to be complicated and often it will come naturally. These few point can be useful:

  • Take some time off,
  • Go for a walk an let your mind go
  • Most of the times you will get ideas spontaneously 
  • Do what you think makes you happy and be selfish sometimes 
  • It is okay to not know all the answers 
  • You are not the only one who thinks like that
  • Write things down (and let them go)
  • Forgive yourself for not being 100% all the time
  • Let others help you
  • Appreciate the road you have taken so far

 

We are constantly surrounded with so many things that are pulling focus from ourselves. A lot of times we forget to be authentic and just true to what we feel and are. That is okay  and it is normal. But is equally important to stay in the loop with ourself and keep working on that inspiration. Some days we’ll need more work and some days nothing, but as long as we are keep going and fighting for our own happiness, we are on the right path.

Have a great week!

TLN xx

Travel light

I must say that I finally reached the travel light stage. If you are not familiar with what that is – this is the stage when you realise your need for things is less important that you being able to easily manoeuvre your suitcase on your travel. I am totally guilty of packing for a month when only going away for weekend, and let’s all be totally honest, how many thing at the end you really use?

But there is a few things I never go without and I will share it with you. I am super sensitive when changing locations, it never gets old, no mater how much I travel. I often will get super sensitive to driving in cars, water and food. Depending on how tired my body is (if working 24 h for a week) I am easy to get hit by anything. But I can’t really be sick or unable to work, so I developed a stash of things I always take with me.

First of all is Medicinal charcoal. I swear by this stuff! In my family we have been using that for a very long time, but it is only now becoming popular worldwide. Helps with food poisoning, indigestion, bloating ect. so if you are sensitive and you’re going to a new country then I would pack them up! But it is not recommended for pregnant women, so if you’re pregnant I would suggest probiotics or hot lemon tea- that will also do wonders!

Charcoal

Next thing is available at every airport and it’s San Pellegrino sparkling water. If you feel nauseous on your travel, this helps a lot. From all the sparkling waters in the world (well the ones I happen to try) I like this one the best. It is also good as you can get it nearly everywhere.

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Peppermint tea. I never travel without! It has the ability to improve digestion, reduce pain and eliminate inflammation. Plus it’s good to calm and relax your body and reduces nausea. If you don’t yet, stash a few tea bags in your purse, they might become useful. I’m very snobby about my peppermint tea but, Teekanne and Clipper are my favourite brands.

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If your blood sugar drops quickly and you need to have meals regularly, that I would suggest to have a stash of snacks in your purse. We all know traveling for work or traveling in general is unpredictable so it’s better to be prepared. I like to have some bars, nuts or crackers in my bag – tat really does not take too much space but will save you the trouble of feeling nauseous. My favourite are: Kind bars, Pulsin protein bars and my latest obsession Blevita Spelt crackers in cinnamon flavour – they are so easy to take anywhere! It is also just fine if you put some nuts in a small sellable bag – I tend to take dry stuff with me as then I don’t have to worry about anything getting messy.

 

One last thing when on the road is a travel phone charger. It’s true you can now charge your phone at a lot of places, but there is still going to be some roads you’ll take when your battery is dying and you need your phone to last you. This is where the travel charger come in handy. I swear by the brand Anker as I firstly love their design, how small it is and its amazing power. It is so travel friendly I always keep it in my bag (just don’t forget to charge it!)

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There, this is my top things to take with me when traveling. If you feel some tips helped you please let me know! If you have any other must haves for traveling –  I would love to know! Sharing is caring! 😉

The Lovely Nanny xx

Christmas cookies

I try and do some cooking an baking with kids now and than. It’s a great way to learn patience, measurements, and just the way around life. Cookies are of course the best, because there is so much they can do-making the dough, rolling the dough, pressing the shapes – and they also get to decorate them once they are baked! What a joy!

Look what we were able to do this year!

 

We made the dough together and than rolled it out. I let the kids do as much as possible and we had lots of fun.

 

It is great to watch them when they try and choose all the cookie cutters we have, add things on top and just really enjoy themselves.

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We also had Christmas music on the whole time, and had a little dance party every time in between when we had to wait for one batch to be done.

GRANDMA’S COOKIES

750 g flour 

300g sugar (try using coconut sugar instead of white one)

250g butter

150g cream

4 egg yolks

1ts baking powder 

a pinch of baking soda

Vanilla 

 

Squeeze butter and flour together until it becomes all dry and dusty and there is no more bottle visible. Than add baking powder , vanilla and baking soda. In a separate bowl mix sugar and egg yolks. Also add the cream. Mix dry and wet bowls together and use your hands while doing it! It’s the most fun and the kiddos can join! Bake on 170 for about 11 min (depending on how thick you make the cookies, your owen …but the cookies should be pale when taken out). 

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Decorate them after they are completely cooled down. And don’t forget to eat as many as you can! You can also leave them plain, store them in a tin containers and enjoy them with family 😉⭐️

Until next time…

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

HOLIDAY WREATH

We are being a tad creative in this holiday season and It’s just so nice! I wanted to share with you our lates creation.

⭐️ This is an advanced craft you can do with a slightly older child (4 years +). It is activity that slowly evolves to the finished product. We had been gathering material on our walks, talking about what are we going to make, talking about the colours, the shapes and things we are going to use. Even though every step in not possible to be done by a small child (hot glue gun) is it still great to involve them in all the steps and explain what we are doing and let them do as much as possible (like choosing pinecones you will then glue on the circle and so on – could also practising counting -how many pinecones do we need to fill out the circle…). ⭐️

 

Have a look at these lovely pictures!

 

 

First we cut a circle from recycled carton (try and use what you have at home, every one have a used box or two-we all love amazon am I right!). Use a plate to do a circle or something else, depending on how big of the circle you want. Use hot glue gun to make everything easier, but never leave it unattended with tiny humans around. Then really, just as you wish, start placing pinecones around the circle and make a wreath (make it a fun activity even though you’ll be the one to glue them on) 👆🏽

 

 

Next we have previously picked this little bananas (as we like to call them) and some other nice tiny branches and we just sticked them around to fill the gaps and make it even more festive. I found these jingle bells in shop called Flying Tiger and thought they would be perfect to put around the wreath as little one love the 🌈 colours. Together we have put them around and I just love the whole look! Doing the crafts like that is a great opportunity to also sing some festive songs (or any songs) and make the experience super christmasy! Our favourite songs to listen are from Super simple songs creators –  do you know them?

 

 

We added the last touch with some pink glitter. Mixing white glue and glitter together I let the tiny one do all the work. This completed our wreath and we were both very pleased with our lovely holiday wreath! Last thing we will do is just out some ribbon or string and hang it on the kids bedroom door.

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What crafts are you making this season? Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear all about it!

As always sharing is caring 😉❤️

The Lovely Nanny xx

Nanny Survival Guide

Nannying is one of the most wonderful jobs you can have. But it’s also one of more demanding ones, and if you don’t take care of yourself, sooner or later you will burn out.  I did, it wasn’t great, and this is what I learn since.

1. You are as important as the family you look after

Your life, plans and commitments are as real as your bosses. Make sure they know that from the beginning. When you take time off, try to really switch off, so you can come back fresh and recharged.

2. Socialise!

Find friends, other Nannies, which you can rely on, and can make playdates with or coffee dates. Nannying can be such a lonely job, it’s nice to have other grown ups to talk to.

 

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Copyright: The Lovely Nanny

 

 

3. Stay healthy, exercise, meditate

Eat good, heathy food, drink a lot of water and take vitamins. We all know how hard it is to drink enough throughout the day, because most days, you can’t use toilet more than once, and even than a child will be sitting next to you. Exercise is so important if you want to keep up with the little ones, but also, it helps you fight every virus that is coming to get you. I recommend pilates or yoga, as when you work 7-7 with screaming tiny humans, an hour of meditation does wonders. But really, whatever gets you going!

4. Learn to say NO

When you feel overworked, learn to say no. It is hard, but for your own sake, you will have to learn it. Learn to say no, if you already made plans and they ask you for babysitting, do another house chore or working an extra day on the weekend. But also say yes, when you can. It is nice to help out when you are able to. The right family will always appreciate that.

5. Communicate with your bosses

Learn to talk to your bosses even about the difficult stuff. About money, children’s behaviour, holidays, time off and all subjects that normally give you bad anxiety.

6. Stand up for yourself

You are your own lawyer, HR, social worker, cheer squad and support group. You are a grown up, professional who knows what to do in her job, that is why you have been hired – now act like it! When you feel something is not quite right, think about it and than try to come up with a reasonable solution, to present to your bosses. But always stand up for yourself, because if you won’t, no one will!

 

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Copyright: The Lovely Nanny

 

Now I will not say all that is equally easy for every one, but in order to stay healthy and sane, you will have to look after yourself. We all have a certain idea of how the job should be done, but don’t overwork yourself. It’s so easy and so not worth it. Every sane family will want you happy and healthy.

Please let me know what are your top survival tips down in the comments!

As always sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS

If you are super organised, than you are already on to of the Christmas lists and presents. I always like to start early, but no matter how early I start I always have to think really hard what to get my loved ones. We mostly have all we need, so I think it’s nice, if your gift can have a personal touch, if you know how to craft, than that is also a plus.

I thought I’ll write a list of GIFT IDEAS, what I thought would be a nice present this year. My family never got huge Christmas gifts, instead we celebrated St. Nicolas, which happens on 6th of December. Because I’m usually not home that day, I give my gifts to family and friends around Christmas.

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It is really hard to know what people want, but a little tip I picked up along the way is listen to them during the year. If they say something, just make a note, and than you are all set for their gift. If you spent some time with them than that should be easy.

This GIFTS are for normal budget. No matter how much money you have, I believe it’s good to be mindful, and set a certain limit per person, especially if you are buying gifts for a lot of people. I usually tent to go a little overboard with gifts for my loved ones, and there is really no need to, so this year I’m sticking to my plan!

I divided the list between 3 category’s:

BABY and TODDLER:

  • A SOFT TOY: Jellycat animals are my favourite (if you know how to sew you can make to toy yourself like I did a few times), they also have amazing selection of handmade toys on Etsy
  • EDUCATIONAL TOYS: blocks, puzzles, shapes, music toys, kitchen additions – cool food items
  • BOOKS (maybe special editions, or a collection) some of my favourites are Petter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, Twas the night before Christmas, Dear Zoo, The Gruffalo…
  • JEWELLERY  BOX you make yourself an fill it up with cute rings and hair clips STAY TUNED FOR THE POST ABOUT HOW TO MAKE IT!

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TEEN:

  • EXPERIENCE: like an escape room, movie tickets they can go with their friends
  • BEAUTY PRODUCTS like hair brush, eyeshadow or hair gel
  • CLOTHES or a gift voucher for a store they love

 

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ADULT:

  • CANDLE is never a miss, especially if someone really likes them
  • TEATRE OR CONCERT TICKETS
  • BEAUTIFUL FRAME you fine in a store, or make it, with a meaningful picture in it (maybe your family picture if you live far apart)
  • PERFUME
  • TEA that is different and hard to get if someone loves tea
  • BOOK that they have been talking about (book is ALWAYS a great gift)
  • SPA voucher to your favourite manicure or pedicure place = you can pair it with funny socks

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SOME EXTRA TIPS:

  • Make an effort with the wrapping! It is super nice to receive a gift that is tastefully wrapped and we all know that kids love the wrapping paper the most!
  • Make your own Christmas cards
  • Add little twinkles and extras that you can find in the store or make at home
  • If you’re giving a book always write a note in the book, to make it extra special
  • You can make your own voucher or just decorate the envelope for it

 

Hope this was helpful. Please let me know you ideas or tricks, how do you wrap gifts, when do you start buying them… I wanna know all!!

Don’t forget sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx