No Bake Oatmeal Bites

When I was a nanny I was always looking for healthy and easy after school snacks to feed the kids that they would enjoy. I found energy ball recipes on Pinterest over the years and let me tell you, I have tried them all!

 

When I saw Mallory Ervin making them on Instagram I knew it would be a great recipe, so I tried her version ASAP with what I had in our cupboard and YUM! 

 

 

This recipe is inspired by Mallory’s friend, Alex White, who has a Nashville company called Milk and Honey Food Co. So my version is an inspired version of an inspired version, but… still delicious! 

 

 

In order to keep the recipe as sugar-free as possible, I use Hershey Sugar Free chocolate but you can use whatever you want to sweeten it up – try them with nuts, coconut – get creative!

These delectable little treats are not only good for kids, they are also awesome to take to new moms. The oats in them may help boost milk supply and chia seeds and flaxseeds are not only a rich source of fiber, protein, calcium, and magnesium, but also have a high omega-3 fatty acid content. If you are taking a meal to a new mom, I advise popping some of these in your care package!

 

Fall in Nashville Guide: 2016

Boo at the Zoo: Oct. 14-16, 21-23, 27-30th from 5:00-9:00pm

Gentry Farm (Franklin, TN): Oct. 1 – 31st. Open weekends only to the public or Monday mornings from 9AM-12NOON:

Cheekwood Harvest: September 17 – Oct. 30th

Pumpkinfest in Franklin: Oct 29th, 10AM – 6PM

Pick a pumpkin at Lucky Ladd Farms (Franklin, TN) or visit they other attractions. There are slides, tractor rides, mazes, pony rides, a petting zoo, and more!

Hauntings at the Hermitage: Oct. 22, 4:00 – 10pm

40th Annual Webb School Art and Craft Festival (Bell Buckle, TN): October 15 & 16, 9am – 4pm

Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival: Oct. 1, 10am-6pm

 


Why The Best Nannies Use Agencies

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Nannies have a variety of resources to find a nanny job. There are sites like Care and Sittercity, word of mouth, local Facebook groups, and agencies. While nannies should utilize any and all resources to secure their next position, it’s important to recognize that using an agency is the best option for a nanny. I want to be clear, however, that an agency is only the best option if it is truly a good agency. The benefit of using a good agency ensures the nanny isn’t taken advantage of. There are agencies out there that don’t advocate for nannies, so it’s imperative nannies do their research before deciding which agencies they want to work with. The best way to find out if an agency advocates for its nannies is by asking other nannies in the area what their experience has been like and which agencies they recommend.

Here are the benefits of using an agency:

  • Contract negotiation
  • Guaranteed hours
  • Vacation/sick time
  • W-2
  • Overtime
  • Mediation when problems arise
  • Higher pay
  • Guidance on how to communicate with employers
  • Interview preparation
  • Resume/portfolio assistance

When using an agency, a nanny can focus on just connecting with the family and finding the right match. An agency takes care of everything else, including the dreaded contract negotiation. Oftentimes during contract negotiation, nannies are afraid to speak up. Many nannies feel when a family hands them a contract, that they don’t really have a say in it and must sign it as is. Even if a nanny feels parts of the contract are negotiable, it’s still hard to confidently bring up those items to the parents. Because of this, nannies can often get sucked into agreeing to much more work than they feel comfortable with (like parents’ laundry, parents’ dishes, family meals, etc.) and they often accept lower pay than they feel they are worth. When working with an agency, nannies do not have to feel uncomfortable bringing those things up with parents because the agency will bring it up for them! A nanny will simply tell the agency they would like to counter offer the pay rate or that they aren’t comfortable doing parents’ laundry, and the agency will communicate that to the family and negotiate on behalf of the nanny. This doesn’t mean the nanny will always get what they are asking for, but it takes the pressure off the nanny because they don’t have to negotiate with the parents themselves.

Furthermore, a good agency is going to ensure everything is being done legally and fairly. Guaranteed hours are an industry standard and agencies make sure parents know this. An agency will also make sure a nanny is receiving a W-2 rather than a 1099 (which is illegal). Things like overtime often go amiss and parents either don’t know the laws or they find loopholes to bypass those laws. A good agency will make sure overtime is absolutely being paid and they will explain to the parents why it’s so important to follow the law as it pertains to employing a nanny. In addition, an agency helps prepare nannies for interviews by helping them develop a more comprehensive resume and portfolio and briefing them before they meet with a family in person.

Finally, an agency is there when problems arise. Just like with contract negotiation, an agency is a resource for the nanny when they are having trouble with something at their position. Agencies offer tips on how to handle situations and how to properly and professionally communicate with parents. Agency owners are very busy so they can’t sit down and mediate every problem, but they can offer support so you don’t have to handle it entirely on your own. Plus, if a big issue arises that requires mediation, an agency should offer a consulting referral for the family and nanny to use.

In sum, there really is no reason for a nanny to not use an agency. Using an agency doesn’t cost the nanny anything (if an agency ever tries to charge you, run!) and it helps nannies find more professional, legal, and fair positions. Generally speaking, parents who use an agency do so because they want to find the best nanny for their family and they want to employ their nanny fairly and legally. So, what do you have to lose? Do your research, apply to a good agency, actively look for a job on your own, and see what happens!

Family friendly meals: Spaghetti Squash

I tried spaghetti squash last night for the first time and ohmygoodnesswherehaveyoubeenallmylife!

 Spaghetti squash looks a lot like its high carb cousin, but with fewer calories and carbs and more potassium and calcium. One cup of regular cooked spaghetti has around 200 calories and 42g carbs, while 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories and 10g carbs.

First, here are the basic (and very easy) instructions to bake your spaghetti squash:Spaghetti Squash

Ask your kids to use a clean fork and scrape out the spaghetti squash “noodles” from the cooked squash – it’s a lot of fun!

You could make your own sauce and meatballs a la Pioneer Woman or you can buy pre-made sauce (I find Newman’s Own Marinara hard to beat) and Italian meatballs like myself …  because kids.

Nashville Nanny Training Day 2016

We are giving away a ticket ($30 value) to our training day!

 

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For more information on this event click here

Nanny daily reports

Whether it’s an app or a simple notebook, many nannies have a way to document and track sleep, meal times, daily activities, exciting events, and milestones. These notes not only serve as a way to relay information, but they can also be a keepsake for parents to look back at what their child’s daily routines were and to marvel at how quickly they have grown. They are also very useful when a child is sick and it is crucial for medicine doses to be recorded.

I would encourage you to use a simple, 3 ring binder and fill it with pages with simple information. The best ones I have found are located on Etsy here. They offer pages for all ages, an emergency page with pediatrician contact information, and more! You can instantly download and print them for $5!

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Nashville Date Night Giveaway

How long has it been since you have been to a movie in a theatre that didn’t star little yellow creatures speaking gibberish?

Nashville Nanny Agency Date night giveaway

How long has it been since you have been to a restaurant without a kids menu?

Nashville Nanny Agency Date Night Giveaway

How long has it been since you and your significant other have had a proper date night?

Nashville Nanny Agency Date Night Giveaway

Too long… am I right?!

July 31st through August 7th Nashville Nanny Agency is giving away a night out for two that includes childcare (up to 5 hours with one of our best CPR certified childcare providers), $100 gift certificate for dinner at your restaurant of choice in the Nashville area (we would recommend Margot Cafe, but the choice is up to you), and a $50 gift certificate to Regal movie theaters! Also included is a Nashville Mom membership ($30 value) and a Nashville Mom t-shirt!

Enter to win below!

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Pick your own produce

There is not much more satisfying than visiting a local farm, picking your own produce and making something delicious out of your findings! This is a great activity for kids as they love to get involved picking and baking. Click on the names of the farms below for more information.

nashville picking guide
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The Best Baby Product List: Bathing and Diapering

If you are like me and have been overwhelmed by the number of choices of registry items or just baby items in general, I feel your pain. This is a list of bathing and diapering items you can’t live without and some you can, but why would you?

 

First things first- the best gift you can give your child or a new parent is an infant/child CPR class. Babies R Us offers classes and you can click here to find one near you or if you prefer, online CPR classes are available for purchase or to gift. The Red Cross also offers classes for First Aid and CPR.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)  is the leading  cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old, while most deaths due to SIDS occur between 2 and 4 months.  (For more information on SIDS click here). Having CPR knowledge can reduce the risk of death from SIDS. Also, take into consideration taking a class for toddlers and little ones just beginning to eat solid foods, as they are prone to choking. Please include grandparents and make sure all babysitters and caretakers have this training as well! If this isn’t enough to make you want to take a class, here is one real story that will. I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing CPR!

– Diapers and wipes

Here is a chart from New Kids Center to give you an idea of how many diapers babies usually use in the first year:

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I believe that diaper brands and wipes are usually a personal preference of price and baby’s skin sensitivity. More and more people are going back to cloth diapers (I have heard great things about Bum Genius. I don’t know much else on the subject but click here to learn more). I personally love The Honest Company diapers (and wipes) because they are eco-friendly, all natural and they have cute prints- not to mention they ship right to your door!

 Expect to use about 2 wipes per diaper change (on average) which means you will go through approximately  650 wipes a month

For more serious diaper rashes, try this recipe:

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Fall bucket list

These are some of our  favorite fun activities for Nashville nannies and families to do in the fall!

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