Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Children have talent

OK for all you email subscribers, today you're just going to have to go to the blog website because this post has some youtube clips that you don't want to miss!

After so many years taking care of children you see that some of them just seem to have a talent or a knack for certain things.  Whether it be great at doing their homework, keeping a tidy room, a whiz at math or amateur dramatics.....each child has a talent.

I'm not sure how I came across the first youtube video but I saved it knowing that I want to write a post on talent.....this singer moved me to tears....I'm a softie at heart.  Anyway as it goes on seems to spur another video so I put a collection together of some children who can sing.....and encourage you to find and embrace your child's talents.

Enjoy.....oh, you might want to make sure the tissues are handy if you're anything like me.

And then some just make you laugh....this one's gonna be trouble LOL

And this duo put Simon Cowell on his feet!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gazillion Bubble and Laser Show Coupon

Groupon is at it's a Groupon for the Gazillion Bubble and Laser Show.

Live in or are visiting the NYC area?  This is supposed to be great family entertainment.

HURRY......only 2 days left to buy!!!

Easy Valentine Card Craft for Children

HAPPY MONDAY to you!  
Great now I have the song 'Step On' running through my head.
WHAT? you don't know it???


Anyway.....that's not what today is about!
Today I want to share a really easy Valentine Card project with you.



My 6 year old made this Valentine Card least week.

First we cut out a heart shape from card stock.
Then she cut up different pieces of scrap fabric I had left over from sewing projects.

She glued them on with fabric glue but I'm sure something like Elmer's school glue would work fine for this.

 Half way done.

We made sure all the card was covered which meant some piece of fabric overlapped the edge so she flipped the heart over and trimmed it down.

She then stuck it on a folded piece of card stock and wrote Happy Valentine's Day on the front and decorated with tiny hearts in ink.  She was so excited she put it in the envelope and sealed it up before I could even snap a pic of the finished product but I think you get the idea!

Hope this gives you some incentive for Valentine's cards.  You could even cut up magazines to make a mosaic heart.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Getting ready for Valentine's Day

Well I don't know about you but I'm getting ready for Valentine's Day.  I think the prep and the decorations are so much more fun than the actual day.  I don't do any real decorations at home but there are a few craft projects to do with the children.....more of that next week.

Here's a couple of things I've been working on that are for sale at the Etsy shop!

I think my photography styling is improving a tad.....but then little things are so much easier to shoot than bibs!

There are only 3 sets for sale (2 hearts per set)....
you can find them through the link below.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Harlem Globetrotters Coupon, N.J.

Calling all Harlem Globetrotter fans!

There's a Groupon to see them on February 15th and 16th in New Jersey.

This world famous exhibition basketball team would be a treat for the whole family!  I think the kids would love it!

Here's the link:

Hurry....time's running out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Harry Potter 'The Exhibition of Spy' Coupon, NYC

Hi guys.....anyone in the NYC area interested in Harry Potter?

There is a Groupon for admission into the Harry Potter Spy Exhibition at 'Discovery Times Square'

Here's the link

They have over 200 props and costumes from the original movies and artifacts that have 'never been seen before'.  I've never been but I wish I'd known about it yesterday as I could have taken my 6 year old there when she had the day off school......was probably a mob scene though yesterday!

Let me know if anyone out there has been.

For more information click the link.....and hurry, these things don't last long!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Book Review: Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni was the other book I bought last week to educate my charge on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This story tells of Rosa Parks, a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama who one day refused to give up her seat on the bus. 

This one act of bravery began a whole new movement for African Americans to boycott the buses and for over a year to walk everywhere in a calm and peaceful protest.

Rosa is a very moving story
and educates children very
well, however there is one part near
the end that talks about a 14 year
old boy being it
really depends on the age of the
child you are reading it to and
how real you want to be
with them.

Rosa was an integral part of how the Civil Rights Movement came about and was later joined in force with Martin Luther King Jr.


I think Rosa is a valid story for parents to read to their children.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Inauguration Day is Sunday, tell the children!

Hi all.  As most of us know Inauguration Day is this Sunday, January 20th.  Just a reminder for you all really, a chance to educate your children about what the day is all about!  As an import into this country I had to educate myself too....not much to it really.

If you need some help explaining to your child I found a great website that explains everything to do with congress in a way that children can relate to (even some adults who want it cut down into a basic format).

There are quizzes and games that you can print out to make it a little more fun.  So if you're looking for something for the children to do tonight while you're making dinner print out the quiz here.

Have a great weekend everyone.  I'm working on a patchwork blanket for the shop, should have pics next week but it will be very similar to this one I did just different colours.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A book review: Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

OK well to start off that is definitely the longest title of any of my posts!!!

I bought this book yesterday for the 6 year old girl I take care of.  I read through a few different books on MLK Jr. in the bookstore and deduced this was the the best one for her.

I looked at 'I Have A Dream' by Kadir Nelson but I'm afraid that didn't hold my interest as well as this one did, so probably hopeless for a 6 year old.

This book has some amazing pictures, such detail and so much to look at....the illustrator Bryan Collier won a 2001 New York Times 'Best Illustrated Children's Book' award for it.

The story is told in a simple way (but not too simple) of the life of MLK Jr.  It begins with Martin as a boy being influenced by his father and the church.  Later on Martin grew up and became a minister just like his father.  Realizing the injustice in the world between black and white people Martin fought with love to create a more equal world.

Doreen Rappaport manages to weave MLK Jr.'s words into the story in such a captivating way. 

I think this book is a great way for our children of today to understand the journey that has preceded them.

The book I bought was paperback and just $7.99 so it won't break the bank either!

Monday, January 14, 2013

American Museum of Natural History, NYC Coupon

And talking of museums I just got an email from Groupon offering half price yearly membership for families or 'duals'.  Originally costing $ just $60...definitely worth it if you live close to NYC.

HURRY UP.....only 4 days left to buy.
Click on the link below.

Museum of Mathematics, NYC

Hey families.....or math geniuses.....or curious people.... if you live in the NYC area or are visiting the area, there is a brand new museum that has just opened....the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).  It is the first museum in the U.S. to solely be devoted to mathematics.

There are 40 plus interactive exhibits to explore including a 'Wall of Fire' where lasers detect hidden shapes in everyday objects and the 'Pedal on Petals' where you ride a square wheeled tricycle over a sunflower shaped track....sounds tricky!!!!

The museum is located at 11East 26th St. (between 5th and Madison) and is open 10 am to 5 pm daily.
Admission is $15 for adults and $9 for children if you buy online.....a $1 extra at the door.

I haven't been yet but I know someone who has and they said they had a great time there.  I hope to check it out soon....and then I can add my own opinion and photos to this post.

If you've been already let me know how it is.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Valentine's Day is approaching!

Hi everyone....hope you all had a good week.
I've been as busy as a bee preparing my third box for the Woman's Exchange in Little Silver, it just seems like one holiday after the other at the moment doesn't it?

I just shipped off multiple card and bib sets for Valentine's day such as these....

And this morning I've been working on some Valentine's Tissue Holders.....

with boxed corners
and fully lined, with matching trim

Here's the link at the Etsy shop if you want to check out all the pics or even perhaps purchase one.....

Have a fantastic weekend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My favourite Etsy Shops

As I spend more and more time on Etsy and appreciate all the amazingly talented people out there I thought I would share with you some of my favourite shops specializing in baby and children's products.

There are so many wonderful shops on Etsy it was hard to narrow it down but these are some of my favourites, of course in no particular order, I love them all.  If you have a moment please check them out, there should be a link under each picture.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 The Burley Beard Co. knit hats with attached beards to keep children nice and warm.  I think this is a brilliant idea, I just love it. 

Kids ULTIMATE BB Warm Brown 2-Stripe

Atelier Bloom have a wonderful selection of felt Mobiles including this eye catching woodland animals one.

Baby crib mobile, forest mobile, animal mobile  "Forest friends" - Fox, Squirrel, Owl, Bear, Raindeer

Almost impossible to choose a favourite of one of these prints from Amber Alexander but I think this one would look beautiful in a nursery or small child's room.

Tea Party, children, cat, bear, rabbit art, decor

Beautiful Eco-friendly toys from Ecoleeko

Plush Green Doll Farm Chicken Stuffed Animal

Woolies creates amazing knitted animals and dolls, I can't resist these rabbits.

Natural Stuffed Animal Toy, Bunny Rabbit, Lovey, handKnit by Woolies CUSTOM Order for YOU

Great Button U.K. creates art with buttons.  They can do custom work for you just let them know.  My personal favourites are the pictures of the U.K. and the Queen's head but these letters are perfect for a child's room.

Large Letter - Button Framed Picture 

Eve's Little Earthlings....just too cute for words, Eco-friendly toys.

Mahalo made this costume for the tiniest of people.  Check out the amazing masks at this shop.

What little girl (or boy) wouldn't want this pair of beautifully crafted dolls from 
Little Sidekick?

Little Red Riding Hood Big Bad Wolf Cloth Doll Rag Doll Ready to Ship

Apple n Amos create these Montessori and Waldorf inspired wooden toys, so beautiful, I love the colours.

RAINBOW Wood Toy - Peek-a-Boo Acorn Pots- Waldorf Montessori Educational Toy

I challenge anyone to deny the amazing beauty and craftsman ship that goes into this shop Shroompers.  I had a really hard time choosing which picture to post as I love everything.....but this house just takes the biscuit.  It just makes me happy to look at this shop.

Eco-Friendly Dollhouse / playscape / natural wool felt

Felt Like Celebrating create these wonderful custom birthday crowns that can be used year after year.

Rainbow Birthday Crown Felt Crown -  Personalized

Ivy Lane Designs produce these amazing recycled crayons!  What a great idea!  Keeping it green, but in lots of colours!  Check out their many different shapes such as dinosaurs, fortune cookies, owls, robots, hearts, firetrucks etc etc etc

Kids' PEOPLE CRAYONS - Party Favors - Set of Six (6) - Eco-Friendly Toys in Red, Yellow, Pink, Green, Blue, Etc. - Free Gift Box

Fiddlestyx Studios create THE most adorable knitted hats.  Again, hard to choose a favourite, but seeing as though Valentine's Day is approaching I chose this one.

Baby Valentine Hat - Hand Knit Hat - Red Pink Heart Pixie Hat (Newborn, Infant, Toddler, Child sizes) Knitted Children Clothing Accessories

Moonforest Studio craft these adorable, adorable little creatures.  These would make perfect Easter gifts to treasure forever.....replace those cheap plastic eggs and candy once and for all.

Needle Felt Bunny  Rabbit - Waldorf Spring Decoration

Let your child's imagination roam wild with great masks and tails like this Red Fox from Opposite of Far.

Red Fox Mask & Tail- CHILD

Cleo and Poppy create timeless treasures like this gorgeous doll.  Check out their custom doll, made to order feature.

rainbow doll , rainbow rag doll , girl toy , rainbow fabric , multicolor rag doll , eco kid toy , green and yellow , pink and orange

O.K. find me a finger puppet cuter than these at Lazy Animals.  Again, I want one or maybe two!!!!!

FINGER PUPPET MOBILE / Wall Hanging, Needle Felted Red White Reindeer Couple, nursery decor, toy, baby, children, eco friendly, christmas

I have had so much fun researching this post.
THANK YOU to all the wonderful shop owners who allowed me to post these fantastic photo's and links to their shops.

If you purchase from any of these shops please would you kindly let them know that 'Textile Trolley' sent you their way!

And of course don't forget to check out Textile Trolley Etsy shop if you haven't already done so. 


The dangers of frozen lakes

It's not often I write on a Tuesday.....I aim to write Monday, Wednesday and this is an extra post tucked in.  Sometimes events happen in life that you just need to write about, well at least I do and this morning it's a very sad reason that has caused me to write about the dangers of frozen bodies of water. 

Last night, in my township,  5 people were presumed missing, 2 adults and 3 children after spending time on a local frozen lake.  The story is still not exactly clear as I write this but has come down to this.....2 teens still missing and rescue teams searching the lake as of 6.30pm last night.

My only reason to report this to you is in hopes that maybe when your children get home from school today (however old they are) you take a minute to talk to them about the dangers of frozen bodies of water. 

I for one am still scared to go on a frozen matter how safe it is claimed to be, no matter how many people are on it.  I gratefully hold my parents and the movie Damien: Omen II responsible.  First, my parents always talked to me about how dangerous frozen bodies of water are and how I might fall through the ice and drift and not be able to get back out through the hole I fell in and I would be trapped under the ice and I would drown.  HORRIBLY DRASTIC but my God it worked......I would rather be scared than dead!  Coupled with the visual memory of the movie where an ice hockey player falls through the ice and drowns it has definitely kept me off frozen lakes and other frozen bodies of water.

But that's my experience.  I'm not saying scare your kids to death and make them watch horror movies....but PLEASE talk to them about the dangers of frozen bodies of water TODAY.  Make sure they understand WHY they need to stay off the ice, it's no good just saying "it's dangerous" I believe you need something that will stick in their head and make them remember.  As horrible as it is you need to let them know what could happen....this is no time for your 'namby pamby wrap them in cotton wool' approach people, this little chat could save a life.

I hope that this is all a mistake and they find runaway teens but after hearing accounts of people claiming they could see cell phone lights under the ice and hear cries of help I surely fear the worst.  My heart goes out to all that knew these two especially their families and friends.

Monday, January 7, 2013

How to get more calcium into your child

We all know that calcium is important to the growing child.  It helps strengthen their bones and teeth and is a necessary nutrient, it also helps muscles and nerves to work properly.  In order for calcium to be absorbed into the body we also need vitamin D.

Here is a chart showing the recommended amount of calcium for various ages

0-6 months 200 mg/day
7-12 months 260 mg/day
1-3 years 700 mg/day
4-8 years 1000 mg/day
9-18 years 1300 mg/day

Sometimes it's not that easy getting calcium into a child though especially if they are not fond of dairy products.  I take care of one of those children.  She doesn't like cheese or milk (unless it's chocolate milk) and isn't keen on yoghurt's. 

I know there has to be many parents and caregivers out there that also face the challenge of getting more calcium into their child's diet so I thought I would write a quick checklist of calcium enriched foods, some completely obvious and some not so much.

Milk and fortified Soy and Rice milk (check the label) - we mix half chocolate milk and half regular milk

Orange Juice - Tropicana make a calcium enriched one

Cheese - add a little on vegetables

Yoghurt - add to smoothies or eat the frozen kind (you can call it ice-cream, I won't tell)

Canned Sardines, Tuna and Salmon - not a top 10 common food with children but if your child likes tuna salad maybe you could sneak a little sardine or salmon in?

Fortified cereals - check the nutrition label on the box but a few good ones are Total, Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes

Dark green vegetables - such as spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens.  Again, not a top 10 with children but try chopping up fine and mixing in with soups (if you puree home made soups you can probably get away with adding a lot more).  I make a spinach artichoke dip that has a lot of cheese in it too....served with crackers or pita bread toasted that could add a great deal of calcium to the daily requirement.

Soybeans and Tofu - a lot of children these days like to snack on edamame.  You can get microwavable frozen pouches that are ready in minutes.  I make a stir fry with extra firm Tofu marinated in 'Soy Vay' you may be able to get away with calling it chicken if you chop it small enough????

Enriched breads, grains and waffles - what's easier than waffles in the toaster for breakfast?

Kefir - if you haven't heard of this look for it next time you go to the supermarket.  It's like a thick, yoghurt smoothie found near near the milk and yoghurt section

Most beans and hummus - I think  a lot of children these days like to dip, hummus makes a great snack

So those are the main foods with a lot of calcium, there are others including broccoli, seaweed, egg yolks, fortified margarine, pudding or custard made with milk, and almond butter to name but a few.  Start reading labels and scour the Internet for more ideas.

Good luck and healthy eating to you all.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Interviewing for a Nanny Position

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about what I was going to write about today.....dreaming that my job was closer to home (I drive 35 mins to work, so not bad really).

Nannying is such a personal job.....there are not many careers where you really get an insight into how people are in their own home!  There have definitely been some eye openers but I'm of course far too professional to repeat any!  ;o)

So I got to thinking about interviewing and all the interviews I've been on in the past (really not that many compared to some) and all the 'interesting' conversations I've had. It's been 20 years since I started this career so my memory doesn't allow me to remember all the obscurities.

I remember when I was interviewing to come over here 18 years ago, there was a lady in Long Island that almost had a meltdown because her children kept mixing up the Lego colours!  She was sat on the playroom floor conducting an interview over the phone with me and sorting out all the Lego's into colour piles.  Now I like to be tidy and organized but there is such a a thing as 'compulsive obsessive organizing' and I didn't want to be any part of that!  No thank you!

There was another interview I went on here in N.J. for a family with a new baby, all seemed to be going well until the father asked me if I would be willing to work on Saturday nights as a 'cocktail waitress' when they entertained.  How can you hide the look of shock on one's face?  I kindly and politely reminded him I was here to interview for the position of nanny then made my apologies and told him that the position was not for me.

I turned down my first position over here because
they wanted me to wear my Norland uniform, you
can see the beautiful attire to the right here.
I was then asked if I would wear a uniform of
khaki's and a white shirt....again no.
Coupled with the fact that I had been asked
over the phone if I was overweight it all added up
to a big 'this is not the job for me' click.

However I was due to visit the states and they
were only a 10 minute drive from where I was
staying and they persuaded me to come for an
interview.  To cut a long story short they really
wanted me to work for them, offered  me a
great package and work schedule and said I didn't have to wear any kind of uniform.  I came to realize that the mother asked if I was overweight because she didn't want any skinny attractive British bombshell running around her house (no worries there I was indeed quite overweight at the time LOL).  I came to understand where she was coming from, accepted the position and stayed for 5 years.

I just remembered one interview where I wasn't offered the position and the reason was I was too tall!  Yes I said it.....'too tall'.  The mother felt like my height was too intimidating to her children.  I don't know if it was just an excuse but really these days in America.....that would have been a law suit.  I'm only 5'10".

I feel like I've been very lucky in my career, I've had some great bosses but I believe I've chosen wisely.  My friends tell me I have a great 'gut'......cheers girls!  I feel I do too.  I've stayed away from demanding families no matter what the salary and also never had a desire to work for anyone with extreme wealth or fame.  I've had plenty of opportunity and been pushed towards interviewing for John Bon Jovi, Elle Mc McPherson, Annie Lennox, and some Google guy to name but a few.  I was never interested.....I like a normal life, normal hours I like to know where I'm going to be and to be able to plan my own life!  When you work for demanding people you end up taking on their life as your own and yes you may gain a great deal of experience and see the world but it's not your's theirs!  I like to write my own story!

Any interview stories anyone would like to share?   I would love to hear them!

Have a great weekend.