3 Things to Ask Yourself Before Becoming an Au Pair

3 Things You Should Ask Yourself Before Becoming an Au Pair

Deciding to become an au pair is a pretty big decision. One that I should have probably thought over a little more than I did. Luckily it ended up well and nothing horrible happened, but there are some things I should have asked myself before I signed my contract.

Am I okay with doing more than what my contract says?

For example staying home with the kids when they are sick. I don’t get paid anything extra and I lose my free-time during the day. Or doing the dishes everyday. I am only supposed to clean once a week lightly and then once a month a heavy cleaning. Even though this isn’t a big deal, spending 15 minutes of your morning almost everyday cleaning up after people can get old (and they start to expect it). If you aren’t okay with doing more than what is in your contract, then you need to be true to yourself and know how to say no. I am still working on that one.

 

Am I patient and flexible?

Not only will kids test your patience being belief, but sometimes situations will arise where you need to be flexible. Like if the taxi doesn’t come at 5am for the dad and the mom needs to drive him. That means you have to wake up and be in the house with the kids (if you don’t live in the same house). Or maybe a toddler is throwing a tantrum and has cried for the past 20 minutes. You can luckily learn these two things over time, but I would ask yourself if you are willing to.

 

Am I okay with doing these differently than I do?

Not every culture does things the same ways you do. What they eat for breakfast, how they spend their free time, and how they raise their children. Are you open to do things differently or not?

 

I think these are really tough questions to answer and ones that should be thought over before making a decision. For some of you these might be easy and you know or have known you wanted to be an au pair for a while. That’s great and I hope you have the best time! If you want to know how I became an au pair in Finland you can read my post HERE.

 

Do you have any more questions about becoming an au pair? Feel free to ask me!

 

 

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Four of My Favorite Children’s Books

Four of My Favorite Children's Books

April 2nd was Children’s Book Day and as an Elementary teacher, I love children’s books! Even as an adult, some of these books inspire me. Today I am sharing a few of my favorite children’s books that I like to read in a classroom or to any child I know!

 

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Four of My Favorite Children's Books

Red is a crayon, but is not good at drawing red things. All of his “red pictures” like strawberries keep coming out wrong. That is until he realizes that he is not actually red at all, but blue! This book is so inspiring to be your true inner-self!

 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Four of My Favorite Children's Books

This book is hilarious! It’s a story about a boy, Duncan, who went to get his crayons but finds letters about why they have quit instead. Orange and yellow believe they are the true color of the sun and are no longer speaking, black wants to do more than just outline, and blue is done coloring bodies of water.

 

Maya Angelou (Little People, Big Dreams) by Lisbeth Kaiser

Four of My Favorite Children's Books

Maya Angelou is one of my favorite authors, so I love being able to add that into a classroom. This books shows a glimpse of Angelou’s life and how she never gave up on her dream!

The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch

Four of My Favorite Children's Books

In most fairy tales you will find that the Princess is the one who needs to be saved, but this is not the case in this book! When Princess Elizabeth finds that her Prince, Ronald, has been kidnapped and her clothes have been burned by a dragon; she sets off to save him!

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Food You Have to Try in Barcelona

Food You Have to Try in Barcelona

Spain is one of my food heavens! My number one is still France, but Spain is right behind it. Sitting at an outdoor table with friends, beer, and tapas is my ideal day. While on my weekend trip in Barcelona we even tried to do a tapas crawl (we didn’t make it very far). But I did get to try some yummy food. If you are planning a trip soon, I’m sharing food you have to try in Barcelona!

Patatas Bravas (Spicy Potatoes)

Four Things You Should Do in Barcelona

This was a group favorite. The sauce is almost like a chipotle mayo. Overall super delicious and a must try.

Paella

Food You Have to Try in Barcelona

Picture found here

I don’t think it’s a trip to Spain without trying some paella! Since you are right on the Mediterranean Sea you can get some with fresh seafood! If you are not a seafood fan you can also have meat or vegetarian version.

Bombas

Food You Have to Try in Barcelona

picture found here

These are mini potato croquettes with two different sauces.  You can usually order them by whatever amount you would like!

Pa amb Tomàquet

Food You Have to Try in Barcelona

Picture found here

The only reason I actually tried this is because it was brought to our table on accident. No one ordered it, but we ate it anyways! We were all glad it came to our table.

 

Spain is a great place to relax either alone or with family/friends! The relaxed feel, architecture, food will make you fall in love instantly. If you have never been abroad or looking for a place for you next trip I would definitely recommend Spain as your destination. I have only been to Barcelona, but I have only heard good things from others who have traveled to different cities.

 

This is just a short list of the good food available in Barcelona. I could go on for days!

What is your favorite food to eat in Barcelona?

 

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Four Things You Should Do in Barcelona

Four Things You Should Do in Barcelona

Barcelona was the first city I ever visited in Europe! I will say since it was the first one, I didn’t really know how to travel yet. So I didn’t get to see the city as much as I should have. Once you go to Barcelona, you will fall in love! This city is laid back and also so much fun. If you are heading here soon here are some things you should do during your trip!

Park Güell

Four Things You Should Do in Barcelona

A must do in Barcelona! You can see the iconic house that looks like it is from candy land and a great view of the city! Make sure to book your tickets before you go. This will ensure you can get in! You can get your tickets HERE.

 

Sagrada Familia

Four Things You Should Do in Barcelona

This church is breathtaking! We stepped out from the metro and it was right there. This is another one where you need to book your tickets in advance to go in. We didn’t and were not able to go inside. I think this is a sign I will need to come back one day 😉 You can order your tickets HERE.

 

Hang out by the beach

Four Things You Should Do in Barcelona

Since it was March it wasn’t the warmest weather, but it was still nice to sit on the outdoor couches of restaurants and enjoy the view. The first time I was in Barcelona it was July so we grabbed a bottle of sangria and hung out at the beach all day.

 

Eat all the tapas

Four Things You Should Do in Barcelona

Spain is known for tapas so this is a must do anywhere you go in Spain. I’m pretty sure my next post is going to be dedicated to tapas 😉 You can also enjoy their cheap beer and wine while you eat!

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3 Reasons Why You Should Start Listening to Podcasts

3 Reasons You Should Start Listening to Podcasts

Until this past year I have been completely unaware of the podcast world! There are so many out there about anything you can think of, we have a whole app designated for it an iPhones. After I found out about these and the app on my phone, my life has changed. Because of this, I want to share with you 3 reasons why you should start listening to podcasts!

Listening to Podcasts Makes Information Personal

When you are listening to the podcast, you almost feel like you are apart of the conversation. This makes it meaningful to you and you want to listen.

You Learn Something New

There are so many things in the world that we don’t know! This also means that we are missing out on a lot. There is some pretty interesting stuff to learn and some interesting podcasts out there that talk about those things.

You Become a Better Listener

Sometimes when you have a conversation with someone you might not even realize you have taken over the conversation. When you are listening to a podcast it is kinda hard to give a response to someone who can’t hear you. This forces you to only listen to what they think and feel and not respond at all.

If you are new to the podcast world, here are a few of my favorites!

  • Manifestation Babe
  • Self Service
  • Atlanta Monster- if you are into crime shows this is a good one for you
  • Empty Frames- a mystery podcast where the speakers look at great unsolved museum mysteries
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • 60-Second Science
  • The Gratitude Podcast

 

Don’t see anything that might interest you on this list? Google something you are interested along with the work “podcast” and you are sure to find something you will enjoy!

 

What podcasts do you like to listen to?

 

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The Best Coffee Shops in Tampere, Finland

The Best Coffee Shops in Tampere, Finland

Working from my laptop in my from my room all the time can get boring! Sometimes I need a change of environment to keep motivated and it also helps me be creative. Living in Tampere for the last 7 months I have been able to check out a lot of the local coffee shops in the area and have come to love a few! One thing is true, Finns LOVE coffee. Since they spend a big part of the year in darkness, I understand why (so hard not to be tired at 3pm because it’s already dark). If you are in Tampere, or maybe in Helsinki and looking for a day trip, here are the best coffee shops in Tampere, Finland!

Cafe Pispala

The Best Coffee Shops in Tampere, Finland

This cafe is so unique to Tampere! They make all the food fresh and the menu is ever changing. You might need a reservation if you want to go during weekend brunch!

Fazer Cafe

The Best Coffee Shops in Tampere, Finland

This cafe is so Instagram-worthy with marble tables and cool lighting! They have delicious cakes and coffee. On the weekends they also have a brunch buffet. It is pricey, but worth a try!

Pella’s Cafe

The Best Coffee Shops in Tampere, Finland

Another great cozy cafe. I love this cafe’s pastries and also their outdoor seating during the warmer months!

Kaffila

The Best Coffee Shops in Tampere, Finland

The chia tea lattes here are big and delicious! I love sitting on their couch-like seating and getting work done!

 

I love how all the coffee shops in Tampere are so unique and make their food fresh! Tampere is also known for being vegan and gluten free friendly so there is something for everyone!

 

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Why I became an Au Pair After College

Why I Became an Au Pair After College

Something no one tells you about is how the last few months of college are crazy. I remember thinking “what the heck is going on with my life” on a daily basis. You’re basically giving up a life you’ve loved for the last four years and going into another that is not exactly as exciting (it can be, but in general bills don’t seem exciting). Fast forward and I’m currently sitting in a super cute cafe in Tampere, Finland and planning a trips to Barcelona, Portugal, Germany, and Austria. So if you are wondering if you should take a gap year after college, here is why I did!

 

I Can Be a Teacher the Rest of My Life!

College

What is one year going to change? Nothing. The real world will still be there when I get back. Also, I don’t mind pushing off the adult world another year 😉

 

I Wanted to Experience a New Culture

Why I Became an Au Pair After College

Why I Became an Au Pair After College

Living in a different country really opens your eyes to how other people do things. You also learn that just because we do it one way, not everyone else does, and it doesn’t make them wrong. I also got to try so many different things from living in Finland; I went skiing and also went to a public sauna and jumped into a frozen lake! I would not have done any of those things in Indiana.

 

The Ability to Travel

Why I Became an Au Pair After College

This was probably the biggest reason. I have been able to see sooo much since I have been here! There is a huge world out there to see and seriously it’s really cool.

So if you are considering taking a year to travel, do it. You really have nothing to lose and a world to see!

HERE is the link to how I became an au pair in Finland if you are interested in becoming one.

If you have any questions or just encouragement, message me!

 

 

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Four Books to Read This Spring

Four Books to Read This Spring

It may feel for some of you out there, but it’s still a little chilly here! Spring is my favorite season and I love being able to finally enjoy the sunshine and just sitting outside. One of my favorite things to do is grab some good books and read outside in the sun! There are so many good books coming out this spring and these four I’m telling you today are the ones I’m most excited for! So head on over to your favorite book store, or amazon, and get to reading 🙂

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marissa de los Santos

Four Books to Read This Spring

This is a New York Times bestselling author’s newest novel! De los Santos revisits the characters from her past novels Love Walked In and Belonged to Me. In her story two women have an unlikely meeting, one young and one old. The two take turns telling the story about a broken engagement, life-changes gifts, and the mystery of the heart.

Amazon $13-$27

Laura and Emma by Kate Greathead

Four Books to Read This Spring

Greathead’s debut novel about a single mother raising her daughter in the high society of New York City and all that it entails.

Amazon $13-$17

The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat

Four Books to Read This Spring

In a story about being an immigrant in America today, Tamirat’s novel begins on an unnamed island where a young woman and her father are the newest members of a commune. Even though the commune was built on the idea of utopian principles, they soon find out that this is not the case.

Amazon $14-$26

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Four Books to Read This Spring

A novel about womanhood, ambition, power, and so much more including the flame that we all know that is inside of us that is just waiting to be seen!

Amazon $15-$28

What books are you excited to read this spring?

 

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How I’m Getting Rid of Bad Eating Habits Before Summer

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How I'm Getting Rid of Bad Eating Habits Before Summer

Summer getting closer and I’m not sure if my clothes are getting any looser (maybe the opposite)! I’m currently living in Finland where the main food group is CARBS. Bread, pasta, and more bread. Oh and potatoes. Since I am an au pair I live with a host family I don’t get to choose my food all the time. When I first arrived I didn’t want to be disrespectful by denying their food. Now, 7 months in, I want my healthy food back!

Since I will be returning to the States in two short months I decided that now is the time to start shedding the bad eating habits I have picked up these past months and get back on a healthy track! Here is how I did it!

Shred 10

I met a friend through an online travel group and she was posting about a 10 day program to help get you shred your bad eating habits and replace them with healthier ones. Last month was my first one and I am hooked now! You get meal plans, shopping lists, a food and exercise dairy, a private group to talk to others doing the shred, and a coach who you have access to 24/7! Seriously so much! If you are looking for something to do to help you get on track I would recommend doing this! If you have any questions on when the next Shred 10 is happening, email me at boardingforchynna@gmail.com.

Drinking More Water

This is like a no brainer, but sometimes so hard! I also found that waking up and drinking a glass of lemon water or just water right away is a great way to boost your metabolism! I’ve seen a lot of apps to remind you to drink water, but I haven’t found one I love yet. If you have one let me know!

Don’t Eat After 8pm

In Finland they have this thing called a “night snack” where they eat before going to bed. I started doing this (because I was hungry since all I ate was carbs all day) and got into a bad habit! To break this I drank a glass of water when I felt hungry and it help!

Protein Powder

Protein powder has been a lifesaver for me! It keeps me full and I love love love having a smoothie in the morning! My favorite it this protein powder with spinach and a banana. I sometimes add other fruits depending on what is available. They also have chocolate and even individual packets of protein powder for when you are on the go! This has been a lifesaver for when I am traveling!

Get Your Vitamins!

I recently found out that most people have a vitamin D deficiency and they don’t know it! This can make you tired and also feel depressed. So if you don’t currently take vitamin D, go and get you some! I got mine from Amazon.

I also reallyyyy love these capsules. As I’ve mentioned before I’m an au pair and I cook for a family with 3 young boys. Sometimes they can be really picky (what kid isn’t) and new things don’t always go over well. So most of the time pasta is a go-to food for them. I also don’t buy the groceries so it isn’t very reasonable for me to ask for a whole separate grocery list for myself. This has caused me to eat a lot less fruits and veggies than before. But these capsules are amazing because they are real fruits, vegetables, and berries! It feels good knowing I will still get some of the nutrients I need!

 

How are you getting rid of bad eating habits?

 

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Healthy Recipes for Spring

Easy Healthy Recipes for Spring

 

Every time spring rolls around we start to come out of hibernation and shedding our thick layers. A lot of times, unless we have sticking to our healthy meals, we realize the extra pounds we have gained during winter. Or maybe you just want to have a fresh start on eating healthier foods. Whatever that may be, spring always feels like a fresh start and makes me want to get outside, be active, and eat fresh healthy food!

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult either! I love simple recipes that don’t take forever or use a million ingredients. No one has time for that! So today I’m sharing some of my favorite healthy recipes, that are also easy, to try out this spring!

Strawberry Cucumber Spinach Salad from Yay! For Food

 

Look at this! This salad basically screams spring! I am a huge fan of salads and could eat them everyday especially during spring and summer. This salad has all my favorite things like cucumbers, strawberries, and feta cheese. It’s topped with an apple cider vinaigrette. Perfect and easy spring meal. Check out this recipe HERE!

Cherry Tomato, Leek, and Spinach Quiche by The Food Charlatan

Lately I have really been loving quiches! I used to think quiche was such a hard thing to make, but after finally making one, they are so easy! And delicious 😉 This recipe has cheery tomatoes, spinach, and used almond milk instead of milk or cream. Check out this healthy recipe HERE!

Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken and Asparagus by Home. Made. Interest

This recipe only has 7 steps and one of them is to enjoy! So quick and easy, which I love. This year I have been experimenting with citrus in foods more and have really loved using lemon in recipes. It goes great with pasta and also chicken like in this recipe. Check this healthy recipe out HERE!

Now let’s get to cooking! What’s your favorite spring recipe?

 

 

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