British American Yachts provides experienced, qualified and formally trained yacht staff including Stewards and Stewardesses, Deckhands, Engineers, Mates, and Captains. We work with yachts of all sizes and work from our Miami and London offices to service any location, from the Caribbean and the USA to Europe and Monaco.
Common Yacht Crew
Captain - responsible for the smooth running of the yacht, including managing crew, accounts, inventory, and all other administrative needs.
Engineer - responsible for all mechanical and electrical maintenance on board the yacht.
1st Mate - works under the Captain to support the yacht
Deckhand - ensures the exterior of the yacht is in pristine condition and working order.
Stewardess - responsible for attending to all guests on board and upkeep of the yacht interior.
Chef - manages all food ordering, stocking, and preparation.
Nanny - families may choose to employ a second nanny in place of or in addition to their full-time nanny to manage and care for children while on board the yacht.
The same attention to client needs and matchmaking set BAHS apart from other agencies. We start from the position that each yacht staffing need is unique, necessitating individual understanding. The breadth and experience of our pool of candidates allow us to service yachts of all sizes. Contact our office today to find the right crew for your vessel.
Why Do Yacht Crew Decide to Work on an Estate?
There is more turnaround on yachts than in estates as other captains will recruit crew for journeys and most jobs are temporary, rarely will a crew stay with a boat for years and the owners don’t want to pay the crew year round when they are not travelling.
Working as yacht crew operates similarly to contract work. The hours are long and hard while on call. After one job ends, crew will either take a break on land or find another boat to work on. After some time working on boats, it is common to see qualified and dedicated crew looking for permanent roles on an estate.
Why are Yacht Crew Good Hires for Household Staff?
To illustrate the work ethic and commitment of staff with yacht experience, look at the job description of a chief stewardess:
- Oversee the interior of the vessel including upholding service requirements, concierge, housekeeping, and laundry
- Plan and coordinate events
- Care for all guests and cater to their unique preferences
- Prepare invoices for charter guests
- Train other members on the crew in the standards of care for the ship, guests, and crew.
- Oversee interior maintenance work
- Coordinate planning with the yacht’s owner, including all the planning involved in a booking a vessel of 23 crew members and 18 guests
- Must be available at all times
- Working hard to prepare the vessel and process orders before guests arrive
These skills are easily transferable to domestic staffing. Attention to detail, working with the guests’ preferences in mind, and working efficiently are all stellar qualities in household staff. For example, housekeeping on a yacht must be exceptional and seamless due to the close quarters and fast-paced schedule. There is so much to do onboard that tasks must be done correctly the first time.
If you are an estate manager, house manager, personal assistant, or principal hiring for an estate, you cannot go wrong hiring seasoned yacht crew who are looking for a change of pace.
If you are crew looking for employment, please send your CV with a general application.
As much of the country continues to experience more winter weather, as well as various degrees of lockdowns and restrictions, many parents are struggling to come up with creative ways for children to safely socialize, both with friends and with far away family members. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together our list of top interactive games and classes that children can participate in together, from afar.
Many games can easily be adapted for Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. Simple games like charades can easily be played with no advance notice. With a little more planning, themed bingo nights (fun, free printables available here) or trivia nights (here are some questions to get you started) are a fun way to engage friends and family members from home. Many traditional games now offer online versions, including Skribbl (similar to Pictionary and allows up to 12 players), Uno, Connect 4, Boggle with Friends, and Mancala.
Airbnb Experiences hosts a variety of interactive, live, customizable experiences suitable for a range of ages and interests. The platform makes it easy for many friends or family members to join. One of our favorites is the Louvre Museum Discovery Game; during the session, children investigate the "theft" of the Mona Lisa, getting to know the Louvre and its collection along the way through fun games, quizzes and more. The experience is customizable with various themes and age ranges available. Some of our other favorites are Dive Under the Sea with a Shark Expert, Family Magic Lesson, Learn to Craft a Pop Up Book, and Yoga and Dance for the Whole Family.
With a little advance planning, your children can spend a whole evening cooking and eating with family and friends via Zoom. Consider teaming up with another family and each joining a subscription service, such as KidStir or Harlow's Harvest; plan regular virtual dates cooking the same meals from the service. You could also purchase a kid's cookbook and take turns choosing weekly recipes to cook together. We love The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs, Milk Bar's Kid's Only. and Healthy Junior Chef. Another fun idea is to purchase DIY kits and complete them together over Zoom; children will love making their own fortune cookies (and writing their own fortunes!) or mochi ice cream.
Have dinner and a movie together from the comfort of your own homes! Services like Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party), Hulu Watch Party and Plex offer options to watch together. Viewers can pause and rewind on all screens, so everyone is always on the same page!
Create friendly contests for children to compete with one another. You might create a Play-Doh competition for younger children, or a short story competition based on a prompt for older kids. For fans of Lego Masters, recreate the show at home over Zoom by competing to make Lego cities, racetracks, and more. We recommend judging in several areas so children have multiple chances to succeed, for example by creating winning categories based on speed, creativity, use of color etc. The top prize winner can pick the theme of the next competition!
Consider asking another family to do a long-term project with yours. Children can check in and compare progress, difficulties, and brainstorm creative ideas. Younger children might enjoy raising a caterpillar or growing a houseplant. Older children might enjoy building a piece of simple furniture, caring for a small aquarium, growing an herb or vegetable garden, or creating a compost bin.
As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more.
If you aren't quite ready to hire a chef but are looking for an excellent meal tonight, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite Michelin Star restaurants currently offering takeaway and delivery options.
Eleven Madison Park now offers its renowned upscale American dishes for pickup throughout New York, the Hamptons, Westchester, and New Jersey. 3 Michelin Stars.
Masa, Columbus Circle's famed Japanese restaurant, offers take out and delivery on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. 3 Michelin Stars.
Atelier Crenn, a recent winner of the Best Female Chef Award (2016), offers multi-course meal kits for pickup so you can recreate the restaurant's French cuisine at home. 3 Michelin Stars.
Benu is offering San Franciscans the chance to preview and taste the new menu from their upcoming Korean restaurant SAN HO WON at home through pickup options. This weekend only (February 12-14), they will also be offering classic options from Benu's menu in celebration of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. 3 Michelin Stars.
n/naka offers sushi and bento box options, as well as wine and sake, for pickup; proceeds from the current offering will be donated to RE: Her, a charitable organization for women-owned restaurants in Los Angeles. 2 Michelin Stars.
Providence offers a take-out tasting menu Wednesday through Saturday. Order this weekend for access to their special Valentine's Day menu. 2 Michelin Stars.
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught is offering a limited series of extravagant 5-course menu options for 2 people to be picked up or delivered. Order this weekend to access the special Valentine's Day menu. 3 Michelin Stars.
CORE by Clare Smyth has created Core at Home, special menus for 2 meant to be finished in your kitchen with the help of video instructions provided by the restaurant. 3 Michelin Stars.
Maison Rostang is offering pickup and delivery options for 3-course menus, as well as wine and champagne. 2 Michelin Stars.
David Toutain has created a limited menu for takeout, as well as a special menu for Valentine's Day, featuring foie gras and caviar. 2 Michelin Stars.
As restaurants remain closed in many areas and operate with a limited capacity in others, we have seen an increase in clients choosing to hire in-home private chefs. A private chef allows families to have more control regarding the types of food they're consuming, as well as the quality. We work with a large roster of professionals in the U.S. as well as abroad that are trained in a range of specialties, from worldwide cuisines to healthy diets to managing allergies and other restrictions.
The benefits of a private chef extend beyond the delicious food on the table; they can help you stay fit, meet nutrition goals, prevent disease, lose weight, save valuable time, and educate you on sustainability and best practices.
Range of Cuisines
Our roster of chefs include professionals trained in a variety of cuisines, including South and East Asian, French, Italian, Greek, and Austrian. We also work with talented yacht chefs, who tend to be versatile and highly skilled in multiple areas. For those with a sweet tooth, we also work with select classically trained pastry chefs.
Types of Diets
As we all become more conscious of what we put in our bodies and how it affects our short and long-term health, our dietary preferences can change quickly. The best chefs adapt to new research and recommended diets; we work with chefs who specialize in creating custom menus for a range of diets, including vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan (including South Indian and other speciality vegan cuisines), gluten-free, paleo, low-sodium, low-fat, plant based, and raw food diets.
Farm-to-Table and Other Speciality Chefs
Farm-to-table meals are ones that are sourced directly from local producers, whether that's a nearby organic farm, a vineyard, or a fishery. The movement aims not only to support local businesses and reduce emissions from lengthy transports but to create a finished product that is of the best quality, nutrition, and freshness, and is seasonal. Many chefs have an established network of purveyors that they routinely work with and are able to easily offer the farm-to-table experience in your home.
Depending on where you live, you may have access to a wider range of speciality chefs. For example, due to the sprawling farms in Marin and Napa, we have a network of chefs in San Francisco, many of whom mill their own flour, grow their own vegetables, and/or specialize in fully organic cooking. Of course, many Napa-based chefs have extensive wine knowledge, as well. Los Angeles is the center for vegan and raw food diets; we have a roster of chefs who create inventive and delicious meals to fit these diets, and many are willing to relocate or live-in. Naples, Italy is not only known as the birthplace of pizza but also as a hub for the world's best chefs. Austria is renowned for their incredible cuisine and rigorous chef training programs; we work with a select number of Austrian chefs, both in the U.S. and in Europe.
If you'd like to get your children involved in a new activity during the pandemic, many of our chefs have experience working with children and would be happy to curate kid-friendly meals, and involve the little ones in the planning and preparations.
Our roster includes chefs looking for both full and part-time work. A full-time chef may prepare two or three meals a day for the household, plus provide healthy and nutritious snacks as needed. They will also be able to host and cater private events, special occasions, and dinner parties for your family. We also offer part-time help in the kitchen, should you require someone to stock your refrigerator a few times per week or handle the meal prep and leave the cooking to you. Part-time chefs will typically work 2-3 days per week to help with meal preparation, stocking the refrigerator and pantry, or preparing indulgent weekend meals.
Private chefs now seem to be the must have for the home in 2021 and with Valentine's Day soon approaching, we can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate with your partner, family or even turning the day into a Galentine's Day for your single sisters and gal pals to have a menu of indulgence in the comfort of your own home.
Instead of the frantic search for the bottle opener and the kitchen chaos as the steak turns to charcoal as your attention turns to the veg for one minute, you can now take great satisfaction in leaving that to your very own chef.
Your job is now to simply slip into something comfortable. Choose your playlist and relax into your well-earned quality time - while your professional chef takes care of everything in the kitchen leaving you to enjoy the moment.
Indoor dining has taken on a whole new meaning now that top chefs have been the most in demand service since the holidays. Rather than face the cold weather or brave the traffic, bringing the culinary cuisine into your own home is the most exquisite luxury you could ask for. A treat for the wife, a surprise for the husband, a special occasion for the family. A tailored menu to suit your dream tastes makes celebrating even more enjoyable.
British American Household Staffing are proud to connect you with an amazing chef to make your meal times more effortless, healthy, and scrumptious. Once you experience the convenience and beauty of having your very own chef to work with, we are sure you’ll never go back to the days of stressing over ingredients in the grocery store again! The convenience and ease of having your own chef at home to cater to your culinary needs either as a permanent position or simply during the holiday season, summer vacation, or for special events, is an absolutely essential investment for your convenience, peace of mind, and family's health.
With restaurants remaining closed and severe weather warnings - Is now the best time to now hire a chef for our home?
Whether you hire a private chef for a special occasion or as a staple position in your home, there are many incredible benefits to having a professional in your household. You will save so much time by not having to worry about where your next meal comes from and therefore be able to use that time towards the things you care about most in life, from your work, your fitness, your creative time, quality time with family or quite simply just some well-earned personal time to rest and reboot.
As well as saving you time, professional chefs can provide you with a lot more variety at mealtime as well as more inventive and delicious ideas with the foods you eat. Chefs can also assist you with your health and nutrition goals with meal planning a more well-balanced diet. They can easily cater to your specific dietary preferences that you and your family may find restricting.
So make this February 14th one to remember, with a date night being elevated to the next level of romantic.
Whether it’s a romantic evening in front of the fire for you and your partner or a fun brunch for the family to swap valentines cards and relax in your pyjamas, our chefs can cater to whatever menu and mood that your special occasion requires.
Our favourites for the perfect home sweet home Valentine's night:
- Chocolate Fondue
- Romantic movies
- Fun and flirty board games
- Pink champagne
- Pink lemonade ~ for those who prefer no alcohol
- Rose petals
Our perfect long distant gift ideas to send to a loved one for Valentine's Day:
- Cupcakes or cookies from a local bakery
- An iTunes album
- Heart balloons
- A Book - for you both to read together
- Stream a virtual concert to watch together
- A Cameo personalised video message off one of their pin ups / crushes from their younger days!
And here's a fun idea for young kids this Valentine's Day - Peppa's Valentine's Day!
Contact us now to make a booking and hire a chef that’s perfect for your special evening at home.
Pictures copyright & courtesy of Katie Montalbano
Never has there been a time like now to celebrate women who are doing it all. From sealing deals, meeting deadlines, and achieving career goals each week, all from their living room and whilst raising their children. They are simultaneously running companies and their households! Who said we needed a pair of heels and an office to reach heights in business!? Working from home has actually become the new attainable goal and has been showing women they can indeed multitask being both a mother and a boss!
Here at British American Household Staffing, we sat down for a teatime catch-up with our sensational Director of Recruitment Katie Montalbano where she took part in our Q&A focused on blending work with a newborn all during a pandemic! Here, we discuss life before and after having a baby during a pandemic with Katie bravely sharing her inspiring IVF journey and success as well as tips on how to perfectly balance being a great mother to beautiful baby Luna whilst holding down a demanding job for British American Household Staffing here in New York.
Name: Katie Montalbano
Baby’s name: Luna
Baby’s age: 6 Months
Congratulations on becoming a new mother during a very testing time! What can you say were the silver linings to this pandemic which you never realized until afterwards?
Thank you!! One major silver lining for me was being able to adjust to working from home prior to having Luna. I was able to get myself situated and get into a groove that I could jump back into once she arrived. It was also pretty nice not having to commute in the summer during my last trimester!
You have inspired so many women with your IVF journey. Looking back on those beginning chapters where your fertility was becoming an area that required help, what words can you offer someone going through those early challenges right now?
Know first of all that you are not alone, in the past there has been such a stigma attached with infertility that nobody really talked about it! I think that’s just now starting to change as more celebs start to talk about their personal fertility journeys and with social media you are able to connect with other people struggling too.
Chrissy Teigen has not only been extremely open about conceiving her children via IVF, but she’s been extremely raw this year on her loss of her baby Jack. I suffered a miscarriage with my first pregnancy at 12 weeks, I couldn’t imagine being in Chrissy’s shoes at 20 weeks. Watching Chrissy’s realness while in the hospital, during the months after, and even as recently as this week (the week Jack would have been due) made me reflect on my own experience and made me think about how many women have been in similar situations. Going through the physical loss of your baby, the depression that settles in afterwards, the yearly reminder of a birthday that you’re not celebrating, it’s a horrible club to be a part of - but there is a small piece of you that can sigh a relief that at least you are not alone.
I would advise others to try and establish a healthy support system. My husband Steven was by my side the whole way, but our families and close friends were also super supportive. Sharing does help. I was extremely lucky to have my whole British American Household Staffing office rooting for me while I was dealing with changes in schedule to accommodate monitoring hours and various doctors' appointments.
I would remind others that there are so many routes to becoming a parent, just because it might not happen in the ‘classic’ way doesn’t mean you’ll love your child any less or that you are any less of a woman or a parent.
What do you feel women as young as in their twenties should know regarding their fertility and how struggles can be mended with so many options nowadays.
I think the one major misconception I had regarding fertility was that I would get pregnant as soon as we started trying. I always thought that as soon as you ‘start trying’ you would get pregnant within a month or two but realistically there are only like 2-3 days per month you could technically get pregnant, it all relies on your ovulation. I didn’t track my ovulation days until we were like 6 months into trying! A lot of the time it doesn’t happen right away.
Also, I always thought infertility was something to worry about when you were older. I had no idea it effected younger women. I was 28 when we realized we would have to seek help. Another thing to keep in mind is that infertility is not just a women’s problem, there are issues that can effect men as well.
There are so many different pathways to becoming a parent- naturally, IUI, IVF, donor eggs/sperm/embryos, surrogacy, adoption, etc, it’s hard not to become discouraged but ultimately there’s the right journey for everyone.
Modern medicine or holistic therapies? Or a little of both?
I would say a little of both. I’m obviously all for modern medicine- without my reproductive endocrinologist and the groundbreaking studies my practice takes part in, I wouldn’t have been able to even have Luna. But I do think there’s a little magic behind some of the holistic therapies. For instance, after both of our IVF transfers, we immediately did acupuncture which has be proven to aid in success rates.
If you could tell your 21-year-old self something right now, what would it be?
Tequila is not your friend?! Just kidding!! I think I had this image and goal in my head of having the ‘perfect life’ before I was 30 - have the dream job, get married, buy the house, have the first baby by 30 - back then I wanted 4!
I think I would tell myself now to relax a bit more, enjoy the fun, enjoy not having major responsibilities yet. I’d also tell myself that it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride to reach those goals, there are going to be a ton of ups and downs involved with each thing you want to check off on your list, you’ll have some dark times, but you will get through them and you’ll be stronger because of them.
Raising children is inevitably challenging when you’ve got a demanding career. What advice can you offer to new mothers feeling overwhelmed when trying to adjust?
Take your time- you can’t expect yourself to jump back in and work like you worked pre-baby. You now have new priorities and sometimes work is going to have to take a back-seat to baby and sometimes you’re going to have to let baby play on the tummy-time mat just a little bit longer so you can get that email out. Eventually you’ll get the hang out it. Also, accept any help you are offered.
How has working for an all-female company like British American Household Staffing who proudly support mothers in the workplace helped with your adjustment time in becoming a new mom?
It’s hard for me to put into words how grateful I feel towards British American Household Staffing for their constant compassion and support. I never had the worry that my boss wouldn’t understand my fertility journey and what sacrifices I had to make at work. I was able to focus on maintaining a happy and healthy pregnancy, not stressing out if I was running late due to commute delays, etc. And I knew when it came time to come back to work after leave that my boss would give me the flexibility to decide what worked best for me- working full-time, part-time, remote, in office.
How many hours sleep are you currently getting each night?
Honestly, plenty haha. We are extremely lucky that Luna is a very good sleeper during the nights!
What’s your favourite apps that could be great in helping other new mothers on their journey?
I have a couple. I could not have survived without Huckleberry - I’m now phasing out of using it as often, but I relied on it heavily when Luna first came home. Huckleberry helped us to track her feedings (when and how much), her naps (when and how long), her diapers (when and what kind), and even her growth.
We also use Nanit for her monitor, which has an app that both of us can have on our phones. I always have my phone with me anyway so why carry around a monitor and a phone? Plus, I know my husband loves checking in on Luna when he’s at work and I’m in her room reading her a book or putting her down for a nap.
And my last one is FamilyAlbum. I just upload my favorite pictures and videos onto the app so her Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles can see them daily instead of texting pictures to all our different group chats.
Which stores can you recommend for baby essentials?
New York/New Jersey has so many incredible places for parents with babies, but with most being closed due to the Covid-19, what can you suggest as alternative ways to keep yourself active and creatively fulfilled as a family?
There are tons of virtual classes and programs being offered right now which I find incredibly useful. It makes it easier to fill yourself up with different things to do versus physically traveling all over to get to this class and that class.
Living in New Jersey, where are your favourite areas to take baby Luna when you’re out for some fresh air with the stroller?
I love the area I live in (Montclair, NJ). When I was pregnant and lock-down had just started my husband and I got into the habit of visiting different parks around our town- our favorites are Brookdale Park, Verona Park, South Mountain Reservation, and Garret Mountain Reservation. We also love strolling around Downtown and Upper Montclair. And now I know which parks have the best playgrounds for when Luna gets a bit older!
What have been the most challenging struggles during your pregnancy throughout the pandemic?
Worrying about my health, Luna’s health, my husband Steven’s health. Wanting everything to be ‘normal’. Having to attend all my OB appointments on my own was a challenge. Steven came to every RE appointment and morning monitoring session so it was really difficult when he then wasn’t able to come to my OB appointments too. Trying to figure out a baby shower while maintaining social distancing was a challenge but not being able to have our moms and my sister in the labor room with us was tough - which I’m sure is a disappointment that every new pandemic parent shares and can relate to.
Do you feel being a mother in the social media age is a blessing or a curse - and why?
I think it’s both honestly. I personally feel it’s been a big blessing, especially with my infertility. I was able to join different groups and follow various accounts of other women who were going through similar experiences (pregnantish, resolveorg). But I do know a lot of women struggle with following various influencers who try to make ‘Mom life’ seem so easy and glamourous but I like to follow more realistic accounts that show that ‘Mom life’ is more about skipping showers and wearing spit-up covered sweats all day because that’s all you can manage to do (Mother.ly, ScaryMommy, betchesmoms).
Have you ever used or considered using a baby nurse or nanny?
Honestly, I haven’t. I’m extremely lucky having both my parents and my in-laws nearby and involved in Luna’s life- I always knew that they would pitch-in with caring for her when needed. Family is the most important thing to me.
Which working mothers inspire you?
My Mom- I learned all I know about being a Mother from her. I learned how to juggle working, caring for your children, and running a house from her. She didn’t have any help (she left her family in Chicago to move to the East Coast alone) so she truly is an amazing woman. I’d also say my sister inspired me too as she was a labor and delivery nurse working 12 hour shifts when she had my nieces.
I find Michelle Obama extremely inspiring. She’s highly intelligent, hard-working, gorgeous, and has seamlessly raised her daughters all while creating and running numerous organizations and having the public watch and judge her every move. She also gave insight into her own IVF journey in her memoir – any woman who can self-administer IVF shots on their own is a badass in my eyes!
What advice can you offer an expectant mother who is nervous about giving birth during the ongoing pandemic?
You just have to roll with the punches. Hopefully things are bit more settled now, but over the summer when I was about to deliver the hospital rules were changing weekly. As long as you have one supportive partner, and you trust your doctor or mid-wife you’ll get through it. The hospitals know what they are doing and are set-up to keep you safe- I didn’t see any other people besides my medical team and they were all masked and gloved constantly. And not having visitors or a chaotic L&D floor allowed us to focus on just our new family for the first 48 hours of Luna’s life.
What piece of advice did your mother give you that you carry through life?
I don’t have a specific piece of advice, but I learned a ton through my moms actions. She had a full-time job but always made sure we had breakfast, a lunch brought from home and a home-cooked meal every night. She kept our house clean, planned all of our vacations, she made every holiday and birthday as special as possible and she took us shopping for whatever we wanted/needed. She basically ran our four lives (dad included!) and never let on how exhausting it must have been.
What are your hopes for 2021?
I hope for a healthier and more peaceful year than 2020 was. And I hope that we can take the small benefits that came out of COVID - like spending more time with family and the unique ways of interacting and getting together which we can take with us into the future.
As families settle into the new year, with the holidays behind us and summer still months away, it is a great time to encourage children to explore their creativity at home. Sit down with your child and ask them if there are any new skills they'd like to try or ideas they'd like to pursue; with plenty of time at home and more virtual options than ever, it could be the time to learn an instrument, pick up a second language, or add more creative play to each day.
Escape into Story Time
Reading is a wonderful way to encourage creative minds. Consider signing your child up for a kid's book club; there are plenty of online options now. For curated monthly book shipments, we love both Literati and Reveal Book Box. Both offer customizable options for a wide range of ages, and Reveal even donates a book to charity for every box sent. For readers who are also aspiring artists, we recommend KidArtLit; the monthly box includes a new age-appropriate children's book along with a related art activity, and enough supplies for two children to participate. Little Bookish Wardrobe is another fun choice for young children - each month, your child will receive a new book, as well as costume pieces to match, and related crafts and activity ideas.
Exposure to music and music education at an early age offers a myriad of benefits for children as they grow. For young children, Kindermusik now offers both online and in-person classes all over the world; the classes combine music and movement to keep children engaged and active. Dea Music and Art matches children to talented musicians for private virtual classes in guitar, piano, voice, and more. For older children, the NYC based 343 Labs offers live, virtual classes for kids 9-17 years old in music theory, songwriting, performance, and more. For music lovers of all ages, a fun family-friendly option is The Met Opera's weekly "Free Student Steam"; each week a different child (former students in the Met's opera summer camp) chooses their favorite opera to live stream and offers some insight and things to watch for. We think it's a lovely way to spend the evening together as a family!
If you live in an area where your family can easily spend time outdoors this time of year - or if you don't mind bundling up - consider ordering Jane Worroll and Peter Houghton's book Play The Forest School Way: Woodland Games and Crafts for Adventurous Kids. The book is filled with whimsical outdoor crafts and activities, as well as practical information for children spending time in nature. It has specific games, crafts, and more for children of all ages, from jewelry crafted from leaves to "journey sticks" made with mementos from a child's day in nature. The book is a great alternative to screen time - it encourages children to spend time outdoors and use their imaginations.
The Magic of Museums
While it may not yet be safe to visit many museums around the world, some of the best are bringing their collections and programs to the homes of children worldwide online. The Boston Children's Museum has done a wonderful job of accumulating resources for parents and children alike - you'll find everything from guidelines for speaking to children about tough topics to craft videos (click here to make a spinning top) to activity kits you can pick up if you live in the Boston area. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has created an interactive MetKids page, featuring a "time machine" where children can explore the collection based on interests and geography, as well as kid-friendly videos answering a range of art related questions. LACMA has created a Youtube Channel, Make Art @ Home, featuring videos instructing children on how to make various projects with common supplies. The Tate UK is another great resource for creative kids; Tate Kids features art projects, games, quizzes, and educational videos.
Try New Things
For curious and creative children who want to try their hand at something new this year, consider Sawyer or KidPass; both websites offer a variety of virtual kid-friendly classes, with free and paid options, for various time zones, ages, and interests. Consider Sign Language for Babies, Ballet & Jazz for 4-6, or Kids' Intro to Baking.
As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more.
What should I be stocking up on during this season as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues?
Buying the right foods can not only help you feel better but also makes it a lot easier on you in the long run by helping you cut down on the number of trips to the store during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’ve noticed you’re stocking up on groceries every couple of days and don’t understand why all the bags of chips, cans of soda and microwave dinners aren’t lasting as long as you anticipated. Don’t worry, we are here to guide you with what to buy and what to do to curb that appetite and make your groceries go the distance!
Our immune systems need constant nourishment and maintenance to fight off colds and viruses more than ever. We can't control every outcome, but we can do our best to prevent sickness and weakness by strengthening our bodies and boost immune systems ahead of time.
Pantry must haves:
Canned and packaged goods are all great options for creating a base for fun meals. These items will also last up to a month or so and are often quick and easy to prepare.
Cereal, crackers, pasta, canned soup and rice are some staple products we should try and always keep as stock in our pantry. These are all also very standard items that can come in handy and keep us going.
- Low sugar cereals
- Beans (dried or canned)
- Grains (farro, couscous, quinoa, rice, etc.)
- Canned fruits
- Cooking sauces
- Trail mix
- Shelf-stable milks
- Sweet potatoes (yams)
- Tins of soup
- Coffee beans
- Spices and seasoning
Frozen food is a great way to make sure you're still getting plenty of nutrients during a potential long stay at home.
Stocking up on things like frozen fruits and veggies allows you to whip up colourful meals without worrying about the sell by date.
- Mixed Berries
- Frozen Yoghurt
- Frozen veg (for stir frying)
- Edamame beans
- Quinoa and rice blends
Food is Our Best Medicine.
Eating nutritious whole foods is without a doubt our best defense against illness.
By limiting junk/processed foods and sugars which can be difficult to digest and also play havoc with our energy levels and moods, try to absorb healthier nutrients to boost our immunity and our moods.
Healthy eating does not have to be boring or overwhelming - simply add more fruits and vegetables to meals and try to reduce the processed foods which fail to fill us up and cause bloating and breakouts.
What vitamins should we be taking?
It is important to take probiotics regularly as well as daily vitamins that you may not always be sourcing from your meals.
Vitamins to help with immunity include:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3
Daily Tips for Body & Mind:
Hydrate - by drinking water every couple of hours. It will cleanse your body of toxins, keep your skin clear, your mind alert and flush out anything in your system that could become problematic.
Get going - at least 30 mins of exercise a day.
Fresh air and sunlight - it will replenish your mental health being outside in the real world, even if it’s just sitting on the balcony or deck for ten minutes on a morning while you call a friend or catch up on some reading. When we’re working from home and living with constant air conditioning and central heating it’s easy to forget that your body craves vitamins and minerals from nature itself.
Digital rest - Give your eyes a break from that glaring light on your phone or computer and allow yourself a couple of hours without being online. This will benefit your mind and reduce stress and anxiety.
Sleep - is our best healer.
Now that we’re not commuting to the office as much or travelling into the city as often, we can use these bonus hours to set that alarm clock for a couple of hours longer rest. Don’t be afraid to have an evening of pampering or an afternoon nap. There’s no such thing as not having enough time. Make the time - as your body and mind should come before any diary commitment, especially to reboot your eyes, your mind and allow your body to physically heal.
How Much Sleep Should I Be Getting?
according to Web MD
Infants (ages 0-3 months) need 14-17 hours a day.
Infants (ages 4-11 months) need 12-15 hours a day
Toddlers ages 1-2 years) need about 11-14 hours a day.
Preschool children (ages 3-5) need 10-13 hours a day.
School-age children (ages 6-13) need 9-11 hours a day.
Teenagers (ages 14-17) need about 8-10 hours each day.
Most adults need 7 to 9 hours, although some people may need as few as 6 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day.
Older adults (ages 65 and older) need 7-8 hours of sleep each day.
Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy need several more hours of sleep than usual.
Remember, we can’t prevent everything but taking simple steps to reduce risk can benefit us all when done as a daily pattern in our daily life:
- Drink lots of water
- Wash your hands often
- Sanitize areas using natural cleaners or disinfectants to keep germs at bay
Above all, remember to use your intuition and to trust your instincts when deciding for your family, your home and your peace of mind.
As we settle into the winter with several months of cold still ahead of much of the U.S. and Europe, many of us are looking for safe getaways to unwind and relax after the busy holiday season. Whether you'd like to escape to Hawaii until the sun comes out in New York again, or just slip away to ski for a long weekend, we have recommendations for your family. As always, please check the most up to date CDC travel advisories before making any travel arrangements, and frequently in the days leading up to travel. Bon voyage!
Santa Fe, New Mexico
There's a reason Santa Fe was voted number 2 on the list of best small cities to visit in 2020 by CNN Traveler, and regularly places on their best of the U.S. lists. The city features a range of outdoor sporting options, a flourishing art scene, plenty of historical sites, wineries, and the World Heritage Site of Taos Pueblo. If you plan on settling in for the winter months, look into Adobe Star Properties and Two Casitas; both companies offer long and short term luxury rentals with full kitchens, outdoor areas, and more. For families who'd like to stay in downtown Santa Fe, we love Adobe Star's Lincoln 402; the apartment, located within a luxury high rise, features two bedrooms, three private balconies, a full kitchen, and a gas fireplace. For shorter visits, we love the Encantado Suite at the Four Seasons Santa Fe. This 1,100-square-foot suite, set at the highest point on the property, includes a private patio, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, heated floors, and exceptional views. The hotel, set on 57 acres in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, is the perfect place for an outdoor escape; choose from daily hikes, skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, golfing, or simply spend a day soaking in the heated year-round pool.
Palm Desert, California
For those in Los Angeles or San Francisco who'd like to settle in and enjoy the warm weather and sweeping views of Palm Desert, consider booking a luxury home through Cuvée; in addition to vacation rentals, the service can book exclusive tours, classes, and more. The Kempa Villa offers a private helipad, a pool, a hot tub, outdoor firepit, and an 8-bedroom estate set among 5-acres surrounded by blossoming orchards and groves, all with sweeping views of the San Jacinto mountains. As of mid-December, the Living Desert has reopened to the public; the nature reserve and trail loops offer an adventurous way to spend time outdoors, while staying safe and socially distanced. For those outside California, please note that hotels and lodging facilities are currently unable to accept out of state reservations for non-essential travel, unless the reservation is over 14 days and the traveler intends to quarantine at the hotel/vacation property the entire time.
If some quiet time in nature with good food and wine sounds like the right escape for you, consider Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont. The hotel, set over 300 acres, has only twenty guest accommodations, the majority of which are private and freestanding, which makes it the perfect place to safely unwind for the winter. The property has adjusted its amenities to offer as many as possible in a safe way, including in-room champagne and canapé happy hours, contactless private dining, and safe outdoor activities including hikes, biking, fly fishing, and watercraft experiences. Here, each of the freestanding cottages have their own style and personality; choose from an authentic log cabin, a fisherman's paradise situated above a stream and beaver pond, or a Moroccan style suite, complete with a mosaic tile fireplace and tented ceiling.
For ski enthusiasts looking to escape to the slopes for the next few months, we recommend Cuvée for luxury vacation rental properties throughout Aspen (and Vail, as well). Choose from a variety of ski-in, ski-out homes and lodges from Red Mountain to downtown Aspen. Our favorites include Four Peaks Estate, featuring panoramic mountain views, a Jacuzzi tub, a private movie theatre, and a chef's kitchen, as well as Willow, a Red Mountain escape complete with a wine cellar and billiards room.
If you'd rather spend the winter months on a beach than the ski slopes, head towards Hawaii; the state now offers a pre-travel testing option that allows travelers an alternative to the previously mandatory 14-day quarantine. It also consistently ranks as one of the states with the lowest Covid-19 levels in the U.S. Note that Hawaii’s counties each have different, and regularly changing, rules for vacation rental properties. These can be difficult to navigate and, unfortunately, many websites online offer listings illegally. To avoid headaches and cancellations, we recommend booking through a reputable hotel or resort. Reserve one of the residences at Montage Kapalua Bay for a comfortable, longer term family stay. All residences boast full gourmet kitchens, laundry facilities, multiple bedrooms (accommodating up to ten guests), and ocean views.
Although the temperatures do drop slightly this time of year (expect mid to high 60s °F with the occasional day in the 70s through the early Spring), Bermuda remains high on our list of easily accessible and beautiful travel destinations. A quick flight from New York City, Bermuda offers pristine, blue waters, and pink sand beaches. Make sure to review the up to date testing and travel restrictions (with a negative COVID test, you should be able to travel freely around the island within 24 hours of arrival) before making arrangements. Please note that the Covid-19 level in Bermuda is now rated as very high by the CDC so visitors must be vigilant about safety precautions. Once there, consider staying at The Loren; book a villa with a private pool and you won't have any reason to leave the hotel!
Please note that the Covid-19 level in Bahamas is now rated as very high by the CDC; for this reason, we do not recommend scheduling travel there unless you can be sure to travel privately and spend time only in your accommodations. Luckily, the Bahamas has over twenty private airports so guests can charter a flight to the closest location to their final destination, without the crowds of a public airport. Just 15 minutes by private boat from North Eleuthera lays Cuvée's private island with five luxury bungalows on the beach, accommodating 18 guests total. This would be a wonderful place for your family or quarantine pod to escape to together. Complete with a pool, beach access, volleyball court, ping pong, and jet skis, there is no reason to leave the island. Another secluded option is to rent a villa at Kamalame Cay; our favorite is Rock House, perfect for a family of four. The villa features a private plunge pool, an outdoor shower, a fully stocked (to your specifications) kitchen, and multiple outdoor spaces.
Ski resorts across the French alps were forced to close during the holiday season due to Covid-19; some have been given the okay to reopen this month and are slowly doing so. However, the Swiss village of Verbier remains open and welcoming guests with new safety precautions in place. Private charters can fly into Sion where guests can then arrange a quick helicopter ride to Verbier or a one hour drive. Once there, Cordee des Alpes is a lovely choice if you're seeking an intimate and quiet getaway; the boutique hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Organisation. Book one of the apartment style suites for extra space, a full kitchen and outdoor space, without sacrificing the hotel amenities. We also love Le Chalet d'Adrien, which offers luxury service in the rustic setting of an authentic chalet - and don't miss the incredible swimming pool with mountain views!
We caught up with British American Household Staffing’s very own Estate Management Consultant, Kristen Reyes.
As a lead estate manager and domestic staffing expert, Kristen’s expertise in managing multiple properties give her incredible insight for knowing how to maintain the important details relating to high end homes.
Here she shares her advice to some of our client's most common questions.
How do I open and close 2nd or 3rd properties, and what are your tips to keeping them maintained during absences?
Opening and closing a home is different for each property.
Sometimes it is actually wiser to keep the home opened and running even if it’s at a minimum level. This is sometimes more cost efficient because the maintenance will end up being less. A home that sits completely closed up with no one turning the HVAC on and off, no one running the water, no one checking for leaks, no one doing a walk-through on a weekly or even monthly basis, can cause more damage to a home then a home that remains open.
Turning equipment on and off will actually help the machines function properly then letting them sit without being used for several months.
We are currently in between homes, how do I handle hiring temporary staff for a temporary home?
This will not work for every situation, but I usually start by suggesting your current state manager or house manager check in on your other properties. The reason for this is because they know your preferences, your maintenance schedule and how your home should be kept. You also trust them and have built a relationship with them. However, depending on the new location, this is not always feasible for your current staff.
You can always bring in a third-party person to handle your home. They usually handle multiple clients, making it a full-time job for themselves. They will walk through the home on a weekly, monthly or as needed basis and make sure that everything is running properly. They will test the HVAC, run the water, check for potential leaks and anything else that would be a normal red flag needing attention.
What should I be looking for in a housekeeper?
A good housekeeper is one that has longevity with clients, one that has worked in a high-end home before and has worked on their own in a home ranging from 3,000 -5,000 sq ft. This means they had to maintain the entire home on their own. Ones that are experienced and trained to deal with specialised items like understanding the protocol of the handling and the cleaning of art, marbles, woods, etc is essential. The last thing you want is to have a hand-woven, one-of-a-kind rug that has a red wine stain on it handled by someone who has never dealt with such high-end quality pieces before. Never skim on the quality or salary of a housekeeper, as in this department you truly do get what you pay for!
With restaurants continuing to be closed, how do we hire a great chef for the family home?
Private chefs have been one of the top requests that I get from clients. Whether its general everyday meals, Michelin level or even dietary restriction based cuisine, private chefs can make life simple by helping out in the kitchen. They can do anything from prepare daily meals on site and delivering carefully prepped meals to your home as well as prepping for further days’ worth of food. It really depends on how often you require them in your kitchen. Private chefs are great as they source the local goods, keep your kitchen inventory fully stocked and help with those times you just don’t have a chance to throw something together for dinner.