The month of March is beautifully dedicated to Women's History in celebrating the amazing accomplishments of ladies from the past and present. Here at British American Household Staffing for International Women’s Day on March 8th, we are thrilled to spotlight some of our team’s fabulous females who are leading the way in both their personal and professional lives, which we hope will be a positive reminder of reassurance and encouragement for all women.
Catherine Edwards Whyte
Chief Operating Officer
Residence: Jersey City
"Carving out your own path in a patriarchal society [is the hardest, and most rewarding, part of being a woman]. If you feel that you manage to achieve this even a little bit then take a bow. Bravo!"
Where did you grow up?
All around London and the south of England. We moved a lot so JC is actually the place I’ve lived the longest.
Describe your earliest memory?
I don’t know what age I was but I remember that we put my younger brother, Julian in the washing machine (front loader obvs) and shut the door. I think my parents were probably horrified.
What was something you overcame as a woman that could be encouraging to others?
I had a double mastectomy at the age of 33. It meant I couldn’t breast feed either of my two children - but hopefully I’ll live to be there for them in other ways.
Where is your happy place?
Sitting around a dining table playing card games with friends and drinking red wine. I love all the laughing, teasing and general escapism of it!
Geographically, the French side of St Martin is pretty amazing. Bath temperature ocean, Michelin quality restaurants and authentic French boulangerie makes for a pretty sweet place.
What’s been your proudest moment?
When I realized that my 4 year old was cleverer than me.
Which historical figure do you feel motivates or inspires you and why?
I love Katherine Hepburn. I love how people call her handsome when she is in fact stunning. I love how she didn’t give a crap about conforming. I love how she spoke her mind. I love how she didn’t care when people ‘accused’ her of being a lesbian like it was a bad thing.
What do you do/where do you go in moments of stress?
I’ve definitely struggled with this the past year. Go figure.
One of my friends who also lives in an apartment with two small children gave me a genius tip that I’ve utilized on a number of occasions. To cook supper whilst listening to a podcast on headphones. It’s a short time out whilst still being productive. Podcast I love are ‘The Guilty Feminist’, ‘Off Menu’ & ‘The West Wing Weekly’. I sometimes scare my children when I’m chopping vegetables and let out a massive laugh! Either way, dinner is on the table and I made a chore enjoyable!
What stereotypes of women do you wish were broken?
I hate the dichotomy that traits admired in men are criticized in women. Think passion, emotion, dedication, confidence, aggression, intelligence, independence, ambition and so on and so on. Pour us both a drink and I can bore you to death on this topic – it really aggravates me!
Which woman would you love to spend the day with and why?
Twee I know, but probably my mother. She died when I was 6 so I would want to learn more about her first hand.
Which women related issues do you feel need more attention in the mainstream?
Maternity and paternity leave. Let’s catch up with the rest of the world. It’s ludicrous that someone is expected to return to work after such a short period of time. Physically one might be nearly ready, but mentally is a whole different ball game.
What advice would you give to women juggling motherhood and a career?
Gin was made for a reason.
What do you think is the hardest but also most rewarding part of being a woman?
Carving out your own path in a patriarchal society. If you feel that you manage to achieve this even a little bit then take a bow. Bravo!
Brittany Joi Forde
Head of Finance and Human Resources
Nationality: Panamanian & African American
Residence: New York
"Our bodies are very complex and I believe we need more people who understand it. We need more women as leaders in healthcare because they understand. I find it unfair that men tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies."
Where did you grow up?
Georgia, New York, & Texas
Describe your family in 3 words.
Loving, loyal, amazing.
What do you consider beautiful?
Love! The various ways people show love, no matter the relationship. Also, laying and looking up at the sky at night, that is real beauty.
What is your go to quote or saying?
Tomorrow, I get the chance to be better.
Which TV or movie character do you identify with and why?
Kat Edison from The Bold Type. I resonate with her because she is this hard shell on the outside but such a softie on the inside.
Which woman in the public eye do you relate to or aspire to and why?
Gabrielle Union. She is the epitome of living her best life. Also, Michelle Obama, I only wish I had the grace and confidence that she exudes.
If you could tell your 18 year old self some words of wisdom, what would they be?
You do really like accounting, go to school NOW!!!! And - leave him alone, he’s no good for you!
Who do you turn to for help or guidance?
My mother & my aunt. I don’t know where I would be without them.
What did you last wish or pray for?
Discernment in my life & my goals coming to fruition.
What are some "women's issues" that still need greater awareness in your opinion?
Women’s health issues is a big one. Our bodies are very complex and I believe we need more people who understand it. We need more women as leaders in healthcare because they understand. I find it unfair that men tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.
What do you think is the hardest but also most rewarding part of being a woman?
A woman’s ability to carry a human for 9 months - that is amazing!
Senior Placement Specialist
"I think that the hardest and most rewarding thing about being a woman is freeing yourself of what you think you’re supposed to do and be, and realizing that may not necessarily be who you are, and that’s okay."
Where did you grow up?
A tiny town in Massachusetts- we didn’t even have a stoplight or a gas station. In fact, I’m pretty sure that there were more cows than people!
Describe your childhood in 3 words...
Active, dirty, free!
Who is your idol and why?
I really look up to Torrance Watkins- the first woman to win an individual Olympic medal in the equestrian sport of Three Day Eventing. She lives near my hometown and I spent time working at her farm during my childhood and again in college. She’s such a strong woman with unbelievable drive.
Which charity or campaign is close to your heart and why?
Room to Grow is an amazing charity based in NYC. They support babies and families by providing parents with education, community and material goods for the first three years, to help give them a successful start.
Which women have inspired you throughout your life and why?
I’ve been lucky to have many strong wonderful women in my life. My mom was so dedicated to my sister and me, always supporting our dreams and goals. I’m also surrounded by the most the extraordinary group of friends, some of whom I’ve known for 20 years and some who I met when I came to work for British American Household Staffing. Watching my friends have their own kids, start their own businesses and become the people they want to be is really inspiring.
Which book has changed your life and why?
I would say Harry Potter. I grew up with those books. I was 10 when the first one was published, and it was such a journey. On each release date my dad would bring home one copy, and my sister and I would fight over who got to read it first. When the final book was released, I was in college, working as a nanny. I started it at 9pm and finished at 2am. It felt like closing a huge chapter on my childhood. My favorite thing has been introducing those books to the kids I’ve nannied in the years since. Sharing that world and seeing how much they love it too is so special.
Which female artist motivates you and why?
I’m not a very artistic person myself, but I really connect with Beatrice Wood, an artist who helped start the Dada movement. I learned about her at a small museum dedicated to her (Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts) that’s located at her home in Ojai, California. She was born a wealthy socialite and chose to walk a different path, leaving her inheritance to become an artist. She knew who she wanted to be and lived a life that was totally authentic to her. I find that very inspiring.
What does it mean to be a woman in the part of the world and society that you live in?
I always assumed that I would have a pretty conventional journey- fall in love, get married, have some kids. But it turns out that it wasn’t the way things have gone for me. Here I am at 33, after having nannied around the world for 10 years and happily single. I know that there’s still work to be done as far as equality goes, but I feel so fortunate that I have the choices that I do, and I hope someday that all women around the globe are able to experience the same.
What do you think is the hardest and also the most rewarding part of being a woman?
I think that the hardest and most rewarding thing about being a woman is freeing yourself of what you think you’re supposed to do and be, and realizing that may not necessarily be who you are, and that’s okay.
A Word from our CEO & Founder Anita Rogers
“I am so proud to run two all-female companies [British American Household Staffing and Anita Rogers Gallery]. I believe in breaking through the glass ceiling and supporting women on their chosen journeys. Those who decide to become mothers will have job security with flexible work schedules to ensure they flourish in every aspect, at home and at work. We have such a cohesive and caring team at BAHS and I believe that to be due to us all being women who understand the stereotypes and challenges that we’ve at times previously faced within the workforce. Here at British American Household Staffing, we celebrate the continued success of a company built and led to inspire and encourage through diversity and strength within a sisterhood.”
When we think of spring, we think of lush gardens, crisp vegetables, and time outdoors in the fresh air. Many of us are anxious to plan outdoor getaways, whether for a child's spring break or just for a dose of warm weather after a long winter.
Many experts recommend booking an Airbnb or other rental property with just your family or pod members as the safest way to escape. Airbnb Luxe features private luxury homes that have been confirmed and inspected by Airbnb; the homes offer a variety of add-on concierge services, including airport pickups, grocery shopping, and in-home classes, such as wine tastings. We've selected our top destination homes that are available to book now for pandemic-safe spring vacations.
Head to Calistoga, a small city in Napa Valley, and stay at this gorgeous vineyard estate. The property can accommodate up to 12 guests and features mountain views, lavender bushes, an olive grove, vineyard views, and impeccable landscaping. Visit nearby wineries, relax in the pool and hot tub, or take one of the bicycles out to enjoy the grounds. A full kitchen, formal dining area, ping pong table, bocce ball court, and trampoline ensures there is something for every member of the family to enjoy.
Perfect for a family escape, this beautiful Hamptons home features a full-size swimming pool, a kids' jungle gym, a barbecue, and a fireplace. Inside, enjoy four bedrooms, high ceilings, exposed wood beams, a wine refrigerator, bar area, and plenty of natural light. The property is a quick drive to Southampton Village, several beaches, and the Parrish Art Museum.
Whether you're looking for a vacation or a staycation, this alpine retreat just off Sunset Boulevard is an excellent choice. The home can host up to 12 guests and features a private pool, a hot tub, and a private movie theatre nestled among a gorgeous forest-inspired outdoor space.
Bask in the Florida sun at this lakefront Coral Gables property; the home features an oversized pool, access to a 16-acre lake via a private dock, kayaks, a fire pit, and outdoor wet bar. Inside, the home easily accommodates up to 14 guests.
Head just a couple hours outside London to fully unwind and relax in an elegant farmhouse. The exterior is covered in lush ivy and has views of the countryside; inside, you'll find a harmonious balance of original history and modern updates that can accommodate up to 9 guests. Visit the nearby Daylesford Organic Farm to source locally grown produce and fresh baked goods or visit their Wellness Spa or Cookery School.
Take a trip to the medieval city of Saint-Émilion in southwest France to stay in a historic and secluded home in the middle of wine country. The home, which sleeps up to 10 guests, includes a swimming pool, a barbecue, a plancha, a formal dining area, and stunning vineyard views.
This 11th century castle nestled in the countryside of Tuscany is a magnificent escape for up to 16 guests. Expect a lovely hybrid of history and modern luxury, including exposed wood beams, original stone walls, oversized bathtubs, multiple patio spaces, and an infinity pool. Plan ahead to arrange a farm-to-table cooking class, wine tasting, or vineyard tour. The property is a 75-minute drive from Siena.
Book this incredible St. Martin villa to enjoy the gorgeous ocean views, a private swimming pool, pool table, and full kitchen. Up to 8 guests can enjoy catered meals indoors or outdoors or cook in the well-appointed chef's kitchen.
As we enter the final month of winter, many of us are counting down the days until the official start of spring. However, as we look forward to the warmer days ahead, it is important to continue to take care of ourselves and our loved ones while inside during the remaining winter days. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together our list of top ways for families to stay active and spend time together, even in bad weather. One hour of physical activity per day is ideal to boost mood and energy, increase quality of sleep, build confidence, and promote overall health.
Yoga for the Whole Family
There are plenty of free videos on YouTube for families and children who would like to practice yoga together. One of our favourite channels for young children is Cosmic Kids Yoga; there are dozens of themed videos, from holiday celebrations to familiar storybook and movie characters - each video introduces children to different yoga and meditation poses, and helps to build strength, balance, and confidence. For older children (with options for younger too), we love Harmony Family Yoga. For $49/month, the whole family can enjoy unlimited access to both live and on-demand classes. They offer courses specifically for children, teens, adults, and families, as well as chair yoga for those with limited mobility. For little yogis, we suggest picking up a copy of the bestselling children's book I Am Yoga and a whimsical, eco-conscious children's yoga mat.
Go Noodle is a valuable resource for families during this time; the site and free app has plenty of games downloadable for iOS and Android to keep children moving and get a healthy dose of physical activity each day, even indoors. The site states: “We’ve worked hard to ensure that the games use movements that are safe for kids’ growing bodies but still provide plenty of exercise. Kids should be panting by the time they’re done playing; these games are designed to tire kids out!” The games are interactive and require movement and engagement to succeed; all you need is a smart device and the free app. The site also features a resource section with tips and advice for adults guiding children through the pandemic and more.
We do recommend trying not to rely solely on screen-led activities for children's movement. Parents.com shared this fun article about creating a safe and fun obstacle course for children at home; they suggest inventing a storyline, involving kids in the setup and creation (and the cleanup too!), and setting a timer. This is a creative way to get children moving and involved in a friendly family competition; consider making it a weekly or biweekly activity with new plots and challenges each time.
Games for the Whole Family
Plan games that keep the whole family moving! Games like The Floor is Lava Board Game, Musical Jump & Toss, and Fitness Dice are all great ways to spend time together as a family, while keeping everyone active and healthy. For a fun last-minute game with no equipment needed, play Freeze Dance - just put on your favorite music and dance! When the music stops, everyone has to freeze. Anyone who doesn't freeze has to do five jumping jacks.
Embrace Winter Weather
Children are more resilient than we think, and while we might want to stay in on a snowy day, children often relish a cold day playing outside, sledding, building snowmen, or even having an old-fashioned snowball fight. For even more fun, plan ahead and get a Sno-Art Kit to paint the snow or click here for a list of 29 Games To Play in the Snow. To manage expectations and safety, agree on a time limit for staying outdoors and plan a fun activity for afterwards, like making s'mores or hot chocolate, or watching a cozy movie by the fire. And if you're concerned about bundling your children up for the temperatures, consult REI's guide to dressing children appropriately for winter weather.
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.