Welcome Spring: Passover, Easter and Time Outdoors

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After a particularly long and strange winter, most of us are ready to embrace spring. It finally feels like a new season has begun - April is upon us, as are Easter and Passover. To welcome spring, the team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a list of ways to make the most of the season, including Easter and Passover celebration ideas, as well as outdoor activities to enjoy with children. 

 

Passover for Kids

The week of Passover can be difficult for many children, especially picky eaters who are missing some of their favorite foods. We suggest trying one of these Passover-approved, kid-friendly recipes this week:

Homemade Matzo: Get the whole family involved in making matzo (and click here to read Time Magazine's brief history of matzo ahead of time.) 

Matzo Pizza: Host a family Passover pizza party this week! 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi: For those missing pasta this week, try this healthy and delicious alternative.

Matzo Crusted Chicken Cutlets:  Great for children and adults, we suggest eating plain as chicken fingers, adding sauce and making chicken parmesan, or serving with roasted vegetables! For kosher chicken breasts, we recommend Wild Fork Foods - they have next day delivery in most areas for whole kosher chickens, breasts, thighs and wings. 

While it's too late to sign up for the Passover box, we do recommend looking into Days United Jewish Holiday Subscription Box - each box comes complete with recipes, crafts and decorations for the whole family. Sign up soon to receive the Lag Ba’Omer box! 

 

Easter Sunday

Kid-Friendly Crafts and Recipes

Celebrate Easter this weekend with a wide variety of fun crafts for children. We love these adorable towel chicks (made with a small hand or dish towel) and origami chicks and bunnies for school age children. Click here for a full list of Easter crafts for all ages.  

For a sweet treat, try making these frozen banana animal treats or our favorite fudgy brownies topped with Cadbury Mini Eggs

If your family is dying eggs this year and interested in exploring more than the typical egg dyes found in the grocery store, consider making your own natural egg dyes using kitchen scraps. Red cabbage, onion skins, turmeric and more can all be turned into vibrant, natural dyes. It's a great afternoon project for curious children to celebrate Easter while also learning about reducing kitchen waste. 

 

For the Adults 

Once the kids are finished enjoying their Easter candy and off to bed, mix up one of these refreshing spring cocktails from BBC (we recommend the Elderflower & Herb Cooler) and a lovely rack of lamb with roasted vegetables. If you haven't secured your Easter lamb yet, Wild Fork Foods offers next day delivery of reasonably priced grass-fed meat, poultry and seafood to most of the U.S., as well as frozen prepared foods. 

 

Celebrate Spring

Pick Your Own, Grow Your Own 

For much of the American East Coast and the United Kingdom, it's too early for pick your own produce. However, those in the warmer U.S. states can start now. In Los Angeles, visit nearby Underwood Family Farms, which offers an impressive array of pick your own options, including carrots, arugula, English peas, lemons, and beginning April 2, strawberries. In Miami, visit The Berry Farm to pick your own strawberries or visit Fresh Gardens for exotic fruits, including guava and lychee. 

For those in colder regions, it may be time to start planning for spring and summer vegetables. A small indoor or outdoor garden is a great family project that children can enjoy all summer. Gardening enforces a range of skills from a better understanding of science to patience, resilience, and creativity. Click here for a guide to New York planting timelines and here for London timelines. For those without outdoor access, try a kid-friendly Smart Garden; using grow lights and an easy planting system, children can cultivate herbs, vegetables and flowers anywhere in the home. 

 

Botanical Gardens 

Many cities have Botanical Gardens and now is the perfect time to explore the budding flowers and plants. Make sure to check the website of your closest garden ahead of time; many, including London's Royal Botanic Gardens, require guests to register for a time slot in order to manage crowds. Many gardens host special events this time of year. The South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes, California is revealing a special tropical butterfly event beginning April 1; SOAR allows visitors to learn about and observe the butterflies at every stage of their life cycle through indoor and outdoor exhibitions. Finally, The New York Botanical Garden has a wonderful site set up for children with activities, recipes and virtual workshops open to virtual visitors from all over the world. 

 

Play 

Experts agree that creative play is critical to children's development (you'll find Healthline's list of benefits of play here) and playing outdoors in the fresh air is even better. Play the Forest School Way, a book we've mentioned in previous newsletters, is a wonderful choice for creative, simple outdoor games. We also love A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor PlayHello Nature, and this box of lovely wooden coins, each with a different outdoor activity prompt to inspire children's imaginations. 


Domestic Staffing Payroll Services

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Navigating the ins and outs of payroll and compliance can be tricky, even if you only have one or two employees in your home. To ensure best practices and peace of mind, British American Household Staffing recommends GTM for household payroll and tax services. GTM offers solutions and advice on all aspects of payroll, worker's compensation, labor law compliance, and employee benefits. 
 

Click here to learn more about GTM's services or schedule a complimentary phone consultation.

 

Why use a payroll service? 

Save Time and Energy: 

The IRS estimates that it takes a household employer 60 hours each year to comply with all federal and state tax laws. Outsource this task to someone who specializes in it!

 

Avoid Penalties: 

Mistakes can not only lead to repetitive paperwork but financial penalties, as well. Make sure you're filing everything correctly the first time by using a reputable service. 

 

Trust the Experts: 

Employers need to adhere to all applicable federal and state tax, labor, and wage laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act, paid sick and family leave programs, and domestic worker protection laws. There can be added layers of complications with multiple homes or unusual working schedules. Payroll services can offer guidance for any situation that may come up. 

 

Taxes Filed Correctly and On Time, Guaranteed: 

GTM guarantees that state and federal taxes will filed on time, every time. If you receive a notice from the IRS, or any other tax agency, based on a filing that GTM Payroll Services made, they will work with the agency on your behalf to resolve the issue. If they're at fault, they will pay any and all associated penalties and fines.

 

GTM Free Resources

Nanny Tax Calculator

Nanny Tax Guide 

Tax Forms and Deadlines for Household Payroll 

State by State Household Employment Regulations

 

5 ways the American Rescue Plan will impact household employers
The new COVID-19 relief plan will increase tax credits and provide a third stimulus check. Originally posted by HomePay on March 12, 2021

 

On March 12, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, a COVID-19 relief bill designed to provide various forms of financial assistance to families and businesses. It’s a very lengthy bill, but included are several items that could change the cost of child care or senior care for families in 2021. You’re probably curious on how this new law will affect you and we’ve done the work so you can feel informed about what’s coming up.

 

Here are five items within the American Rescue Plan that you should be aware of as someone who employs a nanny or senior caregiver:

 

1. Doubling the expenses in your Dependent Care Account

This type of flexible spending account is usually the biggest care-related tax break you can take advantage of because you can pay for up to $5,000 of expenses tax-free. The American Rescue Plan increases this amount to $10,500 for the 2021 tax year, which will provide even more tax savings. Your savings are tied to the tax bracket you’re in, but families with full-time care could save around $4,000 if the bill passes. And as an added bonus, unused money in your Dependent Care Account can roll over into 2022.

 

2. A third stimulus payment to yourself and your caregiver

Under the CARES Act and the Continuing Appropriations Act, the government sent direct payments of up to $1,200 and $600 respectively to individuals up to a certain income level. The American Rescue Plan provides a direct payment of $1,400 for those that earn $75,000 or less ($150,000 for couples) and gradually decreases the payment amount for those that earn between $75,000 and $80,000. Additionally, families can receive $1,400 for every child or other dependent they have.

It’s important to remember that these payments have historically been tied to having a tax return on file with the IRS. This means that caregivers being paid under the table will not be able to receive this financial benefit.

 

3. Larger savings from the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

When you file your tax return, you can use the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit on up to $3,000 of care expenses if you have one child and $6,000 if you have two or more children or dependents. The American Rescue Plan increases these expense amounts to $8,000 and $16,000 respectively for the 2021 tax year. By being able to push more of your care expenses into this tax credit, you should be able to significantly offset the amount of taxes you pay as a household employer.

 

4. A raise to the Child Tax Credit

As you’re probably aware, the federal government offers the Child Tax Credit to families to account for the cost of having children. The American Rescue Plan increases the credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child ($3,600 if your child is 5 years old or younger) and raises the age limit to claim a child from 16 to 17 years old. Additionally, half of the credit you’ll be eligible for will be sent to you in advance via monthly payments from July through December.

 

5. Extending paid sick leave and paid family leave credits

Under the Families First Act, your caregiver could take paid sick leave or paid family leave for several reasons related to COVID-19. If this happened, you would receive tax credits to cover the wages paid to your employee while they were unable to work. These credits will expire at the end of March, but the American Rescue Plan resets their availability for all families, increases the maximum credit from $10,000 to $12,000 and extends them through the end of August. However, families are no longer required to provide paid sick leave or paid family leave moving forward.


Should I hire a Nanny or a Governess?

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At British American Household Staffing we are often asked the question of Nanny vs Governess and the truth is, our answer purely depends on your family’s current and personal needs.

 

Once we get to know you and your family’s dynamic, we are able to answer this question - not for you, but with you.

 

We appreciate that some families require a great amount of support throughout the day where others simply need a few hours a week. Both hiring a nanny or a governess are equally beneficial and offer wonderful ways to enhance and enrich your child’s education.

 

Should I hire a governess?

Governesses - are responsible for a child’s education, manners and etiquette. While nannies may or may not have an advanced degree, governesses typically have a teaching certification and are able to design a personalized curriculum for each child in the house.

 

Should I hire a nanny?

Nannies - are residential staff members entrusted with caring for children through educational, emotional, and behavioral support. These professionals can live inside or outside of the home, but they always put the needs of the employer family first. Types of nannies include custodial care, surrogate care, and coordinated care nannies.

 

Both nannies and governesses are integral in the development of a child, so the decision of which one to hire is truly a personal one.

 

Families with young children can benefit from the services of a nanny to handle basic care needs and if you already have a good education plan in place for your child, the simplicity of sole nanny services may be the best option for your child. However, if you are interested in home-schooling your child, especially now during the pandemic when daycares and schools have inconsistent openings, then a governess may be the ideal option to consider. A governess is also a consideration if your child has learning difficulties and would benefit from more one-to-one time and special attention when teaching and learning.

 

Within our impressive collection of domestic and household staff at BAHS, we can offer both nannies and governesses who are trained, experienced and qualified at the highest standard to support and enrich your quality of childcare.


Now On View: Museums and Galleries Adapt and Reopen

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Above: Installation view of William Scott: Paintings and Drawings, Fifties Through Eighties (2019, Anita Rogers Gallery)
Photo Credit: Jon-Paul Rodriguez

 

Many of our clients are art collectors and admirers and have found it quite difficult during the pandemic to be separated from their usual routine of visiting galleries and museums. This has been a challenging and complicated time for the art world. Closures, changing regulations, and limited funds have made it difficult for collectors, artists, galleries, and museums alike.  

 

After being closed for almost a full year, some museums in Los Angeles are finally reopening this month at 25% capacity; for others, it doesn't make sense to open with such limited numbers. New York institutions are mostly open and are slowly adapting to the new protocols and changes. Miami's museums have been open for several months now, mostly operating with limited hours. Galleries in all U.S. cities have taken different routes; some have opened with limited capacity and schedules, others by appointment only, and still others have shut their doors for good. Meanwhile in London, most museums and galleries have been closed for almost a full year and remain closed. However, new guidelines have just been released - commercial galleries can reopen, with restrictions, on April 12 and museums in mid-May. Despite all this turmoil, contemporary artists continue to make new work, and serious collectors continue to support the arts by visiting open spaces and by acquiring new works when possible, both from commercial galleries and from the auction houses. 

 

As many of you know, British American Household Staffing's CEO and founder also owns and runs Anita Rogers Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in SoHo, New York that exhibits both primary and secondary market works.
 

The gallery is open Wednesdays and Fridays 11am-6pm. 

The gallery is also open by appointment; please email Info@AnitaRogersGallery.com to schedule a private viewing of the current exhibition or of works by any artist on our roster.

See information about the current in person and online exhibitions.

 

Now On View - BAHS' Recommended Exhibitions

The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together their list of recommendations for current museum exhibitions, both online and in-person. 

 

New York (In-Person)

The New British Galleries at the Met: Over 11,000 square feet devoted to British decorative arts, design, and sculpture created between 1500 and 1900.

Goya's Graphic Imagination at the Met: 100 prints and drawings from the remarkable Spanish artist. 

 

Los Angeles (In-Person)

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden: 5 acres of sculpture by artists including Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, and Auguste Rodin.

 

Miami (In-Person)

Art Outside at The Bass: Works in nearly every medium installed in Collins Park and around The Bass. 

 

London (In-Person and Online)

Sculpture in the City: The 9th edition of this annual sculpture show is presented both outside in-person and online this year. The exhibition has been extended through mid-April. 

 

Online

Van Gogh Museum's 'Here to Stay': Features works acquired by the museum in the last decade accompanied by stories from curators and historians. 

Time Decorated: The Musical Influences of Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Broad: A series of talks, images, and information regarding Basquiat and his influences.

Virtual 360° Tour of the Buontalenti Grotto in the Boboli Gardens: Incredibly detailed and beautiful view of the historic grotto.


International Women’s Day Featuring BAHS Team Members

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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 Whyte

Catherine Edwards Whyte
Chief Operating Officer
Age: 40
Nationality: British 
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 Forde

Brittany Joi Forde
Head of Finance and Human Resources
Age: 33
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!

 

 

 

Abby Schuster

Abby Schuster
Senior Placement Specialist 
Age: 33
Nationality: American 
Residence: Massachusetts

"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.

 

 

 

Anita Rogers

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.”


Private Spring Getaways

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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. 

 

Napa Valley, California

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. 

 

Southampton, New York

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

 

Beverly Hills, California

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. 

 

Coral Gables, Florida

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. 

 

Gloucestershire, United Kingdom 

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.

 

Saint-Émilion, France

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. 

 

Tuscany, Italy

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. 

 

Terres-Basses, St. Martin 

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.


Keep Moving: Physical Activities for Families

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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 

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. 

 

Obstacle Course

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.


Hire Qualified Yacht Crew for Your Vessel or Household

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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.

 

 Hire Qualified Household Staff & Yacht Crew

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.


Safe Socializing: Virtual Playdates, Games and Classes

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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.

 

Play Together

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), UnoConnect 4Boggle with Friends, and Mancala.

 

Learn Together 

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 ExpertFamily Magic LessonLearn to Craft a Pop Up Book, and Yoga and Dance for the Whole Family

 

Cook Together

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 ChefsMilk 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

 

Watch Together

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!

 

Compete Together

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! 

 

Create Together 

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.


Michelin Star Restaurants In Your Home

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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. 

 

New York 

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. 

 

San Francisco

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. 

 

Los Angeles

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. 

 

London

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. 

 

Paris 

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. 

 

Full searchable list of Michelin Star restaurants.

 

Contact us to begin your search for a private chef.

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