Things to do This Labor Day Weekend with Your Kids

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Red Tricycle

We like Red tricycle and have often found them to be a great source for what’s going on in the Bay Area. As we start our good-bye to summer this coming Labor Day weekend, we can expect glorious weather in San Francisco and just about all the surrounding cities.

If you don’t have plans yet, Red Tricycle has put together an awesome list of suggestions for what do with your little ones this weekend. You can check out their entire list at their blog posting, “Bay Area Kids Weekend Events: Aug. 29-31.”

One example: Three-day weekends with little ones deserve special outings and exciting entertainment.  Why not enjoy some outdoor yoga in Golden Gate Park or a day trip to the San Francisco Zoo?! The East Bay is offering an outdoor movie, children’s village and the 149th Annual Scottish Games. In true festival form there will be art, wine and sculpture contests in both the South Bay/Peninsula and Marin County.

Check out their entire list, and have a fabulous and safe holiday weekend!

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What are some California laws relating to childcare?

We found some interesting facts in an article recently posted at … “California-Is it legal or not?

We picked a few that may relate to some childcare or family assistant duties. Some of these laws seemed pretty obvious, while others came as a bit of a surprise. You can check out the full list by clicking on the link above.

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Some of the more interesting facts:

How young is too young to leave a child home alone? There is no minimum age requirement. But if a child is left alone who is not suited to take care of themselves that can be considered neglect and can result in a visit from Child Welfare Services.

Can you legally leave your pet in your car unattended? While it is not illegal to leave your pet in your car unattended, if the conditions endanger the well being of the animal, it could become illegal. More and more windows on vehicles are being broken to protect animals in unsafe conditions, and police, humane officers and animal control officers can take steps necessary to remove an animal from the car.

What are the real size, weight and age that a child needs to be in a child safety seat? This law has recently changed. Under current law, a child must be buckled into a booster seat until the age of eight or until they grow to be 4 feet 9 inches.

Do you legally have to clean up after your dog? There is no statewide requirement for cleaning up after your dog, but many counties & cities do. Of course, it would be nice if you did so regardless! Can I feed the birds? Speaking of friendly animals, it may come as a bit of a surprise that it is illegal in California to feed pigeons or seagulls. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your backyard; the beach or a public park.

Can you pick wild flowers? Nope! If you’re in a state park, on a freeway or in a public space, it is illegal to pick or cut the pretty flowers or any other plant. Do pedestrians have the right-of-way? In California the law requires vehicles to yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians. This does not however give pedestrians the right to act carelessly when crossing the street.

Do I have to wear a bicycle helmet? Do the kids have to wear a bicycle helmet? This law hasn’t changed in sometime but just in case you’ve forgotten here it is. If you’re older than 18, the law says you do not need to wear a helmet, but any rider under 18 must wear a helmet.

Can you record a private conversation? This may be of interest if you’re a Personal Assistant or Executive Assistant. SFGate reports that “It is illegal to record any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without permission.”

Just a few things to keep in mind as you visit a park, go on a bike with your charges or take the dog for a walk. Do you know any other laws we ought to know about? Let us know!

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Meet Symone!

SymoneSymone has 18 years of professional experience caring for children. She has worked as a Nanny in the Bay Area and previously also worked as a Teacher in Brazil teaching second & third grades.

Symone has degrees in Business and in Marketing from a university in Brazil, an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the City College of San Francisco and is currently taking online classes through the University of San Francisco.

Symone is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish and also considers herself to be a very good cook. She plays the harmonica and enjoys traveling, water sports and fitness in her spare time. She is also happy to pitch in with preparing family meals!

Get to know Symone!

What is your favorite quote?
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” -Abraham Lincoln

What three items would you take with you to a desert island (other than food and water)?
A machete, waterproof lighter and a portable water filter .

What is the last book you read?
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

What is your favorite day of the year and why?
My favorite day of the year is Christmas Day because we have our family all together and we open presents.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Hire a professional tax and investment adviser and after that help my family!

What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Going on long hikes with my dog.

Symone is working with Town + Country to find a long-term Nanny position. If you are interested in learning more about Symone or any of the great candidates we’re working with, please give us a call!

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On a Mission to Provide Breastfeeding Support for New Moms!

Our very own Amy Horning was fortunate to have great support from her mom when she had her two daughters in 2003 and 2006. Nursing comes easily to some moms, but it can be a lot harder for others.

Moms who struggle with nursing often feel that there is something wrong. Many believe breast feeding is just supposed to come naturally, that it’s something new moms are just supposed to know how to do.

Amy H. reducedBut the fact is it typically doesn’t come naturally and there is a lot of learning for both mom and new baby. “I had great support from my mom as well as a group of moms I met when my first daughter was born,” says Amy. The encouragement she received in those first few months were crucial, but unfortunately, not all new moms have that kind of support. After learning more about the needs for breastfeeding support, Amy looked for a way to give support back to the “new mom” community.

“For several years I wanted to become a Lactation Consultant, although this would take additional education beyond my Bachelor’s, as well as many hours to then take a test. I looked for a ‘Plan B.’ About five years ago, I found the Nursing Mothers Counsel and went through their training program to become a volunteer counselor,” reminisces Amy. NMC is an independent, non-profit organization whose goal is to help mothers and their babies enjoy a relaxed and happy feeding relationship. Amy counsels moms over the phone and does home visits when needed. She also rents hospital-grade pumps from her home to new moms in the area who need this help and support.

Amy is pictured here with her sister and nephew, Henry, born June 2013. Amy finds it incredibly rewarding to help new moms during such a stressful time. The help Amy provides can foster lifelong relationships, and Amy finds it incredibly rewarding to help moms during what can be a stressful time. Thanks, Amy!

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Town + Country’s “Communication & Professionalism as a Nanny” Seminar was a Success!

IMG_4081Last week Town + Country hosted our second Nanny training of the year. This seminar focused on “Communication & Professionalism as a Nanny” to help candidates be more effective in their jobs by communicate with their employers with respect and professionalism. Our San Francisco Nanny team enjoyed intimate conversations with the Nannies they work with on a daily basis.

This seminar covered effective communication, how to take feedback; phone, email and Internet etiquette; developing healthy work boundaries between you and your employer; how and when to ask for a raise; and tips for how to work with T+C as your agency. We talked about real work situations and worked through various possible approaches and solutions.

Our Nannies came together and shared experiences and job tips. Everyone was enthusiastic about learning and sharing in a safe and fun atmosphere and expressed gratitude for the information and guidance. Our entire San Francisco Nanny team, Sarah Thigpen, Cara Sullivan, Marissa Costello and Rebekah Santos, were there meeting Nannies, leading some great discussions and serving drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

We’re really happy about the success of this seminar, so we’re excited to say that we’ll be offering it again in our Palo Alto office on Wednesday, August 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. If you are interested in this event please go to our Eventbrite page to purchase tickets for $20.

And, as always, don’t forget about our referral program. If you refer a Nanny or Housekeeper to us that meet our requirements and get placed in a job for 30 days, we will send you a $200 check!

We look forward to seeing you at future events!

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Social Media Etiquette 101

There’s no shortage of buzz out there about Social Media etiquette, but it seems like plenty of people still manage to get themselves into trouble by posting things that get them in trouble at work or reflect poorly on the professional reputation that otherwise deserve.

CUP0094991Maybe gave a good general rule when they blogged recently that “The reality is that companies pay their employees to do a series of tasks. And unless those tasks involve managing the corporate social media accounts, there is no reason to be on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram during work hours.”

This is also true if you are working in or hoping to find an in-home position.

In-home positions can be isolating, and it may feel like you’re “at home” and therefore especially tempting to jump online. But the home you’re working in is essentially your “office” and spending time on social sites is taking away from your hours on the clock for the family you’re working for. Remember that your work references will specifically address your ability to stay on task. Spending time surfing or positing on your smart phone will get noticed by your employer and is likely to be remembered when your next potential employer calls for a reference.

Remember also that any agency you may work with, including Town + Country, will also be searching for you you on the Internet. A glowing reference is likely to be instantly disregarded if an agency or potential employer’s online searches shows up inappropriate or crude information.

Obviously you want to privatize your social media accounts, but anything you post may get shared by online friends whose privacy settings aren’t as carefully set as yours are. Before you post anything, think about how a potential employer will view that picture, comment, tweet, status update or post and ask whether it could keep you from losing a great opportunity in your job hunt. Whatever you post is out there forever whether you delete or not!

Happy job hunting!

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“How Building a ‘Green’ Cleaning Caddy” Seminar was a Success!

Last night Town + Country hosted our fourth Housekeeper training seminar of the year. This seminar focused on “How to Build a ‘Green’ Cleaning Caddy.” Our very own Sarndra Elejorde dazzled our attendees with natural cleaning tips and products to use instead of traditional toxic alternatives.

ReducedThis was a hands-on workshop. Town + Country provided the tools, parts & ingredients, and Sarndra showed attendees how to mix their own green products and assemble their own caddies. Everyone left with their completed caddies, ready to use them on the job or at home! The booklet for the event was printed for future reference on the topics covered.

The cleaning caddies came with a bucket, all-surface cleaner, multi-purpose cleaner, disinfectant, baking soda, wipes, gloves, multi-colored sponges, microfiber cloths and a scrubbing toothbrush. The class included tools and tips for stuck on grease and grime and other common cleaning challenges. Natural cleaning tips by room and appliance were provided.

Our Housekeepers came together and shared experiences and tips for on the job training. Everyone enjoyed learning and sharing in a fun atmosphere. We look forward to our next seminar in September. Be sure and check-in with our Facebook page for future events!

Also, don’t forget about our referral program. If you refer a new Nanny or Housekeeper or any other candidate and we place them in a permanent position for 30 days, we will send you a $200 check! Click here for more details.

See you at the next event!

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Meet Chelsea!

Chelsea MoweryChelsea has been working in private homes as a Nanny since 2008 caring for children of all ages. She has also completed 18 ECE units at West Valley College. Chelsea has a true pitch-in attitude and is happy to cook family meals. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys photography, scrapbooking, reading, swimming and going to concerts. She is excited about working with Town + Country to find another family here in the Bay Area to work for long-term!

Get to know Chelsea:

What is your favorite quote?
“For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

What three items would you take with you to a desert island (other than food and water)?
I would bring an umbrella to protect me from the sun -I don’t tan, I burn! – a good pair of shoes to protect me from the terrain, and I would bring lip balm, because I use it five times a day, and surely my lips would chap on a desert island!

What is the last book you read?
“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. A perfect insight into the lives of caretakers during the Civil Rights era. It was a fascinating read. I couldn’t put it down!

What is your favorite day of the year and why?
My favorite day of the year is the first day of Autumn because it signifies the start of my favorite time of year (including Winter) and I just feel more at peace & relaxed with myself.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
I would buy a house for my mother and a house for myself. Then take a Disney cruise!

What is your favorite outdoor activity?
My favorite outdoor activity is swimming. I was on a swim team for ten years. Once a swimmer, always a swimmer!

Chelsea is working with Town + Country to find a long-term, full-time Nanny position. If you are interested in learning more about Chelsea or any of the great Candidates we’re working with, please call us at 650-326-8570!

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Happy Birthday, Uncle Sam – Here are some local events for the 4th of July!

Even the smallest towns here in the Bay Area seem to pull out all the stops to celebrate Independence Day. From parades to fireworks to festival activities, there is no shortage of ENG_RWBFireworksentertainment.

Our team here at Town + Country hails from all over the Bay Area, and each of us have grown quite fond of our local celebrations, and we thought we’d share some of them with you. Below you will find some of our favorite places and activities for the 4th!

San Francisco
The San Francisco fireworks display can best be seen from the northern side of the City. Crissy Field, the Marina Green and Aquatic Park are great options. There will be a fireworks display near the Marina Green and a second one closer to Fisherman’s Wharf. These both promise to be gorgeous displays, pouring off the side of the Golden Gate Bridge and showering the ocean with a waterfall of bright lights. Other activities to do over the July 4th weekend in San Francisco include fireworks cruises, live music and family activities at Pier 39, local attractions including Alamo Square & The Painted Ladies, Aquarium of the Bay, the Botanical Gardens, Cable Cars, Grace Cathedral, Japanese Tea Garden and of course the famous Lombard Street. Click here for a longer list of events & links for San Francisco.

Berkeley and Oakland
Jack London Square on Oakland’s waterfront promises to be a festival of fun packed with free interactive activities! Activities and performers for both parents and children include bubble wrangler, jugglers, magicians, stilt walkers, petting zoo, face painters, balloon artists, hula hoopers, bike rentals, puppet shows, craft making and more.

For an all day and evening event visit the 4th of July celebration at Berkeley Marina. Festivities are from noon until 10 pm with all kinds of free fun! Adventure Playgrounds, face painting, a giant slide and a splash on the beach, plus live entertainment until 9:30 pm featuring Bang Data, The Boston Boys, The Lady Crooners, The Blondies, and The Allman Stepbrothers. Also enjoy juggling and magic acts while eating at food trucks, playing games at booths, making crafts, getting massages and riding carnival rides are all part of the fun. At the end of the night enjoy Berkeley’s grand fireworks over the water from the end of the Berkeley Pier starting at 9:30 pm.

Mountain View
The city of Mountain View and the San Francisco Symphony put on an evening only event. The main show starts at 8 pm and features the San Francisco Symphony. Last year Jon Williams’ Star Wars, Jurassic Park and E.T. themes songs kept the crowd entertained all the way up to a climax of fantastic fireworks.

Redwood City
Redwood City is hosting an extravagant parade through the downtown district starting at 10 am. The route starts on Marshall Street at the corner of Winslow Street and continues on Marshall, Main Street, Middlefield Road, Winslow Street, Broadway and onto Arguello Street where it ends near Alden Street. After the parade, enjoy festival activities that cover several blocks in the heart of Redwood City. This carnival continues from 9 am until the fireworks, which should start at about 9:30 pm at the Port of Redwood City with a public viewing area along the waterfront off of Seaport Court.

Have you been to the Wine Country lately? This is a fabulous time of year to visit. Sonoma’s festival and parade start at 10 am. The entire town will gather around the downtown square for the annual parade. After the parade enjoy carnival games, delightful local eateries, live music and other festival activities. At dusk, head over to the large field in front of General Vallejo’s home where you can enjoy a 30-minute fireworks show with one of the best finale’s you’ve ever seen! Well, we have covered the North Bay, Peninsula and East Bay.

There are many more places to enjoy the fourth of July but these are a few of our favorites!

Happy 4th of July!

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A San Francisco Recycling Guide – Recycle, compost or trash?

During our last Housekeeper Training Seminar, “Professionalism & Communication as a Housekeeper,” one of our attendees requested more information on recycling and composting. It can be confusing trying to figure out what goes where! We found a great site called that makes the whole process a lot easier to understand with their Residential Recycling, Composting & Trash Services information.


You can find detailed information about these processes on their site. Just below we have listed a few quick tips we found on their site.

Things that can be recycled:

  • Metal (like aluminum foil and cans)
  • Plastic (except for plastic bags, wrappers or styrofoam)
  • Paper (except for paper that is soiled with food)
  • Glass (without liquids or food)

Things that should be composted:

  • Food scraps (basically, anything that used to be alive- including
  • meat!)
  • Paper that is soiled with food (like pizza boxes and napkins)
  • Plants (flowers, yard trimmings, even cotton balls!)
  • Anything labeled “compostable”

Things that are trash:

  • Non-recyclable plastics
  • Other complex materials that are not designed to be recycled

Properly recycling and composting is a great first step to helping with this important “green” initiatives. We have other blogs dedicated to “green” tips. At our “Managing Seasonal Projects” seminar, we suggested “Green Housekeeping” by Ellen Sandbeck as “a good read with helpful on-the-job tips.” And stay tuned for our “Green” Cleaning Caddy information to follow our July event!

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