Devotional Art Journaling: Kids Addition

So last week I shared with you a growing new interest called Bible Art Journaling. This week I thought it would be cool to share with how you can use art journaling not only for yourself, but to help the kiddos pay attention and grasp what the Lord is saying through His precious Word too!

This particular project we did while reading through Jonah(I know shocking right?) I always have little projects, or just simple coloring pages ready, when I do the morning devotions with the youngsters. They art while I read.

This project was especially fun as I didn’t critique they’re color choices or placement of their shadow box characters. I simply showed them mine and then read the Bible, while they, completely unchecked, decided how they wanted their masterpieces to look.

This was the 3 yr. olds composition to give you an idea- crazy good right?

The below projects we used to keep interest in a rather boring part(to the kids anyway) the Genealogy of Christ. So we made family trees. We also used it as a review on the stories and characters we had already learned about(we’ve been reading through the Bible for about a year now). So don’t be daunted by “hard” and/or “boring” passages of Scripture.

In the end all that’s really important is that you’re spending time with your kids, rearing and training them in the way they should go. And the most important thing is that they are hearing God’s Word and seeing the importance you’re putting on it by making it a priority.

Lots of love,

Tally

Favorite Crafts for Kiddos

Hello all! I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter. It has turned out to be a very wet week here in Wisconsin, but I personally love the spring showers. One, because they mean green and growing things and additionally they remained me of fairy tales, an English countryside and simpler ways. Which as I find I am more and more drawn too. Anyone else?

While I am super excited to get outside once the rain has passed; rainy days are practically made for arts and crafts. Below are four of my all time fav crafts that I have done with the kiddos.

Greek shields!

I guess I should have said these are the top four projects we’ve done in the last six months. And most of them tie into whatever we’re learning in school, but are still fun and simple crafts you could do with your littles.

First up are these awesome Greek shields(we were learning about Greece obviously) and they were very fun to make. The easiest way would be to take pizza cardboard circles, then google Greek shield patterns and paint. I outlined the designs for the kids and then let them paint in the blank spaces. It was loads of fun.

Four Seasons Pastel Picture

Next is this visual representation of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi(again school related) that turned out a lot better then I thought it was going to. Using oil pastels and then coconut oil on q-tips to blend the colors. We “arted” while we listened to Vivaldi’s composition. It was a really relaxing Saturday morning. Again I drew the tree and then let them have at it. Just directing them to think of the colors of spring. And what colors make other colors. We talked lots about color and picking them with purpose for this project(A color wheel is very helpful to have handy)

Claude Monet Picture Study

This project was from last year but was also school related and was just so much fun to do! Using painting tape you cover up the bridge and then just using acrylics and our fingers we blended like Monet. Once dried we coated it with Modge Podge to give it the nice sheen.

Barbie Mummies

Finally if you want endless rounds of laughter grab your favorite Barbie Doll, dress her in her best and roll her in t.p. Make sure you do the recommended three wraps(like the Egyptians did) and then wrap her in a blanket(or felt sheet) before taping on your carefully colored death mask. If you aren’t in stitches at this point burry your mummified Barbie in a cardboard box sarcophagus, which you can also decorate. One of the littles took this project even further and buried his mummy under his bed with treasures, statues and extra clothes for the afterlife. I unwittingly stumbled upon the burial ground when cleaning a few weeks ago. Let me just say it made my day!

So there you have it, some fun activities for you and your littles to do. Let me know if you do any of these projects I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.

Lots of love,

Tally

The Homeschooling Perspective

So I had an interesting conversation a couple of weeks ago from a mother, who was considering homeschooling and what that would look like for her family. When she found out I was homeschooled and am now helping to homeschool two first graders, she had many, many questions. I thought it would be fun to do a quick interview with myself based off what we talked about and share it here.

Van Gogh Art projects from last week’s art class.

What has your experience with homeschooling been?

So I and my siblings were homeschooled from kindergarten all the way through high school. Some families choose to let their kids to go to public or private high school, and while we were all given that option none of us chose that route. Which I think speaks volumes about our experiences.

So you enjoyed being homeschooled? What do you think you gained by being homeschooled?

For myself I loved being homeschooled! Yes it was super nice to not have to go to school(and therefore get dressed) And it was nice to have your school day go from 9am-1pm. What kid wouldn’t like that? Plus we followed a traditional school year from Labor Day to Memorial Day with a nice long summer break.

However if I was to pick one thing as my chief advantage, or take away from being homeschooled it would have to be: the ability to learn. If I don’t know something both in an academic and practical sense, I know I can learn it. Because I’ve done it before.

Homeschooling requires discipline on the student’s part to sit and get your work done. Especially as we got older our school work became a list of required reading, tests and worksheets, papers written and essays turned in. Our Mom(and Dad) didn’t sit there beside us and make sure we did it. On Mondays we got our assignments for the week and then on Fridays we had to turn it in. This taught us time management and organization in addition to the discipline to learn. I now have the ability to be like, “Yeah I don’t know anything about this subject but I know the steps to learn it.” This is undoubtedly the greatest strength homeschooling taught me.

So what was the biggest disadvantage?

With homeschooling your topics can play(and normally do play) to your parents strengths. So for instance I can’t play musical instruments or read music, but I’ve written six novels and I wrote three of those in high school. (One for school and two just cause) My history and language skills are very cemented. Can you guess which were my parents’ strengths? Yep history and language. Neither of my parents are musically talented and so we had a disadvantage there. These of course can be supplemented outside the home.

What’s one stereotype of homeschoolers that you’ve run into the most?

Do you feel like you’re socially inept? I have been asked this sooo many times.(which frankly I find the question quite rude) And the answer is no… Do you think I’m socially inept? Being a homeschooled kid doesn’t mean I was locked in the basement until I turned eighteen. We went to church, AWANA, I was a Girl Scout, my sister played softball, etc. So no I am not socially inept.

Anyway I hope this was informative! If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask me.

Lots of love,

Tally

What I Eat In A Day

… If I’m working.

Felt I needed to clarify that, because when I’m not working my eating habits vary slightly. (Normally I forget to eat- oops) Anyway since I have been really digging my own meal preps here of late I thought I would share a few with you. Bon’apiti!

Breakfast

Here I am having my craft coffee(Colectivo’s Winter Wonderland blend) with just a dash of 1/2+1/2. Plus strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and half of a banana. Then half of a light English muffin and a scoop of fat free cottage cheese. Before eating I smooshed all my fruit on my muffin making a mini fruit pizza. So yum!

Breakfast is that meal of champions, that grand starter of the day… Why do so many people try to skip you? I cannot and never have been able to skip my most favorite meal of the day. I have to have my breakfast(coffee) before anything serious can even remotely be done. So even on my days off this meal remains pretty much the same. Every other day I try to have an iron, protein rich smoothie(since I hate taking my iron supplements and I have to hide them) Or I do overnight oats, chia pudding, Greek yogurt, cottage and fruit, oatmeal, etc. But normally lots of fresh fruit.

One because it’s delicious and two because it looks pretty. Banana spilt with yogurt.

Lunch

Oh look more fruit! So here we have spinach greens, a fried egg, an apple(shared with the kids) half a mandarin orange, celery, cucumbers, raspberries and my fav blueberries. Topped with a tablespoon of salsa and guacamole.

Lunch is probably the easiest meal for me to forget to eat. Especially when I am working since I am normally trying to feed four hungry kiddos in between school times, laundry and naps. But I normally do something similar to the above option. A spinach salad topped with… something. Leftover chicken stir fry, grilled chicken, leftover… some kind of protein to tide me over till afternoon snack.

Same salad as above but this one has leftover lemon chicken and a hard boiled egg on it. Not that you could tell with all the other goodies.

Afternoon Snack(over as I like to call it the 2nd Cup of Coffee)

Say hold up! That ain’t coffee… no, no it’s not. On this particular day I was trying to be good and stick to one cup of coffee. So I had hot tea instead with a dash of honey. It was torture. The tea was good but it was not coffee.

I have a really hard time “making” it to supper without eating again. And why should I have to try and make it till dinner? Afternoon snacks aren’t just for kids people. Normally I have fruits or veggies with peanut butter. But since we had this amazing bean dip I took advantage.

This is a tiny snack mainly because I couldn’t decide what I wanted. But it’s bean dip, carrots, cucumbers and that other half of a mandarin orange… yeah not my best.

Supper

Okay so I had leftover Chinese takeout for dinner a top a spinach salad(gotta have me spinach)

This is how dinner normally works for me on “work days” I eat with the work-family and whatever they’re having or eat whatever I have leftover in my stash for the week. I think I’ll do another post of what I eat when I’m off because that’s when I normally make food for myself and my sister to eat on for the rest of the week.

Evening Snack

To be totally honest with you I normally don’t eat an evening snack. Either because on my nights off I wait to have dinner with my sis, when she gets off or because dinner while working was super satisfying. Yeah so not much of an evening snacker.

There you have it guys my meals for a work day. Plus quiet a bit of water and Bubly. I hope you enjoyed this.

Lots of love,

Tally

Pittsburg 2021

Hello all my wonderful readers! As I write this post(which you will get next week as perusal) I am laying in my bed on my yearly work trip to Pittsburg, PA.

A pics from last year’s trip. Read post here.

We usually visit the Steel City in the summer, but because of the crappy year formally known as 2020 it got pushed back all the way to 2021… yay…

Being a live-in can require traveling with the family you work for, which I have covered here. As well as a bonus post about being a nanny when just the parents travel(here) This is probably one of my favorite things about nanny hood. I have always been up for adventures and exploring new places and to do that for free? And to get paid to boot!(not that there’s not work involved- there is) Such a cool and rewarding experience.

So without further ado here are some of the picks from the trip. Hope you enjoy!

We brought the snow with us from WI.
Macaroons from Oakmont Bakery… to die for!
When in Rome late night snacks are allowed.
More baked goodies from Oakmont Bakery.

Not a lot of pics mainly because the family I work for just visited family and everything else was pretty much on lock down. But it was a really nice trip.

Also guys be sure to check out my “Nannyhood” section on the website for even more info on my dream job. Or if traveling is more your thing(wanderluster over here) then check-out all my many travel blogs and look books.

Lots of love,

Tally

Nannying at Christmas

Oh what a wonderful, crazy time of the year! This is true I think in every aspect of life, but nanny hood can get especially chaotic.

I thought I would do a very brief and grand overview of what a Christmas Nanny looks like! (Ya know since I don’t have time for an in depth look)

Christmas Traveling

First thing you should be aware of if you are thinking seriously of pursuing that #thatnannylife, is that some families will actually want you to work during the holiday season. If this is a regular thing for them, because they travel every year and need that extra help, they should explain this either in their want ad or during the hiring process.

Most families however like to have the possibility of you being willing to work a holiday. So they’ll say that in their ad. Something like “must be flexible” or “willing to work some holidays”. For instance I will be working New Years this year. So just be aware of this when applying for a job.

Wrapping, wrapping, wrapping…

I don’t know if every family will ask their nanny to wrap Christmas presents, but my family does. And it never fails that at the beginning of the season I am all excited to pull out the paper and the scissors. But wrapping for six kids quickly gets to you and by the end I don’t care if the paper has sharp edges or not! As long as they have something to pull off the thing on Christmas. When people ask me what I did at work today I say I wrapped… for an hour and half… I don’t know if everything will be wrapped by Christmas.

Everybody’s Home

The Christmas season is also challenging in the fact that everyone is home. This year hasn’t been quite as noticeable because of COVID. But everyone is on Christmas break and the parents are home wanting to do activities with the kids. Plus relatives come to visit(I have done a post about the awkwardness of this here) and the house can get very full, very fast. Don’t get overwhelmed and just focus on your job as best as you can. Much like being on vacation with the family(covered here) nap and bedtime schedules and other daily routines will get shifted around or thrown out the window. Just do the best you can and know that is only one time a year that this happens.

Never ending Christmas Programs

Of course this looks a little different this year. With many events having been canceled and/or done virtually. But this time last year it seemed every night there was some Christmas party, program or what not to get the kids ready for. Normally I would just make sure they were clean, dressed and as ready to go. But sometimes I would take them and drop them off early for whatever Christmas themed program was needed. Then there were cousins and family members’ events to get to. It can quickly become a lot. But like everything else on this list, just remember that you can only control so much. Do what you can and let the rest go. You’re only human after all.

And that’s it my lovelies! If you still aren’t satisfied and what to learn more about nannying at Christmas here is last year’s post; plus a link to my very first nanny related post if ya want to start at the very beginning of my crazy journey.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas,

Tally

Skills to Consider Investing In

I’ve had the idea for this post for quiet a bit now but haven’t been that inclined to finish it. But I thought I would make a quick list of skills a nanny/governess should consider investing in.

A throw back to the lake this summer… missing the warmer weather.

Another Language-

I mean when could you not benefit from learning another language? Any employer would be excited to see it listed on your resume. As far as languages to learn go, of course any of the more frequently spoken: Spanish, French, and if you’re very adventurous Mandarin. But maybe if phonetics aren’t your thing learning ASL is a plus or Latin(from a homeschooling perspective this is a plus. Homeschoolers love their Latin)

Another plus from learning another language is that many families are specifically looking for a traveling nanny(one ad I saw said they traveled six months of the year- but you had to be speak another language) So if that kind of job peeks your appeal definitely invest in the bilingual experience.

Musical Instrument

Much like learning another language, when wouldn’t you benefit from learning an instrument? Homeschoolers love this(governess material please) and many families want their kids at some point or another to pursue a musical instrument. The ability to read sheet music and bang away(even if you’re not Mozart) at a tune is a plus!

Arts and Crafts-

Just a little added bonus, but if you have a natural inclination to arts and crafts this is definitely something to list on your resume. Many parents would love you to be able to stimulate their littles’ minds with art and creating things. The kiddos I work with love the “projects” I throw together.

Sports

We’re talking tennis, soccer, running, etc. Much like arts and crafts if you have a natural inclination to a sport or a particular physical activity(like swimming) this is something you could also list on your resume. I guess just a big thing to remember is that some of your hobbies can be beneficial for your career.

Another thing I want to stress here guys is that you don’t need to possess all of these skills, nor do you need to invest in all of them. These are merely ideas for you if you wanted to add a little something, something to your resume.

And that’s it guys! Have a great day and a very happy Thanksgiving!

Lots of love,

Tally

Nannying: How to Survive Family Visits

Hello everyone! It has been an age and half since I have done a proper nanny related post and let’s just say it is way overdue. For those of you who might be new and just stumbled onto my site let me first say: WELCOME! My name is Tally and I am a professional, live-nanny of six amazing kids. My blog deals a lot with the things I have learned in my 2 1/2 years in this profession(follow my journey here) plus my other interests(fashion, reading, writing, food, travel etc.) So please feel free to browse, my topics tend to wander.

I believe I mentioned this in an earlier post this year, but the family I work for purchased a lake, summer home and I have spent the last four months in sunshine bliss. But with the coming of fall(yay! Favorite season by far) and the dreaded return of school(look forward to a post on this subject) we are officially moved back in to normalcy.

Over the summer my work family had many relatives visit them and the new summer home, which got me thinking that I needed to do a post on how to handle when relatives visit. Because frankly it can be one of the most awkward times in nanny hood.

Okay so let me just say right of the get go that I have been never been made to feel purposefully uncomfortable by my bosses or any of their relatives. However it is just awkward to be in the back ground while more then a dozen people are milling about the house.

Just ignore me… Awkwardly standing here…

My work load goes down a little bit when my bosses’ have company for the simple fact that the little ones tend to want to hang out with Grandma more than with me.(I know shocking right) So my role because more making sure they get fed and get napped, wiped and bathed every once and awhile. It can be confusing to navigate when to step in and take care of the kids and when to quietly disappear into the background. Below I have composed a list of my top things to remember when there is work company.

  • The Schedule becomes more like a guideline-

So the first thing to remember(and I think it is the first thing on all my lists) is to go with the flow. Nap and feeding schedules, bath and laundry schedules- everything can go out the window for the week or two relatives have come to call. The kids are excited to see their cousins, so let them be. Be that watchful shadow, who will step in with a snack or a reminder to share the toys. But don’t try to control the situation. You’ll just make yourself frustrated and the kids.

  • Make yourself helpful

No it might not be in your job description to make lunch for everyone or help with the extra laundry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be helpful. I hate- absolutely hate– standing around and looking like a loafer. That is not how my parents raised me. If I’m working, I’m working. Plus being helpful is always appreciated. And makes interactions with the relatives less awkward.

  • Lastly remember it isn’t forever

Like anything in life; the good and the bad, it doesn’t last forever. Schedules go back to normal and relatives go home. So just be patient and gracious while stuff is stressful. If there is another point I could stress before we close it would be this: In the end you work for your employers. So if they’re happy with what you are doing don’t worry about anyone else’s opinion. You might feel like your work in under a microscope(and it might be) or that the relatives feel just as uncomfortable with you being around. But don’t forget who you work for. And who’s opinion in the end is the only one that matters. (Ultimately as a Christian I work for God, so if I do my best for Him I know no matter what He is in control of the outcome.)

Anyway if you have any questions about this or other nanny related topics feel free to leave a comment or DM me on any of my social accounts.

Lots of love,

Tally

Beside the Lake

For the next two months the family I work for will be beside a lake, enjoying the sun and the wildlife. It’s a new experience for us all and has been a bit stressful. But now that we have been here a week I’m praying things will settle down.

In approaching this new experience as a nanny I thought I should shed some light on what(if you’re a nanny yourself or considering becoming one) a two month stay at a summer house could look like. I say could since obviously each situation is different. My two month stay in the Wisconsin lake country may look totally different to your four month stay in Europe. But extended vacations like the one I am currently on are often apart of the nanny experience in some way or another. And therefore need to be considered.

A few tips…

Okay let’s just jump into it, shall we? I think if there’s one piece of advise I could offer up for any situation/change in nannyhood it would be this: Go with the flow and don’t feel like you have to do it all!

I am so guilty of this it isn’t even funny. For some reason I think it’s my mission in life to make sure everybody gets from point A to point B all by myself. While I am certainly expected to help(with packing, planning and often driving one of the vehicles) that in no way means I am expected to do it all. It’s my employers vacation after all and not mine. If we’re late and/or forget something(as long as I wasn’t in charge of packing it) that’s not on my shoulders. Does that make sense?

Tip #2 would have to be: Show grace. Everybody is stressed. As I mentioned before this is not only a new experience for me but for my employers as well. So guess what? We have no idea what we’re doing! As I have said in previous posts, normally(not all the time mind you) the stress you are feeling your boss is feeling as well. Not only them but your chargers might be out of sorts too. They’re excited to be on vacation and might be a little high strung and moody until things settle back down. So let’s be patient with one another.

Tip #3: enjoy the adventure! Let’s face it going to a lake house free of charge and being paid to swim and boat and spend all day outside is the equivalent of a dream job. (Though as discussed in this post nannying is not a walk in the park) So let go of the things you can’t control, try your best to be patient with those around you and enjoy the work vacation. Yes it’s stressful, but in the end if it’s your calling count your blessings instead of naming your grievances.

I hope this was informative. As always if you have any questions about nannying leave a comment below or on any of my social accounts. Also for a look at “nannying on vacation” click here.

Lots of love,

Tally

Summer Style Review

The family I work for is staying at a lake house this summer. Which basically translates to me being outside and in the water 24/7. Since I will probably be wearing my swimsuit like a second skin for two months I decided I wanted to purchase several sun dresses that I could just drape over my suit and go. Below are my finds!

Embracing My Inner Gypsy…

This gingham pattern day dress is a little more “dressed up” than the other looks below. I purchased it from ModCloth an online boutique, who’s styles are more vintage and feminine. Which is right up my alley. I look forward to purchasing more products from them. This dress is probably my new fav.

This skirt/shirt combo is from Albion Fit and is super casual and comfortable. Perfect for running after kids. And since the skirt is made of that super light, athletic material it cleans very easily.

Probably my favorite purchase is this hula skirt. It is awesome! If I could I would wear it all the time. Since the pattern is so colorful and chaotic it pretty much goes with everything. (I said pretty much)

This blue, silky skirt is super soft. The only downside is it is a little see through. But since I’m wearing it over my suit I don’t really mind.
This dress is to die for! It has two tie strings on both sides so it can either be as loose or form fitting as you desire.

That’s it for now my peeps! If ya need me I’ll be at the lake.

Lots of love,

Tally