Our Annual Celebrated Mom

Who is more important than your mother? She’s your biggest fan, teacher, friend, and “warrior.”

Celebrated Mom is an annual LifeWorx event where we not only recognize, but honor the many roles mothers take on in their family, community, and society. This year we are having it on October 4th at the Neue Galerie on 5th Avenue, on the corner of 86th street.

Not only are we celebrating just one mother, but all mothers for the sacrifices and warrior strength they provide to their families. We first recognize a strong mom from Queens who is going through significant struggle in her life right now. Her 3 year old little boy has been diagnosed with Leukemia and she has been in and out of the hospital with him constantly. We are happy to present her with a $1,000 gift certificate towards any of our in home services. It is our way of showing admiration for her perseverance through struggle and helping make her life at home a little easier with some chef service to put meals on the table and housekeeping to keep the house neat.

Last year we recognized Hannah Storm, ESPN anchor as our Celebrated Mom in Greenwich, CT. The year before we honored Carol Evans, CEO of Working Mother Media in Chappaqua NY. Our guest of honor this year is a mother who has not only shown immense devotion to her family, but who has contributed to community and excelled professionally. This year, we are honoring Ali Wing, founder of Giggle and a devoted mother and wife in New York City. She is truly an advocate to new parents. After introducing her, Ali will speak about her life- struggles she has faced, how she persevered, what motivated her to start Giggle, and what characteristics has allowed her to succeed in life.

We are happy to begin a LifeWorx foundation, which is based on the thought that no mother and child should ever be on the streets. Over the next 12 months, we hope to raise $50,000 towards this cause and help a mom in need.

All in all, this event celebrates moms everywhere for the warrior that they really are. They are the strength of their children and husbands. They balance work, cleaning, cooking, taking care of the children, and persevering through challenges along the way. LifeWorx is proud to host this event again and truly believes in the meaning behind it!

New York City at any Age

As people get older, sometimes it seems as though opportunities for entertainment, enrichment, and all around fun become few and far between. But in New York City, there are endless opportunities for senior citizens. Many attractions, museums, and events in Manhattan even make a point of offering special discounts for seniors in order to encourage them to buy tickets.

The following include places that are particularly nice for an older crowd, which our Elder Care experts like to bring seniros to.

1. Classic Harbor Line Cruise in Chelsea Piers- This company offers creative ways to experience the beauty of New York City with sunset sails on swift schooners, afternoon tea cruises on a 1920s-style yacht, holiday-themed cruises, and other tours that combine ambiance, comfort, and spectacular views.

2. Bus Rides All over Manhattan – There are two: the M5 from Greenwich Village to Riverside Drive, passing Chelsea, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center and Central Park South; and the M4 from Madison Avenue through Harlem to the Cloisters

3. Harlem Meer on the East side of Central Park from 106th to 110th Streets- If you are looking for something to do and your loved one likes to fish, he or she can  catch a fish in the newly stocked Harlem Meer (pond) at the north end of Central Park.

4. Wildlife Conservation Society Zoos and Parks All over New York City- Experience animal attractions at Wildlife Conservation Society zoos in Central Park, the Bronx, or Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

5. Rubin Museum of Art at 150 West 17th Street- One can discover the art and cultural heritage of the Himalayas in this wonderful museum. The first Monday of each month is Free Seniors Day, where visitors age 65 and older get free gallery admission, guided visits, and tickets to film screenings.

These are all really nice ways to spend the day! Our Elder Care professionals enjoy doing these kind of activities because it brings back the excitement and fun into an older person’s life. We suggest you try out some of these places and see for yourself how appreciated it is!

Yoga for Children

More and more children today are suffering from anxiety and being overwhelmed, which can lead to having trouble in school, poor communication skills, and damaged self esteem. How do we help our children manage the increasing amounts of challenges thrown their way?

The answer could be yoga, which involves breathing, posing, and meditating. Yoga is practiced by many adults, helping them focus on themselves and block out the stresses of life. This could have the same effect on our little ones. When practicing yoga, whether it is for one minute or one hour, children are able to block out their surroundings and concentrate on themselves, their heartbeat and their feelings.

Adults tend to forget that children have their own stresses, although they may seem small to us. Taking a test, making new friends, or simply being in an unfamiliar or unpleasant situation are all challenges children face. Yoga helps them redirect their fear and anxiety.

By practicing breathing exercises, children can learn how to release what’s affecting their mind and physically slow down their heartbeat. Yoga poses can help as well, not only by loosening and strengthening tight muscles, but by massaging internal organs that one might not feel as being tensed.

Yoga can improve your child’s confidence and self-esteem because they will have the time to focus on themselves, making it can be more difficult to let others bring them down through their words and actions. If a child is confident with himself/herself, a bully is much less likely to bring them down.

Meditation can help kids acknowledge what’s bothering them, then let it go. Yoga for children can be either similar or different from what is known as adult yoga. It all depends on the child and his personality.

Simply by taking a moment away from their surrounding factors, noticing the way their body feels, and concentrating on their breathing, children may gain greater control of their thoughts, feelings and reactions. Through meditation, they picture themselves succeeding, and they believe it.

This can be a scheduled activity that the family does together. Try taking a half hour or an hour of various breathing exercises and meditation with your kids. Encourage them to acknowledge things that make them nervous and help them wash it away. Your child will have life long benefits.

Best Elementary Schools in New York City

As a parent, one of the most influential decisions you can make in your child’s life is where to send them to elementary school. In New York City, there are some really amazing schools where your child can receive an education that will set them above the rest. The following are some great schools  in New York City along with their missions:

1. Earth School- Located on East 6th Street; The Earth School’s educational program is designed to support children’s academic achievement and to encourage their commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflict and the preservation of the Earth’s resources.

2. Geneva School of Manhattan- Located on East 61st Street; Exists to provide a time-proven education with a biblical worldview. They aim to inspire students to love learning, pursue excellence, and become leaders in scholarship, virtue, and faith.

3. Our Lady of Pompeii School-Located on Bleecker Street in the heart of Greenwich Village; promotes academic excellence in an atmosphere that nourishes the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, and moral development of each child.

4. The Epiphany School- Located on East 22nd Street; established to provide the highest quality education to the school-age children of the Epiphany parish. Their goal is to offer each student an environment that celebrates the individual, inspires academic achievement, and fosters spiritual growth

5. Park West Montessori School- Located on Central Park West; help children learn how to learn in a secure, prepared environment, laying a firm foundation for them to become confident, caring, and successful human beings. They provide individualized learning activities that are appropriate for even the earliest stages of a child’s development.

6. Ella Baker School- Located on East 67th Street; solid education includes a strong intellectual foundation across all disciplines, including the arts, rich literature, meaningful trips and hands-on exploration with diverse and relevant materials.

These missions are certainly top notch when it comes to childhood education. It is warming to see how such schools in New York City are dedicated to educating our children to their fullest potential.

Working on the Beach!

Here at LifeWorx, we really care about finding our clients the right nanny, housekeeper, elder care professional, or chef candidate. We get so involved in the search and work really hard to find a solution. On vacation, a lot of people keep work completely off the mind, which is understandable as everyone needs some relaxation- but we like to be available to our clients.

Here’s an instance where I’m glad I had my phone with me on the beach. A client from Westport that I’ve been working with for quite a while interviewed a candidate the night before I went on vacation to Long Beach Island. While on the beach I was wondering how everything went and when I checked my phone I saw two very happy emails! One from the client and one from the nanny. The client was thrilled with what a perfect fit the nanny is for her family. She was absolutely relieved and grateful. The nanny was equally thrilled with the great job and her connection with the family. They offered her the job and she accepted.

Who would’ve thought that a “work call” would make my vacation at the Jersey Shore even better?!! There is such greatness in finding someone the perfect young and bright nanny for their family and making their life easier. There is equal satisfaction in finding a nanny the perfect job for them with a family who they connect with.

Curry to Cure Arthritis!

As people age, their list of daily medications grows and grows. When it comes to arthritis, there might be a natural alternative to treat it. The Wall Street Journal had an article about the benefits of the  ingredient Turmeric found in curry. Curcumin, a chemical that gives turmeric its yellow color, has been found to benefit arthritis patients at least as much as commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs, which can harm the liver and have other side effects.

Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory in India for thousands of years.  It can be used for any type of pain, whenever an anti-inflammatory is needed. It can even be combined with oil as a topical ointment for swelling.

You can get turmeric by adding curry powder to your dishes when cooking. Your favorite Indian dishes are sure to be loaded with a nice dose of it! Enjoy your Indian food knowing that you are also getting health benefits. A delicious and healthy meal for your family that can help with treating arthritis is something we are happy to share!

Communicating with your Nanny

Finding childcare for your children is both one of the most important decisions you will have to make as well as one of the most stressful. When you are preparing to hire a new nanny, you need to decide what expectations you have and how you should communicate and implement these expectations.

First and foremost a Nanny is going to help raise your children. With this in mind it is imperative that you respect and trust your Nanny.  She should be someone that you are happy to have helping  raise your children with the same parenting philosophies as you.

Communicating expectations should begin early and be expressed as clearly as possible.  During your nanny interviews, provide your nanny candidates with a job description in writing. Will your Nanny only be responsible for childcare or will they also be expected to arrange play dates, take children to classes, clean, cook, do shopping etc.

During your nanny’s first days of employment, train your nanny on what you want her to do and how you want her to do it.  Throughout your nanny’s employment, observe your nanny’s work performance.  Praise her when she performs to your expectations and re-train/redirect her when she does not perform to your expectations.

Above all, know and trust your Nanny as a member of your family because you are entrusting them with your children and this is neither a small job or responsibility.

By setting reasonable expectations for your new nanny, communicating them early and clearly, training her well, and following up appropriately, you will be ensuring that you have a healthy working relationship for both you and your nanny.

When you find the perfect Nanny for your family it can make a world of difference in you and your children’s lives.

Check, Check, and Check Again!

At LifeWorx, our recruiters deal with hundreds of nanny and housekeeper job applicants a week. They often must play “detective” to really determine whether a candidate is truly skilled, reliable, and trustworthy. This requires more than just doing a background check. It means taking the necessary time to dig deep into a person’s experience and making sure it matches 100% with what their references say.  Here is a situation where our thorough vetting process helped us catch a false reference. We suggest you use the following example and tips as you put in your own efforts to do a background check. Nothing is more important than ensuring a trustworthy nanny, housekeeper, chef, or elde care provider in your home.

Our recruiter Jeanne did a phone interview with a candidate who applied online for a nanny job. She sounded great, had a very bubbly and outgoing personality, and was very intelligent. She was very flexible with her schedule and had no barriers. She sounded like the perfect nanny.

She applied online and had 2 references displaying her Nanny experience. One was a 6 year reference from 2003-2009 and had 2 children. Her description of responsibilities included cooking nutritious meals, overseeing play dates, taking kids to doctor appointments, laundry, cleaning play areas, and researching fun activities to do around the area. This reference lives on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.

Jeanne called the reference number and left a message. A few hours later, he called back and Jeanne noticed the caller ID showed the same last name as the candidate in question. She asked a few basic questions to get a feel for the situation and then asked him why the caller ID said that name which was the applicant’s last name. He replied by saying he was using a friends phone. When asked what his friend’s name was, he hung up immediately.

Had this been done by a less reliable source, we may have never known it was a fake reference. Everything he said matched up with everything the candidate wrote on her application and explained during the phone interview. Who knows how many of these untrustworthy people are being represented as nannies in the hundreds of agencies out there. It is important to know that you are working with someone you can trust. We would never represent anyone that we wouldn’t be comfortable having in our own homes.

Putting the time into each and every candidate we represent is what helps us build trust in New York City, Westchester, and Fairfield.

Keep Your Kids Safe

It’s something we hear about much too often in the news- child abduction. A parent’s worst nightmare. How do we make sure our children are safe?

There is no location that is exempt from this fear. Never tell yourself “This would never happen in my neighborhood I live in a nice area.” We always have to be prepared and make sure our children know how to handle certain situations.

Children, even teenagers, don’t have the judgement and experience of adults. So, it’s up to parents to take precautions to ensure the safety of our children. One hundred and fifty thousand children are kidnapped each year in the United States.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of all, most abductions are by someone the child already knows and may trust. This is why it is so important to know about the people in our children’s life. Take an interest, are there adults or even older children who greet your child regularly, perhaps on the route to school? Your child may consider this no longer a stranger. Being “in the loop” can make all the difference.

When in public, it is so important to make sure your young child is always in sight. Crowded places are a prime spot for abductors to get away with a child. If you have a nanny for your child, make sure you know that she is trustworthy with a clean background and credible references.

Another good idea that some families use is a family code word. Some kidnappers will tell a child they were sent by his father or that they must come home because their mother is sick. Your child could then ask for the family code word, if the person doesn’t know it, then the child would refuse to go with him.

As important as it is to teach our children to respect adults, we need to stress that it is ok to say “no” to a stranger or to doing something that makes them uncomfortable.

Although this isn’t something we like to think about, we want our children to be educated on how to respond in situations that may arise. It can save their lives!!

Why Eat Avocado?

Don’t think you like avocados? You might want to give it another try!

Many people dismiss avocado because of its high calorie count. One avocado does have 322 calories, but it has 54% of your recommended daily value of fiber- hence it helps you burn fat.

Just one avocado provides your body with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6 so you can be sure you’re getting plenty of body nourishments with each bite. One avocado has 975 mg of potassium as well.

The folate contained in avocados helps reduce the risk of heart disease. The vitamin E in an avocado has also been linked to a healthy heart, as well as healthy skin and hair.

Another health benefit of avocado is that it is extremely helpful in preventing both rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis. The many different antioxidants found in avocados help reduce inflammation, a major concern for sufferers of arthritis.

The most beneficial part about avocados is that by adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients.

In addition to its fat burning capabilities, vitamin E and glutathione in avocadoes protect you against tons of diseases including several forms of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cholesterol.

Avocados also help reduce the signs of aging, regulate blood sugar and promote eye health.

With all these benefits, it is certainly worth giving avocados a try! They can be a yummy addition to many meals including sandwiches, salads, Mexican dishes, and can be the base of a delicious dip!