Attention Chocolate Lovers!

Here at LifeWorx, Bal is a known chocoholic! He has a constant supply of his favorite dark chocolates in every office. We yell at him for tempting us with these treats, but there are actually some real health benefits to this yummy snack. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Looks like Bal is on the right track!

Just like with all other food items, moderation is important. Cutting out other sweets or snacks and replacing them with this chocolate serving can help you balance your calories.

3.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day will stimulate endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure. It also contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressanant.

Can you guess what country consumes the largest amount of chocolate?

The answer is Belgium. Due to the constant rain and gloomy weather in Belgium, depression rates are very high. This connects directly with their high intake of chocolate- they need all the serotonin they can get!

Maybe the chocolate Bal provides us with everyday explains why LifeWorx employees are so happy!!

Check out what the Wall Street Journal has to say about the healthy benefits of dark chocolate:

Kid Friendly Places in New York City

New York City is an amazing location to have a  fun day out with the kids. Here are some suggestions for parents and nannies in Manhattan looking for an outing!

American Museum of Natural History- young children will be enthralled by everything from fossils to gems. The museum also offers activities and programs for families and children, including story hour and science and nature programs.

Central Park- Over 800 acres of fun for the whole family; Favorites for kids include the Central Park Zoo, the Woods and Water Exhibit at Belvedere Castle, boat rides from Loeb Boathouse, and Central Park Carousel. In the summer there is storytelling at the Hans Christen Andersen statue.

Children’s Museum of the Arts- Hands on creative activities at the Children’s Museum of the Arts include everything from collage to clay to encourage children’s imaginations. Check their schedule for special morning activities, as well as movies and more.

New York Aquarium- Take the subway to Coney Island and enjoy a day at the New York Aquarium, home to over 10,000 species of marine life. Sea lion demonstrations, penguins, seals, and walruses are all great fun to for your toddler to see.

New York City is filled with fun and interactive learning experiences that children will love!!

Chef Service Can Change Your Life!

What can chef service do for you?

Chef service can change your typical evening at home to a mini vacation, where the family can relax and enjoy a delicious meal prepared by a professional without any of the hassle of the three C’s – chopping, cooking, cleaning

It can instill healthy eating habits in your family’s routine with fresh and nutritional meals. Having better ingredients and products in the house makes it much easier to eat healthy.

Having a chef allows you to enjoy a great night with your friends in the comfort of your own home. No need to worry about who’s watching the kids! It’s also a great way to have play date for your children.

Interviewing candidates for your home

“Trust, but Verify”- Ronald Reagan

In today’s society, letting a stranger into your home comes with significant risk, especially when you are looking for someone to be in your home while you are at work.  If you do not trust someone, do not let them in your home. Trust your instincts about people who do not seem like the right fit for being around your family.Know what you need. Make a list of everything you’re looking for including hours, salary, responsibilities, etc. This will make you more capable of answering any questions candidates have and of getting what you want! Every candidate that comes for an interview should be able to give you two recent references who will speak highly of the service they provided.The background check is very important. Criminal records should be completely clear and driving records should have no more than minor offenses.When interviewing a candidate for a position in your home, ask open ended questions so that she/he is doing most of the talking. Asking hypotheticals is helpful to know how the potential hire would handle certain situations. “What would you do if…”Ultimately, you can never be too careful about a person who is spending time with your children or is in your home alone. One important thing to remember is that there ARE great people out there, you just have to devote yourself to finding them or seek trustworthy help in this pursuit.

How do you know you’ve picked the right nanny?

Choosing a person to be responsible for your children while you are not there can be a daunting task. Once you finally choose a nanny, how do you know things are going right if you’re not there to see it? There are several signs you can look for. If your child lights up with excitement when she arrives, you can tell they look forward to spending time with their nanny. This shows you not only a have a fun and caring nanny, but a very patient one as well. When you come home and your kids can’t wait to tell you all the fun activities they did with the nanny, that’s how you know she isn’t just supervising, but actually playing and engaging with them. This means that she actually enjoys herself as well.

A great nanny is responsive and keeps you informed of daily activities. This shows her respect for your peace of mind. She makes sure not to leave the child’s toys everywhere, and cleans up after meals so you are not coming home to a mess! Excellent care includes cleanliness, good health, and organization.

Finding Good Help is Easy!

A note from the founder..

When I got a call at 9 pm yesterday from a mom in distress about finding a Nanny for her three children in New York City, I had an epiphany. With 8 million folks in NYC and eight plus percent unemployment as well as technology galore, I wondered why this bright and professional person has to be so stressed. As a single parent, I was in those shoes 15 years ago with my own child. But the world has changed. Or has it? Yes and no. Things that are still the same and will be the same as far as I know….We love our children more than anything else in the world- we always have and always will. We want the absolute best for our children. There are great people in this world, and there are evil people in this world. That hasn’t changed and will always be. This is why we can never take a risk when it comes to leaving our children alone with someone who is not trustworthy.

Now on to what has changed and will change even more…. More information and details about all of us will be available and easier to access. This can be integrated to provide an expedient solution to a mom’s need for superior childcare.

Someday all of us will have a reputation rating, integrity rating and skill rating. Online tests are available for skill assessment in 400 skills. Credit, criminal background, drivers’ license reports and references all lead to an encompassed view of an individual.

But there is such a large gap between the 1000 choices of candidates and the one you want. Once you know that a person has excellent credit, a clean driving record, criminal background and excellent references, now it is onto specific preferences you have. It is important that the chemistry and personality are a right fit.The bottom line is that you can buy a car in 15 minutes, but a good Nanny will take at least a good day to find. An agency or on-line tools can help. I ended my conversation with this client from New York City, encouraging her to relax as help is on the way. Nothing makes us happier than helping others. I know what it feels like to be at wit’s end with needing trustworthy help in my home. Our happiness from helping others has been the past, present, and future and it will stay that way.

How to get your kids to eat healthy food

Getting your kids to eat healthy food can be very difficult. Here are some easy ideas that your kids will love!

Smoothies: Kids love the different colors and tastes that come with a good smoothie. They would never know if you blended some soy powder, fresh fruit, or antioxidant rich cocoa powder to increase the nutrient value! Omega 3 rich flaxseed oil can help boost their immunity and heart health, fight cancer, and promote brain growth. Such an easy thing to do in NYC apartment, with a simple blender, or pick up stuff from various Juice Bars and add to it what the kids like.

Spaghetti alternative: Use whole wheat spaghetti and your kids won’t even know the difference! For sauce, use tomatoes sautéed in olive oil and this will prove to be an appetizing, healthy dish for kids. Boost the sauce’s nutrition by adding minced steamed carrots, that you can pick from Whole Foods.

Chicken nuggets: Use whole wheat bread crumbs and bake them instead of frying. To add healthy omega 3s, mix ground walnuts in with the bread crumbs. Bell and Evens has great organic chicken nuggets too.

Pancakes: Mix in blueberries to add vitamins and antioxidants. Stir in some flaxseed meal into the batter to add a great source of fiber, protein, and omega 3. Sprinkle walnuts, pistachio, almonds or pecans to boost the protein with carbs and syrup that the basis pancakes have.

Three Tips on How to Make Your House a Home

Our home may be the place of ultimate joy or the most pain in our lives. There are many days when I feel that I’m in heaven when I am at home — a place full of peace, love, and joy. It takes daily nurturing and caring to make this happen, but bloom by bloom you can build a literal indoor garden at home. A few days ago, I came back from taking a yoga class, cooked a fresh vegetable entree, and sat down for dinner with just a few close friends. We opened a 1999 Robert Mondovi reserve and chatted and laughed for hours.

It was a rainy, cold, day outside; however, my house was filled with warmth, good food, and had everything in order. All our LifeWorx clients deserve to feel about their home like this every day, and we do our best to help them achieve this by providing premiere child care, elder care, nanny, and chef services. But you can do your part too — try to recharge your batteries at home and take a mini vacation. Here are some tips to help you achieve feeling centered and fulfilled:

Find a few hours a week to do what you love to rejuvenate. Watching your kids play soccer, a date night with your husband, or time with a friend doesn’t count. This is about doing things by yourself that recharge you, such as listening to music, taking a walk, doing yoga, or reading a good book. It might be as simple as taking some time to daydream and relax with some breathing exercises.

Reduce chatter by 50 percent. All of the stuff on television, radio, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mails is just chatter most of the time. All of these tools have value, but use them wisely — only watch, hear and use what you need; and make time for important one-on-one interactions with friends and family members.

Be in the moment. If you are always where you want to be and doing what you love, you will be in the moment and have a happy fulfilling day. Yet it’s so easy to get distracted, and we have to try to get better at being in the moment every day. If it is hard for you to remember, write “Be in the moment!” on some sticky notes and stick them to a few key items (like the fridge, the dining table, and the play room) throughout the house. It takes about one hundred days to really change a habit and to retrain your thinking, so be patient with yourself. If you need help to make your home a place where you can recharge and relax, we at LifeWorx are here to help!

Some Fun Experiences We Have Had Here at LifeWorx

  • When interviewing a potential candidate we asked, “What do you read?” to get a feel for her breadth of interests. She said, “Everything!” and pointed to a calendar.
  • We once helped an elderly couple from White Plains, NY, get their house staged. There was 30-year-old gold wallpaper on the ceiling in the master bedroom. The lady was in tears (maybe tears of joy?) when we took it down so that the house could be sold. And the house did sell in a week, with de-cluttering, neutral colors, and an aesthetically pleasing setup of all the furniture LifeWorx provided.
  • A chocolate maker in Mount Kisco, NY, asks us to organize her thousands of chocolate molds, and just being in that room made our organizers euphoric!
  • A while ago we helped out a couple in Bronxville, NY. They had skated for fun throughout their life and had even skated at Rockefeller Center when in their ’80s. Unfortunately, the husband passed away and his wife was depressed, naturally. To everyone’s surprise, a couple of weeks after he passed away, she said, “I’m going to live to be 100!”
  • Growing old gracefully is not without its challenges, and we at LifeWorx are always happy to work with whatever life situation our clients find themselves in. We are here to make your life easier, no matter what age you are.

Market Research is Vital to LifeWorx’s Success

There is nothing like market research to find out the real needs of consumers. So when we started LifeWorx, we decided to do market research at train stations in the mornings to find out the in-home needs of the commuters. We walked the platforms of the Katonah and Scarsdale, NY, train stations to ask commuters a few basic questions about their needs. It was as much fun to observe the behavior as it was to listen to the answers. We found that most commuters have a need for a housekeeper, a chef, an organizer, etc., but they haven’t sought out help due to the effort it takes to find good help or because they didn’t think these services are affordable. They kept managing their responsibilities at home by themselves, while also often having to take on more work in today’s economic situation, which leaves no time for family or fun.

One lady in Katonah shared a whole list of things she needed to get done. When the train came, she jumped on, yelling out her phone number so we could contact her to provide her with the chef, housekeeper, and organizer she required. A gentleman I sat down with said he’d be happy to answer some questions as he sipped his fresh coffee. I asked, “Who buys the groceries for your home?” His answer was, “I do not give out personal information.”

Market research can be challenging, but it is the lifeblood of a successful business. We here at LifeWorx do quality feedback work and research on a weekly basis and encourage clients to be as open as possible with us so we can find out their needs and wants and provide them with the best help that fits their lifestyle.