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Well Nourished December

 

Ok, so you wouldn’t want to eat this recipe (although if your toddler is anything like mine they might try!) but for this time of year its great for homemade Christmas tree decorations. Salt Dough is super easy so you can really get the kids involved…and what’s better than a few homemade tree decorations?!

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Salt

2 Cups of Plain Flour

3/4 Cup of cold water

 

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking sheet/tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the salt and flour.
  3. Gradually stir in the water and mix well.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a table and kneed until smooth.
  5. Roll flat (to about the width of a pound coin) and cut with cookie cutters of your choice. We used stars and Christmas trees.
  6. If you want to hang these on your tree don’t forget to make a small hole in the top (a pencil is great for this!) before baking
  7. Place your creations on the tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. They are done when they are hard.
  8. Leave to cool.
  9. Leave plain, Paint with acrylic paint, cover with PVA glue and glitter, tie with string or pretty ribbon and adorn your tree!

 

 

Happy Baking. DO NOT EAT.

Big December Love.

 

Hello November

Light up your November with fireworks and Christmas light switch-ons! Here are some wonderful things to do in Surrey, London and beyond this month…

 

Christmas Light Switch-ons

Regent Street: November 16th

Oxford Street: November 7th

Carnaby Street: November 9th

Covent Garden: November 14th

Kingston: November 16th

Guildford: November 16th

Chelmsford: November 26th

Braintree: November 16th

Brentwood: November 26th

Winchester: November 16th

Chichester: November 23rd

 

Fireworks

The historic Chiddingfold bonfire night takes place on Saturday 4th November 2017 at 7pm. This is one of the most popular bonfires and firework displays in the south so check for tickets and road closures in advance.

The Fireworks Festival is back at Alexandra Palace this year. It includes a huge firework display, laser display, street food market, a German Bier Festival, funfair, ice skating and Day of the Dead Parade. £11 adults, £8.50 children; ice skating and bier festival extra. November 3rd and 4th.

The Lambeth festival of fireworks will include a spectacular display, live entertainment and street food traders. 2017’s theme is A Night at the Movies. The event opens at 5pm with an 8pm fireworks display. £3.50-£50, book ahead. November 4th.

The Kensington Roof Gardens are bringing Bonfire Night to a stylish new height with a firework display and BBQ. Doors open 7pm, fireworks at 11.45pm. £20, book ahead. November 4th.

The Richmond annual family fireworks take place at Richmond Athletics Ground with a display composed to music, plus a funfair, live music, food and drink stalls and more. November 5th.

The Guildford Firework Fiesta at Stoke Park is back by popular demand! The Guildford Lions Firework Fiesta will this year take place on Saturday 4th November 2017.  The Firework Fiesta is a major event in the Guildford calendar and one of the largest for people of all ages.The truly amazing torchlight procession will leave the Guildhall at 7.00pm and will again be led by the Sea Cadets marching band.

 

We want all of our families and AuPairs to enjoy the festivities of bonfire night but here are a few tips on staying safe with sparklers:

  • Always supervise children using sparklers.
  • Store sparklers and other fireworks in a closed box in a cool, dry place
  • Don’t give sparklers to a child under five.
  • Always light sparklers one at a time and, preferably, wear gloves.
  • Show children how to hold sparklers: away from their body and at arm’s length.
  • Teach children not to wave sparklers near anyone else or run while holding them.
  • Never hold a sparkler yourself, if you’re also holding a baby/child in your arms.
  • When a sparkler’s burned out, plunge it, hot end down, into a bucket of water. Sparkler’s can stay hot for a long time.
  • Don’t take sparklers to public displays. It will be too crowded to use them safely.
  • Make sure your children aren’t wearing loose, flowing clothes: in the unlikely event that things do turn dangerous, loose clothing is more likely to catch light.

 

The end of the year tends to be a time that many of our host families say goodbye to their lovely Au Pairs as they head home for the festive break, or sometimes for good as they finish their placements. So, fill it with lots of family time and activities and be sparkly…

 

 

Love,

November

x

Toffee Apples

For me, they fit perfectly somewhere between the left-over trick or treat-ing candy of Halloween and the looming crisp, smoky skies of November fireworks and bonfires. Perfect for the coming weeks. What’s more, they are the ideal size for little mitten-covered hands to hold!

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 8 Apples
  • 400g Caster Sugar
  • 1tsp Vinegar
  • 4tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 100ml Water
  • 8 Wooden Skewers

Method:

Place the apples in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 60 seconds and then dry with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper. This removes the waxy residue. Twist off any stalks.

Lay out a piece of greaseproof/baking paper near to your hob, and place the apples on it. Insert a skewer into each apple where the stalks have been removed.

In a saucepan, heat the caster sugar with 100ml of water and heat for 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Add the vinegar and golden syrup. Place a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 150 degrees. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer place a small amount of the toffee into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly, and when removed, be brittle an hard to break. If it is soft and squishy/sticky continue to boil the toffee and repeat the test.

Working quickly, dip and twist each apple in the toffee, until covered. Drip off any excess over the pan and return to the greaseproof/baking paper to harden.

If you wish to decorate with chopped nuts, seeds, chocolate etc. do this at the ‘tacky not hot stage’. Allow the toffee to cool for a few minutes so its sticky but not hard. Adorn with your chosen decorations and allow to harden.

These little beauties can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in a cool, dry place.

 

Sprinkle with chopped nuts, edible glitter, sugar strands, mini marshmallows…whatever your heart desires. The list is endless so get the kids involved and creative!

 

 

 

 

 

Well Nourished October


 



Its October. And in our house that's the month when we break out the slow cooker! It will now frequent the kitchen worktop until somewhere 
around March. Having 2 children under two, one who has not long started weaning, I now need recipes that the whole family can enjoy. This 
slow cooker Rice Pud is great for babies and toddlers. It can be mashed or blended once cooked for teeny weaners, and sugar is optional. And, 
the best part is, the slow cooker means there's no need to slave over the hob! Just pop it all in, leave for 4hrs and voila! 

Ingredients:

  • 110g (4 oz) Pudding rice
  • 25g (1 oz) Unsalted butter
  • 25g (1oz) Sugar (optional) 
  • 1.2L (2 pt) Whole milk
  • 1tsp Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or 1 split vanilla pod 

Method:

  • Use a small amount of the butter to grease the bowl of the slow cooker.
  • Add the milk, sugar and remaining butter and either ground cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla pod.
  • Give it a good stir and place the lid on
  • Turn the slow cooker onto high and cook for 4 hours or until the rice has absorbed the liquid, stirring halfway through.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Serve on its own or with some chopped banana, jam, fruit compote/puree, stewed apples, or dried fruit. 

October. You look tasty, warming and cosy.

Halloween C.R.A.F.T (Creative Really Awesome *almost* Free Things)

Do you want to make some Halloween decor but are lacking the skills of Martha Stewart? Fear not. Here are some super simple, cheap and really cute Halloween craft ideas that you or your Nannies or Au Pairs can do with the kids. Lots of these supplies you can gather from the great outdoors for free, or very cheaply in supermarkets or craft shops. 

Bin bags? Check. Pipe cleaners and boggly eyes? Check. Glue, scissors and string? Check. Crayons? Everywhere… so lets get creative!!

 

Pinecone Spiders

Get out into the Autumnal air and collect yourselves some pinecones. Wrap 4 full length pipe cleaners around the pine cone to make 8 legs. Attach boggly eyes with glue to the bottom of the pinecone.  Use images of real spiders as inspiration and an opportunity to learn about different species…did you know that some spiders have 8 eyes as well as 8 legs…and some have no eyes at all! 

Glowing Ghosts                                 

Turn a disposable white plastic cup upside down and with black marker pen draw a spooky face. Bend a glow stick so that it activates and then place inside the cup. For extra spooking you can poke a hole in the bottom of the cup, add a string with a knot and hang!                                       

No Carve Pumpkins

If the thought of letting your little ones loose with scissors and knives fills you with more spooks than Halloween itself, fear not! Go on a scavenger hunt for things like leaves, pinecones, twigs, acorns and conkers, and secure all of your finds onto a pumpkin with glue. Conkers or chestnuts make great eyes, an acorn is as cute as a button for a nose and maple seeds make fabulous eyebrows! 

Mason Jar Mummies

All you need for these Mason Jar Luminaries is: Mason Jars, Gauze Bandage

Boggly eyes, Glue and Flameless Votive Candles. Simply glue one end of the bandage to the mason jar near the top or the bottom, wrap around the jar, secure the loose end with glue, glue on 2 boggly eyes, pop the votive in and ‘ta-daa’! 

Toilet Roll Bats 

Start by folding in both ends of an empty toilet paper roll. Fold them in on themselves until you have a sort of pillow shape. Paint it black. Draw and cut out some bat-shaped wings on black paper. Tape or glue the toilet roll onto the middle of the wings. Add some boggly eyes and enjoy some bat-tastic spooking!! 

Tootsie Ghosts

Start by painting your child’s foot with non-toxic white washable paint and have them step on a black piece of card stock  (card stock because is more durable than black paper and won’t wrinkle when it dries). Once completely dry, turn upside down, take a white crayon and trace around the footprints making a ghost figure of each one. Finally, take a black crayon or sharpie and draw on scary ghost faces! Tootsie cute. 

Ice Lolly Stick Spider Webs

Criss-cross 3 wooden ice lolly sticks and glue together. Paint them any colour you like. Black, white and orange work particularly well. Once dry, cut a long piece of coloured wool or string in a contrasting colour. Tie one end to one of the lolly sticks and begin to wind-around in a web-like-fashion. Tie off to secure the loose end. Adding a spider is optional. Sticker spiders work well. Invite the real thing at your own risk!! 

Ghostly Leaves

Any excuse to get my kids outside I take it. Breathe in the crisp fresh air and go outside to find some large fallen leaves. This time of year the colours are gorgeous and you should easily be able to find fire red, pumpkin orange and yellow reminiscent of summer sun, but really any leaves will do! Put your dry leaves onto a wipeable surface (actually, a paper plate is a fab disposable painting tray!) and sponge on some white paint in any fashion you like. Glue on some spooky black eyes and mouth and pierce a hole in the top to hang it by string. 

 

 

Now that your house is suitably spooky go grab yourself a festive pumpkin spiced latte, sit back, and wait for the trick-or-treaters! 

Happy Halloweeeeeen to all our Au Pairs , Nannies and Host Families across London, Surrey and the Home Counties!! If you have any Halloween craft ideas of your own please head over to our Facebook page @PriveRecruitment and come and share them! We would love to see how you have been keeping your children entertained this Autumn! 

Hello October!

 

October means one thing. Pumpkins. OK, and Half Term. So, if you are looking for some activities to entertain the kids this Halloweeeeeeen then dig out your welly boots, dust off those wheelbarrows for your haul and head on down to the Pumpkin Patch!

 

Crockford Bridge Farm in Addlestone has one of the best Pumpkin Patches in the UK as well as Pick your Own and a fantastic immersive woodland experience!

The Pumpkin Patch is now open for pumpkin picking every day until the end of October from 10 am – 5 pm. Pumpkins and a select range of squashes are also available for sale in the Farm Shop daily until 6 pm (4.30 pm on Sundays).

During Half Term, the Pumpkin Patch comes alive with all manner of fun activities. Entry to the Pumpkin Patch is £2 per person.

As well as the Pumpkin Patch they also have Apple Bobbing, Face Painting, Pumpkin Carving/Decorating, a play area with a Zip Wire and Pop Up Food stalls.

This year the immersive Woodland Theatre Show is Snow White and the Seven Deadly Sins. It runs from Sat 21st – Sun 29th Oct.

Tickets, times and prices can be found on their website http://www.crockfordbridgefarm.co.uk

For the best-of-the-rest head on down to one of these lovelies:

Garsons Farm-Pumpkins and a huge selection of fruit and vegetables available for Pick Your Own. West End Lane, Esher, Surrey Telephone: 01372 464389. The largest Pick Your Own farm in the UK, which also has an extensive shop, grocery store and a plant centre. Easy to reach from the A3 and M25.

Secretts Farm-This is worth visiting for the Tractor and Trailer rides alone, which run up and down the Pumpkin Field (which run daily from Monday 26th – Friday 30th October from 11am – 3pm). Aside from picking your own pumpkin to take home and carve this Halloween, there will also be lots activities taking place,including pumpkin biscuit decorating, pumpkin tasting and recipes in the Farm Shop, a pumpkin hunt, and face painting. Hurst Farm, Chapel Lane, Milford, Surrey GU8 5HU.

Beluncle Farm, Hoo, Kent-A family farm that opens its gates to the public in October especially for pumpkin season. You can borrow a wheelbarrow to transport your haul, and a donation from the profits is made to charity. Free entry. riversidefarmers.com

Lested Farm, Kent-Farmers Jake and Mark Thompson are gearing up for Halloween by opening their fields to the public for some pumpkin picking. There’s no entry fee, you just pay for what you pick and prices range from (a very reasonable) £1 for a small pumpkin to £4 for the “Monster” pumpkin. Cheesmans Green Lane, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. 10am – 4pm on weekends up to and including October 31st

Visit Paultons Park this October half term and explore a world of pumpkins, Little Monsters and ghostly tunes! Look out for the Headless Horseman, the Witch’s Cauldron, Pumpkin Patch, Giant Pumpkin and Skeleton attractions as you journey through the Park. Meet Pickles the Pumpkin and friends  at selected times throughout the day. Head down to the Show Stage and join the Little Monsters Ball (21st – 30th October 2017) where you can bust monster moves to spooky tunes – dress to impress in our Freaky Fancy Dress competition! 7th – 30th October 2017. https://paultonspark.co.uk

If this isn’t quite enough to fill your week then you could squeeze in a visit to celebrate the magic of autumn at Beaulieu with amazing seasonal activities and traditional fun and games that all the family will enjoy.

See the fantastic harvest festival-themed decorations in Palace House and head to the Victorian Kitchen to help the cook to bake soul cakes, a traditional autumn recipe. Don’t miss special themed arts and crafts activities for younger visitors to get stuck into before having your face painted with a ghoulish design.https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/events/october-half-term/

Finally, if all of the excitement of Pumpkin Picking , carving and time off with the kids is just too much and you need to run off some steam join the Denbies Halloween 10k run.

This year 2:09 Events is celebrating Halloween on Saturday October 28th with a new terrifying 10K hosted by Denbies Vineyard near Dorking in Surrey. You are promising a dastardly route that undulates over paved tracks and off-road trails with a few tricks and special surprises along the way. There are prizes for the best costumes on display and lots of Halloween treats at the finish.

For those who want to get the kids involved to run off some steam of their own there is also a family-friendly, scary sprint over a shorter 2K course. We dare you to give it a try!

Every finisher will get a special luminous medal and a goody bag at the end!

https://www.209events.com/uk-running-events/denbies-halloween-run-10km-and-2km#event-tabs

And so, I leave you with our final thought…

October. Wellies advisable.

Well Nourished September

Two words. Broccoli Tots. In our house these little beauties are loved by our toddler, and are so delectable that they also often grace the plates of the adults that live here too.

If as a parent, Au Pair or Nanny you have ever had the honour of trying to persuade a small child to eat their greens to no avail then look no further. This recipe is super easy, super quick, and super tasty.

There are many variations of this recipe online but this is my favourite:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups or 12 ounces uncooked or frozen broccoli
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ⅓ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
  • Small pinch of salt (optional)
  • Small pinch of pepper (optional)

Method

  1.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Line a large baking tray or sheet with grease-proof paper and set aside.
  2. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute then remove and shock with cold tap water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
  3. Finely chop the broccoli in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, onions, cheese, breadcrumbs, and seasoning if using. Mix well. Scoop about 1.5 tablespoons of mix using a ice-cream scoop or your hands and shape into a firm ball then shape into a croquette shape. It helps to wash your hands after every few tots to keep them from sticking onto your hands. Place the Tots on your prepared baking tray.
  4. Bake for approx. 18-24 minutes, turning half way. Or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and enjoy hot. Or, to freeze,  leave to cool completely on the tray. Place the tray in the freezer for at least 4 hours, and then tumble the frozen Tots into a freezer bag, label, and return to the freezer. Reheat from frozen in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until piping hot.

Enjoy with chicken, fish or on their own as a healthy snack.

 

If this has been enough to tempt you into the kitchen or got your taste buds all-a-flutter keep an eye out for our monthly Well Nourished blog posts.

Shop local. Stay sustainable. Stay fresh.

September looks tasty.

Hello September!

 

So, the kids have returned to school and you might be wondering what you can fill the last few sunny weekends of the year with. Here are a few ideas of days out in London, Surrey and Hampshire to keep you busy until October!…

 

If you are in or around London, The Totally Thames festival will grace the banks of The Thames from September 1st-30th 2017.  An annual celebration of the River Thames; dive into a month-long party full of arts festivals, community events, regattas, river races, foreshore archaeology and environmental activities. Highlights include performances from the Royal Opera House, international street theatre, dance inspired by mythical water creatures, workshops and immersive walking experiences. There is something for everyone; Au Pairs, families and children alike. Check it out http://totallythames.org

If you need a break from all that excitement then Tombo in Fitzrovia is calling all Kitty Fans! It has opened a Hello Kitty Pop-Up Cafe which is open now until the middle of October. Anyone who remembers having a Hello Kitty pencil case will be glad to know there’s merchandise on offer alongside Hello Kitty ice creams, cakes, biscuits, Matcha Tea and more! A great idea to while away a few hours with the kids in SW7 (or as a solitary guilty pleasure!) between sightseeing or back to school activities. http://tombocafe.com/

If the hustle and bustle of the big City is not your thing then head out to the beautiful countryside.  Its time to pack away those flip-flops and wash off your wellies and head to RHS Wisley (Woking) for the Surrey Sculpture Society Trail. On now, until September 27th. Enjoy this unique art experience with kids of all ages. They have over 60 sculptures by some of the South East’s finest artists.  Find out more at https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/whats-on-at-rhs-gardens/whats-on-at-rhs-garden-wisley/Archive-articles/2014/surrey-sculpture-society-trail

Finally, on the 23rd and 24th of September, Stansted Park in Hampshire is hosting The West Sussex Food and Country Fair 2017.

The family event has something for everyone!

All day entertainment will include:

  • The popular Dog & Duck Show
  • Birds of prey flying displays
  • Terrier racing
  • A Children’s entertainer
  • The Tallest Magic Show in the World
  • The goat show including bottle feeding Lambs and Kids
  • Children’s petting pens
  • Historical re-enactment
  • Arts, crafts and gift marquees

 

Further details including times and ticket prices can be found here http://www.stanstedpark.co.uk/Events/west-sussex-food-country-fair-23rd-24th-september-2017.html

See you there!

Over the coming months we will be blogging in our ‘Hello’ posts about days in and days out with kids/activities/whats on in local areas for all you lovely Au Pairs, Host Families, Kids and lovers of London life, the Surrey countryside and all that’s further afield. But for now, September. You Rock.

Wanderlust…Travel. Work. Live

Our AuPairs travel from all over the world for our wonderful Host Families. We have placed AuPairs from Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan.

We are based in the Surrey Hills and cover Surrey, London and the Home Counties including Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex and Kent. 

We have worked with Host Families from all over the country, and have most recently placed AuPairs, Nannies, Sleep Trainers and Household Staff in positions in Guildford, Godalming, Dorking, Ripley, Farnham, Haslemere, Weybridge, Beaconsfield, Henley-on-Thames, Sevenoaks, Marlow, Cobham, Esher, Walton-on-Thames, Hersham, Oxshott, Virginia Water, Kingston, Wimbledon, Richmond, Barnes, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Clapham, Battersea, Chelsea, Camden, Westminster and Fulham. 

Go abroad. Encounter a different culture. Take on new responsibilities. A learning experience unlike any other. Join us today and let the adventure begin!