We are excited to introduce you to our new product partner – Silikids!
Traverse City, Michigan based Silikids was founded in 2006 by two moms, Stacey Feeley and Giuliana Schwab. Silikids is the first mom-founded brand focused on creating products that are toxin- free, hypoallergenic and made entirely out of silicone. Silikids combines necessity with innovation along with the technological advances of silicone, making the company a pioneer in the children’s market. The Silikids collection includes Silibib®, Siliskin® Glasses, Siliskin® Top, Siliskin® Sippy, Silimap, Siliskin® Bowl, Silispoon and Silibags. For more information, visit www.silikids.com.
Check out some of their innovative products:
NEW PRODUCTS NOW AVAILABLE AT RETAIL:
Siliskin® Top, a Silicone Top which stretches over and covers the top of a glass.
Combined with the Siliskin Glass, the glass is completely encased and protected. This top is the perfect solution to making the 6oz Siliskin glass a sippy. The Top can also be used with other standard size glass cups, turning your average glass cup into a sippy.
Available in two colors, Fresh and h20.
Siliskin® Sippy, a stylish 8 oz. sippy cup where Silitop and Siliskin Glass come together as one. Glass, skin and top included.
Silimap, a portable silicone placement with cool/fun educational themed graphics to teach kids about the US. Presectioned panels allow for Silimap to fold easily and compactly, perfect for a diaper bag. Available in two colors, Free and Sea.
Silibib makes its introduction with a fresh new design. The bib’s new ergonomic design allows for it to lie flat. The bib includes a hidden pocket too that easily flips forward for use so the bib can be worn with the pocket in front or with the pocket flipped behind. Silibib is soft and comfortable for baby and hypoallergenic and is easy to wipe off and dishwasher safe.
Available in two colors, Spice and Fresh.
Siliskin Glass 6 oz., silikid’s signature “Big Kid” cup, a glass encased in a silicone protective sleeve features a patent-pending shock absorption design. Moms nationwide love Silikids glasses! Said Silikids mom Cheryl Friedman of Boston, MA “Finally, a safe glass I can give my kids! We love the cups and my family thanks you!”. This enthusiastic mom fan, Angela Baptiste of Austin, TX had this to say about Siliskin Glasses, “These have made our mealtime so much better! My kids love the colors”.
Available in a two pack in Tart and Sea.
The following products will be added to the Silikids collection and are slated to be available at retail sometime in April/May 2014:
Siliskin® Bowl, a sectioned ceramic bowl with Siliskin is ideal for young children starting solid foods and for suggested portions of the four food groups.
Available in Spice.
Silispoon, a silicone spoon designed to encourage independent eating habits. Silispoon features a textured handle and wide spatula style head to make it easy to scoop up food.
Available in a 2pack in purple/pink and green/blue.
Silibags, translucent silicone sandwich/snack bags which make it easy to see what is inside. Embedded closure keeps bag sealed shut. These reusable bags replace disposable plastic sandwich bags! Available as a 2pack in colors Spice and Mellow.
24 applicants applied for the world’s hardest job and got a pretty big surprise.
The requirements sounded nothing short of brutal:
• Standing up almost all the time
• Constantly exerting yourself
• Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
• Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
• No vacations
• The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
• No time to sleep
• Salary = $0
The job ad received 2.7 million impressions from paid ad placements. Only 24 people inquired. They interviewed via webcam, and their real-time reactions were captured on video.
Check out what happened below. It’s worth watching to the end.
Project: World’s Toughest Job
Agency: Mullen, Boston
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
Executive Creative Directors: Tim Vaccarino, Dave Weist
Creative Director: Jon Ruby
Associate Creative Director, Copy: Andrea Mileskiewicz
Associate Creative Director, Art: Blake Winfree
Executive Director of Integrated Production: Liza Near
Head of Broadcast: Zeke Bowman
Producer: Vera Everson
Account Director: Jessica Zdenek
Account Supervisor: Laila Lynch
Director of Digital Strategy: Eric Williamson
Senior Brand Strategist: Ryan Houts
Production Company: Caviar
Director: Amir Farhang
Executive Producer: Valeria Maldini
Producer: Jason Manz
Director of Photography: Brian Rigney Hubbard
Editing, Visual Effects: PS260
Editor: J.J. Lask
Assistant Editor: Colin Edelman
Senior Producer: Laura Lamb Patterson
Lead Visual Effects Artist: Patrick Lavin
Assistant Artist: Matt Posey
Audio Post: Soundtrack
Sound Design, Mixer: Mike Secher
Casting: House Casting
Casting Agent: Shawn Alston
Client: American Greetings
Executive Director, Marketing: Alex Ho
It’s Valentine’s Day month and Pregnancy Magazine is celebrating with a big bag of baby gear for the new mom. Check out this great list of prizes you can win just by entering, including extra entries if you tweet or favorite on Facebook. Total value of this package is over $1600 from award winning brands – and you could be the winner!
Enter to WIN four (4) tickets to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago!$80 ValueLEGOLAND® is a family attraction located in SCHAUMBURG, IL for kids aged 3-10, with rides, 4D cinema and a variety of top LEGOattractions. Inside the Center you can let your imagination run wild as you learn top tips from our Master Model Builder, join your favorite LEGO characters in our 4D cinema experiences, pedal fast on our Technicycle Ride and find plenty of places to build amazing LEGO creations.
To enter this giveaway, just send email to firstname.lastname@example.org aswering the following question:
What’s your favorite thing to do with kids in the Winter?
Are you loving indoor play spaces in the cold weather? Libraries? Museums? Just shout out your favorite spot and your automatically entered to win.
One entry per person, please. Contest ends Saturday at 9PM PST.
Winners will be selected at random and announced Sunday.
Looking for a perfect Valentine gift for a precious little one? Check out MAM Love & Affection pacifiers with delicate heart themed designs (or, their personalized pacifiers to customize your very own love message to baby!). MAM pacifiers give babies the best start in life because they are designed and developed by pediatric dentists and orthodontists. Visit www.mambaby.com for more information.
About MAM Pacifiers
Developed by leading pediatric dentists and developmental psychologists, MAM pacifiers provide maximum comfort and style for babies of all ages.
Clever design and lightweight materials make MAM pacifiers a pleasure to use. All MAM pacifiers feature an orthodontically correct nipple design that allows little ones to safely satisfy their sucking reflex while maintaining proper jaw and tooth alignment. MAM pacifiers feature an easy-to-grasp front knob and a curved shield for a comfortable fit that’s gentle on baby’s skin, thanks to generous air holes and MAM’s patented interior surface.
MAM pacifiers are available in an assortment of colors and design motifs, and come in two nipple options: patented anti-slip Silk Teat™ Silicone or Natural Latex. Like all MAM products, the brand’s pacifiers are BPA-free, PVC-free, lead-free and CPSIA-Compliant.
Suggested retail price: MAM Pacifiers, $7.49 for a pack of two; MAM Personalized Pacifiers, two for $19.95, four for $24.95, and six for $29.95.
Founded in Vienna, Austria in 1976, MAM offers real solutions for real parenting with an award-winning range of smart and simple products. A global leader in the baby care category, MAM’s mission is to combine the best in technological innovation, medically sound function and contemporary design to provide innovative baby care products essential for a child’s early years. The MAM collection includes pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, and oral care items. MAM is sold in over 30 countries and five continents. For more information about MAM products, please visit www.mambaby.com.
Don’t let a bad nanny hire happen to you. Follow our five hiring best practices to help ensure you don’t end up making a “desperate hire”.
As some parents can attest, few things cause more headaches than choosing the wrong nanny for your family in an act of hiring desperation.
First, there’s the time (and resources) you spend trying to acclimate the new hire. Then, there’s the adverse impact that a mismatch can have on your family. Finally, when the time comes for you and the wrong hire to part ways, you’re left right where you started.
Desperate Hire Warning Signs
Before we get into how to avoid making a desperate hire, let’s see if any of these warning signs ring true.
You’re beyond busy – too busy, in fact, to even look at the nanny profiles in your inbox.
And when you do look at profiles you’re overwhelmed. How are you going to assess each candidate’s skills, expertise and experience?
Your nanny quit or was terminated abruptly. Your missing work and projects are piling up because you don’t have childcare. You need someone ASAP.
Stress and exhaustion are shortening your fuse. You’re this close to hiring the first person who walks through the door.
Spotting the Desperation Hire
Say you need a nanny who speaks fluent French, is experienced with gluten-free meal preparation, and she’s available to work until 7:30pm. Nanny Jane’s childcare expertise is so impressive and hard to come by that you’re willing to overlook the fact that you didn’t really “click” with her and you don’t share all the same childcare philosophies.
What should you do?
Be proactive. In other words, don’t wait until the very last minute. Plan ahead and give yourself at least 6-8 weeks so you aren’t rushing the hiring process. The right nanny is out there for you, be patient until you find her.
Consider a Temp Nanny. Don’t let an urgent need bind you to a flawed candidate. If you’re in a bind, buy yourself some time by hiring someone on temporary basis. You may even find that your temporary nanny is interested in working full-time, allowing you to find someone who’s both tried and true.
Rely on experts. If you feel stressed, short on time and overwhelmed by the thought of assessing candidates’ skills, use an expert agency. A good nanny agency employs expert recruiters who not only understand the industry and hiring landscape, but also have access to top nanny talent that may never come in contact with your job description. Plus, they’ll evaluate candidates for you so you can focus on everything else in your life. It’s important to keep in mind that a nanny agency charges a referral fee . You’ll need to understand their policies and fees regarding temporary or permanent candidates.
Commit to the Process. Hiring the right nanny takes time. This means conducting multiple in-person interviews and allowing for shadowing or working trial days. You should feel great, even excited, about your decision. If you have even the slightest bit of doubt on a candidate stop and reevaluate. Doubt usually means “Don’t”. Trust your gut. Wait to find “The One”. You’re worth the wait!
Keep Positive and Maintain Great Attitude. If you’ve made a bad nanny hiring decision – hiring someone new can be daunting. Instead of blaming yourself or anybody and constantly rehashing past mistakes, take the opportunity to learn from the past. Ask yourself, what could I have done differently. Build on your past experience to make better hiring decisions next time. Focus on a new beginning.
In order to avoid making a desperate hire, you’ll need to plan ahead. Know the current market and hiring trends, then be prepared to say no to the right skills if the right fit just isn’t there.
Hiring takes time. If you’re short on it, and desperate not to make a bad hire, hire a temporary caregiver until you find the match that best fits you and your family.
You’ve applied to the position, received an electronic confirmation your resume was received, and you may have even successfully completed the interview process. You kick your feet up waiting for the interviews and job offers to roll. But a couple of days and weeks go by and you still haven’t heard anything. What happened? What’s a neglected job seeker supposed to do? Before reaching out to the nanny agency or recruiter take a step back a look at the situation from your recruiters perspective if you are working with a top nanny or domestic agency:
Nanny Recruiter daily job responsibilities:
• They spend about four to five hours a day on the phone.
• They make contact with about 600 people every week through in-person interviews, telephone screens, and other types of communication.
• They can receive anywhere from 500 to 1,000 emails every day.
• The office receives at least 100+ calls from potential job seekers daily.
Now that you have a mental picture of a recruiter’s daily challenges, here are some highly recommended strategies you should use in order to get a recruiter’s attention. Here’s five things you can do to help your recruiter better help you:
1) Email, Don’t Call.
Skip the phone and send email. Keep it simple. A few sentences reminding the recruiter of something specific you discussed or asking for next steps in the process is the best way to go. Be sure to include your full name and contact information on each correspondence. If you are responding to a specific job posting take the time to highlight your experience and back it up with specific examples of why you are a good fit. Reaching out once a week is a good best practice.
2) Develop a Comprehensive Resume Recruiters need to know the details about every position you held even the ones that only lasted three months. While you may choose to minimize employment gaps you need to be upfront and honest with the recruiter – about everything. Unexplained job gaps and interruptions in work history can be “red flags” that can take your resume to the bottom of the pile.
3) Contact References. You may have presented a stellar resume but if your work cannot be verified your recruiter is unable to represent you. Period. When a recruiter has difficulty reaching your references they’ll eventually move onto the next candidate. Be proactive. Contact your references directly requesting that they get in touch with your recruiter to prevent your job search from being stalled.
4) Be proactive, not desperate. It’s perfectly acceptable to show your enthusiasm when following up. That’s a good thing. But please don’t be desperate or communicate how much you are in need of work. It’s a huge turn off that will have the opposite effect. If your calling and emailing multiple times a day you may be viewed as inpatient or high maintenance and your recruiter will most likely pass you over
5) Don’t be a square peg in a round hole. If the hiring family is looking for a newborn specialist, please don’t try to “sell” us on why your experience with teenagers is transferrable. Remember our clients are paying us to present candidates who most closely align with their ideal profile.
6) Demonstrate Professional Maturity. Recruiters learn a lot about candidates during the selection process. The worst part of a recruiter’s job is telling someone they weren’t selected for an interview or get a job offer. However, your recruiter is more likely to consider you for future opportunities if you handle the news gracefully and express your willingness to get back on the saddle again. The most successful job seekers are not easily discouraged and maintain a positive attitude.
Cooperation and collaboration are the keys to a successful recruiter-candidate relationship. If you are a great candidate, well prepared, professional, and know exactly what you are looking for – you will not be forgotten by a recruiter. I hope these tips help and happy job hunting!
December 1, 2013
I am often asked what is like to run a nanny and domestic agency, with all the complexities of human relationships and interpersonal/family dynamics. Here is my immediate response: It is a privilege and joy to serve families, children, and caregivers. There is not a single day that passes that I don’t receive gratitude from those I serve. It’s people that make my work pure joy. This is not to say that my work has yielded a continual stream of hugs, kisses, flowers, and applause. I have also felt the sharp sting of critique. Some of the criticism has been true, many of it was false, and some was outright malicious. As a parent, it’s important my children look to me as an example and role model on handling criticism, effectively. When teaching a child to handle criticism effectively it’s critical they learn to differentiate between constructive and destruction criticism. So, what really is the difference?Constructive criticism: The process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work or actions of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a collaborative manner rather than an oppositional one. This kind of criticism is often a valuable tool in raising standards. Like it or not, if someone provides constructive criticism you will most likely recognize truth in their words. This kind of feedback provides tangible examples and includes an action plan for improvement. It leads to growth and improvement.Destructive criticism: On the other hand, destructive or toxic criticism is typically delivered in a harsh words, using broad unspecific terms or generalizations, is demoralizing, and quite possibly done in a public place where their are plenty of listening ears. The intention is to harm someone. To derogate or destroy someone, their work, their reputation and self esteem. To navigate the waters of unhealthy criticism you must learn to make a detour and walk away. They key to navigating criticism is to figure out which are helpful, and steer clear of those that aren’t. This lesson holds true whether your 5 or 85.According to Aristotle, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. The fact is the matter is that if you are committed to doing anything in life worthwhile you will face criticism. Here are a few great quotes on criticism:It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Theodore RooseveltBefore you go and criticize the younger generation, just remember who raised them. UnknownThe artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews. William FaulknerAny fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving. Dale CarnegieWhen we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical. UnknownI have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism. Charles SchwabCriticism is an indirect form of self-boasting. Emmet FoxIngrid KellaghanFounder and President, Cambridge Nanny Group