Smartaupairs Au Pairs & Holiday Season – Captured in Photos!

Can you believe we are ONLY 12 days into 2017!

After New Year, we asked our au pairs to share photos which captured “Christmas/holiday season spirit” – here are some of their lovely productions.

Again, near enough impossible to select a winner as all entries are lovely – however it had to be done (we ended up doing a draw!)

Congrats Esma, Anna-Lena & Valentina (your prizes will follow shortly).

 

Welcoming Tamara to Smartaupairs

We are really pleased to welcome Tamara to the Smartaupairs team as our intern!

Tamara has been an au pair in the UK herself and therefore knows exactly what it is like from the au pair’s point of view.

She will be assisting our team in au pair support and will be there to offer advice and guidance to au pairs throughout their application process and placement. She will also be helping to organise some upcoming events!

Tamara is a native German speaker and also speaks Italian and English.

Here is her message to all of our au pairs:

Hi 

My Name is Tamara, I’m 24 years old and I’m from Austria. I have studied International Cultural and Business Studies in Passau, Germany. Before I went to university I have been an au pair myself. I have spent an amazing year in the UK living with a host family in Oxfordshire.

I’m really happy to be back in the UK and I’ll do my very best to help all of YOU current au pairs to make the most of your stay!

tamara

Smartaupairs Does Santa Dash

Have you ever witnessed this many Santa’s in one place? Nor had we… 🙂

Tuuli, Chloe and Luisa (one of our brave au pairs!) took part in the London Santa Dash run yesterday – organised by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. Luisa ran the 5k, and Tuuli and Chloe braved the full 10k stretch.

Luisa had her own support crew of other au pairs to cheer her on! 🙂

Despite the freezing temperatures, nearly 3000 runners took part, all dressed in Santa or other Christmas outfits (reindeers, elves, sledges were also spotted..)

It was such a wonderful event for an even greater cause.

To donate to the Great Ormond Street Hospital – please follow this link: https://donate.gosh.org/

Guest Blog from Au Pair Evelien

Evelien is a 19 year old Dutch au pair, who started her placement with her host family in Surrey in October. Here she shares two of her blog posts, describing her experiences of two key events: Halloween and Bonfire Night!

1st November 2016

Hey everyone,

This blog post is about a holiday that I thought was only celebrated this big in America, but I was wrong: in England, they celebrated just as big.

It all started two weeks ago, my host mum was talking about home decorations, carving pumpkins, and she told me that I had to have an outfit.

I still hadn’t found anything to wear the Friday before Halloween, so I went to town with my friend, Gemma. All the shops were full of Halloween decorations and different kinds of outfits. Eventually I found a nurse (or waiter’s) dress that wasn’t too expensive and it looked quite okay, so I bought that one.

halloween

On Saturday, I went to an event called “Pillage the village!” in Reigate with my host family. All the shops with the black and orange balloons outside participated. It meant that we could trick or treat at those shops. After visiting a lot of houses, we went to a super scary Halloween house too. The children were so scared that one floor was enough for them, so we went on to a nice little restaurant and had some food.

pillage

It was time to go home now, to carve the pumpkins! Before we got started we made some sketches, and then we had to clean the pumpkins. What a work! Carving the pumpkins was quite some work too! It was harder than I thought it would be, but these are the results:

pupkins

The next day, it was time to make the front yard Halloween-proof.
We had orange spider webs, spiders, rats etc. to decorate the yard. It was super fun to do and in the dark it looked super scary!

The first Monday after the midterm break, we went home very quickly to put on our Halloween outfits again, this time to go to a friend’s house. They threw a Halloween party with Halloween food and stuff like that. After having our “fingers with blood” and “dead body pudding” we went outside to search for pumpkins at people’s houses, where we could trick or treat.  The children were super excited, that was so nice to see! Even the children who are usually quite shy, were now the first to ring the doorbell!

When our buckets were full of candy, it was time to get home.

What a nice first experience of celebrating Halloween! I loved it (:

Lots of Love,

Evelien.

 

8th November 2016

Three days ago it was Guy Fawkes Night. This is an event in England were they celebrate that the parliament wasn’t attacked in 1605. In these days there were plans in London to destroy the parliament. Today they celebrate this with campfires and lots of fireworks.

On Friday I picked up the boys from school, we went to The Bicycle Shop; this is not only a shop but also a café. After a coffee, my host dad arrived and we went to the Fish and Chips Shop. There I had a real English dinner!

After dinner it was time to go to school to see the fireworks. It was an amazing, lots of different colours and music all on. They made a real show of it 🙂

fireworks

The days before and after I still heard fireworks at night on the streets.

Last Sunday, I went to Brighton with three of my friends. In the morning somewhere around 10 o’clock we took the train and after 30 minutes we were at Brighton!  Brighton is a amazing city, everywhere wall paintings, nice little shops and lots of second hand shops.

The atmosphere in the city is chill and calm, nothing needs to happen and everything is okay. It’s a bit like a student city.

First we went to The Lanes, these are small streets with little shops. Not the big brands but little private shops. It reminds me of some streets in my hometown. We went to a big second hand shop were we saw a photo booth we needed to take a crazy picture in there!

lanes

We walked on, then we saw a fudge shop, on the windows were stickers of prices. This was something we really wanted to taste. It was out of this world so delicious. We had three different flavours, sea salt, vanilla and strawberry.

fudge

After The Lanes it was time for the Pavilion building. This is a big concert building that looks like a fairy tale one. It looks like Aladdin could live there 🙂 We could see a little bit inside and after that we went to the big garden behind the building. There we have had lunch and we went to the most famous place in Brighton, the Pier.

When we walked on the Brighton Pier and we ate our fudge, but this was not a good idea. We were attacked by some seagulls, super scary! They took the fudge out of my hand and bit me. We ate our fudge quick and went to the arcades. Of course we needed to try this! We spent too much money but we got two little key rings 🙂

pier

We walked to the end of the Pier, over there it looks like a fairground. Attractions everywhere, but we spend already too much money so we went back to the station.

Back in Redhill we wanted pizza, so we went to a pizza place and had a lovely pizza. Super end of the day!

pizza

Lots of love,

Evelien

If you would like to keep up with Evelien’s au pair experience, you can read her blog here.

evelien

National Nursery Rhyme Week

This week is National Nursery Rhyme Week and a few au pairs wanted to share some rhymes from their native language.

Here are their contributions with an English translation – a great opportunity for you to learn a rhyme in another language!

If you would like to learn more nursery rhymes in English, the BBC has put together a great collection that you can find here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learning/schoolradio/subjects/earlylearning/nurserysongs.

german-2

Jaqueline, Ilford, Essexdutch

Evelien, Redhill, Surreyspanish

Gemma, Redhill, Surrey

french

Celine, London

german

Lisa, Maidstone, Kent

Halloween Spookiness!

Here are some wonderfully spooky Halloween photos from smartaupairs au pairs.

The two winning entries are by Cornelia A and Caroline S! 

They will both receive a prize + a gift for their host children.

Cornelia A – She is currently au pairing in Wimbledon 🙂

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“Good evening and happy Halloween!! Our scary picture from tonight! Trick or treat was awesome- in main roles Captain Black, Harry Potter with his beautiful Owl and me as half sceleton, half Hermione ( the boys just told me exactly how to dress- best advisory service ever! 😂👍🏼) Kind regards!! Cornelia”

Second prize winner is Caroline S, she is au pairing in London:

“This is our halloween feast, the pumpkin and our costumes to enjoy!
Halloween was great.”

Other fantastic entries:

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Harleen with her adorable host children 🙂 She is au pairing in London!

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Laura with her spooky host children! Loving the house decorations too! Laura is an au pair in Sussex

 

Julie’s super cute (yet spooky) host children! Julie is an au pair in Greater London

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Sabrina’s (currently an au pair in Surrey) entry: handycraft by the host child 🙂

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Entry from Janina who is currently an au pair in Surrey
“Hello there, hope you’re alright.
Living in a house with massive Harry Potter fans, the choice about the costume was pretty clear. After watching Nightmare Before Christmas and decorating everything a bit, my 2 little pumpkins got dressed in their Slytherin and Griffindor robes, ties and everything. Seeing as the two best houses were already taken, I had to get out my “I’m a muggle“ Shirt. But what is more scary or sad than being a muggle in between two real wizards?
Hope you had a great time,
Janina”
Entry from Katinka:
“Hello my name is Katinka and I am an aupair in Bristol. My host child is 6 years old. He loves doing arts and crafts and dressing up.
These are his words:
“These are bats and a cat made out off toiletrolles. The little bats are made out off conkers and the big bat is made out of a bottle. The pumpkin is made out of a pumpkin and I am a spooky clown-witch! I hope you had a spooky time reading this. Happy Halloween!”
“Spiders everywhere!!! The best part was to decorate the house… hiding spiders or other scary decorations.
Ghost muffins: The kids loved creating their ghosts. They seem scary but they are delicious and very sweet 😉
Halloween Decorations everywhere in the house.
The scarier the pumpkin grimace is, the better is the Halloween mood. But before you cut the grimace in the pumpkin, you have to wash them… lots of fun!” 
The above photos are by Judith, she is currently au pairing in Buckinghamshire 🙂