Saturday 24th June 2017- Urban Food Fest

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Thank you to all the au pairs who got together at Urban food fest in Shoreditch! !  One of the many events organized by smartaupairs ❤ They were all so nice!

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We all gathered at Allen Gardens at 3.30 pm. We had different activities in the park to get to know one another. After spending an hour in the park we decided to go to the Urban food fest which is located in Shoreditch. The au pair had different nationalities: Dutch, German, Spanish and French. We even met someone that travelled to 5 different continents. 🙂

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When we arrived at the Food Fest, we had so many choices that we didn’t know what to eat: pizza, falafel wrap, fried chicken wrap, bubble waffle, burritos, organic food… Some cocktails were even served in jars.

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We talked all afternoon seated around a wood table,  talking about the different problems au pairs can go through during their stay, what they like about their placement, but also about cultural differences… So many different topics. Some au pairs are going back home soon – in less then one month and they were quite sad to finish their placement as becoming an au pair is such a beautiful experience.

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The good part is, all the au pairs made new friends. They discovered some common points and shared their life with each other.

We did not leave the Urban food fest until 8.00 pm showing how much fun we had just talking together.

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It was a beautiful experience to meet new people but also a beautiful culinary experience. If you have the time you should definitely go with your au pair friends, it is open every Saturday! – Or you can just join us for our next event. 🙂

Smartaupairs is always trying to get it right for families and au pairs!

Hope to see you at our next event so we can all have fun together 😀

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Blog article by Isabelle (Left) and Aurelie (Right)

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Sunday 11th June 2017 : The London Colour Run

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Blog entry by Aurelie & Isabelle – the current smartaupairs interns. Photo credits go to our amazing Aussie au pairs who took some fantastic snaps during the day.

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Hi everybody,

We completed the 2017 London Colour run last weekend. It was such a beautiful day. We had the chance to wear our colour run shirt with our Happy tattoos. 😉

We arrived at Wembley park at 1:45 to take our race pack. We received : a head band, a tattoo, and a T-shirt. Nice touch!

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At 2:30 pm we stretched and danced. Moreover, If you were lucky you could catch some fashionable colour run sunglasses and socks.  You could also buy colourful product of all sort. 😉

From 3:00 to 3:45 we walked to the starting line. Everyone was so excited to run and to get coloured. We were advancing by groups and getting to know new people in the line while listening to music.

3:45 the run begun, some people were walking and some other were running, there was no competitive spirit just fun and colours. Every kilometre you could enjoy getting splashed by colours every door making you look like a rainbow. From pink to red. We had to go through: green, pink, an unexpected foam zone , orange and finally red.

 

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We arrived at 4:45 at the finish line (yes, we are really slow). Where you could enjoy the music, and dance under the sun. We also threw all at the same time our last bag of colours in the air.

It must really have been the happiest 5K of the planet, we couldn’t see the time flying by as we were walking those 5 kilometres, it was the shortest 5 kilometres we have ever experienced.

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At the end of the event, you could receive a plastic coat to protect others in the metro from getting coloured. When we finally went back to the centre of London, the experience was still in our mind and people were staring at us not knowing the beautiful experience we had. We went home full of thought of the day, and we all shared the feeling that it was continuing as we went back home all colourful, whether it was on our shirts or in our mind.

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It was a beautiful experience to live and If I could do it again, I would do it again – as it was so much fun. 😊

If you missed the event, it is nothing to be worried about – as you can always participate to the next one!

Thank you again to the Australian Au Pairs for their pictures they are all so nice 😊 ❤

Aurelie (right) & Isabelle (left)

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Sunday 14th May 2017 : The BAPAA Au Pair River Cruise Event

Last Sunday, the annual BAPAA River Cruise event was THE place to be (for an au pair at least)  😉

Starting at 11 am, approximately 300 au pairs were present ( Thank you so much for coming!). It was a great opportunity for au pairs to meet new friends who are going through the same experience as they are. So many different nationalities were present: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Australian …

Furthermore we had the chance to see historic landmarks throughout our journey : The House of Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye, the London Bridge, … As one of the crew member was giving us crucial details about popular places around the river.

Waving at by-passers on boats and on bridges, we finally arrived at Greenwich where a lot of au pairs visited the market, went to pubs, …

We sat on the grass, talking to each other, discovering each others culture and experience. It was really nice, some exchanged their best tips on how to be a good au pair (even if their is no guide for that).

After spending the afternoon in the park, we finally went back to the boat and returned to where our journey begun. 

It was such a special day for us, we are grateful that so many au pairs came and had a great experience.

If you couldn’t come it’s okay there will always be other events!!

I hope you had a great experience during the event and hope to see you at the next BAPAA event , or simply at the next Smartaupairs event!

Smartaupairs is always trying to get it right for families and au pairs! 🙂

Best Wishes

Isabelle (left) & Aurelie (right)

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Top Ten Meals to Cook for your Host Children

Au pairs are often asked to assist their host family in cooking an evening meal for the children. Basic cooking skills can be expected but we recommend that families put some time aside at the beginning of the placement to go through a few of the children’s favourite recipes with the au pair to make sure they have got the hang of it.

We asked our au pairs what evening meals go down best in their household. Here are the top ten responses!

“My host children love cooking. Together we make a great spaghetti bolognese. Italian food is their favourite” – Mathilde, French, au pair in London

Pasta and pesto with sausages. Really simple to make and tastes really good”Elin, Swedish, au pair in Hertfordshire

Jacket Potato with Baked Beans & Cheese is easy to make and my host kids loved it”Tamara, Austrian, former au pair in Oxfordshire

Gemma, a Spanish au pair in Surrey sent us this photo of a quiche that her host children enjoyed:

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“My kids love pasta with mushroom sauce, homemade pizza, fish gratin with vegetables and also chilli (with a twist):

Cinnamon Chilli

  • 500g mince
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Fry the garlic and onion and add the mince until it’s done
  2. Add tomatoes and cinnamon and season with salt & pepper (and other spices if you want to)
  3. Simmer for at least 30 minutes (but longer is better)
  4. Add the beans about 30 minutes before serving
  5. Serve with bread, rice or a jacket potato (and maybe some natural yoghurt and guacamole)”

Carina, German, au pair in Kent

 “We like to cook fajitas on Friday nights. We cook the chicken with peppers, onions and spices and then serve with lots of little dishes of grated cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, lettuce and tomatoes” – Diana, Italian, au pair in Surrey

“A really simple meal is pasta bake. I make a tuna and sweetcorn one with melted cheese on top and the boys always eat it all!” – Maartje, Dutch, au pair in London

“When we have enough time in the evening, we make pizzas together. The kids like to get involved. We use tomato puree on the base and choose from toppings including chicken, peppers, onion, mushroom, ham, pepperoni and cheese”Hannah, Australian, au pair in London

 
“My kids love roasts and it’s actually quite easy to prepare it just takes some time. My host dad told me the trick to put a ‘butter paper’ (the paper that the Butter is wrapped in when you buy it) on Top of the chicken. This keeps the chicken juicy and prevents the Skin from getting burned. You put the chicken in the oven for about two hours. About 30 min before you take the chicken out, you take off the paper, so the skin can crisp up. 
You can also put some whole potatoes on the tray with the chicken so you get baked potatoes. Or you Cut them in wedges, in half, … But they need less time than the chicken itself, so you need to time it right 🙂
You can use any vegetable your kids like. My host children’s favourites are runner beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower… I simply boil these or just roast them as well. (Sliced and roasted carrots and parsnip are great).
I serve the food with gravy which I make from granules 🙂 “
Alina, German, au pair in Hampshire

“Today I made a cheesy cauliflower and pasta bake for the second time and the girls loved it”Laura, German, au pair in Surrey

We have lots more ideas for simple meals on our Pinterest page and in our Au Pair Guide which is sent to all Smartaupairs prior to travel.

Happy Cooking!

Our Top 5 Tips for Finding Au Pair Friends in the UK

Welcome to all au pairs who joined their host family in January! 🙂

An important part of settling in is finding friends in your area. Here are our top 5 tips on how to find friends in the UK.

  1. Join the Smartaupairs Facebook group

Our Facebook group is the perfect place to meet other au pairs in the UK. Au pairs often post here when they first arrive to say ‘hello’ and to find out who is living close to them. Plenty of au pairs are looking for friends here, whether they would like some company on a weekend trip overseas or are looking for someone to meet for coffee. Only au pairs placed through Smartaupairs are accepted into the group, so you can be sure of who you are speaking with.

  1. Use our ‘County Lists’ to find the au pairs who live closest to you

We email the relevant list(s) to au pairs upon confirmation of their placement. You can always access them through the Facebook group too, where they are regularly updated. You will be able to see the au pairs who live closest to you and make contact with them via email.

  1. Join aupairfriends.com

This is a great website, which all au pairs placed through a BAPAA agency have access to. Therefore, if you are living in a slightly more rural location with fewer au pairs around, this could be a valuable resource for you. Register using our agency password.

  1. Download the Excuses to Meet app

Excuses to Meet have recently launched this app, designed to make finding au pair friends much more convenient for you.

Again, you will need our agency password to register with the BAPAA au pairs group (please request this from our team – it does change from time to time due to security). There is also a wider au pair community which is available for all au pairs!

  1. Attend a Smartaupairs event

We regularly hold events for au pairs and you are invited to every one! These range from the big events such as an Introduction Day in September and Boat Trip on the Thames in May with other BAPAA agencies, to the smaller events, e.g. coffee mornings, a day trip to Canterbury, a picnic in one of the big London parks. Below you can see some photos from our recent events!

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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/

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.

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Jaqueline, Ilford, Essexdutch

Evelien, Redhill, Surreyspanish

Gemma, Redhill, Surrey

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Celine, London

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Lisa, Maidstone, Kent