My Not So Perfect Life Book Review

One of my favorite things to do during nap time, or while waiting for kiddos to get out of a class, is to read! I love everything from thrillers to love stories, but I really love a good book that I never want to put down. With school and working 3 jobs it can be hard to find time to read nowadays, so when I do it has to be good. I just finished My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella, and it was definitely one of those I never want to put down books! I thought I would share some of my thoughts on it and why it is so perfect for any woman young or old.

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First off the main character is SO relatable! Katie is a 25 year old trying to make her name in the branding world in London. She has put in her time, at not so great jobs, so she could land the perfect one right in the heart of London. She moved from the countryside and adopted a new nickname and personality with it, all in hope of having “the perfect life” in London. While she thinks its going to be fabulous to live in London, she soon learns life in the city is not so glamorous. Katie is such a hard worker (another thing to love about her!) and so determined. This story touches on the idea that you can put out anything you want social media to make your life look perfect. While her life is far from perfect in London her Instagram tells a different story. It shows her drinking chic lattes in hip restaurants and loving the big city life.

The other main character Demeter, Katie’s boss. I think a lot of working moms would find her very relatable. To Katie she seems to have the perfect life but as the story unfolds you, and Katie, learn that things aren’t always as they seem on social media. Demeter is a 40something executive working in branding with a husband and 2 kids at home. In the most unlikely of circumstances Katie and Demeter find out they have much more in common than they thought.

I think the “don’t always believe what you see on social media” idea that this book puts out is so poignant and relevant to today’s world. I know just today I was scrolling through Instagram thinking about this one girl I know, who has amazing pictures from traveling all over the world, must have the most perfect life. This book reminded me though that I have no basis for those thoughts besides her Instagram pictures which don’t necessarily mean she has the best time ever. I find it really hard to not be envious of people on Instagram or Facebook. After reading this book my envy of others through their Facebook or Instagram posts is something I am going to try can care less about, because you never know if their life really is that perfect.

This book also hits on how hard it is to grow up and still stay true to your roots. It is something Katie struggles constantly with throughout the book but luckily with a happy ending proving you can after all find a balance. There is also a love story element to the book which I think is always fun 🙂 The relationship shows a glimpse of the struggles of dating in your twenties.

Overall I thought this book was great! Definitely worth a read. It’s a really easy book to read, lighthearted yet a page turner. I haven’t loved all of Sophie Kinsella’s books but My Not So Perfect Life is a hit. Let me know if you read it and whether or not you like it!

xoxo

Kelly

© The Nanny Guide 2017

Necessary info for the new nanny/sitter!

Happy Thursday everybody 🙂 I have been lucky to work with some of my families for over six years now. While that has been so great some of them are starting to outgrow needing a nanny or babysitter, so recently I’ve started taking on some new families. I got names of families through a friend and have worked with three new families for a month now! It has been really fun, and such great experience having some babies again.

Since I’ve been with my families for so long now whenever I see them it’s like seeing family. It is so comfortable and easy. To say I was a little nervous to start all over again with new families was a given. I’ve been lucky to have enough work with my network of families for the last few years. BUT I wanted to form new relationships with some sweet new little kiddos. The families I’ve been working with have been so great! The kids are amazing and so fun, and the parents have been really nice and easy to get along with, which is something so important to me.

However the first day I nanny for the first family I got there, exchanged phone numbers, they gave me the daily run down, and then they were off! Thank goodness for modern technology and cellphones because I had a lot of little questions I forgot to ask in the morning rush. So that inspired me to come up with a little checklist or information to get from families the first time you watch their kids! I even created a printable, Notes for the Nanny, you can bring with as well 🙂

  1. Exchange phone numbers (including work numbers). This seems like a dumb one, I know, but sometimes you may forget to think that their office phone would come in handy. Say there’s an emergency and they aren’t answering their cell phones? It’s a long shot, and hopefully never needed, but good to have in case.
  2. ALLERGIES! I am so bad at remembering this one because I have no allergies and neither have any of the kiddos from my families I work with. BUT this is so important in case one of the kiddos does. Make sure you ask what exactly they are allergic to and what meds to give them in case they come in contact with it.
  3. Ask about screen time. This one can be so different from family to family so it’s always good to ask. Some don’t care and others limit it to a show a day. Whether you believe one way or the other always go with the parents rule. It’s not fair to the child or the parents if you change it up on the days you’re there.
  4. Ask about their favorite foods. This way you will have a good idea of what to make them for lunch or dinner without having to try and figure that out from the little one or guessing. Also ask if there is anything they really don’t like. That can help too when it comes to meal prep
  5. Ask about snacks. A hard moment for me is when the parents leave and then an hour later the kids ask for a snack and I don’t know if the parents let them have them whenever. Just ask right away. Ask what they usually have for snack and the timing. Most people have a snack shelf or drawer 🙂
  6. Wifi password 🙂 while this is more for the sake of the nanny during nap time, it can also come in handy in case any device in the house falls out of sync during the day! No one wants a sad toddler just because you told them they could watch Micky on the iPad and the signal is signed out.
  7. Random things it helps to know! Garage code (in case you leave), where the stroller is (in case you want to head outside), favorite activities (if you are searching for ideas), where the craft supplies is, nap time routine (if they need their nook or lovey), and any other little thing that puts your mind at ease!

Never be afraid of asking too many questions. Better safe than sorry is my belief. It also makes you look prepared and serious about your job. If you feel comfortable and prepared for your day ahead with the kiddos it will make you less stressed and keep them calm. Attached to this blog post is my link to Notes for the Nanny, which is a printable I created to easily get all the main information I need in case of emergency and for the day ahead! Enjoy 🙂

xoxo Kelly

© The Nanny Guide 2017

 

Fun Pumpkin Art!

Happy Wednesday everybody! It’s almost the weekend woohoo! And I’m sure it going to be a fun weekend for you and your kiddos with Halloween just around the corner! I can’t believe October is almost over! Time flies. As a mentioned in my last post on all things fall, pumpkins are a fall/Halloween staple. With Halloween so close it’s time to get those PUMPKINS ready for their big day! Personally, I hate carving pumpkins haha I have always been grossed out by the guts and goop inside. It feels weird, gets everywhere, and is hard to scoop out. Also it sucks that your kids just have to sit there for the 30 minutes you take to carve it or be far away given all the sharp tools. Because of that I’ve put together some of my favorite ways to decorate pumpkins, with kids, WITHOUT carving them! Still a little messy but as we all know with kids comes mess 🙂

 

The Nanny Guide’s Keys to Pumpkin Decorating

81ztarg11sl-_sl1500_1. Use a dot paint marker! Place the pumpkin on parchment paper or a placemat and let your kiddos go at it. The could do random dots, patterns of dots, or even make a face out of them. You could also get a circular foam paint brush (at Target or Michaels or wherever) and then dip in paint and dot away! Practical benefit: This is good for kids to practice hand eye coordination.

2. Glue on pom poms, googley eyes, or foam pieces! Basically take some glue and fun materials and let loose. Think feathers, leaves, beads. Whatever you can get your hands on. I suggest finding a really sticky glue or permanent glue so the stuff you glue on will last. I know this isn’t as kid friendly but my suggestion, and what I have done before, is to ask the child where they want to put their object and I put a dab of glue and have them place the object on it. You can also use elmers glue and they can practice using that, but be prepared for the mess and that some of the stuff might not stay as well.


3. Color with sharpie or permanent markers! Again you may not think this would be very safe with young kids but with proper supervision of the child it’s easy peasy. Last year Ruby who was 3 years old at the time ws able to use the permanent markers without any coloredpumpkin2-articleissues. We talked about the rules beforehand AKA not putting in mouth, only use on the pumpkin, don’t draw on yourself, etc. Then I sat next to her and opened the color she wanted and let her go. She just scribbled on it, but she was so proud and excited to show her parents when they got home. Older children could draw faces, doodles, or whatever their little heart desires 🙂

4. Paint the pumpkin! This is same idea as using markers. You can paint whatever you want on the pumpkin. A fun thing you can do with paint that you can’t do with markers is paint the pumpkin a completely different color!  Who wouldn’t want a rainbow of beautifully painted pumpkins at their house!

5. Write their name on it! Personalize their pumpkin. You (or if their old enough, your kiddo) can write their name big or small on the pumpkin in sharpie or permanent marker. Then let them decorate it any of these other ways! Having it say their name just adds another element of fun and makes their pumpkin unique and theirs!

6. Do a little bit of each! Paint it first, draw when dry, glue feathers on for hair, dot paint marker eyes, and write their name of it!

These are just some ideas I had, but the main point is just be creative! Let your and your kiddo/s imagination let loose. Who knows what fun you could create 🙂 Also if pumpkin carving is your jam more power to you! Carved pumpkins look super cool and are fun to do if you know what you’re doing 🙂  If anyone has tips on how to make pumpkin carving easy let me know! And if you have any other ideas of decoration send them my way! Happy pumpkin decorating!

xoxo

Kelly

© The Nanny Guide 2016

10 Kid Friendly Fall Activities

Happy fall everybody! I don’t know about you but I LOVE fall. Everything about fall… the chill in the air, apples 24/7, pumpkin spice and everything nice, apple and pumpkin scented anything, and leaves turning beautiful, gorgeous colors! Naturally, I share my love of fall with my nanny kiddos, but it turns out they have a great time doing the fll activities as well. So I decided to put together a list of my favorite fall, kid-friendly, activities!

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The Nanny Guide’s Top 10 Kid Friendly Fall Activities

1. Go to an apple orchard!

Last year me and my boyfriend took Ruby to a local apple orchard, and it is a day she still talks about 1 year later. We all had SO much fun! The local one we went to had apples, apple cider donuts, hay pile jumps, tractor rides, and even more fun things for kids to play on! We went on a cloudy cold day and because it was so much fun forgot all about the cold. Another fun local (aka Minnesota) apple place is Jim’s Apple Barn. I can’t call it an apple orchard because its big draw is that it is Minnesota’s largest candy store haha still a great place for a family outing! They have apples, baked goods, candy, rooters, beef jerky, and a million other fun snacks!

2. Head to a Pumpkin Patch! 

Take the kiddos to a pumpkin patch! Usually this can be combined with an apple orchard trip but I thought it deserved its own line 🙂 This is a great place to take your family pumpkin-patch-desktop-wallpaper-5653-5939-hd-wallpapersChristmas card at if you’re looking to get that crossed off your list early! It’s also just a fun time to let the kids explore. Kids are fascinated with all the bumps, lumps, sizes, and colors of pumpkins. Once you’ve picked some out, bring them home to decorate! You can go the traditional route of carving pumpkins which if you know what your doing is fun. However I’m not a big fan of pumpkin carving… Too much mess, slime, and really hard to do right. I love decorating the pumpkins with marker, paint, pom poms, and any other arts and craft decoration. I also have found that this is easier for kids to be included in this way. The knives and tools involved in caring are not so kid friendly, but to each their own! 

3. Make a leaf pile and play! 

img_9177This one is pretty self explanatory. Rake up the fallen leaves in your yard and jump on in the pile! Kids find this so fun! I have some great memories as a child of jumping into leaf piles. It’s an easy and free way to have some good old fashion outdoor fun. I also used to take leaves and make houses out of them by making lines on leaves for rooms. Kinda hard to explain but my point is let your kids imagination go wild with the leaves!

4. Make a bonfire

If you have a bonfire pit or access to one, this is fun way to stay warm on the chilly fall days. A fun learning experience is to have your child find different things in nature (think leaves, sticks, pinecones, etc) then you can throw them in the fire pit and listen to the different sizzles! After you’ve had enough time hanging around the fire you can always add to the day by roasting marshmallows and making s’mores 🙂

5. Walk through an area with trees!

You can go anywhere whether that be a forest, nature reserve, or neighborhood. As you walk talk through the trees spend some time talking about the different colors your child sees. This helps practice color recognition. If your children are older it can be interesting to stop and tell them about the different types of trees they see and what colors each tree turns.

6. Go to a Football Game!

This does not have to a NFL game! I actually suggest you don’t go to an NFL game haha. This is because the fans can be very aggressive and shouting profanities. My suggestion is to go to a local college football game! This can still be just as satisfying for your kids as an NFL game. They can cheer on the team and spend some quality time with you, all while being a less expensive day out for you 🙂

7. Walk through a corn maze

Once again this might be able to be accomplished at an apple orchard, but sometimes you need to go elsewhere. A local Minnesota one, Seever’s Corn Maze, provides hours of fun! Kids learn trial and error when getting stuck trying to find their way out of the maze.

8. Bake something fall with them! Pumpkin pies, apple crisps, anything! 

img_3744It’s always fun for a child to be involved in baking something sugary and sweet! When children are involved in the process they feel a sense of accomplishment, and they can physically see what they helped create. Baking with your child also enhances their math skills by counting cups and tablespoons. It also helps enhance gross motor skills with stirring or rolling. When I was little we used to make pies every year with my mom! I always include Ruby when baking anything, and she loves it! It’s a great bonding time. Because patience isn’t usually a child’s strong suit, when Ruby and I bake I usually plan it so the food bakes while she naps! However if you want to practice patience then do it during play time! You can turn on the oven light and they can watch the bread grow or muffins puff up.

9. Taste test some caramel apples 🙂

Carmel apples are my favorite fall treat. Anytime I have an option to get one I do! I think they all can taste a little bit different too. Pick up various caramel apples from local grocery stores or caramel dips and have a taste test! Other places such as Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory make really fun gourmet caramel apples with chocolate, peanut butter, M and M’s, and so much more. So you can always get even more creative! You can ask them before which one they think might be the best and write that down. Then after they test them all, ask again, and see if it changes! To keep this from your kid taking in too much sugar, cut the apples into slices and try each one with just that one slice.

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10. Have a fall family or nanny night in!

Cook a fun fall meal (maybe chill or chicken apple sausages), make some warm apple cider, have a yummy fall treat for dessert, and cozy up on the couch and watch a movie! This is a great way to spend quality time with your kiddos and catch up on life with them. If you are a nanny you can do this in the morning or afternoon with them! Instead of dinner, you could make a snack (maybe apples, or pumpkin bread), have some apple cider, and cozy up and watch a movie then!

I hope you all enjoy theses activities and have some great fall fun with your kiddos! This is just my list of fall fun, and I would love to know your families favorite fall activities!

xoxo

Kelly

© The Nanny Guide 2016

Be Thankful

Being thankful is something every kid (and adult) can sometimes need a reminder of. I know I try my best to remember how lucky I am for the life I have but life gets crazy and hard sometimes, so I forget. Kids are busy bodies with a million thoughts going through their heads every second. It is easy for them to forget to be thankful as well. While it is good to be thankful year round, Thanksgiving is a good time of year to take a second out of our busy days and remember why/what we are thankful for. It is a good time of year to reflect on your year and life and remember all the things you are lucky to have. It is important to do this with your children as well! Here are a few simple way to break out the gratitude and thankfulness in your little one 🙂

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  • List off all the people who are a part of their life who love them. This is simple and can be done quickly. Ruby and I have done it a few times on longer car trips. I say who loves Ruby? and she starts listing off mommy, daddy, Kelly, grandma, grandpa, etc. After we have listed off a lot I make a point to tell her how lucky she is to have so many people who love her and who she loves. Then I remind her that she should be thankful to have so many people on that list. It always boosts her mood and puts a smile on her face. I then follow that up with “next time you see _____ you should tell them how much you love them.”
  • Make a craft relating to Thanksgiving and being thankful . There are so many options with this, and it is a great way to teach kids the wide range of things they have to be thankful for. It is easy for kids to list off concrete examples like my blankie or my train track, but it’s harder to list of the more abstract ideas like family, friends, education, etc. While doing the craft you can teach them about the more abstract ideas. After they name their first few then you could say something like “well aren’t you thankful for having a nice friend like Abby?” A question like that will prompt their little minds to start thinking of things along that realm. Keep that discussion going! Here is a great list of 7 crafts that can teach kids about being thankful!
  • Remind them how lucky they are to be healthy and have full bellies. A lot of kids don’t know on their own that these are things some people don’t have. It is am important life realization to have because it is part of our reality. You want to be age appropriate in how you describe that there are kids who are sick and in the hospital or that there are kids who don’t always get to eat dinner. If you make things seem too bleak it may not register with them, but they are smarter than you think and can handle a version of the truth about health, food, and wealth. I leave that discretion to you, the nanny or parent. You know your child the best and how you think this discussion should go.
  • Donate food to a local food shelf. Tell your kids that since not everyone can buy all the food they want (or need) you guys are going to help them out! Bring your kids with and ask them what they want to buy. I have done this with Ruby and she usually gives some of her favorite foods. It a good learning moment because it causes her to reflect on what she likes and that well maybe another kid would like some Easy Mac as well! It teaches compassion and social awareness. Have them help you bring the food in to the donation site. Afterward celebrate their charity work with a fun snack or trip to the park. Let them know how proud you are of them, and that they just helped make a lot of people happier.
  • If your kids are old enough- volunteer! I have gone with school groups and my parents since I was young to Feed My Starving Children. At FMSC you pack meals for people in countries all over the world in dire need of food. They present the need for food in age appropriate ways, so you don’t need to be worried about it scaring you child. I have very fond memories of going there as a kid! It’s usually an upbeat environment with lots of laughter and good feelings. If there isn’t a FMSC near you, look for other local places that pack meals for the hungry. They are all over!

A few things I am thankful for this holiday 🙂

  • All my tiny humans!
  • My sweet, loving boyfriend
  • My amazing family
  • My education
  • The ability to travel
  • My best friend (even though she lives 1,000 miles away!)
  • The little opportunities each day brings to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Being thankful for things we have isn’t something that is something that we explicitly say everyday, but hopefully there is a moment each day where you think about it. This is an important thing to instill in your kids. Learning to be thankful teaches kids humility, the importance of giving to others if you can, empathy, love, and a bounty of more skills. It will help them develop into compassionate, helpful, grateful humans.

On that note, I hope you all have a safe, fun-filled Thanksgiving! I leave you all with one of my favorite quotes that isn’t directly related to being thankful, but something I have learned as a result of being thankful.

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Toddler Fashion on a Budget

Move over Crewcuts and  Jack and Janie, there is no need for you in today’s toddler fashion world! Thanks to stores like Target and Old Navy I can find just as fashion forward and adorable clothes that you sell for more than half the cost! My little toddler fashionista Ruby loves clothes, especially dresses! Everyday getting dressed is her favorite time. Usually we end up getting dressed 3 or 4 different times in new outfits 🙂 While usually a child with a love for fashionable clothes comes at a hefty cost, we have found ways to avoid that cost! All of her clothes come from Target, Old Navy, The Children’s Place, Khol’s, Gap, and TJMAXX. She gets compliments everyday on how cute her outfits are and people ask where we get her clothes. Every time I respond with Old Navy or Target people are usually surprised. Attention everyone: Target and Old Navy have the cutest clothes for little ones and at an affordable price point!!

Sweater Dress: Target $19 Leggings: Old Navy $4 Boots: Old Navy $15

One of the cost struggles of having a child is the amount of money spent on clothes for them, because they are constantly growing. If you don’t have a sibling or family member close in age, hand-me-downs are out of the question. Then comes the struggle every season to make sure their clothes fit and if not get new ones. Instead of dreading going shopping for your kiddo because you think cheap clothes equate with ugly and low quality, think again. The majority of Ruby’s closet consists of clothes from the stores listed above. Every piece lasts through the whole season and we always find fashion forward pieces.

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Vest: Target $15 Jeggings: Target $7 Tunic: Target $15 Boots: Target $13

We rarely ever buy anything when it is full price. Every store below always has a sale. These are our shopping tips for each store listed below.

Our favorite stores:

Target: Use cartwheel! They usually feature brands, such as Cherokee or Carter, each week for a certain percentage off. Buy your clothes then. Stock up. It may feel like you are spending so much one time, but in the long run you will be saving money. Also take advantage of their text message sales. The day we got the vest, tunic, leggings, and boots, they were having a sale where if you texted a number you would get a coupon for $10 off every $25 spent. That will save you so much! Especially when buying winter clothes, because those are always more expensive. The main point here is stock up when these sales are on because in the end you will spend less money overall. As always check the sale racks too. You can usually find some good stuff there as well.

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Shirt: Old Navy $12 Shorts: Target $5 Sandals: Target: $15

Old Navy: They always have on trend clothes there! If you are looking for nice dresses and coats, or basics like leggings you can always find those here. You can usually always find these items on sale as well. Recently all toddler and infant clothes have been 40% off. Ruby went on a shopping spree last week because she had grown out of all her 2T winter clothes
IMG_2125 and we needed some new ones. Getting 40% off sweaters, long sleeve dresses, shoes, and pants is AMAZING! She got multiple pairs of leggings for $4 each. Shirts, like this cute one in the picture, for $5, and the pink sparkle leggings for $4 as well. Her pink boots in the pictures on the top were $25 originally, but we bought them on sale and saved a bunch! Once again my main point here is stock up when the sales are on. We did the same thing this summer when buying new shorts and dresses. The savings add up over time.

The Children’s Place: Once again with this store always buy when on sale! We usually end up at the mall once a week (going to the play place there) and each time we’ve walked by in the last few weeks, they have been promoting 40% your entire purchase. These savings were on top of other sales going on in the store. All fleece jackets were on sale for $20 and then you got 40% on top of that, so the cheetah print, cozy jacket we got Ruby was only $12. Once again stock up and take advantages of these sales. We got her a Christmas tutu dress, leggings, jacket, and headband for $30.

Kohl’s: This store as well always had tons on sale. You have to be willing to dig through all of the clothes on the rack, but you can usually find some  good stuff. We got a lot of cute summer stuff back in the springtime when it was on sale.

Gap: I was hesitant to put this one on the list at first. Their clothing is more expensive, in general, than clothes from the other shops. I worked at Gap for a few months and what I realized is that something is always on sale in that store. One week it may be pants, the next t-shirts, and the next dresses. My tip for this store is only buy clothes from there if it is on sale. There is no need to spend $30 on a dress when it could be on sale the next week, or you can find one just as cute, for less, at another store. The one things I can attribute to clothes from Gap is that they can be higher quality fabric and materials then other stores.

All in all buying clothes for your toddler should not be something to be dreaded anymore. There are so many inexpensive places to buy cute clothes these days. Make sure to be vigilant of sales and stock up when you find a good one.

Creative Play: The Making of Princess Street

Hello Nannies and Parents! I will warn you that this post is a long one but it features 2 how to art projects, play tips, and storage tips! Also with the upcoming holiday aka CHRISTMAS this could make for a great gift for your little Lego/ block lover this year 🙂

The idea for Princess Street began one day during nap time as I was staring at the hap hazardous mess of Disney Princess Legos and Duplos strewn all across the living room floor. Ruby had fallen in love with Legos after a trip to Barnes and Noble. She got hooked on the Disney Princess sets. So she earned each one as rewards for helping around the house or doing something special. As we acquired more and more of these adorable sets I realized we had no real, good place to play with them. When we played on the carpet it was too hard to put them together. When we played on the hardwood floors they slipped all around. So I was left with a challenge to figure out the perfect place to play with these great Lego sets. I looked at Target for the green Lego squares that can hold Legos down, but those were $20 for one! So then I started thinking about how to solve this problem. Lego Friends has a play mat for the Heartlake city where all the girls are from. You can put the Juice Shop along one street and Emma’s House on the next. I then figured out something like that would solve this problem. However I searched all over the internet and nothing like this exists for Disney Princesses. There is no play mat or anything that can make a princess neighborhood. This baffled me because as Ruby always say “but Kelly I don’t want to play with just one. All my princesses are best friends and want to live by each other.” It was then I knew I needed to make my own Disney Princess neighborhood. So I took to brainstorming how this might be possible. After work that day I went to Michael’s craft store and walked around and around and finally figured out exactly what I was going to do. It took time and love but the finished product was totally worth it. Take a look inside Princess Street 🙂

As you can see Princess Street has evolved as Ruby has grown. It began with the Disney Princess Lego Duplo sets, and now holds the Disney Princess Lego sets and a house we created on our own from Target. That is the beauty of Princess Street, it can become anything you want it to. We reorganize it and design it each time we take it out. We have also come up with a neat and organized way to store it all. Below are the instructions on how to make and store your own Princess Street (or Lego City, Superhero Lane, or any other neighborhood your kiddo wants!):

What you will need: 

  • 2 Foam Poster Boards (found at Target, Michael’s, Walgreens, etc)
  • 3D Puff Paint (various colors that pertain to your theme, found at any craft store)
  • Curved Road Stencil (I made mine out of thick cardstock)
  • Duct Tape (color doesn’t matter because you can’t see it)
  • Stickers (pertaining to your theme, ours is princess of course!)

How to make:

  1. Lay the 2 boards on the floor side by side.
  2. Draw your stencil however you want your road to be. I wanted ours to curve so I drew it that way. Cut your stencil out of your thick paper.
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  3. Place your stencil where you want the road to be. Hold in place and trace around. Do the same on the other board.
  4. Use marker or puff paint to outline the road and make marks along the lanes.
  5. Use puff paint to write the name of the neighborhood. We chose Princess Street.
  6. Let dry COMPLETELY. Usually 2 hours will do. Keep child away! As you can see on the back of mine I messed up and didn’t wait long enough 🙂
  7. Add details to the neighborhood, like a pond or garden with makers. We chose to have 2 ponds because in the beginning we had 2 Ariel Lego sets and of course both needed to be in the water!
  8. Decorate with stickers where you want.
  9. Once the front is done and dry, flip them over and place duct tape along the edges connecting the two boards. Put a good amount on. This will help reinforce the middle of the boards. Only put the tape on one side though, otherwise it own’t be able to fold up for easy storage.
  10. Set up your Lego sets how you would like and enjoy!

The Disney Princess Lego sets we have featured on our Princess Street are Sleeping Beauty’s Royal Bedroom, Jasmine’s Exotic Palace, Ariel’s Magical Kiss, Cinderella’s Romantic Castle, Cinderella’s Dream Carriage, and Rapunzel’s Creativity Tower. We also have the Lego Duplo Disney Princess Collection featuring Snow White, Cinderella, and Ariel.

All and more can be found HERE!

How to Make Your Own House:

As you can see we added a non Lego house to our street. I’m sure you all know Lego sets are expensive! Ruby loves Princess Street so much and wanted more and more to fill up the neighborhood, so instead of buying another expensive Lego set we ventured to Target to buy a make you own kit! Kid Made Modern Art-Chitecture Kit

This kit is only $25 and is very sturdy. Now this set is not too kid friendly for them to make. It’s kinda difficult even for adults. Totally worth it in the end though, but it took some time. To include Ruby in the making of this house I had her pick the paper I used on the walls and floors.

What you will need:

  • Kid Made Modern Art-Chitecture Kit (from Target)
  • Extra scrapbooking paper (any craft store)
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Glue Stick

How to make it:

  1. Follow the directions inside the kit.
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  2. It comes with a lot of furniture pieces but those are really hard to put together. We only put together the ones we knew we would use (bed, table, chair, etc).
  3. Decide what papers you want to be on what walls and floors. It comes with about 10 pages that stick right on to the wood. That is not enough to cover every wall and floor. We used scrapbooking paper to finish off the other walls.
  4. Trace the size of the wall and cut the paper to fit. Then use a glue stick to get it on the wall and floor.
  5. Once you have all the walls and floors covered in your desired paper you can glue it all together!
  6. Let it sit and dry for a day before use, but then it is good to go.

We put ours up on TV trays that Ruby has at her house. It allows her to be able to walk around the whole street. She can play with the fronts of the sets and the backs. She loves driving her princesses from house to house in her Cinderella carriage, or has special guest (Lego Friends characters) fly in on the private jet. You could also set this up on a coffee table or even just the floor!

It’s easy to set up and easy to store. The boards fold together so it can fit in a small space along a wall. We bought storage bins from target to put Ruby’s blocks in. We have one for her Lego Duplo blocks. We have a few for her Disney Princess Lego’s so we don’t have to take apart all the Princess’s house each time we play. Then we have a small 3 storage drawer labeled with easy to read titles of things to keep in them (dolls, extra parts, sticks, etc).

Princess Street has been a HUGE hit at our house! Every kid who comes over always wants to play with it, and Ruby loves to let them. While yes it does take some time to get it all put together, like I said before totally worth it. I would make a million more of these because they provide so much fun for your kid! It allow them to be creative and inventive every time we pull it out to play. I hope you found this how to helpful and enjoy your version of Princess Street as much as we love ours 🙂

xoxo Kelly

© The Nanny Guide 2015

More Pictures from Princess Street

A Little Nanny Appreciation

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I saw this post last week on The Nanny Box’s Instagram and I knew I had to share with all of you!

“When nannies feel appreciated, they work with tons of joy and confidence!”

A simple yet often overlooked statement to start the week off right. I have been extremely lucky to work with amazing families who have made me feel appreciated everyday when I show up to work. It makes me want to come to work everyday. I had one family and the appreciation wasn’t as evident. It didn’t make me do my job any worse, but it did mentally break me down a little. I had a tough nanny child at that time, and I was doing my best to try and teach him right from wrong. Sometimes all you need is a thank you. It doesn’t have to be in the form of a raise or a present (both are nice every so often though 🙂 ). It can be a simple “we are so lucky to have you,” or “I love the way you care for our child,” or just a “you’re awesome and we love having you as our nanny.” I have been told all of those things and I can tell you it does make a difference in how you do your job. This can come from the child as well. It effects you in a conscious and subconscious way. When you are positively reinforced by you boss or nanny kiddo you do feel more confident at what you are doing, and it does make you more joyful!

So, parents, remember to tell your nanny how much you appreciate all they are doing. It will go a long way and lead to a happy work environment. Also remind your children every so often how lucky they are to have a nanny as great as the one they do. Then your child may be more likely to thank the nanny. Like I said above it can be easy and simple. Simple is still meaningful. However if you really want to show some nanny love it can also be something like having a nanny appreciation day! Have you and your child write them a card about how much they mean to you, get them flowers or a candle, a framed picture of them and your child, and a special treat. Then have that on the table one morning when your nanny shows up for work. Once again, I can tell you from personal experience how wonderful it is to know you value them.

And nannies remember to be be confident and joyful in all that you do with your nanny children. Even if you are not told every day, deep down I think you do know how appreciated you are, and will always be, by the child you are with. Also know I appreciate you and everything you do! So go off to work this week and kill it with some extra confidence and joy 🙂

xoxo Kelly

© The Nanny Guide 2015