Nannypalooza 2014: Philadelphia


I recently had the pleasure of attending the Nannypalooza conference in Philadelphia. I was lucky enough to share the experience with several other CincyNanny members including my sister and business partner Susie as well as Greta of Project Momma, My dear friends Molly (who you probably recognize from all of her amazing help on Hilda projects), Trisha and Judy. All of these ladies are incredible assets to our nanny community and I had so much fun learning from them and more than 150 other nannies over the weekend. Nannypalooza is an annual professional nanny conference designed for nanny networking, education, community and fun. I have attended a few and I can’t say enough great things about the experience, education and community that I take away from it each time. After each conference I return home with renewed inspiration, new ideas and knowledge to apply to my job and family. O benefits too! I come home with tons of new play and learning ideas. And I have even more boundary and discipline tactics. Conferences are surprisingly affordable (especially if you can share a hotel room or split transportation with others) and can be written off as business expenses. You are enriching your abilities that you employ everyday at work! I also have som much fin seeing some of the same faces from other professional conferences and I’ve made so many friends from attending things like this. I’m so grateful for all of these women who support me professionally and as friends. We also are so luck to have great sponsors who believe in the Nanny community. Thanks to all of the companies and nanny groups that support Nannypalooza! I wish I had taken more pictures! Next year’s Nannypalooza is in Orlando! Don’t miss it.


Above: Susie, Molly, Myself, Judy, Greta and Trisha.

Below: a “funny face” picture… I missed the memo.


We spent our days building into each other, sharing nanny tactics and secrets, attending sessions on all kinds of topics. There were tons to choose from and our group often split up to go to sessions on different topics. I chose sessions on Speech Language Development, Montessori in the Home, Communicating with Parents and more all about kids, nannies and professionalism. I also was fortunate enough to be a part of the Nanny Mom Panel where I got to speak about my experiences of bringing O to work with me, maintaining 2 households and finding balance.


Don’t worry… it wasn’t all business. We also had sometime to explore Philly. And all of Philly’s food. Who knew it was a foodie gem? We stopped at Green Eggs Cafe for a decadant breakfast feast. We so needed that after a late night of traveling… I think we go to bed around 3am after our late flight, long wait for a rental car and a drive to the hotel. We were starving. Here I am posing with Tiramisu french toast that I paired with a Nutella latte.


Susie enjoyed sampling Philadephia’s brews. Her favorite was Yards Pale Ale. We have cousins with Yards as their last name and so we sent this picture to them to show how much Susie was enjoying their beer. Obviously, she was really excited about it.


We had a lovely girls’ night out in Philly too. Pizza, dessert, drinks and dancing. A great bonding experience and breath of fresh air. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages!


Susie and I made sure to get some fun shades in Chinatown.


And of course I marveled at all the gorgeous architecture in such an old city.






And I found a touch of home! This water fountain caught my eye because it looked exactly like the ones all over Cincinnati parks and in Hyde Park Square. And I looked down to see the petal… Made in Cincinnati!IMG_0931


Greta spotted the Jonathan Adler store from across the street and we ran through the traffic to take this ridiculous picture. We are Jonathan Adler groupies!



We only had a few minutes to wander through the store but I just want to pick up the entire showroom and place it in my house. Spectacular design.


On another adventure we set out for a walk through town and found something completely unexpected. Rosa’s Fresh Pizza caught our attention because from the street we could see that the walls were plastered in post-it notes. Greta peeked in to see what the post-its were all about and came back with a cool story. These guys started this by-the-slice pizza place and noticed that many hungry, homeless people would buy their slices because it was a dollar and they could afford to eat that day. The owner mentioned that they feed many of Philadelphia’s homeless when he was interviewed in a newspaper article. Suddenly people started giving an extra dollar to “pay-it-forward” for pizza slices for the hungry. Each dollar donation is represented by a post-it note and the donor can write a message on each post-it that they “buy” for someone else. We each bought one and wrote messages. Neat idea! Read more about how Rosa’s Fresh Pizza feeds Philadelphia’s homeless here or like Rosa’s on Facebook.IMG_0806


Below is my note surrounded by many others… including thank you note from a homeless patron.




On our last outing we were directed by some local friends to eat at the Continental. The fries were highly recommended. Good thing there were 4 of us at lunch because the plate of fries was huge. IMG_0893

…and we ate them all.


When it was time to head home we were tired…



Not only was I tired from travel, but when I returned home I was greeted by a sick kid. Hubby had it under control… but when I got home at 10pm, he was packed for his own 8am flight. Whirlwind! O’s all better now but that should explain why it took me almost a month to post about all the Philly fun.

Things I’m Loving

Oops. I think I skipped this post last month. What can I say? Life gets busy sometimes. I’m working on a couple of art pieces, trying to get more jewelry up on Etsy and I am already starting to help plan next year’s Relay for Life. Woah. It’s definitely time to stop and smell the roses. Here are a few things I’m just loving lately.


I was honored to attend the CincyNanny National Nanny Recognition Week VIP Nanny Dinner. Yes. That’s a thing: National Nanny Recognition Week. It was created for all of us in the home childcare field to give each other big high-fives. In the last few years our industry has made it even more exciting. Nanny agencies, groups and associations across the country do all kinds of things to celebrate each other. Our local group here in Cincinnati is called CincyNanny. Its a fantastic group of local nannies who come together online and in person for friendship, networking, nanny nights out, play dates, education, nanny/family pairing and empowerment. We held a VIP Nanny dinner at the National Exemplar in Mariemont to honor each other and talk about some really cool things happening in our own community. I can’t spill all of the beans yet but a couple of those cool things are Nannypalooza and National Nanny Training Day! (I accidentally made this a game of “How many links can I squeeze into one paragraph?”). It was fun to get dressed up (most of us are used to play clothes), go out for a nice dinner and celebrate each other. My friend Greta of Project Momma is the brain behind CincyNanny and she created these darling vases from recycled Starbucks bottles and bronze paint to give them the “dipped” look. We each got to take one home with a white rose in it. Super cute!


Z recently finished the 50th of 100 reading lessons we have been working on. As a reward he chose to have a sleepover at my house with O. How adorable! I really am the luckiest girl in the world! We had dinner at my parents’ house for my sister’s birthday and Z tagged along. He knows my whole family since we all nanny and have play dates together so he jumped right in. We enjoyed pizza and s’mores before we headed home for our sleepover. How cute are these two walking hand-in-hand to my parents’ front door? Z even carried O’s baby doll for her!


Now that O is wearing glasses we’ve noticed quite a few changes. She’s more interested in lots of things and is far less clumsy. She has mastered stairs (to the point that they are her new favorite play set), is less hesitant on slides and isn’t afraid of leaves (I mean if you were farsighted they would look like a ton of mysterious blobs who move in for attack every time the wind blows). Her life is just so much more clear and it makes us so happy.


Check out this awesome art piece! It is a shadow box style replica of the Painted Lady Victorian (Columbia-Tusculum Cincinnati… not San Fran) we lived in when I was a kid. My mom had it made when we lived there. It was packed up for several moves and forgotten in the basement. She recently stumbled upon it and now hangs proudly in the kitchen. I can’t stop admiring it. The intricate details and accuracy are so impressive. It really captured the spirit of the house.


O got a new coat! How stinking sweet… Those ears are just awesome. She is obviously excited about it too. It was a gift from “Big Susie” who is on her left. Big Susie is our dear family friend who my sister Susie was named after… thus, the “Big” part. However, neither Susie is actually very big. They are both petite. Little Susie is maybe 5’2″ and likely taller than “Big Susie”. Its just how we’ve always differentiated the two. I love love LOVE this picture.


One of O’s new favorite things to do is shout “Mama, Cheese?” and make a face or strike a pose for me to photograph. She almost always tilts her head dramatically and bares a big grin. This kid knows how to fill my days with happiness.


I made a new batch of homemade detergent! Finally. I had beens so busy that we actually used store bought junk for a month. But as I was cubing up my Fels-Naptha bars I couldn’t help but think that they were sort of pretty. Dumb? Maybe but I snapped a pic anyway.


The dry-erase board yields some amazing artwork that I wish I could save. Instead I take pictures. Here Z has illustrated my family . Left to right: Hubby who has his trademark spiky/messy hair thing going. In the middle is O, complete with ponytail on top of her head. Then I have my big ponytail and glasses. Pretty accurate depictions, right? I mean, who needs ears?


A fortune from Hubby’s Chinese carry-out. He usually lets me open the cookie.


I found this sweet dress at Target right after we went to the Ophthalmologist but before we ordered O’s glasses. I’m so in love. She wore it to Children’s when we tried on frames and made our final choice. Everyone loved it. She rocks it occasionally on the playground as well.


Oh yes, last but not least is this polkadot fabric from Ikea. I fell in love with it and was certain it would make an amazing upholstery fabric for our headboard against the soft blue. But Hubby was strongly against the moment I walked in the door with it saying it was straight out of a Dr. Suess book. Then he said, “Anywhere but the bedroom, please!”… say no more. I have 2 yards of this fabric and I plan on putting it in every room in some form. Except the bedroom. I’ve made it my mission.

So what are you loving? Any new discoveries, fashion finds or sweet moments you captured? Do share!