The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Friday, September 12, 2014

3 Tips to a Cleaner Inbox

If your anything like me, then you get a lot of daily emails in your inbox. So much so that it can be annoying/stressful/exciting/overwhelming/Fill in the blank. I am in a very bad good habit of deleting emails. I like to keep my inbox to 10 or less items. Here are my top tips for keeping that stuff moving right along.

#1 Delete. Don't be afraid to delete emails. If you receive blog posts by email, delete them, you can always go back to the original blog to read later. You don't need to save those pesky store discount email codes. (This will also save you money). If you don't delete now, you are giving yourself a future headache for that day when you decide to clean-up your inbox and you re-open every email to see if it was important.

#2 Utilize folders. I use Gmail and the service offers folders for organizing your emails. I have a folder that I call 'receipts'. I save all of my online purchases there until I receive them in the mail at which point I refer to tip #1 I delete them out of the folder. It's also important to save certain correspondence. For example, I save my emails from my auto insurance broker that way if I need to refer to something I always have it handy.

#3 Unsubscribe. Don't be afraid to unsubscribe from any and all emails. It's one (or 20) less things your mind has to think of. Trust me, you will not miss those extra 20% emails, flight deals or whatever else you may be subscribed to. If I am in the market to buy a new J.Crew sweater, I simply check out their website (there's usually a sale currently going on or if not I just temporarily subscribe until I see a good sale, buy my sweater and then promptly unsubscribe). It may seem scary but you will survive without knowing everything.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Choosing a Nanny 101

When Jack was born, I had the wonderful opportunity to take him to work with me. Perks of working for your parents. By the time he reached 8 months, it was time to stop bringing him with me. He was on the go and needed a lot more activity than I could give him in an office. Though I knew the day was coming, I didn't want to place him under the care of anyone else. Ultimately, my husband and I decided that a nanny was the best option. Jack would be able to remain in the comfort and security of his own home, have 100% of the attention of his caregiver and if I had to leave before he woke up for the day I could. That means I didn't have to get up extra early to change him, feed him, etc. BONUS.

But then the thought of allowing a complete stranger to basically live in my house and take care of my baby during the day was a little daunting. How do you find someone you can trust?

I've used multiple methods to finding a nanny and thought I would share here.

You know it. I've used it. I never hired a nanny from there but I did find a family that I was going to share our nanny with. I'll be the first one to say Craigslist is completely sketchy but I post stuff on there all the time which leads me to believe there are other normal, safe people using the site as well.

Church Community Boards.
This is my second most preferred method for nanny finding. It is especially good if you actually go to the church whose board you are looking at. We found our first nanny this way and felt extremely confident entrusting her with our babe.

Other Online Boards.
There are Yahoo Mom's groups and hundreds of other parenting community forums. I've contacted nannies from all over the place.
I like this site. You can browse through nannies and refine your search for anything specific including key words. I have met with a couple of nannies from care and I would have hired them if it weren't for my absolutely most preferred method of finding a nanny...

Hands down this is the best way to find a caretaker. I've had 3 referrals and I will always hire them above and beyond anyone looking good online that I don't know. Our substitute nanny was a referral from our first nanny. Our second nanny was the daughter of a friend of my parents and our current nanny knew our substitute nanny. That referral is the biggest peace of mind you can get in childcare.

It can be really stressful trying to find the right person. Try to remember that nannies can appear available on a moments notice. What I mean is that, a nanny may be working for one family and then find out they don't need her in two weeks and then she is suddenly available. Always keep reminding friends and family that you need a nanny because they might forget and this will keep is fresh in their mind to look out for those referrals. I hate leaving my little boy for the day but ultimately, since I do need childcare, a nanny is the perfect solution for us. The nanny follows the routine that I give her, Jack remains in the safest place possible and I have the most peace of mind.