Monday, 28 September 2015

Preparing to be an Au Pair in America (interexchange)

So as many of you know I am going to New York next Monday for a week at orientation which is basically a week of training and talks. You learn basic first aid, CPR and have talks about driving, taxes and much more.
The start of my process
 First I researched which company I wanted to choose, I there are so many different agencies to go with from Au Pair in america, Au Pair world and GAP360. I didn't do a lot of research really I looked around a little bit but to be honest they all seemed to offer the same sort of thing. I went with GAP360 who work with a company called Interexchange. I had to pay a fee of £449 to apply and then you attend an interview. You only pay a deposit until you have had the interview I believe but obviously if you are not accepted you do get your money back. (don't quote me on that) All information is available on the website.
I applied then was given an interview date, the interview was in Tunbridge Wells, you have to attend the interview and the cost isn't covered by the company. They interview wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be she asked me about my experience with children, how I would deal with different situations and also questions about myself. My lifestyle, driving experience and much much more. It was really not as daunting as it sounds. I found out at the end I was successful and I then had to complete an online profile.
My online Au Pair profile
The online profile is basically a profile where families will be able to look over your childcare experience, your preferences to what you agree with, whether you are comfortable with working with a family of a different religion to you, same sex marriage and  single parents. Basically everything is covered, I then had to write a letter about myself, my family and my experience caring for children and driving. Upload photos of yourself and a 3-4 minute video of yourself doing different things such as driving caring for children and talking a little about yourself. It doesn't have to be to long I was really scared about this part but it wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be.
Your profile is then looked over by the interexchange team to ensure you have filled everything in correctly and to ensure that you haven't made any spelling mistakes. Then its made live to families. You are then put on-view with different families who are specifically matched with you based on the things you have said on your profile and then what they have said on their profile.

On-view with families
This is the scary part well I thought it was the scariest part because I didn't know what to expect. Basically every 3 or four days you are matched with different families they will look over your profile and you will be able to look at theirs. I spoke to my first family over skype and I was horrendously nervous. It is so simple though and now I look back its so much easier than an actual interview. You will then be able to speak to them for a few days and if you both like each other and begin to speak to each other a few times. I didn't match with my first family but I spoke to my family about 4 times and we matched.

Skype interviews with a host family
This was the thing I was most nervous about because when you apply you kind of give a date to when you expect to be going my date was the 21st September - 7th November  This is just space of time you specify for when you want to leave, to again make it easy for matching. I had quite a few interview and to be honest I did start to get frustrated because I was having some really good chats with families they would leave an impression on me. I spoke to one family which went really well I met the children, then they went on holiday for two weeks telling me they would speak to me soon. I was very excited to hear from them and didn't obviously at first i was very frustrated because I thought I would never find a family but, I'm glad it went that way now because I have found a great family and I can wait to arrive.
Make sure you are prepared thats all I can say, research a little on the family find out the ages of the children. Ensure you ask a lot of questions about the children and their likes and dislikes. What activities they like to do what they are into. Food preferences, special diets, the families religion. They will ask questions about you but ensure you have questions ready for them because it looks better when you are prepared.

This is when you have spoke to the family a number of time and you are happy with everything you have spoken to them about. Have asked all the questions you need and been given all the answers and have a good feeling about it! FOLLOW YOUR GUT! I knew my family would be a great match for me, I am so happy I have matched with them and can't wait to meet them. Just be patient something will come along I got to the point where I generally convinced myself that no family would choose me but it does happen. It just seems stressful but it will all work out in the end I wasn't very patient but as soon as I matched I felt stupid for even thinking that.

Whats next?
You will then be contact by interexchange they will help you a lot and give you a lot of information about a 1-2 weeks after you match you will receive a pack through the post with information about your host family, a childcare test and LOADS more information from your local co-ordinator in the area you will be staying, It starts to feel like its all happening (it is). Although now it still doesn't feel like i'm going anywhere!
You will then go online fill in a number of forms to do with your Visa, book a visa appointment attend the appointment hopefully be successful in getting a visa. Which you probably will be if you have passed all the checks you have already completed. Then you will have to worry about packing and fulling in your childcare test and reading up about the local area. Make sure you keep in contact with your host family.

Who supports me in the UK
Whilst I'm still here and from the very beginning I have been helped through this process by a lovely lady called Nicola. She is from GAP360 and has helped me every step of the way. Help with visa questions, actually she has helped me with loads of questions even the most stupidest questions you could have asked. Don't worry she's probably heard it all before. Honestly she has been a massive help to me and I know she has helped the other girls also.

So this is it the time next week I will be in New York, I have obviously written this post to help people not just for my original blog readers, because it may not interest everyone. I want to help people and give them an insight into what the process is really like. All flights are paid for and accommodation for a week in New York is also paid for.

If you have any questions at all email me or just comment below, I will be happy to answer any questions. Also this sounds like a sponsored post but it isn't, haha.

thanks for reading

Thursday, 24 September 2015

My iPhone captures September

I haven't done one of these In a while, I love sharing my photos as many of the photos I take are taken with my iPhone.

I took my nephew Zachary to meet the beautiful baby Jude, he loved it
Zachary being cheeky after an over night stay with auntie Jade
My family and friends threw me a surprise leaving party, I loved everyone being in the same place. Im just not very good with suprises.
Another photo with my girlies
Me and zachary took a drive (obviously not driving at the time the photo was taken)
 I went to London for the day with my best friend Kirstie to go to my visa appointment, we went into Liberty and got very excited when we saw they had the christmas room open. We drooled over all the beautiful products.

Me and Kirstie
Always pulling the best faces
Dan took me out for the day to play crazy golf, he only did it to get me away from my surprise party!
Another trip out in the car
All the toys in the world and he loves to play with all my old cuddly toys
Me and my mum visited Sprowston Manor Marriot Spa, it was beautiful although we couldn't book a treatment because we weren't very organised :( 

I know it isn't the end of the month yet, but as for the next week I am seeing family to say goodbye before I go away I thought I would do this now and then do something else when I decide ;)
Thanks for reading
Love Jade

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Lush Haul

I wasn't going to do this post because It was one of my recent posts, but for those who share my love for Lush I knew you would enjoy it.
I went to London last Tuesday to apply for my visa to work in America (I have written a post about this already) after my appointment me and my friend Kirstie went to the new Oxford Street Lush store. I thought I would do a haul of some of the new bath bombs, some of these I haven't seen before and some are exclusive to  the Oxford Street store.
I love the store its spacious, clean, easy to navigate and welcoming. All the staff were very helpful as they are in most stores. Compared to the store in Norwich where I live which is cramped. To me Its a love hate thing  with the Norwich Lush Store, I love to go in to browse the latest arrivals but walking around the store on a busy Saturday is awful, its like a war to just get to the till, its just overcrowded. Anyway not sure why I just rambled so much here is to the 'LUSH' store!

Milky Bath (Bubble Bar)
I love the scent of this, when I bought It i was obsessed with the scent. To me it smells like fresh sheets or clean washing. I went on to read the description of the product, it states that the bubble bar, contains 'uplifting orange oil and a dose of skimmed milk to treat your skin' the fact that this is a bubble bar is much more exciting knowing you're going to be neck deep in bubbles brings out my inner child.
Yoga Bomb (Bath Bomb)
For me this bomb smells like It would be best enjoyed in a roll top bath in a wooden lodge in the middle of nowhere, It has quite a masculine smell to it. As the description states 'As the mesmerising colours unfurl, woody olibanum and ho wood create an atmosphere of deep relaxation.'
Avobath (Bath Ballistic)
To me this just screams citrus, I have to say I don't really get a huge scent of avocado which I can only assume by the name is what the product is. Don't get me wrong it smells wonderfully uplifting and refreshing. The description doesn't really say a lot about the scents or what the product is made from it does talk about throwing your bath ballistic into a perfect temperature bath and watching it fizz away.
Blackberry Bath Bomb (Bath Ballistic)
imagine you are on a coming home from a long day at work, this to me smells like the ultimate relaxation, its scents are calming but also very vivid. They are easy to distinguish basically just smell amazing. The label states sticking this in the bath and watching it fizz away.
Intergalactic (Bath Bomb)
Well this is the most exciting product, I don't know about you but I love getting a bomb if I know its going to be a visually entertaining. When I walked into Lush I knew I was going to pick this up because I heard it was amazing, as I walked up the stairs towards the bath bombs. There was a lovely gentleman doing demos using these bombs. They looked absolutely incredible, the colours the scents the glitter. Everything I loved, I am so glad I have finally gotten around to writing this blog post because it mean now that I can use all these beauties. 

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

H&M Do Beauty

I went into my local H&M the other day and found that they had discarded a massive section of shoes and made what looked like their very own beauty hall.
They seemed to thought of everything, they sell skincare, make up, brushes, perfume, bags, sponges and much more. 
To be honest I could have spent all day browsing the various different products, the thing that I was automatically drawn too was the face masks. I'm not sure why maybe it was the simplistic beautiful packaging, or It could have been the price. Im not sure but anyway I bought three and here they are. Trying to decide which ones to get though was quite difficult.
These masks are only £1.99 which I think is quite reasonable I haven't used them yet so I could be wrong they could be awful, but I thought I would just write a short post on the overall look of the products.
I believe that H&M have gone down the perfect route with their new products they all look professional and convincing. To me they look like they could be a high end product, lets how the product is as beautiful as the packaging!
If you would like to hear more about this product comment below.

Thanks for reading

My American Adventure

So as of Monday the 5th October I will saying good bye to my family and friends within the UK and heading to the USA for a year. I thought I would write this post to give you all a little bit of information about my trip, what I am going to be doing, where I will be living and why I chose to do this.

I am going to the USA to be an au pair with a lovely family in the state of New Jersey. I have matched with a family and after a week of orientation in New York City I will joining the family to start my year.

I will be caring for three children, two six year old twin girls and an eight year old boy. Obviously this is very exciting for me and I can't wait to share my experience with you all, but also share the many other adventures I will be able to have throughout the year. 

Some of you may already know that for the past few years I have been working in a nursery, which I have loved. The only problem with that is I haven't been able to manage my time very well and write very much on my blog. I am hoping with the new routine and the spare time I will have, it will enable me to upload better content and content that I am excited about sharing. 

I started thinking about this in January time, I looked for agencies that helped you on your way and that helped you with the whole process. Thats when I found GAP360. Gap360 are a agency full of exciting opportunities they have everything from working abroad, teaching, or just general traveling. I found their website very informative and It actually helped me make my final decision about every thing.
As of Monday the 5th October I will heading to the airport to embark on my travels I am very excited (although at the moment it doesn't feel real, I don't feel like I'm going anywhere)
I am very excited to bring you on my journey and write about as much as possible. If you would like to know anything just comment below and I might even write a more informative post about the whole experience, the things you have to do, finding a family, getting your visa and much much more. 

I can't wait to share my year with you all.
I will still be doing some baking, beauty and lifestyle posts, they will just be from a new location.