Monthly Archives: June 2013

Summer Begins!

summer 1st daySchool is over today and summer begins!

Suffolk County, Long Island is a fantastic place to spend the summer.  Enjoy your time with your host family, plan time with your friends and enjoy the beautiful beaches, all the fairs and festivals!  Check out what is going on near you.  Click here to search!

School End This Week!

Au Pairs and Host Families schedules change in Summer!

schoolsoutIt is important to have a meeting to review schedule changes for the summer .  Kids don’t have school, but they still have busy schedules.  There is often even more driving for the au pairs during summer, taking the kids to day camp, sports, and to the beach.  Playdates are plentiful and need to be part of everyone’s schedule.  Some host parents have more time off in the summer, especially if they are teachers.  Make sure you schedule who is in charge, parent or au pair.  Keep posting a schedule to define working hours for your au pair.

Vacations are often taken by families and au pairs, together and separately.  Be clear about time off and working time.  If your au pair is going on vacation and is working, she gets paid!!  Good planning will make sure everyone has a great time!

Flag Day Contest for Au Pairs

Flag Day 2013 winner Sabine from AustriaMeet Your Global Neighbor

June Tips for Host Families and Au Pairs

summerJune is such a busy month for host families and au pairs here in Suffolk County, Long Island.  School is still in session, but the kids are busy with lots of fun school activities like field day, school concerts and presentations.  Sports are in full swing; lacrosse, Little League, swim team, tennis, horse back riding and so much more keep au pairs and host parents driving kids around and cheering from the sidelines!

Vacation is coming up, school is out on June 22nd!  Schedules are changing for au pairs and their host children.  Day and sleep away camps for the kids are being planned.  Au pairs and host families are planning summer vacations together and separate.  New au pairs are arriving every week, and former au pairs are heading home.  There are welcome and good bye parties, family BBQs and lots of special days to enjoy!

But with all the excitement comes some stress and a need for au pairs and host families to sit down together, discuss the schedule changes, where and how to fit in vacations and how to manage all the activities for the children.  It is very important to continue to have a weekly meeting! Please take time to discuss all the changes so we can all make sure summer here in Suffolk County, Long Island is the best it can be!

10 Tips on How to Drive Safely in the Rain

driving in the rainIt has been raining a lot, really severe rain and everyone needs to be careful driving.  I recommend staying home if there is flooding!  There will be other times to go out, stay safe!  Here are some tips if you are driving in the rain!

1. Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times! Keep all distractions, such as cell phones or even the radio, off and away from you. It is illegal to talk or text on your cell phone while driving!

2. Turn on your headlights. New York State requires headlights when it is raining, even in broad daylight. This will make it easier for you to see what is in front of you; thus, preventing any accidents.

3. Keep a minimum of a good five car length from the car in front of you. You never know what other drivers are going to do or what could happen to you! If that feels too close or too far a rule of thumb is 1 second of following distance per 10 miles per hour. That holds true especially in bad weather.

4. Drive at or below the speed limit to the extent that you are comfortable with, and can see far enough in front of you to appropriately make driving decisions..

5. Be aware of hydroplaning. This is where your vehicle travels on top of the water and has NO or very little contact with the ground. Your traction is reduced significantly. To safely get out of a hydroplaning situation let off the gas and steer straight or slightly in the direction you must go. Do not make sudden motions and remain calm.

6. Avoid flooded roads. Never drive through standing or flowing water in a road way unless you have no choice or you are able to follow someone else to judge the depth of the water. Flooding the engine of your car can cause the engine to stall, and deep water can actually float your car and take it off the roadway.

7. Turn on the defroster if the windshield begins to fog. In hot, muggy weather, air conditioned air (which cannot contain as much moisture) will usually clear the inside of the windshield faster than non air conditioned.

8. Be aware that brakes can be affected by water. Wet drum type brakes are especially prone to decreased stopping power after driving through deep water.

9. Watch for splashing from potholes and pools of water that accumulate at clogged storm drain pipes and low areas of the pavement. Highways also develop “ruts” where the heaviest traffic tracks, and you may be able to position your vehicle while remaining in your lane to avoid these.

10. Beware of driving in the rain, especially at night. Motorcycles or even other dark-colored cars can be camouflaged amongst glistening raindrops on side windows and mirrors. It’s best to have a light colored car that isn’t easily camouflaged in the night.

It is Strawberry Festival Weekend! June 13 -16!

Strawberry Festival 1Au Pairs at Festival

The 59th annual Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival is coming!

Thursday June 13th –
Hulling – 5PM – 9:00PM Sponsored by Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Carnival – 6:30PM – 10:00PM
Pay-One-Price Ride Bracelet: $20; Single Ride Tickets Available
Free Admission on Thursday

Friday June 14th
5PM until 11PM
Admission – Adults and children age 6 and over – $2.00
Children 5 and under – free
Pay-One-Price Ride Bracelet: $25; Single Ride Tickets Available

Saturday  June 15th
11AM until 11PM
Admission – Adults and children age 12 and up – $7.00
Children 6 to 11 – $3.00
Children 5 and under – free
Pay-One-Price Bracelet – $25 – good from opening to 6pm and a second Pay-One-Price Bracelet  $25 – good from 4pm to closing;  Single Ride Tickets Available
Fireworks – 9:00

Sunday June 16th
11AM until 5PM
Admission – Adults and children age 12 and up – $7.00
Children 6 to 11 – $3.00
Children 5 and under – free
Pay-One Price Ride Bracelet – $25
Single Ride Tickets Available
No admission charge for fathers on Father’s Day when accompanied by paid child
Fireworks – 9:00

strawberry festival 2

It is Strawberry Season on Long Island!

Strawberry Fields: 4 Strawberry Picking Farms on Long Island

The East End of Long Island is ripe with places that will allow you to pick your own strawberries. Deciding where to go can be a challenge, so we’ve hand-picked a few of our favorites. Harvesting your own food is not only fun, it connects you to where your food comes from and supports locals farmers. It also allows you to experience food at it’s freshest, right off the vine. This is especially important for Long Island strawberries, which are sweeter and more delicate than the grocery-store varieties and tend to have a shorter shelf life.


Lewin Farms
812 Sound Ave., Wading River
The westernmost farm on our list, Lewin Farms was the first-ever pick-your-own farm on Long Island and has been around for four generations. The farm has its very own farm stand with more than 20 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables. While you’re there, stop by the corn stand to indulge in the delectable wonder that is sweet, roasted corn! Hours for pick-your-own strawberries are 9am–4:30pm. Call ahead for availability and days that the fields are open.

Harbes Family Farms and Vineyards
715 Sound Ave., Mattituck
631- 298-0800
Farm opens April 27th
This farm makes for a great day trip because of all the exciting things it has to offer, including a barnyard, a farmer’s market, and a country café. Strawberry picking starts in June, and the family even offers tips on how to make delicious homemade strawberry jam. Pick -Your-Own Berries are available 9am–5:30pm.

Organic Pick-Your-Own

Garden of Eve Organic Farm
4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead
According to Eve, the owner, the Garden’s particular variety of strawberries tend to ripen early, and this year they expect to be open mid-May. In addition to the strawberry picking, young visitors can play in their playground, pet a bunny or chicken, and visit a working bee hive. Classes are offered here year-round for preschoolers through adults.

Golden Earthworm Organic Farm
652 Peconic Bay Blvd., Jamesport
Pick-your-own strawberries are available on Fridays and Saturdays beginning Memorial Day weekend. You may also purchase farm produce and baked goods. Farm tours are offered during strawberry season and allow you to visit their rare animal breeds.

Strawberry Festivals

Mattituck Lion’s Club Strawberry Festival
1175 Rte. 48, Mattituck
June 13 – 16
At the peak of the strawberry season, this annual festival serves up strawberry shortcake, strawberries dipped in chocolate and strawberries just about any way you can imagine. The festival also offers midway rides, live music and more than 100 arts-and-crafts vendors. To top it all off, all the proceeds will benefit local nonprofits on the North Fork.

Benners Farm
56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., East Setauket
The Benners will do the picking for you so you can Indulge in strawberry shortcake (homemade by Mrs. Benner), strawberry ice cream (kids can take a hand in making this), strawberry jam and my personal fave: strawberries dipped in chocolate. While on the farm, kids will have a chance to hold baby chicks, ducks, and bunnies, feed the lambs and goats, and visit a tremendous sow, Honey.

Summer & Water Safety for Au Pairs

DSCN1053On Sunday, June 2nd Au Pairs from 2 Au Pair in America clusters gathered to learn about water and summer safety to enhance their childcare skills for Suffolk County, Long Island host families!  They met at Cindy Garruba’s beach house on the Long Island Sound, enjoyed the beach and some mingling before learning important safety tips!

DSCN1048Reminders about using sunscreen always, identifying poison ivy, tick avoidance and treatment needs, and going to a CPR class.  APIA offers scholarships for their Au Pairs who attend Red Cross classes!  Former life guard and water safety instructor, Senior Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba led the group on basic water safety tips.  Most au pairs will spend some time this summer at their host families’ pools or on one of Long Island’s beautiful beaches.  Sometimes with the host children and sometimes just with friends.  Water safety is essential for everyone!

DSCN1042The au pairs also worked on a Flag Day Contest being sponsored by Au Pair in America’s Global Awareness Program.  They created a poster representing Suffolk County and the countries represented by the Au Pairs here in this area!

DSCN1045DSCN1044We ended with strawberry shortcake, it is Strawberry Season here on Long Island!  DSCN1054