The Nanny Cheat $heet

You’ve already got the ins-and-outs of hiring a nanny – and maybe you already have one you adore. Then why – even when you lovelovelove her and you two talk about everything – can conversations about money feel so awkward? It’s usually because you don’t have a point of reference, says Erica Komisar, co-founder of Nannies Who Know, which trains and places nannies in New York. Her ballpark figures for hourly rates, raises and bonuses will help – and please, add your rules of thumb in the comments!


A few things to
keep in mind:

Generosity will never go unnoticed.

There are a few things that make a difference to your nanny and don’t cost you a lot:
1. If you’re in NYC and commute via subway, share a monthly unlimited MetroCard – doubles its use and costs you nothing extra since you would purchase anyway.
2. Add them to your family mobile plan.
3. Ask what they like to eat and keep it stocked at your house, so they don’t have to buy/bring lunch.

Always negotiate these things in advance. It’s good for both parties to have clear expectations and ensures a healthy relationship long-term.


The going rate

Prices are for NY, LA and SF. In other cities, rates will be less.
Hourly: $15 – $18 starting rate for one child; $18 – $21 for two.
Overnight: $50 – $75 flat rate from kids’ bedtime to wake up.
You’re late getting home: Same hourly rate, but round up. I.e. pay a full hour even if you’re just 15 late.
Comes on vacation with you: Additional $50 – $75 per night + all meals + regular rate for any days that fall on a weekend.
Birthday: $50 – $100 or the day off
Holiday gift/bonus: Small gift + 1 – 2 weeks pay as a bonus (depending on how happy you are with them).
Typical Raise after year 1: $1/hour
Typical Raise after year 2: $1/hour
Second child: Additional $3/hour

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saturdays Henley Vazquez
Lives: Tribeca, NYC
husband Xabi and daughter Sofia (7), son Nico (4)
You might know: Co-founder of Feather+Flip, a new family travel website launching late November
Secret obsession: stinky cheese, hotel shampoo, and Candy Crush (so embarrassing)



The kids are probably awake before now, but they have a clock we bought from Babesta Cribz, one of our favorite local shops, that turns from a moon to the sun at 7am. So every morning there’s a big whoop at precisely that moment.


Feeding time. Our little guy is obsessed with the peanut butter balls from Whole Foods, and our daughter is more gourmet. She wants avocado toast on rosemary bread with olive oil, lemon, and sea salt. I mean, seriously?! This kid eats better than I do. My husband Xabi eats whatever the kids leave behind, and I make a smoothie.



Xabi is Spanish, and he’s raised two futbol fanatics. So by 8, they’re checking which English Premier League game is on. Nico’s favorite team is Barcelona, but he cheers for Liverpool in the English league and will watch any game he can find. Sometimes he cries if his team misses a penalty or loses a game. It’s pretty dramatic for 8am.


The kids attend a Spanish school every Saturday, so by now we’re on our way.


Drop the kids and freedom! We walk straight to Jack’s for lattes and then usually head home to do some work. Glamorous, I know.


We brunch like single people! Our favorites are the benedict at Joseph Leonard, the lardo focaccia and stringhe di funghi at Rosemary’s or the fried clam belly and lobster sliders at The Clam. Not too many Bloody Marys because we don’t get to nap like single people.


The kids are back, and we make the most of the afternoon. If it’s nice, we head to the park. Pier 25 has a great grassy field for playing, and our daughter, who dances with the city’s coolest dance school Downtown Dance Factory, can practice her splits and such while her brother tries to score on his dad. If it’s cold or rainy, we hit the museums. Our new obsession is the Math Museum. All the exhibits are interactive, and our kids adore it. They never want to leave!


Time to refuel. We’re lucky to have the most insane choice of coffee shops in our neighborhood. The Smile is in the front of the super cool Shinola shop. I try not to go too often because I fall into a retail hole and don’t want to leave. Laughing Man, Hugh Jackman’s mini café, is probably our most visited place since they have amazing coffee right in front of the adorable Washington Market Park plus profits go to charity. If we want a place to sit down for a snack, we swing by Kaffe 1668.


Time to run the kids more before the day ends. Our neighborhood’s tiny so we always bump into someone we know, meaning there’s usually an impromptu playdate going on by now. Sofia recently learned how to ride a bike, so sometimes the kids bring out their two-wheelers to practice. As soon as both kids are steady, I’m totally splurging on my own ride from Adeline Adeline.


By now, the little guy is ready to eat and catch up on the Spanish league games he missed while he was out doing normal kid stuff. We record them, so he can watch Barcelona (hopefully) hand it to Real Madrid after he has his dinner. I’m a terrible cook, so we usually eat out. I love Terra for Italian, Blau Gans for schnitzel, or Warren 77 for great bar food with the sports to match (our kids beg to eat here every weekend).


We used to go out on Saturdays but recently our weeknights are so busy we are staying in more. Date night has moved to Thursdays. So when the kids are in bed, we can open a bottle of wine (we buy from Frankly Wines, the world’s most friendly and unpretentious wine shop) and watch a movie. I tend to sleep through the end but I promise you that the first half of Mistaken for Strangers, the documentary about the National, is awesome.

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On Our Radar: October 30, 2014


WHO: Parents-to-be who want in on the Tinder-esque fun (and can’t settle on a baby name).
WHAT: With the BabyNameGame app, you swipe “love” or “hate” when a name comes up, and your actions lead you to the perfect moniker for your little.
WHEN: Before you settle for something less than perfect.


WHO: Parents who want to feed their child the healthiest, most nourishing meals.
WHAT: Look up more than 80,000 foods in EWG’s new comprehensive database and see how it rates on nutrition, food additives, contaminents, and degree of processing.
WHEN: This took more than 3 years to build, so get on it ASAP.

WHO: Parents of newborns who need a little shuteye.
WHAT: The most popular swaddle sleepsack in Europe is finally available stateside. Meet Puckababy.
WHEN: Night night, sleep tight.

WHO: Parents in need of a deluxe stroller who are short on space.
WHAT: The new Stokke Scoot is compact, a smooth ride, adaptable to most infant car seats, and easy to collapse and carry, making it a good option for urban dwellers.
WHEN: Preorder now.

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1. Dress: Topshop, Shoes: Tibi
2. Dress: Issa
3. Dress: Rebecca Minkoff, Sunglasses: Anthropologie, Bag: Kenzo, Shoes: Tory Burch
4. Fringe Top: DKNY, Tee: Uniqlo, Bag: Edie Parker
5. Dress: Altuzurra, Shoes: Loeffler Randall

For Eva Chen, shopping is a full-time job. Sounds amazing, right? Don’t be fooled – when Anna Wintour hand-picks you to turn a flailing magazine into a smashing success, there’s an immense amount of pressure, but Eva’s not shaking in her Dr. Marten combat boots.


Quite the opposite in fact. The truly modern editor-in-chief of Lucky (the youngest at the helm of any Conde Nast title) and Chief Creative Officer of The Lucky Group (the new company established to bring the e-commerce part of the business to fruition) is in her element. After 7 years as Beauty Director at Teen Vogue, it’s no surprise Eva was chosen to make everyone’s favorite magazine about shopping actually, well, shoppable.

She understands how young women want to shop because she is one of them. And she’ll never tell you that piece you splurged on last season is “out” – instead, she’ll show you how to style it differently.

Eva gets social media and has the following to prove it – 280K followers on Insta, 88K on Twitter. Her daily morning post of the shoes and handbag she’s wearing (accompanied by a piece of fruit!) is just the kind of whimsy and personality her followers can’t get enough of – so obviously they (we!) all flipped when she announced her pregnancy with an extra special take on her ritual posts.

The mom-to-be describes her personal style as high-street meets high-end, but we prefer to call it what it really is: badass. We caught up with Eva about her pregnancy wardrobe, the baby products she’s obsessing over, and the design of her nursery. Without further ado, the very real, super-cool Eva Chen ….

Pregnancy Style

I feel exceptionally lucky that sweatshirt dressing and oversized sweaters are on-trend this fall-winter. They’re comfortable, they’re forgiving, and they look great with flat combat boots.

Giving In to Maternity Clothes

Despite swearing up and down I wouldn’t buy maternity clothing, I invested in a pair of Isabella Oliver leather leggings and a pair of maternity jeans from Topshop and I honestly don’t know how I’ll go back to regular, non-elasticized waists come next spring.

Just Don’t

If something is uncomfortable in the beginning of the day, don’t even bother. By the end of the day, you’ll be erupting out of your clothes and really just cross with yourself for not knowing any better (as was my case yesterday).

Pretty in Pink

I am super obsessed with Kalon’s Caravan Crib. My friend Samantha sent me a link to it and it was the first thing that made me feel like ‘this is actually happening’ and also ’this will be fun.’

If These Walls Could Talk

For my nursery, I had custom wallpaper designed by my decorators McGrath II and Caitlin McGauley. I can’t give away too much about it because it gives away the name of our daughter. Everything else in the nursery is revolving around this one print.

Mini Me

Baby Dr Marten combat boots and baby New Balances: mommy and me shoes? Yes, please.

Product Junkie

I already used a lot of organic skincare, but have been extra into Weleda, Jurlique, Ren, Nude, and Indie Lee lately for facial and body skincare. On my tummy, I’ve been using a mix of Darphin facial oils (YOLO!) and Aden + Anais stretch mark cream. Here’s hoping the combination works!

Get In My Belly

Pizza: There was a week where I ordered 4 pies in 4 days from Ribalta. Listen, the baby wants what it wants. Sparkling water with extra ice: I get a shipment of Poland Spring sparkling water once a week and by mid-week I’m through. Cantaloupe: specifically the Sugar Kiss melons from FreshDirect.

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