It’s hard for me to choose a favorite season around Seattle, but fall is a pretty strong contender. The kids are back in school, I’m not longer wishing my home had air conditioning, the fall colors outside are AMAZING, and helloooo everything pumpkin spice flavored! 

family halloween activities seattle

Halloween is a favorite holiday around our house. The boys (husband included) started decorating our front yard before October first this year! The “tricks” run rampant around our house…including (but not limited to):

  • Realistic toy mice placed in cupboards and under things the kids know I will pick up
  • Our five foot tall pumpkin reaper decoration placed in front of closed bedroom doors to “greet” the unsuspecting, sleepy person just getting up
  • Huge spiders tucked carefully under the covers of the bed before bedtime
  • …and a Jason mask placed in the corner of the bedside window (me playing a trick on my husband)

And we may or may not have dressed our toddler up as Chucky…two years in a row!

family halloween activities seattle

family halloween activities seattle

One of the things I love the most about October and Halloween is that there are so many fun, seasonal activities to go check out with the kids! We always go to the pumpkin patches (check out my pumpkin patch map here), and head out for trick or treating on Halloween evening.

When I started looking around at what other Halloween activities we could add to the mix, I found that there are LOTS of incredible things to do with the family all month long!

Continue reading “The BIG List of Family Halloween Activities in the Seattle Area”


I love fall in Seattle. I always look forward to the rich fall colors outside and even the rain and cold weather – another reason to drink warm beverages all day long!

pumpkin patch map

I enjoy the excitement that comes along with the holidays, and creating special memories with my family by partaking in the numerous seasonal events in our area.

One of our favorite events is a visit to the pumpkin patch to tromp around and locate the blank canvases for our children’s vivid imaginations.

Every year, we seem to find ourselves going to a different patch. Some are pretty basic while others have tons of activities like tractor rides, corn mazes, and haunted barns. 

Over the past week, I built a map of pumpkin patches in our area for you to explore with your friends and family! This is by no means an exhaustive list, so please comment below if there is a fun event or destination that you would like to see added to the map.

Continue reading “BOO! Seattle Area Pumpkin Patch Map”


I don’t know about you, but after eight to ten hours of making and cleaning up meals, picking up toys, pretending, wiping noses (and other parts!), brushing teeth, getting dressed, doing projects, cleaning up messes, buckling in and out of carseats/strollers/front packs, pushing on swings, going down slides, singing songs, and reading that favorite story AGAIN, I’m TIRED.

nanny appreciation week

Any parent or caregiver can relate! That’s why it’s so awesome that there is an entire week dedicated to the amazing people who have chosen this as a profession…Nannies!

National Nanny Appreciation Week was September 23rd through 29th this year. I hope all of you fabulous nannies out there felt the love from your families! Nanny Parent Connection celebrated nannies by working together with several local businesses for some fantastic giveaways.

Thanks to all who participated!

Continue reading “Nannies – We Appreciate All You Do! | Nanny Appreciation Week Wrap Up”


Being a nanny today is not what it was twenty years ago. These days there are so many more resources and ways to connect with other families and nannies!

But by no means does that imply that every family working with a nanny knows about things that are largely considered to be industry standards. It doesn’t even mean that every nanny knows about these things!

nanny industry standards

In 2000, I wanted to move to the Seattle area and landed in Bellevue. I had answered a classified ad (!) in the Seattle Times for a live-in nanny position where I provided part-time care for a three year old boy. Beside living in my own suite area that was attached to the garage and having access to their kitchen during the hours their alarm wasn’t set, the only thing I received as part of my compensation package was hourly pay. This was a check with no taxes withheld.

Continue reading “How Not To Suck At Employing A Nanny”


The Mr. took our three year old boy and 13 month old twins (boy and girl) to the Alderwood Mall location of Funtastic Playtorium yesterday. He wrote this great post about what the kids (and he) enjoyed the most. Check it out!


Last week, Laura worked out a 15% off Beat the #SeattleSmoke discount with Funtastic Playtorium. I decided to take the three little kids to visit their Alderwood Mall location yesterday. I also wanted to see how easy it would be to redeem the discount.

If you read my post about the Top 12 Things to See and Do at the Woodland Park Zoo (from the kids’ perspective), you may recall that I developed the following rating system for the kids to use:

👍👍 – Awesome, amazing, “the coolest ever”

👍 – Pretty cool, “I’m tired of this Dad.”

🖐 – Okay, meh, “Wow, look at this – a leaf!”

The twins only can say “uh-oh”, “dadda”, and “momma” so no “thumbs up scale” with them. Instead I determined their level of interest in an activity based on whether it seemed to capture their attention or not.

We utilized the same rating system for our visit to the Playtorium.

Continue reading “Alderwood Mall Funtastic Playtorium: Review”


pacific science center


Huge thank you to the Pacific Science Center for putting together this deal for us! My family loves checking out the exhibits at the Science Center (the boys are fascinated by the dinosaurs) and we have had a membership there for several years. The problem is that when our nanny took our kids to visit, our membership didn’t cover her admission. 

Not anymore! 

New members who sign up for a family membership now through September 3, 2018 will receive a FREE Flex Pass – a savings of $20.00! 

Continue reading “Member Discount Alert: Free Pass to the Pacific Science Center!”


My kids have been going crazy stuck indoors (I bet yours have too!). I reached out to several indoor play centers over the last couple of days to see if I can work out a “Beat the #SeattleSmoke” discount for our members.

Huge THANK YOU to the Funtastic Playtorium for quickly putting this together for us!

Funtastic Playtorium discount

Continue reading “Discount Alert! Beat the #SeattleSmoke at Funtastic Playtorium!”


I can’t believe another summer is winding down! School will start for my family in less than three weeks, and I am beginning to mentally prepare myself for the cooler weather (yay!) and packing school lunches (boo!) again.

The start of a new school year means a new nanny for many families. The process of hiring a new nanny and establishing a good working relationship can be tedious, but there are some things you want to make sure that you don’t overlook.

For families who already have a nanny it’s a great time to touch base to ensure everyone is on the same page with routine changes. These seven tips will help things run smoothly this school year for your family and your nanny:

school nanny

Continue reading “Seven Tips To Kick Off The Start of School With Your Nanny”


With current, reliable market rate information for child care hard to come by, we have spent the past year surveying our members on what they pay (or are paid) for various child care scenarios (and we continue to do so!).

You can find all of those surveys and results here.

Many members have asked if we can compile all of the hourly rate averages into one place. No problem! Please see the below infographic for the hourly rate averages of all our pay surveys to date.

As we always mention, please DO NOT use these results as a definitive guide to child care pay rates in our area. Each child care scenario is different. Some parents and care providers agree that the provider should only provide child care. Others decide that the provider will handle child care and light household duties. In addition, average pay rates in the far suburbs of Seattle (i.e. Everett, Federal Way, Auburn, etc.) are lower than those found in the city of Seattle. Use this as a rough snapshot of current trends in the Puget Sound region.

Continue reading “Complete Pay Survey Results Summary for 2017-2018”