Style West

By: Savannah Tuma

How I Found the PERFECT Au Pair Family...

How I found the right Au Pair family:

I haven’t posted on here for a minute… mostly because I have been making videos (that you can find here) instead of doing blog posts. But look at me. I’m back and coming at you with a really long, detailed, new blog post.

I wanted to start my first Au Pair blog post off on how I found the right Au Pair family. It was a very long, stressful, and difficult process, but as you now know I am here today in Berlin AuPairing for the best family I could have ever wished for.

So, how did I find the perfect family? Well, as you can see from the length of this post, it’s not a simple answer. So grab cup of coffee and let’s get into this thing.

Five months before I hopped on a plane to Berlin, I signed up for a couple online Au Pair websites. I used AuPair World and However, AuPair World I found to be much more user friendly and is ultimately where I ended up finding my family.

I started looking for a family 4 months before I left. After I set up my profile, I was ready to start searching. In AuPair World you can set the search settings to the country(ies) you wish to AuPair in and the duration of your stay. One thing I do wish they had was a refined search for not only countries, but particular cities as well. There was no way to filter the search down to only families in Berlin. I went through 12 pages of families in Germany and found about 5 families who were located or semi-located in Berlin.

During the first two and a half months I only found one potential family. I set up a call with them and chatted for about 20 minutes. This family had three kids and were all super sweet. However, I just felt like something was off. They had never had an AuPair before and just seemed a little desperate and all over the place for my liking. During the call, I let them know I would give them a definite response by the end of the week. After sleeping on it, I decided to keep searching.

Now with only one and a half months before January (when I wanted to start AuPairing), I was a little desperate. So everyday for a couple hours, I would spend my time on AuPair websites scrolling up and down and refreshing pages, looking to see if another potential Berlin located family uploaded a new profile. After two weeks of frantically searching, I decided to send a bunch of **personalized message to all the families in Berlin. (**I say personalized because I found out that if you sent a two sentence message to the family only saying you were interested, they wouldn’t respond.) So I sent out about 10 new messages to Berlin based families. The next morning, I woke up and found 3 new messages in my inbox and set up Skype calls with all three of them.

Saturday morning, I had my first call. The family wanted me to start in November (instead of January) and didn’t have a separate room for the Au Pair. So I told them it wouldn’t work out. On Sunday, I had my second and third call. Oh man, the second call was awesome! It was a perfect match. This family lived in the heart of Berlin with two sons ages 2 and 4 and they had a room and a bathroom for me. After talking for a half hour or so, I told her as well that I would let her know my decision by the end of the week. Even though I was so tempted to just tell her yes over the Skype call, I still wanted to sleep on it before accepting the offer.

Because that call went so well, I thought about canceling the third. But I decided that it wouldn't hurt just to see what the family is like. “I can always tell her no”, I thought. So at 11am, I picked my phone back up and called the third family.

The third family was a family of four - two parents, a daughter, and a son. The mother showed me their house and introduced me to one of her kids that was still awake. What should have been a twenty minute call ended up being an hour! We not only discussed AuPairing, but about our lives and much more. After saying good-bye, I realized something. There was a totally natural connection between the two of us that I hadn’t felt with any other family. The mother explained that they had had three previous Au Pairs and I could tell that she had gone through the AuPair process before and knew what she was talking about. After ending the call, I found myself a little confused. I had two great families to choose from.

So, I did what anybody would. I talked to my family, boyfriend, and friends and then I slept on it. When I woke up, I just knew. I knew what the right decision was and texted her.

One of the most difficult things about this process was waiting. So many families message you and seem interested and then suddenly stop responding. Just like a lot of things, it’s a frustrating process, but being patient and persistent was the key. Most families look for AuPairs only a few weeks before the start date. I started looking months in advance which made it super hard. My advice is to start looking 3 months in advance and don’t plan to find a family until 2 or more likely 1 month in advance.


So now look at me! I’m in Berlin, living with the best AuPair family, as happy as could be. This has hands down been the best thing I have ever done in my entire life. And I am 100% sure that things would be different if I hadn’t found this family.

Thanks for sticking with me through the end. And of course if you have any questions or are curious about anything, just shoot me a question. :)



CalPak Luggage Review...

*** I found this piece of luggage at my local Marshall’s. Because I found it at a retailer, I got it for a fraction of the original price! Only $65 instead of $185! If you are interested in purchasing this item too, be sure to check out your local retail stores before purchasing online at full price! ***

Happy Monday! Before I left on my trip, I set out to find a bigger piece of luggage. I have heard so many great things about CalPak luggage, so I decided to give it a try.

A few days before I left for my trip to Berlin, I realized I needed a much larger suitcase. So, my sister, Sophia, and I jumped in the car and set out to go find the perfect piece of luggage. We started at Marshall’s looking through suitcase after suitcase. When I laid eyes on this piece, I was immediately drawn to it because of it’s chic appearance. You all know that I LOVE anything neutral, so I was happy to find they had white in stock. Who doesn’t love a chic suitcase? 

After I got over how pretty it was, I wanted to make sure it was durable. This is probably the most important thing to consider when buying a piece of luggage. I hopped online and read a few reviews. Just like any product, there were of course some bad ones, but I found the majority of people had a great experience with CalPak luggage which was great to see.

The last thing I evaluated before I purchased the piece was the price. Most luggage this size that I was interested in or looking at was at or above $80. And after comparing this price to it’s original $185 price, I was pretty juiced and decided to purchase it.

In the end, I was able to fit 50 pounds of clothes and different items in my luggage. Not only did it hold up well, but it was super easy to roll to and from the airport. One of the worst things that could happen with any piece of rolling luggage is one of the wheels breaking or the handle becoming flimsy. Trust me, I’ve had both happen to me before. It’s not fun at all.

My all time favorite feature, however, would have to be the zippers and lock feature. I loved finding that you could set your own code and then lock the zippers to the side of the case. After my luggage got lost in Paris, I was pleased to know that nobody would be able to rummage through it. You never know what can happen when a stranger has access to a suitcase full of your favorite items.

So far I am super pleased with my luggage purchase. It’s chic, durable, and protected. What more could you want? 

Have you ever tried CalPak Luggage? Let me know! Thanks for stopping by!


Dressed in UNIQLO...

I used to be so against wearing cardigans. I didn’t like the slouchy fit and I saw them as a ‘lazy’ way to get dressed. This season, however, I bought my first one from Nordstrom. When I tried it on, it felt like a blanket and since I am always cold, this was a game changer! I instantly fell in love and have been wearing cardigans ever since... but not just any cardigan. 

One of my favorites has been this longer, grey UNIQLO cardigan. I LOVE that it holds its shape and doesn’t have that slouchy, laid back look to it. I wore this to church the other day with this pair of flats to dress it up a little more. I am now obsessed.

I hope you had a great weekend and are having an amazing Monday!


follow along on instagram! @savtuma