My Experience: Let’s talk about sex…

Yeah, I thought that might get your attention! Hahaha.

It certainly got my attention when Miss NHM came home from school a few weeks ago, talking about “hairy bhajina’s”. It took me about 5 seconds before I twigged what she was going on about!!?!?!?!?!

Then there was a “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I’m not READY, I’m not READY, I’m not READY!!!!” in my head for about another 5 seconds whilst I did some very quick thinking.

Then I realised that I’m never going to be ready for this one, so I corrected Miss NHM with the right wording and said I would see if I could find a book that could help her understand some things.

Now, I’m the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing when it comes to parenting. I’m making the whole thing up as I go along. We all are and anyone who says they aren’t is a great, big, hairy fibber.

But I do know that it’s important to Mr NHM and I that Miss NHM doesn’t learn about sex from playground gossip.

I know this isn’t strictly about sex but when I was 8 years old one of my best friends, Rachel P, her Mum had a miscarriage. Rachel’s parents obviously tried to explain this awful situation in a way that Rachel would understand. What Rachel took away from this conversation was that the baby had died and that it had been flushed down the toilet. She then told everyone in the playground that this is what had happened. For YEARS I had nightmares about small babies dying and being flushed down toilets, like goldfish.

So I was adamant that Miss NHM doesn’t find out about the birds and the bees or anything like this from playground gossip.

I don’t ever remember having the “sex talk” with my parents. I still have a book that was given to me when I was 6 years old, which explained how things worked.

I discreetly asked a few of the Mum’s on the school run about whether they had come across this yet, and one of my lovely friends (Hi H!) suggested the following book: “Let’s talk about the birds and the bees”.

I got our copy from The Book People, because it was a third of the price of what it was on Amazon or at Waterstones.

It’s a hard back book and really good quality.

The following weekend, Miss NHM and I sat on the bed and read the first few pages of the book.

I can’t say it was an easy read for me. I was cringing  a lot of the way through those pages, which says quite a lot about me I’m sure. Hopefully this didn’t come across as I was doing my very best to read it naturally.

Miss NHM was quite fascinated by it all and she clearly took it all on board because a few nights later she asked about it over the dinner table, which wasn’t quite was I wanted to discuss whilst eating spag bol, but I’d rather she feels safe to discuss these things with us than not.

I have tried to explain to her that we only talk about these things at home. I’d like to apologise to the other school parents if she hasn’t taken this bit on board (face palm).

I have no idea if I’ve done the right thing or not. “Just turned 7 years old” seems FAR too early to me to be discussing things like sex, but then I remember being that age and being quite fascinated by it all.

There is a section at the back of the book for parents, which says that if you talk to your children about sex they are less likely to be hung up about it.

They better be right!!!!

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Drama Tots is taking part in Children’s Activities Week, 30th April – 4th May 2018

Children’s Activities Week is an all new initiative bringing together thousands of activities, clubs and classes for children. This year it runs from the 30th April-4th May and Drama Tots Basingstoke is taking part!

Drama Tots is a preschool drama programme that incorporates many of the EYFS themes and uses music, movement and imaginary play to make them come to life. Perfect for developing communication skills, confidence and harnessing the creativity of imagination.

As part of the week our classes will be open to all (please email to confirm) and the normal class fee of £6 will be donated to the Caudwell Children’s charity, supporting disabled children and their families across the U.K.

The theme of the event is #WatchMeFly and our class will be covering lots of flying related things. The perfect opportunity for your little one (and you if you like) to dress up in a flying related costume, fairy, butterfly, superhero or maybe a pilot?

At 10.15am on Monday the 30th April we will also be taking part in a world record attempt with Sid from CBeebies, he has choreographed a dance for us all to learn and do together, hopefully at the same time as thousands of others around the country.

There will also be an opportunity to enter into a prize draw to win a family holiday to Alton Towers.

If you would like to join us at one of the classes, here are the details;

Monday St Mary’s church room Old Basing:
9.40am-10.20 18mnth-3yr old’s (we may run over with the record attempt)

10.30-11.15 3yrs-school age (world record attempt at 10.15 so come around 10.05)

Thursday at Old Basing cricket pavilion tea rooms (this class is normally at Lychpit village hall but has a different location because of the elections)
9.40 for 18mnth-3yr (very limited space so please get in touch)

10.30-11.15 3yrs-school age

⭐Please do drop me an email beforehand as numbers are limited!

www.dramatots.co.uk

I look forward to seeing you there!

Many thanks, Kate

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NHM Readers: Places to take toddlers paddling in a stream

As part of “North Hants Mum Question Time”, I was asked by Juliet “Is there anywhere close to Basingstoke where you can take toddlers paddling in a stream?”

My response, as well as those received from the community, are below.

NHM Readers: Places to take toddlers paddling in a stream

Louise NHM replied “There is a “secret” place in Hook that is safe for little ones to paddle. Plus there is the stream in Eastrop or the streams that are all over Chineham. In fact on Sunday, Mr NHM and Miss NHM walked through several streams in Chineham for two hours and had a blast! I still feel bad about the insects they probably destroyed though! lol”

Hannah said “piggy dams off Newnam Lane is lovely for paddling. At the village hall in basing you take a right down Newnam Lane and on the left there’s a dirt path….if you follow it there’s a stream and little bridgey thing. when we last went someone had put a tyre swing up too!”

Louise said “Hannah – I know exactly where you mean. It’s where the river curves off to the left. There is a footpath sign and a red post box? (I cycle that way a LOT in the summer! lol)”

Saretta said “There’s a lovely stream to paddle in in Overton. It’s down Station Road, once you go over the little bridge it’s just on the left”

Katie said “Saretta – the Overton one is is called Flashetts and is actually the River Test. We were there today”

Charlotte said “The Crabtree there is a little steam my little boy loves it”

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How NorthHantsMum supports local Businesses

I’m a HUGE fan of local businesses and supporting the local economy. Especially when many NHM Readers are local business owners themselves.

It’s one of the things that I am proud of NHM for, being able to directly impact the local economy by publicising local businesses. Even more importantly, by directly impacting local families, either as the providers of goods and services or the purchasers of goods and services.

There are several ways that we support local Businesses on NorthHantsMum…

Guest Post

Guest Posts are FREE and are a great way to publicise your local business to local parents.

Any local business can have a Guest Post on NHM. You can find out more at the following post: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/2016/12/20/a-guest-post-vs-a-review-on-northhantsmum/

You can find a link to all previous Guest Posts here: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/category/guest-post-2/

NHM Reviews

NorthHantsMum is quite famous for our reviews of local places to visit, things to do and places to eat. They are often very popular posts because people seem to prefer Reviews.

You can find all of the Reviews here: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/2017/01/18/list-of-reviews-on-northhantsmum/ 

Sometimes we decide to write a Review about a place because we absolutely love it, (sometimes we DON’T write Reviews because friends have made us SWEAR not to tell the NHM Community about a secret/special location that they know of! lol), but more often than not we are asked to write a Review after sampling the local businesses offering.

If this is something that might be suitable for your business, please have a look at this post: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/2016/12/20/a-guest-post-vs-a-review-on-northhantsmum/

I have several NHM Readers who help me to write these Reviews and I’m very proud of them all for all of their hard work in doing such a fab job writing these posts.

Business Directory

The Business Directory is coming into it’s own at the moment!

You can have a free or paid advert on the NorthHantsMum Business Directory.

Free listings have just the name of your business and either a website or facebook page listed. If you would like your business to be listed with a free listing, please just email me the name of your business and the website or facebook page you would like us to link too.

Free adverts never expire, but once a paid advert “runs” out on it’s time, it is converted to a free advert.

If you would like a paid listing, please email me at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com for more details.

 

Small Business Support Groups

I have two Facebook groups that support local businesses:

NHM Publicity for Local Businesses – Support local Businesses!!!!!

This group is open to anyone to join and is a great way to support local businesses. As the pinned post states, please only post your offers once a month, so as not to cause lots of spam in the group.

NHM Mums running Small Businesses

This group is for local Mum’s who run their own businesses to share information and network. I often set up networking events and these are where those events are created and publicised.

Check In on Facebook

There are over 2361 people who are friends of my Louise nhm Smith” profile.

(Don’t worry, I never look at people’s profiles as I don’t have the time or energy. The NHM Community is very welcoming and there are loads of groups to join).

Whenever I click to say that I am “interested” in an event, these events pop up in my friends newsfeeds. If there is ever an event that you would like to pop up in my friends newsfeeds, please just add me to the event.

I also often visit local places and check in to say I’ve been there as it raises the profile of that business.

Other ways to support local Businesses

Are there any other ways that you think NorthHantsMum can support local businesses? Is there anything that is missing?

I’d love to hear your feedback at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

As always, thank you for your support and thank you for being part of the NorthHantsMum Community!

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Charity Pamper Evening at The Holiday Inn

We are have a fundraising event at the Holiday Inn on the 16th May 2018

It would be a great evening out for anyone who would like a to have a little bit of pampering and enjoy an evening out.

Tickets are now on sale and can also be reserved for the evening. If you need more information please contact me.

Kind regards

Kathy Williams

Community Events Organiser for The Pink Place

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How to choose the right fitness professional

Thank you very much to Helen at Good for Mum’s for writing today’s post!

How to choose the right fitness professional

Maybe you’re pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby and you’re looking for a fitness class. But how, in an industry where you can qualify in as little as a couple of months and complete an entirely online qualification in pre/postnatal exercise programming, can you be sure that your instructor is prescribing safe and appropriate exercise?

The answer is simple A.S.K !!!

A. Accredited – They should be qualified, ask to see their certificates. If they aren’t qualified then they won’t have insurance and you aren’t then protected should anything go wrong. Do they have an up to date first aid certificate? Are they a member of a regulating body, such as REPs, CIMSPA or FHT Sports. There are lots of professional standards agencies which fitness instructors can voluntarily sign up to. They often provide CPD, training, further education and keep the instructor up to date with changes in regulations or guidance and it shows they’re committed to maintaining high standards. How long have they been in the industry and what is their speciality. Do they have testimonials from clients which evidences their skills. Do they get results?

S. Screening – Pregnant and Postnatal women go through massive changes when carrying and birthing babies. No two women or births are the same and as such, the screening should be in depth and facilitate answers to questions which are as unique as your body. If your fitness provider is not screening you for pelvic floor disfunction, diastasis recti, over all core function, postural assessment, birth trauma to tissues and the fourth trimester, are they really screening you deeply? Are they painting a picture of your pre/postnatal health and truly able to prescribe appropriate exercise? I recently heard a wise lady say ‘Specialists assess, they don’t guess’ and when it comes to ladies who carry and birth babies, this could not be more true.

K. Knowledge – Does the Company or Fitness Instructor truly understand the client they are working with? Are they saying that you are only postnatal if you had a baby less than six months ago? Are they able to identify potential complications? Do they have the integrity to know when to refer a client to another specialist when symptoms warn of something which maybe beyond their professional capabilities?  Or are they telling you to ‘just take the low impact modification’ and taking your money. Is the instructor offering you explanation and reasoning behind their instructions? Do they talk sense? If it sounds like BS it probably is and if they’re saying lots of ‘I don’t know’ or ‘no you don’t need to do that’ you have to ask yourself do you want to settle for  industry standard or does your body deserve best practice?

If you’re serious about getting your body to a place where it heals well and recovers properly, be serious about your choices when looking at exercise classes. Your GP check at six weeks clears you to return to ‘normal activity’ such as driving, walking, lifting a baby etc it does not clear you to head straight back to boot camp or iron-mans. Even if you regularly did them pre-pregnancy.

Do something good for you and always remember to ASK.

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Review 2018: Hart House Gastropub & Coffee Shop

Thank you very much to Hayley, one of the NHM Secret Reviewers, who has done a fab job!!

Hart House Gastropub & Coffee Shop, Fleet

 

Hart House

Address:              335-337 Fleet Road, Fleet, GU51 3NT

Tel:                       01252 377733

We were lucky enough to get the chance to review the new Hart House Gastropub & Coffee Shop in Fleet.

Set in the old Ask restaurant (after an extensive and classy makeover) the pub sells itself on being a ‘pub for everyone’ so being a vegan with a coeliac/dairy -free daughter they were going to be tested!

Dining area

About

Hart House offers:

Pub/restaurant –  open from 9am for breakfast daily. They have several menus, including Breakfast, Children’s, Main (which includes sandwiches, burgers and steaks), Vegan and Sunday Roasts.

Coffee shop – Open from 8am to 5.30pm daily, although we didn’t try this, the cakes they had on the counter looked delicious!

Private Events Space, complete with own bar, sound system and TV screen which is available for private hire.

There is also a patio garden and dogs are welcome in the bar area.

Unfortunately, there is no parking at the pub itself, but being so central there are plenty of car parks nearby.

Food

This was what we really wanted to test!

Having looked at the menu before we went we were really pleased to see that they could cater for all of us. Their menu is very clearly laid out with most dishes being gluten-free already and many adaptable, they also state whether the item is dairy-free or contains nuts.

This is such a big thing for us, more often than not we are presented with a folder of dietary information to sort through before we can order. They also have a separate vegan menu complete with starters and desserts!

We all had starter, main and dessert. My husband had the Black Pudding Scotch Egg to start and has been raving about it since, I can fully recommend the vegan Sweet & Sour Butternut main dish (AMAZING!) and my daughter ate all of, and thoroughly enjoyed, the Chocolate & Pistachio Brownie with Banana Ice Cream which I had intended to share with her!

Having had so many difficult experiences while out for dinner with our daughter it was so refreshing to just enjoy a meal.

Black Pudding Scotch Eggs
Sweet Potato Falalfel

The Tzatziki was so good for this that I made them double check it was vegan, it was and was made fresh!

Lamb steak of the day
Sweet & Sour Butternut Curry
Children’s Meatballs

My daughter had hers with chips rather than pasta.

Chocolate Pistachio Brownie with banana ice cream

We also sampled the vegan panacotta which was very good, and my husband had the sticky toffee pudding – although that didn’t hang around long enough to take a photo!

Drinks

Hart House has an extensive drinks menu, including cocktails and also holds a half-price prosecco event every Friday from 5pm.

The Bar

Service

At the restaurant the staff were attentive, well versed in the menus and any questions we had were answered quickly, the chef also came out to go through the gluten-free/dairy-free options for our daughter so we’d have no worries.

We did wonder if we were just getting great treatment due to us writing a review, but it became clear throughout our visit that the staff were equally attentive to all the customers.

Child-friendliness

When we visited there were several other families there with small children, the atmosphere is nice and relaxed, and I think next time we may brave it with our three-year-old as well.

There are baby-changing facilities in the downstairs disabled toilet, and the spaces between tables is big enough to get a pushchair through easily.

Score out of 5

5 out of 5! We really couldn’t fault them at all, we had a very enjoyable visit.

The food was fantastic, the staff are really clued up on specific dietary requirements, the atmosphere is good and it’s great value for money.

If you’re in the area and looking for somewhere to eat, I’d recommend you give them a try. We weren’t disappointed.

We’ll definitely be visiting again soon, I’m keen to try out their Sunday Roast menu (and maybe take a look at the cakes again!)

The cake counter

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Hart House in Fleet. Hayley’s family meal was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Hayley was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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Netball Tournament to help Ark Cancer Charity

Debbie McLatch and her daughter Dani Taylor have kindly organised a Mixed Sex Versatility Netball Tournament to raise funds for Ark.

Taking place on Saturday, April 28 at Russell Howard Park in Basingstoke, this fun event is for men and women players over 16.

It would be great if you could please post the info on the NorthHantsMum page and spread the word to anyone else who may be interested.

To register to take part, please contact Dani at Danielle.Taylor@parissmith.co.uk.

Thanks to everyone who signs up.

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NHM Readers recommend: Baby-Led Weaning Ideas

Thank you all for the replies we had regarding a question on baby-led weaning from a member of the NHM community: “I need some inspiration on baby led weaning foods for lunchtime and dinner time. I’ve done the cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, pasta but am wondering if anyone has any other suggestions?”

Thank you also to Juliet who put this post together!!

NHM readers recommend – Baby-Led Weaning Ideas

Kelly says “Eggs are good in different forms – scrambled, slices of omelette even egg muffins with different fillings. Pittas, Hummus, Avocado (messy!!!), Savoury rice, Soup!!!”

Natalie says “Banana egg pancakes – easy to do (2 ingredients) make up a batch and they’re good warm straight from the pan & my little one also likes them cold too so good for out & about”

Shona says “This Facebook page gave me so many awesome ideas outside of the normal ones… worth a look.” Weaning, starting solids/finger food- Friendly Support & Guidance

Catherine says “pasta is my fav with mascarpone cheese and some herbs as it’s salt free or sometimes I use an Ellas pouch for sauce. Avocado toast, grated courgette in pancake mix. Peas are great when they get their pincer grip. I also use a lot of preloaded spoons for rice or lentil dishes etc.”

Jennie says “We do a cooked chopped broccoli with breadcrumbs, cheese, chilli sauce and egg mixed together and baked in a Yorkshire pudding tray that goes down well”

Laura says “Mine loved peas and broccoli for weaning and still loves them now at 4. Steam til they’re soft enough to go a bit mushy. But a great intro to green veggies.”

Kimberley says “Maybe add hummus and other dips to bread sticks and carrot sticks.”

Lottie says “With blw I have just always given my daughter whatever meals I am having. She enjoys chilli, curry, gnocchi and bangers and mash at dinner time. For lunches we have crackers with cheese, wraps, quiche and sandwiches. Just have to be mindful of salt intake!!!”

Claire says “Mine used to love these spinach and cheese muffins, make a huge batch they freeze well and are great for taking out too… View topic – spinach and cheese muffins • Baby Led Weaning

Also like the others said egg stuff so eggy bread, sliced omelette, hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, sweet potato chips, homemade fish fingers always go down well and tuna pitta pockets (can also make these with puff pastry and freeze!)”

Rachel says “Whatever you are eating….that’s the best bit”

Laura says “The baby led weaning cookbook app is so good! Only £4.99 I think and so many good and easy recipes”

Karen says “Anything you eat.. (except honey if under 1 year). Cut into pieces that are longer than their fist initially so they stick out of a clenched hand. Let them go for it. Don’t worry how much goes in/down. Food before one is just for fun. As they get used to it make the foods smaller, you’ll be surprised how they’ll concentrate until they can pick up that pea! The book baby led weaning by Gill Rapley is fab”

Wendy says “Agree with above just feed them whatever you are eating. The only real rule is no honey until around 12 months. I’ve heard so many people say how much more enjoyable weaning is second time round because there’s no rules.”

Kath says “As the others have said anything you are eating. Often if my little one was on my lap while I was eating she would launch her hand onto my plate to try whatever it was. They do say that if they can’t handle it they won’t be able to pick it up (eg smaller foods like peas etc with that worry of choking). I remember at around 8 months old she got hold of a spare rib while we were having chinese and started munching on that!”

Tara says “Baby led weaning cookbook app is really helpful. Includes advice as well as recipes”

Jade asked “With the carrot sticks are they supposed to be cooked? Will be asking the exact same question in 6 months time”

  • Kelly said “Entirely up to you and what you’re comfortable with an uncooked carrot probably will only be used for gnawing!!! But quite good for teething!”
  • Catherine said “I would avoid raw carrot sticks myself and raw apple slices.. whole raw carrot or apple or else cook carrot or blanch the apple”
  • Karen said “If they’re sat upright, supervised and only putting food into their own mouth then the risk of choking is very small. As baby hits 6 months(ish) their gag reflex moves backwards in their mouth, they may trigger their gag reflex as they learn to put food in their mouth, but that’s what’s supposed to happen, that way they learn how to do it. Have a look at the book baby led weaning by Gill Rapley”

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