BASINGSTONES: Top Tips

The Basics

All you need to do is paint a stone and write “Basingstones” on it. Then hide it somewhere safe for someone to find and hopefully brighten their day!

If you find a Basingstone, please post a photo of it on our Facebook Group page so we can see how far it travels. Either keep it and replace, or just hide it again somewhere new.

 

The Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/basingstones/ The magic of Basingstones is what happens off social media ie the spending time together, being creative, getting outdoors, sharing and the small acts of kindness concept.

Our facebook page allows the wonderful Basingstones community to come together online to share photos and smiles but it shouldn’t be the focus.  That said, here are a few tips on using the facebook group page:

  • Pinned Post

Please make sure you have a read of the Pinned Post – lots of important information in there!

  • Searching

There is a SEARCH bar which allows you to search out key words in posts – very helpful for when you are looking for a particular post by an individual or regarding a certain topic. Just type the person’s name for example and hit SEARCH.

  • Reporting posts

Please help us to keep the page free of sales posts, unrelated page links and spam. If you see anything inappropriate or disrespectful, please press the three dots in the right hand corner of the post, then select the option to “Report post”

  • Sharing photos

Note that this group is public and can be seen and accessed by anyone, so please be mindful when sharing details and posting pics. Do NOT post photos of other people’s children.

Did you know…?

…there are often competition basingstones for you to keep a lookout for!
Try searching “competition” to see what you could win

…there is a Basingstones Admin photo album for Basingstones news
hit Albums and select Basingstones Admin

…there is a thread to track international Basingstones so that we can see them pop up all over the world! (This can be found in the Basingstones Admin album)

…Basingstones has been on the radio, in the newspaper and even nominated for a community project award!  Check out the Basingstones Admin Album for details

FAQs

Where can I get stones from?

Lots of garden centres and large DIY stores sell big bags of stones/cobbles for about £5.  Locally, you can try The Range, Wickes, Conkers, Home Bargains, B&M, Bunnings and many more.

Taking rocks from beaches is discouraged and you could actually be fined.  Whilst taking the odd stone will do no damage, we don’t want to have a negative impact on the environment.

How should I decorate basingstones?

You can paint the stone however you wish, perhaps with a pretty pattern, a fun cartoon character, an inspirational quote or an artistic design.

Please avoid sticking things to the stones though which could potentially fall off and be harmful to wildlife. We want to be friendly towards our environment and our furry friends too.

What paint is best to use?

Sharpie pens, permanent markers, nail polish, acrylic paints and clear varnish or spray (to make it weather proof) all work really well.

Why haven’t I seen a photo of the basingstone I hid?

There are thousands of group members and hundreds of posts each day. You cannot keep track of them all.  Also, some people may choose not to share their photos or finds online.

Don’t worry that not all hidden basingstones get a finder post – each one makes someone smile and each one is special!

I hope this helps.

Have fun!

Rachel x
Basingstones Admin

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Review 2018: Bunnings Warehouse – D.I.Y Workshop with Upcycling Expert Mac McMurdo

Thank you very much to K for today’s NHM review! She’s done a fab job! Thank you also to Bunnings Warehouse for the opportunity!

Review 2018: Bunnings Warehouse – D.I.Y Workshop with Upcycling Expert Mac McMurdo

About

Bunnings Basingstoke

I attended (on the hottest early May Bank Holiday EVER I may add!) the Upcycling event at Bunnings on Saturday 12th May. This was on most of the day and appeared really popular/busy which was lovely to see for such a new store to Basingstoke. This review is not just based on the event but on Bunnings generally as a new store to Basingstoke that often has small events on usually at weekends.

Essentially this was all about thinking of how you can make-your-own DIY items for your house/garden and over the weekend Mac was demonstrating using different products to make different bits and bobs.

Sunday was a plant holder made of copper piping, some rope, few knots and hey presto all done!

To make this slightly more exciting this all took place on a renovated double decker bus!

I took my daughter (7) with me and everyone was so lovely and friendly and gave her the chance to make her own plant holder.

Isn’t she clever?!

They were so friendly and she had a great time. I sent lots of other little people (and lots of keen adults!) towards the bus during our wonder around the stores so I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did. Apparently the day before it was all about pallets…

Other events in store

In store in true Bunnings style there was the usual for children, craft, face painting, grow your own workshops, popcorn and use of the café and play area. If you haven’t been into this store particularly during a weekend go and have a bimble. It has a good spaced layout with a small play area for children at the back (I would say for walkers-4 year olds) that is enclosed, clean and safe.

Really conveniently literally next to it is a very cute little café serving coffee (I’m fussy with my coffee and it passed!), a variety of hot and cold drinks, snacks, cake etc. All very clean, high chairs available and during weekends there is always a different craft activity for children. Also during special themed days i.e. Fathers Day I’m told they will put on themed activities for children so keep an eye out!

Food

Outside under (I’m sure they were grateful for it last weekend!) a gazebo sausages/burgers etc were being sold and supported by the Basingstoke Gymnastics Club.

Every weekend Bunnings support a local charity which is lovely – if you want to nominate a charity please contact the customer services department on Basingstoke@bunnings.co.uk

Facilities

So it’s a big DIY store but there always seems to be something happening to make it just tip over what is normally expected! Has the usual items that you would expect and some, plus a well sized outside area. I stupidly forgot to check the toilet facilities sorry!!!!

Parking

Huge parking outside, it was really busy and still spaces so you won’t struggle for parking. If you buy anything large and need a hand or even if it’s just a little tricky let the staff know and they will happily help you.

Prices

The event was free, everything we made was free, craft/face painting, popcorn, play area all FREE. Keep an eye on the updates for this store because it’s worth a visit. I went to the opening which was so good my children made me go back on both days!

Also went at Christmas, again it was brilliant children loved it and the lure of Santa and some popcorn was enough to give me a chance to look around first! The café is small but actually still manages to be spacious – during the week.

I would even imagine it was quite a handy little place for a coffee with a friend and baby or two when it’s less busy but even during the event there was plenty of space.

Hot drinks start at £1.80 and snacks/sandwiches are all within what I would expect.

Rating

I would happily give this a 4/5 based on what it was trying to achieve. I think to promote upcycling even more just some additional photos of what else people can create would I think have been handy/nice to see.

If Bunnings do a similar type of thing again I would just ask indoor staff near the entrance to promote everything when people walk in as surprisingly there were lots of families inside who hadn’t noticed the bus!!!

Well done Bunnings! We will be popping in before Fathers Day!

Bunnings Instagram

Bunnings Facebook 

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Bunnings Warehouse – D.I.Y Workshop with Upcycling Expert Mac McMurdo. K and her daughters workshop place was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. K was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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The Sleepy Teepee Party

Hi my name is Karina and I am a mum to three children (12,9 & 4yrs). I have recently started my company The Sleepy Teepee Party. My children love a sleepover and making dens/tents. So I decided to put the two together and create The Sleepy Teepee Party.

What we do

We are here to make your sleepover’s easy, fun and one you will never forget! Choose your theme and leave the rest to us! Hassle free as we will deliver, set up and style your sleepover and return the next day to pack it all away. We are based in Basingstoke and cover a 20mile radius (Anything outside of the 20miles will incur additional mileage costs).

Our themes so far:

  • Unicorn
  • Camo/army
  • Mystical
  • Hollywood/Movie

I am always looking for new themes, so if you have any suggestions please get in contact.

What’s included

Each tent includes the following:
  • Inflatable bed
  • duvet pillow and covers
  • fairy lights
  • bunting and decorations
  • a helium balloon
  • personalised chalk board
  • breakfast table at the end of the bed
  • a lantern with battery powered candle
  • sleep mask
Delivery (within 20 miles of RG22 postcode), set up and collection the next day.

 

Why not add a Little Extra to your party, so you don’t have to do a thing.
  • Midnight Feast box
  • Breakfast box
  • Cupcakes to suit your theme
  • Hot Chocolate, mashmallows and squirty cream
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, shower gel and/or toothpaste, flannel which can be personalised)
  • Pamper package

Keep up to date with our latest news and photos on

Twitter @TheSleepyTeepee
Please get in contact if you have any questions or would like to book a party.

 

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Bunnings Warehouse Basingstoke hosts FREE D.I.Y Workshop with upcycling expert Max McMurdo

Home improvement and garden retailer Bunnings Warehouse is hosting a series of D.I.Y Workshops with TV presenter and upcycling expert Max McMurdo on Sunday (6th May 2018).

Max, who has appeared on ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ and the latest series of ‘Shed of the Year’ on Channel 4, will be bringing his famous bus to the store on Winchester Way, Basingstoke between 12-2pm to demonstrate just how easy it is to build useful items out of simple household objects and upcycled materials, including a plant hanger made from copper pipes.

Max said: “Upcycling is all about breathing life into old products and creating something from unused or unusual items. Whether you’re a beginner or an upcycling pro, I’m looking forwarding to showing customers just how easy it is.”

The store is also hosting a number of family activities including the famous Bunnings Sausage Sizzle, face painting and ‘Grow Your Own’ gardening workshops for children plus demonstrations on how to achieve colour in your garden (see in store for details).

Event details

Sunday 6 May, 12pm – 2pm

Bunnings, Winchester Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 6HN

The workshop is free to attend and customers can register their interest in store

About Bunnings

Bunnings is the leading retailer of home improvement and outdoor living products in Australia and New Zealand and a major supplier to project builders, commercial tradespeople and the housing industry. Operating from a network of large warehouse stores, smaller format stores, trade centres and frame and truss sites, Bunnings caters for consumer and commercial customers.

As at 31 December 2017, Bunnings Australia and New Zealand operated out of 363 trading locations (of which 253 are warehouses), employing over 40,000 team members.

In February 2016 Bunnings acquired Homebase, the second largest home improvement and garden retailer in the United Kingdom and Ireland. As at 31 December 2017, there were 15 Bunnings trading locations and 234 Homebase stores, employing over 12,000 team members in the UK and Ireland.

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Hampshire Dyslexia workshop

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NHM Readers Recommend Dance Classes for 4 and 8 year olds

An NHM Reader recently asked “Are there any children’s dance classes that take mixed age children? I am looking for a class for a 4 year old and an 8 year old. It seems many places only start from age 5 also, my 4 year old will be in school from September.”

Many thanks to the NHM community for the below responses, which are in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend Dance Classes for 4 and 8 year olds

Paul said “not sure about dance, but I know Basingstoke Wolverines Cheer Squad are looking for people if that’s any good?”

Wendy said “They should be able to attend together for Irish Dancing. Contact below for times (I believe Basingstoke is a Tues evening) http://www.boyleodowda.com/contact.html

Helena said “Petite school of dance (ballet, tap, Acro) are from preschool to senior school! Very friendly and relaxed but excellent dancing achieved!”

Paula said “JLD school of dancing are amazing – http://www.jldschoolofdancing.co.uk/ Main studio in Kingsclere, other classes are at Cranbourne school in Basingstoke Cranbourne Primary School

Carlie said “North Hampshire Academy of Dance is an excellent dance school, my son and daughter have been there for 10 years and have thrived there. Free trial classes and qualified teachers. Highly recommend.”

Charlene said “JG Dance Basingstoke. My daughter is 6 and has been attending for 2 years now and does several styles of dancing on Saturday mornings. Lovely teachers and all the parents are friendly”

Sarah said “Happy Feet Dance Academy

Julie said “The problem of them being together in most dance schools is that the exam structure is usually based at the beginning around ages – so your 8 year old could be waiting a long time for the 4 year old to be old enough/capable of doing the exams. If you wanted something informal and fun I think that Chandelle Stage School do a mixed modern/tap/ballet class in Winklebury that covers a broader age as they do IDTA dance awards rather than the formal RAD and ISTD ballet and tap etc.”

Julie said “For actual RAD and ISTD there is also Basingstoke Academy of Dancing at Houndmills”

Debbie said “www.lyndendance.co.uk

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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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Review 2018: FlipOut Basingstoke

Thank you to S for today’s NHM Review!

Review 2018: FlipOut Basingstoke

I visited FlipOut last Saturday( just before the half-term) as part of NHM community. I was there with my 3 year old son and husband for 1 hour between 11am and 12pm. It was quite easy to buy tickets once you are there, they also offer online pre-booking which has a separate queue. However the entrance is quite narrow which can make it busy during peak time, so be prepared well in advance.

All sessions are timed and they start every half hour. Once you bought the tickets you are then asked to go to the briefing room where they show a 5 mins safety video of do’s and dont’s.

I really liked the graffiti artwork. It was beautifully used throughout the whole of Flip Out which made the place very colourful. My first reaction once I got into the park was “It was enormous”, they have over 50 trampolines of different sizes. They have lots of different areas to cater all age groups.  

The park has :

  • Main trampoline jumping area
  • 28 ft Ninja slide ( for teens/adults)
  • Foam pit.
  • Total wipeout( Kids loved it )
  • Climbing walls
  • And lots more ( I didn’t get to go into the teens/adults area )

The main park is for all age group but a few areas are height restricted which means under 6s weren’t allowed. They have a special trampoline area with FlipOut’s signature car in the middle. Kids loved jumping from and on to the car. Foam pit and total wipeout was my son’s favourite of the day. Unfortunately we didn’t use much of the teen/adults section but by the look of it I was sure they were all having lots of fun. It was a busy day with lots of toddlers, kids, teens and adults thought it didn’t look over-crowded.

Safety team:
They had a good number of safety team staff members spread all over the park. They had a keen eye on the jumping area to avoid double jumping. They are also very interactive and lively.

Baby Softplay area:
They also have a separate baby soft play area on the other side of the cafe which is small but good size for 1 and 2 year old babies when you have other kids to jumping on the trampolines.

Prices and Sessions:
All sessions are on hourly basis. You can either buy 1 hour session or add another hour for half price.
Standard jump ( 1hr) : £9.95 (2hr):  £14.95
Under 6: £5.95

You can buy FlipOut socks for £2 or they allow other parks socks as well.

Facilities and Activities

Lockers:
They have a huge locker area which works with a pound coin. The locker sizes are quite small so I had a tough time shoving my big bag into it. They are good size for shoes and coats though!

Cafe and viewing area:
There is a cafe in the mezzanine floor above to the main jumping floor with seating area. It is gallery styled and got a view to the jumping area, it allows parents to enjoy a coffee while keeping an eye on their kids.  The menu is a standard one which caters for all ages. The cafe seating area seemed to be always full and was quite a task to get a seat.

Toilets with baby changing area

Toddler Time:
Every weekday between 9am-11am  there is a dedicated toddler session in the park. Parents with under 5s can find this time appropriate as you don’t want older kids to run around at the same time.

Fit Classes :

They offer a structured Flip Fit class led by qualified fitness instructors on Wednesday 7pm. It is a pay as you go class and also you can buy 6 session for the price of 5.

Kids and adults party:

They offer different party packages according to your need which also includes exclusive room and arena hire

Overall experience

It looks awesome and is an excellent place for a trampoline park. Fun place and lots to do for all age group. 3 and above would enjoy their time in FlipOut. If you have only small babies then I would ask you to get an idea of what FlipOut is as it could be disappointing for a few who expected it to have big soft play areas. I really liked FlipOut and would go again.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Flipout Basingstoke. The session was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. S was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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Review 2018: Studio 1314

I reviewed Studio 1314 on NorthHantsMum in 2016 when they were just starting out.

You may have seen their Lemon Face promotion (which will be starting again in April 2018) on Facebook, which has been hugely popular.

Click on the pictures themselves to see them in detail

I LOVED the pictures that they did for our family in 2016. Absolutely loved them. You can even see one of them at the top of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook. So when Wayne invited me back to review the studio, to see what had changed, I LEAPED at the chance.

Wayne and Lucy are also very kindly offering a Special Offer just for NHM Readers, which is listed at the bottom of this post.

About

The team at Studio 1314 believe in the personal touch, not just in their pictures, but also in the way that they conduct their business.

Once you have made a booking you receive a very professional confirmation email which confirms your booking and provides a link to a slideshow of some of their pictures, a link to a Pinterest board which is a great source of inspiration.

The email also has a really useful section about what to bring to the photo shoot and which clothes would work best.

I really love that they encourage accessorising and personal items as these make the photos even more meaningful.

A few weeks before our photo shoot, Wayne phoned me and we had a really good chat about what to expect and what to bring for the photo shoot. I love that Wayne was interested in what I wanted to get from the photo shoot as well and that he had some great ideas of what to bring along.

The photoshoot

Having been to several family photo shoots since Miss NHM was born(which I am extremely grateful for!) we kind of know what to expect.

However, it’s always a NIGHTMARE the morning of the photo shoot. Trying to get everyone mobilised and in the car and not forget any of our outfits. Mr NHM nearly forgot his outfit this time (facepalm).

When we arrived at the studio (about 15 minutes drive from Hatch Warren) we were all quite harassed as there had been a couple of “discussions” in the car on the way there.

It was sooooo nice to just arrive at the studio and plonk ourselves on the lovely squishy sofa’s.

Wayne was very welcoming and let us catch our breath before looking through the outfits that we had brought with us. He gave us advice on which outfits he thought would photograph the best.

The photoshoot lasted 90 minutes and that time just FLEW by. Miss NHM absolutely loved being the centre of attention (no comment) when Wayne took lots of pictures of her. We also had several family photo’s taken which are just awesome.

I really loved that when Miss NHM was “doing her thing” (total poser. I blame her father!!!) we could just sit and watch on the lovely sofa. It was so nice to see someone else entertaining Miss NHM and to be able to just sit back and enjoy it.

Wayne was very patient with Miss NHM and he made her giggle lots. She’s very photogenic (yes, I am a bit biased) but she can also be VERY stubborn if she doesn’t want to do anything but Wayne had no problem at all with getting her to do the things he needed too, to ensure that the pictures are perfect.

(No, that isn’t Miss NHM. Lol!)

It’s brilliant that the studio is split into several areas. Miss NHM is getting to that age where she’s conscious about her body and doesn’t want to undress in front of someone else, so it was really useful having the dressing area to change in but still be able to talk to Wayne and Mr NHM.

On our way home, I asked Mr NHM if he enjoyed the photo shoot and he said that he did because it was very relaxed and fun. (I often drag him along to these kinds of things and he’s not often that enthusiastic but that previous sentence is high praise from him!!)

Miss NHM talked for the WHOLE 20 minutes that it took us to get home, about how she liked “the man who was really funny” and she liked having her picture taken. So high praise from her too! Lol.

A couple of weeks later we went back to the studio to see the final pictures in the viewing room. This is a lovely big room with a large TV screen, another fab sofa and an area with toys for little ones to play with. It was awesome to see the pictures on a big screen and we are soooo pleased with them!!!

Special Offer for NHM Readers

Wayne and Lucy are also very kindly offering a very special offer for NHM Readers. (Thank you very much!!!)

The first 10 people to contact the team at Studio 1314 and book before May 2018 will receive a Free family photoshoot, a mounted 7×5 inch prints of their choice and a digital file of the same image.

This would normally have a value of £150.

This offer is ONLY open to the first 10 people who book and ONLY available to NorthHantsMum Readers. Yay!

Tips

Make sure you read through the confirmation email and have a look at the pinterest board and the video.

Plan the outfits that you are going to take with you at least a few days before.

Make sure you have everything ready to go the night before your photo shoot so you don’t have a frantic morning like we did!!!!

Food

Wayne has a lovely stash of biscuits and a very wide range of drinks, including tango orange!!

They even had gluten free biscuits available for Miss NHM, which I thought was such a lovely touch!

Facilities

I think Studio 1314 are the only family photography studio in Basingstoke.

The studio itself has a large area where pictures are taken with a couple of sofa’s on where you can sit and watch what’s happening.

There is a separate viewing room which has a very large flat screen TV where you can review pictures and has an area for toys for toddlers and little ones. The sofa is fab in here too! lol.

There is a toilet within the studio and changing area.

Baby Facilities

The team at Studio 1314 are parents so they TOTALLY get what it’s like having children. They even have a baby changing mat available for you to use!

Parking

Is free, ample and next to the studio.

Prices

Please see the website for more details.

Rating out of 5

Definitely 5 out of 5. It’s clear that Wayne is very passionate about what he’s does and ensuring that the customer gets what they want.

Final Thoughts

We LOVE the photo’s that Wayne and Lucy take. Absolutely love them and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have another photoshoot with them.

Contact details

www.studio1314.co.uk

www.facebook.com/studio1314

www.instagram.com/studio1314

Wedding Page: www.waynekahnphotography.co.uk

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Studio1314. The photoshoot was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!