NHM Readers: Local places for Preloved items

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could recommend the best places to take second hand items. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded!)

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend Local Places for Preloved Items

Spotlight Centre

Wendy said: Spotlight Centre. If you ask they can pass them onto those in need.  

Penny said: Spotlight have links with social services and can pass them on but please state that they are to be passed on.

Spotlight UK

Christ Church, Chineham

Vicki said: If you take them to Christ Church, Chineham we have contact that we can pass them onto one of which is a charity that helps trafficked individuals and has safe houses and refuges amongst its range of support.

Christ Church

Besom

Abigail said: Besom have taken loads of my baby clothes and baby items (and other stuff like kitchen goods and bed sheets etc) and they have gone to the women’s refuge. They come and collect and all the stuff goes to people in need rather than just charity and you even get a thank you letter in the post which was a surprise.

Besom

Basingstoke Voluntary Action

I have also suggested Basingstoke Voluntary action.

BVA

Community Furniture Project

You can donate unwanted furniture here.

CFP

National Childbirth Trust – Nearly New Sales

You could register to be a seller at the regular Nearly New Sales around the area throughout the year if you want to make a few pennies back.

NCT Nearly New Sales

North Hants Hospital Children’s Ward

Kathryn has advised that good quality toys (except soft toys) and books/complete board games can be donated to the hospital by being left with the ward clerks that wear purple shirts on Charlie’s ward or outpatients.

Emma also said that the children’s wards, CDU and children’s A&E room make use of toys that can be easily sterilised. Some wards may also accept clothing and nappies as they run short.

Little Hampshire

Katie said you can give good quality branded clothes to Little Hampshire and they will sell them for you and take a cut.
Little Hampshire

Basingstoke PCC

Michelle said that you can donate baby and toddler items to The Baby Clothing and Equipment Service. They accept good quality clothing (ages 0-2) and equipment such as cots, prams, stair gates, baby baths and high chairs.   
Baby Clothing and Equipment Service

Frimley Park Hospital

Desiree said that Frimley Park hospital are in need of toys (not soft toys) for their children’s A&E and F1 wards

Popley Little People

Run by Melrose Community Centre (a registered charity), Popley Little People always welcome donations of clean, working pre-school toys.

Popley Little People

As every, you can always take any unwanted items to any charity shop to see them put to good use and sold for a good cause!

Is there anywhere else you would recommend?

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! 

When should you buy your child their first shoes?

When should you buy your child their first shoes?

Buying shoes for babies is such a minefield, it can be hard to know what to do. Here we will share some of the information we have found useful and you can make your own decisions.

Baby’s feet are still soft and not fully formed so it’s important that they wear supportive shoes which give them space for them to grow.

Toddlers don’t have a visable arch like adults and older children so they can look flat footed.

It’s common for children to walk with feet that turn inwards as their leg and ankle bones are developing. They normally align properly by 7 years old but check with GP if you are concerned.

Clarks

Clarks offer shoes from pre-walking. They are ‘specially’ designed to add protection . They are lightweight and flexible with seamless interiors that don’t rub. There are also whole and half sizes and a choice of widths. They then offer first shoes which have padded ankle supports and protection for the toes and still offer whole sizes as well as half sizes and different widths. Clarks also offer a free fit check after 6-8 weeks too.

With a bit of digging around the Clarks website, you can see that they even say “It is best to allow your child to go barefoot when possible in the early stages of walking to allow feet to breath and feel the floor”

http://www.clarks.co.uk/yourfeet/kidsfoothealth/factsforparents

The College of Podiatry

Here the advice is quite different to Clarks. They suggest that once a child has taken a few steps unaided, they are then ready for shoes. They suggest ensuring shoes have the following features:

  • Close cropped soles to prevent tripping
  • Room for movement and growth
  • Soft leather uppers for cool comfortable feet
  • Lightweight, flexible sole to aid walking development
  • Whole and half sizes in a choice of widths
  • Fully adjustable fastenings
  • Padded ankle for protection and support.

http://www.scpod.org/foot-health/for-parents/baby-first-shoes/

Made for Mums

Made for Mums says that when babies are born their feet and legs are curved having spent a long time cramped growing in the womb. As they grow their feet straighten out and you must make sure socks/shoes don’t cramp their feet so they can grow straight. They say that the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists say toddlers shouldn’t wear proper shoes until they can walk well (approximately 6 weeks of walking). They recommend places such as Clarks, Next and Start-rite.

http://www.madeformums.com/baby/buying-your-babys-first-shoes/33297.html

Baby Centre

Baby Centre says that you don’t need to buy babies their first shoes until they are walking confidently on their own and to only put them in shoes when they are walking outside. They say that walking barefoot around the house enables better balance and coordination and allows feet to develop naturally.

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/x1047721/when-should-i-buy-my-baby-her-first-pair-of-shoes

What are your experiences of buying shoes? Any recommendations of places locally to get children’s feet measured and/or buy shoes? Let me know!

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! 

Stickerscape Name Labels

Welcome to Stickerscape Name Labels

Stickerscape’s name labels are the perfect way to ensure that your kids’ stuff never gets lost! Of course name labels have to be practical, and withstand all that our little people can throw at them (as a British manufacturer of quality products we take this as a given), but at Stickerscape we pride ourselves on also making name labels that look fab! Having an image as well as a name is really handy for very young children as they don’t even need to be able to read their name to recognise their labels, and for older children it’s a fun chance to reflect a bit more personality.

The name label pack is ideal for labelling just about anything your children might carry into nursery, pre-school or school, plus their uniform too! In particular, we’d recommend them for use in shoes (e.g. plimsolls, ballet shoes, football boots), water bottles, lunchboxes, tupperware containers, rucksacks, book bags, pencil cases, individual pens / pencils, notebooks, folders – the list is pretty endless. This pack also includes two sheets of iron on labels, ideal for labelling your child’s clothing and uniforms.

About Stickerscape Name Labels

We keep things simple by offering 3 great value name label packs, so you can concentrate on the really fun bit of picking your favourite design! Simply choose from stick on labels, iron on labels, or a handy mixed pack combining both. Within each pack, a variety of different sticker shapes and sizes will make sure you’re ready to label just about anything. Plus our super tough stick on labels are fine to put in the dishwasher, microwave and freezer, whilst our iron on labels can happily withstand regular visits to the washing machine and tumble dryer. Full instructions are included in your pack.

Fundraise for your school with name labels

Join our school fundraising scheme to earn a fantastic 25% commission on all name labels ordered by parents – that’s up to £4.50 per pack sold! Quick, simple and totally free to get started – we provide flyers about the name labels for you to distribute to parents. Parents order online with your school ID code, and we dispatch orders directly to them. No need for you to collect order forms or money! For every £50 commission your school earns, you will also receive a bonus educational wall sticker (e.g. a number line or illustrated alphabet), perfect for using in the classroom or as a raffle prize! https://www.stickerscape.co.uk/fundraise-for-your-school-with-name-labels/

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR 10% OFF ALL ORDERS!

Happy shopping and Happy holidays!

fi@stickerscape.co.uk

W: www.stickerscape.co.uk

Follow us: @Stickerscape

Like us: facebook.com/stickerscape

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!

Basingstoke Spring NCT Nearly New Sale 8 April 2017

RECYCLE AND RAISE FUNDS THIS SPRING AT OUR NEARLY NEW SALE

Local parents in and around Basingstoke can purchase some top-quality products and donate to charity at our upcoming Spring NCT Nearly New Sale.

NCT Basingstoke’s Nearly New Sale is to be held on Saturday the 8 April from 11-1pm, at Queen Mary’s College. There is plenty of time to register as one of our 100+ sellers, or to volunteer to help at the sale. More information can be found online at our facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/BasingstokeNCTNNS/ or by contacting us at nns.basingstoke@nct.org.uk.

So, if your home is beginning to look a bit cluttered with baby and children’s items, why not enter them into our Spring sale? All you need to do is register as a seller through the links on our Facebook page. We provide you with a simple to fill in spreadsheet that generates coloured scanning tickets for you to print out and attach to your items. The night before the sale drop off your sorted items to our friendly volunteers, who will lay them out by category across our two large sale halls.

NCT members get 15 minutes’ priority entry to the sale from 11 with a valid membership card.  There will be goody bags for our first 100 shoppers and samples for our early buyers.  The sale is open to everyone from 11:15, but please remember to bring little ones in a sling as buggies cannot be taken around the sale halls. We provide shopping bags, but with so many bargains on offer you will need to bring some large bags, IKEA bags are perfect, to carry your shopping home in.

NCT Nearly New Sales offer excellent quality used maternity, baby and children’s clothes, toys and equipment. High street products can be expensive, but shoppers at NCT sales regularly save 75-90% on the price of goods. Unlike our competitors, 20% of the profits from the sale go back to the NCT so it can continue its vital work supporting parents in the area. Our sale is just one of 600 held annually in the UK. Our Autumn sale is on Saturday the 14th October at QMC so put the date in your diaries.  For more information, go to www.nct.org.uk/nns.

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NCT Nearly New Sale – Saturday 15th October 2016

You can find more details about the sale at the following Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/719861741486770/

14527553_10154543378951565_1970894629_nDon’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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers Recommend Name Labels for School Clothes

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook for their recommendations for name labels for school clothes.

Thank you very much to everyone who responded and thank you to Shona for putting this post together! 

These were the responses I received.

NHM Readers Recommend Name Labels for School Clothes

Woven Labels UK:

Karen said: I order from this site.

Wendy said: Another vote for these, been using them since he started nursery, the name stickers are really useful too, mine have them on their bikes and water bottles and they stay on.

Woven Labels UK

Able Labels

Stephany recommends Able Labels.

Abigail said: I have just bought some from Able Labels.

Able Labels

Cash’s Woven

Stephany also recommends Cash’s Woven

Cash’s Woven

Sharpie

Michelle and Marie recommend using a Sharpie pen to label children’s clothes.

Amazon – Sharpie

Stikins

Sally said: Stikins are great.

Kate said: I second Stikins.

Stikins

Name tags 4 u

Karen said: Name tags 4 u are great and very reasonably priced

Name tags 4 u

My Nametags

Lowri said: The black and white stickers for water bottles etc, in the dishwasher and never had one fall off yet.

My Nametags

Labels4Kids

Kate said: Labels4Kids they are reasonable and the sticker ones are remarkably hard wearing. They have always been quick with delivery too.

Labels4Kids

Easy2Name

Emma said: Easy2Name, local and very good.

Katie said: Their stick on labels are fantastic, do not come off in the washing machine. There are lots of designs and packages to choose from. Prompt service and online help if required.

Gillian said: Easy2Name for shoes and water bottles.

Easy2Name

Additional Tips!

Allison said: In the end (three children!) I bought sew in labels with only our surname so I could pass uniform from one child to the next or cut them out of a worn out item and reuse the label.

Gillian said: Sew-in-labels for jumpers, sharpie for polo shirts (check each half term that it’s not faded to unreadable) and stick-in/on for shoes and water bottles.

North Hants Mum recommends – Stamptastic

Stamptastic provides stamps that work on fabric, metal, wood and some plastics. It saves you from having to sew or iron on labels. The stamping blocks are clear so you can easily position them. You can order them with any wording and numbers if you need to.

NHM Experience

Stamptastic

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Recommended beauty products for a new Mum!

I don’t normally have “beauty” posts on NorthHantsMum but Vicky, one of the NHM Writers, did such a great job on this post, it would have been wrong not too publish it!

Thank you Vicky for this great post!

I wish someone had bought me some or all of these products when I was a new Mum! lol.

image1

Recommended beauty products for a new Mum!

Is it just me or is there always some advert trying to tell you that this wonder product is what you’ve been waiting for? And that this is especially true for new mums. Whether it’s an all-singing all-dancing changing bag that unfolds into an amazing entertainment centre for your little one complete with iPad and safety harness (ok, I am exaggerating) or something as simple as a buggy clip (these are brilliant by the way), there is always something.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and decided it’s time to be selfish on my blog, because I’m going to tell you about some wonder beauty products I have come to rely on as a new mum. And guess what, they aren’t for baby, they are for you!

Now don’t get me wrong, there are days when pyjama bottoms, an old t-shirt, greasy hair scraped up in a ponytail and not a scrap of make-up are the best anyone can hope for, but I’d certainly be lying if I didn’t say that there are times when you just want to look nice and be ‘like your old self’ again rather than wandering around in a zombie-like state in yesterday’s clothes.

I’m afraid I don’t really subscribe to the notion that you can never look nice or have time to do your hair or slap on a bit of make-up (if that’s what you want to do of course) just because you’ve had a baby. If you want it, or more to the point, need it that badly, you will find time – even if you do have to sing the ABC song on repeat at the same time!

So, let’s get on to the important bit, what are these products. For me, dry shampoo is an absolute must. I used to be a strict every other day girl when it came to washing my hair, not anymore! But since my little boy was born almost eight months ago, I’ve got a bit creative with up dos and my hair is actually in much better condition to boot, as I’m not straightening it to death every day. Batiste dry shampoo with a hint of brunette is my go to product. An absolute essential.

Next up is No 7 Instant Illusions. This does what it says on the tin. It gives the illusion of eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, brightens those weary faces and gives you a lovely magical glow. You can wear it on its own or under foundation. It’s essentially the budget version of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.

Sticking to the skin for a second, Maybelline’s Baby Skin primer is also a dream product for me. Now this is definitely just for adults, not the little ones! It’s a really lightweight primer which again, does what it says on the tin, and gives you super baby-soft skin. It’s great either on its own or excellent as a base for foundation to give it some staying power – and we all need that!

I am a firm believer that mascara can transform your mood in one fail sweep – all puns intended. For me, it’s my desert island product. It opens up my tired eyes and gives me a little bit of put-together-ness. My all-time favourite is Max Factor Masterpiece Transform in black. People actually have asked if I am wearing false lashes several times, when wearing this… flutter flutter.

My final product (for this post anyway – I could go on…) is concealer. An absolute must for hiding those dark circles or camouflaging some post-birth hormonal breakouts. The Max Factor Mastertouch is my favourite. For me, it’s a budget version of YSL Touché Éclat. It suits my skin perfectly and there are several shades to choose from to ensure you get the best colour match.

So there you have it, a little insight into my inner sanctuary when it comes to beauty products. For me, there’s nothing better than personal recommendations, especially when it comes to skincare, hair care or make-up. Don’t feel guilty for taking 10 minutes to ‘put your face on’ or do your hair some days. It’s not called war paint for no reason.

For more of my inane ramblings, check out my blog misschiefv.wordpress.com

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

A Summary of NHM posts that will be useful for YR starters in Sept 2016

Below is a list of posts that might be useful to you if you have a little one starting school in September.

I haven’t written a post for a while about our experience of school. That’s because we haven’t had a particularly good experience with the school that Miss NHM is currently in.

I am trying to put together a post about this, but I am delighted to say that despite all of the issues that Mr NHM and I have with the school, Miss NHM still absolutely loves going to school.

A Summary of NHM posts that will be useful for YR starters in Sept 2016

Top Tip 21: Clarks Shoe Fitting Service – Online Appointment Booking!

It is ESSENTIAL to book any shoe fitting appointments in August because any shoe shop that sells children’s school shoes will be rammed. It’s enough of a stressful experience, without having to wait for an hour for a fitting!

Skoolkits in town does 10% off school uniform for a week in July, before the summer holidays start, so if you have the cash funds, buy all of your logo’d stuff then.

Also double check whether your new school has a second hand clothing sale. Ours does one on a regular basis and although I’m always at work when it is on, it’s on my list of things to check out at some point. You can save a fortune this way.

Will your “baby” start school in September 2015?

Starting School – did you know?

My experience: Starting school – three months before September start date

My experience: Starting School – the night before…

My Experience: Our first few weeks of school…

My Experience: Things I have learnt since Miss NHM started school…

My Experience: Our first three months of YR (Reception Year)

Cheaper School Uniform Campaign….

Homeschooling in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers Recommend Local Places for Preloved Items

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could recommend the best places to take second hand items. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded!)

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thanks to Shona for putting this post together!

NHM Readers Recommend Local Places for Preloved Items

Spotlight Centre

Wendy said: Spotlight Centre. If you ask they can pass them onto those in need.  

Penny said: Spotlight have links with social services and can pass them on but please state that they are to be passed on.

Spotlight UK

Christ Church, Chineham

Vicki said: If you take them to Christ Church, Chineham we have contact that we can pass them on to one of which is a charity that helps trafficked individuals and has safe houses and refuges amongst its range of support.

Christ Church

Besom

Abigail said: Besom have taken loads of my baby clothes and baby items (and other stuff like kitchen goods and bed sheets etc) and they have gone to the women’s refuge. They come and collect and all the stuff goes to people in need rather than just charity and you even get a thank you letter in the post which was a surprise.

Besom

Basingstoke Voluntary Action

I have also suggested Basingstoke Voluntary action.

BVA

Is there anywhere else you would recommend?

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Never Underestimate the Power of an Outfit

Today’s post has been written by one of the NHM Writers, Lindsey.

Thank you very much to the team at Festival Place who invited us along to the event which took place on Saturday 7th May in the centre of Festival Place.

FASHION

Never Underestimate the Power of an Outfit

I don’t know about you, but I always get a little fashion-perplexed when summer finally hits in the UK. After months of damp, cold, windy conditions I become pretty fanatical about my skinny jeans and big boots combo. So when the sun comes out and the temperature begins to rise like it did on the weekend, I find myself in a bit of a fashion vortex. Especially when hot trends seem to be on permanent rotation: dungarees – in or out? Jelly shoes – cool or ridiculous? Boho chic – didn’t Sienna Miller do that about 15 years ago??

I needn’t have worried. This weekend not only hailed the beautiful summer weather, but it also brought with it the delightful stylist JP and the ‘Big Brand Fashion Fix Event’. For two days, Basingstoke played fashion hostess to dozens of gorgeous models. Yep, you read that right. Beautiful, chiselled, perfect specimens of human perfection – and I made sure I got myself a front row seat!

Over the course of two days, numerous runway shows took place, crammed to the rafters with looks, trends and products. Each one focused on a different element of fashion fabulousness, ranging from mono sports luxe to floral bomber jackets. Apparently dungarees are in. And who knew that the ankle was the body part de jure for summer 2016?

One of the best things about this event is that everything displayed on the runway is available within Festival Place. Basically meaning you can step away from a show, walk straight into a shop, and leave home with an outfit you know is going to rock. For someone whose last shopping trip involved coming home with five pairs of ‘going-out’ shorts, this guiding hand was very welcome. I saw looks from Superdry, River Island, French Connection and M&S that I would actually consider wearing. In public. JP, the springy, enthusiastic stylist who compered the show says on his website that his job is ‘translating the clothes from hanger to life’. Handy indeed.

My tips for the event? Be brave and take a pew! There were pretty decent crowds for the catwalk shows I saw, but lots of empty seats astride the catwalk – I pushed my way through, plonked myself down and soon enough people followed suit. It could almost have been Milan, darling!

It’s also definitely worth booking yourself in for a pampering at the Health and Beauty Lounge. I saw plenty of people emerging butterfly-like with fabulous updos, nails and beauty treatments from the likes of Benefit, Clarins, Dior, Hair Lab, Shear Beauty and Lush. Rumour has it there was a fashion photographer snapping away at people sporting the appropriate level of cool, so I’d say it’s worth making sure you look awesome. I didn’t get papped. Weird.

The runway is smack bang in the middle of Festival place, so you’re only ever a few steps away from a toilet, restaurant, or a spot of shopping. On the child-friendly front, there are lots of baby-changing facilities across the centre, and many of the eateries warmly welcome breastfeeding mums and babies. Judging by the mini models strutting down the catwalk and the little fashion monsters in the front row, I’d say that The Big Brand Fashion Fix was pretty child-friendly too!

Festival Place has several large car parks (both long and short stay) so it’s easy to get to, and pretty much all of it is undercover, so even if the rains do return (which I’m putting money on), you’ll keep dry on your quest for fashion nirvana.

The whole event was completely free, and if you tweeted a selfie with #fashionplace, you were in the running to win £1000 Festival Place vouchers. I gave the best blue steel pose I could muster in my snap. I’m sure that £1000 will be winging its way to me any day now…

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!