Review 2017: Thrive Massage Therapy

 

A few months ago I noticed a sign on the side of a car about a local massage business and thought, ooh, I really must check that out. About two weeks later Nicola messaged me asking if I would like to review her massage business – Thrive Massage Therapy. Turns out it was her!!  I thought for less than a second before accepting her lovely offer!

Initially Nicola had a Guest post on NorthHanstMum because I wasn’t available for the first month after she contacted me. These days I’m really busy in the evening as well as the day times and Nicola was very accommodating of my schedule. Nicola takes bookings via her website, phone, text or email. We arranged a date and she sent me instructions of how to get to hers.

I found Nicola’s house really easily, she has a Thrive Massage picture in the window and her house number sign is lit up, so it’s obvious which is her house.

My first impressions were, WOW! How TIDY is her downstairs! lol. Nicola welcomed me and led me into her massage room. I was (and still am!) sooo impressed!!! Her massage room is AMAZING! It’s a purpose built room, built just for Nicola’s massage business. It’s the space that would be a garage so it’s quite large and she has lots of lovely storage and a large massage couch with lots of space around it. I’ve had massages at many other places over the years and the rooms are always TINY, many with not enough space for the masseuse to comfortably walk around. Nicola’s massage room has lots of space and such a lovely ambience. She even has the plug sockets built in so that they are under her massage table, so she doesn’t have to walk over cables!

One of the things I was most impressed with is all of the marketing that Nicola has, it’s so professional. It’s obvious that a LOT of thought has gone into Nicola’s business and how she markets her services. Even the towels she uses match her theme colour!!!! These little details are so important and really helped me to feel like I was dealing with someone who really cares about her business.

I also really liked that all of her qualification certificates are up on one wall, behind the door, which gave me a nice warm feeling that she knows what she’s doing!!!

The massage room is very welcoming and exactly what you would want in a massage room.

The Massage

We had a chat before the massage started, so Nicola could check whether I had any health issues that she needed to be aware of. The room was soo relaxing, I nearly fell asleep then! Dimmed lights, candles, lovely smells and music that’s actually soothing during a massage.
The room was the perfect heat too.

I had a massage a few years ago, at a local spa, where the massuese was pregnant so she had a dehumidifier in the room which kept the heat down to 17 degrees ( I knew this because I could see the red screen telling me it was 17 degrees all through my massage). As she was heavily pregnant I didn’t feel I could ask her to turn the heat up but I was FREEZING which ruined the whole experience. Nicola’s room temperature is just perfect.

Nicola’s massage couch can be heated, which was wonderful. The towels were lovely and soft and I could have happily gone to sleep there with or without a massage! lol.

Ok, so I know I’m always positive on reviews but the massage with Nicola was AMAZING!!! Definitely one of the best massages I’ve ever had. I was convinced that she used hot stones, but it’s just her hands and arms that she uses. It never felt like she was going through the motions either. I’ve had massages before where the masseuse clearly doesn’t want to be there and it feels like they are doing the “dot to dot” massage on your back. Nicola’s style wasn’t like this at all. It was very fluid and didn’t feel stilted.

Before the hour long massage started Nicola had asked me if there were any specific areas that I wanted her to focus on. I’ve had persistent shoulder pain for the past 6 months and despite having physio and acupuncture it’s still not properly fixed. I was a little apprehensive that she would “go to town” on my shoulder, like I’ve had other masseuse’s do and has meant that I’ve been in agony for weeks after. Nicola used EXACTLY the right pressure. Sometimes when you come out of a massage you feel a bit bruised and battered but I felt exactly as I wanted to feel when the massage was finished. She even found bits of me that I didn’t know were tense!! I came out of my massage feeling really relaxed and “flexible”.

One of my favourite bits was at the end of the massage. Nicola has an tea caddy filled with lots and lots of herbal teas and she lets you take one home with you. Such a lovely and thoughtful idea. Nicola also reminded me to drink lots of water and take it easy for the rest of the evening. She also gave me an aftercare leaflet with advice about what to do after a massage to make the most of it and a stamped addressed envelope which had a feedback form in, which if I completed and sent back to Nicola, meant that I would be entered in to her draw to win a free massage!!!

Rating out of 5

Definitely 5 out of 5!!

I felt really pampered and it’s definitely one of the best massages I’ve ever had. My skin felt amazing afterwards and my shoulder has felt much better since my massage with Nicola.

I used to get my massages done at my local spa/gym but having had two massages with Nicola (I went back as a paying customer and my massage was just as good!), I won’t be going back to the spa at the gym. The quality of service that you get from Nicola is far above what you get from an impersonal service like a massage at a gym.

I HIGHLY recommend Nicola’s personally tailored massages.  Thrive Massage: www.thrivemassage.co.uk

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Thrive Message therapy. My massage 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.
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My Experience: Y1 Phonics Screening Check

This may or may not be a controversial post…

Miss NHM has her Y1 Phonics test next week. Apparently it is a 5-10 minute check of words that is done with a teacher that is “known” to her.

We haven’t done any preparation for the test. I’ve read all sorts of horror stories about parents who are hiring experts to “coach” their children for these tests. The parent Y1 Facebook group was all of a flurry during half term, with parents spending a couple of HOURS going through the “phonics workbooks” that were sent home at the end of term. (Workbooks for 6 year olds. Phonics for HOURS during half term. Seriously???!!!)

(My favourite bit on the facebook group is when parents post up the list of spellings for the week, because there is invariably some child who didn’t get their spellings that week, with their children’s answers next to them. All written perfectly of course.)

In the past week I’ve read LOTS of stuff about the Phonics test, what it involves and why it’s being done. I really don’t understand why the Department of Education feels the need to test 6 year olds on anything and that ANY child, under the age of 13 can be listed as having “failed” at anything. A great way to make the parents AND child feel like failures.

Anyway, my understanding is the reason for the phonics test is to try to increase the number of children who read?

I’m sorry, but am I missing something here? It seems obvious to me that the best way to get children to read is to switch off the TV and technology!!

Just switch off the TV!

Why do we insist on making things so complicated? Why do we have these overly complicated tests that cost a fortune to run, when we should be trusting teachers to do their jobs and parents to invest in their children by switching off the TV and encouraging them to read or listen to audio books?

Personally, I had never heard of a digraph or trigraph before Miss NHM’s homework a few weeks ago. I understand that teaching techniques have changed considerably since I was a child but if I’ve managed to get through THE WHOLE OF MY LIFE without knowing what a “trigraph” is, then why is it so important that it be drummed into my daughter?

Honestly, the more I see and experience about our current education system in the UK, the more I slap my head repeatedly.

Er, so maybe a bit controversial and maybe a bit ranty too but that’s the perk of having your own blog! 😀 😀 :-D.

I know you won’t hold back but what are your thoughts on the Y1 Phonics test?

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The next “Baby and Me” classes – June 2017

“Thrilled to let u all know another course has been agreed…highly recommended for any mums with young babies. Feedback has been brilliant from previous course and looks fab”!

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Kids Kan Dance: Father’s Day Class

Kids Kan Dance Present………

A Special Class for Daddies and their Daughters or Sons. Come and experience a Kids Kan Dance class with a special Fathers Day Twist !!

Saturday 17th June and Sunday 18th June – @ Moniton Trading Estate, Basingstoke.

This hours class is just £6 per child and will be a fun packed hour of dancing, games and FUN FUN FUN !!!!

Superhero and Princess Fancy Dress encouraged (for the kids, or daddies too if you wish!) Mummies also welcome!!

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL @
https://www.kidskandance.co.uk/join-us
Please complete the form and select ‘Fathers Day Dance’ in the class options.

Happy Dancing everyone x

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Basingstoke in Bloom

Basingstoke in Bloom are FREE gardening and Photography competitions open to all residents, businesses, associations, community groups and schools within Basingstoke & Deane Borough.

It has been run by volunteers since 2012, after the Council gave it up.

People can apply by post or on-line through the website. The website also holds more details about the competitions.

www.basingstokeinbloom.com

The closing date is 14th July 2017, with Schools closing date of 7th July 2017.

 

The Borough runs from Highclere to Stratfield Saye to Preston Candover to St Mary Bourne!

So we would like as many people, groups & businesses as possible to get involved!

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Fitness Classes with Childcare

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could help this NHM reader with their question: “I am struggling to find any fitness classes that are in the weekday mornings with creche facilities for babies and toddlers. Any chance you can do a post and see if there are some?”

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

NHM Readers recommend fitness classes with childcare

Mary said: The aquadrome has a creche but I am not sure of the details.

Rebecca said: Fonseca Fitness is brilliant for this 🙂

Jason said: Beechdown

Vicky said: MummaBFit

Kelly said: Marie FitMama Behenna

Helen said: I have had similar issues, and I work part time, so I turned to signing up to Les Mills exercise classes online (body balance/ body combat/body pump as famously known in gyms). It’s a relatively small monthly fee and you can do the classes whenever you want & download to whatever device TV/iPad etc.

I know this doesn’t directly answer the question, but for a Mum like me whose partner works away I can’t get out to the things I used to love doing so have effectively bought the gym into my living room. Hope this helps

Pat said: People take their babies and kids to Fitness Flex. The classes are 45 minutes and is brilliant

Sarah said: Studio 41 Marie FitMama Behenna. You can take your little ones to the class. X

Peta said: I second this – Marie FitMama Behenna gives a great workout and with children of her own, she gets the work/family juggle. She also offers PT sessions if you would find that easier 🙂

Aimee said: Studio 41 in the Basepoint centre in Chineham. You can take your babies to all of the daytime classes (they can sit in their pushchairs or car seats in the studio)….it is run by Marie FitMama Behenna who knows all there is to know about pre and postnatal exercise and nutrition so she will ensure you get back to fitness safely. Hope that helps x

Louise Nhm Smith responded: I spoke to the lady about this and she is really looking for classes that have creche facilities as she has an 8 month old and 2 year old who won’t sit still whilst she’s working out!

Peta said: I sometimes take all three children with me to see Marie FitMama Behenna – aged 1, 4, 5. I take food, water, entertainment (colouring in, etc). hope this helps.

Claire said: Tadley Boot Camp x

Amelia said: Beechdown

Wendy said: Beechdown, Hampshire Court, the Aquadrome have creches. I haven’t used these but I have used others in the past where you take baby in and understand you need a creche for children between 18 months – 3 1/2.

Mandy said: Beechdown Health Club https://www.facebook.com/BeechdownHealthClub/ xx

Victoria said: Beechdown is fabulous! Have so many facilities, Creche for under 3 and Beehive for over 3’s. Xx

Helen said: Hampshire court hotel has classes in the morning and crèche facilities and a pool plus kids pool 🙂

Rachel said: Beechdown; although I pay for gym and crèche and still don’t go! Oops!! X

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Baby & Me Course – PND

“Baby and Me” FREE course. Open to parents with baby/babies under 1 ideally, although open to being flexible on this.

This is really for anyone who perhaps is struggling with their emotional health. You don’t need a PND diagnosis, we all know lots of people are un-diagnosed. This is also open for anyone who is generally just finding things difficult.

This is FREE currently (donations for refreshments appreciated).

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Clubs for children with additional needs and disabilities

We have TWO fantastic clubs running from Saturday 29 April January.

We have a GO! Club Mini’s for 3 – 7 years and a GO! Club for 8 – 18 years.

These clubs run every two weeks up until 22 July with something new every week.

Siblings are welcome, this is a short break so parents can leave their children with our friendly and trained team.

Children can take part, make friends and have fun in a safe and friendly environment.

You can access the Basingstoke and Mini’s club pages and event dates here:

http://www.greatopportunities.org.uk/clubs/basingstoke-go-club/

http://www.greatopportunities.org.uk/clubs/basingstoke-go-club-minis/

Check out the term posters attached or Online here

To book your place on this session or any other club session please call our team now on  0118 907 6397 or email us at bookings@greatopportunities.org.uk

We would love to see more children and families attending and look forward to welcoming you!

Best wishes,

The GO Team

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NHM Readers recommend what do do when your child doesn’t get the school of your choice

Last year I asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook for their positive comments about what they have learned and how to tackle the process when your child doesn’t get the school place that you wanted. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded!)

These were the responses I received. Very apt, considering today is the day when the results come out for children starting this year in September…

NHM Readers Comments About Not Getting School Place

Tracey said:

So last year I didn’t get any of my 3 choices and stressed A LOT. But it did all work out and by end of May we had a place at our 2nd preference (which would now be our 1st preference). There will be a lot of movement between now and September and spaces do become available. Top tips are accept the place you’ve been given and speak to the schools you wanted directly to make sure you are put on their waiting list. You can also put in a late application for other schools.

Lorna said:

I haven’t been in this situation…yet! However through work I know it’s vital to get any appeals in as soon as possible with valid reasons for it. All are heard and the panel are generally very open to listening to reasons etc. Stay positive – there’s every chance it can be resolved.

Sue said:

We didn’t get our first choice school but in hindsight it has been the best thing. Our son has done amazingly well and has so much support.

Hayley said:

3 years ago we didn’t get our first choice and I was hugely disappointed. My little girl really needed stability as she was very anxious so I decided to go ahead and not fight the decision so we could start getting prepared and excited about her new school from the offset. Turns out that I was wrong in my original choices and we absolutely LOVE her school, couldn’t have been more perfect for her (apart from having to drive). Good luck to those who didn’t get 1st choices, whatever happens it will all work out in the end.

Rachel said:

When my son started school two years ago we didn’t get any of our choices, not one. Instead we were given a school that we hadn’t even heard of, was a drive away, that we hadn’t been to see or even looked at its website and we didn’t even know where it was at first! We went to see the school and met the headteacher and accepted that it was likely our son would go to that school (and a very nice school it was too). We also went on the waiting list for our school choices AND we made a late application to another school that we had liked but didn’t make our top three. 2 weeks before school started we were told that we had a place at the school we made a late application to and we took it! So it does show you that things can work out, even at the last minute.

Danielle said:

Two years ago, our daughter didn’t get any of our 3 choices. Offered another school. Applied for three others; late application. Got offered two of these at very good schools. Accepted one, visited it with her and then got a place at our original first choice (and only catchment) school at the end of May. I found the whole process stressful, but luckily for us it worked out.

Gina said:

My son 2 years ago didn’t get our first choice, I was disappointed. Now he’s in year 1 and doing so well. The school he did get are fab and he’s coming along great.

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Review 2017: MummaBfit Post Natal Fitness Classes

Thank you very much to the NHM Writer for today’s Secret Review!!! Fantastic job!

MummaBfit Post Natal Fitness Classes Review

About

The Facebook page can be found here… MummaBfit

“Postnatal Exercise Classes; for mum and baby to escape the house, have a gentle workout and meet new people and enjoy a cuppa tea and chocolate buttons afterwards”.

Having used Vicky Tidy as my personal trainer, I jumped at the chance when she asked me if I would like to join her MummaBFit sessions to see if they worked with a toddler, not just a baby.

I think I possibly speak for lots of mums, whether that be first time mums or if you are doing it second or third etc time over; It’s hard to get out and about with a little one, especially meeting new people and some groups I have gone to have been a bit cliquey. I personally have really struggled, and being a “bigger” lady I was all too aware that I would probably be the biggest there! I needn’t have worried! We were in a small group, 4 mums, 3 babies and my little man!

Everybody was lovely and friendly.

The workouts always begin with step ups on an aerobic step to get your heart pumping.

The workouts are well geared up for new mum’s who have not long given birth and Vicky encourages everybody to stop if it’s not comfortable for you.

During my first 6 week course we have done a variety of exercises from press ups to lunges, using weights to planks. We have also used different equipment and have been shown how to use it properly.

When babies need feeding or even just a cuddle with mummy (or Vicky!) then you just do what you need to do, no problems with stopping workout.

I was worried that having a toddler with little babies would be a nightmare, however Vicky kindly set up a playpen with toys and an iPad with Peppa Pig on for my little boy. If he’s not happy I do get him out and he has a wander around the room but obviously always watching near the babies. There has never been any problems at all.

Vicky is now including toddlers into courses, so please do have a look and see which session would suit you.

In short, I have found this to be a great way to work out with my son being around and also a great way to meet other mums. I have gained much more confidence and stepped totally out of my comfort zone and have had very positive results. So positive in fact. that I have now signed up for a 2nd round of the course!

Tips

  • Wear appropriate workout clothes.
  • If you are breastfeeding ensure you can still do so whilst in your workout clothes.
  • Bring water with you, you’ll need it.

Food

There are biscuits and a cup of tea supplied after the workout where we sit and have a chat.

Parking

Monday 12.30pm course – This is currently the downside: Parking is on the narrow country road outside Oakley’s St Leonards centre.

There are plenty of other sessions on various days at various times throughout Basingstoke so have a look and pick one that suits you.

Prices

Prices on application. 

Rating

I give this 5*

Disclaimer: This post is a review of MummaBfit. My experience was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the research for Vicky to see if it was entirely doable for mothers with toddlers to attend. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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