New for May: Top Mum Tips!

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the “quick” things that I want to share with you.

I was going to put together a big, long post called “things to share” but then I realized, no one really has the time to read big long posts!

So, for the month of May, I’m going to try to post up a “Top Tip!” each day. I will try to schedule these, but if I don’t have time, I will just post them up when I can.

Hopefully they will be helpful and if you have any other similar “Top Tip’s” please add a comment or drop me an email at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

NHM is all about sharing information with you lovely readers, so I hope these are valuable tips.

(A postscript for Abi, no these won’t be MILF diary tips!!?!?!?!??! 😀 I originally called this post “Hot Mum Tips”. Abi clearly has her mind in the gutter! lol) 

How to save yourself a fortune

Camel Camel Camel – Amazon Price Tracker

I love Amazon. I’ve worked out that I’ve been using Amazon for 10 years! Wow! How did we live without the internet? I’m not a big fan of shopping. I normally know exactly what I want which is why I like Amazon so much. Most people are aware that Amazon fluctuate their prices, but unless you have the time to track each item every day, there’s no way of knowing the logic to that fluctuation. Now you don’t need to worry about it, because Camel Camel Camel shows you the price of every single product on Amazon for the past two years AND it allows you to set up alerts when a product reaches the price you are prepared to pay for it. I LOVE it! I’ve found some real bargains for Christmas already using Camel Camel Camel and I haven’t even needed to brave Festival Place! lol.

Remember the Milk

I came across this via one of my favourite blogs, The Simple Dollar. Although Trent is American he has some brilliant insights that are just as valuable to us in the UK. I’ve been using the Google Task option in Google Calendar to review my “To Do List” but I never really got on with it. I tried Remember the Milk out last week when we were on holiday and it’s AMAZING! It’s a brilliant free little tool that is revolutionising my life! I love that it works on my iPhone, iPAD and PC, although the web version isn’t particularly intuitive. I’m particularly enamoured with the email reminder which emails you at a time you specify,  all the things on your task list for the day.

If you need a bit of organisation in your life and your To Do List is spiraling out of control, this is the tool for you!

Clarks Shoe Fitting Service – Online Appointment Booking!

I found out recently that you can book online for Shoe Fittings at most Clarks stores. I tried it out for the store in Hatch Warren Mothercare during the October Half Term and it worked a treat! No hanging around and waiting for other people to finish their appointments. Just turn up at the slot you’ve booked and 15 minutes later out the door. That’s the kind of service that I love, even if the shoes do cost a FORTUNE!

  • Appointments are available in Clarks stores only.
  • Appointments are 15 minutes per child. If you book an appointment for multiple children, the appointments will be one after the other.
  • If you would like to book an appointment for today, please call the store directly, see our store locator for contact details.
  • Once you confirm your appointment, you will receive an email confirming the details and a reminder email the day before your appointment.
  • If you have saved your mobile number in your account, you will receive a text message to confirm your appointment booking and a text message reminder the day before your appointment.
  • If you have any questions about your store appointment, please call our friendly Customer Care team on 0844 248 8408.

Wrapping Paper Alternatives

I love these two posts for alternative wrapping paper. Great if you want to do something a bit different with your wrapping this year:

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2011/12/10/wrapping-paper-alternatives/

Stocking Fillers

I’m always stuck for Stocking Fillers. I don’t like buying cheap plastic toys or items that I know will end up in landfill. I like filling our stockings (yes, the husband still gets one!) on behalf of Father Christmas (just in case anyone still believes :-D)  with food because I think that’s more sustainable and less likely to get thrown away. I do love the odd silly toy of course but the less stuff that goes in the bin, the better my daughters future might be!

http://www.bambinogoodies.co.uk/stocking-fillers-smellies/?%2Btheir%2Bdiscerning%2Bparents%29

http://babybudgeting.co.uk/find-me-a-gift-cracking-christmas-stocking-fillers/

Quidco

In the run up to Christmas it’s worth checking out Quidco again as you can make a bit of money back on your purchases.

Official School Holiday Website

I’ve seen several people asking for confirmation of when the school holidays are. Click HERE for the official website to details of school holidays.

That’s it for this month! Hope it’s helpful.

Products that I love (that make my life a little easier!)

There have been a few products that I have fallen in love with since having my little one. I thought it might be useful to share these with you, as you might find them useful too!

One Line a Day Diary

One Line a Day Diary

I was recently talking to one of my Mum friends who works full time (total respect to all Mummy’s, but a little extra for those who work full time). When she was on maternity leave she had planned to keep a diary of her little one’s development and progress. She bought a lovely leather bound book and had the best will in the world but when she went back to work she just didn’t have the time to sit and write.

The One Line a Day Diary is the perfect way to keep on top of a daily diary. You have just five lines to update daily. Perfect for the busy Mum (and which Mum isn’t busy!?!?!) who wants to try to keep a record of those special moments. It’s not too expensive either, at £7.50 from Amazon. Could also be a great present for a new Mum who wants to keep track of everything that happens in those first manic months.

Oxo Tot Whale Pail

Oxo Tot Whale Pail

I LOVE this bath toy holder from Oxo Tots. It’s quite pricey but I managed to get it for cheaper than this when Amazon were doing a deal. It’s great as you just use it to scoop up all the bath toys out of the water, which then drains out of the bottom of the scoop. Brilliantly innovative and much sturdier than the string bath toy bags that seem to be the only alternative.

Taggie’s

Taggie’s

Butterflies and Cupcakes

I’m sure every other Mum knows about these but I only discovered them by accident when I went to visit a “seasoned” Mum. My little one loved them immediately. She’s always been obsessed with labels (material not designer!) since she was very tiny so the Taggie’s have kept her amused for hours on many an occasion. They are quite expensive for what they are but you can buy something very similar for a far more reasonable price from a lovely little local company, Butterflies and Cupcakes who advertise on Facebook. I’m hoping to get some in for future “newborn” presents.

Evernote

Evernote

You could argue that this isn’t a product as it’s free but I wanted to recommend this computer tool as I am completely addicted. I use it for recording recipes, travel plans, product warranties, storing business card details, blog inspiration, networking and a multitude of other ways. It’s very easy to use, free to download and if you love organising like I do (you may have picked up on this from the blog :-D), then it’s the perfect tool. You can create multiple notebooks, I have one for each year, for my work, for travel and for NHM among others. You can also sync Evernote with all of your applications, including mobile phones. It has an excellent search function and has saved me on numerous occasions when I’ve had a “Mummy brain” moment. Can’t recommend this tool enough!

The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth

I stumbled across this link and had to share. If you feel your child is a genius, this is the link for you! Click HERE for details.

Are there any products that you love that you would like to share? Please add a comment below. Thanks!

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The Perfect Capsule wardrobe

2 x basic tailored trousers in black, grey or brown

1 x pencil skirt in black (dress this up or down)

1 x pair of good fitting jeans

1 x jacket (short style)

1 x winter coat in black, camel, navy, charcoal or red

1 x rain mac in standard beige, camel or statement colour

1 x pair of leather gloves

1 x hat in statement colour of the season

1 x scarf in statement colour of the season

1 x pair of boots black

1 x pair of heels in black

1 x pair of flat shoes in black or brown

1 x pattern shirt/top according to latest trend

1 x cardigan long style in statement colour or black

1 x shirt top long sleeve in black

1 x shirt top long sleeve in white

1 x pattern dress in statement seasonal colour

1 x plain shift style dress in black

1 x pair of leggings

2 x jumpers in seasonal colours (polo, scoop, crew, cowl or round neck)

1 x woollen shawl in seasonal colour or black ( a great alternative to a coat and this look can be very stylish and sophisticated)

2 x tops in seasonal styles and colours

1 x basic white tailored blouse

1 x skinny belt in black

1 x wider belt in statement colour

1 x hand bag (larger style for day wear) in black

1 x clutch bag for evening in black, silver, pewter bronze or gold

Optional extras

Neck scarves in a variety of colours (these help you to co-ordinate your outfit and complete your look)

Statement trend jewellery (don’t be scared to be bold)

Opaque tights (come in a variety of colours these days and look fabulous with heels or boots)