NHM Readers Recommend: Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

An NHM Reader recently asked “I’m looking for a sunscreen recommendation. It needs to be suitable for the face, sensitive skin. Ideally non greasy, non clogging and not full of chemicals. I don’t like it to feel sticky or slimy and if there is such a thing as a matt one that would be amazing. What do you use on your faces ladies?”

Thank you to the NHM Community for all your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend sunscreen for sensitive skin

Wendy said “General rule for Sun cream, the ones that are nice to put on are not nice for children’s skin. Mineral ones are better for sensitive skin and you need to patch test each year as skin changes. Also factor 30 is better for sensitive skin, offers almost the same protection but doesn’t clog the skin up the way 50 does.”

Childs Farm Suncream:

Emma said “I use the new Childs Farm suncream on my baby and I tested it myself and it’s brilliant. All natural ingredients, approved for use of sensitive skin & eczema sufferers and as a bonus is made in Sherborne St. John so it’s a local business!

https://www.childsfarm.com/products/50-spf-sun-cream-fragrance-free-125ml

Jo asked “How many stars does it have with regards to uva and uvb protection?”

Emma replied “Jo, just went on their Facebook page and found this in the comments…

“Childs Farm: Hi Rachel, sunburn is caused by UVB rays, so the level of UVA protection won’t defend against sunburn. However UVA 3* is a high level and meets the EU requirements on sun protection. The SPF reading shows you the level of protection against UVB rays. Our sun care range is SPF 50+, however in testing it came out as SPF 71 – this is very high protection against UVB rays, which are the cause of sun burn. We hope that helps”

“Childs Farm: Hi Lisa, the UVA star rating system was developed by Boots, it is not an EU requirement to have a UVA star rating. Our UVA star rating according to the Boots system is 3 which a good level of protection and meets the EU requirements for UVA protection – this is displayed on the back of the packaging as a symbol with UVA printed in a circle. As far as we know, all sunscreens that are suitable for sensitive and also eczema-prone skin have achieved a 3* rating, as it is has not been possible to achieve a 5* rating using ingredients that are suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Hope that helps””

Vicky asked “Emma, can I ask if the Child’s Farm was greasy on looking / feeling at all on your face? I used a Piz Buin one specifically for the face on Saturday and within a couple of hours my eyes felt like they were on fire!!”

Emma replied “Vicky, I haven’t found it greasy. It sinks in really quickly and feels more like a moisturiser than a suncream to me. But I think it’s one of those things – everyone’s skin is different”

Herbalife nutrition:

Leah said “I work with herbalife nutrition and we have a big skincare range. Within this range is spf30 cream. I use this on all of us, incl the kids. It smells nice, is not greasy & kind to sensitive skin”

Sunsense:

Colleen said “We’ve used Sunsense in the past. Very good and non-greasy, and the roller-ball is great for application. However, it’s quite pricey so we’re trying the Aldi Extra Sensitive one, no reactions so far but am keeping a close eye.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sunsense-Ultra-SPF50-Sunscreen-500/dp/B000LNG1J0/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1525784899&sr=1-1&keywords=sun%2Bsense&th=1

They seem to have updated the packaging since we bought it – now indicates that it has 5* UVA, which I was never sure about.”

Neals Yard

Zoe said “Neals yard do a nice one. It takes a little while to absorb but doesn’t irritate my skin or slip into my eyes.”

https://uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/corp/area/shop-online/category/sun-care/product/0761/wild-rose-moisturising-spf-30-50ml/

Christa replied “I use this one too, like Zoe, It’s lovely and light, Organic and smells beautiful.”

Soltan – Boots

Rachael said “Soltan from boots it’s 5 star for uva protection and really nice to wear”

Libby said “We use boots soltan once because it provides 8 hours of protection so covers the school day. It is thick but it needs to last!”

Wendy replied “And it doesn’t sting sensitive skin”

Ruza “So my understanding is from a dermatology perspective factor 30 is the maximum you should be using. Factor 50 does not allow the skin to breathe, clogs up pores, it can cause the skin to overheat and doesn’t allow for any natural skin defense to occur. I use boots factor 30 once (kids) for myself as well as my son. I can wear it on the face, but my son really doesn’t like it, so he has a big wide-brimmed hat, that shields the face.”

Ultrasun:

Sarah said “We use Ultrasun as my daughter has eczema and can’t use suncream with perfume/chemicals in and the Ultrasun is ideal for sensitive skin. It is not greasy at all, but is a bit pricey at about £20 for 100ml but is worth it.

https://www.ultrasun.com/en-GB/shop/body-sensitive-skin/product/family-spf-30-2/100

Charlotte relied “We use this!”

The Green People:

Alison said “I use the Green People suncream on the kids and they have a great adults face suncream spf30 which is brilliant and doesn’t feel greasy at all. Not the cheapest tho ….”

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Review 2018: HAIRaffair Basingstoke

I recently received a message on facebook from Aideen, asking me if I would like to have my hair done in exchange for a review on NorthHantsMum.

I jumped at the chance! 😀

(There is a special offer for NHM Readers at the bottom of this post :-D)

HAIRaffair Basingstoke

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not a “girly girl” but I do take an interest in how I look. I haven’t had my hair cut in a salon in over 10 years as I have always found hairdressers to be very intimidating places, especially as I’m not into fashion.

It turned out that at a recent fundraising raffle I had won a voucher to get my hair cut but hadn’t realised it that it was with Aideen. I actually gave the voucher to a friend who needed pampering more than me, so when Aideen got in contact it clicked that I’d given away my voucher!!!! lol.

I explained to Aideen that I wasn’t really a girly girl and she was absolutely lovely about it. I did know that I wanted my hair to be coloured but I didn’t want her to be anymore out of pocket, especially as she’d been so generous with her raffle donation.

I explained that I just wanted a trim and colour and we agreed that I would cover the cost of the colouring and she would cut my hair in exchange for this review.

About

Aideen decided on her career path when she was traveling around Australia for a year after studying at college and university. She’s always loved playing with hair but at the time she thought that she would end up in a different career. Then she saw that lots of fellow travellers cutting hair and making money flexibly and it confirmed her career decision.

Once back from Australia she worked and trained at Arc in Basingstoke town centre and then progressed to a salon in Odiham where she was assistant manager and senior stylist. Then a couple of years ago, after her son was born, she decided to convert a room in her house to her salon and she hasn’t looked back!

We had a chat when I arrived and Aideen chose the best colour for me based on what I’d told her.

Aideen then applied the foils to my hair whilst we continued chatting.

Once the foils came out, Aideen washing my hair in her fancy hair sink and gave me a lovely mini head massage.

Then Aideen cut my hair and layered it a bit. I didn’t realise how long my hair was as she cut off about 4 inches and it was still really long! lol.

We basically didn’t stop talking for the whole two hours!!! It was really lovely to chat to her and she’s a great listener.

She did a fantastic job with my hair and blow dried it straight as my hair normally has a bit of a kink about it.

I came out of Aideen’s salon literally bouncing. There is literally nothing like having 1.5 hours of being pampered and coming out with a fab new hair colour and hairstyle!

My FAB new hair!!!

When I got home Mr NHM said “something’s different…” which is high praise in our household! lol.

Miss NHM kept telling me how beautiful I looked. She’s not used to me having my hair down.

I felt amazing for the rest of the weekend with my fab new hair!

Tips

Aideen normally works only on Saturdays but if you are desperate, she can fit you in at other times.

Facilities

Aideen’s studio is attached to her house but it’s fab because you literally have it ALL TO YOURSELF!!! She only has one to two people at a time so you have her full concentration.

Baby Facilities

Babies are very welcome at Aideen’s studio.

The perk of Aideen only having one client at a time means that you can take your baby along as there is room for a baby car seat.

If you let her know in advance that you are taking a baby with you, she said she will allow extra time in case you need to focus on your baby at any point. How fab is that!

Aideen is very understanding as she has two small children of her own.

Parking

Is free and on the drive and streets near Aideen’s house.

Prices

Prices are what you would expect for an independent hairstylist with her own studio.

For example, a cut, style and finish is £35.

Rating out of 5

Aideen did SUCH an AWESOME job! I absolutely love it!!! My hair looked amazing.

I will easily give her 5 out of 5 because she made me feel so welcome and really looked after me.

I love the colour and the cut was a really good cut. It was such a luxury to have my hair washed AND dried.

If you need a new haircut and are looking for some pampering at the same time, I highly recommend visiting Aideen’s salon!

Aideen can be reach on 07808316933 for any bookings. She also has a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HAIRaffairbasingstoke/

Aideen is also very kindly offering NHM Readers a first time discount £5 off cut and £15 off colour and cut booked together.

Thank you Aideen!!!!!!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of HairAffair Hairdressing. My experience 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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NHM Reader Recommendations: Pregnancy Massages

An NHM Reader asked: “Can anyone recommend anywhere locally to get a massage while pregnant. I need my shoulders /neck done as they are very sore.”

The responses from the NHM Community are below, thank you for your contributions. Please note, they are in no particular order!

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

NHM Reader Recommendations: Pregnancy Massages

The Courtyard

The Courtyard, Hampshire

Hannah says “The Courtyard, or Beechdown, went to Courtyard had a full massage and facial it’s a mother and bump package it’s soo relaxing would definitely recommend”

Yvette says “The Courtyard in Hatch Warren do an amazing pregnancy massage. I ended up having it done 3 times it was so good!”

Leah says “The Courtyard, absolutely amazing & you feel truly pampered when you leave & relaxed!”

Beechdown Health Club

Beechdown Health Club

Hannah says “The Courtyard, or Beechdown”

Lizzie says “I went to Beechdown when I was pregnant, it was lovely.”

Beth says “I went to Beechdown, lovely!”

Leah says “Beechdown.”

D&D Beauty

D&D Beauty

Clare says “DD Beauty in Sherfield park”

Lola says “Nicola Louise Ascroft from D&D”

Truly Scrumptious Beauty Salons

Truly Scrumptious Beauty Salons

Hayley says “Truly Scrumptious … Overton or Basingstoke”

Kirsten says “Yes I agree, amazing”

Different Strokes Massage

Different Strokes Massage

Kate says “Different Strokes Massage”

Ashley says “she’s fantastic! and specifically qualified in pregnancy massage.”

Charlotte McDonald Sports Massage

Charlotte McDonald Sports Massage

Rachel says “Charlotte McDonald she works from the regents offices in Chineham is brilliant. More sports massage than relaxation massage.”

Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist

Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist

Carla says “Charmaine Sala”

Claire says “Highly recommend Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist”

Sarah says “Charmaine Sala is fabulous”

Heather says “Charmaine Sala”

Winchester Spine Centre

Winchester Spine Centre

Mary says “Not sure if Winchester is too far, but I had an excellent pregnancy massage when I was overdue with my first baby here. Well worth travelling for”

Body Focus

Body Focus

Stevie says “Ali at Body Focus”

Thrive Massage

Thrive Massage

Nicola says “Hi I hold specialist pregnancy massage qualifications. I’m based in Chineham. My website needs to be updated with more pregnancy treatment descriptions, but please contact me if you need any information.”

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! 

Safe and Friendly Playgroups with a code word!

I think it was last week when there was a discussion on “Louise nhm Smith” about some new Mum’s feeling very intimidated at baby and toddler groups. I’ve put a bit more thought into the “code words” idea and have come up with the following. (Yes, I know it’s a bit cheeky using NHM in the “code words” but there have to be SOME perks to what I do here 😂😂😂).

The code words will be:

“NorthHantsMum sent me”

and when a new Mum says that to someone when she arrives, the organisers of that group will know immediately to take extra special care of her and ensure that she feels welcomed, etc.

If you run a local play group, toddler group or somewhere where Mum’s meet and would like to be included in the post that I am putting together of “Safe and friendly” local Mum groups, please drop me an email at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

Hopefully this will help those Mum’s who are new to local baby and toddler groups. Thanks!!

You can find more details for the playgroups and classes on the Activities pages on NorthHantsMum.co.uk.

Playgroups

Munchkins, Thursday 10-11:30 term time, sycamore centre, winklebury.

Basing Beans Lychpit Village Hall: Basing Beans, Lychpit Village Hall, Great Binfields Rd, Lychpit, Basingstoke RG24 8TF, Every Tuesday 10-11.30am, £2

Tuesday Tots: every Tuesday (term time) at Hall for all in Oakridge from 9:45-11:15am

Pop Up Play Village Basingstoke

Lynsey’s Little Stars parent,baby & toddler group – Old Basing

Classes

www.yogababes.co.uk

Jiggy Wrigglers classes in Basingstoke, Hook and Fleet.

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Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Pop-up Coffee Shop

Thank you very much to Juliet for writing today’s review post and thank you to Joe and El for letting us trying out their offerings!

Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Pop-up Coffee Shop

I got a little distracted whilst on holiday recently when Louise asked if anyone would like to review a pop-up coffee shop and brewing workshop (which is to follow, and I am VERY excited about this!). I politely said that I would love to whilst my inner child was shouting “me, me me!”. I am by no means an expert when it comes to coffee, but since having kids it has definitely become my go to place. I now get great joy out of sitting down (preferably!) for a good cup of tea or coffee and I was very intrigued to see what Cupper Joe had to offer.

About

Cupper Joe is a new speciality coffee service company offering a mobile pop-up coffee shop and coffee-brewing workshops. On Joe’s website, he writes “We’d like to bring amazing coffee (and other drinks) to the masses, so our focus is all on the quality of our ingredients, the care we take in producing our drinks and the service we offer to you. We work exclusively with speciality coffee roasters to bring the best coffee to you.”

The pop-up coffee shop I attended took place at Basingstoke Track Party, which meant that (thanks to the amazing train distraction) I actually got to try several hot drinks and finish them without little people around. It was lovely to meet Joe and his wife El from Cupper Joe and I’m looking forward to having more of a chat at the workshop. I’m not sure if I’m embarrassed or thrilled (probably both) that I managed to finish four drinks in that time!

There was a great selection of hot drinks available and I had two teas (New House Blend, Rhubarb and Custard), Callebaut Dark Hot Chocolate and a Mocha. I really enjoyed the New House Blend and loved that there was a really great selection of tea available. The mocha is my usual go to drink and I was amazed at how smooth it was, I am nervously writing that it could possibly be the best I’ve had (sorry R!). The hot chocolate – all I can say is if you have not tried Callebaut hot chocolate before, I really would recommend it!

So does Cupper Joe bring amazing coffee to the masses? In my humble opinion, absolutely!

I really must give a big shout out to Fudging El, not only for the awesome name, but also for the amazing handmade fudge that she makes. It tasted soooo good, I even convinced my other half to stray away from his usual banana preference to buy a packet of Chocolate Espresso. Other flavours available at the pop-up coffee shop were Banana and Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, and Coconut Lime and White Chocolate. I have also noticed a whole host of other amazing flavours on her Facebook page. El’s handmade fudge company works closely with Cupper Joe and is also available separately for events or retail.

Rating out of 5

5 out of 5. This has definitely been up there as one of my favourite reviews to carry out and I am now super excited about the pending brewing workshop. I suspect I will be eagerly looking out for Cupper Joe’s pop-up coffee shops, I have already pressed follow on the Facebook page. 

For further information, and to find out where Cupper Joe’s pop-up coffee shops will be in attendance, visit the Cupper Joe Facebook Page.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Cupper Joe – Pop up Coffee Shop. Juliet’s coffee was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Juliet was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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Review 2018: Good For Mums – Fit-Tums course

Thank you very much to Emma for today’s Review on NorthHantsMum. She’s done a fantastic job!!

Thank you also to Helen for letting us come and review one of the Good for Mums courses!

Review 2018: Good For Mums – Fit-Tums course

About

Having a baby is one of life’s greatest adventures and joys. It’s a magical time, filled with precious moments and unforgettable memories. However, becoming a mum can also throw up some challenges. For many women, the changes to your body can be quite a shock which can motivate us to grab our exercise gear and get back into shape.

But before you do, I really recommend that you consider attending a Good for Mums Fit-Tum Restore course.

The course is specifically designed and tailored for postnatal mums, to help you rebuild your core muscles and rectify the effects of Diastasis Recti (the process of your abdominal muscles separating during pregnancy). Whilst it’s tempting to jump back into exercise as soon as you can after having a baby, the reality is that if you do attempt it before your body is properly healed and repaired you can end up doing far more damage than good. So bump the burpees, say no to squats and read on.

What can you expect from the course?

First off every attendee is required to complete a comprehensive health check questionnaire to understand your birthing experience and any complications you may have faced. You’ll use this as part of an introductory session with Helen, the highly qualified and super knowledgeable class leader. By talking through the results and carrying out a short physical examination, she’ll be able to advise what point your starting from. This is a really straightforward process and aside from a quick check of your tummy muscles, there’s no need to bare all!

Helen will only recommend you continue with the course if your body is ready for it. In the event that she’s concerned that you might require some more advanced specialist support, she is really well connected and will signpost you in the right direction to get any help you need.

Assuming you are fit to carry on, you’ll then undertake a weekly class, as part of a group of other mums in the same boat as you. You’ll learn simple and straightforward exercises and movements that can easily be incorporated into your daily life, which will gradually and safely begin to heal your muscles back to pre-pregnancy state. The wonderful news is, this course is available for you to attend either with baby or without, so you can sign up for the class that suits you and your needs best.

Having attended the course, I would wholeheartedly recommend it to others. It’s informative, its gentle and most of all, it’s fun! My fellow attendees on the course ranged from a mum who had only just had her 6 week check, through to mums of toddlers who had realised that their stomach just wasn’t repairing itself properly. Whilst the class is intended as a restorative process and not an ‘exercise class’, it’s delivered tummy inch loss time and time again too.

So, if you think your tummy is in need of help, you can’t laugh or sneeze without peeing or you just want to be sure that your body is ready for exercise again, this is the course for you.

Tips

This course will only be as successful as you make it. In order to feel the full reward of attending, you need to be prepared to find 10-15 minutes each day to undertake your ‘homework’. Helen will be able to nudge you all along the way and suggest ways to help you remember, but ultimately it’s down to you.

Facilities

The classes are all run in halls and indoor settings, so they are able to run come rain or shine. They all offer onsite toilets and parking, which is especially helpful if you’re attending a class with baby in tow. In addition, if you are at a mum & baby session, there will be a selection of toys and to keep your little one entertained.

Rating

Having now learnt more about what happens to our bodies when we have a baby, I honestly believe this course is an absolute must for anyone who wants to begin exercise again.

It’s a 5/5 from me!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Good for Mums course. Emma’s course was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Emma was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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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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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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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! 

Finding Your style when returning to work – By Victoria Kennedy

Hi, I’m Victoria, mum to 2 crazy, lively boys, vintage frock lover, tea drinker and Personal Stylist. I am passionate about empowering women to love being themselves. My style ethos is that ‘you are best at being you’.

So embrace who you are and shout about it for the world to hear! I’m often contacted by women returning to work after having their children. The story is almost always the same, and 99% of the time it boils down to confidence, confidence in ourselves as working women. If you are considering returning to work, read on!

Going back to work after having a baby is a big move, your heart, mind and body are still adjusting to the new ‘normal’ and it can feel very overwhelming and stressful. Usually full of emotional turmoil and a bucket load of ‘mum-guilt’ at the thought of leaving your child.

Whether you took 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years of maternity leave, deciding what to wear to work after having a baby will be different but yet the same for all of us. You may still be carrying baby weight, you may still be breastfeeding and more than likely your confidence will have dipped.

For me, returning to work after the birth of my first son was so daunting. I was absolutely riddled with guilt as well as feeling totally overwhelmed about my ‘new body’ and how to dress for it. Let’s face it, I’d spent the majority of the last 12 months in my new found ‘mummy uniform’- rotating PJ’s for leggings and oversized sweaters. Marry that with a distinct lack of sleep and time to myself meant makeup and hair styling was no longer on my monthly to do list let alone part of my mornings routine!

When deciding to return to work, first and foremost, before thinking about what to wear: 

  1. Be kind to yourself

 Take some time to process the return to work decision in your own head. You may be feeling guilty about leaving your child, you may be feeling guilty about being excited to return to work. All of these feelings are normal. Do not beat yourself up about how you feel. Talk to your partner, friends, family and allow yourself those feelings.

2. Take up the offer of ‘Return to work days’

Going back into work in an informal way, for a chat & coffee can help it feel less daunting. Remember these days are for you to ‘catch up and refresh yourself’ don’t be pushed into working or being pulled into office politics!

3. Take care of yourself

Try to build a routine into the mornings and evenings on the days leading up to your return to work. This will help you ensure you get enough sleep and eat well- returning to work is tiring! Prepare yourself!

So once you’ve found good childcare, figured out logistics, battled tiredness and getting into the ‘work’ frame of mind, you can start to think about what you will wear on the ‘big day’.  This was such a huge challenge for me as I felt I had lost myself. I was ‘mummy’ and knew that role quite well- I knew the uniform! But I had no idea what ‘working Victoria’ looked like these days. Plus I had no idea what suited my new expanse of tummy!

I knew I wanted to return to work feeling confident about myself. I wanted people to see me as a professional, not as a ‘mummy’- which is strange as I have the utmost respect for mums- the jobs a tough one! But I felt, on my return to work, I would be judged by my appearance, that ‘how together’ I looked was a reflection on my ability to be a working mum.

So with that in mind I went shopping with a close friend, someone who had returned to work previously after having her children, and her advice is something I still use regularly with my clients today!

1. New Clothes

Whilst it seems obvious to say buy new clothes- after all we are all familiar with that ‘shiny new item’ feeling- much like the first day back at school adorned head to toe in new gear! But when I say buy new clothes what I really mean is take a good look at your new post baby body shape and buy new pieces that flatter this new fabulous shape.

If you’re unsure of your body shape- take a look at my facebook page for some tips and guidance! Dressing to flatter your shape can make you look slimmer, younger and feel more confident. There is no need to purchase the entire Next Directory- See my next point!

2. Buy 3 or 4 versatile items

For example, buying a black shift or wrap dress (great if breastfeeding/pumping) can be a great investment as you can wear it in different ways- with a blazer, with a scarf, with heels, with boots, with a bright necklace etc.

A great rule I impose on my clients is ‘never buy an item that doesn’t already go with 2 or 3 items you own’- that way you can wear it in many ways. So when you are choosing some new workwear think carefully about how the pieces can be worn to create multiple outfits.
Other good versatile items are;

  • ‘trophy blazers’- bright/jazzy fabric blazers that can be added to outfits to provide colour or texture.
  • Statement jewellery- another great way of adding colour and changing the look of an outfit.
  • Neutral coloured trousers or skirt- these can then be worn with a variety of tops and shoes to create different looks.

3. Bag & Shoes

You’ve probably got the hang of packing the changing bag with every possibility accounted for. You’re used to lugging around the contents of your house- just in case! But when returning to work the contents of your bag is entirely for you. So as well as having the luxury of carrying just your purse and lippy, you can do so in a lovely new bag! Treating yourself to a gorgeous-but- totally-impractical-for-mummy-duty bag can be a great way to bring your personality back into your style.

It’s a way of reminding yourself that ‘you’ are still ‘you’! This can also be the case with shoes! Although an air of practicality may well be needed, depending on your job, but it can be a great confidence boost to walk into work rocking a killer pair of heels! You’ve still got it girl!

Whatever you choose to wear to return to work, above everything else, it should make you feel most like you. Your style is a reflection of your personality as well as your lifestyle and body shape.

We are naturally going to feel most confident when we are being ourselves. Embrace who you are- an amazing women, who has carried and birthed a precious baby, a baby who loves you unconditionally for being their Mama. Return to work with this love in your heart and let your light shine- You are best at being you!

If you would like more tips and advice on finding your style join my ‘Style File’ group on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/groups/107764566603327

Alternatively, book a Personal Styling session with me for an in depth analysis of your shape, colours, style and personality- www.givingyouaboost.wixsite.com/hello

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!