Keeping a “Sitting with Jane” bench in BASINGSTOKE!!!

Have you seen the “Sitting with Jane” benches that have been dotted all over Basingstoke and local areas in the past month?

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we could crowd fund one of them to stay in Basingstoke? So we could show our children that we all did something AMAZING together?

The NorthHantsMum Community and anyone else who would like to be involved, are working hard to raise money for one of the “Sitting with Jane” benches to stay in one of the local parks, maybe War Memorial or Eastrop Park, depending on whether Basingstoke and Deane council agree.

I am hoping the bench will be used by lots of people but also as a safe place where Mum’s can meet other Mum’s and children can meet other children. How cool would that be!!!!

(Crowd funding means that the money is only taken at the end of the 30 days, IF the project goes ahead. However, I’ve made the executive decision that ALL donations that are made will still go to the Ark Cancer Centre Charity, even if we aren’t successful in our bid.)

Donate

You can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louise-northhantsmum

All money raised will go towards the Ark Cancer Centre Charity, regardless of whether we are successful with our bid.

Even if you can only donate £1, this will go towards the bid for a chair at the auction will be taking place on Friday 15th September.

Every time someone makes a donation towards the campaign, I will post up a picture to NorthHantsMum FB Page of a local child sitting on one of the benches with the amount of the donation.

If you would like your child to be featured as part of the campaign, please email me their picture to NorthHantsMum@gmail.com, with some words that say you are their parent and are happy for their picture to be used.

Everyone who donates towards the bench will also have their name listed in this post and hopefully somewhere on the bench, although I don’t quite know how that will work yet! (If you would like your last name to be included, just to let me know).

If you are sponsoring as a business, a link to your business will also be included in this post.

This is going to be an AWESOME way for the community to come together to raise funds to keep a little bit of heritage right here in our town.

Everyone who has donated towards the bench…

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Wendy D

Cathy W

Lilian K

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New Pregnancy Yoga course in September 2017

Pregnancy Yoga is an ideal form of exercise during pregnancy to keep you and your unborn child healthy and safe. Exercise together to safely stretch and stay fit during pregnancy, take time to relax and connect with your unborn baby as well as learning lots of different techniques to help ease labour and childbirth when the time comes.

New Pregnancy Yoga course is starting on Saturdays 10-11.15am in Basingstoke. This six week Course begins on 2nd September – places are limited and must be paid for in advance to secure a place. Cost is £50 for the full 6 weeks course.

Check out my website for more details www.yogawithgloria.co.uk

Contact yogawithgloria@gmail.com    Tel 0758 462 1857

Please share with your new mummy friends

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Why I started the English Charm Co

My name is Natasha and I own The English Charm Co. I am the Keepsake Business Owner/Designer

I am an independent Keepsake Designer and maker. I have a studio in Worting House courtyard where I handcraft all my work. Customers come to my studio to look at the work on display which includes silver keepsakes featuring personalised handprints, footprint, fingerprints, drawings and petprints. There is also a display of 2D and 3D hand and foot castings as well as family hand casting and pet paw casts. I take all the impressions at the studio which makes it very easy for customers, or I am happy to visit people at home too. I am an Accredited Trainer with the Craft Ecademy so I also teach women and sometimes men too how to make the keepsakes and start up their own businesses.

The nature of my business means it spans a wide variety of markets from baby to weddings, to memorial. It is a very rewarding job as I am privileged enough to be able to offer the service and a lasting keepsake.

My career before starting this business was as a European Product Manager for Remington, and also Britax Childcare. My job took me all over Europe and I developed products with Hong Kong factories to be distributed to our European colleagues. The role was very creative and marketing focused which I loved. I wanted to start my own business after I had my children which incorporated elements I had in my previous roles without the travel. I also wanted me flexibility to be able to spend time with the kids.

My current role is so diverse. When you run your own business you have to do EVERYTHING, that means admin, invoicing, budgets, marketing, website, SEO, social media, creating new ideas, making the products, designing packaging, leaflets and product photography. You learn so much which is great but hard to do on your own when you have 2 kids, a husband, 3 cats and a dog. I wouldn’t change it though because it is my baby which I have grown. I am also independent so I am not part of a franchise. I have the ability to be completely in control.

3 days a week I train so this involves me teaching people from the Craft Ecademy casting and keepsake jewellery. The other two days I am making my products. It is a fulltime job now. My children are 7 and 10 yrs so it is a little easier now they are bigger.

Making the products, seeing people’s faces when they receive their own special personalised piece of silver or cast. Making is the best part.

Accounts and invoicing are the worst, I think they are for a lot of people. Juggling everything for the business along with family life is challenging because I like to make sure I am also around to take and pick the kids up from school when I can, take them to after school clubs, go to school assembly’s.

My role means I am spending less if no time at all in the gym which I did love. I am going to TRY and get a work life balance and re-introduce this at least for 2 hours a week. I think it is important to have a little me time too. My role could involve taking on an apprentice at some point as the business is growing.

It is very scary starting your own business and you do doubt yourself a lot in the beginning but it is so important to keep revisiting why you are doing it and looking at a longterm strategy so you evolve the business and make changes where necessary to keep it growing. It was the best thing I ever did and I would say if you have any doubts at all, don’t just go for it.

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Baby Weighing Clinics in Basingstoke (Last updated June 2017)

Monday

9.30am – 11.30am, Christ Church Hall, Reading Road, Chineham RG24 8LT – 1st & 3rd Mon of each month (breastfeeding consultant weekly)
1.30pm – 2.45pm, Gillies Health Centre, Sullivan Road, Brighton Hill RG22 4EH – 2nd & 4th Mon each month

9.30am – 11am, Odiham Cottage Hospital (Rosefield Day Centre), Buryfields, Odiham RG29 1NE – 2nd & 4th Mon of each month

Tuesday

10am – 11.30am, Gill Nethercott Centre, Whitchurch RG28 7HP – 1st Tues of each month
2pm – 3pm, Woolton Hill Surgery, Trade Street, Woolton Hill RG20 9UL – 3rd Tues of each month

2pm – 3.30pm, Hook Surgery, Reading Road, Hook RG27 9ED – 1st & 3rd Tues of each month

Wednesday

9.30am – 11am, Clift Meadow Pavilion, Minchens Lane, Bramley RG26 5BH – 2nd Weds in month, Stay & Play session
9.30am – 11.30am, Rooksdown Community Centre, Park Prewett Road, Rooksdown RG24 9RG – 3rd Weds each month
10am – 11:30am, Popley Fields Community Centre, Carpenters Down, Popley RG24 9AE – WEEKLY
10.30am – 12pm, Hatch Warren Community Centre, Longcross lane RG22 4XF – 2nd & 4th Weds each month
1.30pm – 3pm, Tadley Community Centre, New Church Road, Tadley RG26 4HN – WEEKLY
2pm – 3.30pm, St Leonards Centre, Rectory Road, Oakley RG23 7ED – 1st Weds of each month

Thursday

9.30am – 10.30am, Bishop’s Green Community Centre, Beech Road, Bishop’s Green RG20 4AD – 2nd Thurs of each month
1.30pm – 2.45pm, Westside Community Centre, Paddock Road, South Ham  RG22 6QB – 1st & 3rd Thurs of each month
2pm – 3.30pm, Kingsclere Medical Practice, North Street, Kingsclere RG20 5QY – 4th Thurs of each month

1.30pm – 3pm, St John’s Church Fleet road, Hartley Wintney RG27 8ED – 2nd & 4th Thurs of each month

Friday

9:30am – 11am, Overton Community Centre, WInchester Street, Overton RG25 3HS – 3rd Fri each month
10am – 11.30am, Basingstoke Discovery Centre (town centre Library), Festival Place RG21 7LS – WEEKLY

9.30am – 11am, The HIVE, located in the Welfare and Community Centre (WACC) on Kersley Crescent, Odiham – 1st Fri of each month

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NHM Readers recommend Maternity Clothes

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where is the best place you can buy maternity clothes in Basingstoke.

I suggested Mothercare and H&M but apparently H&M only have very small sizes in stock at the moment.

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

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Places in Basingstoke to buy maternity clothes

Debenhams

Flick said: Debenhams have some in their red herring maternity range.

Wendy said: Debenhams have a maternity department too.

Naomi said: Debenhams – some really nice bits.

Debenhams Maternity

New Look

Flick said: New Look have a small section downstairs.

Kimberley said: New look used to have a few bits.

Lucy said: New Look for top half,  it’s downstairs right corner.

Emma recommended New Look.

Charlotte recommended New Look.

Jane recommended New Look.

Hayley recommended New Look.

New Look Maternity

Next

Diana said: I found Next Directory were the best I ever found in any high street store. Really hit the bill.
Wendy said: I used to get most of mine in Next.
Jane recommended Next.
Next Maternity

Matalan

Kimberley said: Matalan have maternity online. You get free delivery to store.
Lucy said: Matalan for over the bump leggings. I did click and collect so could try on in store and return if it didn’t fit.

Matalan Maternity

Dorothy Perkins

Emma said: Dorothy Perkins online – free returns.
Hayley recommended Dorothy Perkins.

Dorothy Perkins Maternity

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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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Mothercare Expectant Parents Evening’s – June 2017

These are lovely events and definitely worth attending if you are expecting any time soon as they offer 10% off anything you purchase that evening.

The team are available to help with personal shopping and have all staff in to ensure a nice easy shopping experience.

There will also be lots of stalls and you will be given a goody bag at the event.

It’s invite only but you just need to call the store on 01256 363737 to book your place.

You can find links to previous Mothercare Expectant Parents evening to see what it’s all about:

Mothercare Expectant Parents Evening: June 2016

Mothercare Expectant’s Parents Evening – Autumn 2015

Event: Mothercare expectant parent evening, Basingstoke – Thursday 26th February 2015

Expectant Parent’s Event at Mothercare Basingstoke – 9th October 2014

Event: Expectant Parents evening at Mothercare – June 2014

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Buggyfit Odiham and Hook

Buggyfit is an outdoor exercise class for Mum’s. Designed to get Mum’s out and exercising safely, and the plus side is that babies come too.

Classes enable Mum’s to rebuild their pelvic floor, their core, stamina and tone their body, whilst also stocking up on that all important vitamin D!

Classes involve using a variety of different circuits and exercises.

There is always lots of laughter, and chance to make friends, it doesn’t matter if baby cries, we change what we are doing and the instructor helps to keep them entertained.

Classes run –

Monday 1.15pm

Wednesday 9.45am

We meet outside The Hive Community centre on Kersley Crescent, Odiham (RG29 1QH). This is the first building on the right.

For more details get in touch with Anna on 07920 405512, or email buggyfit.odiham@ugrace.co.uk.

You can also look us up on twitter and Facebook. More info available here – http://ucgrace.co.uk/buggyfit.html.

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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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NHM Readers recommend pottery painting with children

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where can you do pottery painting with children in the local area. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded and to Shona for putting this post together!!)

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Pottery Painting Venues to take children

The Ceramics Cafe  

Unit 2, Coronation Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4HA

Only open on Saturdays between 10am and 5.30pm

Pots2Paint

Units 9&10, Viables Craft Centre, The Harrow Way, Basingstoke, RG22 4BJ

Open Tuesday to Saturday between 10.30am and 5.30pm

Pots to Doodle Do

The Old Village Shop, Church Lane, Cliddesden, Basingstoke, RG25 2JQ

Open during term time Thursday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. During school holidays, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Just Ceramics

Unit 3, The Old Stables, Oakhanger Farm Business Park, Oakhanger, GU35 9JA

Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday’s 11am – 4pm.

Playdays

2 Stewart Road, Basingstoke, RG24 8NF

Playdays offer pottery parties and also regularly do pottery painting and play sessions for occasions such as Easter, Mother’s Day etc.

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