NHM Reader Recommendations: Local Ironing Services

Louise recently asked: “Good Afternoon Everyone! I hope you are having a lovely day. Mr NHM recently started a new job which he has to wear a shirt for every day. Every Sunday night he goes on and ON about not wanting to iron his shirts for the week. Does anyone have any recommendations for local Mums who offer an ironing service? TIA”

The responses are below, thank you to those in the NHM community who responded. The recommendations are in no particular order:

The Helpful Hedgehog – Karen

The Helpful Hedgehog

Charlene says “Karen (The Helpful Hedgehog)”

EZ Ironing and Home Cleaning – Michelle

EZ ironing and home cleaning

Cheryl says “Michelle”

Helen says “Michelle does ours too!”

Barrett Dry Cleaners – Martinne

Barrett Dry Cleaners

Charlotte says “Martinne”

Martinne says “Yes I can Help … ironing is one of the services we offer in our dry cleaners … FREE local pick up and delivery also!”

Lauren says “Martinne for definitely!”

Blanksons

Blanksons

Diane says “Ours go to Blanksons, they collect and drop back! They are brilliant, we have used them for a number of years!”

Other Suggestions

Lowri says “I bought my husband a round necked jumper to wear over his unironed shirts. Made sure it was a jumper that could be tumble dried. Job done.”

Wendy says “Line dry then Tumble dry for 20 mins, crease free. Charles Trywritt and T M Lewin shirts work best.”

Stefanie says “We have non iron shirts; they go in the tumble dryer and as soon they are dry they go on the hangers… if they are not taken out immediately they go in the tumble dryer again…”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Where to Donate Old Duvets

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if they could help with a question I had been asked by an NHM Reader: “I’ve 3 duvets (2 singles and a king) all old but still usable. I wanted to donate them for the homeless or shelters but the Salvation Army bins don’t accept them, charity shops can’t take them due to hygiene, I contacted Camrose and they can’t take them as they can’t store them. Does anyone know where I can donate them? It seems a shame to throw them away when they could keep someone warm this winter.” 

Many thanks for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers Recommend: Where to Donate Old Duvets

Vicky said “Perhaps the Popley spotlight centre has a family in need?”

Sarah said “Pets at home will take them”

Rebecca said “You could try emailing the Night Shelter Coordinator?”

Louise said “Dog/cat charities will take them. Also old towels”

Jo said “Try Christ Church in Chineham. They took pillows which is kinda the same thing”

Sian said “Dogs kennels or animal charities”

Susan said “We have an organisation in Dorchester, Dorset Reclaim which helps destitute people set up in homes. They take clean quilts which other charities refused. Is there something similar in the Basingstoke area?”

Kerrie said “There is an organisation in Reading that has a homeless bus that may be in need of support.”

Naomi said “I know pro dogs direct take them”

Wendy said “The Dog Warden used to take them. The homeless shelters only wanted singles.”

Ruth said “I’m pretty sure AWE will take old bedding for their dog kennels, dont know about feather duvets though…what about community furniture?”

Rachael said “Why don’t you ask the homeless direct if they want them?”

Sian said “Julian House is a homelessness charity based in Basingstoke town centre. They may be interested”

Susan said “Try Julian House in Basingstoke, next to the Bridge Centre.”

Sammy said “There’s a lady involved with a night shelter bus, can’t think of her name. She was asking for some last week”

Sarah said “May Place have always taken ours”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Children’s party entertainers and face painters for 6 year old’s party

I recently received a question from an NHM Reader: “would you mind asking if anyone can recommend a children’s party entertainer and face painter for a 6 year olds party?”

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

NHM Readers Recommend Children’s party entertainers and face painters for 6 year old’s party

Party at Proteus

Sarah said “Parties at Proteus. Becky”

Victoria said “Parties at Proteus with Becky”

Dinky Disco

Vicky said “Nikki from Dinky Disco held the party for my 6 year old son last year. She was brilliant!! Worth every penny and I just stood back and enjoyed watching.”

Neon Fairy Face Painting

Nikki said “I’ve worked alongside Caroline from Neon Fairy Face Painting and she is AMAZING!!”

Stephany said “We also have used the Neon Fairy at the studio”

Cookery Doodle Doo North Hants

Katie said “I can do a cookery or cookie art party for something a bit different! Katie.Black@cookerydoodledoo.com Https://www.facebook.com/cookerydoodledoonorthhants

Routine Riots

Elfie said “Kim and Routine Riots”

Kim said “We have lots of face painting and other fun party entertainment options to choose from. Let me know if we can help www.routineriots.co.uk

Katie said “I had Routine Riots for 2 of my daughter’s parties – highly recommended”

Stephany said “I was going to recommend Kim too.”

Terri said “Definitely recommend my daughters friends loved having their faces painted even had mine done too. Super friendly and just generally lovely.”

Diana said “https://www.facebook.com/routineriots/

Liane said “Routine Riots every time.

Pop Tots

Victoria said “https://www.facebook.com/poptotsoverton/

Katie said “Seconding pop tots”

Kiri White

Kelly said “Kiri White is amazing and really reasonable. I highly recommend I have used her for several summer and xmas school fayres”

Twinkle Parties

Jeannita said “http://www.twinkle-parties.com/

Sarah said “Twinkle Parties”

Penny Layne Parties

Rebecca said “Penny Layne Parties been to a few parties done by Layne and ages brill!”

Tot Cross Buns

Allison said “We can offer you a Tot Cross Buns Cookery Party too https://www.facebook.com/totcrossbuns

Funky Play Bus

Aimee said “The Funky Play Bus …without doubt the best party I have ever booked. Our son had it for his 5th birthday and it was just fab. They come to your house (with the bus), there is soft play, activities and games on the bus and Simon, who owns it is absolutely amazing with the kids. They also do food aboard the bus too which is amazing. The games are all themed around the birthday child’s interests too. Couldn’t recommend it enough”

Jiggy Wrigglers

Kelly said “Www.facebook.com/jiggybasingstoke

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NHM Readers: Getting Pictures Printed

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where is the best and cheapest place/way to get pictures printed?

Thank you for your replies, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend where to get pictures printed

Charlotte said “Free prints app”

Gemma said “Free prints, download the app and you get so many free a month, just pay for postage”

Jo said “Snapfish”

Debbie said “Costco”

Sue said “I vary between Boots, Snapfish and photobox”

Shima said “Costco is very reasonable but more than that the quality is excellent”

Jade said “Jessops”

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! 

Questions I would ask if Miss NHM was starting YR now

I’ve learnt a few things during the last three years, since Miss NHM started school.

We’ve changed school in that time and we’ve experienced two very different schools as a result.

These are the questions or the things I would be thinking about if Miss NHM were to start school all over again.

As I’ve said here before, I’m very aware that I only have experience of two schools so please take this with a pinch of salt.

You don’t have to agree with me and that’s fine. These are just my ramblings, as a parent, on what I would be asking or considering if Miss NHM was to go back and start school again.

Oh and apologies to any teachers or teaching assistants who read NHM and take offence to any of this. I think that the majority of you do a PHENOMENAL job under very difficult conditions and I’m very thankful for all of your efforts.

Visiting Schools/Questions to Ask

“What are your objectives for the school?”

“What do you want the children to get out of their time from school?”

If you are visiting lots of schools I would recommend seeing if you can get some time with the head. They are top of the food chain at the school and as everything flows down from them it would be important for me to understand what their “ethos” is for the school.

I would ask them about what their objectives are for the school and what they expect the children to get out of school. If they don’t mention the word “fun” at least twice during that conversation I wouldn’t even be considering that school.

If all the head or the teachers talk about is education and maths and english that would be a red light. For me, infants school (in fact all school) needs to be not just about education but also about the welfare ofeach child and how the school would support that.

I believe that there needs to be a fun element in school. Children should not be expected to sit at their desk all day long, especially not in YR.

I would also be VERY reticent if that head teacher came across as very cold and didn’t share anything about their thoughts or feelings. This will reflect throughout the school.

Length of service of the teaching staff

“How long has the head teacher been at the school?”

At Miss NHM’s first school the head teacher changed during the summer holidays just before she started YR. Parents were not informed and I only found out about this by accident. It was handled appallingly by the school and things changed dramatically from when we originally saw the school to when Miss NHM started school. To the point that we didn’t even know when Miss NHM would be starting school until a month before. This should have been an early warning sign to me.

Also, it was clear that the head teacher had no idea what they were doing and this reflected in Miss NHM’s experience of YR.

“How long have the teachers in YR been at that school? ”

This is really important. It’s very interesting to note that often when a new head starts, a lot of the existing staff leave within 6 months, so you will essentially be starting with a brand new staff team.

School Visits

We were given a tour of one school by a parent governor. I wouldn’t attend this tour again. They did not give us a clear picture of the school and we only found this out once Miss NHM started at that school.

I also attended another school visit that was led by children who attended that school. This was a DREADFUL way of seeing a school because it wasn’t possible to ask questions as we went round because the children were unable to answer them. Or maybe that was the idea…

Visit during the school day

As I’ve said before I would also ensure that my visits were during the day time whilst the existing children were in the school. This is VERY enlightening. If the children are all sitting well behaved behind desks, that wouldn’t sit well with me after everything we have experienced.

In YR children should be free to roam. Their focus should be on play activities. I would stand in the YR rooms and turn around slowly and take in the environment. Are the rooms free flowing? Are there mostly toys and sensory items available for the children to play with? Are several of these outside? These are the kinds of things I would be considering as a parent.

School Uniform

“What’s the policy on school uniform?”

Are the school really, really strict on school uniform? This speaks volumes to me if they are strict about uniform in infants school.

Particularly if they demand that the children wear logo’d T-shirts. The stress that we went through because Miss NHM wouldn’t wear logo’d T-shirts because they scratched, is still firmly etched in my mind.

“Extra” classes

“Does the school allow for any other “classes” during the school day?”

I know of some schools that have extra classes during the school day that parents can pay for. Things like sports, music and art, the stuff that the government doesn’t deem important enough to be included in the school curriculum on a regular basis.

If the school doesn’t allow external providers into the school, to me, this indicates the philosophy of the school.

Forest School

“Does the school have any provision for forest school.”

I know of several local schools that have forest school and I’m GUTTED that Miss NHM missed out on this at her school as they mainly do it for the YR and Y1’s in her current school and her old school didn’t have forest school at all.

The children turn up in casual clothes and spend the day outside. The fact that some schools recognise how important it is for young children to be outside would be important to me.

Holidays during term time

“What’s the school policy on taking a child out of school during term time?”

This was my “killer” question when we were going round to view schools before Miss NHM started YR.

All the schools will say the same. It’s illegal, the children will miss out on their education and become illiterate, stupid and will fail at life, you’ll get fined, blah, blah, blah. However, it’s not WHAT they say it’s the WAY that they say it. One head teacher of a school we visited literally tried to rip my head off after I’d asked her that question.

Her response made me think very long and hard about whether I would want my child in a school where the head felt it was appropriate to behave like that with a very reasonable question from a parent who was new to the schooling system.

Failing YR

“How does a child fail YR at this school?”

If a teacher or head teacher balks at the word “fail” then that’s what I would be looking for. If I got a long spiel about how children fail YR for whatever reasons, I would NOT be sending my child to that school.

Time outside

“How often are the children allowed to play on the school field?”

Does the school even have a school field and if they do are the children allowed to play on it or is it “just for show”. I would also want to know about break times and the times that children are allowed outside.

For example, if it’s a heatwave are children still allowed outside to play in the shade during their break times or do they need to remain in the sweltering heat in the classroom?

Additional Needs Children

“How are children with additional needs treated at this school?”

Even if I didn’t have a child with additional needs this would now be a key question for me.

Having seen the IMMORAL and inhumane way that Miss NHM was treated at her old school and having heard that several other children with additional needs have now been removed by their parents from that school, I would want to know exactly what the school was doing to support children with additional needs.

Even if my child didn’t have additional needs I would want to meet the SENCO and the ELSA of the school so I knew who these people were and I got to see how sympathetic and understanding they were.

You never know if your child is suddenly going to need extra support, like we did, and knowing these people in advance and what their “ethos” is would be important to me.

Reception Staff

Having experienced two school receptions I know EXACTLY what I would be looking for.

If the receptionist on the front desk is rude, dismissive or patronising, this speaks volumes about the school.

They will potentially be the first person that you speak too or meet. If they can’t be civil or understanding of a new parent who has no idea what is going on, I wouldn’t want my child at that school.

If the reception staff are bubbly and happy and very willing to give you advice if you are a new parent then this is what I would be looking for.

Sports Day

“What happens on Sports Day?”

This is a bit of a random one but having experienced two very different Sports days at two different schools I would want someone to explain to me what happens on sports day.

If there is no mention of Mum’s races, Dad’s races, toddler races or teacher races this would raise a red flag for me.

For me, Sports days should be a really lovely family affair and if parents and families aren’t invited to take part and it’s just about rigidly following the “structure” of the schools Sports Day, I would be concerned.

Primary Schools vs. Infants Schools

“Is the school a Primary or an Infants school?”

In my naivety before Miss NHM started school I was adamant that she went to an Infants school because I thought it would be better for her to be with children roughly the same age as her and that she would be with lots of her peers.

However, now that we’ve been through two schools I would ALWAYS opt for a Primary school, for many reasons.

Primary schools are normally smaller schools with smaller years, so instead of 3 or 4 classes of 30 children in YR you have 1 or 2 classes of 30 children for each year in a Primary school.

Younger children are also mixing with other children a lot older than them and I have only seen good things come from this. Miss NHM is in awe of the children in Y6 and is always trying to emulate her favourites.

Also, if your child is in Infants school you then have all of the anxiety and stress when they move from Infants to Juniors. I have several friends at Miss NHM’s old school who are living this reality and it looks like it’s quite stressful. Not knowing what the new junior school will be like can be very worrying (they often operate independently of the infants school), as well as stressful wondering about how things “step up” in Y3.

Go with your gut

Most importantly, I would trust my instincts. I wouldn’t let Mr NHM do some of the school visits on his own because I was busy working and trying to look after Miss NHM whilst she was still an un-diagnosed Coeliac. I would want both of us to go and see ALL of our local schools either together or independently during school time.

I wouldn’t just follow the system and think that the school that’s closest to us has got to be a “good” school because aren’t all schools “good”? (No, they aren’t).

I would trust my parenting instincts and if a school didn’t feel right for whatever reason, even if I couldn’t verbalise it, I wouldn’t send Miss NHM there.

When you go into a school and you speak to the staff and the children you will just “know” which school is right for your child.

I hope this hasn’t been too stressful to read for new parents who are due to join the schooling system soon.

Hopefully it’s given you some things to think about that I had never considered when Miss NHM started school. (I wish I had had the benefit of reading this post when she was 3 years old!)

What would you add to these questions?

Good luck!

Feedback from NHM Readers on this post:

Alison: “Some interesting points although I was rather shocked to find out that the school closest to you might be the only one you got even if you didn’t chose it.” 

Leanne: “Lots to think about although your bit about infant/junior schools I would say is unnecessarily worrying for parents who live where there is only a choice of separate schools and no primaries. There are also some enormous primaries! I’ve taught in both and I don’t think the type of school has been a significant factor in children’s happiness.

Also-no teacher or parent races at sports day would not raise a red flag. For every parent that enjoys that sort of thing, there is one that dreads it and hates the thought of letting their child down. Also, the more races there are, the longer the children are sat doing nothing which is especially not great during this hot weather!

I totally agree with listening to see if the HT talks about more than just English and Maths.”

Lucy: I’d add that your child isn’t legally required to be in school at all. It’s your choice how and where your child is educated.”

Leanne: “Oh and it is worth knowing that you can take your child out of school legally until the term after they turn 5 (when they then have to be in education). So if your child is 5 in May, for example, you can take them on holiday any time during their Reception Year but if they are 5 in November you only can for that first term.”

Lizzie: “Couple of things I would like to add. Firstly, your child is not compulsory school age until the term after they turn 5 so it is your right to choose how much they attend until then. Also, if your child is born 1st April – 31st August you can apply to decelerate them and start them at school a year later at age 5. You can ask for them to start in reception.”

Lizzie: “In regard to forest School – I am a forest School and outdoor learning teacher. If you really want forest school make sure it isn’t just one class that get the opportunity, look for a school that continues the provision throughout the school every year to get the most from it. Also, don’t get hung up on forest school itself. There’s schools out there that don’t have actual forest school sessions but outdoor learning and is embedded across the curriculum throughout the school. If a school values outdoor learning they will be telling you about it before you ask.”

Other questions to ask suggested by NHM Readers

Good Afternoon Everyone! I’m putting together a post with questions to ask and things to look out for when visiting Infants/Primary schools. I’ve had some great suggestions in the YR 2018 group but thought I’d ask the whole of the NHM Community if they have any suggestions? TIA 

Charlotte: “Ofsted report, exam results, behaviour management, teaching method as in topic based etc, class sizes, mixed year classes or years on own”

Mary: “Ask about toilets and the dignity of children when using them.”

Lisa: “Mainly go with gut feeling but also look at how happy/polite/well presented the kids are, how much homework do they get in each year, after-school clubs, staff turnover, parent involvement (trips etc), friendliness of staff particularly office staff, how often parents get feedback (i.e reports/parents eve)….”

Victoria: “You can ask all the questions in the world but you will ‘just know’ when you’ve found the right one for your child. When forming questions think about your child’s needs, current ‘academic’ interest, emotional maturity and then base your questions on that. In some way generic questions about OFSTED, sat results are not really going to give you the answers you need!”

Hannah: “Look for how the staff interact & engage with the children. I’d want to know more than anything else that staff would be able to build a positive relationship with my child (no matter how difficult they were being) so they would feel safe and happy… only then will the learning etc take place.”

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Review 2018: The Fairy ClothesMother

My recent Wardrobe Refresh session with Victoria was SOO AWESOME but not only that, she’s also very kindly offering a very generous discount to NHM Readers! See below.

If you are stuck for presents for anyone or feel you need a BOOST yourself, I HIGHLY recommend as you can read below.

Review 2018: The Fairy ClothesMother

About

Victoria messaged me and asked me if I would like to have a Wardrobe ReFresh in exchange for a review and I thought I’d give it a go as I had nothing left to lose and could definitely use the help.

She used to run the store in Vintage Treasures, a boutique specialising in vintage and vintage inspired clothing, on Church Street, in Basingstoke so she knows what she is talking about!

I’ll be honest, I was NOT looking forward to Victoria coming round to help me de-clutter my wardrobe.  In my head I had visions of Trinny and Suannah (I’m showing my age now!) and GokWan DECIMATING my wardrobe.

My focus for the past few years has been on getting Miss NHM well again and as part of this I have completely neglected my body and my wardrobe reflects this.

I’ve written before about having a uniform as I don’t have time to think in the mornings or the night before as I prefer to spend my time and energy on other things. If you’ve been reading NHM for a while you’ll know that I am allergic to most man made materials, particularly polyester.

Trying to shop for clothes these days, that don’t have polyester or lycra in is very, very, VERY frustrating. There are certain shops that I know I can shop in that have 100% cotton and I tend to stick to those as I know that they aren’t going to cause me any issues.

Although this does mean that I’ve been in a bit of a clothing rut. I hate clothes shopping at the best of times and then having to double check every single label well… it’s depressing and I don’t have the motivation for it.

So the thought of Victoria coming round and telling me that I needed to go shopping for more clothes….I wasn’t looking forward to it….

Before we met

A couple of weeks before our appointment Victoria sent me a document with several questions asking me things like my hair and eye colour, what my current style is and what my dream look would be.

The document also asked me about my shopping habits and I think she could probably work out from there that I was going to be a total pain in the butt!!! (facepalm!)

Victoria also asked me to send some pictures of my face and my body, so she could see what she would be working with.

The Wardrobe Refresh Appointment

Victoria came round to my house one lunchtime, but just after I’d had a filling. So I was feeling a bit miserable, my face was all numb and I was really not in the mood for the appointment.

However, I haven’t laughed so much in AGES!!! Victoria spent about 15 minutes with me talking through my answers to the questions she’d sent me and I felt SOOOO at ease! You can immediately tell that Victoria’s main aim is to make you feel much better at the end of the appointment than you do at the beginning.

She asked me to write three words down describing how I was feeling right then about my clothes and those words were pretty depressing.

Victoria then talked through my colours and told me that I’m an “Autumn”. I had my colours done years ago and I already knew I was an Autumn and had told Victoria this in my answers but it was really, really good to go through which colours suit me again. Even though I have a colour wallet from when my colours were done when I was 18 years old, I wasn’t sure if they would still be the colours to suit me.

Victoria then briefly talked through which styles suit me best which was quite enlightening.

We then just got stuck in to my wardrobe.

I have quite a small wardrobe but it turns out that I have LOADS of clothes hidden away and even some in Miss NHM’s wardrobe that I had completely forgotten about.

We went through EVERY SINGLE ITEM of clothing in my cupboard and it was… AWESOME!!!

Victoria gave me permission (well, she didn’t actually give me permission but it felt like it!) to get rid of clothes that I’ve been hanging onto for years that I shouldn’t have been.

I read the Life Changing magic of Tidying three years ago (WOW, how time flies!) and even though there were clothes that I had purged then, there were some items that I still had an emotional attachment too that needed to be got rid of.

We went through everything and sorted them into three piles: keep, sell, recycle. It was SUCH an uplifting experience!!! Not at all what I expected.

Normally I’m quite self concious about my body, but I was just stripping off and getting stuck in and Victoria was brilliant. She echoed many things that I’d said in my head about some outfits, except she said it out loud. Hearing someone else say lots and lots of really positive things about my wardrobe was just amazing!

I realised that I do have lots and lots of beautiful dresses that I just don’t wear that I really ought too!

I felt absolutely AMAZING after the appointment. Victoria asked me to update my three words again, about how I was feeling, and it was like they were written by another person!

She advised me to start wearing more colours and notice the compliments that start rolling in and you know what, she was absolutely right! I’ve had LOADS of comments about what I’ve been wearing recently since my Wardrobe ReFresh.

Victoria also suggested making adjustments to certain items of my clothing and has recommended a local seamstress who can do this for me. I only actually need to buy ONE ITEM of clothing for my wardrobe! I expected that I would probably have to buy at least 4 or 5 new items but with modifications to my current clothes and that one item of clothing, it’s going to make such a difference!

Victoria is even going to find me the items that I need online and send the links over to me so I can just buy them directly. HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!!

Victoria says that that with her BOOST Style ethos:

“My mission is to have you with a wardrobe of clothes that are working for your body shape, not against you, in the correct seasonal colour palette and reflect your lifestyle and personality. Most of all I want you to feel empowered to be you! After all, you are the best person to do YOU!”

By the end of the appointment I was literally jumping with joy. I had freed up lots of space in my wardrobe, I’ve got a pile of clothes to sell on ebay so I can use that money to buy my extra item of clothing and it felt really good to “let go” of some clothes that I’d been hanging on to for years.

I couldn’t stop hugging the poor girl before she left as she’d made me feel so happy!!

After Care

A couple of days later, Victoria sent me a document which covered everything we had discussed. This was called “Louise style file” and it’s absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!

I cannot stop raving about this document! It’s absolutely bloody brilliant!

I love that the document has my body shape analysis and explains what body shape I am and also has a wonderful list of Do’s and Don’t’s for my body shape, which is going to make it sooooo much easier to shop with now! The document even includes pictures of styles that are mentioned, so if you don’t know what bootcut trousers look like, there is a picture to show you.

I also really liked that there is explanation of my colour analysis with suggestions of colours for me to wear.

There is also a section which highlights the key pieces that I should add to my wardrobe (very delighted it’s only 1 so I don’t have to spend much! lol).

Victoria also sent me a private style board on Pinterest. I love, love, LOVE the private style boardt. It’s absolutely brilliant and has lots and lots of suggestions of outfits that will suit me. My style for swim wear, formal wear and even some pictorial examples of which make up colours suit me best!

Absolutely perfect!!

Other Services

Victoria also offers a “Virtual Shopping Session”: “This is a digital file the she sends to you containing links to all of the items mentioned above, you can them order those that you feel suit and when they arrive you have a session via Skype for Victoria to check the fit and style, helping you decide which to keep and which, if any, to return. It’s a great way to update your wardrobe for a new season, holiday or special event without having to leave home!

I will soooo be taking her up on this “virtual shopping session” when I have a wedding to go too as she literally picks out the items for you and sends you the online links so all you have to do is order them. AMAZING!

Discount for NHM Readers

Victoria is very kindly offering NHM Readers a discount code -(NHM25) giving you a 25% discount on the “Wardrobe ReFresh” session.

Please quote this code when getting in touch with Victoria.

Rating out of 5

Twenty Five Hundred out of 5, as Miss NHM says. This was one of the best ways that I’ve spent two hours in a very long time. Victoria is absolutely lovely and a very positive person who made me feel sooooo much better about my wardrobe and also myself.

The appointment is very good value for money and having now had the appointment I would happily pay double for another one (don’t tell Victoria that, obviously! facepalm). I will actually be saving money in the long run, because instead of ordering clothes and finding out that they don’t fit me properly which means I don’t wear them often, I will know EXACTLY what to buy and won’t be wasting any money anymore.

Victoria really is a Fairy ClothesMother and I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend her services!!

You can find out more about The Fairy ClothesMother at: https://www.facebook.com/FairyClothesMother/

or at her website: https://givingyouaboost.wixsite.com/hello

Disclaimer: This post is a review of the Wardrobe ReFresh by The Fairy Clothesmother. The Wardrobe Refresh service was supplied free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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Things to do in Basingstoke with a 3 year old

Things to do in Basingstoke with a 3 year old

Visit a library

Below is a list of Libraries in the North Hampshire area:

  • Aldershot Library
  • Alresford Library
  • Alton Library
  • Andover Library
  • Basingstoke Discovery Centre – Open on Sundays!!!
  • Chineham Library
  • Farnborough Library
  • Fleet Library
  • Kingsclere Library
  • North Baddesley Community Library
  • Odiham Bridewell
  • South Ham Library
  • Tadley Library
  • Whitchurch Library

Or Try out one of the following activities featured on NHM

What would you add to this list?

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Mum2Mum Markets Hampshire

Thank you for the opportunity to tell everyone about my events!  I’m Linda and I run the Mum2Mum Markets in Basingstoke, Eastleigh and Southampton.

Mum2Mum Markets are community events where parents (and grandparents and friends!) can buy and sell high quality nearly new baby and children’s toys, clothes and equipment.  Our friendly, popular markets are all held indoors and usually see between 200 and 300 shoppers at each event. Our stalls are packed with toys, games, books, clothing, shoes, walkers, buggies, play mats, bedding, travel cots, trikes, ride-on toys, sterilisers, nursery equipment – and more!  Our events are aimed at age 0-6 years and maternity. 

The Basingstoke markets are held at Hatch Warren Community Centre and Queen Mary’s College, the Eastleigh markets at Pavilion on the Park, and the Southampton events at Woodlands Community College.

Our upcoming market dates are as follows: 

To book a stall, simply visit our bookings website at http://www.mum2mummarket.co.uk/book-a-stall.html and select your market.  We supply the tables, and you keep 100% of your takings on the day!  Each stallholder receives our useful Information Pack a couple of weeks before the market, which is packed with information, tips and advice on sorting, displaying and pricing their goodies.  We have a loyal group of repeat sellers at each location and stalls usually sell out well in advance of each market.

If you’re looking to shop at our events, you’ll find our stalls packed with amazing bargains!  A huge range of high quality nearly new baby and children’s toys, clothes and equipment at a fraction of the retail price.  You really can save a fortune! There’s no need to book to come and shop, just come along on the day. Adult entry is £2, children are free and there’s free entry for everyone for the last 30 minutes of each market.  You can also download a 2for1 entry voucher from our website and bring a friend for free (or pay £1 each of course!). 

We also work with local baby and child related businesses, who promote their products and services through our events.  There are a variety of ways to do this, including placing flyers in our goody bags, booking a business stall, or sponsoring our events.  We love working with other local small business, so would love to hear from anyone looking to engage with local parents. 

So whether you fancy selling or buying, we’d really love to see you at one of our markets – come and join us!  

Join our Facebook page for our latest news, event dates, market photos and preview of items for sale! https://www.facebook.com/Mum2mum-Market-Hampshire-166582593693636/

Please email me at linda@mum2mummarket.co.uk with any questions or enquiries – I’d love to hear from you.

Linda x

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Please help if you can: Volunteers needed to support NCT Charity in their Nearly New Sale Events

WHERE – Queen Mary’s College. Basingstoke
WHEN – Sat 28th Apr & Sat 6th Oct 2018

We are currently looking for people to take on various volunteering roles for the Basingstoke NCT Nearly New Sales. Volunteering with the NCT charity means you get a general feeling of satisfaction that you are helping people in the community; you can show transferable skills on your CV while on Maternity Leave or a stay at home Mum.

What do the roles require from a volunteer ?

Main team volunteer roles are asked to attend a pre sale meeting and then volunteer for a few hours either split between the Friday evening preparation tasks or on the Saturday. Which is split into pre sale, sale and post sale.
You can also do half your time on the Friday and half on the Saturday.

Examples of roles are – on payment tills, guiding customers, checking quality, packing bags, answering queries….

Main team volunteer benefits include –
– Early entry into the sale (when volunteering 6 hours +)
– 50% of sellers fees refunded (when volunteering 3 hours +)

We also need to fill 3 roles as part of the nearly new sale core team.
Logistics Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and Seller Coordinator.
The core team have the extra benefits of –
– Extra early entry into the sale (before the pre-sale)
– 100% of the sellers fee refunded

The Logistics Coordinator is responsible for:
– Booking the Venue for Spring and Autumn Sales;
– Coordinator payment of invoices;
– Prepare risk assessment and insurance details for sales to take place;
– Liaise with local NCT branches for loan of equipment, such as rails;
– Arrange collection of equipment such as rails, shopping bags, aprons, and sashes;
– Liaise with Treasurer to ensure chip and pin machines and floats are ordered prior to sale;
– Attend Core Team Meetings to help with other areas of the sale, pre and post sale.

The Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for:
– Setting up the volunteer section of the Intrabiz registration page;
– Sending emails to previous volunteers and sellers about volunteering options for the next sale;
– Allocating volunteers to roles for the set up, sale and clear up to make sure we have enough people to perform the tasks required;
– Sign in and out all volunteers on the day of the sale and give volunteer briefing.

The Seller Coordinator is responsible for:
– Setting up the sale section of the Intrabiz registration page;
– Sending emails to previous volunteers and sellers about selling for the next sale;
– Having excellent excel experience to create seller spreadsheets, and keep the master spreadsheet up to date. This allows the sale to happen with a barcode scanning system and seller database;
– Email all sellers their seller spreadsheets and make sure they have been submitted for database entry before the sale;
– Greet all sellers and sign them in on the Friday evening;
– Making sure clear up on Saturday is completed correctly before sellers come to receive their unsold items.


The sale is completely run by volunteers and we can only continue running these sales if we have volunteers to look after the preparation and running of them. If you would be interested in finding out more about any of these roles please contact us by emailing  NNS.Basingstoke@nct.org.uk
Or visit our Facebook page and ask us a question 
https://www.facebook.com/BasingstokeNCTNNS/

Or, if you are happy to volunteer with the above information for the April sale, please follow this link to register: https://nct.intrabiz.co.uk/cgi-bin/sys.cgi?action=NCT-product-client_view&id=35109639

If you would be interested in selling at our next sale, we offer a return of either half or full of your seller fees if you volunteer with us. If you would like to register to sell, please follow this link: https://nct.intrabiz.co.uk/cgi-bin/sys.cgi?action=NCT-product-client_view&id=34288243

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SNOW!!! Things to do with little ones whilst it’s snowing…

Yay! It’s snowing! I know this is a complete nightmare for LOTS and lots of people but I LOVE the snow so I’m very excited about it, even if we did only last 10 minutes because my extremely strong willed 6 year old refused to wear her gloves and got very cold hands very quickly. Sigh!

I’ve also been up since 6am stressing about keeping everyone updated on which schools and pre-schools are opened or closed so I am exhausted! lol.

You can check on this post for more details about which schools are open still and the times that they close: HCC School Closure Website

Anyyyyywaayy, this is my impromptu list of suggestions of things you can do with your little ones today whilst it’s snowing.

Whatever you end up doing…HAVE FUN!!!!!

Outdoors

  • Make snowmen snowwomen, snowbabies, snowchildren
  • Build an igloo
  • Make coloured ice balls (balloons filled with water and a bit of food colouring and leave outside over night)
  • Snowball fight/gentle throw
  • Sledging
  • Snow angels

Indoors

Other Useful Posts

What would you add to this list?

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