My word for 2017 and Joyful January!!!

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Happy New Year!! I hope you had a blast?

I realise that the title of this post might be a bit of an oxymoron. January is often a tough month for many, after the excitement of Christmas and reality kicking back in.

So I’ve been thinking about what we could do, as the NHM Community, to spread a little more joy during January.

I put out a request a few days ago asking for some volunteers and I now have some lovely “NHM Joy Fairies” who are going to help me put out affirmation cards for Mum’s in strategic places across North Hampshire.

The whole idea came from Lindsey who mentioned a while back that she was doing something similar at work to help boost morale.

I then had a moment of inspiration and thought that it would be awesome to try to do the same thing for local Mum’s. So I’ve put together lots of little cards which have positive affirmations on them just for Mum’s and the “NHM Joy Fairies” and myself will be leaving them all over North Hampshire, for you to find and keep.

If you do find one, please let me know via NorthHantsMum@gmail.com. It would be awesome if there were pictures of the cards and where they were found too.

I am hoping that these little cards make at least one Mum feel a bit better if she’s having a tough month.

If you would like to be a “NHM Joy Fairy”, please get in touch too.

New Years Resolutions 2017

As I’ve mentioned before on NorthHantsMum, I don’t make New years resolutions anymore because they don’t really work for me.

Instead I choose a word for the year, that I use as a theme for the year. This year my word is “Joy”. Which is why “Joyful January” is so cool as it ties in with my word of the year!

I’m hoping to spread and receive lots more joy during 2017. If you have any ideas on this, please let me know!!!

Have a Joyful New Year 😀

What’s your word for 2017?

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My 2016 on NorthHantsMum

Yay! It’s New Year’s Eve tonight! AT LAST

2016 has been a very intense year for me, from both a professional and personal perspective. I am very blessed at all of the opportunities that have come into my life this year because of NHM but there have also been some VERY stressful times in the past 12 months.

Having an Alter-ego

I’ve been a bit naive with what it means to have an alter-ego. I think of NHM as a website that provides information to parents and a way of me putting people in touch with each other but it seems that I AM NorthHantsMum. People this year have started calling me NorthHantsMum and this has been really weird!!! I don’t think I am NorthHantsMum but apparently I am and it’s taking a bit of time to adjust too!!!!

During 2016 I have learnt to be more authentic and honest as part of my work on NHM. I have always been very apprehensive about sharing more information about myself and my feelings, partly from fear of rejection and partly wanting to protect my family from unwanted attention. But this year I’ve been more open about the challenges that I have faced on NHM and the positive feedback has been overwhelming on several occasions. I know I am very, very blessed to have so much of your support.

My Life’s Purpose

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past year thinking about why I’m here and what I’m meant to be doing with my life and I’ve refined the following:

My life’s purpose is spending my time and energy finding ways to inspire and help people, particularly Mum’s, live easier and better lives. I want to have helped thousands of people improve their lives. 

I do this in a number of ways, such as helping hundreds of local Mum’s have an easier parenting experience, helping lots of local Mum’s get their businesses started and via my part time business where I help lots of people to improve their lives by saving money and/or making money.

It’s nice to end the year with a reminder of why I do what I do on NorthHantsMum.

2016 Goals for NHM

I am VERY proud of the impact the NorthHantsMum is making to parents in the area.

At the beginning of each year I set some goals for NorthHantsMum. For 2016 I set the following, very high level goals. I am soooo pleased to tell you that I SMASHED these goals.

2000 Facebook page Like’s
1100 MailChimp subscribers

1400 FB friends

I’ve already started thinking about my goals for NHM during 2017 and am going to be more specific for them during 2017.

These are some of NHM highlights from the past year: 

I am exceedingly grateful to the Ladies in the NHM Marketing team who have lightened the load for me this year, especially Shona who has gone above and beyond working to supporting NHM.

Very thankful to all of the NHM writers who have attended events for me on behalf of NHM (and their children who also have benefited) and written their reviews so promptly.

To all of the Mum’s that I support via my Small Business Networking group.

To the Mastermind Ladies that I work with to keep NHM on track: Tina, Rachel, Kath, Katie, Michelle, Liane and Natasha.

I knew I wouldn’t be spending as much time fundraising via NHM this year compared to last year.  We did manage to raise £50 at the NHM Spring Expo which went towards the ReadyEmmyWalk fund.

I have also raised £50 so far for the NHM Bench (THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HAS DONATED!!!) and I would really like to step up the fundraising for this during 2017.

The NHM Fitness Group. Several friendships between NHM readers have been created because of this group.

The “Prosecco and chat for non cliquey Mum’s” have been a resounding success. Thank you again to Gemma for the idea! Hoping to do a few more of these during 2017.

The NHM Book Club.

The NHM Cinema club.

Cancelling the Expo. Those of you who saw my post know that this was a very difficult decision for me but with hindsight, I can say that it was absolutely the right decision for my family and I. I was OVERWHEMLED at all of the wonderfully positive messages I received. I hadn’t anticipated any messages at all when I published that post and I had over 140 people contact me in the 24 hours after!! It was absolutely AWESOME and I am sooooo grateful that so many of you support what I do with NHM. I just had no idea that so many of you were so supportive. It was a very emotional couple of days for me and I felt completely wrung out for a few weeks after!

The NHM Part Time Jobs group where I think at least two people have found part time jobs as a result.

Supporting the Christmas Food Box appeal for the third year.

I’m sure there are more, but I can’t remember now! If you think of any more, please let me know as it’s great to have a reminder of the positive influence that NHM has had on people’s lives. I’m chuffed that most of the highlights from 2016 support my Life’s purpose.

Moving into 2017 

I’m really excited about “Joyful January” which I will post about tomorrow. This is going to be brilliant and I’m really excited to see the out come from this one. I have a few ideas about what to do next year for NHM but I’m really looking to build a team that are happy to work with me on NHM and hold me accountable!

I am also looking for a group of NHM Supporters who will be my “brain storming” team.  If you are interested in being involved in either, let me know via NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

I’m also really glad to be putting behind me some of the stresses that 2016 brought. I am hoping that someone (ANYONE!!!) can show me how to install wordpress plug-in’s, so that I can get some more functionality sorted on the site. The stuff in the back end has been a head-ache this year and I’m really hoping to get this sorted ASAP!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I wish you and your loved ones an AWESOME New Years Eve this evening!

We will be having “Burning Night” this evening which will involve having a fire in the garden and roasting marshmallows. Miss NHM is very excited about it. I may even have a glass of Prosecco ;-).

Have a great evening and thank you again for all of your support! I’m very, very grateful for each and everyone of you!!!! x

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

2016 has been a tough year for NHM but we are still here! Yay!!

Thank you very much for all of your support. It’s been overwhelming on a number of occasions how much support NHM has. Thank you!!!!!!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank the NHM Marketing team and especially Shona who has gone above and beyond in writing up posts, helping me to put the schedule together and generally keeping me motivated! I probably would have quit NHM this year, had it not been for these Ladies support.

I normally take the time “off” NorthHantsMum between Christmas and New Year and end up finding myself working harder than ever! So this year, I will be writing but probably in the background and I have a few things that I haven’t gotten around to posting that I really need too, before the end of 2016. So keep an eye out.

Merry Christmas and I hope it’s not too stressful and very, very enjoyable!!!  I hope you and your loved ones have an AWESOME time!!

Thank you x

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Announcing the NorthHantsMum Christmas Expo 2016!!!

After the last NHM Expo I said I wouldn’t do another Expo. But then I was talking to Mr NHM after I posted something on “Louise nhm Smith” in July, about people struggling.

Mr NHM came up with the awesome idea of having a “NHM bench” in one of the local parks, a safe place for Mum’s to meet that would be dedicated to local Mum’s.

I spoke to my lovely contact in the council and found out that to have a bench like this would cost around £500, so I put my thinking cap on about how I could raise funds for this bench…

Guess what I came up with, yup, raising the funds via another Expo ;-).

The NHM Christmas Expo is always a brilliant event and very well attended, plus this will be my fourth Expo, so I’m pretty well versed in what needs to be done ;-).

It’s going to be AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

NorthHantsMum Christmas Expo 2016

Date: Friday 11th November from 9.30am until 12.30pm.

– Over 20 local business stalls
– Softplay area
– Taster Sessions
– Mobile Photography Studio
– A raffle with some fabulous prizes
– Father Christmas Meet and Greet

Any profits raised from this event will go towards a NHM “Bench” in a local park.

More details will be published soon!! I can’t WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

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NorthHantsMum’s 5th Birthday is today!!!!!!!!

Today is the fifth year anniversary of NHM. Yup, that’s right, I started NHM five years ago today. So I’m afraid you will need to allow me a post of reflection and self-indulgence (there’s a surprise! Lol) :-D.

Five years is a long time. Five years feels like a significant milestones. After five years I still haven’t gotten used to having an alter-ego! Lol.

A lot of time and passion has been poured into NHM in five years. A lot of love and tears also. NHM is so much more than a hobby for me now, it’s a part of me, a key part of my life. When I think back to the time in my life when I started NHM, when Miss NHM was three months old, it is literally a lifetime away. I am a different person to the one who started NHM. So are my husband and our daughter.

I cannot express to you how amazing my family are. Mr NHM has ALWAYS been hugely supportive of NHM and this has been incredibly important. Miss NHM is now five years old (obviously) and I still can’t believe it. She’s five years old ALREADY??!?!!! I love them both more than you can imagine.

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NHM has been SUCH a positive influence on my life. I’m a much better person because of it. I have met SO many wonderful Mum’s (and Dad’s!) through NHM. I am INCREDIBLY grateful for the many amazing friendships and opportunities NHM has created for myself and my family.

There has also been a lot of heartbreak and stress during these past five years, with NHM and also with everything that has happened in my life beyond NHM, but it’s been my “rock” for so long. Even when it feels like everything else is falling apart around me I know that I have this AMAZING network of parents supporting me, encouraging me and telling me to keep going. Having something bigger than myself, this network of people who rely on and support me, is pretty AWESOME!

They say we leave fingerprints on the lives we touch. I wonder how many lives I’ve touched with NHM in the past five years and how many more lives NHM will touch. It’s a pretty awesome thought! Having all this positive influence on so many people has got to be a good thing, right?

Thank you!

I would also like to say thank you to my amazing team of supporters who have helped to keep NHM going during the past five years.
  • Abi – for your passion and drive with all things technical and your faith in NHM. I literally couldn’t be where I am with NHM were it not for your belief in me. I’m going to miss your techie support TONNES.
  • Sophie for all of your marketing support and for designing the latest NHM logo.
  • All of the lovely NHM secret writers who step in at a moments notice to attend and write up events and who have taken the pressure off me on a number of occasions.
  • To the fabulous NHM Marketing team (Shona, Hayley, Gemma, Chloe and Yvette) who are made up of a key number of extremely talented ladies who are giving up their time so willingly to help others.
  • Everyone who has ever been involved in a NHM event. The meet up’s (should I start these again?) and the Expo’s. Between us we have raised over £2500 for charity, which is phenomenal! Especially, Lynne, Sophie and Lowri my willing volunteers who gave up their precious time to help out.
  • To all of the local Mum’s who run their own businesses and have supported and encouraged me with my networking endeavours.
  • Everyone who contributed to my “birthday blogging tree”. I love it!
  • Mr NHM for his constant love and support and for learning how to load the dishwasher PROPERLY in the past five years :-D.
  • Finally Miss NHM for being my daily inspiration. I love her more than anything, even NorthHantsMum :-D.
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My “blogging tree” which is one of my most treasured possessions. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed.

What happens next?

I’d like to say I have big plans for what happens next on NHM but, truth be told, I have an awful lot going on in my life outside of NHM at the moment and I feel the need to focus on the basics. Time to focus on the bits I love, like the sharing of information and knowledge and supporting my fantastic readers (that’s YOU!). The big plans are going to have to wait for a bit longer.

I would also like to say that I’m going to celebrate tonight but life goes on and today I will be attending the funeral of a much loved man who was a significant figure in my life.  So today I’m going to think of how grateful and blessed I was to have known him and for him to have been in my life. Then on Friday I’m going to focus on how grateful and blessed I am to have NorthHantsMum and all of the friendships and opportunities it’s created for me in the past five years and celebrate with a cheeky glass of Prosecco.

Yay to “Proseco Friday’s” 😀

As always THANK YOU. Thank you for reading, for commenting, for your support, feedback and love during the past five years. I literally couldn’t do it without you.

Here’s to the next five years on NorthHantsMum! Cheers x

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NorthHantsMum Summer Break 2016

Ever since I started NorthHantsMum I’ve taken break during the summer holidays.

I’m planning to do the same this summer too (21st July to 5th September 2016), especially as this is Miss NHM’s first summer holiday.

I will still be working and Miss NHM will be going to “holiday club” for a couple of days a week but I still want to spend as much time as I can with her, so that she gets a proper break too.

I also have a number of administrative tasks for NHM that need to be done in the back ground and rather than have to panic about whether a post is scheduled for the following day, I need to use that energy to focus on these tasks.

Therefore, if you have ANY events or classes that are still running during the summer or if you have any posts you would like me to publish during the summer holidays, please let me know ASAP so that I can get them scheduled early.

Please email me at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com with the details and ensure that any pictures are in .jpeg format.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

Roll on Summer 😀

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Your chance to provide feedback on NorthHantsMum: May 2016 Survey

May 2016 Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9TG3ZWL

I can’t believe it’s been 15 months since I sent out a survey asking for your feedback on NorthHantsMum! Wow, time goes fast.

I know you should send out survey’s to people when the sun is shining because people always respond to survey’s more positively if the sun is out…but it’s going to be cloudy today and I’ve got a schedule to stick too, so I’m just going to take my chances :-D.

This is your opportunity to provide feedback on NHM. What you like, what you don’t like and what you want more of.

The survey is just 10 questions long and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to complete.

I appreciate all of your insights and feedback as they go towards making NorthHantsMum better and better.

The survey is anonymous but if anyone is particularly mean I will name and shame you via your ip address (whatever that means! lol).

Thank you very much in advance!

May 2016 Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9TG3ZWL

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Joining the NorthHantsMum Community!

There are several ways to join the NorthHantsMum Community…

Facebook Profile: “Louise nhm Smith” – I get a lot more interaction on my profile. NHM Readers often ask anonymous questions and I ask the NHM community to provide their advice and support on the readers behalf. I also have several FB groups set up which are a great way to meet like minded parents and you are very welcome to join. Details are in this post.

WebsiteNorthHantsMum.co.uk – you can subscribe to NHM so that you get an email every time a post is published. This is the ONLY way you can guarantee not to miss any posts on NHM.

Facebook Page: “NorthHantsMum FB Page” – FB limits the number of people that each post goes out too, so there is no guarantee that you will see all of the NHM posts this way, even if you do select to say “See first”.

Twitter: NorthHantsMum 

LinkedIn: NorthHantsMum

Google+: NorthHantsMum

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

The “Business Directory” on NorthHantsMum is now LIVE!!!

The business directory on NorthHantsMum.co.uk is now live!! Whoop!!!

You can find the Directory on the menu bar on the home page of NorthHantsMum.co.uk or you can use this link:

Business Directory

This is a great place to find details of local businesses, most of whom are small businesses run by Mum’s.

I’m adding listings every day, so keep an eye out for new additions!

Local Businesses

If you are a business that operates from Hampshire and/or Berkshire and you would like to be included in the Business Directory Listings, please email me at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com and I will send you the details.

There is a FREE listing option and two paid listing options.

As always, thank you very much for supporting NHM!

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,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

The 10 most popular posts on NorthHantsMum in 2015

Yup, it’s that time of year again. Over the next week I will be sharing a few year-end posts looking back on 2015: most popular posts, favourite posts and a summary of the year on NHM.

I enjoy taking a look back before we move into next year as it helps me to see how far both I and NHM have come!

The 10 most popular posts on NorthHantsMum in 2015

  1. OPENING TODAY!!!!!!!! Basingstoke John Lewis at Home and Waitrose

2. 20 Places that will host a Children’s Birthday Party

3. Baby Weighing Clinic’s in Basingstoke (Last updated 12th September 2013)

4. 13 Things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn

5. Summer born children (those born between 1 April and 31 August)

6. Luxury Afternoon Tea in and around Basingstoke

7. John Lewis at home & Waitrose Basingstoke – First Look!!!!!!!!!!!

8. Review 2013: Basing Wood

9. Great Picnic Spots near Basingstoke

10. Review 2013: Basing Lime Pits (You would not BELIEVE the amount of google searchers who are looking for “dogging spots” who turn up at NorthHantsMum via this “Lime Pits Review”. Bet it’s a bit of a shock that they stumble into a parenting blog with that one! Hehehehe :-D)

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