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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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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NHM readers recommend places for a Sunday dinner

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where they like to go for Sunday Roasts within a 30 minute drive of Basingstoke. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded and thank you to Shona for putting this post together!!)

These were the responses I received.

NHM Readers Recommend Places for Sunday Roasts.

Natalie said: I enjoy the food at Longbridge Mill just after Sherfield Park

Sue said: Can’t beat a carvery, either Toby or the one just past Oakley (the Beach Arms)

Hayley said: Beach Arms

Wendy said: I like Lord Derby by junction 5. My friend’s favourite is the White Hart in Sherfield

Sarah said: The Hatch does an amazing roast. Service is always dreadful though

Holly said: The Clock and Thyme in Overton, Kids eat free!

Tracy said: Leather Bottle is great

Victoria said: Aingels Bistro in Winklebury! Amazing home cooked food and great menu that caters for vegan/gluten/dairy free

Stephany said: The Cavella Arms in Silchester

Jessica said: The Hogget is by far the best roast in my eyes

Lucy said: My meat eating hubster likes The Phoenix

Hayley said: Had a lovely roast at the Queens College Arms today

Ruth said: Just had xmas meal yesterday at The Elm Tree in Beech Hill – lovely food, owner’s and service. I suspect Sunday roast will be to similar standards

Helena said: The Rowbarge at Woolhampton. Second to none. Also good for a walk along the canal pre or post lunch

Hayley said: The Fox Inn in Newfound is lovely

Ruza said: Like the food over at The Fur and Feathers, also the Crown at Old Basing

Siobhan said: The Hoddington Arms. Dog and child friendly!

Colleen said: The Royal Oak. This place is amazing, and around the corner from Alice Holt so can be combined with an amble in the woods.

Rachel said: The Harvester in Reading is one of our favourite places to go (Mansion House).

Lindsay said: The Queen Inn at Dummer is fabulous for roasts and food in general really

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NHM Readers recommend what do do when your child doesn’t get the school of your choice

Last year I asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook for their positive comments about what they have learned and how to tackle the process when your child doesn’t get the school place that you wanted. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded!)

These were the responses I received. Very apt, considering today is the day when the results come out for children starting this year in September…

NHM Readers Comments About Not Getting School Place

Tracey said:

So last year I didn’t get any of my 3 choices and stressed A LOT. But it did all work out and by end of May we had a place at our 2nd preference (which would now be our 1st preference). There will be a lot of movement between now and September and spaces do become available. Top tips are accept the place you’ve been given and speak to the schools you wanted directly to make sure you are put on their waiting list. You can also put in a late application for other schools.

Lorna said:

I haven’t been in this situation…yet! However through work I know it’s vital to get any appeals in as soon as possible with valid reasons for it. All are heard and the panel are generally very open to listening to reasons etc. Stay positive – there’s every chance it can be resolved.

Sue said:

We didn’t get our first choice school but in hindsight it has been the best thing. Our son has done amazingly well and has so much support.

Hayley said:

3 years ago we didn’t get our first choice and I was hugely disappointed. My little girl really needed stability as she was very anxious so I decided to go ahead and not fight the decision so we could start getting prepared and excited about her new school from the offset. Turns out that I was wrong in my original choices and we absolutely LOVE her school, couldn’t have been more perfect for her (apart from having to drive). Good luck to those who didn’t get 1st choices, whatever happens it will all work out in the end.

Rachel said:

When my son started school two years ago we didn’t get any of our choices, not one. Instead we were given a school that we hadn’t even heard of, was a drive away, that we hadn’t been to see or even looked at its website and we didn’t even know where it was at first! We went to see the school and met the headteacher and accepted that it was likely our son would go to that school (and a very nice school it was too). We also went on the waiting list for our school choices AND we made a late application to another school that we had liked but didn’t make our top three. 2 weeks before school started we were told that we had a place at the school we made a late application to and we took it! So it does show you that things can work out, even at the last minute.

Danielle said:

Two years ago, our daughter didn’t get any of our 3 choices. Offered another school. Applied for three others; late application. Got offered two of these at very good schools. Accepted one, visited it with her and then got a place at our original first choice (and only catchment) school at the end of May. I found the whole process stressful, but luckily for us it worked out.

Gina said:

My son 2 years ago didn’t get our first choice, I was disappointed. Now he’s in year 1 and doing so well. The school he did get are fab and he’s coming along great.

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NHM readers recommend places to buy a cabin bed from

NHM readers recommend places to buy a cabin bed from

In response to a question from a NHM Reader, I asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “Where is the best place to buy a cabin bed from, for a 4 year old?” . 

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

Please note, these are in no particular order!

1. Archers Sleep Centre

Archers Sleepcentre

Emma says “Good prices and very solid.  We have the lollipop pink and white one”.

2. Aspace

ASPACE | Exclusive Children’s Bedrooms | Inspirational Spaces for …

Sarah says “not cheap but very good quality & service”.

3. Facebook

Samantha says “Facebook selling pages are always worth a look”.

4. Next

Furniture & Homeware | Home & Garden | Next Official Site

Kate says “We got ours from Next, it’s really nice, looks good and is solid. We’re quite happy sitting on it with her to read stories. Not too high that I’m worried she’ll fall too far either.

5. Julian-Bowen

Julian Bowen Limited

Jason says “We bought a ‘Domino’ Bunk Bed from www.julian-bowen.co.uk, which we have been very happy with.  Note, most bunk beds will say 6+, but we have had our eldest in from three; obviously common sense applies and whether a bunk bed is suitable for sub-six will be child specific.

6. Mrs Flat Pack

MrsFlatPack.co.uk

Louise says “Got all of mine from Mrs flat pack online. Amazing and quick service.

7. Rainbow Wood

Rainbow Wood South | Children’s Beds and Furniture | Thuka, Stompa …

Kate says “Rainbow wood in Farnham – specialises in childrens beds and furniture.”

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NHM Readers: 5.5 year old not sleeping through!!

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook for help for myself! “I am hoping for your insights and suggestions. Miss NHM is STILL refusing to sleep through. She’s 5.5 years old and hasn’t slept through more than two nights in a row for the past 8 months. It’s worse now than when she was a newborn!?!?!? Mr NHM and I are averaging 4-6 hours sleep a night and with full time jobs, we are both on our KNEES! Has anyone else experienced this and if yes, how did you manage to get your child/children to sleep through?

These were the responses I received. They are in the order of response. 

Thank you to Shona for putting this post together!!!

NHM Readers help NHM!

Vicky said: It depends on why she wakes. Only had a problem when Ella was younger . We did the hand holding and creeping away quietly. Hard to know why she’s waking up . X

Saretta said: My son has only really started sleeping through since he started school in September..but he’s a nightmare to get to sleep at bedtime! We’ve tried everything, some nights he doesn’t fall asleep till 9.30!

Sue said: Agree with working out why she is waking and then maybe trying reward chart if she does sleep through? Once she has gained enough stickers she gets a treat?

Louise Nhm Smith responded: We are going to give that a go. Wish us luck!!! 😀

Gail said: I would agree here. Try bribery !! At least at 5 they understand what rewards mean!! Also the gro clock helps, tells them by colour when they can get out of bed!!

Ghislaine said: Love our gro clock!

Sally said: Lay in her bed once asleep. Observe her breathing… If she jolts awake it could be sleep apnoea…

Louise Nhm Smith responded: Hadn’t thought of that. Thanks Sally for the suggestion!

Sally replied: That’s how we discovered Aimees she would wake so many times a night.. Adenoids were the cause. Another symptom is incredibly slow eating due to not being able to breathe while eating.

Tia said: Following. My kids don’t sleep through. 6yr, 3yr, 8m.6yr old is as bad as the 8m for waking.

Rebecca said: I have heard about people who make a little ‘nest’ on the floor next to their bed, the understanding being that if the child gets scared in the night or wakes and needs reassuring presence then they come through and go in the nest where they can sleep the rest of the night without waking the parents.

Louise Nhm Smith responded: Love this idea. Might try this too Rebecca. Thank you!

Mary said: Apparently clever children don’t sleep.

Heidi said: I slept in Kiera’s bed pretty much every night until she was 6.5. She needed one of us to sit with her while she fell asleep and then when she woke in the night I would just crawl in with her (no interaction, no talking) and we’d both go straight back to sleep. That was the only way I could get enough sleep to survive. She has recently started sleeping through, with no change in my behaviour, I just figured she’s ready to sleep alone now. I found that accepting that’s just how it is has been the only way to save my sanity.

Louise Nhm Smith said: oh Heidi. That sounds so tough. I’m not sure I can cope with another 8 months though!!!!

Heidi said: Thom slept through from half way through year R so I had high hopes for Kiera. It actually took until the beginning of year 2 for her! But I’m not holding my breath about this lasting!

Seriously, accept it and it becomes much easier to cope with x

Zowie said: Look at baby support on Facebook I used them for my daughter and really worked. I was recommended by a friend who used them. X

Lucy said: To begin with sticker charts when he was little then when he got older a marble jar…. Then he was on nothing… Then he went through a stage of being terrified as he could hear noises; so I gave him Ewan the sheep (I know regressing a bit!) but I  told him to press the button whenever he heard a noise and then he wouldn’t hear the noise anymore and it would soothe him back to sleep! It’s helped for nearly two years now! Lol

I’d give him one chance with the sticker in the night… Like reassure him then say ‘if you get up again you won’t get your sticker in the morning’ … When he got a certain amount of stickers 5 to begin with but later 7 when he was used to it he got to go to the ‘treat shop’ and get a sweetie or magazine…. Then when he would eventually fill up a whole chart he got to choose a small toy from the toy shop. Good luck! X

Pat said: JP still wakes in the night at 5 yrs 2 mths. He climbs in with us and snuggles back down

Sarah said: Good luck Louise, it’s so hard & lack of sleep just makes everything so much worse. We always think a completely change can sometimes change a bad habit, so going on a sleepover, or away somewhere, or even just moving some bedroom furniture??? x

Helena said: I can recommend cranial osteopathy highly enough. My son probably slept through the night only a handful of times in 3 years. I took him to see becky Hall in Bramley and it was like a miracle, he immediately started sleeping through the night! My life was transformed! If you need her number, just shout. Good luck with anything you try. Ps it sounds painful but it isn’t at all, just the lightest hand touch.

Wendy said: We get about 5 nights a month where he sleeps through. He generally goes to bed easily around 8, sleeps like a log from 9 – midnight (can put washing away in his room without waking) then wakes up sometime between midnight and 3. Two main reasons for waking up are being lonely and monsters (even though he knows they aren’t real and if they were they’d be like Mike and Sully). No amount of exercise or school makes any difference. We’ve tried warmer duvets, moving the bed, different rooms, reward charts. We just end up with one of us sleeping with him, sometimes in his bed, sometimes ours. Generally the effort needed to get him back to sleep on his own in his own bed is more than we can manage after nearly 6 years of broken sleep. So no advice just you’re not alone. I have been considering relax kids though.

Louise Nhm Smith responded: wow, sounds just like Miss NHM. Except she was a great sleeper until she turned 5 years old. We have a lot of the lonely and monsters stuff and lots of needing cuddles. At 4am in the morning, after two hours disturbed sleep, it’s draining. I am also considering Relax Kids and have been speaking to Kath about doing a class for both children and adults at the same time, so I’m maximising my time! Kind of sad, but nice, to know we aren’t alone.

Wendy replied: Been like it since he was born, took weeks to move him 6 inches from the bed to the Co-sleeper. Dropped his naps by 19 months. All the advice I’ve seen assumes the child is waking up between 8 – midnight or isn’t going to bed properly at all, nothing deals with waking in the early hours. Nothing tires him out. His brother sleeps through till 6, always has done, similar personalities, energy levels and intelligence just one sleeps the other doesn’t. Lots suggests it sorts itself before they turn 7.

Karen also replied: Louise, Alex went through a phase of being scared of the dark and monsters under the bed and so I asked him if he had tried saying hello to the monsters and ask them what they want. He looked at me a bit surprised and then asked them and apparently they wanted to be friends and were hungry. It then became a bit of a game about what they would want feeding each night, but as this was just as we were going to bed it was fine. It obviously wouldn’t solve all your problems but might be worth a try to see I felt it helps with the monster part? Xx

Jessica said: Before i put my two pence in… can I ask; Do you have a strict bedtime routine? And when she wakes up, how do you deal with her? x

Louise Nhm Smith replied: Yes, very strict bedtime. We put her back to bed three times and then on the fourth time it’s just too much and we switch beds

Tina said: I am mean in the middle of the night, you wake me up and I’ll give you a singing teddy! It works well, I give them the button and tell them to play it enough times until they fall asleep. I’m too tired at that point to be kept awake by it and kid is no longer lonely 🙂

Kathryn said: We’ve got a BT monitor that puts stars on the ceiling and plays music. You can put each on remotely so prevents you having to go in and engage with them. The stars are useful as the take the darkness away a bit. You can apparently play your own music through it if there is something that would comfort her tho never tried that x

Cerys said: You probably don’t want to hear that my youngest only stopped coming into our bed regularly in the wee small hours when he was 11. Luckily for most of that time he climbed in without waking us. Dad did comment that A was “too old” to co-sleep, to which I replied that he was in his 40’s and co-sleeping. Why do we expect our children to sleep alone?

Libby said: Our youngest turned 5 last month and I can’t remember when she last slept through the night. She just climbs in with us at about 1am and to be honest I no longer really notice. I can’t have her crying in the night waking the other children up so for us as long as we are all asleep I don’t mind where it is. I have never heard of an 18 year old being in with mum and dad so I am sure one day they will sleep through. Just do what feels right for you.

Claire said: Just a thought – is she in reception year? Maybe that’s unsettling her and she needs the extra reassurance. If it’s any comfort (probably not) my eldest was about 7 before he slept through the night, and the youngest 2 are now 9 1/2 and 6 – they wake up occasionally too. Good luck. Infinite patience, and it will get better xxx

Louise Nhm Smith responded: She’s in Y1, which is why we are a bit baffled by it as we didn’t have this in YR. Although I am thinking that it’s linked to Mr NHM working “normal” hours now he doesn’t work shift anymore. Thank you!

Claire replied: My youngest was 6 on 31st Aug so she’s just started yr 2. Could be the change in dad’s hours, could be that the school are asking her to ‘work’ more instead of ‘play-work’. Has one of her friends moved away? Or a new teacher? At that age things that we think are nothing important can seem huge xx

Vikki said: When I stopped working shifts with the ambulance service my 2 kids, 5 and 2 spent the next 3 months getting up in the night to check I was still there. It was such a change for them for me to be at home it really threw them ! They went back to a normal pattern, they just get up early between 5.30 and 6 !!

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Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2016!!!

I am sooooo excited to be able to announce the Christmas Food Boxes appeal again this year for Basingstoke Voluntary Action.

The NorthHantsMum Community have been involved in this appeal since it started three years ago and I’m VERY proud of how much we’ve been able to help!

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Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2016

Over the last 3 years Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) have distributed nearly 1000 Christmas food boxes to individuals across the borough who are living with the effects of poverty, social isolation, or vulnerably housed, as well as food and tents, winter equipment and clothes for around 75 individual people who are sleeping rough.

Over 500 of these were distributed last year alone, showing what can be achieved when communities are motivated and united for such a worthwhile local cause.

The food box appeal has grown year on year, and become a huge undertaking. This means we need as much help as we can get to ensure 2016 is another successful year.

Basingstoke Irish Society have generously offered us room at Basingstoke Irish Centre to accept donations, and storage space to use as a hub for this year’s food drive.

We will be accepting donations between

Monday 18 November  – Friday 16 December 2016

Basingstoke Irish Centre

Council Rd, Basingstoke RG21 3DH

Please contact natascha.shepherd@bvaction.org.uk to arrange delivery of donations or to discuss volunteering.

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Last year’s appeal benefitted recipients identified by a broad range of local charities and support agencies, including:

·         HCC Learning Disabilities team

·         HCC Children’s Services Team

·         Mencap

·         Bridge Centre

·         Opcis

·         Neighbourcare

·         Youth Offending Team

·         Hampshire Wellbeing

·         Two Saints Ltd

 

·         May Place

·         Jacobs House

·         The Camrose Centre

·         YMCA

·         MaD (teenage parents)

·         Young Carers

·         Citizens Advice

·         YouTrust

·         Homegroup

·         Mary Rose Court

·         Community Furniture Project

·         Trinity

 

“I would like to say a massive thank you to BVA for the hard work they have put in arranging food boxes this year. I have taken around 30 & delivered them to clients that were not expecting anything – all were very grateful for the thought & the generosity of people”

Home Group

“Without donations such as these, Trinity would not be able to provide the same level of service to our clients, and we are so grateful that you thought of us.”

Trinity

“Basingstoke Voluntary Action do some fantastic work to help the community and I’m thrilled AWE staff have been able to contribute to such a worthy cause.”

AWE

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Why not make it a team challenge?

Last year local companies competed internally to fill the most boxes, bands got together and held a concert, and local schools had non-uniform days!

There are two ways anyone can help:

Option 1 – Christmas Food Box for refuges, hostels and underprivileged families

  1. Take a photocopying paper box and lid
  2. Wrap box and lid separately in Christmas wrapping paper
  3. Fill it up with food for Christmas, selecting from following suggested items:
  • Tins of ham or chicken
  • Tins of new potatoes
  • Tins of carrots, garden peas
  • Tin or pouch of long life quality casserole meal
  • Dessert such as custard, mince pies, Christmas Cake,
  • Luxury biscuits, chocolates/selection box
  • Tea/ coffee/cocoa
  • Snacks such as crackers, twiglets, savoury twists, nibbles.
  1. Box all food up
  2. Email to arrange delivery; In some cases, or where large donations are concerned we may be able to collect donations
  3. We will donate them to the worthy causes and centres in the Basingstoke and Deane area

You can find detailed instructions on how to build your box at the following post about the 2014 Christmas food boxes on NorthHantsMum.

Option 2 – Donations of food and items to be distributed to homeless centres and hostels, can be from the list above or any of these:

  • Food items such as cup soups/noodles, tea bags, coffee (any food bags you can add hot water to); ring-pull tins of hot dogs, ravioli, stews, rice puddings; high energy protein/cereal bars; chocolate biscuits/sweets/small selection boxes, multipack crisp/snacks
  • Equipment such as warm hats, scarves, gloves, socks, jumpers, coats; unwanted rucksacks or draw string bags; wind-up torches, sleeping bags, thermos flasks/cups; sturdy boots/shoes, toiletries
  • Please note we cannot accept any donations of alcohol or food containing alcohol

We also need empty photocopy paper boxes, donations of sticky tape, wrapping paper and volunteers to help sort items, wrap, pack and distribute boxes – if you have any free time and would like to join us we would love to hear from you!!

Finally, many companies in previous years have donated money to help with winter food box appeals. If you would like to do this please make cheques payable to Basingstoke Voluntary Action and clearly write on the back Christmas Appeal

Please note that due to the change in venue this year we cannot guarantee response to phone messages. For all Food Box related enquiries please email natascha.shepherd@BVAction.org.uk.

You can also support BVA by “Like-ing” their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BasingstokeVA/?fref=ts

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NorthHantsMum Facebook Groups for you to Join!

Over the past few years I’ve set up several groups on Facebook for all sorts of different segments of parents in North Hampshire.

Several have flourished so I thought I would share them with you again, so you can see if any are relevant to you.

Many parents have also met face to face via these groups, so if you are looking to meet other parents who have some of the same interests as you please add me as a friend at “Louise nhm Smith” on Facebook and then message me to let me know which groups you would like to join.

They are all either a “closed” status or “secret” status so people cannot see what has been posted.

If they are “secret” only those in the group can find the group, so no one will know you have been added unless they are already part of the group.

If you would like to be added any of them, please email me at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com (I can’t keep track on facebook!).

Feel free to invite anyone else who you think may benefit.

These groups are a great way to meet like minded parents!

NorthHantsMum Networks

Below is a summary of the latest groups:

Mum Businesses

  • NHM Publicity for Local Businesses – Support Local Business
  • NHM Mum’s running Small Businesses

Parents

  • Pregnancy – for pregnant Mum’s
  • Babies – for Mum’s with babies under a year old
  • Toddlers – for Mum’s of Toddlers
  • NHM Miscarriage, fertility, still birth group
  • NHM Single/Lone Parents
  • NHM Fans of “The Secret”
  • NHM Buddies -(a great way to meet other local Mum’s)
  • NHM a safe inclusive groups for Mummies who don’t know anyone
  • NHM Positivity club (we post up when great things happen to us, so as to share a bit more happiness in the world)
  • NHM Cinema Club (every month we meet face to face and go to the cinema as a group)
  • NHM Book Club (every month we choose a book to read and read as a group (online) and discuss)
  • NHM Dad’s Club (a group for Dad’s who support NHM)
  • Babysitting in Basingstoke (a great way to find a local babysitter)
  • NHM Homeschooling network
  • NHM Top Money Saving Tips for parents
  • NHM Shift Parents (a group specifically for parents who work shifts)
  • NHM Fitness Team
  • and finally all of the NHM Parents network/regional groups, e.g. North West Basingstoke, South East Basingstoke, Rural North Hampshire, etc. etc.

Are there any other groups that you think should be created?

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NHM readers suggested Birthday Card “hacks”

NHM readers suggested Birthday Card “hacks”

I’ve always been rubbish at remembering birthday cards, or rather, I buy the cards in advance but never quite get round to posting them in time.

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook for any good “hacks” for how to remember to send birthday cards. 

Thank you very much to everyone who responded and thank you very much to Yvette who put this post together! 

Please note, these are in no particular order!

1. Moonpig / Funky Pigeon (as recommended by Georgina, Melanie, Lisa, Cerys & Jason)

Moonpig: Personalised Cards – Greetings Cards – Cards Online

Personalised Cards| Make Photo Greetings Cards Online

The general consensus was that these websites are great as you can set up in advance what date you would like certain cards to be sent and also you can personalise your cards with your own photo’s / text.  The only downside is that it can be a bit on the expensive side, but prices do include postage and they sometimes have special offers on.  Alternatively, Cerys came up with a great idea of setting up reminders on the websites but buying the card elsewhere when the reminder email comes through!

2. Bunches (as recommended by Madeleine)

Bunches.co.uk

You can also set up reminders on this website (or other similar ones), just remember to put the exact dates in the notes.

3. Good old fashioned pen and paper (as recommended by Marie, Elaine, Sue, Heidi & Michelle)

3.1 Another great suggestion was to write every birthday on a calendar/diary at the beginning of the year and then at the beginning of every month, bulk buy all the cards you need for that month.  Or alternatively, put a reminder in your diary to buy the cards 2 weeks before and then another reminder a week before to actually post them.

3.2 A lovely alternative for keeping birthdays separate from everything else going in your diary is getting a box of cards and planner from Heidi Wadsworth at Phoenix cards.

http://www.phoenix-trading.co.uk/web/heidiwadsworth/

Just go through the planner each week, write them out and stick them in the post. The planner lasts and doesn’t need redoing each year.

4. Phone reminders (as recommended by Hayley)

Putting a reminder on her phone 2 days before to post the card has worked well for Hayley.

5. Facebook (as recommended by Jason)

6. Buy in bulk 

Peta says “I buy packs of ‘assorted’, but quality, birthday cards to suit all ages (or multiple packs to suit a range of ages) and store them in my writing desk with books of (12x) stamps (1st class, 2nd class, £1.28 for airmail). I still forget birthdays, but at least my ‘belated’ birthday wishes are not quite as belated these days…

I also buy postcard packs (e.g. from local artists when I don’t want/cannot afford to buy individual pieces or themed packs from places like TK Maxx or independent bookstores) and packs of blank greeting cards so that I have an abundance of supplies for last minute wishes ‘thank you’, ‘thinking of you’, ‘anniversary’, ‘happy house warming’.. (you get the picture).

Oh, and my ex-housemate always writes her month’s cheques & birthday cards in advance, noting the ‘send on’ date in pencil on the front of each sealed envelope. She would pick up relevant envelopes in the morning and post them on her way to work. Teachers. So organised…”

7. A final thought 

Lisa says “The sign of a true friend is one who still loves you even when you forget their birthday…maybe more than once ; )”

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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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Us

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

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!