Review 2018: Pots To Doodle Do

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Secret Reviewer! She’s done a fab job!

Review 2018: Pots To Doodle Do

First of all, I haven’t been asked to review Pots to Doodle Do by anyone – I’m doing it as someone who booked to make some Christmas baubles and was so impressed and pleased with the results I wanted to share!

I booked in to Pots to Doodle Do after seeing a Facebook post about making decorations for the Christmas tree.  I have a toddler and a 4 month old and having been to various other places to do such things previously I thought I knew what to expect…..

How wrong was I?? I was slightly apprehensive about dealing with paint and a toddler while no doubt having to feed the baby (always happens doesn’t it?!) but Tracey could not have been more helpful! In other places we’ve just been left with the items we’ve chosen and the paint and got on with it – not this time, Tracey put the paint on the toddlers’ hand and the baby’s foot, stamped it onto the bauble then cleaned them up.  Sounds simple but I’m sure parents will understand where I’m coming from……….

We then had access to a huge array of paint, sponges, brushes and stickers to let the creative juices flow.  We were given a booklet with some photos of previous creations to give us direction if needed and Tracey made sure everyone got what they wanted from the experience, around to help if needed, checked on us and the progress but we didn’t feel rushed at all – a delicate balance it achieve!

The finished products were collected a week later and are brilliant – well worth the effort and importantly not expensive.

The location in Cliddesden is fairly simple to find and there’s parking by the village pond.  Once inside it’s warm and welcoming, there’s hot drinks and snacks available to purchase and Tracey goes out of her way to put you at ease (I was terrified of my toddler and ceramics……..)  By far the best experience of all so far!

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Clare Amanda Photography

Is your family your highest priority?  Mine certainly is.  First, I am a wife to a very supportive husband and a mother to a beautiful daughter.  Second, I am Clare of Clare Amanda Photography, a family lifestyle photography service who appreciates your highest priority – your family.

I specialise in capturing moments in time of your family life as it really is…the cuts and bruises, the missing milk teeth, the freckles and messy hair and the joy and laughter of play.  This is on-location photography, either in a nearby beauty spot or in your own beautiful home and garden.  I will happily travel to any RG post code area covering much of the North Hampshire and Berkshire areas.

Your session will be kept relaxed and fun, focussing on the interactions between the people in your family and your hobbies or pastimes if you wish.  For a full session, you will be my only booking of the day giving you and your family time to warm to me and be comfortable, while also allowing time for snacks and naps (both of which can also be great for capturing these memories).   Pets – well, they too are a part of your family, so of course they should be included in your photographs.

If you haven’t got the luxury of a day and would still like some beautiful family photography, I also offer a mini-session of around 30 minutes, although this isn’t suitable for very young children or pets as they take a little longer to work with.

Following your session, you will have the opportunity to purchase from a selection of high quality canvas prints or beautifully mounted and framed printed images to suit the walls of any home.  They will be products you will be proud to show off in your home.  With each printed photograph, you will receive a complimentary digital version of that image.  If you prefer, you can purchase just the digital versions of your photographs, for both printing and for sharing digitally.

Bookings can be made for any weekday or Saturday.  I prefer to keep evenings and Sundays free for my precious family time.

If you’d like to chat to discuss what I can do for you, you can find my contact details on my website, www.clareamanda.co.uk.  You can also head on over there to see what I can offer you.

Remember, your children won’t stay young forever, but these photographs will make lasting memories.

 

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Review 2017: Arbonne Makeup Range

Thank you very much to the NHM secret reviewer who wrote today’s post!!!

Great review and I wish I’d had the time to agree to doing this one myself!!! lol.

Review 2017: Arbonne Makeup Range

When NorthHantsMum asked for a reviewer for makeup the ‘pre-mummy’ me woke up and jumped at the chance for a bit of pampering. I’d come across the Arbonne brand in the form of nappy cream which worked well when Big J was born so was very excited to try their make up range.

Natalie arrived at my house with a lovely bag of goodies and explained a bit about them all, luckily for my sleep deprived brain she also left me some information about them all.

I have to be totally honest and say I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have to apply makeup (or how often the Small J’s would let me) but I did manage to try it all out a few times and most days I used the makeup primer. It only took me 30 seconds to apply and as promised it made my skin feel smooth and look refreshed. Even if there was no time for anything else I could manage this daily.

I’ve always struggled to find foundation to match my pale skin but Natalie explained that Arbonne supplied the foundation for the Twilight movies, thankfully I’m not vampire pale and the Honey Beige perfecting liquid foundation suited me well and had the added benefit of SPF protection. It worked so well I didn’t even have the need to try the liquid concealer with it although when I used it on its own it did a good job of covering up how tired I am!

On the day of Small J’s christening I was able to steal a bit more me time and tested the setting pretty translucent loose powder out. It complemented the foundation well and when I went to remove my makeup that evening it was still there to remove despite running around all day. The bronzer, mascara and lipliner finished off my look and I felt ready for all the photos and live web broadcast of the christening!

The shea butter handcream was declared a winner by Mother in Law J and Mr J got involved testing one of Arbonnes nutrition range. Arriving home from work exhausted he knocked back a energy fizz stick and enjoyed the pomegranate flavour and felt that it was a good pick me up.

The Arbonne brand is dedicated to sustainability with their ‘Evergreen commitment’ which amongst other things includes providing cruelty free formulas, vegan certified and commitments to recycling, water conservation and carbon neutrality.

Natalie Hall can be contacted on 07909334102, at nathallarbonne@hotmail.com or via www.nataliehall.arbonne.com

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Why I started the English Charm Co

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Inspirational Mum’s: “The Boppypants and the pants that blew off”

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Hello

I would like to tell you a bit about what me and another local mum have been up too.

Wendy and I have been working since November on creating a children’s story book based on a story Wendy wrote over a year ago.

We have made her dream words on paper turn into a fab (if I do say so myself) children’s book called “The Boppypants and the pants that blew off”.

On Thursday we received a order of 50 of our books and launched our website and Facebook page …. today we have sold out! And have a second delivery of 50 coming Friday!!

This story is the first in a series of books we are going to be writing with the second coming out end of march hopefully.

The website is www.boppypants.com and the Facebook page is www.facebook.com/Boppypants

You will find images on both and a sneak reveal of the book on the website.

Sam

Illustrator of The Boppypants

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Local Crochet

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My name is Sian and my hobby is crochet.

I am currently selling my items to raise money for Brainstrust, a charity which is supporting my sister and her family, who live in Basingstoke, as they go through the tough time of her husband having an incurable brain tumour.

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I make a lot of baby clothes and items such as cot and pram blankets, as well as decorative items, hats and scarves and the like.

I also take commissions (but please give me good notice as I work full time!)

Please contact Sian directly via facebook for further information.

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Thrive Massage Therapy

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When did you last feel deeply relaxed? I’m guessing that if you are reading this via NorthHantsMum, you are a mummy, daddy or carer of children and therefore it may have been some time ago!

My name is Nicola Bates and I set up Thrive Massage Therapy (www.thrivemassage.co.uk) after having my second child. I offer quality massage therapy which can give both physical benefit and the opportunity to mentally relax and unwind.

I am an ITEC and BTEC qualified massage therapist, fully insured, DBS checked and a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) and Complementary Therapists Association (CThA). I offer holistic body massage, deep tissue therapeutic massage and Indian head massage from my purpose built home therapy room in Chineham, Basingstoke. I have also undertaken specialist pregnancy massage training and can offer massage for mums-to-be.

My aim is to offer a ‘spa level’ professional, yet personal experience, with bespoke and effective treatments, so that my clients can feel a real benefit from their visit. People come purely to relax and indulge in some rare ‘me time’, or to feel relief from specific aches and pains. Every treatment and person is different, and although I describe treatments on my website to give an overview, each massage is specific and tailored to the individual.

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Here are just a few review  from my clients:

‘The treatment was so relaxing and beneficial, you were so professional and the room was lovely’.

‘The knowledge and adaptability of the massage was amazing and I was put at ease straight away. Explanations were brilliant. Very  comfortable.’

‘I have had numerous massages over the years and by far Nicola was the best! Very professional and more to the point Nicola knows what she is doing. I have recommended her to others.’

‘A lovely treatment room,  a warm and welcoming massage couch.  A professional, unhurried and relaxing  massage. Time stood still. Thank you Nicola’

‘I would highly recommend Nicola. She provides a friendly and very personal service taking into account your individual needs in a relaxed and welcoming environment.’

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‘Nicola is fantastic and I would highly recommend her.  Her therapy room is beautiful and so relaxing – such a comfortable massage bed! Nicola is very knowledgeable and full of great ideas. She immediately makes you feel welcome and puts you at ease. I see my sessions with her as a real treat and a break from my busy life with two young children! It’s heaven. Thank you Nicola’

To see more comments from my clients or to find out more about how massage therapy could help you, please see my website www.thrivemassage.co.uk or you can contact me by email: Nicola@thrivemassage.co.uk or telephone: 07468 858 512. Please like and share me: facebook.com/ThriveMassageTherapyBasingstoke/

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Vix Wix: Something a little different!

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My name is Vicky and I am a mum to 3 lovely children under the age of 12 and I work from home in Basingstoke.

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I wanted to tell you about a wonderful company that I am am a rep for called Vix Wix which is a small company based in West Midlands and the wax melts are hand made by a lovely lady who has cows for neighbours! I am the only rep in this area.

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I sell  her hand made soy wax melts that smell delicious in an array of aromas, as well as burners, unusual gifts and hampers which can be tailored to suit your needs.

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I offer FREE delivery/collection in around Basingstoke.

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Please have a look at my website – www.vixwixmelts.tictail.com or join my facebook page – www.facebook.com/groups/vixwixmeltswithvic

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Thank you for reading.

Vicky

vickymoranmelts@gmail.com

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Smallprint Summer Social!

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Hi

My name is Liane and I am the Smallprint jeweller for North Hampshire.

Smallprint are the original silver keepsake company, pioneering the keepsake jewellery concept over ten years ago taking prints from the whole family, including your much loved pet with Silver Pet Prints.

As a highly trained and experienced Smallprint jeweller I handcraft each piece with great care and pride myself in delivering the very best in terms of design, quality and customer service.

I don’t use any moulds to take your child’s fingerprint.

Each print is taken individually into silver clay by one of our jewellers, meaning that we can check the quality of your jewellery right from the start.

It also means that your little one has made the piece of jewellery themselves and your fingerprint jewellery has been touched by someone you love!

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Each piece is then hand engraved and polished by hand to create a truly unique treasure, keeping them close no matter where you are.

There are many ways to order an item of Smallprint jewellery and we have private appointments available through the summer but one of the best ways is to have a Smallprint jeweller visit you at home when you host a Smallprint party!

Why not gather together a group of friends, perhaps your antenatal group, then we can bring along our samples for you to try on, and take prints in the comfort of your own home?

As hostess you can receive up to 25% off your order. Email liane.green@smallprint.com or text 07816 334047 for more details. Dates are booking fast so book your appointment soon!

Private bookings or parties are available on 27th and 28th August.

Follow me on Facebook to keep up to date with my markets and events and lots of design inspiration.

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