Local Business Advent Calendar

Starting from tomorrow, I will be doing an advent calendar on the NorthHantsMum Friend on Facebook.

Each day around lunchtime during Advent I will do a “Shout” out for a local business.

If you are interested in being included in this “shout out” please email me at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

I am hoping that this will help raise the profile of some local businesses, so if you want to support your local community, pop on over to the NHM Friend on Facebook and have a look!

I will still be publishing posts as normal on wordpress first thing in the morning, so you won’t miss any of the regular posts if you aren’t on Facebook.

Thanks!

Father’s Day Ideas 2013

I have absolutely no idea what to get my husband for Father’s Day this year. My Dad died when I was little, so Father’s Day has never really been on my radar.

As always, it’s sneaked up on me. Thankfully (or not, depending on your point of view) my husband will be working on Sunday, so we won’t have to do anything too fancy on the day! lol.

I’m thinking of getting my husband an “experience”, something that he will be able to remember.

Below are some previous posts that have already featured on NHM that might be helpful:

Independent Shops in North Hampshire (I was very sad to hear that MMIS is closing down soon. Such a shame as it’s a very lovely shop)

Local Businesses run by Mum’s and Dad’s

Father’s Day Ideas 2012

I hope you manage to find/make/buy something good for the Dad’s in yours and your little one’s life!

Usborne Books in North Hampshire

I LOVE Usborne books. I was bought up on them and still have my first cookery book and gardening book, both of which are Usborne.

If you’ve never seen an Usborne book, I totally recommend looking out for them. I love that they have books for each age range and I love the baby books, especially the bath books.

I’m probably going to shoot myself in the foot with this, but we always scour every baby and children market or nearly new sale for cheap Usborne books. We picked up a bargain with the Apple Tree Farm books for £5 and the Phonic’s Reader books for £10.

I’ve been reading both to my little one since she was 10 months old. She could spot the duck on most pages by the time she was 14 months.

I also love the children’s story books. For older children there are a huge variety of subjects. We bought the first dictionary for my little one and she’s loved it since she was tiny. I really hadn’t expected her to pick if up, but she loves sitting there and pointing to the pictures and saying the words.

When she was tiny I would point to the words and she would try to say them. I’ve recently acquired the Spanish version of the first dictionary, so I can practice my Spanish whilst my little one practices her English!

The Usborne team don’t advertise publicise what they do, it’s all done via word of mouth. There are several Usborne “lady’s” in the area. Each month there is a deal on the books.

One of the best ways to get access to the books is to ask one of the lady’s to come and do an Usborne party for you. I loved these as a child as it meant my Mum got the yummy chocolate biscuits in for the other Mums!

I really recommend having a look at the Usborne books. Once we’ve moved house and have some more space, I’m really looking forward to having an Usborne Party. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with my friends and have a good nose through the books and get some birthday and Christmas presents sorted.

You can’t go wrong with an Usborne book, I can vouch that they last for years 😀

www.Usborne.com

Princess Parties (Pirates welcome too…!)

I met Sarah through NHM over a year ago and I’ve had several family photo shoots with her since. She takes fantastic photo’s that are very reasonably priced. The parties sound like great fun, and I love the idea of having photo’s to document the whole experience. If you would like more details about Sarah’s studio over at Viables, please see the related posts below.

Princess Parties (Pirates welcome too…!)

Princess Parties are aimed for little ones aged 3 – 7.  At the party, your child can dress up and be made up to feel like a fairytale princess or swashbuckling pirate.  Don’t worry if you don’t have party dresses – we can supply those too!

Hair and Nails will be done at the party.  The thing that makes this party unique is that the whole event has a professional photographer there to record every moment.  The mobile studio will be set up and once the princess or pirate has been made up, professional portraits will be taken. All your party guests will have a mounted photograph to take away with them and, within a few days, the party princess or pirate will be given a memory book and 10 x 8 image of the day

Prices can vary depending on your specific requirements – please contact me for further information!

Modelling Party

The Modelling party is a fun two hours.

Come and be treated like a model with five guests – party invites are included in the price and sent to you with the party booking information. You will be greeted with drinks (mocktails for under 18’s) and party nibbles.

The Shoot is held in a party atmosphere and, if the weather is nice, we go out in the local grounds and do some on-location shots. Bring along your favourite outfits and change as much as you like to work those Top Model poses!

Once the party is over and we have some amazing photographs, I will edit the photos (which is normally a ten-day turn-around) and place them on a CD. There will be a minimum of 5 photos per person, and a letter giving you permission to print will be supplied with each CD – meaning that the images can then be printed anywhere at your convenience.

Parties are normally held at the studio – but if another location is required, this can be discussed.

Please contact Sarah Dutton Photography for more information on the above two parties!

You can also find Sarah’s Facebook page HERE.

Related Posts

Review of the new Photography Studio at Viables

New Photography Studio at Viables

Petra Cracknell Photography

Petra sent me a lovely email a while back, but unfortunately I never received her email with her guest post attached (don’t you love technology when it doesn’t work!). So, this is a few weeks late, but better late than never. I love the idea of one year special package and the collage’s below are gorgeous. I wish someone had told me about these packages when I was pregnant!

Petra Cracknell Photography, based in Pamber Heath (between Newbury, Reading and Basingstoke)

My name is Petra Cracknell and I have always had a passion for photography.

I believe it came from my granddad, a very keen photographer, and the hours I have spent with him developing films in a dark room.

The times have moved on and I embraced my passion even more with the arrival of a first digital camera. I was a keen travel and documentary photographer before my children arrived and my passion has moved to portrait.

Last year, I decided to take it up professionally and set up Petra Cracknell Photography for studio and lifestyle portraits.

I am very lucky to have the space to have a studio attached to my house, so the precious little time I have with my boys is not compromised by me being away a lot.

I have a fun approach to photography and I like my clients to feel relaxed and at ease in their sessions.

Sessions, packages and price list:

NEWBORN STUDIO SESSION                                        £60

There is nothing more special than capturing those memories of your baby’s tiny features. This time passes by so quickly.

The ideal time for newborn shoot is between 5-15 days when your baby is still very sleepy. Newborn babies are unpredictable, so allow between 1.5-2.5 hours for a photo shoot (think of all the feeding, burping, nappy changing you will have to do in that time).

Newborn shoots can take place in my studio where I can offer you a selection of backdrops, backgrounds and newborn photo props (baskets, crates, newborn hats etc) or at your home using natural light (a space for backdrop stand needs to be provided near a well-lit window). I use an extra heater in my studio for newborn sessions, so your baby feels cozy and warm.

INCLUDED IN PRICE:

  • ALL IMAGES FROM THE DAY ON A CD (HIGH RESOLUTION)
  • 1-2.5 HOURS OF STUDIO TIME
  • CHOICE OF BLACK OR WHITE BACKGROUND OR 4 DIFFERENT BACKDROPS
  • GREAT CHOICE OF NEWBORN PROPS PROVIDED (WELCOME TO BRING YOUR OWN SPECIAL THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO USE IN PHOTOS)
  • 1X A4 SIZE PRINT OF YOUR CHOICE

CHILDERN/FAMILY/COUPLE STUDIO SESSION            £50

The Studio shoot is ideal for toddles, children, families, maternity or couples.

INCLUDED IN PRICE:

  • ALL IMAGES FROM THE DAY ON A CD (HIGH RESOLUTION)
  • 1-1.5 HOUR OF STUDIO TIME
  • CHOICE OF BLACK OR WHITE BACKGROUND OR 4 DIFFERENT BACKDROPS
  • CHOICE OF TODDLER PROPS PROVIDED (WELCOME TO BRING YOUR OWN SPECIAL THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO USE IN PHOTOS)
  • 1X A4 SIZE PRINT OF YOUR CHOICE

Studio shoots using black or white background

Studio shoot using different backdrops

OUTDOORS/LOCATION SESSION                                  £50

The Lifestyle location shoot is ideal for families, children, toddlers, babies, maternity or couples.

Those photo shoots are generally a bit longer than studio sessions. I will meet you in a location of your choice which can be your back garden, local park, woods or place of interest near by etc.)

One of the lenses I use for an outdoor shoot is a 70-200mm lens, which means I can stand back a bit and let your children play and get used to me in their own time whilst still getting lovely close up photos.

INCLUDED IN PRICE:

  • ALL IMAGES FROM THE DAY ON CD (HIGH RESOLUTION)
  • 1-2 HOUR SHOOT AT THE LOCATION OF YOUR CHOICE (WOODS, LOCAL PARK, PLACE OF INTEREST ETC)
  • 1X A4 SIZE PRINT OF YOUR CHOICE

Packages:

Bump to Baby                                                                       £80

  • Savings of £30
  • 1 hour pregnancy shoot (around 30 weeks)
  • 1.5-2.5 hours newborn shoot (5-15 days)
  • All images from the day on a CD
  • 3x A4 prints of your choice

Watch me grow                                                                     £80

  • Save £30
  • 1.5-2.5 hour newborn shoot (5-15 days)
  • 1-2 hours studio or location shoot (6m – 12m)
  • All images from all sessions on a CD
  • 3x A4 prints of your choice

One special year                                                                  £150

  • Save £60
  • 1 hour pregnancy shoot (around 30 weeks)
  • 1.5-2.5 hour newborn shoot (5-15 days)
  • 1-2 hours studio or location shoot (6 months)
  • 1-2 hours studio or location shoot (1 year milestone)
  • All images from all sessions on a CD
  • 5x A4 prints of your choice

Please note: Additional petrol cost will be added for locations more than 20 miles away.

To book a session:

Call: 07738 727170

Emal: p.cracknell-photography@hotmail.co.uk

Or visit our facebook page: Petra Cracknell Photography

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 onTwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Playmobil.123 and Childhood Dreams

I’ve found somewhere that sells Playmobil.123 locally! Yay!!!

We were pretending we were posh and went shopping in Winchester the other week. I wanted to check out Childhood Dreams, a toy shop that I’d heard about. I have a bit of an addiction to wooden fruit and veg. Don’t ask me why and I know it’s a bit tragic but I just think they are SOOO cool!

I’d heard that Childhood Dreams sells them so I saved up especially for them. My Beloved Husband gave me a limit of £10 to spend (he’s so generous! lol) and I managed to get a lot for my money. We came home with a wooden lolly, a wooden fried egg, a wooden bratwurst among others. I ended up with about 7 different items. I loved a lot of the other items in the shop but wasn’t allowed to buy any (boo hiss!).

They stock Usborne Books (another one of my addictions!), the cutest wooden Tool set (Saving up for this already!), lots of wooden cooking implements, some VERY cute little baby shoes and THE most expensive rocking horse I have ever seen!

Annnyway, after I’d spent my budget in Childhood Dreams we popped round to see The Toy Cupboard. I love it in here too, but they don’t stock as many “old skool” toys. However, their display of playmobil was AMAZING! I was so impressed to see that they also have the Plamobil Advent Calendars.

I was even more impressed when I saw that they also sell Playmobil.123. Yay! At last! I’ve found somewhere that stocks it! I wasn’t allowed to purchase any as I’d already blown my budget and I would still probably buy through the site we’ve used before as it’s so much cheaper, but they did have some items that I’ve not seen before.

I think one of the reasons why I love wooden toys and Playmobil.123 is that they are built to last. No matter how much your children munch and throw about these toys, they still seem to look like they did when you bought them. This also helps if you are a tight wad like me and plan to try to sell on as many toys as possible!I also like to think I’m doing my bit for the environment too, by not buying plastic tat that’s built to end up in the dustbin.

Playmobil Posts you might enjoy reading

http://stickyfingers1.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-playmobil-to-buy-for-christmas.html

http://www.whosthemummy.co.uk/2011/11/seven-of-the-best-playmobil-toys-for-christmas-.html

http://babybudgeting.co.uk/review-playmobil-school/

Father’s Day Ideas 2012

This post is just a reminder that it’s Father’s Day on Sunday.

If you are looking for cards that don’t cost a fortune, try Card Factory in Chineham. (I like to think that this doesn’t make me sound like a cheapskate but I don’t like spending a fortune on card’s as I feel its a waste of money!)

For those of you who are super rich and have saved money by buying your cards from the Card Factory, Oakley Hall is doing a lunch menu for Father’s Day which is £29 per person.

A novel gift could be a food parcel from one of our local Farm Shops, maybe a BBQ pack. Check HERE for local Farm Shop details.

I’m afraid I haven’t had time to put together a more comprehensive post. If you have any suggestions for Fathers Day presents, please feel free to add a comment, especially if you run a local business and have gifts for Dad’s.

Hope the Dad in your little one’s lives enjoys his day!

Christmas!!!! (Food, Presents & Pampering)

Are you suddenly realising that it’s only 4 weeks to Christmas? Yup, me too. I’ve managed to book the Christmas food delivery slot today, but because I’d left it quite late (when did the 19th of November become late for Christmas bookings???) I didn’t get any of the slots I wanted. Ho hum.

I’m only just starting to think about Christmas Presents (children seem to speed up time because normally I’m way more organised than this!) but I think this year that I’m going to try to buy local as much as possible. The list below are some ideas of local places where you can get fantastic hand crafted presents. I’ve also included a few ideas that might help your Christmas go a little bit more smoothly.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions to share.

Christmas Presents

Butterflies and Cupcakes

A lovely family business that do some beautiful items. They operate from Tadley but can deliver depending on how close you live to Tadley.

The best items they do are:

  • Name Hangings that are priced at £1.50 per letter
  • Name Plaques (up to 6 letters or more depending in name) at £8.50 and includes an animal character E.g. giraffe, tiger, etc.
  • Christmas Stockings are £12.50 but take a while so last orders for them are the second week in December

Little Rosies Tea Shop (Elm Tree Garden Centre on the way to Tadley) has a shop attached to it with some really nice present ideas.

Basingstoke Discovery Centre “Our Shop”, town centre. Lots of original items including snow globes and wooden Christmas Tree Decorations.

Alison’s Wonderland, Viables Craft Centre. The shop is attached to the Parlour tea rooms so you can browse with a cuppa in hand. Alison is lovely and very friendly.

Ma Humbug’s, Viables craft centre. Quaint old school sweet shop who will make up sweet boxes for you. Yummy!

Pots2Paint, Viables craft centre. If you are looking for that unique present for the Grandparents then this place will be perfect for you. Check out their website for more details (click on their name and it should take you straight through).

Childhood’s Dream, Winchester. I know I keep raving about this little shop (see the NHM facebook page), but I love it! Lots of wooden, old school toys that retain their value so if your children look after them, you can sell them on easily when they grow out/become bored with them.

Local Mummy Businesses – A list of local Mum businesses in the area that make gifts that would be perfect for Christmas.

Christmas Food

Vegetable/Fruit Boxes

We use Able and Cole box delivery close to Christmas because they deliver right to your door, regardless of the weather conditions which is so worth the £1 delivery charge. They also do a Baby and Toddler box of Veg and Fruit. It can be quite pricey but at least you know you are getting good vegetables, etc. As well as fruit and veg they also deliver diverse things like mince pies, Ella’s baby food and organic cleaning products. They deliver right up to December 23rd. Riverford also deliver boxes to the area.

Local Farm Shops

There are lots of farm shops in and around Basingstoke. Check out the Farm Shop page on NorthHantsMum to find one near you.

Christmas Pampering

If you are already exhausted with the drama of “Christmas with Children” check out the Mobile Beautician Page or Mobile Hairdressers Page on NorthHantsMum. These wonderful ladies will travel to your house and pamper you in your home. Some of them are even being kind enough to offer you a discount if you mention NorthHantsMum!

Hope this has given you some inspiration. I will post up a few more posts about Christmas, but I’m sure you are being bombarded about it from everywhere else so I’ll try not to lay it on too thick.

Good Luck!

NorthHantsMum

Luxury Afternoon Tea in and around Basingstoke

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For those days when you really need spoiling!

Audley’s Wood Hotel

Alton Road, Basingstoke, Alton, Hampshire RG25 2JT

At Audleys Wood Hotel we delight guests with our traditional afternoon tea in Hampshire. What better place to enjoy this fine tradition than in the grand drawing room of this historic country house. Gaze out the ceiling high windows whilst savouring each of our carefully prepared cakes, dainty sandwiches and the finest leaf tea, served to perfection.

  • Full Afternoon Tea costs £15.50 per person and Cream Tea costs £8.50 per person.
  • Upgrade to a Royal Afternoon Tea and enjoy a glass of Champagne for £24.50 per person.

Tel: 01256 817555

The Four Seasons Hotel

Dogmersfield Park, Chalky Lane, Dogmersfield, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 8TD

Located in the Manor House, The Library has been restored to its former glory as an elegant, beautifully appointed residents’ lounge. Decorated in warm earth tones, The Library boasts an abundance of lush armchairs, supple sofas and coffee tables for relaxation and luxury.

  • Traditional afternoon tea, The Library’s speciality, is served daily from 3-5pm.

Tel: 01252 853000

Tylney Hall

 Rotherwick, Hook, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom, RG27 9AZ

Cream tea £15.00 per person –  Scones, preserves and tea (available Monday to Friday)

  • Full tea £22.00 per person – Sandwiches, cakes and scone (available Monday to Sunday)
  • Champagne tea£30.00 per person – Sandwiches, cakes, scones and a glass of Canard Duchene (available Monday to Sunday)

Afternoon tea is served from 3.30pm until 5pm from Monday to Saturday and from 4.00pm – 5.00pm on Sundays.

Tel: 01256 764881

Oakley Hall

Rectory Road, Oakley, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG23 7EL

Afternoon Tea served between 2pm and 5pm, seven days a week, either on the Garden Terrace or in the Library.

  • Afternoon tea is priced at £17.95 per adult and £8.95 for children.
  • Full Afternoon Tea with a glass of Reynier Champagne £26.95 per person.

To Book please contact reception on +44(0)1256 783350 or reception@oakleyhall-park.com

Related Pages

Reasonably Priced Afternoon Tea’s

Date Night Ideas for Autumn

Food

NHM posts for “Non” parents

Basingstoke Under 6 year old’s

Mum Tip Tip’s! 

Parents

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 Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!