How to keep all the family entertained during Easter

I blogged about the Hampshire Culture-All Passport last year. It’s such a great idea as it allows you free entry into many sites in Hampshire for 12 months and is a bargain price of £75.

Normally that includes entry for 2 adults and two children but they have a brilliant offer on for the whole of April which allows two adults and FIVE children to get unlimited access to top Hampshire attractions.

So if you are wondering how you are going to keep the family entertained for the whole of Easter, this is the answer!

The Culture- All Passport gives you unlimited access for 12 months to the following sites:

and unlimited free parking at these paid-for parking sites:

They also have a free Easter website which has details about Easter entertainment and events in Hampshire: www.hants.gov.uk/easter

You can purchase a Culture-All passport here or find more details from my previous post: Culture-All Passport.

Quidco – an easy way to make savings

I was a little apprehensive about using Quidco but after they paid £24.56 into my bank account I decided that there might actually be something to it! The idea is that the site gets commission for recommending paying shoppers, and that commission  is paid back to you. You can get cashback in two ways, either from registering your card on the website which you can then use in certain retailers or you can just visit the Quidco website before you do your internet shopping. There are 3,000 retailers already listed. It’s not a lot of commision that you get but these days every little bit helps.

I used Quidco to change our electricity provider which I received £20.00 from. I also used them when searching to buy some baby items from Mothercare and Sainsburys. If you are looking to buy something online, it’s worth checking out Quidco in advance to see if there are any relevant deals that you can find.

The biggest thing for me is remembering to look at Quidco first and then forgetting about it because it takes about two months for the money to come through. However, it was a nice perk when it did! Be warned that there are down sides to consumer cashback sites, as highlighted in the article below. I haven’t experienced any of this though and found Quidco to be much better than expected.

Happy Shopping!

http://www.quidco.com/

Cashback sites are a consumer rights minefield

Family Friendly Festivals 2012

I read an article recently which prompted me to do some research on this year’s Festivals that are appropriate for little children. I know that festivals aren’t everyone’s thing but if you are interested in taking your little one along, you should be able to find something appriopriate below. Note that there is a festival in Hampshire in July which is appropriate for children. Now, let’s hope the weather catches up with the idea that summer’s on it’s way!!!

Wychwood Festival, 8-10 June, wychwoodfestival.com

The Eden Festival, 15-17th June, edenfestival.co.uk

Blissfields Festival 2012 (in Hampshire!), 29th June – 1st July, blissfields.co.uk

Cornbury, 29th June – 1st July, cornburyfestival.com

Larmer Tree festival, 11th to 15th July, larmertreefestival.co.uk

Latitude Festival, 13th to 15th July, latitudefestival.co.uk

The Deer Shed Festival, 20 – 22nd July, deershedfestival.com

Lollibop Festival lollibop is the only festival where all the entertainment is for children. August – date TBA, lollibopfestival.co.uk

M&S Simply Food – New in Chineham

If you are looking for a little bit of decadence or maybe just somewhere new to go for a coffee with your Mum friends, a new M&S Simply Food (with cafe!) has opened at Chineham Shopping Centre. It’s open from 8am to 9pm Mon to Sat and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.  The Cafe is open all of this time too and looks like it has a good selection of cakes and a few nutritious meals. We are thinking of going there for dinner one night as it’s quiet and not too expensive. An added bonus is that there’s lots of parking (3 car parks) which is free and has several parent parking spaces.

I had a nose at the prices and for some of the products they aren’t as expensive as you would think. They also have some lovely flowers, Mothers Day presents and Easter presents available.

In the Cafe, there are about 8 high chairs and they also have a lift and baby changing facilities which are sparkly new. The baby changing facilities are in the men’s and ladies (I made my husband check! lol) which I was impressed with. No sexism at M&S!

Let me know if you get around to checking it out and if you like it.

(Post updated May 2014 as M&S Simply Food is now open until 9pm Mon to Sat) 

Related Pages

Food

Basingstoke Babies

Mum’s

Part Time Work in Basingstoke

I know a lot of Mum’s are looking for part time roles to support their childcare responsibilities. I’ve read a lot recently in the National news about how the Government is supposed to be supporting women at work and how big companies in the UK are looking to remove the “glass ceiling”. I find this quite ironic given that I’ve never seen a part time advertised, unless it’s for administrator, NHS worker or teacher. If the Government and UK companies were really looking to support women in the work place, then flexible working would be advertised and would be far more predominant in the work place. For those of you who can’t return to work for whatever reason (childcare costs, etc.) but are looking to make some money and keep working in some capacity I’ve been doing a bit of research looking into part time work that is available in the area. Below are a few of the things that I’ve discovered that you might be interested in.

Kasia, a NHM reader, contacted me asking me to share details about a part time opportunity for Mum’s in the area: Need to earn some extra money; looking for a change in lifestyle; want to save money on your own skincare and cosmetics; want “a hobby”; want to meet some new friends; looking to do something different; want a new job??? Whatever you are looking for in 2012 Oriflame Cosmetics can help you. Oriflame sells natural cosmetics that have never been tested on animals. You can see more information on the website http://gb.oriflame.com/ and even see a catalogue. We are FREE to JOIN, you choose your own hours, and depending on what you are looking for you can earn yourself a few extra £’s a week, and at the same time, have the potential to start to have your own business. If you are interested, please contact Kasia on kasia.zywczyk@oriflame.biz or click on her Facebook page “Oriflame Basingstoke” for more details.

If you are looking for a part time role, keep an eye on the local press (Gazette and Observer) and it’s always good to put the word out to other friends who might know of opportunities.

There are lots of websites that support working Mum’s looking for opportunities. These are some that I have found which look pretty good:

Mum and working. They also have a Facebook Page. Check out our new flexible work listings http://www.mumandworking.co.uk/jobs-for-mums/job-advert.asp?aid=1109

http://www.workingmums.co.uk/

http://www.mumandcareer.co.uk/work-life-balance/part-time-working/

http://www.mumsclub.co.uk/

Hope they provide you with some inspiration!

Related Posts

Flexible Working

Parental Leave

Breastfeeding: My Experience

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Jan 2014

I breastfed my little one for the first 8 months of her life. I’m not one of those Breastfeeding Nazi Mum’s (at least I hope I’m not!) but I wanted to try to do what I thought was the best for my baby. She wasn’t exclusively breastfed as we had several complications. The first 9 weeks of feeding were hellish. However, without the support of the the staff at North Hants Hospital and the Basingstoke Breastfeeding Counsellors we wouldn’t have managed more than a day.

I would have liked to have gone on beyond 8 months but I was forced to return to work when my little one was 5 1/2 months old. By the time she was 8 months old I was so exhausted from having to get up at 6am to express. Nobody mentioned to me that I didn’t need to stop breastfeeding completely, that I could have carried on doing the last feed of the day.

If you are hoping to breastfeed your baby I recommend checking some of the links below in advance of giving birth. I also recommend touching base with one of the breastfeeding counsellors in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, if only so you have a face you recognise if you need to see a counsellor. The counsellors at North Hants Hospital will only allow you to visit them up to your babies 28th day. I know this because I needed an appointment and they wouldn’t make one for me because my baby would have been 29 days old.

So I went to see Rachel at the Baby clinic at Chineham Christchurch. She is lovely and incredibly knowledgable. She picked up on feeding problems that many in the medical profession had missed. I had been to see Rachel in my first few weeks of maternity leave, before my baby was born and I was so glad I had met her before “needing” her support in those first few weeks. I also saw Sarah who was at the Nest, Basingstoke Baptist Church, Brighton Hill. She was so lovely when I collapsed in a heap of tears at about week four when things were just awful.

These ladies and their colleagues do an absolutely fantastic job. I cannot thank them enough for their support during one of the most intense periods of my life. If you are finding breastfeeding a struggle I urge you to reach out to these wonderful ladies.

Another recommendation I would make is that you find out in advance who can take you to the breastfeeding clinics if your partner cannot get time off work and/or you need support after the first two weeks. You never know if you will be able to drive after giving birth (emergency caesarean’s). The Health visitors are great but they cannot come and see you every day. I wish I’d had that list of people I could have called who were able, or prepared, to take me to the clinic when I needed them too. Even a list of taxi numbers would have been a start. Those first few weeks are challenging enough!

Remember though, if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed it DOESN’T make you a bad Mum. I lost sight of this at the beginning and I wish someone had said this to me at the time. Best of luck and if you need help, PLEASE reach out.

Related Links 

“Breastfeeding Welcome” places in North Hampshire – Feb 2015

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Feb 2015

A Map of Breastfeeding support in Hampshire: http://www.breastfeedingcommunity.co.uk/interactivemap/south.htm

The Breast Feeding network – Basingstoke on Facebook is also a great resource and I wish I’d known of it beforehand.

The official Basingstoke Breastfeeding Network web page. Another great resource.

http://bfsupport.me.uk/basingstokewinchesterandover/

Several of the Children’s Centres in Basingstoke also provide breastfeeding support, e.g. Octopus and Pebbles. Click here for details on Children Centres in Basingstoke

Please also see the great comment from Fumblina below about the NCT breastfeeding support in Basingstoke. My bad for not including the NCT in the original post!

Related Pages

Pregnancy

Basingstoke Babies

UK Babies

Local Parks and Open Spaces

I stumbled across this website whilst I was researching this weeks “things to do” post. As the weather was so fabulous this weekend I was researching things to do outside and this website popped up with a list of Local Parks and Open spaces in Basingstoke.

I learnt of a few new places, such as Beggardwood Park which has a maze and ampitheatre, that I didn’t know about that I’m hoping to be able to investigate when Spring really kicks in. Hope you find useful.

Local Parks and Open Spaces

Related Posts

Pushchair Friendly Walks in Basingstoke

Pushchair Friendly Walks near Basingstoke

New Photography Studio at Viables

Sarah Dutton Photography has a new studio that has just opened at Viables Craft Centre.

The studio specialises in portraits, weddings, pet portraits, product photography and more. The studio is appointment only, so please contact Sarah on sarah@sarahdutton.co.uk for further information. (Don’t forget to mention NHM when you do! ;-))

Sarah Dutton Photography also has a Facebook page with regular updates of what’s happening at the studio. For group bookings, book five shoots and the sixth is free!

The studio has mother’s day photo sessions on the 11th March. They are doing a special offers of £30 for half an hour’s shoot, with all useable photos on a disc ready for Mother’s day.

Related Posts

Family Photographers

Chatterbox Shows – Planetarium shows for chatty people!

This looks SO brilliant! I can’t wait till my little one is a little bit bigger so I can take her to one of these.

Winchester Intech Science Centre Chatterbox Shows

Mondays , 5 March, 14 May, 11 June 2pm & Monday 2 April (during Easter holidays), time tbc.
They say:

“It’s natural for younger children or those with special needs to want to call out when they come into the planetarium. They like to share the experience, ask questions or just call out with surprise and amazement.

We normally ask visitors to watch quietly so that everyone can enjoy the show without distraction. But here is a show with a difference:

All the stars with no shushhing!

Come along to a Chatterbox Monday show and we promise not to shhhh you up*! It could get a little noisy but it should be great fun for the chatty ones. Shows are charged at our normal rate.

We’re currently running “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” (30min) in this slot as it is the most child-friendly of our shows and the least likely to scare or overwhelm younger children. However, please do be aware that some children under 5yrs don’t enjoy planetarium shows, especially those scared by the dark.

If you’d be interesting in seeing other shows in this slot, please let us know!”