Top Ten Tips When Travelling Abroad With Tots….

Now that Easter is over, most of us are looking ahead to our summer holiday’s so if you are thinking of going abroad with your ‘Little Pickles’ this year or next, then here’s some top tips from Emma.

  1. The Destination -Opt for a country that will involve the shortest flying time as well as a short transfer to your accommodation.
  1. The Resort -Outside of the hotel itself, it is worth investigating if there are safe pathways to your local amenities. I would advise avoiding a hilly resort, the last thing you would want to do is climb hills with a buggy in the heat. Choose a sandy beach that is suitable for children, with a gentle slope into the sea.
  1. The Airport – Consider flying from smaller regional airports. i.e. Southampton, Bournemouth, Bristol. With smaller terminals and fewer flights arriving and departing, you will certainly start off your holiday in a relaxed way. Miss out the hustle and bustle of larger international airports for ie. Gatwick or Heathrow.
  1. Check in – Most airlines allow you to check in online from 7 days prior to departure with the ability to select your seating. It is never guaranteed that a family with young children will be allocated seating together, so always worth paying the small supplement for pre-booking your seats. Also, fast track boarding is becoming popular nowadays. Again at a supplement but well worth the extra rather than being queued up behind 200 fellow passengers trying to get seated on the plane.
  1. The Hotel -Think deeply into your accommodation requirements. Is a basic hotel room sufficient for your young tot? Maybe you’ll need a fridge to store milk and bottled water. Again is a hotel room suitable for getting young ones to sleep at night. Maybe you will need to consider an apartment or interconnecting hotel rooms so you can relax without tip toeing around the a sleeping child.
  1. Board basis – All Inclusive properties are well worth comparing to self-catering prices. Having a young family myself and having tried self-catering vs all inclusive, the latter works perfectly if you don’t want the hassle of waiting in restaurants for your meals, have fussy children, special dietary requirements, allergies etc. Also most of all inclusive properties offer entertainment for adults & children day and night with the opportunity for your tots to have fun in the kids clubs. Generally, kids clubs start from the age of 4 years, however, there are many properties that offer day crèches and an evening babysitting service so you can have a few hours tot free.
  1. Baby Essentials – Many airlines allow buggies, travel cots and car seats in the hold free of charge. So despite the ever increasing hold luggage supplements, it would be worth choosing an airline that will allow free items for your tots. You can however hire these things at a lot of family friendly hotels.
  1. Kids Clothes – If you’re heading for the heat, choose clothes made from natural fibres – sweat irritates delicate skins and can lead to prickly heat or sweat rash. Expect to change your baby’s clothes up to three times a day particularly if they’re not used to the heat and will sweat a lot. Children will need two sets of clothes per day, and sunhats with wide brims and neck flaps are worth-while when playing outdoors. Equally don’t overlook the fact that children’s eyes are more vulnerable to glare of the sun than yours get them sunglasses or goggles with elasticated straps, which stay on better.
  1. The Extras- Over the years I have spent a fortune on inflatable lilo’s, boats etc for the pools/beach from local shops. Head to Poundland and grab yourself a selection of inflatables before you go and for £1 you don’t mind leaving them there for other children to use.When to book – Book early to take advantage of free child places, big discounts and low deposits.
  1. Book next year’s holiday and pay off throughout the year, so it won’t seem like such a large expense and you can budget for this monthly.

So what are you waiting for go on contact me know for more information on booking your holiday.

Written By Emma Westwood – Independent Travel Expert
Website: www.independenttravelexperts.co.uk/travel-experts/emma-westwood
Email: emma@independenttravelexperts.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/emmaindependenttravelexpert
Twitter: @EMTRAVELEXPERT

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Weetabix Ultimate Sport’s Day Brunch with Tania Farah

So what is your family favourite breakfast? Here at Little Pickles HQ it is definitely Weetabix so versatile, so many ways to to eat it hot or cold, with milk or yoghurt, with fresh fruit or dried fruit, the list is endless so the kids never get bored.

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So when we were invite to the ‘Ultimate Sport’s Day Brunch’ hosted by Weetabix, we wanted to know more and jumped at the chance to join everyone in London.

So Lexia and I jumped on the 7.35am (very early for a Saturday morning) train to London for our mini adventure. Then when we reached Paddington hopped on the tube, Lexia was a bit nervous about this as it was her first time on the underground but was soon enjoying the experience.

When reached The Orange in Pimlico the fun began, where there was ‘Magic Ben’ the entertainer to keep the pickles busy with balloon modeling, colouring and general messing about. While us Mummy’s chatted, giggled and found out more about Weetabix.

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The lovely Tania Farah, wife of Mo joined us with her ‘Little Pickles’ Rhianna, Aisha and Aman.

The kids enjoyed Weetabix while us Mummies were treated to a very yummy brunch, I chose eggs benedict and pastries which was a real treat, very tasty, but not as healthy as Weetabix (heyho there goes my diet again, I must try harder!!)

Sian Porter also joined us to fill us in about the nutritional benefits of Weetabix

This is what I learn’t they are low fat, low sugar, high fibre, wholegrain food fortified with B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid), iron and 2 weetabix only contains 1/16th of your daily allowance of salt. So all in all a pretty good breakfast to help build the future champions.

Lexia enjoyed making new friends and having a trip to London, plus while we were so close we went to see Buckingham Palace, another first for her. Then we were off back to the station, leaving London to head home to the rest of the pickles in Wiltshire.

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More Information on Weetabix Ultimate Sports Day

London Olympics hero Mo Farah has been revealed as the face of Weetabix’s Ultimate Sports Day campaign, which offers youngsters the chance to create and take part in their dream school sports day.

Farah’s double-gold at London 2012, coupled with his now legendary “Mobot” celebration, installed the Londoner as a national treasure and cemented his position as one the best British track stars of all time. Farah has joined forces with the nation’s favourite breakfast cereal to back a campaign that aims to encourage UK kids to get excited about exercise.

Children are invited to design a unique and exciting obstacle they would like to see at their own sports day, with two winners then seeing their creations come to life at an exciting day of sport at the Olympic Park this summer. With the London Marathon on the horizon, Weetabix has launched the Ultimate Sports Day campaign with the hope of encouraging children and parents across the UK to fuel future champions with Weetabix, and to inspire kids to get active by reigniting the passion for sport the nation felt during the 2012 Olympics.

Olympic gold medallist and Weetabix fan Mo Farah, commented: “I’m really looking forward to being part of the Weetabix Ultimate Sports Day campaign. As an athlete and, more importantly as a dad, I know how vital it is to inspire kids get active and a big part of that is making sure they get a nutritious start to the day.

“Being a champion isn’t just about being the best; it’s about looking after yourself and having the attitude to maintain that. It would be amazing if we ended up fuelling future champions this summer – and hopefully I’ll get some extra fuel ahead of the Marathon!”

On top of the Ultimate Sports Day, hundreds of kids across the UK are in with the chance to win a range of prizes, including sports equipment for their school and individual prizes such as top-of-the-range trainers.

Wendy French, Senior Brand Manager at Weetabix said; “It is enormously exciting to unite two national treasures in British sporting hero Mo Farah and Weetabix, the nation’s favourite breakfast cereal. Through the Ultimate Sports Day campaign, we’re keen to remind mums and teachers that a bowl of Weetabix in the morning helps children with stamina, building muscle and bone strength.”

In order to enter the Ultimate Sports Day campaign, simply pick up a pack and visit www.ultimatesportsday.co.uk, letting Weetabix know what a dream sports day obstacle would be: whether it’s a giant sack race or a one-of-a-kind relay – the more creative the concept, the better.

Two winners and their schools will be selected and invited to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Monday 14th July 2014, to take part in 2014’s most exciting day of sport under the watchful eye of Olympic legend Mo Farah and fuelled by Weetabix.

Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets

Facebook www.facebook.com/littlepicklesmarkets1

Twitter www.twitter.com/mrsmummypickle

www.twitter.com/littlepicklesmk

Instagram @mrsmummypickle

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Family Basics on a Budget

Family Basics on a Budget

Being Mum to 5, I am often asked how I afford it, yes that is a personal question but happy to let people know where I can cut costs. Yes my shopping bills a pretty large but the things that really tot the bill up have got to be the nappies, wipes, washing powder and endless supply of fresh fruit (a pack of clementine’s, punnet of strawberries, a couple of bananas and a large bunch of grapes equates to pudding for the kids). I mostly shop in Aldi which must save me hundreds over the year.

With my first I was a Pampers Mum, I would never thought to buy shop own as 13 years ago I think not much research was done it anything other than people suggested Pampers was the best fit for girls and huggies for boys. Mind you 13 years ago you could still by Boy and Girl Nappies (yes that was a long time ago). Now I think it is much more acceptable to buy the shop own brand and doing a lot of my own research I have found Mamia the Aldi own brand to be fantastic, with no leaks during the night, well fitting and most of all cheap at only £4.49 Now I am toilet training the 3 year old Man of the House (but that is a whole another subject!!!), he has started using the pull ups which are equally great. The Mamia is very deserving of all of their awards

Tha Mamia range also includes Sensitive Baby Wipes for a steal at 65p about a third of the price of the average cost of the leading brand. Baby toiletries including lovely smelling Baby Shampoo, which helps tame Baby Pickles wild locks.

The range of jars (yes Baby Pickle did mostly have jars as it is very convenient for our busy household) is good, not massive but then in other supermarkets there is often too much choice and it takes me forever to choose.

I have been using the Almat (check name) concentrated non bio washing liquid for a while not and it has had no bad effect on my two pickles with sensitive skin. It is only £1.99 for 21 washes too, that is less than 10p a wash, bargain!

Then there comes a trolley full of fruit, I do buy seasonally and see what the weeks offers they do a weekly Super 6, but generally apples and clementine’s are two thirds of the price of other shops, if not less. As well as the fruit and veg super 6 they do a Meat Super 6 too. Buying these seasonal specials also means that we have a bit of variety in meals too.

The only thing I can’t get in Aldi is Baby Pickles brand of formula and our local one doesn’t have toddler double trolley’s but I usually only shop with one child so not a problem for me

So go on try it out you might save a bit, but remember your bags J

Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets

Facebook www.facebook.com/littlepicklesmarkets1

Twitter www.twitter.com/mrsmummypickle

www.twitter.com/littlepicklesmk

Instagram @mrsmummypickle

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My 7 Top Tips for Starting a Business

My 7 Top Tips for Starting a Business

Now I have been in business a little while 3 and a half years, people have started to ask me for hints and tips. I am happy to offer advice and people the belief that they can succeed. So here’s 7 of my tips, I have kept it short as if you are thinking of starting a business you already have lots on your mind.

1. Believe in yourself

If you think you can succeed and think big, you will have more chance to be get there and even exceed expectations.

2. Be flexible

Business plans are good but in your first year or two things might not go exactly to plan, so be prepared to rethink and refocus. You will make mistakes, afterall nobody is perfect, just make sure you learn from them but don’t dwell on mistakes.

3. Be Social Savvy

When you first start out Social Media can be a minefield for many but can also be a massive resource to get your word out free or very minimal cost. Facebook is probably the easiest to understand, well I think so anyway. With clear business pages with tabs for events, photos, sign up to newsletter, things your fans have liked/commented on shows up in their friends newsfeed giving your business exposure.

Twitter is fast moving and sometimes harder to keep up with, but great all the same.

4. Write it down

Every little ideas, brainwave, dream, worry you have write it down. Then you can decide whether to action it or not. A notepad by the bed is pretty essential if you are anything like me, some of my best ideas have popped into my head as I drop off to sleep.

5. Build Networks

Sometimes working for yourself or from home can be a little bit lonely (even though there isn’t much chance of that for me as one of my pickles is never far away). So look out for local networking groups, that fit with you whether it’s with mums juggling family and business or crafters that would understand each other and are used to late nights crafting away. If you can’t find one then why not look for some other local small businesses that compliment each and meet up for a chat.

6. Remember why you started.

When I first started building a business it was hard, lots of late nights and lack of sleep, either updating my website, working out and juggling dates or just not being able to sleep because my head was buzzing with new ideas. Then wondering when I might have a regular income.  But then I remind myself why, everyones reasons are different.  My main one was that I wanted to be there for my kids, doing the school runs, enjoy the school holidays, attend assemblies/open afternoons, which I am there for so the late nights are worth it.

7. Last of all, It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets

Facebook www.facebook.com/littlepicklesmarkets1

Twitter www.twitter.com/mrsmummypickle and www.twitter.com/littlepicklesmk

Instagram @mrsmummypickle

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Introducing the Family at The Heart of Little Pickles Markets

Firstly there is me Jessamine (Jess, Mummy, Mum, Mrs Mummy Pickle, Little Pickles Lady, my aliases are endless), my first and most rewarding job in life is of course being Mummy to my 5 gorgeous ‘Little Pickles’, Tegan will kill me for still referring to her as Little, so let me correct that Mummy to 4 ‘Little Pickles’ and 1 Young Lady. I started my journey as a parent at only 17, it has not been easy but sometimes I amaze myself at how far I have come, but that is very much Thanks to my Mum and Dad for everything they taught me (right enough of the soppy stuff). I am the founder and owner of Little Pickles Markets, which I often refer to as my 6th baby, mind you I would have probably lost less sleep have another real baby than running my own business around the kids (I say as I am writing this at nearly 1am). I am passionate about the business, have a great team I work along side and get to meet a whole range of different people, a job I truly love.

Tegan my very nearly 13 year old that has all the usual attributes of a teenage girl, but also the most loving and caring big sister her sibling’s could ask for. She loves music (yes she is forever singing whilst I’m trying to talk to her, I’m sure this is pretty normal for a teenager), dancing, shopping, doing her hair and most importantly of course taking Selfies with her friends, me, siblings, well anyone really 🙂

Lexia is 8 years old next month, she is the craft queen, usually found at the dining room table drawing, colouring, painting, well anything messy really. Also she has inherited a wicked sense of rhythm from her West Indian roots, boi can that girl dance!

Jolie my very strong charactered 5 year old middle child, who definitely has a mind of her own. Usually found making her way through the bookshelves to read anything and everything, but would never tidy up after herself!!! She is the thinker of the family, maybe a budding genius, well you never know.

Faryl, The Man of the House, but doesn’t he know it he has his sisters (and me for a fact) wrapped around his little finger, pretty impressive considering he’s only 3! He is fireman obsessed, so would quite happily watch Fireman Sam on repeat all day. But also has a love for outdoors and can quite often be found getting muddy jumping in puddles and generally teaching me what parenting a boy is all about.

Then we have the Baby of the family Aliza, 11 months, she is all of ours little ray of sunshine, always ready with a smile to cheer us up. She loves noisy toy’s, chewing everything and pulling her siblings hair. Her giggle is infectious and she is darn cute too, ok I know I’m biased but isn’t every mum.

So in a nutshell that is us, yes you are all waiting for a lovely family portrait but I am totally camera shy, so here’s the kids for you.

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Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets

Facebook www.facebook.com/littlepicklesmarkets1

Twitter www.twitter.com/mrsmummypickle and www.twitter.com/littlepicklesmk

Instagram @mrsmummypickle

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