Little Pickles Markets Buyers Tips

Our mission is to save parents as much money as they can kitting out their growing families from bump to early school years at our Little Pickles Markets and on through their primary years at our BIGGER Pickles Markets.

With this in mind we have a few tips to help you to be a savvy nearly new shopper.

  1. Raid the change jar – If you have your £1 entry ready on entry to the market, it help the queue go down quicker, so you can get shopping quicker. The stall holders also appreciate it if you have change instead of handing over a note.
  2. Time your shop – Our popular markets do attract a long queue of money savvy parents eager to scoop the bargains, so if you want first dibs make sure you arrive early to get to the front of the queue. If you like a quieter shop, you can arrive later, don’t worry there will still be tons of great quality bargains left.
  3. Make a list and set a budget – if you are expecting a new baby you might have a long list of needs and wants, if you keep note of what you need already have will help you to ensure you don’t get duplicates. Make a little note of how much you are willing to spend on certain things, it’s only a bargain if it is something you need/want and are going to use.
  4. Take a second look – You will be amazed what you can miss on the your first circuit around the market venue, after all there will be tons of bargains for you buyers to see. So take a second or even third walk around the venue and see what pops out.
  5. Lastly be safe – if you are buying battery operated/electric items make sure you see these working before purchasing. If you would like to use a plug socket please ask the market organiser and she will be happy to help on market day. Also if you are buying a a pushchair or highchair or anything else that may have a knack to using it, make sure that you get a full demonstration from the sellers.

We hope these tips help and please share any tips or advice you could offer Little Pickles Markets newbie buyers.

buyers tips

Read More

To stay or not to stay?

If you’re not going away where this summer break, or at any point this year then try and look at what you have around you and turn it into a ‘Staycation’!

Last May we took Little O on his first ever holiday and jetted off to Majorca.  We timed it so it was 1 month before his 2nd birthday meaning we didn’t have to pay for him!  We had such a great time that we said we would try out best to scrimp and save every penny so we could go again this year but it’s just too expensive!  All though there are always deals out there, a 7 night stay at the same 3* hotel, half board, during term-time for the 3 of us was working out around £1100!!! and that, sadly is just not going to happen…unless we win the lottery in the next few weeks!

So we accepted the fact that we couldn’t afford to go anywhere this year at all (it’s been a year of ouchies on the pocket so far) and spent the 10 days Daddy had off from work at home in July.

Days out in the this country can end up costing you a small fortune so we set ourselves a budget of £120 spending money and here’s a few of the things we got up too!

  • We hit Paultons Parks a few times!  We live just 10 minutes from there and have a Season Ticket so although it wasn’t a brand new day out for us as it was still something which made Little O happy – making Mummy and Daddy happy!
  • LEGOLAND was another awesome day out and we used our Tesco Clubcard Reward Vouchers meaning all we paid for was fuel for the journey, a few ice creams and we had dinner at the park meaning we could stay literally until the park shut at 7pm!
  • Swimming!  And it was great that Daddy got to come as we normally go in the week just myself and Little O when it’s quieter.
  • A FREE Toddler Sense taster session was a great morning out.
  • The beach!
  • Oh a few meals out 😉

7042563

Pro’s and con’s to a ‘Staycation’

Pro’s first!

  • Money saver! £120 holiday at home ‘V’ a £1100 holiday aboard
  • No packing!
  • Making the most of what you have around you.  There are plenty of great days out in Britain if you just spend a little time looking and asking around.

Cons

  • Our summer weather can be a little unpredictable although we were lucky enough to have our Staycation during the heat wave!
  • Staying at home can mean you still get bogged down by the chores around the house if you’re not careful.
  • For us, there is nothing like the excitement of being at the airport, stepping off the plane in another country and totally forgetting about what you left behind for a week

If you’re having a Staycation this summer then we’d love to hear what you’re getting up to!  Or if you’ve spent too much already this year and you need to put some pennies back in your pocket then book a table at any of our Autumn/Winter markets!

Written by Selina Shrimpton, Little Pickles Market and Baby Show Organiser

Read More

The early days

Riding on the royal wave since the birth of Baby CambridgeKatie Martin from BBC Radio Solent asked myself and a couple of other local mummy’s if we would like to come on air to chat about our experience of having a new baby in the first few weeks.  I didn’t waste any time in accepting as it’s not everyday you get to go on the radio and I’m not shy about sharing my experience.

Our little boy, Oliver is now 3 years old so to cast my mind back to the early days (which feels like much more than 3 years ago) I’ve been looking through photos, his baby cards and had a read of his birth story which I wrote for our local NCT branch, all of which helped to jog memories!

I did feel a little sad that looking back on those early days the main thing that sprung to mind was having the horrible ‘Baby Blues’.  I often received messages from friends saying ‘enjoy this special time’ and at the time I thought there was something wrong with me as I wasn’t finding it enjoyable or special at all.  I knew it was normal to have the ‘Baby Blues’, but they really did out stay their welcome and at the time I thought they would never end.  I’m pleased to report that 3 years on I’m no longer crying everyday (in fact they stopped after about 3 weeks or so) and when I get round to having ‘number 2’ I now know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

It was great to hear the experiences from the other 2 mummy’s who went on the show.  1 who was single parent and the other who had twins boys!  This was the second time I’d been on the Katie Martin Show and both times I’ve taken Oliver (who sat and played with the lovely Producer, Rose) and when leaving he said “I had a lovely time at the radio station”- so sweet!  Any downs I’ve been through since becoming a mummy have been absolutely worth it because I love him to bits and wouldn’t change a thing.

If you’re happy to share how you felt in the first few weeks after having a baby then feel free to comment below as I’m sure it will help others who are going through the same thing!

Written by Selina Shrimpton, Little Pickles Market and Baby Show Organiser

Read More

A Toddler Sense Adventure

I was extremely excited to hear that Toddler Sense (the Baby Sensory next step) was coming to Southampton recently and jumped at the chance to go to a free taster session.
I took Little O to Baby Sensory in his first year and struggled to find class that matched in terms of just how fantastic it is, so I had high expectations when Toddler Sense came to town.
The session last for 50 minutes and starts by letting the tots explore the Adventure Play Area which quite frankly looks like toddler heaven.  Little O enjoyed playing in a huge ball pool, a mini bouncy castle, crawling through tunnels, climbing up steps and sliding down the other side to name just a few!
Charlene (the Class Leader) then gave the tots a 5 minute warning that we would soon be tidying up and moving on to some exciting activates.  And would you believe, that with a little team work from everyone, this huge play area was cleared within minutes.
We then moved on to the activities starting with a very sweet opening song called ‘How do you do’? where the tots and parents all join.  Charlene told the tots that she had taken a call from Bob the Builder who needed help with building and fixing things and out came colourful bowls of Duplo and a mini tool kit for them each.  Well we have Duplo at home but I’ve never seen Little O move so quickly to dig in and start using his imagination.
Next we moved on to taking a ride on the night train!  Chairs lined up in rows were laid out and we were all given maracas’ to shake, a flag to wave, a torch to see in the dark and of course, our own ticket.  This was no ordinary night train as we chugged through thousands of bubble and enjoyed laser lights on the celling.
We finished with a colourful finale which involved waving chiffon scarves and ribbons to the music, watching petals and balloons float to the floor from above and to a toddlers delight – MORE BUBBLES!
The upbeat ‘Say Goodbye’ action song was the perfect way to finish off a fantastic session, in fact all the music was very impressive with that all important feel good factor.
Needless to say we had a one well entertained and happy little boy at the end of it!
3 reasons why we will definitely be going back
  • ALL the equipment is brand new and clean.  Although there is a  lots of climbing equipment Toddler Sense have got the safety aspects covered with plenty of mats to soften any tumbles.
  • Each week brings a new exciting theme.  Toddler Sense has a 2 year programme meaning we won’t see the same thing twice.  Coming in the August Specials is a Hawaiian Beach Party and a Summer Extravaganza!
  • Charlene is a great with the tots.  Friendly with lots of encouragement and praise which is a big thumbs up from me!

As we know from running our Little Pickles Markets, starting up any new business is hard work and personal recommendations and word of mouth is a really huge part of getting going.  So Charlene, Little Pickles Market wish your new Toddler Sense Southampton franchise all the best of luck!  You’ve already won me over!

To find your local Toddler Sense class visit: www.babysensory.com/en/toddlersense

6945380Written by Selina Shrimpton – Hampshire and Dorset Market and Baby Show Organiser

Read More